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.

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 History

’60s

Early '60s

’60s

Delmer Wagner works for a sawmill in Redmond, Ore.

 

To measure moisture in lumber, mills use “contact moisture detectors” in a cabinet the size of a man and equipped with radio vacuum tubes. They are hard to use, hard to calibrate, and hard to interpret.

1963

1963

Delmer develops the first in-line moisture detector using transistors for the Redmond sawmill.

 

The detector is smaller and more compact than traditional detectors. It is also more reliable, and easier to calibrate. Pleased with Delmer’s newly-designed moisture detector, the mill takes out a patent on his device.

 

Delmer Wagner leaves the mill to teach at a local college.

1965

1965

1965

Delmer Wagner founded Wagner Electronics.

 

He designs a second in-line transistorized moisture detector.

1967

1967

1967

Ed Wagner, Delmer’s son, starts working for Wagner Electronics. He begins with wiring, assembling, soldering, and testing meters.

Late '70s

Late ’70s

Delmer Wagner invents an in-kiln moisture detector: Model 778.
 
Wagner Electronics introduces the Model 778 in-kiln moisture detector and develops a method to use in-line meters to troubleshoot kilns.
 
Delmer develops a process to track season changes, compare kilns performances with specific wood species, and track the exact location of each stack of wood. This process innovation also tracked the amount of wood that came out too wet, with a need to be run through the kiln again, or too dry, causing it to warp, split and crack. The process helped reduce the risk of wood damage significantly.

1979

1979

Ed graduates from Engineering school and returns to Wagner Electronics.

1981

1981

1981

Invention of Wagner’s first pinless wood moisture meter: the L600

Mid ’80s

Mid '80s

Mid ’80s

Wagner Electronics adds microprocessors to in-line systems to aid in-kiln troubleshooting The forest products industry is among the first to take delivery of this innovative combination of computers and in-line moisture meters.

1980

1980

Ed Wagner is promoted to Production Manager.
 
First Wagner pinless wood moisture meter invented: L600.

1987

1987

1987

Delmer Wagner retires and sells the majority of stock in Wagner Electronics to Ed Wagner.

 

Ed Wagner becomes president and CEO of the company.

Early ’90s

Early '90s

Early ’90s

Recession hits and Wagner develops smaller hand-held pinless meters for the wood flooring and woodworking markets.

 

The L609, L606, L607 and L601-3 models are introduced.

Late ’90s

Late '90s

Late ’90s

The L610 and L612 meters are introduced.

 

The Stack Probe is also introduced.

 

Industry experts estimate annual flooring failures due to moisture in concrete at more than $500 million.

 

Ed Wagner chairs a number of ASTM Standards committees and is a driving force for updating and publishing several ASTM Standards for testing moisture in wood.

2004

2004

2004

Howard Kanare (employed by CTLGroup, Portland Cement’s Material Testing Laboratory Service in Skokie, Ill.) and Wagner Meters suggest the first concepts of what was the first Rapid RH® tool for measuring moisture in concrete.

2005

2005

Wagner Meters and CTLGroup collaborate to develop the Rapid RH®, an in-situ relative humidity testing system for concrete.

2006

2006

2006

The original Rapid RH® in-situ concrete slab RH test system wins the “Most Innovative Product” awards at the World of Concrete (WOC).

2007

2007

2007

Ed’s son, Eric, begins working at Wagner Electronics by assembling meters and occasionally helping out in the engineering and marketing departments.

2010

2010

2010

Wagner Electronics changes the name to Wagner Meters to better express the solution they offer to the market — moisture meters.

2011

2011

Eric begins working full time in the Wagner Meters marketing department. Starting with web design, Eric’s responsibilities grow as he works to increase Wagner Meter’s customer support and educational presence online.

2012

2012

Eric becomes the manager of Wagner Meter’s marketing department.

2015

2015

2015

Wagner Meters offers the first Rapid RH® reusable moisture meter: the Rapid RH 5.0.

 

Wagner celebrates 50 years of offering quality moisture meters — now including four company divisions:

 

  • Forest Products Industry
  • Woodworking
  • Flooring
  • Building Inspection

 

2013

2013

2013

The Rapid RH® DataMaster™ wins the “Most Innovative Product” award at WOC. A hand-held device, the DataMaster paired touchscreen capabilites with Bluetooth® technology to allow users to quickly and easily record all test data for a particular job site.

2017

2017

2017

Wagner Meters celebrates the published revision of ASTM F2170 to decrease concrete moisture testing equilibration time from 72 hours to 24 hours. Wagner Meters President and ASTM F2170 Committee member Ed Wagner credits the extraordinary collaboration of the ASTM F2170 Committee to the expedient revision.

2018

2018

2018

Smart Logger™ 24/7 Temperature and RH data logger is launched.
 
Wagner Meters introduces the Orion® series of pinless electronic wood moisture meters. The Orions are the only wood moisture meters with the exclusive capability* to be field calibrated by the user in about a minute. *Patent Pending.
 
Eric becomes Vice President of Wagner Meters.

2019

2019

2019

Rapid RH L6 products are launched to enhance the ease, quickness, and data integrity that made the Rapid RH concrete moisture testing system the tool of choice for professional floor covering installers and inspectors around the world:
 

  • Rapid RH L6 Total Reader® with Bluetooth® and ambient Temp/RH sensor
  • Rapid RH L6 Smart Sensor with increased responsiveness in high RH concrete
  • DataMaster™ L6 free smart device app with improved visual mapping

 
Wagner Meters launches the specialized C555 Electronic Concrete Moisture Meter as a tool for improving the efficiency of in-situ concrete moisture testing as described in ASTM F2659.
 
The Orion 950 wins the Association of Woodworkers and Furniture Suppliers (AWFS) 2019 “Visionary Award” for its multipurpose functionality and exclusive ability to be calibrated by the user.

2020

2020

2020

Winner – Rapid RH L6 – Most Innovative Product at 2020 “World of Concrete”
 
Top 10 Finalist – Orion 950 – Tomorrow’s Contract Floors Magazine’s “Top 10 Flooring Tools”
 
Wagner Meters has developed numerous patents over the years and holds many valuable patents that protect current products.

Wagner Meters’ Mission Statement

We empower you to eliminate costly moisture problems by providing superior moisture measurement products with unmatched expert support, so that you can realize a more profitable business.

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