Known throughout the world as a leading manufacturer of on-site waste compaction and recycling systems, began one evening in early 1966 as Lawson Acton, refuse hauling contractor, and Jack Wright, a manufacturer of car washes, were talking over the back fence. Acton wasn’t happy with the stationary compactors of the day because they were built like “battleships”, with complicated electrical and hydraulic systems. Only the “wealthy few” could afford them, which automatically left out retailers, shopping malls and smaller industrial companies.
Acton envisioned a compactor which utilized material better and more economically priced within the reach of his waiting market. Combining his idea with Wright’s manufacturing expertise, the first RamJet® compactor was born. It was a struggle for the fledgling company that began producing compactors in its first “factory”, an abandoned service station in 1967. Both resistance from a “wait and see” market and competitive activity combined to make the first years in Birmingham, Alabama, very difficult.
The obvious advantages of Marathon’s more efficient use of materials finally began winning out, and the firm stepped up to a 7,000 sq. ft. plant, then 20,000 sq. ft. and in 1975, to their present facility in Vernon, Alabama. Since 1975, the company has continued its growth by expanding the original 80,000 sq. ft. in Alabama to the present 150,000 sq. ft. In December 1985, Marathon opened its second new plant in Yerington, Nevada, which was expanded in the spring of 1994 from its original 30,000 sq. ft. to 50,000 sq. ft. In November 1989, Marathon opened its third manufacturing plant in Clearfield, Pennsylvania, with 92,000 sq. ft. of floor space.
Privately held for its first 23 years, Marathon was acquired in 1990 by Dover Industries, a diversified industrial manufacturing company and wholly owned subsidiary of Dover Corporation which is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange.