Bean Spray Pump

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Main Location

San Jose


Food Machinery Corporation.

The Bean Spray Pump Company was an agricultural tools manufacturer founded in San Jose by John Bean. The company specialized in spray and pump equipment, but also manufactured firefighting apparatus, motors, and even a tractor. The company joined with the Anderson-Barngrover Manufacturing Company, Stebler-Parker Company, and Sprague-Sells Corporation into the Food Machinery Corporation in 1929[1]. Spray pump equipment was still sold under the Bean brand for quite some time; a 1946 instruction manual for the Bean Royal Spray listed the manufacturer as t he Bean-Cutler Division of the Food Machinery Corporation.

John Bean, the founder, had been an inventor and pump maker in Michigan. In 1880, Bean moved to California to recover from tuberculosis in the better climate, and settled in Los Gatos. He soon found his ten acres of apricots were overrun by scale. Frustrated with the quality of insecticide pumps, he built a high-pressure sprayer, and began selling it to other orchardists[2].

The company moved to San Jose in 1884. John Bean turned over the company to his son-in-law, David Crummey, in 1888.

In 1910, the company expanded easy, building a factory in Berea, Ohio; the factory was relocated to Lansing Michigan in 1914.


Location Years Address Details
Lansing, MI 1936-1970 1305 South Cedar "John Bean Building", closed in 1974[3]. Produced fire trucks and military vehicles[4].
San Jose, CA 1900-1986 213 West Julian St. FMC ceased manufacturing in 1986, and tore down the buildings in 1997[5]


  1. Vincent Moses, "Machines in the Garden: A Citrus Monopoly in Riverside, 1900-1936"California History, Volume 61, 1982-1983, California Historical Society.
  2. Ken Robison, 100 Years of John Bean Spray Pump Company. August/September 1985 Gas Engine Magazine.
  3. 1305 South Cedar. real estate lease information.
  4. A Rare Look at Lansing's John Bean Building. WMMQ Classic Rock.
  5. California State Water Quality Control Board, FMC Julian Final Site Cleanup Requirements. Order 01-031, March 21, 2001. Manufacturing at the site left hydrocarbons, volatile organic compounds, and metals in the soil.