Our Companies History
Unistrut Midwest is the corporate entity that encompasses Unistrut branches in Cincinnati, OH, Columbus, OH, Detroit, MI, Dayton, OH, Indianapolis, IN, Toledo, OH, and Covington, Kentucky.
We are still run as a family firm that had its origins in 1974. Jack Ellis started as a sales rep for Unistrut Cincinnati in 1974 and acquired the company in 1975. In 1983, his son Mark joined the firm in sales. In 1989, his son David joined, also in sales.
In 2000, Jack passed away leaving Mark and Dave to run the company. In 2001, Mark and Dave took over distribution for Unistrut Indianapolis. In 2002, Unistrut Toledo was acquired. In 2011, Unistrut Detroit was acquired. In 2016, Unistrut Midwest grew by expansion starting with its Columbus, OH location. Later in 2020, Unistrut Midwest expanded its Cincinnati location with a new Fabrication Division and an additional warehouse location.
In our organization, we have 7 sales professionals with experience ranging from 5 to 30 years with the Unistrut products. Joe Blust (Dayton area) joined Unistrut in 1988. Scott Welch (Unistrut Indianapolis) joined in 1990. Michael Hoff (Unistrut Cincinnati) joined in 2007. Brian Blust (Unistrut Detroit) joined in 2011. Jeff Ring (Unistrut Columbus) joined in 2016 and opened our Columbus location. Ben Sabatino (Chicago area) joined our sales team in 2021, and Rory Moser (Cincinnati/Kentucky area) in 2022. Also, we have specialists in medical support systems, traffic sign supports, computer access floors, Sikla Framo 80, ErectAStep, modular offices, wire mesh partitions, and lockers. We are leading distributors/installers for several well-known companies including Tate Access Floors (2007), Sikla (2011), and ErectAStep (2012).
Our organization is still to this day a family-run firm that began as a small local distributor in 1975. We have grown to become the largest independent Unistrut distributor in the country. We consistently hold the largest inventory of Unistrut products including several hundred thousand feet of channel, over ten thousand fittings, ten thousand feet of grating, fifty thousand feet of Telespar tubing, and much more! Our mission has not changed from 1975 to the present; “We strive to sell a quality product, with quality service.”
A Brief History of Unistrut
Invented around 1920 by Charles Attwood, the Unistrut Metal Framing System was originally referred to as the Attwood System of Frame Construction. His company, DECELECO INC. was later changed to Unistrut Corporation. The original design came from a specific need for efficiently mounting electrical components in large electrical cabinets. The key was development of the Unistrut channel and Unistrut nut. Although developed for electrical applications, Mr. Attwood envisioned using his product for almost any application requiring a structural support frame designed and built in the field. He realized the vast number of applications in construction and industry and began developing a broad range of Unistrut channel, nuts, hardware, fittings and brackets to increase product versatility. One application he developed was a wall framing system. In order to be compatible with standard industry materials, he designed Unistrut channel to be 1-5/8″ wide x 1-5/8″ deep, the same thickness as a common 2 x 4 stud. This was the origin of the 1-5/8″ Unistrut channel dimension now used by strut manufacturers worldwide. As a proof-of-concept project, he constructed an office building at Unistrut Corporation using Unistrut channel as the wall framing material. Unistrut was acquired by Tyco International in 1995 and later sold to Atkore International in 2010.
Although “Unistrut” is a registered trade name and product trademark, many architects, engineers, contractors and industrial users now use “Unistrut” as a generic term for any version of metal framing system that resembles the Unistrut product. There are many poorly made off brands that do exist, so customers should find out who manufactures the “Unistrut” they are using. Many sales clerks do not know what brand of strut they sell, or that there is a difference. Unistrut Metal Framing is the original and is still manufactured right here in the USA.
Unistrut’s famous Mr.Strut logo has it’s own interesting history. Charles Attwood’s personal friend was a well known cartoonist named Walt Disney. Walt Disney presented the original concept for Mr. Strut to Charles Attwood on a cocktail napkin. They liked the concept so well that they agreed to do a short video called “The Sky’s the Limit” Check it out below!