In 1914, Adolph G. Miller founded the All Metal Company. At that time, a large portion of his business came from the automobile industry. The young company was immediately recognized for producing high quality parts, enabling Miller to secure contracts with the Springfield based Rolls Royce Company for production of fenders, hoods, and door panels.
In December 1922, Adolph set his company apart from all local competition by embracing the new innovative technology of the time. The All Metal Company began to offer enameling for cars. At that time, enameling was considered to be the highest point of perfection in the automobile industry.
Business continued to boom as a result of offering enameling. The growth forced the All Metal Company to seek out a facility that could contain the perpetually growing nine year old company.
In October 1927, Adolph decided to change the name of the company. The All Metal Company would be formally changed to A.G. Miller Company, named after its founder, Adolph Gustav Miller.
On Wednesday, October 23, 1929, the stock market crashed bringing A.G. Miller into financial ruin. Adolph lost nearly everything. At this time Rolls Royce abandoned their operations in Springfield and took their business with them, leaving Adolph with a fraction of the business he once had. Adolph worked hard to keep his employees employed, going as far as paying them with his own savings. However, due to financial stress, he was forced to layoff his staff one by one.
In 1939, the company began to crawl out of the Depression. The A.G. Miller Company was officially a family business. Following his father’s footsteps, Fredrick William Miller began working in sheet metal and joined his father’s company.
In the 1950s, A.G. Miller’s son, Frederick W. Miller, began to expand the company to meet the demands of the industrial boom. This trend continued through the 1960s.
At the age of eighty seven, Adolph Gustav Miller passed away on Memorial Day, 1968. His death marked the passing of the company from his hands entirely to his son’s.
The A.G. Miller Company became the first sheet metal fabricator in the northeast to obtain a Numerically Controlled Turret Punch Press.
Frederick Miller’s youngest child, Rick, began working full time during the summer after his freshman year of high school. At the age of thirteen years old, Rick began his education in the sheet metal industry and the family business.
April 12, 1981 marked the start of a new chapter in space exploration: the launch of Space Shuttle Columbia. A.G. Miller was on board and manufactured several sheet metal components for the NASA program.
Rick Miller, grandson of A.G. Miller, was named President in 1989 and continued the founder’s commitment to be a leader in the industry. He brought the company into the computer age and maintained state of the art capabilities. Laser cutting, powder coating, and ISO registration were just a few examples of how A.G. Miller Company stayed on the cutting edge of the metal fabricating industry.
On May 13th, 1990, A.G. Miller Company Inc. opened a new chapter unveiling its most recent addition to its Batavia Street Facility. But as the next chapter began, another came to an end. Frederick Miller passed away at the age of sixty nine years old.
Sales were flat for several years, and A.G. Miller’s dominant position in the local industry was endangered. The situation needed changes, and Rick Miller saw that change in the form of an investment in innovation. He would invest $400,000 into laser cutting technology, buying a state of the art laser to help maximize production and clearly set A.G. Miller apart from their competition. The laser was one of the first in the area.
The company invested in a new Computer Numerically Controlled, or CNC, Punch Press. It was the largest, fastest, most accurate punch press on the market. The new purchase marked A.G. Miller’s return to its dominant position in the sheet metal industry. That same year the company was awarded the honor of Turnaround Company of the Year by the Corporation for Business, Work, and Learning.
The company was again on the rise as they began to offer powder coating. A.G. Miller invested a quarter million dollars into an electro-static powered system built to a large scale in order to support projects varying from the very small to the extraordinarily large. The new addition was driven by the tremendous demand for the now FCC mandated digital television transmitters.
America’s military called upon A.G. Miller, who was contracted directly by the Department of Defense, to manufacture thousands of replacement parts varying from muffler brackets to simple hinges. The units would be used in the maintenance and repairs of United States Army M1 Abrams Tanks.
A.G. Miller would not be invulnerable to recession. Forced to downsize, the company took pride in its ability to retain all of its skilled workers. The company would be able to recover by 2009. Having weathered so well, business returned as a result of A.G. Miller being one of the few in the industry to survive.
A.G. Miller worked with researchers from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in a joint project which would require over 600 man hours from A.G. Miller alone to construct six massive containers. The resulting containers would be used at MIT’s Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO). In the same year, A.G. Miller also received its International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) registration through the United States State Department. The registration allowed for greater opportunity in defense contracts and further projects with already established partners and contractors.
Returning to the field of science, A.G. Miller completed a two year project for a Switzerland based company focusing in DNA analysis. A.G. Miller would provide frames, panels, doors, and chassis to support some extraordinary technology. The highly precise work would be used to compliment highly precise technologies used to analyze components of DNA by extracting everything from blood samples to DNA itself. The specifications demanded nearly absolute perfection, something A.G. Miller has established a reputation for.
In April 2014, A.G. Miller celebrated its 100th anniversary. Festivities included open hours of the Batavia Street facility and a catered celebration serving traditional German foods. The event remembered the company’s triumphs and progress, without forgetting its German roots. As visitors looked back at the success of days past, the promise of tomorrow and A.G. Miller’s future became the focus and a celebration of what may lay ahead for this company in the next 100 years to come.