1894—Silk Fiber Manufacturing
Founder of Gentex
Gentex’s capabilities and technologies have evolved significantly from its early silk fiber lineage as the Klots Throwing Company of Carbondale, Pennsylvania. Originally located in New York, the company's silk throwing plant, owned by Henry Durrell Klots, burned down in 1894. In response, Klots' bookkeeper, Marcus Frieder, suggested rebuilding the company's production facility in Carbondale, PA, to engage an untapped workforce—the wives and daughters of local coal miners. Klots agreed and named Marcus Frieder manager of the new plant. He was eventually promoted to General Manager and, upon Klots' death in 1914, was named president of the company.