About Us

About Actus Manufacturing


John A. Nicholson formed Nicholson Company (a.k.a. Actus Manufacturing) in 1953. Nicholson Company became the first air-cooled Deutz diesel engine distributor in the United States.

In the 60’s, Nicholson Company began supplying control products to the construction industry. Our first linear and rotary electro-mechanical actuators were manufactured.

In the '70s, Nicholson Company began designing and building various heavy duty mechanical hand levers, controls, and cables, giving birth to Nicholson Company’s product line.

The '80s found Nicholson Company looking for new applications for the Deutz engine. This search led to using the Deutz engine to power the DOT-SIGN®, the first flip disk, portable, changeable message sign. This sign prompted entry into the traffic control industry. A new company name, ADDCO, was born.

In the '90s, ADDCO developed innovations such as the Energy Manager software for control of diesel engines and The BRICK® modular message sign system. ADDCO also developed the first radio-linked portable traffic signal and introduced and the ERC (Electric Remote Control) system.

In 2007, the traffic portion of ADDCO was sold and the industrial products group broke off and became Actus Manufacturing.

The name has changed but the innovation continues…