Through strategic mergers and smart acquistions, Saint Gobain North America has grown and expanded into all 50 states and dozens of different product categories. Here’s a history of our history.

1880s

  • Norton Emery Wheel Company

    1885

    Norton Emery Wheel Company, later to become part of Saint-Gobain, was founded to manufacture the world’s first precision-made, mass-produced grinding wheel.

1900s

  • Early CertainTeed roofing ad

    1904

    General Roofing Manufacturing Company (later to become CertainTeed) was established in East St. Louis, Illinois, by George M. Brown.

1910s

  • Vintage CertainTeed ad

    1913

    Norton Company began manufacturing refractory products—ceramic materials used to line the interior of kilns and furnaces—as well as a wide variety of ceramic containers for chemical reactions.

  • 1917

    General Roofing Manufacturing Company changed its name to Certain-teed Products Corporation—a contraction of the company’s slogan, “Quality made Certain, satisfaction guaranTeed.”

1960s

  • Norton high-speed saw

    1964

    Norton Company purchases Clipper Manufactuing Company, a producer of concrete- and masonry-cutting equipment.

  • 1966

    Norton Company purchases U.S. Stoneware of Akron, Ohio, a maker of engineered ceramic and metal specialty products used in the chemical and petrochemical industries.

  • 1967

    CertainTeed and Saint-Gobain began a joint venture to manufacture and sell insulation in the United States.

  • CertainTeed's impact-resistant vinyl siding

    1969

    CertainTeed begins producing solid vinyl siding.

1970s

  • CertainTeed pipe

    1970

    The CertainTeed/Saint-Gobain joint venture is folded into CertainTeed. In return, Saint-Gobain receives a large number of shares of CertainTeed stock.

  • 1975

    CertainTeed's plant in Lake Charles, Louisiana, begins manufacturing polymer products which the company uses as raw materials to make pipe, siding and window products.

  • 1976

    Saint-Gobain obtains 57 percent of CertainTeed stock and a controlling interest in the company.

  • 1978

    CertainTeed opens its Technical Center in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania.

1980s

  • CertainTeed's InsulSafe blowing insulation

    1981

    CertainTeed introduces "InsulSafe®," the world's first non-bonded loose fill fiber glass insulation product.

  • Norton's seeded gel abrasives

    1984

    Norton Company introduces its patented, groundbreaking "seeded gel" abrasives – made by dispersing tiny particles in a special gel, from which water is removed and the resulting mixture is subjected to high temperature, converting the "seeds" to highly durable and long-lasting abrasive materials.

  • 1985

    Norton Company acquires Canada-based Carborundum Abrasives (originally called Canada Sandpapers)

  • 1985

    Norton Company opens its R&D Center in Northboro, Massachusetts – now Saint-Gobain's largest research center in the world.

  • 1986

    Norton Company acquires a U.S. supplier of high-quality abrasives and surface finishing products, Carborundum Abrasives (having acquired its Canadian subsidiary the year before).

  • 1987

    Corhart Refractories, a manufacturer of refactories – large ceramic blocks used to line glass and steel furnaces – is acquired by Saint-Gobain.

  • 1988

    CertainTeed becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of Saint-Gobain.

  • 1988

    CertainTeed acquires Bay Mills Limited, a Canadian based manufacturer of reinforcement fabrics and building materials.

  • 1988

    Wolverine Technologies, a manufacturer of premier vinyl building products, becomes part of CertainTeed's vinyl siding business.

  • CertainTeed clay roof tile

    1989

    CertainTeed acquires the Ludowici-Celadon clay roof tile company.

1990s

  • Norton abrasives

    1990

    Saint-Gobain acquires Norton Company, a leading worldwide supplier of abrasives, ceramics and high-performance plastics.

  • 1990

    Saint-Gobain acquires two crystals businesses: Harshaw, the first major U.S. manufacturer of scintillation crystals, and Bicron, a leading developer and supplier of crystals used in detection devices.

  • CertainTeed Form-A-Drain foundation footing and drainage system

    1992

    CertainTeed begins production and sale of “Form-A-Drain™,” a product which creates a foundation footing integrated with a drainage system for new home construction.

  • 1995

    Ball Corporation and Saint-Gobain form Ball-Foster, a joint venture to make glass food jars as well as wine and beer bottles.

  • 1995

    Corning and Saint-Gobain join forces to create EuroKera, a joint venture to manufacture glass cooktops.

  • 1996

    Saint-Gobain becomes the sole owner of Ball-Foster.

  • Carborundum ceramic products

    1996

    Saint-Gobain acquires British Petroleum’s ceramic products subsidiary, Carborundum Ceramics of Niagara Falls, New York.

  • 1996

    Norton Company acquires Ernst Winter Abrasives, the world’s largest manufacturer of diamond and cubic boron nitride tools.

  • Bufftech vinyl fence

    1996

    CertainTeed acquires Bufftech, a manufacturer of vinyl fence, deck and railing products.

  • 1997

    Norton Company acquires U.K.-based Unicorn International, including its North American subsidiary, Universal Abrasives.

  • 1998

    CertainTeed opens its “K21” line in Kansas City, Kansas — the world’s largest fiber glass insulation production line.

  • 1998

    CertainTeed acquires Bird Incorporated, one of the oldest roofing companies in the United States, headquartered in Norwood, Massachusetts.

  • 1998

    Saint-Gobain acquires Calmar, a leading manufacturer of trigger sprayers and fluid-dispensing products.

  • 1998

    Norton Canada acquires the Carborundum Pulpstones business in Niagara Falls, Ontario.

  • 1998

    Norton Company acquires Flexovit, an abrasives manufacturer.

  • 1999

    CertainTeed acquires GS Roofing Products and the Unisul insulation equipment business.

  • 1999

    Saint-Gobain acquires Furon, a leading supplier of highly engineered polymer products, which led to the creation of Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics.

2000s

  • 2000

    Saint-Gobain acquires Meyer International, which included the U.S. company Meyer Decorative Surfaces.

  • Wine bottle manufactured by Saint-Gobain

    2000

    Ball-Foster changes its name to Saint-Gobain Containers.

  • 2000

    CertainTeed acquired Celotex Roofing, expanding the company’s ability to supply roofing customers in North America.

  • 2000

    CHEMFAB, a major supplier of high-performance plastics, is acquired by Saint-Gobain.

  • 2000

    Saint-Gobain acquires Saphikon, a manufacturer of high-quality synthetic crystals used to make industrial lasers and in semiconductor applications.

  • 2000

    Most Saint-Gobain companies, with the notable exception of CertainTeed, begin using the Saint-Gobain name. 

  • 2001

    Merit Abrasives, a manufacturer of specialty abrasive products, is acquired by Saint-Gobain Abrasives.

  • Sailboats featuring ADFORS sailcloth reinforcement

    2001

    The Bayex, Bay Mills and PermaGlass-Mesh businesses combine to form Saint-Gobain Technical Fabrics.

  • 2003

    Saint-Gobain acquires Heye America (now known as GPS America), a supplier of machines, parts and services to the glass container manufacturers. 

  • Vetrotech fire-rated glass

    2004

    Vetrotech Saint-Gobain North America produces the first “Contraflam®” fire-rated glass.

  • 2005

    Saint-Gobain acquires BPB, a global manufacturer of gypsum wallboard, which in North America becomes CertainTeed Gypsum.

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