W.H. Maze Company located in Peru, Illinois will celebrate 160 years in business in 2008.
Maze Company was founded in 1848 by Samuel Nesbitt Maze. Originally a masonry contractor, Mr. Maze started the Maze lumberyard along the banks of the Illinois River – and the Maze Nail mill followed soon after.
Due to the poor quality of nails available in the late 1800’s - they caused staining, streaking and rusted very quickly - the Maze lumberyard bought a cut nail machine and began to make pure zinc nails to sell with their quality cedar shingles. Word quickly spread and soon other lumber dealers asked if they could purchase some of those rust-proof nails. Maze Lumber suddenly found itself in the nail business. The nail operation outgrew its small shed along Water Street – and the Maze brothers broke ground for a new nail factory in 1922 at 100 Church Street in Peru, Illinois.
As the years passed, the growing Maze Nail mill evolved from making solid zinc nails to developing steel nails with a corrosion-resistant zinc coating.
The galvanized coating was applied by their unique, carefully-engineered automatic double dipping line. Maze engineers also developed new ideas such as spiral shank and ring shank nails for increased holding power. While nails were traditionally packed into 100-lb. wooden kegs, Maze was the first nail mill in the country to offer their nails in easier-to-carry 50-pound boxes and in 5-lb. boxes.
160 years and six generations later, W.H. Maze Company continues to research new ideas – to meet the needs of its customers. Maze Nail, along with their Massachusetts division - Independent Nail - offer the widest variety of American-made specialty nails in the United States - including collated nails for use in pneumatic nailers. Maze Nails makes their exclusive STORMGUARD® double hot-dipped galvanized nails for many applications – including siding, decking, roofing, fencing, trim, gutters, flooring and post frame buildings. Maze also manufactures a complete line of stainless steel nails for seacoast and marine applications.
The long Maze history, rich in heritage and tradition, has provided an interesting and proud past for hundreds of loyal and valuable employees over the years. Currently 108 employees work in the office and factory.
Because of the high standards for quality products and service, Maze Nail has been the subject of many national magazine articles and awards from within the industry. The Maze Nail Mill operation has even been featured on the History Channel as part of their "Modern Marvels" segment on hardware and fasteners.
And the Maze retail lumberyard continues to operate today in the same location - and is the oldest lumber dealer in the state of Illinois.
Members of the fourth, fifth and sixth generations currently manage the company – with fifth generation Roelif Loveland serving as president. According to Loveland, "Our commitment and pledge to customers and the environment is to continue providing top quality nails -- Made in the USA from 100% recycled steel -- that we are proud to use on our own homes."