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Keeney Holdings LLC, a member of the Oatey family of companies, is celebrating the momentous 100th anniversary of the Keeney brand this year. Since its founding in 1923, Keeney has been a trusted name in the plumbing industry, delivering reliable products and exceptional customer service in the United States, Canada and worldwide.
The journey that created Keeney is one filled with determination, ingenuity, and the unwavering commitment of the founding family. The Keeney Manufacturing Company was begun in 1923 in New Britain, Connecticut, by Bertha Macristy Hanna, the first woman to have founded a manufacturing business in Connecticut. Bertha pulled together a team of family members, and with management experience she gained from a previous employer, launched Keeney to produce residential plumbing and heating fittings.
Because of the gender politics of that era, it was uncommon for a woman to lead a business. Thus, Bertha, despite being the majority shareholder of Keeney, called on her brother-in-law William Keeney to be the figurehead of the company. “B.A. Macristy” assumed the titles of Treasurer and Corporate Secretary and ran her factory from behind the scenes.
Known for her strong will and resilience, Bertha guided Keeney from its founding through the Great Depression and World War II. On April 1, 1925, The Keeney Manufacturing Company moved its 13 employees to Newington, CT, and the enterprise has grown exponentially through acquisition and organic expansion ever since.
From its humble beginnings as a manufacturer of floor and ceiling plates and radiator air valves, Keeney quickly enlarged its product line by embracing injection-molding technology, positioning itself as a leader in the tubular plumbing industry. Today, Keeney offers a comprehensive assortment of specialty products, including under-sink drainage and toilet, shower and bath repair products.
Purchased by Oatey
In 2019, Oatey, a leading manufacturer in the plumbing industry since 1916, acquired certain assets of Keeney to further enhance both companies’ manufacturing excellence and technological capabilities. At the time of the purchase, Keeney was still owned by the Holden family and led by the grandsons of Bertha Macristy Hanna. The acquisition has paved the way for an exciting future for Keeney as part of the Oatey family of companies.
“As we celebrate the Keeney s centennial anniversary, we look back in pride at the brand’s long and impressive history and are extremely appreciative of the exceptional foundation and heritage established by the Holden family,” said Neal Restivo, Oatey’s CEO.
Over the years, Keeney has pursued an inspiring journey of operational expansion and product innovation, evolving into a global leader in the plumbing industry.
During World War II, for example, Keeney played a crucial role as a maker of specialty tubular products for the U.S. aircraft industry. Fast forward to 1970, Plumb Pak Corporation was established to package products to meet the needs of the then-fast-emerging “Do It Yourself” market. Duracraft Plastics, Inc. was established in 1971 to manufacture complimentary lines of plastic tubular plumbing products as an alternative to brass lines.
In the 1980s, Keeney expanded its operational footprint nationwide by establishing distribution facilities in Nevada (1981) and Georgia (1983). This same decade (1986) saw the opening of Keeney’s first production plant in New Hampshire, a facility that would soon become the centerpiece of its operations.
In 1995, Keeney started Plumb Pak Southwest in Texas while establishing Plumb Pak North in New Hampshire in 1996. By 2000, Keeney had consolidated its New Hampshire facilities into a state-of-the-art, 230,000-sq.-ft. manufacturing, packaging, and distribution facility in Winchester.
Keeney’s commitment to growth and innovation led to international expansion in 1993, when the Canadian faucet and accessory manufacturer Bélanger joined the company. Keeney’s global growth continued in 2004 with the opening of a manufacturing and distribution facility in Jiangmen, China, its first foray into Asia. In 2013, the company added a 47,000 sq. ft. facility in Jiangmen to its Asian manufacturing and distribution capabilities.
Today, Keeney remains as committed as ever to customer satisfaction and reliable products. With strategically located facilities in the United States, Canada, and China, Keeney serves customers worldwide with its range of plumbing solutions.