Butler Manufacturing™ is a building-solutions company providing the design, manufacture and marketing of a proprietary building system for commercial construction. Butler systems play a part in buildings within the commercial, community, industrial and agricultural markets. And with services such as BlueScope Construction, Butler goes beyond the manufacture of steel building systems by offering full-service turnkey construction solutions.
Through the Years
Building a better stock tank by carefully constructing durable preassembled tanks from copper-bearing galvanized steel that wouldn't rust or leak was the idea Emanuel Norquist was perfecting when he met Charles Butler in Clay Center, Kansas. Butler was a risk taker and not one to let a good idea sit idle. When he saw Norquist's new steel stock tank, Butler also saw enormous untapped sales opportunities. These two friends believed the product had great market potential, and with an entrepreneurial will to win, they formed a common vision of what might be possible if a partnership was formed. Both Butler and Norquist had the courage to take economic risks in order to pursue their goal. Homes were sold and jobs were lost, but with the financial help of Charles' brother, Newton, Butler Manufacturing Company was launched in 1901.
The First Butler® Building
In 1909, Emanuel Norquist needed to shelter the Metz automobile he was about to finish assembling. His brother Victor decided to construct a small garage. Using the materials he knew best, he designed and built an all-steel framework to which were bolted corrugated galvanized-steel culvert sheets that gave the garage an arched roof and lasting strength. Butler Manufacturing Company recognized growing demand from the public for sturdy garages. So this design was modified to be more cost-effective, and by 1910, the first Butler® building was sold to corporate secretary Fred Rufi. That first building was used in central Kansas City for more than 45 years. When Butler introduced a sturdy two-car version of the garage, the market response was immediate, and Butler Manufacturing Company was in the building business for keeps.