Watlow was founded by Louis Desloge Sr. in 1922, first manufacturing electric heating elements for the shoe industry. Louis came from one of the oldest French American families in the US. His grandfather, Firmin René Desloge, emigrated into Missouri in 1823. During the American Civil War in 1861, Firmin moved to St. Louis where Watlow would later be born inside of a rented corner on the second floor of a machine shop
1930's - 1940's
From the mid 1920's up to the early 1930's, Watlow built its first factory and began pioneering traditional heating elements. In 1945, Watlow finally started selling its products outside the US.
1950's - 1960's
After expanding into a 15,000 sq. foot facility in 1950, Watlow soon opened another facility in California. George, son of Louis Desloge and inventor of the popular FIREROD®, helped bring Watlow into the aerospace industry, as he held a degree in aerospace engineering from Notre Dame.
In 1961, a new 30,000 sq. foot facility was built in St. Louis. Shortly after Watlow entered the nuclear power plant industry, that 30,000 sq. foot facility transformed into a 95,000 sq. foot facility in 1969.
1970's - 1980's
In 1972, Watlow opened up a new facility in Hannibal, Missouri, and in 1973 opened its first international facility in Weihner, West Germany. A new sales office in Nottingham, England was built in 1987, and in 1989 the company expands to Kronau, West Germany.
Just a year later in 1988 another sales office was built in France and a new 170,000 sq. foot facility in Hannibal, Missouri. In 1989, Watlow began manufacturing in Great Britain, opening a new sales office in Kaohsuing, Taiwan, and building a new plant in Decorah, Iowa.
In 1976, Watlow purchased Waynco Inc. of Winona, Minnesotat which is today their Electronics and Communications division. In 1985, they acquired Claud S. Gordon Company of Richmond, Illinois, (the nation's leading manufacturer of temperature measurement devices), which now acts as Watlow's sensor line manufacturing facility.
1990's - 2000's
In 1995, Watlow Shanghai launched to help support mainland China. In 1997, a new sales office in Japan opened, and Watlow Korea Co., Ltd. was created in Seol. Watlow then expanded into Australia in 1999.
From 2000 to 2012, Watlow's global reach pressed on, expanding to Singapore, Madrid, and India. Today, Watlow maintains consistent expansion around the world while retaining the master quality of its products.