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Iowa History Daily: January 10 - Pete Kuyper & Pella Corp

Iowa History Daily: On January 10, 1981, Pella Corporation co-founder Peter (Pete) Kuyper passed away. After investing in a small company, Pete and his wife Lucille built Rolscreen - Pella Corporation into one of the world’s most recognizable window brands which is ‘viewed to be the best.’



In 1925, Peter and Lucille Kuyper invested $5,000 to buy a small window screen manufacturing company in Des Moines called “Rolscreen”. The Kuyper’s soon took complete control of the company, and in 1926 they moved the company to their hometown of Pella in Marion County. The “Rolscreen” window screen took off to meet the demands presented by hot and humid weather conditions in the Midwest. The Kuypers capitalized on the success to double the plant size by 1929.



Despite the Great Depression, the Kuyper’s continued to build the company and In 1934 they introduced another innovation: the Pella Venetian blind. The innovation helped the company continue to grow and expand market reach, and by the mid-1930s the company established sales offices in 24 American cities and in 15 foreign countries. In 1937, Pella introduced their first window unit. Consisting of a steel-framed casement and wood interior to divide the window panes, the produced featured an exterior wash feature and a removable insulating glass panel. The window unit was named the “Deluxe Casement Window”, and it and its offshoots became the focus of future Pella products.



After shifting focus to war production during World War 2, Pella continued to innovate. In 1960, Pella developed another major new product, the sliding glass door. By 1991, the Pella Corporation stood as an industry leader with ten plants and 75 sales and service offices. The company officially renamed and rebranded to Pella Corporation in 1992, and continues to represent an Iowa business success story. #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar




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