|At the height of the Great Depression Sumpter Turner traveled the east coast representing Wm. M. Wilson’s Sons, the maker of Gasboy pumps. During his travels he found the people, climate and lifestyle of Eastern North Carolina to his liking, so in 1939 he left Gasboy and founded Turner Equipment Company in Goldsboro.
From the beginning the company’s emphasis was the production and sale of steel storage tanks and the sale of oil marketing equipment like Gasboy products and tank accessories. Those efforts continued until 2001 when the equipment sales division, A-Line Distributors, was sold. The larger division, Turner Tanks, continued production, and today is recognized as an industry leader of high quality small, aboveground, steel storage tanks.
In the late fifties the company began manufacturing hobby greenhouse kits that were sold through dealers. In the sixties an institutional greenhouse series that catered to schools was introduced. Today Turner Greenhouses are direct-marketed via catalogs and the Internet.
Turner Tanks are now sold through petroleum marketing equipment and specialty distributors in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern states. The company is still family-owned with both second and third generations engaged in daily management and operations.