Wadsworth Control Systems is a fourth generation family-owned business. The talented and dedicated team at Wadsworth is a key element to the company’s success and growth. The people of Wadsworth, working with our network of resellers interface with growers of all types to offer a high level of knowledge and expertise, seeing projects through to a smooth and well-executed completion. Wadsworth Control Systems, a leading manufacturer and electrical systems designer for greenhouse climate controls, greenhouse vent automation and motorized curtain systems for energy savings, shading and daylength control.
- Business Type:
- Industry Type:
- Agriculture - Horticulture
- Market Focus:
- Nationally (across the country)
- Year Founded:
Arvada, Colorado. George Dean Sr. opens Wadsworth Electric with a 1940 Buick, $500 and his hand tools. The name comes from the street, Wadsworth; no magic there.
Over time, his three sons, Wayne, George Jr. and Walter joined the business. George Sr. trained each as they grew from Journeyman to Master Electrician standing.
Wadsworth Electric grew from supplying appliances and wiring businesses and homes to the early days of automated traffic lights, eventually moving into the greenhouse industry and becoming Wadsworth Control Systems.
Wadsworth Controls was the first to design and build greenhouse automation products in the U.S.
Here’s the story – Bill Forbes was a neighbor and member of the Lion’s Club. George Dean, Jr. saw him at a meeting one night and noticed he looked tired. It turned out Bill had leased telephone lines for an alarm, but the actual alarm was too expensive, leaving him to sleep in his greenhouse in the interim.
George Jr. said he’d see what he could do to help. He built an alarm and charged Bill $100. That was the beginning of Wadsworth’s greenhouse automation and the end of people sleeping in their greenhouses.
In 1966 Wadsworth built the first control that managed multiple pieces of equipment. Carnation Cuttings, a cooperative of fifty growers had the original system, which included controls, various types of fans, vents, pad pump, heaters.
When the growers who belonged to the co-op saw what was available, they all wanted it. The greenhouse business grew quickly and became the mainstay of Wadsworth Electric.
First Wadsworth Control Systems watering system installed. The timer was the same as those used in traffic lights. Built and installed 8 large panels for the Chicago Botanical Gardens. By 1969, Wadsworth was installing vent machines that moved in increments, control panels and watering systems. It was a whole new world for growers.
First curtain system, a blackout curtain, installed at J&L Plants in Texas. Designed for light deprivation, the curtain also saved on heating costs, though at that time energy was cheap. The crop was Kalanchoe plants.
The next installation, another blackout system, was for Klepac Brothers mum production.
The energy crisis hits the U.S. and growers need more efficient heating. Curtain systems now provide shading to reduce heat load on hot days and cover the greenhouse at night for heat retention on winter nights.
First computerized control, the MicroSTEP, was introduced. Computerized controls required a PC computer, an expensive venture at that time, but it was the new path and we led the way.
Standardized processes make for more efficient production. Lean before lean.
EnviroSTEP single zone integrated control introduced.
George Dean, Jr. inducted into the Horticultural Hall of Fame
VersiSTEP introduced, the first control with the capability to expand
STEP Up control introduced. Wadsworth’s first computerized staged control with many of the advanced features of our integrated controls.
STEPsaver 1.0 companion software for the EnviroSTEP and VersiSTEP. Compass, companion software for STEP Up controls was released.
Seed introduced – our first touchscreen control with the industry’s best user interface