About J.H. Fletcher & Co.™



To old-timers, it may seem like yesterday. Creaky, unstable timbers groaning under the weight of shaky mine roofs. Small, open cap lamp flames lighting the way for hard-working miners. Caged canaries alerting crews to toxic air. In today's world, the difference is night and day. That was 1937; this is now.

James H. Fletcher began his company intent on developing technology that would greatly improve mine productivity and reduce personnel risk by using rubber-tire, non-track-mounted vehicles in underground applications. In 1938, the company showed its first products at a coal show in Cincinnati; a rubber-tire tractor and drop-bottom conveyor.

Since that time, J.H. Fletcher & Co.™ has operated with a singular vision: to work with a vigilant focus on finding ways to improve mining processes and reducing risk for the people who work there. Look at the timeline. Isn't this the kind of company you want working for you?



James Herbert Fletcher


James Herbert Fletcher, Chairman of the Board and President of J.H. Fletcher & Co.™ 1937-1960 gave dynamic leadership to our organization, and as a consulting engineer, was at the forefront of the mining industry.

Born Spetember 11, 1888 in St. Charles Township, Illinois, fourth child of Charles E and Nettie Fletcher, he spent his formative years with six brothers and sisters on the family farm.

Brought up in a Christian atmosphere, he developed qualities that characterized his entire life. From his mother, he learned to never relinquish an idea - that honest effort, regardless of adversity, is always crowned with success. His father gave him the pride of family heritage and tradition, and the oft quoted maxim: "The world may owe you a living, but it is up to you to collect it."

In 1907 he entered Armour Institute of Technology. These were the early days of electricity, and patents covering automobile starting and lighting systems (forerunners of more than twenty others) were granted in his name, even before his graduation as an electrical engineer in 1911.

Moving into the field of power generation, he shortly became associated with a new firm of engineering consultants, Allen & Garcia Company. Growing with the organization, he headed the Underground Mining and Report departments, and was treasurer of the company until establishing his own consulting practice in 1936.

Mining men, both in this country and abroad, came to know his capabilities as a straight thinker, constantly ahead of the field. His opinion and studies influenced many of the finest and most progressive mining installations of the 20th Century.

In 1937, to manufacture equipment needed for furthering of rubber-tire haulage, he organized J.H. Fletcher & Co.™

James H. Fletcher had the opportunity to live during the transition of the coal industry from the day of the "two track tipple" to the technological marvels of the present mines. He was a part of the fraternity of men ever pressing forward, building together.



The Company


The first company office was in Room 749, McCormick Building, 332 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago Illinois.

In 1947, the operating office became Room 1101, West Virginia Building, Huntington, West Virginia, with a move in 1949 to rooms 701 & 702.

The plant at 707 West 7th Street was occupied on December 1, 1950. This consisted of a 40' x 25' manufacturing space, with offices above, and an attached 40' x 55' unfinished building.

As additional space was required, the plant expanded:

  • 1951 - The attached building was finished.
  • 1954 - A 40' x 130' assembly building was constructed to the east.
  • 1955 - The 1954 addition was duplicated.
  • 1957 - A 20' x 120' office and machine shop was built across the north end.
  • 1966 - The 80' x 90' warehouse was completed.
  • 1970 - The 2nd floor office was expanded over the 40' x 55' building.
  • 1976 - A 50' x 60' welding building was added.
  • 1978 - The Benjamin Plant was purchased.
  • 1980 - The southeast corner of plant #1 was squared off.
  • 1982 - Modernization facility was erected at the Benjamin Plant
  • 1990 - Purchased approximately 10 acres of land in Altizer with office, warehouse and one manufacturing building.
  • 1991 - Added the Sales and Engineering building.
  • 1994 - Modernization building was constructed.
  • 1995 - Added on to the modernization building
  • 2001 - Added addition to the production building and closed the Benjamin Plant. Two later additions followed.

Presently, at the J. Robert Fletcher Industrial Facility, we have approximately 153,901 square feet of manufacturing space and 28,000 square feet of office space.



Product Timeline


James H. Fletcher began his company intent on developing technology that would greatly improve mine productivity and reduce personnel risk by using rubber-tire, non-track-mounted vehicles in underground applications. In 1938, the company showed its first products at a coal show in Cincinnati; a rubber-tire tractor and drop-bottom conveyor.

Since that time, J.H.Fletcher & Co.™ has operated with a singular vision: to work with a vigilant focus on finding ways to improve mining processes and reducing risk for the people who work there.

  • 1937 - Roof Supported by timbers prepared on-site, placed by hand. Fletcher ® opens for business.
  • 1938 - A rubber-tired, battery powered tractor, the first Fletcher® product, demonstrated at Cincinnati Coal Show.
  • 1939 - First Shuttle car with 4-wheel steer and elevating conveyor.
  • 1940 - First Fletcher® timbering machine.
  • 1947 - Opened Office in Huntington, WV.
  • 1950 - Early 50s First shelf propelled roof bolter. Fletcher® patents internal dust collection system.
  • 1950 - Late 50s First dual head roof bolter.
  • 1957 - First dual-boom face drill.
  • 1960 - Early 60s The first Fletcher® track tampers and first Fletcher® ANFO loaders
  • 1960 - Mid 60s First protective operator's canopy.
  • 1960 - Mid 60s First four-head roof bolters.
  • 1960 - Late 60s First Temporary Roof Support patented.
  • 1970 - First Longhole Degasification Drill.
  • 1980 - Early 80s First Fletcher® Drill Jumbo.
  • 1980 - Mid 80s First Fletcher® Mobile Roof Supports
  • 1980 - Mid 80s First Remote Control and Operator-Up Roof Bolters
  • 1980 - Mid 80s First Bolters with Walk-Thru Chassis
  • 1980 - Mid 80s First Fletcher® Scaling Machine
  • 1990 - Mid 90s First On-Board Microprocessor Controlled Feedback System
  • 1990 - Late 90s First Bolter with Material Handling
  • 2000 - Early 2000s First 50' High Reach Scaler
  • 2000 - Early 2000s First Fletcher Dual Drill Jumbo
  • 2002 - First Automated Roof Mapping System
  • 2006 - First Fletcher Diesel Tractors

Additional Information

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