The history of ESE Machines, Inc. and Ewald A. Stellrecht belong together naturally. On October 1, 1965 Ewald chose to emigrate from Germany to the United States of America and settled in the Philadelphia, PA area. He brought his skills as a highly educated and proven machine builder along with his Karman Gia! Ewald established himself in Exton, PA as an independent manufacturer's "jobbing shop" and over the years developed a reputation for innovative machine design concepts through his out-of-the-box thinking and skills of his trade.

1976 Ewald with first power seamer

One day in 1976, while working on-site for a company, a roofer installing a metal roof observed and approached Ewald with a request- would Ewald be able to build a machine that could form his roofing panels? Forming the panels manually on-site was highly labor-intensive and alternatively, pre-packaged panels raised the cost so significantly that there was little to no profit for the roofer. A machine of this type could resolve and conquer the obstacles and create a competitive and profitable climate for the roofer.

Ewald was intrigued by the idea of developing a type of roll forming machine for the double-lock standing seam metal roofing industry. At that time, he had no idea that there would be a market for this type of equipment, as this industry was totally foreign to him. But he set to work and designed and built the first machine in the U.S. market for L.M. Martin in Ephrata, PA. The roofer returned after successfully using the machine, proposing a partnership with Ewald to build and sell more of these machines- at that time, this was cutting edge technology that could be made available to roofers! However, as an independent person, Ewald decided to investigate the need for this type of equipment on his own. He built another machine and sent photographs to the then existing trade magazines as a new product offering. What he discovered from an overwhelming response was that he had a viable product. Ewald said, “people were sending in deposits without ever seeing the machine. I could never have filled all the orders. I had let the cat out of the bag. Everybody wanted it, but nobody built it, and I didn’t have the capital or the capability to meet the demand.”

1978 First Roll Former Corp. Panformer

In 1978, The Roll Former Corporation was formed as a seven member partnership to meet that demand and by the next year, an exclusive deal was in place for a sheet metal manufacturer to represent the product as a vehicle to sell their metal- and sales went…. well, through the roof. By 1980, Ewald was feeling as if his hands were tied; he couldn’t design anymore with the demand of orders, and “my plan was always to be on my own.”

In 1982, after a non-competitive agreement expired, he started over again in the same train station building in Exton, PA and called his company ESE Machines, (Ewald Stellrecht of Exton). To be continued...

1991 Ewald with ESE K9 Power Seamer in "Copper Topics #70"
Ewald Stellrecht, Metal Roofing Hall of Fame
2011 Ewald is inducted into the Metal Roofing Hall of Fame
October/November 2007 Issue of Metal Roofing Magazine. Featuring the first ESE Panformer, built in 1976, still in use today.
1990 Munich, Germany Gold Medal awarded for ESE Machines entire product line to Max Draenert, European Distributor
1991 Exton, PA Shop. Cover of "Copper Topics #70"
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ESE Machines, Inc. 21 S. Caln Rd. Coatesville, PA 19320 ph.800.854.7361
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