It began in 1943. America was in the midst of its second world war. Here at home, materials were in scarce supply.

Enter three brothers by the name of Bernard Hewitt, Albert and Leon Hersh. They recognized the growing need for supplies, and together, came up with an idea.

Bernard Hewitt, Albert and Leon Hersh

Bernard Hewitt, Albert and Leon Hersh

Plywood crates.

Bernard, Albert and Leon learned that airplane parts were being packaged in plywood crates and sent to a nearby airport. Once the parts were unloaded, the crates were no longer needed, so they were burned.

The brothers saw an opportunity. They paid a quarter per crate, tore them apart, and sold them to lumber yards and furniture makers.

As the war came to an end, the brothers continued to look toward the future. In the early 60’s, they started to sell prefinished wood paneling. At this time, they introduced a new hardwood paneling product called “Ply Gem.” Ply for plywood and Gem for quality.

Rocky Mount plant in the 1950s.

Rocky Mount plant in the 1950s.

In 1968, Ply Gem Industries was born. The company had found its niche. And year after year, Ply Gem realized great success and started to expand through the acquisition of other building supply companies.

With a similar history and shared vision to create quality home exteriors, it’s no surprise that Ply Gem would want to add Simonton Windows to its portfolio of leading brands which already included Mastic Home Exteriors, Variform, Leaf Relief and others. We’re pleased to be a part  of one of North America’s leading exterior building products manufacturers, whose comprehensive range of materials includes nearly everything on the outside of a home – from windows, doors and siding to designer accents, stone veneer, and fence and rail.

You can read about Ply Gem by going to their website.