Our Story

The story of Babcock Laboratories is a remarkable one, characterized by over 110 years of entrepreneurial spirit, personal integrity, opportunity, and scientific expertise and ingenuity. 


A Family Business

Babcock Laboratories was originally founded as an assayers’ shop in 1906 by Edward S. Babcock under his name. When his sons decided to join him, the name was changed to “Edward S. Babcock & Sons, Inc.” and referred to as "ESB" for short. As Riverside developed and the needs of local businesses changed, so did the laboratory’s scope of analytical testing.

Like his predecessors, Edward’s grandson, Sherman, was greatly involved in the community and eventually took ownership of the company. Sherman was on the Citizen’s University Committee and helped in the establishment of the University of California, Riverside. Sherm was a well-respected member of the community, revered by scientists, businessmen, farmers, scholars, and neighbors alike. What’s more, Sherm was admired for his high ethical and moral standards and his humble and friendly demeanor.

Growth and Opportunity

As the leader of Babcock Laboratories, Sherm understood the importance of growth and change. Environmental work became very popular in the late 1970s and Sherm gave his staff the freedom to pursue environmental testing work. He knew there was a new field on the rise and did not stand in the way. Three of Sherm’s staff members who were grateful for this opportunity were Allison Mackenzie, Larry Chrystal, and his son, Jim Babcock. In fact, Sherm was so impressed by the vision, contributions, and dedication of his staff that he facilitated a smooth transition of ownership to Allison, Larry, and Jim in the mid 1980s. The laboratory eventually changed its name to Babcock Laboratories, Inc. but the new owners continued to stand by the Babcock ideals of integrity and service. When Jim retired, Allison and Larry continued to push the laboratory toward success with forward thinking, scientific innovation, and industry commendation.     


Employee Ownership

In December of 2014, Allison and Larry sold the company to the staff via an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), making Babcock Laboratories 100% employee-owned. This transition in ownership was very symbolic as it gave Babcock Labs staff the opportunity to own the company, just as Allison and Larry were given the opportunity to become owners by their mentor Sherm Babcock.

Today, we are a family of 85 employee owners who endeavor to safeguard public health and the environment by consistently delivering analytical expertise. Our tradition of versatility, our assurance of quality, and our commitment to our community and staff have enabled Babcock Labs to pass the most critical test of all — the test of time.