It’s National Inventor’s Month, and in honor of the men and women who work to build their dreams into working machines, new technology, and inventive ways of doing things, we wanted to honor the ingenuity behind Morbark’s 60+ years of innovation, design, and manufacturing.
Morbark, LLC was founded by Norval Morey, or “Nub,” as he was affectionately known to those close to him. But his story starts long before the company began in 1958. Growing up during the Great Depression, young Nub learned that the only way through problems was by inventing new solutions. As a child, he earned his first money providing services for neighboring farms such as picking berries, selling chicks he ordered through a catalog, trapping rats, and hunting crows.
Later, the traditional school classroom proved to be too stifling for Nub’s make-it-happen attitude. He left school after completing the 6th grade, instead helping his dad cut and sell firewood to keep the family farm afloat as the Depression dragged on.
As he grew to adulthood, Nub was drawn to jobs that kept him in the great outdoors, trimming trees for power lines and working as a lumberjack in Idaho and northern California. After returning from service in World War 2, he and his brother began working for a Michigan company, cutting poles and posts from area cedar trees. But, as fate would have it, the job led them down a different path: after becoming frustrated with the low wages, they pooled their money and bought an ax, a saw, and 40 acres of a cedar swamp in order to go into business for themselves. Nub never looked back.
The Morey Brothers Sawmill grew into a success, but the pursuit of ingenuity didn’t stop there. In the 1950s, a friend introduced Nub to Bob Baker, a local machinist with an idea for a machine that automatically peeled the bark from logs, rather than workers laboring over the task by hand. Baker demonstrated a small working model of his tree debarker invention, and Nub was impressed. The men agreed to work together to perfect the design and patent the new technology.