Water Filtration—Unique Solutions
In 1901, inventor George Kneuper patented a new filter medium which used molecular attraction to remove microscopic particles from water. He named this material “Filtrine” and founded the Filtrine Manufacturing Company in a small brick building in Brooklyn, NY. Mr. Kneuper’s filters were soon installed in many of the new high-rise office buildings in Manhattan. Gradually Filtrine developed a reputation as the engineer’s choice for drinking and process water filtration around the country.
Water purification is only part of the story.
In 1918, Mr. Kneuper sold the company to Charles Hansel, a successful civil engineer in New York City. Under the leadership of his son, Charles F. Hansel, Filtrine produced one of the first electric coolers in 1925 and introduced the storage-type cooling tank still featured on all Filtrine chillers. The coil-in-tank evaporator proved to be virtually freeze-proof. This appealed to major compressor manufacturers such as Carrier, York and Frigidaire who began specifying Filtrine cooling tanks with their condensing units.
Process Chilling—Advanced Engineering
During the 1930’s and 40’s Filtrine entered the field of process cooling developing the first packaged units for film processing and dough making. Working closely with the U.S. Army engineers during World War II Filtrine designed a batchtype ingredient water chiller for government bakeries. This new type of chiller provided quality control for much of the bread consumed by the U.S.military throughout the world. It continues to be popular today with food processing companies.
In the 1950’s, the next generation of Hansels, John P. and Charles F. Jr., moved the company into larger quarters in Waldwick, NJ. There they introduced the first stainless steel drinking water fountains. One model, the 107-16, was designed in collaboration with a leading architect, Minoru Yamasaki, who designed the World Trade Center. Looking for a fountain shaped like Aladdin’s lamp, Mr. Yamasaki called on Filtrine to develop it. John Hansel continued to lead the company for the next fifty years as it outgrew plants in Waldwick and Harrisville, NH.
Filtrine Manufacturing Company Today
Filtrine is now located in a modern 100,000 square foot facility in Keene, NH. Working toward reducing its carbon foot print, Filtrine was proud to receive the first City of Keene’s Green Business of the Year Award in 2010. In 2010 it put in a solar hot-water system for its test facility and in 2013 the company turned the switch on its new 30 KWP solar array set on its factory roof. After receiving a Renewable Energy grant in 2017 from the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission (PUC), Filtrine installed a Biomass Thermal heating system at its plant cutting down on fossil fuel usage by more than 90%.
The current generation of Hansels are committed to continuing a tradition of quality products with a focus on sustainability, promoting the health of its employees as a Healthy Monadnock 2020 Organizational Champion and supporting the community through organizations like the Monadnock United Way and the Greater Keene Chamber of Commerce (GKCC). Filtrine has partnered with local educational institutions including Antioch University New England, Cheshire Career Center, Keene Community Education Program and Keene State College.
The prestigious Greater Keene Chamber of Commerce (GKCC) 2016 Windsor Brooks Business of the Year Award was given to Filtrine in recognition of an outstanding contribution to the economic strength, community health, and social well being of the greater Keene area. In 2017, Filtrine received the NH Business Committee for Art’s Business in the Arts Award for its “outstanding support of the arts through donations of time, money and resources.” Filtrine is one of 5 local companies awarded the 2017-2019 and 2018-2019 Monadnock United Way (MUW) Summit Awards for achieving the highest per capita giving in an established employee campaign, and the 2018-19 Enterprise Award for companies conducting campaigns with an exceptional level of creativity and enthusiasm.
Filtrine was named to Forbes Small Giants of 2019. Companies are selected based on “six common qualities: purpose, leadership, culture, finance, relationships, and community.” Visit Small Giants Community for details.
Its product line has continued to grow along with its reputation. Filtrine’s products are designed to reduce energy consumption and the waste of valuable resources. Backed by the best warranties and customer service available in the industry, they are built with pride in the United States.