From a continuous spray pump in California's orchards in the 1880s to some of the world's most sophisticated technology and equipment for the oilfield service, FMC Technologies and its predecessor companies have a long history of technical innovation. FMC Technologies traces its roots to 1884 when inventor John Bean developed a new type of spray pump to combat San Jose scale in California's orchards. When neighbors clamored for the device, Bean Spray Pump Company was born.
At first, the company made agricultural equipment, but mergers in the late 1920s with makers of food processing equipment and cannery machinery for vegetables, created a larger company requiring a new name - Food Machinery Corporation.
By the mid-1930s, FMC was the world's largest manufacturer of machinery and equipment for handling fruits, vegetables, milk, fish and meat products. And as World War II began, FMC entered the defense business, making amphibious tractors and tanks for the military.
In the post-war boom, FMC introduced continuous freezers, providing for assembly-line production of pre-packaged frozen foods and made strides in sterilization of canned foods. The boom also prompted acquisitions in chemicals and petroleum equipment.
In 1961 the diverse, global company changed its name to FMC Corporation, and in 1966 sales topped $1 billion. By the early 1970s, FMC had 42,000 employees and a new Chicago headquarters. Throughout the 1980s, 1990s and into the 21st century, the company pursued new businesses. In 2000, FMC announced a plan to restructure into two companies - one a machinery business (FMC Technologies); the other a chemicals business (FMC Corporation). FMC Technologies, Inc. became a newly listed public company on the New York Stock Exchange in June 2001, with an initial public offering of approximately 17 percent of its stock.
In 2008, FMC Technologies spun off its FoodTech and Airport businesses into a new, independent, publically-traded company called JBT Corporation.