In 1896, concrete was mixed using continuous screw type mixers. At the urging of his friend who was constructing concrete sidewalks in Milwaukee, Thomas L. Smith, a consulting engineer, designed and built a batch plant that would ensure proper proportionment and mixing of the ingredients. The machine proved highly successful, as the growing popularity of the automobile continued to impact the demand for equipment to build roads.
In 1906, he founded Smith & Post to manufacture crushers. Later, he went on to design the Telsmith Reduction Crusher, which was used to produce smaller aggregate demanded by road construction. This product became a major contributor to the company's sales in the 1920s. Smith's vision, ingenuity and numerous product innovations laid the foundations for a company that has served the industry for more than 90 years.