J.T. Thorpe and Son, Inc. is the single largest manufacturer, engineer, and installer of industrial refractory materials in North America. The company specializes in refractor materials used in both fireproofing and for acid resistance. They are known for the turnkey solutions to satisfy customers on an international level. J.T. Thorpe and Son credit their success to professionalism and expert project management.
The company, also known as JTT, was established in 1906. The impetus for its founding was the great earthquake in San Francisco that occurred earlier in the year. During the company’s first two years, the business was built up through the commercial sector. JTT built their first industrial products, furnaces, in 1908 for Standard Oil. After this, J.T. Thorpe and Son concentrated their efforts in the industrial market, manufacturing products for the energy production industry, oil refineries, and the marine industry. Service was performed out of their office in Emeryville, California, as they focused only on industries located in the San Francisco Bay area. Over the years, as the company became well-established, it expanded as new power plants and refineries were built in Northern California.
J.T. Thorpe and Son began to concentrate more on engineering during the 1980s. They focused on large-design building projects, but continued to their service and maintenance division. As JTT shifted its focus, they abandoned their original office in Emeryville and moved to Richmond, California, in 1988. It is estimated that refinery engineering constituted 75 percent of the company’s business at the time.
It was not until the 1990s that JTT began to expand its horizons outside their local market. A Los Angeles office was opened in 1991, and two other offices were opened in Tucson and Salt Lake City in 1993. They began to perform refinery maintenance at sites nationwide during this time. Today, J.T. Thorpe and Son is highly diversified and working throughout North America. Their primary industries are energy production, mineral processing, and refineries. They take on jobs both large and small, ranging from work costing just a few hundred dollars to multi-million dollar projects.
At one time, J.T. Thorpe and Son used large amounts of asbestos for its ability as a heat insulator. They continue to work in fireproofing today, but now use only materials deemed safe by the U.S. government.