Unger

Window Cleaning Resource stocks a wide variety of Unger window cleaning tools and products. For over 50 years, Unger has provided the window cleaning industry with innovate and high-quality tools. Browse traditional tools from Unger such as handles, channels, squeegees, rubber, sleeves and extension poles. Unger waterfed equipment such as Unger nLite poles, Hydropower systems and pure water packages also available. Need help? Call us at 862-266-0677.

Born in 1929 in New York City, Henry Unger was a creative, charismatic salesman who would not take “no” for an answer. At the age of 18, Henry moved to Lancaster, California, where he started his own window cleaning business.

A few years later, while visiting friends in Europe, Henry became intrigued with watching the local window cleaners who were using outdated tools and methods. He later leased his U.S. window cleaning business to his partner and returned to Hamburg, Germany, to research whether there was a business opportunity for him there, as well as to reunite with a young lady named Barbara, who would later become his wife. While in Hamburg, he rented a room, took German lessons, then got up early to talk with the local window cleaners as they did their morning rounds.

Henry learned that the Germans were still using the heavy Chicago squeegee from the 1920s, which was made of brass and required removing 12 screws to change the squeegee rubber. They also still used sponges, chamois, and ladders. Henry introduced the local Germans to some of his U.S. window cleaning tools, which included poles, as well as lighter squeegees and brushes.

Henry and Barbara came back to the U.S., sold his window cleaning company for a nice price, then returned to Hamburg with more American window cleaning tools. That’s when they started their new company, Henry M. Unger GmbH, in April 1964. Always an inventor, Henry continuously tinkered around making new cleaning products. For example, his first telescopic poles used clamps from beach umbrellas and could reach windows 10 to 20 feet high without ladders.

Henry eventually met Walter, the largest German maintenance supply dealer, who decided to invest in a stock of Henry’s U.S. tools. Together, Henry and Walter slowly convinced the local window cleaners that Henry’s tools and methods could save both time and effort, and that telescopic poles were a safer alternative to ladders. Walter also introduced Henry to the masters of the German window cleaners’ guild, who eventually gave their support for the new tools. This was a big boost for persuading area window cleaners to use Unger’s products.

In 1966, Unger moved to Sonlingen, the industrial heartland of Germany and an area that provided easy access to high-quality metal and other raw materials, such as steel, rubber, aluminum, and plastic injection molding. It was here that Henry came up with many tools that revolutionized the window cleaning industry.

For one, Henry introduced the Unger S-Squeegee, which was manufactured from stainless steel rather than brass, and included a spring mechanism for quick, simple changing of the rubber and channels. Unger’s top-quality rubber coating guaranteed easier window cleaning, even in freezing temperatures.

Another early example is the ErgoTec Squeegee, which incorporated ergonomics into its design. The squeegee’s rubber was embedded into a plastic handle, making it both lighter and more practical.

Additional early innovations include the PRO-Squeegee, the TelePlus pole system, the MicroStrip and MicroWipe microfibre cloths, the Fixi clamp, the Swivel Loc, a variety of scrapers, and the Bucket on a Belt (Boab).

Henry protected his inventions with numerous patents, manufactured them efficiently, and sold them successfully.

Barbara, who spoke several languages and had been trained in business management and import and export trade, took over the company’s administrative responsibilities. This freed Henry up to handle sales as he traveled across Germany, and later Europe, demonstrating his equipment. He also started exhibiting at numerous trade shows, where crowds would gather to watch him clean a large window nonstop all-day long.

In 1973, Unger built its first factory and put an Unger squeegee in the capstone. Their sons, Jan and Mark, grew up watching the Unger products being made, and later helping demonstrate their squeegees.  

As the business grew, Henry began taking trips to the Far East where he developed customers in Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Thailand.

Then in 1978, the Unger family packed their belongings in a container and left for Connecticut, where Henry’s brother was building houses. That’s where they founded their sister company, Unger Enterprises, in Mount Vernon, outside of New York City. In 1989, the couple bought their factory in Bridgeport, CT. With the help of their son, Dane, Unger soon conquered the American market as well.  

In 1995, the three Unger sons purchased the company, and have since continued their parents’ vision of window cleaning innovations. Unger has also branched into manufacturing for other janitorial equipment markets, including products for solar cleaning, outdoor litter picking, dusting, floor cleaning and maintenance, and restroom cleaning. Mark runs the professional business worldwide; Jan manages finance, strategy and HR; and Dane runs the retail business and R&D.

Henry Unger died of Lou Gehrig’s disease in 1996.

Today, Unger has grown to over five times the size it was when the brothers took over the company. Unger products are now sold in over 80 countries worldwide, and can be found in retail outlets such as Home Depot, Lowe’s, William Sonoma, and others.

Today, Unger continues to strive to develop innovative, quality products that solve customer problems and help them earn more money. By working closely with professional window cleaners, Unger continues to come up with new technology, such as the ErgoTec Ninja, the HydroPower DI pure washer systems, the nLite waterfed poles, and more.

WCR offers all of the most popular Unger tools, including handles, channels, rubbers, T-bars, sleeves, starter kits, poles and much more.


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