Meet Mike Jones,
the inventor of the Pumper Car!
Mike Jones spent most of his youth in the small town of Lynndyl, Utah. It started as a railroad town but later became a farming community. Those two characteristics proved to be pivotal in Mike’s life. After all, his father was employed by the Union Pacific Railroad so Mike was exposed to about every facet of that industry. From the time he was 11 years old, Mike worked for local farmers before and after school. It was at that time when he began to discover his resourcefulness and ingenuity with all things mechanical around the farm.
He always seemed to have an aptitude and passion for fixing things. As a teenager, that calling surfaced in a totally different way during a hospital stay. There Mike met a boy who had heartbreaking health challenges. His friendship with that boy motivated Mike to pursue medicine to help “fix” sick children. But, it turned out that medical school wasn’t in the cards.
Mike married his college sweetheart Sigrid and together they had three children. While he built a successful concrete construction company in Portland, Oregon, he was always inventing things such as toys. The idea for the Pumper Car came about when he decided to create a wheeled device to replace a ride-on toy that was stolen from his son. It was inspired by the old hand-pumped railroad cars he’d played on growing up.
Pumper Cars originally were sold as fun toys for young kids. To Mike’s surprise, he learned that his toy was becoming a very popular exercise therapy device at children’s hospitals and with physical therapists treating children with special needs. Maybe it was fate that a guy who never got the chance to go into medicine ended up inventing a device that has been dramatically improving the lives of children with everything from Down syndrome and autism, to cerebral palsy and spina bifida. His company, Columbia-Inland Corp. now sells Pumper Cars to grateful customers across the nation.