Home » News » The General Engineering Company Celebrates 87th Anniversary

The General Engineering Company Celebrates 87th Anniversary

The General Engineering Company is proud to announce the celebration of our 87th anniversary.

Also known as Geneco, we have been in business since 1936 when it was created as an offshoot of Frederick Iron and Steel – a local foundry producing coal-burning residential stokers (furnaces) and various municipal castings, among other things. The business then branched out to produce replacement parts for commercial coal burning stokers used to produce heat and hot water for heating large government and commercial buildings and for generating electricity.

The second owner, Leslie W. Grove, Jr. shepherded the greatest changes in the company. Owning it from the mid 1950’s until the early 1980’s he traveled the country “smoke stack chasing”. He visited power plants all over the United States promoting our products. In the early 1970’s he expanded our municipal line, designing our line of “TUFLITE” Roadway Valve Boxes and Curb Stop Boxes which were a combination of PVC or Polyethylene pipe and Grey Iron castings.

Mr. Grove also designed our line of “SEALTITE” Sewer Pipe Saddles which have been the premier method of attaching a sewer line from a newly constructed building into an existing sewer main for over fifty (50) years. He later designed a line of Cleanout Covers, Roadway Valve Box Risers, Right-Hites and Covers, Main Valve Keys, Valve Stem Extensions, Curb Keys, Curb Stem Extensions and several water and sewer related hand tools.

We moved into our current location at 55-57 South Carroll Street in Frederick, MD in 1966 after an almost year-long restoration/renovation done by local contractor Yingling Construction (Vernon Yingling). When the building was purchased, you could walk on the ground floor and look up through all three floors and see daylight in several areas.

The building was built sometime in the 1700’s or 1800’s as a “Cooperage” due to the fact that wooden barrels and buckets were made in support of the many tanneries located along Carroll Creek in downtown Frederick. Actually, we have had difficulty researching this building due to the fact that the records were destroyed during a fire in the Frederick County Court House.

The building next door (59 South Carroll St.) was purchased in the early 1970’s and remodeled and adapted for our use as a warehouse and assembly plant. This building was tragically gutted by fire in 2010. Due to the nature of its construction: two-foot-thick stone walls made from limestone which was quarried onsite, all of the walls are still standing and the masonry (grout) has been fully restored. However, with the depressed economy and overabundance of vacant office space we have been unable to afford to fully restore it.

The original portion of this building was built in 1762 as a blacksmith shop and residence and in 1776, at the direction of the MD state legislature, John Hanson (8th president of Continental Congress and recognized by some as the FIRST President of the United States since he was the first to be elected after the title was changed to “President of the United States in Congress Assembled”), James Johnson (brother of Thomas Johnson, the first Governor of the state of MD) and Charles Beatty purchased this building and named it the Maryland State Gun Lock Factory.

The Superintendent of Operations was Samuel Boone, cousin of Daniel Boone and they produced gunlocks which were shipped to Annapolis and assembled into rifles and pistols which were then used in the Revolutionary War. As an interesting side note, the masonry restoration after the fire was supervised by a direct descendent of Daniel Boone, Stanley Vardaman. The three- story addition was built in 1860 and is believed to have been used as a warehouse during the Civil War.

We are proud to add to this amazing history by producing quality products for over 87 years. We take great pride in the fact that all products produced under the GENECO or SEALTITE names are made in the United States. We have some products which are bought and sold which are imported by others but NOTHING that is manufactured and sold under our name is imported.

The company is currently owned by Vietnam Veteran Harold (Rusty) Hauver who purchased it in the early 1980’s. We currently have six loyal and hard-working employees who have worked here anywhere from one to fifty-three years.