It was our intention to celebrate…
We planned to throw a party or two! Invite you to an Open House! Have you join us as we celebrated our Sixty Years of Success throughout 2020. But here it is, December, with no celebration in sight. Like so many other activities, the pandemic pushed aside our plans for a festive Open House honoring our founder, Gene Anderson, and his vision for providing security solutions for commercial, industrial and institutional facilities.
Our legacy of dependable, trusted customer service was built by establishing relationships with folks at hospitals, school districts and the kinds of facilities that require heavy-duty reliable products and services.
From a one-man locksmith, who set-up his shop in a corner of his Dad’s hardware store, in 1960, and drove a station wagon on service calls, to dozens of lock techs electronically dispatched daily 60 years later, Anderson Lock’s mission has never wavered. “We promote peace of mind by providing quality solutions that improve the safety, security, accessibility and aesthetics of buildings.” Our trained technicians, and commercial door fabrication capabilities, led to our recognition as this region’s most distinguished door and hardware distributor.
Historic Highlights in an Illustrated Timeline
The trains in Des Plaines brought the area’s first commerce and they continue to contribute to its growth, but it was the development of Chicago-O’Hare International Airport that signaled a great period of prosperity for the town. Following World War II, the population jumped from the prewar 9,000 to over 50,000.
Gene remembers installing locks on cockpit doors!
The airport itself and the individual airlines have continuously been among Anderson Lock’s most loyal customers. Our services there have grown from those simple cockpit door locks to supplying 450 Curries doors / frames, and related Sargent security hardware for entry / exit openings, for offices, hallways, stairwells, IT, maintenance, electrical and pump rooms in O’Hare’s CONRAC transportation hub, which opened in 2018.
This consolidated car rental facility and parking structure is a multimodal transportation center combining airline, light transit, rail, bus, shuttle as well as both rental and privately owned vehicles at one location to facilitate travel within the Chicago region and to destinations throughout the world. At more than 3 million gross square feet, the facility is one of the largest structures in the Midwest.
Anderson Lock also dispatched lock techs to the first McDonald’s. Ray Kroc opened up the first restaurant for McDonald’s System, Inc., a predecessor of McDonald’s Corp. in Des Plaines, in April, 1955. McDonald’s acquired the rights to the brother’s company in 1961 when Anderson Lock was still a one-man locksmith. Since then, our lock techs have worked at countless McDonald’s locations, including their corporate office.
As his locksmith company grew, Gene became a distributor for Yale, Schlage, LCN, Von Duprin and dozens of other door hardware brands. He sent locksmiths, several of whom still work at Anderson Lock, throughout Des Plaines to install security solutions from deadbolts to Master Key Systems.
During the past sixty years industrial growth in Des Plaines has been phenomenal, the city having become a raw materials and finished products distributing center as well as the headquarters of several major corporations. Proximity to O’Hare, multiple railroads, and a network of expressways led to constant expansion of this progressive Chicago suburb, and of Anderson Lock, its leading commercial lock services provider.
Beginning in 1982, Gene published catalogs every few years. Sales spiked, and he again moved his company to a larger building. Anderson Lock’s constant expansion resulted in our Main Office now being in its fourth location in Des Plaines.
Record sales of electronic security products followed the 9/11 attacks in 2001. Our access control expertise has trended upwards, along with new technology, since then.
In the early 2000’s, Anderson Lock became a distributor for Steelcraft hollow metal doors and frames. Gene rented space down the street, at 2420 Oakton, to house a Door Division. Demand for total opening security solutions soon led to another expansion, this time in Schaumburg. In 2017, our Door Division expanded to an immense third location in Elk Grove.
Gene is retired, but Anderson Lock is still family-owned, and it is still thriving. His daughter, Cortney Anderson Wascher, is President / Owner, and her husband, Devin, leads the Door Division. There are 100 full time employees, five who’ve worked here over 40 years, and 20 others who’ve been here 20+ years.
Read more: https://www.andersonlock.com/about/history/