In the spring of 1956, Dick Meissner received his first sewing contract from Anthony Pools. Working at night in his garage, Dick produced the Anthony McIntosh filter bag. Although residential DE filtration was in its infancy, as the market started to grow Meissner received additional orders, first from Swimquip, then Landon, PacFab and Paddock of California.
By 1959, this part-time venture had grown into Meissner Mfg. Co. Inc., a California corporation with three employees and a 2,000-square-foot building in Van Nuys, Calif. Over the next year, the company doubled in size and by 1962 occupied 6,000 square feet and had five full-time employees.
The development of cartridge filtration presented Dick with his next opportunity. Early cartridge filters were made with a paper-type material that did not hold up well in the swimming pool environment. Realizing the future potential for cartridge filtration, Meissner set out to develop a manufacturing process to enhance this new medium. In 1964, his research paid off when Meissner produced the industry’s first cartridge element utilizing a new spunbonded, 100 percent polyester material called Reemay®. Originally developed by Dupont™ for the apparel market but adapted to cartridge filtration by Meissner, today Reemay® is the primary filter material used throughout the pool and spa industry.
In the early years of cartridge filtration, tanks were manufactured to use individual elements limited to 6 square feet. The filter system achieved its total surface area by manifolding numerous small cartridges together. These early cartridge systems worked extremely well but were difficult to clean and maintain due to the number of elements involved.
Then, in 1972, Meissner worked with the Purex Corp. to develop the industry’s first extended surface cartridge element to offer a 100 square-foot filter system using only three individual cartridges. This concept quickly caught on and single element 25, 50 and 75 square foot filter systems utilizing Meissner cartridges were soon introduced by American Products, Baker Hydro, Hayward, Premier, Sta-Rite and others. By 1984, Meissner elements, both DE and cartridge, were in virtually every major brand filter system on the market.
In 1985, while maintaining its core OEM business as a private-label program, Meissner introduced the Unicel brand replacement filter elements. Under the Unicel label, the entire spectrum of replacement cartridges was made available to wholesale distributors from a single source. Filter manufacturers benefited because dealers and service technicians could quickly obtain any replacement cartridge from their local wholesaler, even if that distributor did not carry the original brand of equipment. In addition, because Unicel elements were built to OEM specifications, consumers could feel confident their replacement element would fit and perform as originally designed.
Today, Meissner Mfg. Co. Inc. and Unicel occupy 150,000 square feet in Chatsworth, Calif., to manufacture and maintain a large inventory of finished products. Commitment to our customers is also coupled with a commitment to our employees to keep their jobs in the USA — nearly 25% of our staff has been employed for more than 25 years. For more than 50 years, we have offered the highest quality products, the fastest turn-around time, and the most responsive customer service team in the filter business.
Always has. Always will.