Elkhart Brass. Over A Century of Innovation.


Elkhart Brass is the industry’s most experienced manufacturer of innovative fire fighting and fire protection equipment. Well known for its commitment to quality, value and customer service, the worldwide leader celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2002.


Elkhart Brass was founded by Albert E. Hansen who immigrated from Norway to Chicago in the late 1800’s. In 1902, Hansen moved to Elkhart, Indiana, where he built a foundry, hired ten employees and began manufacturing fire fighting equipment under the name Elkhart Brass Mfg. Co. His first products were straight bore tips, wyes, siamese connections and standpipe connections. Within the company’s first decade, Hansen developed the brass and copper soda-acid fire extinguisher. Within a short time, this product had launched Elkhart Brass into its first century as a recognized name in fire equipment.

In the early 1930’s, a friend from Hamburg, Germany sold Hansen the patent rights to manufacture the first Mystery® Fog Nozzle in the United States. Until that time, several companies manufactured impinging stream fog nozzles. These had a head drilled at various angles so water came out in different directions, creating a fog effect. In 1936, Elkhart Brass introduced The Mystery® Nozzle, America’s first peripheral jet fog nozzle.

Changing The Face of Firefighting

Over the years, Elkhart Brass continued to develop innovative products and became a powerful leader in the fire industry. During its first century of operation, the company literally changed the course of fire fighting through three major product innovations: the first peripheral jet fog nozzle (Mystery® Nozzle, 1936), the first selectable stream nozzle with integral shut-off (Select-O-Stream®, 1940’s) and the first selectable flow nozzle (Select-O-Matic®, 1969). Today, the company manufactures about 2,000 products used in virtually every aspect of fire fighting. Major product innovations are:

1920s • First ball-type shut-off nozzle in the U.S.

1930s • Mystery® Nozzle, America’s first peripheral jet fog nozzle

  • Developed a line of truck-mount deck guns

1940s • Began making portable deck guns that later turned into portable monitors

  • Added the integral ball shut-off to the Mystery® Nozzle in the Select-O-Stream® line

1950 • Developed Select-O-Flow® Nozzles, the industry’s first constant flow, selectable gallonage nozzles

1970s • Introduced Select-O-Matic® Automatic Nozzles, the first nozzles to operate on the availability of water rather than on pressure; still the company’s best selling product

  • Opened an additional manufacturing site in Shreve, Ohio

1980s • Introduced Chief® Nozzles: a lightweight, simplified version of the Select-O-Flow® line

  • Created a complete line of fire ground appliances used with large-diameter hoses
  • Developed Stinger® monitors; the first product with quick disconnect to move from truck mount to ground mount; prior to Stinger, two separate pieces of equipment were needed

1990s • Developed a new generation of easier to operate Select-O-Matic® Nozzles with more gallonage choices

  • Introduced X-Stream® SM-2000 Select-O-Matic® Nozzle with gallonages from 500-2000GPM 2000-present
  • Changed the face of firefighting again with W.E.T.TM Wireless Electronic Technology that allows remote controlled operation of monitors from up to 1/4 mile away
  • Introduced Extender® which automatically raises Elkhart Brass compact monitors 18” above apparatus deck
  • Introduced Vulcan®, the industry’s most compact, lightest master stream device with flows up to 1250 GPM
  • Introduced RA.M.® Rapid Attack Monitor for quick deployment and easy operation
  • Developed Phantom® 1.5” TSFM – a break-apart mid-range, low-pressure nozzle with outstanding stream performance at just 50 psi

Many Elkhart Brass products were once made of 60% brass. They are now about 60% aluminum and 40% brass, representing a significant reduction in weight which makes them easier for firefighters to carry and manipulate.

In Experienced Hands

Elkhart Brass products are carefully assembled by hand, individually ground, and polished by hand. Every piece of Elkhart Brass equipment is put to the test to check for leaks and/or accurate flow pattern before it is shipped.

The company still operates at its original site in Elkhart, Indiana. In addition to manufacturing and management, the site also houses Research and Development, Engineering and Product Testing. At the company’s export division, located in nearby South Bend, Indiana, staff works with distributors worldwide. At Elkhart Brass’s Shreve Manufacturing subsidiary in Shreve, Ohio, many of the company’s lightweight products are hand assembled and tested.

As the company progresses in its second century of operation, Elkhart Brass continues to combine the reliability of its successful past and solid high-performance products with new people and cutting edge technology to move toward tomorrow’s firefighting needs. Elkhart Brass products are found in fire departments throughout the world, building systems and off-shore drilling sites, as well as in military, marine and industrial firefighting applications. For more information about Elkhart Brass products, call 1-800-346-0250 or visit our website at www.elkhartbrass.com.

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