Clarke, now recognized as American Sanders, traces its origins to founder Alex A. Clark, who was motivated to establish the company due to dissatisfaction with the subpar quality of bar tops in the establishments he frequented. In 1916, he developed the initial bar top restorer, which, while losing popularity, evolved into the first-floor buffer with the addition of a pole—a pivotal innovation that laid the groundwork for Clarke’s (now American Sanders) success.
During the 1950s, Clarke underwent substantial growth and innovation, introducing groundbreaking products like the FM Floor Maintainer, the DU-8 Rental Sander, and the pioneering battery-operated auto scrubber, the Clarke-A-Matic. Sales soared, reaching an annual figure of 9 million. The company experienced various ownership changes throughout the 1950s and beyond.
Presently, American Sanders, formerly known as Clarke, manufactures floor sanding machines in Sparta, North Carolina for Pioneer Eclipse. The company boasts a comprehensive lineup of flooring machines, encompassing those designed for hardwood floor restoration and sanding. Renowned for its innovative products and steadfast commitment to quality, American Sanders has emerged as a leader in the flooring industry.
Key milestones in history include:
- 1959: Clarke is acquired by Studebaker and introduces the FM Floor Maintainer.
- 1965: Introduction of the first Dual Motor Upright Vacuum Cleaner, the Model 550.
- 1971: Production of the 1,000,000th FM Floor Maintainer.
- 2015: American Sanders and Pioneer Eclipse jointly launch the TimberGuard line of water-based hardwood floor products.