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February 22, 2024
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Dracut’s Essex Silver Line Corp. honored with manufacturing award

State and Dracut officials visited the Essex Silver Line Corp. of Dracut to congratulate them on receiving the Legislative Manufacturing Caucus 2023 Manufacturing Award. Front row, from left, are employees Bob Bergeron and John Goddard Jr.; Town Manager Ann Vandal, employees Riane Goddard and Lauren Goddard; owner Carmen Barous; state Rep. Colleen Garry; and Selectmen Chair Alison Genest. Back row, from left, are employees Paul Terpko, Tim Beaulieu, Ray Cloutier, John Goddard Sr., and James Goddard. (PHOTO BY DRACUT ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT)

DRACUT — Essex Silver Line Corp., a Dracut-based producer of floor sanders, is the recipient of the Legislative Manufacturing Caucus 2023 Manufacturing Award.

State Rep. Colleen Garry nominated the company for the award, which recognizes its “dedication to the sustainability and advancement of manufacturing in Massachusetts.”

John and Lauren Goddard accepted the award during a ceremony in September at Polar Park in Worcester hosted by the Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership.

Garry, Town Manager Ann Vandal and Board of Selectmen Chair Alison Genest were on hand Dec. 6 to congratulate the Goddards and tour the facility at 1118 Lakeview Ave.

Essex Silver Line, producer of one of the most popular floor sanders in the industry, is housed in a nondescript building along Beaver Brook in the Navy Yard District, sandwiched between Dracut Appliance Center and the Coravos Plaza, which contains Mama’s Italian Restaurant and CardSmart.

Lauren Goddard represents the third generation of the Barous family that started the company nearly a century ago. Her mother, Carmen Barous, owns the company, while Lauren and her husband, John Goddard, run the business.

The story of Essex Silver Line starts in 1938, when Frank Barous was one of the country’s top salesmen of sandpaper and other sundries to hardware stores across New England. Porter Cable was in the business of making floor sanders at the time, and the company asked Barous if he could sell them — a silly question for someone who, it was said, “could sell ice to an Eskimo.”

Soon, Porter Cable was bought by another company, and Barous decided it was time to start his own line of floor sanders.

He started Essex Machine Sales on Essex Street in Lawrence and called his line of equipment Silver-Line Sanders. He designed the SL-8 sander and the SL-6 edger, the basic designs of which remain the same to this day.

Essex Sales and Silver-Line Sanders merged into one corporation, and its 11 employees now produce one of the most popular and durable floor sanders in the rental industry. The company moved to Dracut in the 1970s and purchased a distributorship on the West Coast to keep a presence there. Essex Silver Line West is in Washington State.

All of Essex Silver Line’s products, including sanders, edgers, orbital polishers/refinishers, rotary polishers and carpet machines, are built in Dracut. Essex Silver-Line prides itself on being the only manufacturer of floor sanders that is wholly owned, operated and built in the United States.

It has contracts in such countries as New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Poland, Barbados and Canada.

And the company is still, nearly a century later, known for the durability of its products. As its website states, Essex Silver Line’s products are designed for efficiency and engineered to stand up to even the toughest customer, yet easy enough for a do-it-yourselfer to use and achieve professional results.

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