A $500 loan from a friend, a desk and chair in their home basement and a 10 year old pickup truck is a brief description of the A. L. Smith Glass Company at its start. It was late 1972 and that $500 loan was all that was needed to purchase the glass for a $1,500 service call when Al Smith won a bid to repair the broken window panes in an apartment complex. And when Al was out on that service call his partner and wife, Joyce, was making phone calls to contractors looking for more work. Those were the early days, each day a new challenge with new opportunities.
By the early 1980’s A. L. Smith Glass Company was under contract to provide glass services for over 150 apartment complexes, contractors, and individual customers. Each day 14 trucks made their rounds delivering glass and servicing customers in the Washington, DC area.
It was also during this time that A. L. Smith Glass Company began to fabricate insulated units in-house so that they would be able to get these units to their customers faster and with a higher level of quality. By installing a dual seal insulated line and incorporating a “first in the industry” custom grid fabrication process they earned the reputation of providing the highest quality and most innovative insulated glass product in the service area.
In 1998 A. L. Smith Glass Company realized that there was a need for a high-quality wholesale glass fabrication company in the Washington, DC area. Due to the high demand for their product, and the sense that they should not be competing with those companies whom they provided fabricated glass to, Al decided that this company would discontinue the glass service business and instead concentrate on becoming a premier glass fabrication company.
During the years that followed, A. L. Smith Glass Company added automation and production features that continued to set it apart from its competition.
- HHH Double Bay tempering oven
- LiSEC Industries insulated sealing robot
- Wardjet ZXL water jet cutting machine
- Bottero Glass Technologies CNC cutting machine
- Bottero Glass Technologies automated cutting table with rack system
- Billco Glass Washer & Inspection Table
- Enduro Shield glass coating machine
- Aculite 2000 glass cutting table
- Schiatti Angelo polishing equipment
- Opty-Way Enterprise Software
Throughout the history of this company many decisions were made to invest in new equipment, upgrade existing equipment or improve the production facility. And every time a decision needed to be made it was done so only after an in depth analysis was completed. The A. L. Smith Company believed that change should only be made if that change meant that the quality of their product and the level of their service would benefit. As Al and Joyce have both acknowledged, “It is all about the customer, getting the best product at the best price with the highest level of customer service”.