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Ebenhard S. (Gandy) Gandrud


((1902 - 1988) Gandrud was the County Agent in Pipestone County during the Great Depression. President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal Agricultural Adjustment Act required accurate measurement be taken of land to be withdrawn from production. Gandrud’s first invention, in response to this need, was a rod measuring wheel.

During the second World War, Pako built a machine that made processing of x-ray films completely automatic, from the time they were fed in at one end until the negatives, completely developed and dried, emerged from a rack at the other end. It was used for x-raying vital castings, artillery shells, rocket charges, and airplane propellers, insuring uniformity and safety.

His invention of an accurate measuring wheel led to the founding of the E.S. Gandrud Co., now known as Gandy Company. Starting with $100 in borrowed money, he started the company in Owatonna in 1937. More inventions resulted in additional products, including applicators for accurate spreading of fertilizers, chemicals, herbicides, and insecticides. A factory building, designed by Gandrud, was built in 1946. By 1984, fourteen additions had been constructed, enlarging the plant so that it had 2½ acres of floor space. The Gandy Company is now a diversified manufacturer of farm equipment, specializing in accurate chemical and fertilizer applications. Although the measuring wheel is still made, granular chemical applicators with precision metering devices are the major production items. His 80 patents relating to the accurate application of agricultural chemicals have made the company foremost in this field. Gandrud also holds a number of foreign patents, and has been honored by the U.S. Government for his contributions to American agriculture.

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