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Draper History

Draper has manufactured quality products since 1902.


In the Beginning

  • 1902: Luther O. Draper established the Draper Shade Company in Spiceland, Indiana, a small town located 40 miles east of the state capital of Indianapolis. Draper starts the company to deal with a problem: the sun’s heat and glare is affecting teachers and students in Midwest schools. His solution: spring-roller window shades.
  • 1918: Mr. Draper’s son-in-law, Elmer Pidgeon, joins the company. Mr. Draper will later become a prominent state politician and Elmer Pidgeon will assume management of the company in 1938.
  • 1922: Draper moves into new building at current location on the southern edge of town.
  • 1940: Elmer Pidgeon's son, Luther, joins the firm.

1950s

  • 1957: Luther Pidgeon, grandson of Luther Draper, invents a new and uniquely durable classroom projection screen.

1960s

  • 1960: Luther Pidgeon becomes company president, continuing in that capacity until his death in July 2004.

1970s

  • 1977: With the addition of two new portable screens Draper becomes a full competitor in the screen industry.

1980s

  • 1984: Draper becomes the first screen manufacturer to introduce a video screen product line.
  • 1986: Draper introduces its first electric projector lift and begins diversifying its product line.
  • 1989: Draper introduces FlexShade Systems, a second line of window shades designed for the commercial market.

1990s

  • 1995: Draper enters the gymnasium equipment market, eventually becoming the largest manufacturer of gymnasium equipment in the United States.

A New Century

  • 2000: Draper launches lean manufacturing initiative.
  • 2000: Draper Acquires Swedish mount manufacturer SMS.
  • 2004: John Pidgeon becomes president of Draper.
  • 2013: Draper introduces Solar Control Solutions. This line of architectural shading products provides precision control over the natural daylight entering the building, excellent energy savings, and interesting façade design options.
  • 2017: Draper launches a new range of Mounts and Structures for displays. This includes custom structures, frames, mounts, and trim for any type of digital display, plus kiosks and more.
  • 2019: Chris Broome becomes the fourth descendant of Luther Draper to be named company president.
  • 2021: Draper introduces the [email protected] range of residential products.

Locations

The corporate headquarters of Draper, Inc. are located in Spiceland, Indiana with an additional sales office in Fullerton, California. Draper also has a wholly-owned subsidiary in Sweden: SMS Evoko Group AB, a leading European provider of audiovisual products and meeting space technology solutions. Click here for a list of our locations and contact information.

Draper products are shipped to dealers throughout the United States and more than 100 countries around the world.

A brief history in photos

Click a thumbnail below to launch the gallery.

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