In January of 2023 Gear Motions opened the doors to its new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility located in Tonawanda, NY. Today, Oliver Gear and Niagara Gear operate under one roof, enhancing our manufacturing capabilities.
Oliver Gear and Niagara Gear are two well-established gear manufacturing companies with a long history of providing quality products and services to their customers. Both companies have unique stories of their own, but they share a common goal of providing exceptional quality and personalized service to exceed customer expectations.
Oliver Gear was founded in 1892 as a machine shop, and incorporated as a gear works in 1907. Its founder, Arthur F. Oliver, had previously worked at the New York Car Wheel Company and a small machine shop on Cherry Street that eventually became A.F. Oliver Manufacturing. Oliver Gear was the first exclusive gear manufacturing plant in Buffalo, and originally powered its gear equipment using a system of pulleys and belts before the widespread adoption of electricity. By the early 1920s, the company had outgrown its first home and moved to larger quarters. It made gears for a wide variety of equipment, including elevators, ski lifts, petroleum exploration and refining equipment, agricultural machinery, and more. In 1947, A.F. Oliver retired at the age of 77 and sold the company to the Smith family of Buffalo. It remained under the control of the Smith family until Samuel T. Haines purchased it in 1973. Oliver Gear was brought into the newly formed Gear Motions family as part of a strategy to build a diverse group of custom gear shops organized into one corporate family.
Niagara Gear Corporation was established as a precision gear manufacturer in Buffalo in 1974 by Matt Babisz. Matt was introduced to the gear industry at Riley Gear Corp, where he served his apprenticeship. Over the years, he helped with the growth of the company and earned a promotion to Plant Manager. Knowing there was a great future in precision ground gearing; and with experience behind him, Matt left in 1974 and purchased a small local company, Niagara Gear. Matt purchased some used machinery and proceeded to build a customer base. Over the years, new equipment was added and the company moved to a larger location. In January 2014, Niagara Gear was acquired by Gear Motions and Babisz retired.
Both Oliver Gear and Niagara Gear share a commitment to the principles of Quality, Service, and Technology. Oliver Gear’s extensive production is devoted almost exclusively to the manufacturing of custom gears in many sizes and styles in low to moderate volumes, and its ability to produce large pitch and large diameter gearing up to 10 feet is particularly appealing to Gear Motions customers. Niagara Gear specializes in precision ground, spur, helical, and pump gears, and offers complete capabilities to meet the most demanding close tolerance requirements of its customers. Both companies employ the latest technology and world class processes to meet and exceed their customers’ expectations.
Today, both Oliver Gear and Niagara Gear are part of the Gear Motions family of companies, which was formed to build a diverse group of custom gear shops organized into one corporate family. Gear Motions continues to embrace innovation, such as Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOP), to ensure that the companies it acquires continue to thrive and provide exceptional quality and personalized service to their customers.