Our History

When partners Jerry Cole and John Parmer founded Cole-Parmer in 1955, they were businessmen on a mission. They had no budget for personal salaries; no budget to hire additional employees. Instead, the pair poured their money into catalog advertising and inventory, and took up shop in a 1,200-square-foot loft on West Illinois Street in downtown Chicago. The two founders had a strategy so perfect in its simplicity they were certain they could not fail to form a company dedicated to providing the best possible customer service and technical assistance while offering the broadest selection of products available.

The company's steady growth allowed Cole-Parmer to expand to a 12,000-square-foot location in 1960, and to a 47,000-square-foot facility eight years later. That same year, Cole-Parmer purchased Barnant Company makers of world-renowned Masterflex® peristaltic pumps which was followed by the purchases of Gilmont® Instruments and Manostat® Pumps. Each acquisition was an effort to improve upon the selection of products offered to customers and to provide the ability to directly fill orders at reasonable prices.

In 1972, the company sought to better service its overseas customers by forming an International Division that today includes more than 80 international dealers in more than 160 markets. This was followed by the establishment in 1989 of Labcor Ltd. (now Cole-Parmer Canada Company) in Montreal, and later, Cole-Parmer U.K. in London, and Cole-Parmer India in Mumbai.

In February of 2021, Cole-Parmer was renamed Antylia Scientific. The Cole-Parmer business was repositioned under Antylia Scientific’s Life Sciences division as Cole-Parmer essentials. The Masterflex Bioprocessing division was introduced. Under Antylia Scientific, Masterflex Bioprocessing remains a global industry leader and the trusted company for solutions from research to process.

The strategy devised by Cole and Parmer decades ago lives on. It is the heart of our mission statement and the reason Masterflex remains a thriving, ever-expanding entity dedicated to customer service. Today, our Masterflex Bioprocessing business ensures prompt delivery to customers through a state-of-the-art, 155,000-square-foot distribution center at its Vernon Hills, Illinois location. It has a thriving Web presence serving customers worldwide, and continues to expand in the global market.