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   770-422-1154   29 Doran Ave SE Marietta, GA 30060-2046

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Our History

James E. Watson & Co. is an Atlanta-based industrial equipment distributor, manufacturer’s representative, and certified repair facility

We offer personalized service, free technical support, maintenance and service, and same-day shipment on in-stock items ordered by 4 p.m.

Since 1952
  • 1952

    James E. Watson & Co. was formed by James (Jim) E. Watson in his home in Marietta, GA in 1952. Watson, a former Lockheed Martin test pilot, began stocking and shipping GAST Manufacturing products from his home (with gaps cut into the basement floor to allow water to drain so the boxes wouldn’t get wet) in Marietta, GA in 1953.

  • 1965

    Jim Watson moved the company from his home to its current Doran Avenue location in 1965.

  • 1970

    Jim Watson sold the company to Joseph (Joe) C. Johnson in 1970. Johnson held a Masters Degree in Economics from the University of Georgia. After serving in the US Army, he worked at Lockheed Marietta selling the Jet Star aircraft in Europe, which was first developed for the US Air Force in the 1960’s. Johnson started buying the company upon hiring on under a 10-year buyout. Johnson had a working relationship with the Michigan-based Gast family & regularly had Mr. & Mrs. Gast to his Marietta, GA home for dinner. Johnson said he gave out many hams at Christmas to boost business, but it didn't work out. He was on the road in sales for less than one year, then he transitioned to inside sales.

  • 1972

    James E. Watson & Co. added the Liquiflo Chemical Processing Pumps line.

  • 1975

    James E. Watson & Co. added the Busch Manufacturing product line.

  • 1983

    Jim Watson passed away.

  • 1990's

    Starr Johnson, the spouse of Joe, became the majority owner of James E. Watson & Co.

  • 2005

    Joe Johnson passed away.

  • 2010

    RJ Berger, who began working at James E. Watson & Co. in 1988, became majority owner in 2010 along with his business partner, Ashley Williams who serves as the company’s CFO. Berger’s background is in aviation from PIA (Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics) as a jet engine mechanic, and he previously worked on the C5B program as a mechanic at Lockheed Marietta. James E. Watson & Co. added a GAST-certified repair department in 2010.

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