U.S. Stove has had to innovate and work hard to stay in business, members of the Civitan Club were told on Friday.
President August Jones gave club members an inside look into the world’s foremost manufacturer of stoves.
“We’re the largest manufacturer of things that keep people warm in five different continents,” said Mr. Jones, “We’re working on Antarctica.”
The company, around since 1869, is one of the oldest companies in the United States. As the president put it, U.S. Stove Company is on the very short list of companies that have been around for that amount of time.
Over the course of their 150-year history, the company has seen many of Its innumerable competitors fall by the wayside. Many of those wilted under stricter regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) during the 1970s.
After the first wave of restrictions and regulations, what was once 500 competitors was slashed in half. With each successive regulation or restriction, more and more companies dropped out of the race.
“These regulations a lot viewed as impossible to overcome. A lot just folded up and shut their doors. Most of those too crumbled under the extreme pressure,” said Mr. Jones.
Rather than drop out of the stove-making industry, Mr. Jones and company buckled down and attempted to figure out how to overcome these regulations. Even though these regulations have made every stove design from pre-2014 obsolete, U.S. Stove Company has done its best to adapt to the new age of stove-making.
“We invested in state of the art test laboratories, and we work with the EPA providing real world data for heating and appliance,” said the president, “Through all of this, it really boiled down to a lot of hard work and people working hard.”
While the company has been around for over a century, and are dedicated to being around for many years to come, Mr. Jones is a realist. He told Civitan that the company will have to continuously innovate in order to stay relevant.
“U.S. Stove has been in business for 150 years, but that doesn’t guarantee we’re going to be in there for another 150 years,” said Mr. Jones, who was still optimistic about the future. He joked about one of his descendants talking about the company in 150 years, and said, “Who knows, we might be selling product in Antarctica by then.”