RETRO METRO: The Early Years

Today, the name “Metro” is synonymous with “Shelving,” but did you know that Wire Shelving was not our first product line? Metro introduced the first Erecta shelf in 1956, but what many people don't realize is that we have a long-standing history that dates all the way back to 1929.

Metro was founded in November of 1929 by Louis Maslow as Metropolitan Wire Goods Corporation. Maslow, a self-educated engineer and an excellent wire mechanic, had the perception to see the application of wire products within the food service industry. Metro currently holds over 200 patents, but our very first patent was actually for a wire egg beater. Our egg beater patent was filed in December of 1930, with the patent officially being accepted in May of 1933. The initial product line offering of Metropolitan Wire Goods Corporation consisted of small wares for restaurant kitchens. These small wares included various wire whips, draining grates, and baskets. In November 1932, the product line expanded when Metropolitan Wire Goods Corporation pioneered the development of stacking wire dish racks with the introduction of Sani-Stack.

Operating out of a rented loft building located on the West Side of Manhattan, Maslow developed the products, designed the machines to make them, and was personally involved in their marketing and sales. Through perseverance, imagination and effective management, Metro continued to grow and prosper in spite of the depressed economy of the times, to the point where it was necessary to move to a larger facility. In 1939, the company moved to a much larger facility in Brooklyn which permitted room for growth and still was in close proximity to the major New York market.

During World War II, Metro suspended all commercial production to support the U.S. war effort from 1942-1945. At the end of the war, Metro resumed commercial production and continued to supply small wares and Sani-Stack to the food service marketplace.

While Metro no longer manufactures small wares or Sani-Stack, this era is an important part of our history that undoubtedly shaped the company we are today. The foundation of innovation, quality, and service created by Louis Maslow in these early years, helped to put Metro on its path to success. The company remained at its Brooklyn location until it was moved to Wilkes-Barre in 1957, but that’s a story for another time!