ASHEVILLE, NC- Palmer Wahl Instrumentation Group is celebrating 175 years of manufacturing industrial instrumentation in 2011. Originally founded in Cincinnati, OH in 1836 by James Foster, Jr., Palmer Wahl says it developed the first thermometer made in America-the Foster Cup-in 1852.

The introduction of kerosene to the market in the 1850s led to the decline of candle use, but brought with it a host of dangers, as its volatility caused many deaths. The need to improve kerosene safety led Foster to develop the Foster Automatic Oil Tester, a closed cup design instrument known for being the first thermometer manufactured in the United States.

Currently, the companies customers include the National Space Program, Proctor & Gamble, Anheuser Busch and the US Army, Navy and Air Force.

Palmer Wahl says it is planning new products for 2011.