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History of Rheem Timeline

Rheem is committed to making a difference with the products they create for the people they serve. This company has a long history of engaging in innovative ideas and products over the years. Here’s a quick timeline of the history of Rheem.


Brothers Richard and Donald Rheem founded Rheem Manufacturing Company in Emeryville, California. Rheem initially created steel drums and other metal products.


Rheem Manufacturing Company began full-scale manufacturing of water heaters, boilers, and tanks.


Rheem entered a second field through its acquisition of the John Wood Manufacturing Company of California and began manufacturing automatic gas storage water heaters.


Rheem becomes the country’s largest manufacturer of automatic water heaters.


Rheem purchased Frazer line of gas furnaces and winter air conditioners foreseeing a future for central heating and air conditioning systems. Installed automatic conveyorized galvanizing equipment at various plants, which replaced hand-operated pickling and hot-dip galvanizing method lengthening the life span of boilers, tanks, and containers and improving quality.


Rheem introduced the “Coppermatic” water heater featuring an extraordinary durable tank consisting of a copper shell within a conventional steel tank and offering a 10-year warranty.


Rheem developed “glass-lining” which was the bonding of porcelain lining to the inner surface of the water heater tank. It was the greatest boon in the industry to extending the water heater tank life.


Rheem became the largest manufacturer of steel shipping containers in the world and added a quality line of bathroom and kitchen plumbing fixtures, built-in and free-standing ranges. This year they also introduced the “Rheemaire” central air conditioning and heating system for homes.


Rheem purchased the water heater business of Ruud Manufacturing Company, giving the company access to a broader line of commercial products, a strong distribution network in the commercial market, and a second respected name in the water heater field.


Rheem introduced the “Demand-O-Matic” water heater with a special thermostat that automatically increased BTU input as hot water demand increased. The company was the first manufacturer to offer decorated bathroom fixtures in pastel shades and floral designs, created by Mrs. Ellen McCluskey, noted interior designer.


Rheem purchased the National Heater Company in St. Paul, Minnesota, strengthening its commercial line of heating and cooling units.


Rheem formed two divisions–the Air Conditioning Division producing heating and cooling products and the Water Heater Division producing water heaters. The Air Conditioning Division was headquartered in Ft. Smith, Arkansas, the Water Heater Division in Chicago, Illinois.


Rheem’s Water Heater Division introduced the Richmond line of gas and electric water heaters to the retail market for the “do-it-yourself’ customers who buy at hardware, home improvement, and discount chain stores.


Rheem’s Water Heater Division introduced the Professional Series of residential gas water heaters, the “Universal” line of commercial gas water heaters, and commercial electric water heater, which offers the most effective conversion capabilities in the industry.


The company began supplying the Home Depot with a line of GE branded water heaters.

Comfort and Innovation

From industry-leading technologies to next-generation energy efficiencies, Rheem has been a pioneer in developing some of the most innovative advancements in heating, cooling, and water heating. With a long list of award-winning solutions, Rheem continues to deliver advanced comfort, savings, and experiences to its customers for nearly 100 years.

Are you looking for commercial water heaters for your business or facility? Wallingford Sales deliver the quality products you need to keep your facilities and construction projects running smoothly. And we do it conveniently – at wholesale prices.

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