Floor Cleaning Equipment Maker Reflects On 150 Year History
Tennant Company is recognizing its 150th anniversary of business while also introducing its new global headquarters in Eden Prairie, Minnesota.
George H. Tennant began his business in Minnesota in 1870, originally operating a sawmill on the banks of the Mississippi River in Minneapolis. He quickly began focusing on making wooden flooring for houses and businesses under construction in the growing metropolitan area. The company reached a turning point in the 1930s, when its leaders recognized the potential in a newly-patented device that automated laborious floor maintenance tasks and began to focus the business on floor care. Today, Tennant Company manufactures and sells high-quality floor cleaning equipment and technologies in the Americas, Asia and Europe.
“Tennant Company has achieved a remarkable milestone by reaching 150 continuous years of doing business. This anniversary speaks to our long tradition of innovation and resilience, our ability to adapt in order to stay relevant to our customers,” says Chris Killingstad, president and CEO of Tennant Company in a press release. “Most importantly, our longevity illustrates George Tennant’s entrepreneurial spirit, the vision and imagination of his successors, the strong partnerships the company has formed with valued customers and business partners, and the passion and dedication of Tennant employees from the early days until today. I’m honored and proud to lead such an enduring company as we celebrate 150 years.”
In recognition of the anniversary, the New York Stock Exchange invited Tennant Company to “virtually” ring its closing bell on Sept. 25.
While marking this historical milestone, Tennant Company is also preparing for the future with the introduction of its new world headquarters. Manufacturing activities will continue to operate in the company’s current Golden Valley buildings as the company prepares to welcome local and global employees and customers to a state-of-the-art headquarters campus. The company will officially inaugurate the new building when Minnesota restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic have lifted and employees can safely transition to the new office.
As part of Tennant Company’s culture of stewardship, the 150th anniversary celebration includes an employee challenge in which employees are working together to raise a combined $150,000 in cash, goods and service to benefit local charities at the company’s locations around the world. Despite COVID-related complications that have made team charitable activities difficult this year, employees are on track to reach this goal by the end of the year.
Tennant Company Timeline
1870 – George H. Tennant opens his small woodworking shop in northeast Minneapolis.
1932 – Tennant Company begins producing mechanized floor cleaning equipment.
1947 – Tennant Company engineers invent the first vacuum-equipped power sweeper for industrial use.
1969 – Tennant Company becomes a publicly traded company.
1970 – Tennant Company develops the first “built from the ground up” riding scrubber.
1978 –Tennant Company introduces its first walk-behind scrubber.
2008 – Tennant Company introduces ec-H2OTM technology that electrically converts water into a detergent-free cleaning solution.
2017 – Tennant Company reaches $1 billion in revenues.
2017 – Tennant Company acquires Italy-based IPC Group, a leading provider of professional cleaning solutions for commercial markets. The largest acquisition in Tennant Company history.
2018 – Tennant Company launches its first autonomous floor care machine (robot) capable of operating in complex, real-world environments without direct operator control.
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