We Do Impossible.
Since 1868, Porter Athletic® has been recognized as the world leader in quality and precision built athletic equipment.
Porter’s story is one of innovation and growth. We don’t just build basketball, volleyball, and gymnasium equipment, we care about the success and experience of our customers. Athletic facility equipment is no longer only about the mechanical, but how new technologies and responsivness improve customer experience. That's why Porter has been manufacturing innovative, durable, and adaptable product for over 150 years. Our brand remains preeminent among architects, facility owners, and coaches not only because we offer total facility equipment solutions but also for our proven product performance, durability, and commitment to maintain customer confidence. We work relentlessly to deliver innovative and safe products, smooth installation, outstanding customer service, and a high-performance playing experience because building a successful program starts with equipment you can trust.
We invite you to explore the wide range of Porter products displayed on this website and in our product catalogs. Contact us if you need further information or assistance in ordering.
In the fall of 1856, Joseph E. Porter was storing hay at his father’s farm. The work was done manually with a pitchfork and was very time and labor intensive. Convinced there was an easier way, he began working on a solution and ultimately invented the Porter Hay Carrier. This revolutionary device gained him a national reputation as an inventor and pioneer of hay tool manufacturing. In 1868, the J.E. Porter Company of Ottawa, IL was established for the manufacture of pulleys, hardware and hay loft equipment. Porter was awarded several patents and remains renowned in the agricultural community.
In 1893, J.E. Porter became a stockholder and president of the Inland Steel Company of Chicago Heights. Inland Steel made Porter’s radical new steel rail, which he debuted at the Chicago Word’s Fair. This rail along with his new carrier could run on a curved track and introduced never before seen configurations and applications for use outside of barns.
By this time the new sport of basketball was growing quickly as was the construction of model playgrounds. Porter continued making barn equipment into the 1920’s as it transitioned into manufacturing basketball, gymnasium and playground equipment. In 1939, Porter’s playground apparatus was chosen exclusively for the Children’s World at World’s Fair in New York. By the 1940’s Porter was the world’s largest manufacturer of playground, gymnasium and swimming pool equipment. From our origins of producing farm equipment to today’s Powr-Touch® 5 wireless gymnasium control system, Porter has remained a leader for over 150 years in manufacturing because of our foundation to innovation.