Cookson has a rich history in the rolling door industry. Both Cornell and Cookson combined forces in 2008; more recently, in 2018 they joined the Clopay Corporation family.
Here are some fascinating facts about Cookson that might surprise you.
1. Cookson Door Company’s founder got his start selling Cornell Iron Works products.
The founder of Cookson Door Company, Harold W. Cookson Sr., worked for Rolph Mills Company of San Francisco where he sold Cornell Iron Works Products. Three years later, in 1925, he teamed up with his friend Pearce Cromwell to purchase Kennerson Manufacturing Company, one of the two rolling door manufacturing companies in the San Francisco Bay Area.
2. Cookson’s first manufacturing plant had meager beginnings.
Harold Sr. and Dorothy started their rolling door business in the rear of the Sunset Ironworks Building—a 2,300 square-foot space with a small loft that was used as an office. The office contained a few used desks and a typewriter. Two crude homemade rolling machines were used to churn out inventory, which included a few bar angles, a few different-sized coils, a spring wire, and a coil or two of strip steel for the rolling machine. At this time, most materials were ordered on a job-by-job basis. The Cookson Door Company’s first recorded order was in 1938.
3. The Cookson family was “all in” when it came to supporting WWII efforts.
To support the war, Cookson Door shifted from manufacturing overhead doors to making miscellaneous steel parts, including fish spears used on lifeboats. Cookson’s sons, Harold W. Cookson Jr. and Robert A. Cookson fought in the war and returned home in 1946 to join the family business.
4. Dorothy Cookson was instrumental in making the Cookson Company what it is today.
Dorothy started the Cookson Door Company alongside her husband Harold in 1938. When he passed away in 1946, she took over. A year later, Dorothy expanded the San Francisco facility to 6,900 square feet and made her sons partners in the business. Under her leadership, the company launched the first extruded aluminum counter door, the first counter door
, and the first prepainted slat curtain.
5. Cookson set the industry color standards for prepainted and finished metal doors.
Cookson’s first prepainted slat curtain was produced in gray in 1960, and in 1980 the company launched FinalCote, the first finish-painted rolling door. FinalCote came in the color tan to match the earth-tone buildings found in the Southeast. These colors became the standards for the rolling door industry.
6. The Cookson Door Company earned recognition for being an industry leader.
The Cookson Company was recognized by the Far Western Garage Door Association, the Door and Operator Dealers Association (DODA), and the International Door Association (IDA).
• 2010 Institute of Door Dealer Education and Accreditation Commitment to Excellence Award.
• 2008 IDA Heritage Award
• 2002 IDA Industry Member Award
• 1991 DODA Associate Member Award
Under the Clopay Corporation family of brands, the joined Cornell and Cookson brands are among the largest rolling steel door manufacturers in the United States. As Cookson moves into its next chapter, the brand will continue to make its mark in the rolling door industry.
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