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Made in America: Boker's

Boker’s started stamping with two people in a basement. Now, the company has more than 125 employees making 32,000 different parts in Minneapolis.

Boker's has seen it all when it comes to stampings and washers. The stamping house has been manufacturing precision metal stampings, washers, spacers and shims since it started in a garage in Minneapolis, MN in 1919. Now, the company makes more than 32,000 products from 2,000 different types of material. You name it, there's a good chance Boker's has punched it.

The company was founded by Vitus Boker and his son John. Vitus immigrated to America from Denmark, he was an inventor who held more than 25 patents, and his plan was to manufacture, market and sell those products, all from his basement.  

Well, word spread about Vitus’s expertise in tooling and short-run stamping and he quickly found himself entrenched in a short-run stamping and contract manufacturing business.  

Over the next 20 years, Vitus slowly grew out of the basement and into the company's current location near Downtown Minneapolis. 

In 1942, Vitus Boker left the business to his family. The third generation ran it until 1968, when they decided to leave the business, and sold it to four employees: Bill Tedlund, Joseph Basara, Chester Engquist, and Joseph Kantorowicz, 

In 1986, Tedlund bought out his partners to become sole owner, and his family is still in charge today.  

Over the last 33 years, the company has continued to grow and Boker’s is expanding once again. The company is opening a second plant across the street, 100,000 square foot building, with 66,500 square feet dedicated to manufacturing space. The company’s expansion will allow Boker's to make new investments in new state of the art equipment to help fulfill customer demand.  

The company started off by serving agricultural equipment manufacturers as well as companies that made off-road recreational vehicles and medical devices. To stay competitive, the company needed to diversify. Now, its key markets are aerospace and defense, with a growing footprint in the wind power and solar industries as well.   

Made in America

U.S. manufacturing has changed significantly over the last 100 years, and the company has thrived by adapting and evolving with the demands of the industry.  

After a century of making parts, the company’s components are everywhere. Chances are that they’ve impacted every living person in the U.S., whether they know it or not.   

Boker’s started with Vitus and his son in a basement in Minneapolis. Now, with Bill Tedlund’s family at the helm, and more than 125 employees in tow, the horizon for this Minnesota manufacturer has never seemed so bright.  

Made in America is a new show from IEN that recognizes U.S.-based companies who remain committed to manufacturing in the United States. 

IEN gained exclusive access to tour some incredible facilities in the nation, and speak with the key figures crucial to the companies' success. 

The show is now in its second season. To recommend your company for an upcoming episode, email Tom Lynch at [email protected].

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