Innovation and Expansion 1922-1940


Pressure Vessels 19251925: The first arc-welded, high-pressure vessel used to refine oil is introduced. A. O. Smith pressure vessels were used in a wide variety of chemical processing, refinery, and related applications. The company remained in the business until 1963.

Pipeline 1927 Thumbnail1927: Smith engineers perfect a method of economically forming and welding large-diameter steel line pipe. This new mass production technique was instrumental in launching the natural gas industry and transcontinental oil pipeline business. A. O. Smith was a leading supplier of line pipe until it exited the business in 1972.
Brewery Tank 1933 1933: Expanding on earlier research in the process of fusing glass to steel, the company introduces the first large, single-piece glass-lined brewery tank. Over the next 32 years, A. O. Smith made more than 11,000 glass-lined brewery tanks.
Glass Lined Tank 1933 1936: 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.
Residential Water Heaters 19391939: The company began producing residential water heaters, but shifted all production to war-time use during World War II.
Sawyer Electric 1940 Thumbnail1940: Extending its reach in the oil field, the company acquires Sawyer Electric of Los Angeles, California, a manufacturer of electric motors. One of their products was a pump motor that could be used in oil well applications.