We trace our roots back to 1887, when McCray was founded in Kendallville, Indiana, by Mr. Elmer E McCray. Realizing the need to cut down the tremendous loss from food spoilage and to protect the public as well, McCray and his father built a cold storage room and in 1882 received a patent for their invention. McCray specialized in Wooden Ice Displays.
Howard was founded in 1949 by Albert Fogel and set up a factory in Philadelphia, PA moving to a new facility in 1961 at Grant Avenue when Albert’s son Howard Jeffrey Fogel (Jeff) joined the company.
In August of 1973 – Litton Industries announced the closure of McCray in Kendallville, IN and closed the factory in March of 1974. Litton sold all the assets of McCray except for the McCray Trademark. After being in business since 1887 – it brought to closure – the first known commercial refrigeration company in North America.
During 1974 – Albert & Jeff saw the market changing for Howard. The company was completing an order for Burger King (Undercounter) and Glass doors (Dr. Pepper) and competition was growing in these categories - Under counters & glass doors. Howard had NO Display Case Deli or Open Merchandisers to offer.
In August of 1975 – Albert Fogel met with the Litton Team in Kendallville, IN to inquire about obtaining the “McCray Name”.
Jeff Fogel stated: “My father visited the old McCray factory in August 1975, and everything was gone – nothing left in the old McCray factory – no fixtures, no machines & no people”. “So, my father & I decided to buy the McCray name– which we did in late August of 1975” The McCray trademark was assigned from Litton to Howard Refrigerator Company on 8/29/1975 according to the US Patent & Trademark office.