The history of Lime Instruments starts in 2006, when C. Jim Stewart III emerges from retirement to begin a new era in the Houston oil industry. Prior to 2006, “Jimmy” Stewart, 58, spent 34 years of full-time employment with Stewart & Stevenson, the family business that his great-grandfather, C. Jim Stewart, started in 1902 as a blacksmith shop in downtown Houston, Texas. Over the past century, Stewart & Stevenson has become an icon in the Houston oil industry and has successfully transformed horseshoes into horsepower by emerging as a major distributor/packager of diesel engines and other products. Jimmy ultimately became an executive vice president of Stewart & Stevenson and sat on the company’s board before his retirement at the age of 54.
In 2006, Jimmy decided to get back into industry by acquiring Supreme Electrical Service & Supply Co. Inc. (SES), a privately held oilfield service company located in Houston, Texas. SES, a 58-employee company founded in 1992, provided electrical rig-up services to drilling rig manufacturers. SES gave Jimmy a talented employee base as well as a business foundation to diversify into new product offerings and services. In 2006, Jimmy brought on board his son, Robert Ross Stewart Sr, who also worked at Stewart & Stevenson for over 10 years. While at Stewart & Stevenson, “Rob” Stewart worked in a business development role for the company’s oilfield control systems group. In March 2007, shortly after joining his father at SES, Rob quickly worked to assemble a team to start the Controls & Instrumentation division of SES. In 2011, the Controls & Instrumentation division was branded as Lime Instruments. In 2012, the Houston Business Journal (HBJ) deemed Lime Instruments to be the fourth fastest growing business in the City of Houston, and awarded Lime Instruments the title ‘Enterprise Champion’ in recognition of 613.4% market growth from FY2009 – FY2012.