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Preferred Utilities Celebrates Centennial

Aug. 27, 2020
FROM THE SEPTEMBER ISSUE: Connecticut boiler firm reaches rare milestone, charts future with renewable fuels.


Preferred Utilities Manufacturing Corporation, a Danbury, CT-based maker of engineered fuel oil equipment and systems including boilers, burners, and controls, celebrated its 100th anniversary this summer.

A century ago, brothers Gerald and Richard Bohn, oil heating engineers by trade, had anticipated the need for equipment and accessories designed for the burgeoning oil industry. By 1927, their Oil Burning Accessory Catalog was a major success. They ran their business out of Times Square in New York City with manufacturing operations on Long Island. Over the coming years, they grew both their product offerings and their industry expertise.

The Bohn brothers designed and patented a range of vital equipment that was used during World War II. This included Gerald’s innovative anti-siphon valve, as well as oil heaters and seat-warmers for U.S. Sherman tanks. Preferred Utilities Manufacturing is particularly proud of its wartime legacy involving the outfitting of heavy ocean liners with fuel equipment during World War II. For that reason, the firm has kept the image of a boat in its logo ever since.

After the war, Preferred in 1946 built a manufacturing facility in Danbury, CT, which now serves as the company’s national headquarters and home of its manufacturing and engineering operations. Over the course of the last century, Preferred has acquired numerous related businesses that have allowed it to expand product lines to include control systems, boiler monitoring instruments, tank gauges, and a full line of equipment designed to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of boiler operations.

In 1980, the Preferred Engineering division was formed to serve the nuclear industry and to improve safety during outages (and to shorten their duration). Today, Preferred Utilities Manufacturing Corporation is also an industry leader in developing boilers and controls that utilize alternative fuels to increase the use of renewable resources and to support environmental responsibility.

“Few companies are able to reach a milestone like 100 years in business,” said David Bohn, Preferred’s president and CEO. “We are proud of our legacy, and we’re also proud that we’ve developed technology that’s kept us on the cutting edge for decades. What we’re doing right now to support the use of renewable fuels is groundbreaking. That’s what is going to propel us into our next century.”

Mr. Bohn represents the third generation of the Bohn family to head Preferred Utilities Manufacturing, and his daughter and two sons now work there, as well. Preferred has grown to employ nearly 100 people, and it operates sales and service offices across the country. They remain committed to the Danbury community, supporting the Danbury Hospital and Danbury Music Center among its many local charitable endeavors.

On July 31, Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton was among the guests at the company’s outdoor, Covid-19-conscious celebration. The Mayor presented Bohn with an executive proclamation from the City of Danbury, commending its success especially in addressing environmental needs in the industrial sector and its support of the Danbury community.

Specifically, the proclamation praised Preferred’s family-owned commitment “to sustainable and environmentally conscious solutions for our future, including  renewable fuels and energy savings. The corporation converted its 50,000+ sq.-ft. facility to a renewable fuel, greatly reducing the company’s carbon footprint.”


For more about the 100-year history of Preferred Utilities Manufacturing Corporation, as well as its products and services, visit http://www.preferred-mfg.com.