Taco Becomes a Force

Taco was founded in 1920, when Elwood White, grandfather of the current President John Hazen White Jr., purchased the Thermal Appliance Company in Elizabeth. N.J. Shortly after, water heater inventor Robert Lincoln Blanding joined the company and within a few years Taco developed a tankless water heater, the tempering valve, and a year-round boiler control.

As central heating spread, it wrought changes throughout domestic daily life. No longer did families have to gather together in a single room for warmth. Individuals were free to move throughout the house and follow their own pursuits.

Central heating changed fashions, too. Women were free to be more fashionable and they took advantage of that freedom. In 1925, the “New York Times” reported that speakers at a meeting of the American Association of Woolen and Worsted Manufacturers lamented the “radical change in women’s clothing” wrought by the widespread use of central heating, and the negative impact it had on their business.

Meanwhile, throughout the 1930’s Taco continued to grow and the “Taco Heater” was so well-known that it became a generic name.

Yet in the middle of that Depression decade, the “L.A. Times” could still report that despite the significant improvements in central heating systems in the last ten years, many homeowners still failed to realize the value central heating would add to their properties.

Throughout the second half of the 20th century, central heating became a given in the modern home. However, preferences for a particular type of central heating changed and continue to change. Hot air systems grew more quickly at first, then hydronic systems gained favor. A growing number of people were dissatisfied with hot-air heating, believing that the quality of air once heated to high temperatures by the store or furnace, became “deteriorated.”

Homeowners may no longer worry about the air in their homes “deteriorating.” But indoor air quality is of concern to everyone and as of today, hydronic systems continue to grow in popularity because of their comfort, versatility and economical operation.

Taco continues its tradition of quality and innovation, too. As interest in green building increases, Taco product innovation keeps pace. And as more and more homeowners look to alternate, renewable energy sources such as solar power and geothermal power for their home comfort, Taco continues to develop the products that help to harness those energy sources, make efficient use of their potential and deliver the comfort that homeowners have sought since the beginning of recorded history.

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