The Friedrich Legacy
The Friedrich family name has a rich heritage intertwined into the fabric and history of the city of San Antonio. From the Buckhorn Saloon to Friedrich Wilderness Park, to the San Antonio Zoo, to Friedrich Air Conditioning; the Friedrichs’ innovation, ingenuity, and philanthropy made its mark on this great city and over a hundred years later, their legacy lives on.
Ed Friedrich founded ‘Friedrich’ in 1883 in San Antonio, Texas. Ed Friedrich was a craftsman who designed furniture from the horns of longhorn cattle and later produced other handcrafted products like store fixtures, wood billiard tables and fine, carved cabinetry. Many of his pieces were used in his brother Albert’s Buckhorn Saloon. But Ed was also an innovator and inventor. He recognized a need for food preservation and developed one of the first refrigeration systems, ultimately setting the course for the company’s 100+ year legacy of cooling the most valuable product of all – people.
From refrigeration to air conditioning
By 1950, Friedrich had become one of the world’s largest manufacturers of commercial refrigeration equipment. To capitalize on its reputation as an industry leader, the company expanded into room air conditioners. The first 500 floating air window units came off the assembly line in 1952 and sales began to climb.
That was only the starting point for many firsts in Friedrich’s history of HVAC innovation. From the introduction of ductless split systems in the US to launching the first room air conditioner with electronic controls, to the first Wi-Fi enabled smart room air conditioner – decades later and still based in San Antonio, Friedrich remains one of the most recognized room air conditioning brands, known for innovation, commercial-grade durability and energy efficiency.
In 2006, Friedrich began production at a new, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Monterrey, Mexico, making it the sole remaining North American manufacturer of room air conditioners. In late 2010, after almost 40 years at 4200 Pan Am Expressway in San Antonio, Texas, Friedrich Air Conditioning moved its headquarters into 22,000 square feet of light-filled space at the Union Square II Building at 10001 Reunion Place.