It all started with the need to solve a problem.
In 1926, plumber R.M. “Doc” Wolfe had an issue with pumps failing at a frustrating rate. At the time, air conditioning units were just beginning to become popular, and each unit had a pump to get water up into a screen for evaporative cooling. Every time Wolfe fixed one of these pumps, it would break again. That’s when he came up with an idea and enlisted the help of inventor Harry Goodman to create the solution: the world’s first evaporative pump.
In 1941, the Little Giant Vaporizer was born – and so was the Little Giant brand. The innovative, patented pump became the cornerstone of Little Giant – and laid the foundation for a company dedicated to solving the pumping problems plumbers and HVAC professionals faced.
Innovation beyond the vaporizer.
In 1950, Goodman filed a patent for what was to become the iconic Little Giant submersible water pump. This “upgraded” Little Giant Vaporizer Pump could be used anywhere water recirculation was an issue: both underwater and on dry land. The basic, self-contained electric motor-driven submersible pump featured an inlet filter with screen and a discharge for the first time. It was a small low-pressure, high-volume pump that was used specifically for the recirculation of water for evaporative coolers, minnow tanks, small pools, fountains, machine tools, and many other water transfer applications.
This pump also paved the way for a wave of new product development in the decades to come. The development of the C2 and C3 pumps signaled the company’s true entrance into the condensate pump business. Little Giant continued to innovate with the introduction of the VCMA condensate pump in 1999. The creation of the VCMA series led to an entire next generation of Little Giant condensate pumps that are still being used today.
Little Giant expands to include wastewater.
In the early 1960s, Little Giant held true to its core mission as it looked towards future innovations: solving problems for plumbers and HVAC technicians. While product development in the early years was focused on HVAC, the company decided to enter the high-flow drainage pump market with the introduction of sump pumps.
The 1/3 HP 8 Series sump pump was the first to launch, appearing in the 1964 Little Giant catalog. A year later in 1965, Little Giant added the smaller 1/3 HP 6 Series sump pump and a larger 1/2 HP 10 Series. While the market has evolved over the years, the iconic 6 Series continues to be a top-performing sump pump throughout the industry. And, for good reason: measuring only six inches in height and utilizing an internal diaphragm switch, this pump is ideal for shallow, small basin applications and produces 46 gpm at 5 feet of head while reaching a maximum shut-off of 18 feet. Whatever the application, 6 Series sump pumps are truly Little Giants when it comes to efficient residential and light commercial pump solutions.
Bridge to the future for Little Giant.
In 1980, the company and its more than 20 patents were sold to Tecumseh Products Company. Innovation continued, and during the 80s and 90s the company released more options for sump, sewage, effluent, aquarium pumps, sewage basins, pool cover pumps and decorative outdoor living products for the landscaping industry.
The legendary 5-MSP utility pump was introduced for the first time in 1980 as the “Water Wizard,” and boy, was it magical! It served as an innovation bridge of sorts, connecting Little Giant’s development of small submersible pumps in the early years of the business with the heavy, cast-iron sump pumps that were next developed in the 1960s. That is what earned it the name 5-MSP (Mini Sump Pump). Since launching in 1980, this utility pump has consistently been among the most successful pumps in the Little Giant lineup year after year, chiefly due to its extreme reliability and portable nature. The decades of experience building oil-filled, die-cast aluminum pumps since the 1940s allowed plenty of ingenuity and design expertise to be built into the 5-MSP. In fact, it was the smallest pump of its kind when it was first introduced, and it still ranks among the most compact, powerful utility pumps on the market.
Looking to the future.
In 1999, Little Giant released the VCMA condensate pump. Grinder pumps hit the market in 2000, creating even more Little Giant solutions for wastewater and HVAC professionals.
In 2006, Franklin Electric acquired Little Giant, and it became a signature brand within the company’s portfolio. This partnership drove further innovation, and, over the years, Franklin Electric added to the brand’s talented team, reinforcing their commitment to product improvement, R&D, and maintaining the level of quality Wolfe and Goodman built into their initial line of pumps. For 80 years, Little
Giant has stood the test of time, pumping a steady flow of proven reliability and superior technical know-how both through the products themselves as well as the staff and support team behind the scenes.
Little Giant’s brand name is appropriate in every aspect of the business. Products are compact but powerful; manufacturing and technical know-how are streamlined and impactful; and the people behind the brand are unassuming yet knowledgeable and reliable. No other pump manufacturer, even today, touches so many different businesses and industries. Little Giant has pumped a lot of water in the past 80 years, and there is much more to look forward to in the next 80 and beyond.
To celebrate the company’s 80th anniversary, Little Giant is introducing a revitalized brand look, feel, and promise to reflect the company and its products.
|1939||First patent received for small submersible pump|
|1941||Little Giant Vaporizer Company founded and begins operations|
|1950||Patent filed for upgraded vaporizer pump|
|1955||MG McCool acquires the company|
|1956||Name changes to Little Giant Pump Company|
|1958||C2/C3 condensate pumps introduced|
|1964||#8 Cast iron sump pump introduced|
|1965||6 & 10 Series sump pumps hit the market|
|1980||Tecumseh Products acquires the company|
|1980||5-MSP “Water Wizard” was released|
|1987||Effluent/sewage pump series introduced|
|1995||Battery back-up products released|
|1999||VCMA condensate pump introduced|
|2000||Grinder pumps were released|
|2006||Franklin Electric acquires Little Giant Pump Co.|
|2011||Submersible Grinder pumps introduced|
|2013||EC-1 mini condensate pump introduced|
|2019||OKC facility renovation|
|2020||High temperature condensate pumps introduced|
|2021||1 hp Grinder introduced|
Oklahoma City, OK
There’s a reason we’ve been the go-to pump for HVAC, Plumbing, Pool, and Hydroponics professionals for generations: experience. For 80 years, Little Giant® products have stood the test of time, pumping a steady flow of proven reliability in the most demanding applications.