Zimmerman Metals is a privately owned, 3rd generation family business. We are proud to have been a part of our employees’ lives over the years, and thankful for their efforts. Without them, the company would not be where it is today.
The one person that brought everyone together to start Zimmerman Metals is our founder, William George Zimmerman (Bill). Bill was born in Bammental, Germany. In 1923 at the age of 18, Bill completed a four year apprenticeship in ornamental metals. At that time, Germany was experiencing enormous inflation. With old-world training and visions of a better life, Bill immigrated to the United States.
Bill’s First Job
Bill’s first job in the United States was as a mechanic (ironworker) at August Friedrich’s Ornamental Shop in Denver. He moved up the ranks to eventually become the shop supervisor.
In 1936, in the middle of the Great Depression, Bill started his own company in a garage with around $300. He wrote down a list of what he could buy with the money: an anvil, hammers, tongs, etc. They were humble beginnings. Bill’s first job was to build a handrail for his sister’s house.
The Speer Boulevard Building
The company quickly grew, so Bill built and moved into a new building at 2800 Speer Boulevard. During this time after World War II, Bill spent some of his efforts offering jobs to master craftsmen from his homeland of Germany.
Some fairly iconic projects were produced out of the Speer plant. Bill lived near Lakeside and the company made the Stainless Steel Train that still runs around the lake. He was also fortunate enough to be on the first ride of the Cyclone Roller Coaster.
The Later Years
By 1952, Bill was able to purchase about half of the land at Zimmerman Metals’ present location, and in 1956, the first part of today’s plant was constructed.
Bill continued to work at the company into the 1970’s. Even though he had a lot of office work to do, he still found time for what he loved – working on ornamental metals in the shop with his overalls on. By all accounts, Bill never let go of the $300 list he had used when he started, and still had it in his desk in the 1970’s.