The history of Air Handling Systems begins when Arthur Scott returned from World War II where he was stationed with the Army Air Force as an aviation sheet metal mechanic, renovating aircraft for impending action overseas. After settling in with his family, he decided to open his own industrial ventilation sheet metal shop. He and his father, an Electrical Engineer, formed Sheet Metal Fabrication Co. Inc., which specialized in industrial ventilation, dust collection, and fume collection. They served the local Stratford and Bridgeport, Connecticut area including companies such as Remington Arms, Singer, AVCO, Pepperidge Farms, Harvey Hubbell, General Electric, Sikorsky Aircraft, United Technologies, and others.
In the early 1960s, Arthur’s son Dave followed in his father’s footsteps, and after attending trade school, started his own industrial metal installation company located in Bridgeport Connecticut. In 1964, Dave and his father founded Manufacturers Service Co., Inc., combining their expertise and companies. The new company at that time was mainly involved with maintenance sheet metal projects, including industrial ventilation for manufacturers in the Bridgeport, Connecticut area, such as Sikorsky Aircraft, Carpenter Steel, and General Electric.
During the 1970’s Dave quickly realized that many of the projects they worked on needed the same material. He determined the best way to serve the customers was to produce an inventory to pull from rather than make products for each individual job, so they built a warehouse of dust collection and fume collection duct work and blowpipe supplies allowing them to react immediately to get the job done. Because of this, Manufacturers Service Co. became known as the company that could “get the job done”, and helped immensely in building their customer base.
In the 1980’s, the company transitioned out of the installation business entirely and shifted all staff to fabrication. This is when the name “Air Handling Systems” was established along with Manufacturers Service Co., Inc. to better describe exactly what the primary business did. The company began selling fabricated dust collection duct and fittings to sheet metal contractors rather than the end users. In order to increase and diversify its customer base, the company started attending trade shows in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York, demonstrating their inventory and fabricating capability. In 1982 they attended the International Woodworking Fair, their first national trade show, and started targeting the dust collection needs of the woodworking industry and working with various dust collection manufacturers.