The Mechanics Choice
Mityvac is a brand of automotive diagnostic and service and repair tools since 1971. Beginning with the design and patent of a single hand-held vacuum pump intended for medical applications, its uses broadened to include automotive diagnostics and service as well as industrial and consumer applications. Mityvac offers products and systems you need for any brake and clutch bleeding application, air induction cleaning and compression testing, cooling system evacuation or refill application, for fluid handling and diagnostic applications.
Patent for Mityvac hand-held vacuum pump
Mityvac became the designation for a hand-held vacuum pump designed in 1969 and patented (US3612722) in 1971 by Theodore C. Neward of Upland, California. The pump consisted of a linear piston activated by squeezing a movable handle toward a fixed handle. This action caused a plunger to move within a cylinder, creating a pressure differential and causing air to be drawn into the cylinder from a forward port. This drawing-in of air, produced a convenient, localized source of vacuum. The 1971 patent included provisions for a gauge to measure the vacuum produced by the pump, as well as a mechanism for releasing the vacuum without disconnecting it from the application.
The original intended application of the device was as a simple, inexpensive and compact alternative to existing pumps used for vacuum extraction during childbirth. Neward Enterprises, Inc. filed a trademark application for MITYVAC in November 1972; denoting it in the category of Hand Operated Vacuum Pumps and Pressure Pumps.
Neward marketed the pump for any application where it had merit. Beginning with medical applications that included assisted childbirth and clearing of throat obstructions, he soon discovered a much broader range of applications such as vacuum testing and fluid transfer that made the pump practical for use in the automotive service, scientific, and industrial markets.
Pump for automotive diagnostics and repair
Most components of the original Neward pump were fabricated of molded PVC. This construction made the pump lightweight, inexpensive and resistant to corrosion; attributes ideal for medical applications. In September 1986, Neward filed a new patent application for the vacuum pump, citing numerous valving and component improvements that made the pump less expensive and more available for quantity purchases. This application makes the first mention of the pump for automotive diagnostics and repair.
The Dual Convertor
Also in September 1986, Neward filed a second patent application for a hand held vacuum and pressure pump that could be switched to produce either vacuum or pressure from the front port. This pump utilized what Neward termed a Dual Convertor. The Dual Convertor was located between the piston and the outlet port. Its purpose was to direct either the air drawn-in to the cylinder or the air expelled from the cylinder to the front port, depending on the position of a rotatable valve. This feature allowed the user to switch between producing vacuum or pressure by rotating a knob, and thus opened up a number of new applications related primarily to fluid transfer and automotive testing, and provided Mityvac a significant advantage over competitive pumps.
Mityvac Becomes a Trade Name
In the late eighties and early nineties, Neward continued to file patents for pump improvements, as well as patents for accessories to expand the pump applications in the medical, automotive, industrial and scientific markets. In addition, Neward began to extend their line of automotive diagnostic tools by adding numerous pump accessories as well as a sourced compression tester and vacuum test gauge. All new products were marketed under the Mityvac trade name.
The Silverline Pump. The Premier Member of The Mityvac Line.
In March 1987, Neward filed and later abandoned an application to trademark the name Silverline. Until that time, Mityvac pumps had only been molded of PVC materials. Silverline became the trademark for a new line of zinc coated metal pumps that were silver in color. The Silverline pump was targeted at professional mechanics and users in industrial applications. The application to trademark Silverline was refiled in September 1993 and awarded in July 1994.
The Silverline pump helped launch the Mityvac name to professional mechanics. It was a more robust tool and created a differentiation between the common plastic pump and professional metal pump.
This distinction of two levels of pumps remains today, and has been a critical marketing component that has made Mityvac the market leader in hand-held pumps, allowing them to offer a very wide range of price options allowing them to take full advantage of the wide range of applications and potential user’s.
In late 1995, Neward Enterprises sold Mityvac and all related intellectual property to PrisTech, Inc., in Ranch Cucamonga, California, a division of Prism Enterprises, Inc., located in San Antonio, TX. This included rights to all markets, primarily automotive and medical.
PrisTech’s business strategy relating to Mityvac, was to focus on growth in the medical and automotive service markets while taking advantage of unique opportunities that presented themselves due to the seemingly limitless number of applications for the hand-held vacuum and pressure pumps.
PrisTech quickly began expanding the Mityvac line of automotive service products to include cooling system test equipment, diagnostic testers, fluid evacuators, brake bleeders and other small specialty tools and equipment. Pristech was able to leverage the usefulness and popularity of the hand-held pumps to gain access to major suppliers to the automotive service industry.
A New Era Begins
In January 2003, Lincoln Industrial purchased the rights to the Mityvac brand, and to sell into any market except medical. At that time, Lincoln was owned by the Jordan Group; a holdings company. Only one employee of Prism transitioned to Lincoln. He had held a product management position, but took on the position of National Sales manager, focusing primarily on Mityvac brand products.
In 2009, Mityvac introduced a new plastic hand-held vacuum/pressure pump design. It was the first on the market to utilize the same squeezing action/stroke of the handles to produce vacuum and pressure. This allowed equal force and control of both.
Only Lincoln offers the original Mityvac hand vacuum/ pressure pumps used by automotive technicians, service and maintenance professionals, engineers, scientists and Do-It-Yourselfers worldwide. No other hand pump on the market comes close to offering the features, quality, selection and accessories at such an outstanding value. Renowned for its versatility and virtually endless list of applications, the Mityvac hand pump has been supporting working professionals with unquestioned accuracy and reliability for over 40 years. In keeping with our tradition of innovation, Mityvac continues to expand our selection of pumps, pump kits and accessories, to better suit the needs of our customers.
One of the reasons Mityvac is the world leader in hand pumps is due to our extensive selection of available options. By offering a wide range of pump configurations, users can select exactly the pump they need for their application without having to settle for a pump that won’t perform, or pay more for options they don’t use. Whether purchasing a pump for brake bleeding, engine diagnostics, windshield repair, fluid transfer or any one of hundreds of other applications, Mityvac offers the pump that fits your requirements.
Part of the SKF Group
SKF's acquisition of Lincoln Holdings Enterprises (Lincoln, Mityvac, Alemite and Reelcraft), leading suppliers of lubrication systems, tools and hose reels, was completed in late 2010. We are committed to our customers and promising to provide automotive diagnostic and service and repair tool that meet the demands of the modern world. Mityvac continues to stand strong as a partner and leader in the automotive industry.