1925 - 1940: Innovation & Expansion



A. O. Smith introduces the first arc-welded, high-pressure vessel used to refine oil. The Company produced pressure vessels for a wide variety of chemical processing, refinery and related applications through 1963.




A. O. Smith engineers perfect a method of economically forming and welding large-diameter steel-lined pipe. This new mass production technique was instrumental in launching the natural gas industry and transcontinental oil pipeline business. The Company was a leading supplier of line pipe until it exited the business in 1972.




Expanding on earlier research in the process of fusing glass to steel, A. O. Smith introduces the first large, single-piece glass-lined brewery tank. Over the next 32 years, the Company produced more than 11,000 glass-lined brewery tanks.




A. O. Smith patents the process of glass-lining a water heater tank. This concept quickly became the standard of the industry, making hot water an affordable convenience for homeowners. The Company began producing residential water heaters three years later, but shifted all production to war-time use during World War II.




Extending its reach in the oil field, A. O. Smith acquires Los Angeles, California-based Sawyer Electric, a manufacturer of electric motors, including a pump motor that could be used in oil well applications.