Bahnson, Inc., is celebrating the 100th anniversary of its founding this summer. The company was originally formed as the Normalaire Company in Winston-Salem in 1915 by Agnew Bahnson, Sr., Fred Bahnson, and James Gray to manufacture and sell electric humidifiers to the textile industry throughout the southeast.
Today, the company has grown be one of the largest specialty engineering, fabrication, and mechanical contractors in the United States, with clients ranging from local companies to some of the world’s largest engineering and construction companies, and drug manufacturers.
Bahnson, Inc. is a subsidiary of EMCOR Group, Inc., a Fortune 500® leader in mechanical and electrical construction, industrial and energy infrastructure, and building services for a diverse range of businesses. Throughout its history Bahnson has provided a unique combination of engineering, construction management, proprietary product offerings, service and maintenance, and installation capabilities.
EMCOR acquired Bahnson in 2011, and the company has continued to maintain its headquarters in Winston-Salem with approximately 600 employees across the U.S. supporting its Bahnson Environmental Specialties, Bahnson Mechanical Systems, Intermech, and Bahnson Mechanical Specialties divisions. Bahnson's vehicles throughout the U.S. feature EMCOR's familiar “Taking KidSafety To The Streets™” missing kids posters, which have helped recover 350+ children over the past 10 years. Locally Bahnson and its employees also support the United Way, the American Red Cross and the Winston-Salem Arts Council.
The company changed its name to “The Bahnson Company” in 1929 and became a leader in the innovation and design of the highest quality HVAC products for the textile industry through the 1960s, opening a 30,000 square foot plant in Winston-Salem in 1965.
The company remained family owned until 1968 when it was sold to Hillman Coal & Coke Company. In the 1980s Flakt AB, a Swedish company, purchased the company and operated it for a decade before selling it to a Swiss company, which renamed the company Luwa Bahnson in 1991. Bahnson enjoyed unprecedented growth under ownership by Luwa and served a wide range of industrial and commercial markets, including the textile, automotive, tobacco, microelectronic, nanotechnology, pharmaceutical, biomedical, electric utility, waste cleanup and educational sectors. Numerous acquisitions by Bahnson in the late 1990s and the early 2000s enabled the company to enter new market areas and broaden its customer base.
“Throughout its history, Bahnson has remained a market leader in designing, installing, and servicing sophisticated high quality air handling and treatment systems for a broad range of complex industrial, institutional and commercial applications,” stated Joe Keane, Vice President of Bahnson Mechanical Systems. “Our diverse technical capabilities have distinguished Bahnson from its competitors and solidified its position as a strategic business partner for companies competing in both traditional and high tech industries throughout the U.S. and abroad.”
“We’re excited about what the future holds for our next 100 years with strong roots in Winston-Salem and the communities in which we live and work,” stated Jim Hutcherson, Chief Legal Officer and VP of Human Resources.