International Door & Operator Industry

NOV-DEC 2015

Garage door industry magazine for garage door dealers, garage door manufacturers, garage door distributors, garage door installers, loading docks, garage door operators and openers, gates, and tools for the door industry.

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PIONEER "Your family legacy is determined by the actions you take today." - John Di Lemme On October 6, 1913, one year after the Titanic sank and four years before the U.S. entered World War I, Paul Niver Fimbel was born at his family's home in Newark, NJ. Paul's birth was not just the start of something that was yet to be, but rather a continuation of something that began 24 years before on a small, non-descript farm in NY state's Hudson River Valley with the birth of his father. Edward Fimbel Sr. (born October 5, 1889) always demonstrated tremendous ambition so when he tired of the hard, unrewarding farm life, he ran away from home at the age of thirteen in hope of fnding a more promising future. He settled in Hudson County, NJ across the river from New York City. Handicapped by the lack of education, he elected to attend school at night and work a succession of jobs during the day. While still in his mid-teens, Edward Fimbel became a carpenter apprentice and soon advanced to become a highly skilled millworker and ultimately the millwork factory owner. With this commitment began what would prove to be a family trait: desire and determination to become more, to grow more, and to create more. 1920's The 1920's was a time of exuberance and rejection of tradition – starting with the Flappers, the Jazz Age, Al Capone, and Prohibition then ending with the Stock Market Crash. While sliding doors and swing doors were already established in the industry, this decade brought us the emergence of the current sectional overhead door along with the prevalence of the automobile in so many American homes. The impetus for this shift in the industry was simple – customers wanted a less cumbersome, more effective, and more effcient access to their garages in which to park their new Ford automobiles. It was in February of 1924 – when Edward Fimbel signed an agreement with CG Johnson and the Overhead Door Corporation that provided him with the exclusive right to manufacture, distribute, and install sectional doors in the selected territory of Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and lower New York. The business was incorporated as the Overhead Door Corporation and operated in Hillside, NJ in 1928. 1929 saw Paul's introduction to the door business at the young age of sixteen years old when he obtained a summer job in his father's factory. Paul embraced this opportunity to get to know the shop workers and understand their jobs. This exposure led to Paul's interest in the business and set the table for what was to be his future. 1930's The 1930's was the hangover from the fun of the 20's. The decline of the nation's economy brought forth struggle for the garage door industry as well. New construction was put on hold and faith in innovation was shaky. It was Herbert Hoover himself who insisted that "Patience and self-reliance were all Americans needed to get them through this 'passing incident in our national lives'." So this family embraced this advice. Upon high school graduation in 1932, Paul elected to attend college to study engineering and graduated in 1936 Fimbel Company Photo Paul is laying on the ground on the left. Ed Sr. is on the right on the ground. 1940 MANUFACTURERS'CORNER (continued from page 49) 50 International Door & Operator Industry™ Continued on page 53

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