John Henry Foster Company

About Us


The Story of John
Henry Foster Company
St. Louis, MO

Who We Are  

The John Henry Foster Company is a St. Louis based, full-Line fluid power distributor that sells pneumatic equipment and air compressors with sales territories that cover the eastern two-thirds of Missouri and the southern two-thirds of Illinois. We also offer in-house and field service of air compressors and hydraulics systems.

About JHF History

John Henry Foster was born in Rhode Island in 1905. In 1928 he started his career as a manufacturers representative for Norgren, Hansen, Mead & Vice-Grip. In 1942 he opened his first distributorship in Minnesota. Two years later the John Henry Foster Company was founded in St. Louis, where John Henry remained to build his business.

Back then John Henry Foster drove his Airstream trailer around the Midwest selling pneumatic equipment to industrial customers. John Henry's philosophy was always “You can't sell from an empty wagon”. So today, our $6 million inventory allows you the comfort of knowing the products you need are in stock.

In 1983 John Henry felt it was time to pass on ownership. He sold the St. Louis, MO distributorship to the general manager, Bob Gau and his wife, Kathy. In 1984 an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) was established. This was done to provide meaningful employee incentive and to make all employees part owners in the company – at no cost.

ISO Registration

In 1997 the John Henry Foster Company decided that it would be beneficial to become ISO 9001 certified in the design, manufacture, distribution, and service of pneumatic and hydraulic equipment. We felt that this program would make JHF a better company by helping us define our processes and procedures. Our certification meets ISO 9001:2008 regulations.


John Henry Foster Company employees have identified the following values that they feel are most important. All employees should demonstrate and model these values by their actions in their personal work behaviors, decision making, and interpersonal interaction:

Loyalty • Respect • Integrity and Honesty • Trust • Cooperation and Teamwork • Security • Service • Accountability • Excellence