Sandee Manufacturing Company was incorporated in 1941 by founder Elmer Szantay. He named his company after his daughter Dee (hence San-Dee). From its start, Sandee was a pioneer in creating new plastic products and processes, and Szantay helped create a new manufacturing technique called plastic extrusion.
During the war years, Sandee developed and produced the first plastic garden hose. Continually pushing the creative edge, the company sought to enter the rapidly expanding toy market of the late 1940s. The toy industry, however, was then dominated by wood and metal, and plastic toys were considered revolutionary and risky. Today, all that remains of Elmer Szantay's toy dreams are the engineering drawings located in our front lobby.(Interestingly enough, the toys depicted in those drawings are currently available in toy stores around the world.)
Sandee soon received patents for several prismatic lens diffusers used in the growing fluorescent lighting market. The commercial lighting market has continued to be an integral part of the company's business since 1950. During the 1960s, the company moved to its current Chicagoland location.
In the late 1970s, Sandee's ability to produce large, irregular profiles made the company an essential supplier to the growing point-of-purchase display industry. In 1978, the company was purchased by a group of employees. A few years later, Sandee made a significant addition to its capabilities, expanding to the West Coast and opening Sandee Plastic Extrusions in Paramount, California.
In the mid-1980s Sandee continued to innovate, becoming one of the first plastic companies to utilize CAD (computer-aided design) and CNC (computer numerically controlled) equipment to build in-house tooling.
In 2006, a team of longtime Sandee employees took ownership of the firm—the fourth generation of employee management, continuing the proud Sandee history of being owned and operated by experienced extrusion professionals.
The beginning of the 21st century has seen the company providing employees the most intensive education and training programs in our long history. Our educated and dedicated work force will enable Sandee to continue to lead the industry into the future.