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Company History

English engineer and Bernhard and Company forefather John Atterton submitted the first grinder patent more than 125 years ago. It illustrated the original “spin” grinder for lawn mower cylinders (reels) that also sharpened bottom blades (bedknives) while still mounted to sole plates (bed bars).

Atterton’s specification for an “Apparatus for Grinding the Cylinder Blades and Bottom Blades of Lawn-mowers and similar Machines” was accepted in 1889. Thereafter, he established Atterton & Ellis, Ltd. in Haverhill, England. The company successfully manufactured lawn mower grinding machines for nearly a century before Executive Chairman Stephen Bernhard purchased a controlling interest in the 1980s and rebranded it as Bernhard and Company.

Beginning in the early 1970s, Stephen developed a special interest in the technical issues of mowing turf – particularly, the critical effect that reel grinding techniques have on mower performance, maintenance time, costs and turf quality. In 1972, initial versions of the Express Dual and Anglemaster spin grinding system began shipping to golf courses and mower maintenance shops worldwide.

A testament to Bernhard and Company’s philosophy of operational simplicity and Atterton’s genius, his main shaft, grindstone mounting, drive and guidance principles are used in Express Dual models to this day.

But while Atterton & Ellis was casting parts in its onsite foundry in 1889, today the state-of-the-art Bernhard factory uses parts cut with lasers.

Furthermore, belts and steam powered the 19th century grinders, and precision of the grind was completely dependent on the skills of the operator. Fast forward to 2014 and models incorporate chemical elements like silicon and space-age polymers. They also benefit from the latest microprocessor-automated control systems and operator aids to make the grind optimally sharp.

Amid all of these changes, Bernhard’s singular focus on making the world’s best grinders has stood the test of time.

“Our reputation for the highest quality is hard-earned and has deep roots in the turf industry,” says Stephen Bernhard. “We’re intensely proud of our unmatched heritage; it is the bedrock for everything we do.”