FEDERAL HEATH IS CELEBRATING

120 YEARS

It is with great pride that we announce our 120th year in business. Since our inception in 1901, we have grown and evolved beyond measure, having the honor of being one of the most successful sign and visual communications companies in the country. We take this time to honor our employees, customers, and suppliers, who have contributed significantly to our success over these many years. As we celebrate this distinguished accomplishment, so few others have achieved, we look forward in anticipation and eagerness to our continued, prosperous future.

1900's - 1930's

Federal Electric Company was founded in 1901 by John F. Gilchrist, John H. Goehst (both of Commonwealth Edison), and James Gilchrist. Initially seeing signs as a good way to advertise and protect businesses while consuming electricity, they quickly left the utility company and founded the sign company. Eventually, they offered new and diverse products such as sirens, fuses, vacuum cleaners, and washing machines. The company incorporated in New York as Federal Sign Systems Electric in 1905 and began publicly trading stock. During World War I, it transitioned into various divisions of Federal Sign and Signal Corporation because of the corporation's product innovation. The sign group eventually became Federal Sign, a division of Federal Signal Corporation.

  • Jan 25, 2021

    1901

    Federal Electric Company, Inc. was chartered on March 25.

  • Jan 25, 2021

    1905

    Opened New York office under the name Federal Sign System Electric. Began manufacturing electric lighting fixtures for indoor use.

  • Jan 25, 2021

    1915

    Acquired patent for electric sirens from R.P. Hartenstein.

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    1924

    After Georges Claude, a French scientist, developed a process in the mid−20s that enabled gaseous neon tube production, neon soon became the primary method of providing sign lighting, identification and advertising.

1900's - 1930's in photos

1940's - 1970's

A few years later, in 1948 when Wayne Heath founded Heath and Company in Los Angeles. Wayne was a designer by trade and his ability to create and build unique signs paved the way for the company to proliferate during the 50s and 60s. Its innovative designs and products resulted in its recognition as an emerging leader in the industry and naturally led to larger national clients' pursuit.

Fischbach Corporation acquired Heath in 1968, followed the next year by the purchases of Liberty Sign Company in Dallas and Artkraft Sign Company in Oldsmar, a Tampa suburb. Heath continued to gain national recognition in the 1970s and established a national maintenance center to serve its client’s maintenance needs. A Las Vegas office opened during these years, and soon Heath was fabricating and installing landmark signs in Las Vegas and Reno.

  • Jan 25, 2021

    1944

    A focus on WWII production needs gained Federal the Army-Navy Production Award for Meritorious and Distinguished Service.

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    1948

    Name changed to Federal Enterprises, Inc. when ITT acquired the name Federal Electric Company.

    Wayne Heath founded Heath and Company in Los Angeles, CA.

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    1968

    Fischbach Corp acquired Heath and Company.

    Federal acquired Nu-Art Sign Company and Starlite Neon Sign Company.

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    1969

    Heath acquired Artkraft Sign (Florida) and Liberty Sign ( Texas) and establishes national presence.

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    1976

    Federal sold remaining outdoor billboard business.

1940's - 1970's in photos

1980's - 2010's

In the 80s, Heath not only fabricated one of the first major bank conversion projects (600 locations) and began developing its program management skills to better service multi−location accounts. By the end of the century, Heath and Company had plants and offices throughout the country. During the late 80s, Federal Sign acquired several smaller companies, including Melweb in Florida and Sign Systems, Inc., (SSI) in Las Vegas. The company’s now national presence enabled it to successfully manage large custom projects such as sports stadium scoreboards, major casino signs, and theme park signage. Additionally, its geographic positioning was well suited to managing significant national and international multi−location projects for retail, corporate ID, and hospitality clients.

In 1996 a private equity group acquired Heath, and Ken and Diane Hendricks were among its investors, becoming its majority owners in 2001. As the century turned into the 21st, a spin-off of Federal Sign from Federal Signal Corporation was announced, and the sale of Federal Sign to Ken and Diane Hendricks was finalized on April 30, 2003. The Hendricks were significant private investors in several companies, the largest holding being ABC Supply, a distributor of construction and building materials. With the purchase of Federal Sign, the Hendricks combined the two companies to create privately held Federal Heath Sign Company, LLC. Over the next three years, Federal Heath acquired select assets and hired former employees of Zimmerman Sign (2005) Sign Strut Milwaukee (2006). Ken Hendricks passed away after a tragic accident in December 2007. In 2015, Federal Heath acquired Duracolor, LLC and Advance Graphic Systems' select assets in 2019, which added printed graphics to its capabilities. Today, Diane M. Hendricks Enterprises is the single owner of Federal Heath Sign Company.

  • Jan 25, 2021

    1981

    Federal acquired State Sign Services of Houston, TX. Introduced FEDLite energy saving lighting. Moved the electronic display operations to enlarge Arlington facility.

  • Jan 25, 2021

    1987

    Federal acquired QRS Neon Corporation and Manchester Tool Company. Instituted
    computerized design, estimating, and manufacturing.

  • Jan 25, 2021

    1988

    Federal acquired Melweb, Sign Systems Inc. and Claude Federal Sign.

  • Jan 25, 2021

    1996

    Heath acquired by a private equity group including Ken & Diane Hendricks.

  • Jan 25, 2021

    2001

    Heath and Company reorganized as Heath Sign Company, LLC.

  • Jan 25, 2021

    2003

    Heath Sign Co. acquired Federal Sign and is combined into one entity by Hendricks.

  • Jan 25, 2021

    2005

    Zimmerman Sign acquired by Federal Heath, expanding product offerings to the petroleum market.

  • Jan 25, 2021

    2006

    Milwaukee Sign Strut acquired.

  • Jan 25, 2021

    2011

    Federal Heath enters the Digital Signage market.

  • Jan 25, 2021

    2015

    DuraColor is acquired to increase digital printing capabilities.

  • Jan 25, 2021

    2016

    Federal Heath updates its brand and logo to reflect its wide array of products and services as Federal Heath – Visual Communications.

  • Jan 25, 2021

    2019

    Advance Graphic Systems is acquired to strengthen interior décor, design, and graphic solutions.

1980's - 2010's in photos

2020 and Beyond. . .

We want to say thank you to all of our employees, customers, and suppliers, who have contributed significantly to our success over the years.

Contact us today to get started on your project.