West Point, PA
 West Point Products

The main office of West Point Products, on West Point Pike
From his company in West Point Pennsylvania, the brilliant inventor and businessman Thomas Mascaro revolutionized the turfgrass industry in 1946 with his invention of the Aerifier. The Aerifier is a tractor drawn device for removing cores (or plugs) of soil, which reduces soil compaction and allows nutrients into the soil. This was the first practical aerifier for greens and fairways. Later Tom introduced a vertical mower to control grain and thatch on greens. In 1952 the Verticutter was invented for removing thatch. All were manufactured at West Point Products Incorporated, located on West Point Pike.
The Aerifier revolutionized the turfgrass industry and golf course management.

Thomas Mascaro (1915-1997)
Tom  was a machine shop apprentice in West Point, where he learned mechanical drawing, drafting and the operation of machine tools. He also studied agriculture at Penn State, organic chemistry at Temple University and inorganic chemistry at Drexel Institute of Technology in Philadelphia. He started West Point Products in 1936 with his brother Tony as his partner.
West Point Products' principal product for its first 10 years were special soil mixtures for golf course greens, packaged potting soil and packaged organic fertilizer. During WW II the plant made stainless steel struts for wooden gliders. These gliders flew our troops behind enemy lines during the Normandy invasion on D Day.
The Arerifier trademark was registered on August 2, 1946.
Tom Mascaro (standing, second from left) looks on as a piece of mowing equipment is examined.

Aerifiers lined up across from the manufacturing plant in 1947

West Point Products employed almost 100 people at its height of business around 1968. It was sold to Kearny National in 1969 and then to Hahn Turf Products in 1971. Eventually Hahn was purchased by John Deere Turf.

Tom retired in 1973, moved to Florida and started another company, Turfgrass Products Corp, now Turf-Tec International. Tom's son John joined him as president in 1986. John is also chair of a Historical Preservation committee for the Sports Turf Managers Association. Sadly, Tom passed away in 1997.

The Mascaro residence on West Point Pike was sold in 1972. The office building on West Point Pike was sold in 1976. Both were purchased by Merck and Co. They were promptly demolished and turned into parking lots.

The former location of West Point Products, now a parking lot in 2012. The white building
 in the background was the location of the manufacturing plant.

Detailed information on the life of Tom Mascaro can be found here in .PDF format.


Some literature on the Aerifier. Each will open in a new window.

Turf-Tec International. John Mascaro, formally of West Point PA, President