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HomeOur History1970


  • 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 1960s then became for corporate use.
  • 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.

Atlas Copco Has Acquired a US Distributor of Vacuum Equipment and Service Solutions

Nacka, Sweden, May 2, 2023: Atlas Copco has acquired the assets of James E. Watson & Co. The company is a distributor of vacuum equipment and service solutions.

James E. Watson & Co is based in Marietta near Atlanta, Georgia, and provides vacuum consultancy, vacuum equipment sales and service to process industries, including production of chemicals and paper, woodworking, and food packaging. The business has 7 employees and is present throughout the South-East region of the USA, serving mainly Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee states.

Atlas Copco Group

Great ideas accelerate innovation. At Atlas Copco we have been turning industrial ideas into business-critical benefits since 1873. By listening to our customers and knowing their needs, we deliver value and innovate with the future in mind. In 2022, Atlas Copco Group had revenues of BSEK 141 and at year end about 49 000 employees.