In the late 1920’s the rotary oil drilling rigs were designed and being produced to replace the cable tool drilling rigs. Engineers with Parkersburg Rig & Reel, Parkersburg, West Virginia, realized, that as the drilling depths increased, the drum friction brakes would overheat due to the repeated stopping of the pipe, and the rig could not continue operating. This resulted in the conceptualized idea of applying a fluid type auxiliary brake to retard and control the speed of the descending load, and using the friction brakes only to stop the load. About 1928 or 1930, Parkersburg Rig & Reel, obtained a patent with a general claim of, any type of fluid brake applied to a hoisting drum. The first Hydromatic brake was produced in 1932.
From 1916 to 1940 the company at Coffeyville was OCS Manufacturing and manufactured oil pumping units. In 1940 Parkersburg Rig & Reel, WV purchased OCS and the company at Coffeyville produced OCS and Parkersburg pumping units. From 1940 to 1957 the hydromatic brake product line was increased to 10 models ranging from 15″ to 60″ models. In 1958 the Hydromatic brake product line was fully moved from Parkersburg, WV to Coffeyville, KS.
In 1965 the Coffeyville plant changed ownership from Textron Corp, and the production of complete pumping units was halted, and only Hydromatic brakes were produced. From 1965 to 1982 the new generation of brake models were developed, resulting in the Hydromatic brake models available today. In 2019 the ownership changed hands again, with a renewed commitment to continuous improvement while maintaining the high quality and service of Parmac and the hydromatic brake.