It's easy to forget how recognizable companies like Pella, and other brands that are practically synonymous with the products they provide, often come from humble beginnings.
Today, Pella Corporation operates multiple manufacturing facilities in the United States, employs thousands of people around the country, distributes windows and doors across North America as well as internationally, and has hundreds of showrooms. That includes the Pella Windows & Doors of Wisconsin showrooms in Green Bay, Appleton, Madison, and Brookfield.
But more than 90 years ago, this company started with an investment in the American Dream.
The History of Pella Corporation
Peter "Pete" and Lucille Kuyper were living in Marion County, Iowa, where Peter's father ran a lumber yard. In 1925, Peter and Lucille invested to buy the Rolscreen Company, which made a unique window screen that rolled away when not in use.
Peter was known for having an innovative mind, and he saw an opportunity with these convenient screens, allowing Iowans to stay cool and keep bugs out during hot, humid summers.
A year after that first investment, the Kuypers moved the Rolscreen operation from Des Moines to their hometown of Pella, forever changing that city as well as daily life for homeowners all over the world.
At the time, the company included just a handful of employees, but growth would happen quickly.
How American Values Helped Pella Grow
The Kuypers and the people they employed shared a strong work ethic and dedication to innovation, characteristics that helped make the United States into the country it is today.
Rolscreen Co. faced tough times during its first decades in operation. The Great Depression caused economic hardships for many. Businesses shut down and unemployment lines were long, but Pete Kuyper found a way to make his company thrive during the 1930s.
New products started coming out of the facility in Pella, Iowa. First there were Venetian blinds to accompany the rollaway screens. Then, the first Pella windows were manufactured in 1937 featuring a steel frame, a wood interior, divided windowpanes, an exterior wash feature, and a removable insulating glass panel.
While other companies were cutting back and laying off, Kuyper was expanding Rolscreen's marketing efforts. The company opened sales offices in dozens of American cities during the Great Depression.
Throughout the years, Pella Corporation has shown a commitment to treating its employees with trust and respect, and the employees returned that sense of dedication.
Of course, the economic downturn of the 1930s was a stretch of hard times for America. There would be a lumber shortage following World War II that prompted Kuyper to temporarily open a mill to keep production moving. More recently, the U.S. housing crisis and Great Recession slowed the home building industry to a crawl.
However, Pella has been an organization that embraces change while continuing to draw inspiration from the example set by Peter Kuyper. The founder even has a book called Pete, which features Kuyper's writings, including insights into how he brought the company through the Depression.
Continuing a Culture of American Innovation
Many of the types of doors and windows we use every day were made possible thanks to the inventive, hard-working people at Pella.
For instance, those sliding glass patio doors leading to your deck? Pella introduced them in 1960, and they quickly became a popular design element in modern American homes.
Pella also introduced between-the-glass blinds and shades to make life easier for homeowners and developed HurricaneShield® windows and doors to help keep people safe.
Today, Pella is an undisputed leader in energy-efficiency, consistently honored as an ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year. Plus, we continue to innovate with smart-home technology products like our Pella® Insynctive home automation.
After all of these years, Pella is still family-owned and all windows and doors are assembled in America. That means Pella is supporting the U.S. economy by creating jobs and keeping them here. It means quality products you can rely on and service that leaves you satisfied.
Pella Windows & Doors of Wisconsin is proud to be part of this tradition of excellence.
Whether you're a homeowner looking for replacement windows, a contractor building new homes or you work in commercial construction, we have the experts and the solutions to help with your next project. More importantly, we hope you see us as the kind of company people like you want to do business with.
If you have questions, don't hesitate to contact us. You can also call our helpful service team at 888.811.8292.
Watch an ABC World News Tonight Report on Pella's All-American Story