Sterling LaBour/Taber Pump 


Taber Pump Company established in Buffalo, New York specializing in vertical, rotary vane and brewery industrial pumps. 

Harry E. LaBour establishes LaBour Company in Michigan City, Indiana, with the purpose of developing and marketing an inherently self-priming centrifugal pump line. His intention was to design a rugged, simple-to-operate-and-maintain pump to handle liquids used in the chemical processing industry. The next year, he patents and introduces the first valve-less, self-priming pump. And, in 1923, the company moves to Chicago Heights, Illinois.

Responding to growing demand for this new product, production facilities are expanded and the company moves to Elkhart, Indiana where an iron foundry is added to the production facility. 

LaBour broadens its base by creating LaBour Pump Company, Ltd in the U. K. Over time the U. K. operations sales nearly equal to the U.S. operation’s.

In the post war period, LaBour builds a foundry in nearby southern Michigan. This facility is a wholly owned subsidiary producing Nickel-Alloy casting for LaBour. Also during this period, the predecessor to the A.V.S. pump is introduced - the model SZ/SQ line. As the mechanical seal becomes popular, stuffing boxes are modified to readily accept them. A line of globe valves and in-line basket strainers, no longer offered, is also developed for aggressive chemical service.

LaBour Company is acquired by American Gage and Machine Company (which subsequently merges in 1970 with Katy Industries, Inc.) and is renamed to LaBour Pump Company. In another expansion move, the highly successful Taber Pump Company of Buffalo, New York, is purchased.

The triple throat Model TF Pump, manufactured to the American Voluntary Standard (AVS), is introduced. 

Taber production and support personnel are merged into the LaBour plant in Elkhart Indiana. The following year, the LV pump line is introduced to complement the TF line. By 1973 the AVS business reaches the level where additional production facilities are necessary if LaBour is to maintain adequate service to customer. A search is started to find a suitable location for the next expansion.

In October a new facility in Selma, Alabama is opened. The new 50,000 sq. ft. facility is furnished with Computer Numerical Control (CNC) equipment. However, unlike the job shop production process used in Elkhart, the Selma plant is a production-for-inventory facility, where finished components are stocked for immediate final assembly. By 1979 a new Taber vertical product line utilizing various parts, interchangeable with the LV pumps allowing “ship from inventory” capability, is in full production at the new plant. 

In response to market requirements and interest in reduced emissions, LaBour begins offering a magnetic driven pump line (Texel) in a variety of materials. At the same time the AVS line is enhanced to offer several optional features including larger bore seal chambers to keep pace with the every changing requirement of industry.

With the introduction of the American National Standards (ANSI), a new model of pump, LVA, is introduced to replace the LV line. Shortly thereafter the TFA line adapted the LVA power end design to replace the TF pump line.

LaBour Pump Company is sold to Peerless Pump Company in Indianapolis, Indiana. By the fall of that year all production of LaBour products are moved to the Selma, Alabama and engineering is relocated to Indianapolis. 

LaBour Pump Company officially changes its name to Sterling Fluid Systems (USA), Inc. and LaBour becomes a brand under the Sterling umbrella along with the other pump companies: Peerless Pump, SPP, and SIHI.

As we begin work in our third century of building and manufacturing pumps for the Process Industry, our experienced and knowledgeable sales representatives and engineering staff are always ready to respond to single or project pump requirements, as well as service needs to ensure complete customer satisfaction.

Proven standard designs plus research and development capabilities enable us to customize existing products or develop one-of-a-kind pumps to handle difficult or special applications. With our own alloy foundry, we can pour a wide range of materials to meet almost any pumping application requirements. We look forward to another century of producing “Pumps that keep the process flowing!”