(left) Rexnord Founder, Christopher W. Levalley (right) Rexnord was founded in 1891 as the Chain Belt Company.

Rexnord was founded as the Chain Belt Company by inventor Christopher W. Levalley, age 58. Levalley, along with Chain Belt co-founders F.W. Sivyer and W.A. Draves, held the first board of directors meeting on September 9, 1891. Chain Belt was incorporated in the state of Wisconsin on February 24, 1892. The diesel engine was just being developed and Ellis Island had just begun welcoming immigrants to America.

Even at its start, our business was about innovation – recognizing the potential for a chain belt to be a higher quality, more durable option for agricultural equipment than the leather belting used at the time.

Today, we’re leading in the newest industry breakthroughs – such as the Internet of Things – and harnessing our workforce talent to constantly challenge ourselves and grow through innovation. We’re building a portfolio that allows customers to optimize productivity across all stages of their lifecycles.

One example is our cutting-edge digital productivity platform, DiRXN™. It includes connected products and a digital interface to give customers real-time feedback to keep their systems running smarter and longer. 


Our spirit of continuous improvement, too, is an enduring legacy. The company's initial growth stemmed from the belief that if chain belts worked well on farm machinery, they could be expanded to new applications too. Within a decade, we were making chain-driven conveyors and developing drives for new applications.

In the decades that followed, our company grew both organically and through acquisitions, a tried-and-true strategy we continue to mirror today.

Our VAG and Zurn acquisitions share a long history of quality and reliability.

  • VAG's roots go back to 1872, the year in which Carl Bopp and Carl Reuther set up a special factory that manufactured pumps and industrial valves. In just a few years, Bopp & Reuther was a company with international standing.The sales company VAG-Armaturen GmbH was founded when Bopp & Reuther and a number of other valve manufacturing companies joined forces.
  • Zurn’s history dates back to 1900 when John A. Zurn purchased patents and tooling for a backwater valve that prevented the flow of storm and wastewaters back into a building’s drainage system. With those patents, J.A. Zurn set up shop in a barn in Erie, Pennsylvania, founding the Advance Manufacturing Company.

Innovation and the highest quality products are the priority, and we grow both by developing these ourselves and by recognizing them within other markets where we believe we can add value.