History of Andersen E-Series Window and Door

Arch Design Window and Door Company in Cincinnati, Ohio, has compiled the history of Andersen Windows.Lumbering and woodworking have long been one of the principal industries in Dubuque, Iowa's history. The industry, which started in the early 1800's, saw millions of feet of timber from the upper Midwest float in log rafts down to Dubuque mills where it was processed into a variety of component parts for the building trade industry. Utilizing its ideal location on the Mississippi River, Dubuque became a hub of lumbering and millwork activity which flourished in the mid-1860's and on into the 20th century. Wood millwork (specifically sash and doors) soon became the new symbol of Dubuque's prosperity, overshadowing all other businesses.

Shortly before the Civil War in 1862 a young man named William W. Carr headed west from Chicago to Dubuque, Iowa hoping to start a business of his own in America's heartland. Carr soon met an experienced woodworker named Woodbury H. Austin and together they founded, Carr, Austin & Company in 1866. With a starting work force of only two men, the Carr, Austin & Company began producing millwork products in its new manufacturing facility. It was destroyed by fire in both 1871 and 1879, but in spite of their difficulties, a third building was constructed and their employee base grew to 35 men over the next eight years. In 1887, it was renamed Carr, Ryder and Wheeler Company. The business continued to grow and soon its stock capitalization was increased. In 1890, the name changed to Carr, Ryder and Engler Company. Over the next seven years the original plant increased in size many times showing a healthy growth in employment and sales. By 1897, the name was changed again to Carr, Ryder & Adams Company, under which the business grew in astronomical proportions and added several buildings. This name remained until 1938 when the firm became Carr, Adams and Collier Company, manufacturers of Bilt-Well woodwork products. Progressing through this vast series of name changes, the company eventually became Caradco in 1958. It remained one of the largest window and door manufacturers in the country during this period of time.

Arch Design Window and Door Company in Cincinnati, Ohio, has compiled the history of Andersen Windows.In 1967, as Caradco was still a major player in Dubuque, a window distribution center was established in Cedar Falls, Iowa by a group of investors called Caradco of Cedar Falls. Its initial intent was to set up and distribute Caradco windows to lumber yards in Cedar Falls and its surrounding areas. Throughout the late 1960's and early 1970's, this business expanded to include residential doors, trim, and hardware items. Despite its heavy competition, Caradco of Cedar Falls soon became the largest Caradco distributor (in a single location) in the country.

In 1976 citing constraints in growth and productivity in their facility, Caradco moved its office and manufacturing facilities from Dubuque to Rantoul, Illinois. At this time, the window distribution from Cedar Falls was moved to Dubuque and into some of the vacant building space provided by Caradco's departure. Soon afterwards, quality and delivery problems began to plague Caradco. The quality of their products had diminished and lead times were greatly extended. Much of this was due to the relocation and restructuring of their plant, the lack of trained personnel, and literally no back-up plan whatsoever. The Dubuque plant had totally shut down.

Soon the investors of Caradco of Cedar Falls decided to terminate their relationship with Caradco and design, manufacture and market a window line of their own. Only one problem existed. This was an era when energy efficiency was an essential commodity. America knew it as the “energy crisis” of the 70's. So, designing a high-quality product with built-in energy efficient features became the goal. With a vacant production facility and a group of eager, experienced personnel, both left behind by Caradco, Eagle Manufacturing launched a new era.

Arch Design Window and Door Company in Cincinnati, Ohio, has compiled the history of Andersen Windows.In 1977, Eagle produced its first aluminum clad wood casement window furthering the rich heritage of millwork production in Dubuque. During the next twelve months, Eagle continued developing better techniques, enhancing their designs, training their personnel, and making quality a priority. By 1980, the clad Sliding Patio door was introduced. Over the next six years, five more product lines were developed including; clad double-hung, skylights, circle-tops, geometric windows and French doors.

Even with the introduction of these new products, the early 1980's managed to be some of the worst business times in history. However, the extreme dedication and efforts put forth by Eagle and its employees helped them survive and even grow in a time of uncertainty. Nearing the end of the decade, it became apparent that Eagle's current ownership could not generate the resources necessary to take advantage of the base that had been built for them, so the company was sold to Masco Corporation of Taylor, Michigan in September of 1987.

Masco Corporation (a Fortune 500 company) was known for its long history in consumer products for the home and family. During its Masco tenure, Eagle made substantial growths while increasing market share due to broadening its distribution throughout North America and Japan. It also tripled its product breadth by introducing French Sliding doors, entry doors, bi-parting doors, radius casements, elliptical units, and a full line of all-wood windows and doors. As you can well imagine, the investment and commitment on Masco's behalf was massive, but for Eagle to grow and be recognized as a quality, national brand name in the industry, it was essential.

The early 1990's proved to be interesting years for Eagle. With the economy on a downward trend, housing starts were flat which in turn lowered Eagle's sales. This was a time for Eagle to fine tune their product line and search for distribution in new markets with the hopes of eliminating some of the seasonality in their business. Gaining market share in the southern part of the country would help level out sales and place it on a consistent path over the year. Fortunately, turn around began in 1992 and sales progressively increased over the next few years.

In 1996, Masco surprised all with an announcement that they would be selling off their furnishings and building products divisions respectively. The divestitures would allow them to focus and concentrate on their core line of consumer and transportation products for which the companies had become recognized. The sale of Eagle Window & Door received a great deal of interest among the industry and due diligence continued for many months. However, in August of 1996, a transaction between MascoTech and American Commercial Holdings, Inc. transferred the ownership of Eagle Window & Door to the newly formed and publicly traded American Architectural Products Corporation. The new company, headquartered in Boardman, Ohio, was determined to grow its existing base of businesses and acquire new businesses with high-quality products and services that would complement the growing family of building industry companies. The goal was to become a major consolidator within the fenestration industry. To support this goal, many smaller window, door and glass manufacturers were acquired during the next two years.

Arch Design Window and Door Company in Cincinnati, Ohio, has compiled the history of Andersen Windows.With extreme growth between 1996 and 2000, Eagle had outgrown its old facility. Efficiencies in processes and production were hindered. It became evident that for Eagle to continue its growth pattern, changes were necessary. Talk of a new facility was elevated and soon plans were under way. By moving production to a single-floor facility, increased productivity and capacity for expansion in the coming years would be attainable.

In October of 2000, Eagle officially began its move into a brand new 390,000 sq. ft. manufacturing facility. The move was orchestrated by Eagle's employees. Due to a detailed plan and a lot of hard work; interruption to service was totally avoided. State-of-the-art equipment, enhanced design, and production flow were put into place with the move and will now allow Eagle to efficiently manufacture its line of high-end, low-maintenance, aluminum-clad wood windows and doors.

In 2001, Eagle continued its impressive growth. However, American Architectural Products Corporation was forced to file for bankruptcy. With Eagle as its only profitable company, AAPC placed Eagle on the selling block in order to help pay off their debt. In April of 2002, Linsalata Capital Partners, a Cleveland-based private equity firm purchased Eagle. With the new ownership Eagle was finally able to focus on what they do best — building quality windows and providing unparalleled service and support.

Eagle experienced phenomenal growth in 2003 and 2004 based on strong sales strategies, a solid dealer channel and innovative products.

Arch Design Window and Door Company in Cincinnati, Ohio, has compiled the history of Andersen Windows.The strong sales growth and the ability to fulfill a need in the marketplace led Andersen Corporation to purchase Eagle Window & Door in May of 2005. As a part of Andersen, Eagle remained innovative and committed to the high-end aluminum clad market. In 2008, Eagle introduced an updated logo, aligning it as an Andersen company.

In May of 2012, Eagle windows and doors were launched under the Andersen® Architectural Collection and renamed E-Series/Eagle windows and doors. The Architectural Collection took an innovative approach to windows and doors, basing choices on the style of the home customers want to create.

"Andersen" and all other marks where denoted are trademarks of Andersen Corporation and its subsidiary.
Eagle Window & Door Manufacturing, Inc. © 2012 Andersen Corporation. All rights reserved

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