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Co-founders L.G.(Lawrence) and Richard Unverferth often looked for ways to make their own and their Kalida, Ohio neighbors' farming operations more efficient. In this picture from 1938, Richard (seated) is working on one of their first innovations to mechanize the thinning of sugar beets. This beet blocker was one of their first forays into farm equipment before the official founding of the company.
Shortly after graduating high school, Richard enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served in submarine service until 1947. After the end of World War II, jobs were scarce with the return of all the servicemen. Richard and his father, L.G., armed with their passion for farming and helping other farmers, began making tractor step plates and control levers in the family barn. The two, along with other family members, would make as many tools as they had materials, and load them into the trunk of Richard's car. Richard would then traverse across the countryside promoting and selling these goods. On his return trip to Kalida, he purchased raw materials to manufacture the next batch with the proceeds from the sales. Thus, in 1948, the foundation for Unverferth Manufacturing was firmly laid.