Holland’s Hart and Cooley Reaches Century Mark

May 7, 2002
| By Katy Rent |
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HOLLAND – Special things happen when you turn 100: Willard Scott and Smucker’s wish you a happy one, the President sends you a birthday card and you rank right up there with top names such as Hart & Cooley.

This year Hart & Cooley, the Holland-based heating systems manufacturer, turns 100 and is throwing a year-long celebration to mark the occasion. Numerous activities and signs of appreciation are planned throughout the city, such as a float in the Tulip Time parade, to show what the community has meant to the company.

“Throughout the year we will be doing various activities to celebrate with our employees and in June we will hold an open house for the community,” said Gary Henry, president. “We feel we should celebrate with the people who made us: our customers and employees.”

In 1892 Howard Stanley Hart and Norman Cooley established the Hart & Cooley Manufacturing Company in Chicago, a cold-rolled steel plant, the only one west of Pittsburgh.

The two sold their plant in 1901 and organized the Hart & Cooley Company in New Britain, Connecticut, where they manufactured warm-air registers from stamped steel.

It is the start of this division of the company that celebrates 100 years this month. During the 1920s, Hart and Cooley moved their business to Holland and officially established the Hart & Cooley Company Inc., manufacturing warm-air products.

Thirty years later the company continued to grow and with the widespread need for forced-air heating, Hart & Cooley added many products to its residential and commercial lines of registers, grilles and diffusers. It also won the Michigan Achievement of the Year honors for the Metlvent gas vent for gas-fired fireplaces.

Today the London-based investment company, Tomkins PLC, owns the company. Hart & Cooley continues to be a major supplier to the HVAC industry and has grown to the point that it has manufacturing locations in four states as well as in Mexico.

“We are celebrating with the slogan, ‘Celebrate a Century of Service,’” said Henry. “It fits us because we believe this is our claim to fame, our ability to service our customer. We have always been recognized as a service leader.”

With one year since the company’s acquisition, Henry and his team plan to go forward to another successful year – and century.

“We would, in the coming year, like to continue to upgrade our manufacturing process by focusing on operations. We are also expanding both at our plant in Huntsville, Alabama, and here in Holland,” he said.

“We are thankful for the people that have been with us this far and plan to keep on going for another century to come.”

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