1941 - 1971: War and Post-War Boom



As part of the war effort, A. O. Smith begins producing bomb casings, aircraft propellers and landing gear, torpedo air flasks and other material. By 1945, it had built 4.5 million bombs, 16,750 sets of landing gear and 46,700 propeller blades, as well as nose frames for the B-25 bomber, water heaters for military barracks, jeep frames and components for the atomic bomb project.




A. O. Smith acquires Toledo, Ohio-based Burkay Company and enters the market for coil-type “instantaneous” commercial water heaters, leading to the first glass-lined commercial water heater five years later.




A. O. Smith introduces the Harvestore structure, a glass-fused-to-steel silo targeted at dairy and livestock operations. Over the next 50 years, A. O. Smith installs more than 70,000 structures on farms throughout the world. 




A. O. Smith acquires Dayton, Ohio-based Whirl-A-Way Motors and consolidates its electric motor manufacturing operations.




A. O. Smith acquires Glascote Products, Inc., expanding its vessel manufacturing capabilities. Combined with its existing water heater, brewery tank and related businesses, the acquisition makes A. O. Smith the world’s largest manufacturer of glass-coated steel products.




A. O. Smith introduces the first glass-lined commercial water heater, the Burkay B-65.




A. O. Smith opens a commercial water heater and boiler plant in Stratford, Ontario, Canada, its first water heater plant outside the U.S.