The Way It Was

Wagner Meters began as a business in the early 1960s when Delmer Wagner saw an innovative opportunity in the forest products industry of the Pacific Northwest.

At That Time:

American population: approximately 175 million.
Average American salary: $4,750.00/year.
Life expectancy: males: 66 years; females: 73 years.
Minimum wage: $1.00/hour.

Since then, trade has gone global, both for buyers and sellers. Manufacturers produce their goods due to a greatly-expanded set of considerations, among them: cost. Increasingly, companies send production contracts to cost-efficient countries to maximize profit and stay competitive. As with any cultural tectonic shift, globalization has its positives and negatives. Informed individuals can decide, for themselves, on the risks and benefits.

The Way It Is

Globalization has, of course, impacted the moisture content test industry. It is not possible to overstate the importance of this issue, because it so profoundly affects the products used in a moisture content test. Every time a contractor or consumer purchases a moisture content test kit or a moisture meter, they enact a certain degree of support for the nations that produced them. And unfortunately, in this industry, some moisture meter manufacturers have chosen to take advantage of low-labor “sweatshop” conditions to produce their goods.

In a report on Chinese factories known as “sweatshops,” the National Labor Committee (NLC) details the working conditions that may have produced your moisture content test product:

  • In the first half of 2010, one factory paid its workers a base wage of 76 cents an hour.
  • Assembly line workers are prohibited from sitting down and must stand for their entire 12-hour shift.
  • Workers are allowed to use the bathroom just once in the regular eight-hour shift.
  • Workers who make a mistake are forced to write a “letter of repentance” begging forgiveness-which they must read aloud in front of all their coworkers.

wagner-meters-wayThe Wagner Meters Way

Wagner Meters to design the first solid state, non-contact, in-line lumber moisture detector. Soon, clients approached Wagner Meters for hand-held moisture content test meters for spot-checking. Wagner Meters has spent the ensuing decades building a family of moisture content test products for wood and relative humidity test products for concrete, from its original home base of Rogue River, Oregon.

Time has not changed the Wagner Meters business ethic. Delmer’s son, Ed, continues the legacy of pioneering moisture content test equipment, from hand-held meters to lumber mill processing systems. Wagner Meters has grown with the world, but it has chosen to remain rooted in the American vision which motivated Delmer Wagner to innovate. Wagner Meters remains an American employer with global reach.

Only a business committed to a vision of growth and sustainability recognizes that cheaper may not be better in the long run.

View a list of Wagner Meters affiliations here.

Wagner Meters’ Mission Statement

The mission of Wagner Meters is to create and provide solutions in moisture measurement technology to enhance the quality and value of our customer’s products.

Ed Wagner President and CEO standing with his son Eric Wagner. Wagner Meters is a family-owned company.

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