History

From a storefront on East Huron Street in Buffalo, New York with a single wood preservative patent, Osmose has emerged as a well-known and respected company; a leading service provider safeguarding North American utility infrastructure.

Since our humble beginning in 1934, Osmose has continued to meet evolving customer needs through hard work and innovation. 

 

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    1934

    On November 28, 1934 in Buffalo, New York, five local businessmen - Lewis Surdam, Raymond Morrison, Michael Cohn, Daniel Kamphausen, and Ben Cravens - started a company with a single wood preservative patent. The Osmose Wood Preserving Company of America provided OsmoSalts, a formulation of sodium fluoride, potassium bicarbonate, and dinitrophenol in a waterborne mixture, to companies in the mining and railroad industries. This unique preservative was used to treat timbers that supported mine shafts and railroad bridges. The timbers were dipped in the mixture, then covered while it infused through the wood - a process called osmosis, which is the basis for both the product name and the company name.

     

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    1945

    In 1945, Osmose purchased its first truck and expanded its services to the utility industry; inspecting and treating wood utility poles to extend their service life.

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    1965

    In 1965, the first iteration of the truss was developed to restore strength to poles weakened by decay. It was little more than an oil pipe cut in half length-wise. However, despite the rudimentary design, some of those half-pipe trusses are still in service today!

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    1975

    In the 1970's, after extensive testing, Bell Laboratories approved the C-Truss® for use throughout the Bell telephone system.

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    1985

    The Osmose Employee Ownership Plan was established. The ESOP enabled employees to own about 35 percent of the stock of the company.

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    1987

    Osmose released MITC-FUME®, the first solid-melt fumigant (and now the most widely used fumigant in the United States). MITC-FUME offers easy application and a higher level of protection against internal decay since it does not require decomposition in order to produce mitc.

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    1999

    Responding to customer demand for a comprehensive pole loading analysis tool, Osmose released O-Calc®

     

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    2000

    Expanding our expertise on the below-grade structural condition of utility assets, Osmose launched a line of “corrosion services” - inspecting, coating, and restoring steel structures.

    Since then, Osmose has invested significant resources in the training of field operations personnel and supervision, as well as the development of a fully-qualified structural engineering group specializing in both steel and concrete repairs. The primary focus of these services has been on below grade foundations, however, in recent years we have also begun to include restoration efforts to overhead components.

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    2002

    Osmose acquired Coherent Networks, a utility data solutions provider, to expand its service offerings to include field surveys and audits - all designed to provide utilities with the accurate data needed to effectively run key operational systems.

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    2003

    Osmose Holdings, Inc. was formed, and the three operating divisions were reorganized as three separate subsidiary companies - Osmose Railroad Services, Inc., Osmose Utilities Services, Inc., and Osmose, Inc. (Wood Preserving).

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    2005

    Osmose released StrengthCalc®, a software program that assesses the effects of decay and damage to provide real-time calculations expressed as a percent of remaining strength. Highly accurate strength data enables pole owners to more effectively manage their pole plants, reduce risk, and save money.

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    2005

    Osmose Utilities Services, Inc. relocated its management team from Buffalo, New York to suburban Atlanta, Georgia to accommodate national travel for a growing client base.

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    2008

    Osmose set a new standard of performance for preservative systems with the release of MP400- EXT®. This patented preservative paste featured a proprietary blend of inorganic and organic compounds that were highly effective at extremely low concentrations. MP400-EXT provided improved preservative protection for in-service poles while also fulfilling Osmose’s environmental commitment to reduce toxicity in its products.

    In 2013, MP400-EXT was the first preservative paste to receive UL Environmental Claim Validation.

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    2009

    Osmose acquired the Hawaii utility construction company, Ikaika, Inc. whose services include overhead and underground utility construction and repair services, civil site work, and general masonry. The combination of Ikaika's installation and construction services with Osmose's inspection and maintenance offerings improves the efficiency of service delivery to utilities throughout the islands.

     

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    2011

    Osmose released O-Calc® Pro, the next generation of pole analysis software. O-Calc Pro introduced Digital Measurement Technology™ (DMT), a state-of-the-art feature that allows users to extract accurate measurements from digital photos.

    O-Calc Pro is used by companies across the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand for pole loading applications related to joint use, utility standards, pole replacements, and system hardening.

     

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    2012

    Oaktree Capital Management, an investment management firm based in Los Angeles, California, acquired Osmose Holdings, Inc.

     

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    2014

    Osmose released MP500-EXT® the next generation of micronized preservative paste, improving both efficacy and the environmental profile.

    MP500-EXT also holds UL Environmental Claim Validation. To date, MP400-EXT and MP500-EXT are the only preservative pastes with this distinction.

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    2014

    Osmose's Wood Preserving and Railroad Services subsidiaries were sold to Koppers, Inc.

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    2015

    Kohlberg & Company, a private equity firm based in Mount Kisco, New York, acquired Osmose Utilities Services, Inc.

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    2018

    Osmose released Osmolytics™, an advanced predictive modeling software that uses decades of inspection data and environmental information (for both wood and steel utility structures) to provide models of below-grade decay and corrosion.

    With Osmolytics, structure owners have valuable information designed to help make decisions regarding maintenance, restoration, and replacement.

     

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    TODAY

    Headquartered in Peachtree City, Georgia (just south of Atlanta), Osmose continues to innovate; leveraging more than 80 years of knowledge, experience, and hard work to help customers minimize risk and maintain strength and resiliency to keep their systems as strong as the communities they serve.