A pioneer in plumbing technology. Sustainability in our DNA. Four generations of family. And we’re just getting started.
William Elvis Sloan establishes Sloan Valve Company in 1906 in Chicago, ushering in the modern plumbing era with his invention of the revolutionary manual Royal® Flushometer. The Royal Flushometer is the first of its kind, designed to replace tank and chain fixtures. Unlike its predecessors, it requires less water and energy—a reliable flush unaffected by gravity.
After a somewhat rocky start, Sloan flushometer sales increase from $44,000 in 1912 to $385,000 in 1916. The company undergoes a period of rapid growth after WWI, hiring key staff and developing new products and marketing efforts that help establish Sloan as an innovative leader in manufacturing.
The company weathers the stock market crash of 1929 better than most, but does not see profits rise again until after 1933. As many of the nation’s businesses shutter, William Elvis Sloan takes a 50% pay cut to help the company stay afloat.
During WWII, peacetime plumbing switches—almost exclusively—to wartime materials like artillery fuses, for which the company earns the Army-Navy E Award. As men go off to fight, women enter the factories, eventually comprising 85% of Sloan’s workforce. Despite postwar recession fears, Sloan picks up right where it left off to rebuild its leadership position for the next two decades.