75 Anniversary


Company Anniversary

This year Maxitrol celebrates its 75th anniversary. Join us as we take a look at the most important events in Maxitrol’s history. From 1946 through today, Maxitrol has kept a tradition of innovation and quality to become an inter­na­tionally recog­nized leader in gas pressure regulators/governors, electronic gas modulation systems, combi­nation gas control valves, and gas safety devices.

Frank Kern Jr. (picture circa 1962)


  • 1946: Frank Kern Jr. purchased Detroit Regulator Co. in 1946. At that time the company was a small machine shop producing a line of gas pressure regulators, model airplane engines, and servicing the local auto industry.

  • 1948: Detroit Regulator Co. is awarded a patent for its Straight-Thru-Flow (STF) regulator design. This was the first signif­icant pressure regulator design improvement in more than a century.  The new regulator was given the name of “Maxitrol” (MaximumControl).


  • 1953: In August 1953, the company’s name was changed to Maxitrol Company to reflect its growing emphasis on gas pressure regulator production.

  • 1954: The new poppet design regulator was intro­duced. The poppet regulators were designed primarily for main burner and pilot load applications.

  • 1956: To meet the increasing demand for the new regulators, production was moved to Colon, Michigan.

  • 1959: Selectra electronic gas flame modulation system is developed.




Maxitrol Moves to Southfield, 1960


  • 1960: The Maxitrol company moves its headquarters from its original location in Detroit, Michigan to a larger, modern facility in Southfield, Michigan.

  • 1961: To meet the growing demand for the new range of regulators, Maxitrol adds a manufac­turing facility in Blissfield, Michigan.

  • 1962: Maxitrol intro­duces a new balanced valve regulator series. The balance valve design makes it possible to maintain steady outlet pressure control with widely varying inlet pressures.

  • 1965: Maxitrol enters the European market with the founding of Maxitrol Company mbH in Senden, Germany.

  • 1966: Maxitrol develops the 325 series of lever-acting design regulators. The regulators are capable of precise control from full flow down to pilot flow on residential, commercial, and indus­trial applications.


  • 1971: Maxitrol marks its 25th anniversary by opening a new Senden, Germany facility. The new office and production facility is constructed to serve the growing European gas appliance market.
  • 1975: U.S. regulator production reaches 20 million units.

Maxitrol Facility in Senden, Germany


Groundbreaking Ceremony, 1997, Thale, Germany

Richtfest in Thale, Germany, 1997


  • 1993: In 1993, Maxitrol increased its European presence by partnering with Mertik Regelungstechnik –formerly called Steinle & Hartung –located in Quedlinburg, Germany. 
    In the early 20th century, Steinle & Hartung was known for designing and manufac­turing temper­ature controls for the heating and cooling indus­tries. The partnership was the founding of Mertik Maxitrol GmbH & Co. KG.

  • 1994: The SENTRY GT thermally activated safety shut-off device for natural gas instal­la­tions is intro­duced. SENTRY GT was quickly embraced by the natural gas industry and puts the company on an important track for growth.

    In July 1994, the first GV30 combi­nation gas control valve is certified. It was origi­nally developed for use in space heaters, but over the course of time, has evolved into a compre­hensive line of gas valves used to control pilot and main burners.  Applications now include gas fires, ovens, griddle plates, deep fryers, storage heaters, and agricul­tural heaters, the world over.

  • 1997: In the spring of 1997, Mertik Maxitrol broke ground for its new production and office facility in Thale, Germany. The new facility consists of 47,000 square foot (4,300 m2) production hall and 14,200 square foot (1,300 m2) offices.

    In August 1997, the German builder’s tradi­tional Richtfest was celebrated.  The framework of the building is finished and at the Topping Party (half-way point) the owner puts the “last nail” in the roof, the workers sign a roof beam, and a colorful wreath is placed on top of the house or building.

    The company develops the SENTRY GS excess flow valves (EFVs). These valves shut off the gas flow when a prede­fined flow rate is reached. The SENTRY GS EFVs to date have been used success­fully in millions of under­ground gas service lines and residential instal­la­tions throughout Europe.

  • 1998: In March of 1998, the new production and office complex is opened.

    The company intro­duces the GW40 Series of combi­nation gas-water controls. The GW40 was designed for use in instan­ta­neous gas water heaters.


  • 2000: The SENTRY GM gas manifold for residential instal­la­tions was introduced.
    Maxitrol Company purchases the CV series combi­nation gas control valves and a line of gas pressure regulators from SCP.

  • 2001: As sales grew throughout the United Kingdom, Mertik Maxitrol opened a new sales office in Abercynon U.K to meet demand in the spring of 2001.

Maxitrol Office Abercynon, UK

EXA Series Modulating Gas Control Valves

GV60 Bidirectional Control System

E‑Flame Control System


  • 2011: The new GV30A series gas control systems are developed to suit a wide range of commercial cooking appliances.

  • 2013: The SYMAX remote handsets are developed for the GV60 control system.
    Maxitrol intro­duces the E‑Flame automated control system for use on combustion air in wood and solid fuel stoves.

  • 2016: The myfire app is intro­duced to work in conjunction with the GV60/Symax system for gas fires. With this, Maxitrol enters into the age of smart home technology.


  • 2020: Maxitrol Company merges Mertik Maxitrol into its corporate organi­zation as a subsidiary. Mertik Maxitrol is renamed Maxitrol GmbH & Co. KG. 
    Going forward, the companies will all be known worldwide as Maxitrol Company. All entities will continue to advance the same corporate philosophy and values and strive to deliver the same great products, technology and services.