Harry Waldinger, a 30-year-old Austrian tinsmith, founded our company as Capital City Tin Shop in 1906. He immigrated to the United States four years before that, having to leave his wife and young children behind. By doing furnace repairs and spouting work, he soon saved enough money to bring his family to the United States.
The business continued as a small family operation, changing its name to Capital City Sheet Metal in 1928. When Harry Waldinger died in 1935 at age 59, the company had four employees, including his sons Mose and Joe Waldinger. Mose handled bidding, while his older brother Joe performed and managed the work.
In 1940, the young Waldinger brothers made a bold decision that proved to be a turning point in the company’s history. Against the advice of their banker and bonding agent, they formed a partnership to bid on a job ten times larger than anything they had done before.
The new partnership, Iowa Sheet Metal Contractors, was the successful bidder on the $150,000 barracks project located at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. They completed seventeen similar jobs in the Midwest over the next five years, and Iowa Sheet Metal Contractors soon became one of the largest sheet metal companies in the United States.
In 1948, our company was the successful bidder on the Mutual Benefit Life building in Omaha, Nebraska. In order to get the job done efficiently, Iowa Sheet Metal Contractors purchased Skilman Sheet Metal and employed its 25 skilled workers. This new branch was named Nebraska Sheet Metal Contractors.
In 1959, the company moved its operations to our current headquarters on Bell Avenue in Des Moines, and two years later, expanded its capabilities by adding a piping division. Then in 1969, to honor its roots, the company changed its name to The Waldinger Corporation.
Since then, we've added an electrical division in 2001 and expanded into markets such as Wichita in 1987, Kansas City in 1990, St. Louis in 1999, St. Joseph in 2002, Cedar Rapids in 2009, the Quad Cities and Dodge City in 2016, Kearney, Nebraska in 2017 and Madison, Wisconsin in 2018. We’re continuing to grow and expand into new markets throughout the Midwest. Our project list covers 42 states and includes six nuclear power plants, the Houston Astrodome, the Louisiana Superdome and the Vehicle Assembly Building at Cape Kennedy, to name a few.
Today we're a premier full-service mechanical, electrical and sheet metal contractor. We design, fabricate, install, maintain and repair HVAC, refrigeration, electrical, plumbing, piping and kitchen equipment systems for commercial, institutional and industrial facility customers. Employing over 2,000 professionals (1,400 of which are trade), our annual revenues are around $400 million.