Thermal Industries Celebrating 50th

March 15, 2010

Now planning a number of commemorative events, Thermal Industries marks its 50th anniversary this year. Recognized by some as the first custom vinyl replacement window manufacturer in the country, the Pittsburgh., Pa.-based company, now part of Atrium Windows & Doors, operates two manufacturing facilities and 20 branch locations serving 31 states.

Thermal Industries’ history began back in 1957, when founder, David H. Weis, a salesman for an aluminum extrusion company, walked into a remodeling contractor’s office and saw something, according to David Rascoe, president of Thermal Industries. “The object Mr. Weis saw was a small vinyl extrusion for a storm door frame,” he says. “But what David Weis envisioned that day was to be the birth of a new kind of window that would revolutionize the way windows are manufactured to this day.”

Three years later, in 1960, Weis opened the Modern White Manufacturing Co., a vinyl storm window fabricator. Weis’ ultimate goal was to create a completely new product to help homeowners deal with the problems of energy loss and exterior maintenance. This dream became a reality in 1964, when he introduced America’s first custom vinyl replacement window, as recognized by the American Architectural Manufacturers Association's Vinyl Materials Council, the company reports.

In 1968, after an initial public offering to fuel expansion of branch networks, the Modern White Manufacturing Company was renamed Thermal Industries.  Over time, notable introductions from the company included the first vinyl dual-pane insulating glass tilting replacement window in 1968, custom-sized bay and bow windows in 1977, custom casement windows with fusion-welded frames in 1997, custom awning windows in 1987 and custom wood/vinyl windows in 1993, it reports.

In 1994, the company launched its Super Peak Performance Glass, a high performance triple-pane insulating glass package enhanced with krypton gas that achieves a center of glass R-value of 9.0. The first company to add energy-efficient krypton gas to windows, Thermal Industries was also the first company to reclaim the krypton gas, it reports.

In the mid-1990s, Thermal Industries would incorporate their custom vinyl window and door systems into an insulating, polystyrene wall system to create the DreamspacE patio enclosures. Also during the mid- to late-1990s, as a solution to the excess vinyl from their extrusion facilities, Thermal Industries added vinyl decking and railing, produced using a combination of recycled vinyl and virgin vinyl.

"Like today’s green-tech companies, enterprising visionaries such as Weis have always looked to the application of modern technology to deliver better performance," Rascoe states. "In this case, the energy efficient windows and doors we’ve manufactured for the last 50 years continue to be a positive contributing factor in delivering the dream of comfortable, low maintenance and affordable housing for millions of Americans.”