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Weil-McLain: Company Celebrates 135 Years of Hydronic Heating Innovations
Burr Ridge, Ill. — Jan. 27, 2016 — One hundred and thirty-five years ago, Isadore and Benjamin Weil opened a modest plumbing business in Chicago’s Loop. It is now a major company known as Weil-McLain.
Since its inception in 1881, Weil-McLain has grown to become a leading designer and manufacturer of hydronic comfort heating systems for residential, commercial, and institutional buildings across America.
Today, with 600 employees, manufacturing facilities in Michigan City, Ind., and Eden, N.C., and regional sales offices throughout the U.S., the Burr Ridge, Ill.-based company continues its legacy of designing and manufacturing hydronic boilers and indirect-fired water heaters that deliver energy efficiency and reliability.
Weil-McLain is commemorating 13½ decades of hydronic heating innovations with a yearlong 135th anniversary celebration that will include events at its manufacturing facilities and headquarters, and special promotions throughout the year.
“As the oldest boiler company in America, engineers, contractors, facility managers, and homeowners have come to rely on us to deliver comfort and energy efficient heating,” said Lew Klein, senior marketing communications manager, Weil-McLain.
Weil-McLain traces its roots to the Weils' plumbing business at 35 W. Randolph Street in Chicago in 1881. Around the turn of the century, they moved several blocks to 647 W. Lake St., which today still features Weil Brothers etched in stone on the corner of the building’s façade.
In 1918, after acquiring a main supplier, J.H. McLain Company, the company was renamed Weil-McLain and boiler plant operations moved from Canton, Ohio, to its present location in Michigan City, Ind.
Throughout the 20th century, Weil-McLain grew to be the largest U.S. manufacturer of cast iron boilers and a leader in the hydronic industry. The Michigan City, Ind., location continues its cast iron foundry operations and houses a state-of-the-art laboratory and testing facilities alongside an engineering and development center.
In 2005, after outgrowing the original Michigan City manufacturing plant, Weil-McLain opened a second manufacturing and training location in Eden, N.C., and a distribution center on the East Coast.
In 2012, Weil-McLain opened an administrative office in Burr Ridge, Ill, a suburb of Chicago.
Among Weil-McLain’s significant milestones over these many years include:
• Developing the first “wet base” boiler that eliminated the need for a separate base and combustion chamber.
• Introducing the first commercial boiler offered with factory assembled sections.
• Manufacturing the first ultraviolet control system for an atmospheric gas commercial boiler.
• Becoming the first company to factory “fire test” package residential boilers
Just this past year, Weil-McLain introduced the company’s newest and most advanced high-efficiency condensing boiler: the 95 percent AFUE Evergreen boiler. The Evergreen features cutting-edge technology with simple controls, flexible functionality for multiple applications, simple installation and maintenance, and a durable design.
The company also launched an enhanced line of its popular SlimFit high-efficiency condensing gas boilers with improved controls, communication, and usability.