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Brief History of Slatwall

Republished by permission

Jay Hogfeldt, CEO of Wind Mill Slatwall Products

by J.B. Hogfeldt

Owner and CEO of Wind Mill Slatwall Products

Slatwall for the retail industry was patented in 1966 by H.E. Graham of Claremont, CA, under patent #3,235,218 and entitled Article Display Board. The patent describes the invention as such: "my invention relates to display boards or panels and more particularly to and article-display board for hanging salable merchandise, household articles or other items for display or utilitarian purposes. It serves purposes similar to those of the well known apertured panel of the Peg Board type, but is a distinct improvement thereon."

It is thought that Mr. Graham gave up enforcing his patent since any cabinet shop or store fixture manufacturer could easily fabricate Slatwall with common woodworking equipment. However, it was a very arduous and time consuming process - using table saws and jigs for gluing and stapling each "slat" onto a sheet of ΒΌ" plywood.

Amcraft Fixture Company of Seffner, Florida was the first company in the US to specialize in manufacturing Slatwall. Amcraft trademarked the name Bracket Board, however it quickly became known as Slatwall.

Slatwall for retail display started becoming popular in the late 70's long after the patent expired. In the early 80's several more companies started specializing in the manufacturing of Slatwall, including Wind Mill - 1980.

The demand for the product spurned the development of high speed production machines and diamond tooling. Today a standard Slatwall panel can be machined in 32 seconds. CNC machining centers produce custom Slatwall panels for the unique look retailers desire.

Slatwall has become a mainstay for retail display as it gives retailers versatility in displaying their products in a decorative format of their choice. In recent years Slatwall has found its way into the home and garage organizational markets. Slatwall for garage use is becoming more popular and is rapidly replacing pegboard.

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