June 27, 2008 10:29 ET

Bay Area Sheet Metal & HVAC Contractor Atlas Heating Celebrates 100th Anniversary

OAKLAND, CA--(Marketwire - June 27, 2008) - The Bay Area Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning Contractors' National Association (SMACNA) is pleased to announce the 100th anniversary of one of its original members, Atlas Heating and Air Conditioning in Oakland, California.

"Since 1977, when SMACNA was in its infancy, Atlas has always played an active role in our Bay Area and national organizations," said Gary Schwenk, Executive Vice President of Bay Area SMACNA. "Atlas is one of California's oldest and most respected heating and air conditioning companies; it's a family-run business and the whole family has participated in SMACNA initiatives. They have been a stellar member of this organization, a mentor and role model for many."

Founded in 1908, Atlas is the oldest heating and ventilating company in the Bay Area and has been as much a part of San Francisco as the cable cars and the Golden Gate Bridge. The company's history is a veritable history of the furnace itself.

In 1908, most homes were heated by pot-bellied stoves or kitchen ranges. George Tuck, the founder of Atlas, brought something new to the market -- he designed and manufactured wood and coal furnaces. The new heating systems were overnight sensations, establishing Atlas as the largest installer of "warm air" furnaces in the Bay Area.

Always an innovator, Tuck next developed the Atlas gas furnace for manufactured gas. At the same time, he invented the first integrated blower furnace and safety pilot light. With the advent of natural gas for heating, the firm's all-steel furnace became a leader in the industry.

In those days, Atlas' reach extended beyond the Bay Area with projects from Alaska to the Philippines, the Panama Canal and Saudi Arabia. San Francisco was in fact the biggest builder of gas furnaces in the country from the mid-1930s to World War II.

Atlas heaters have warmed such notable structures as the Stonestown Shopping Center and the San Francisco Civic Auditorium, Fort Mason and classrooms at the University of California, Postrio & Masas restaurants, the Mark Hopkins and the Hall of Justice. Former clients have been no less illustrious, including Jack London and Melvin Belli.

The family-run business has continued to prosper guided by three generations of Tucks. The founder's son, Robert G. Tuck ran the company for 30 years with brothers Douglas and James. Bob Tuck, grandson of George, graduated from UC Berkeley in 1972 and is currently president of Atlas Heating and Air Conditioning Company. Atlas now represents major national brand furnaces and is still at the forefront of heating and ventilating technology, specializing in residential and light commercial work.

The company is as community-minded today as they were in 1908, when they were helping to rebuild San Francisco after the 1906 earthquake; they are repeatedly recognized in the local media for their good deeds.

Working with Rebuilding Together Oakland, Atlas donated a new furnace system to an East Bay couple in their late seventies who had gone without heat for over a year. The new furnace they installed allowed Mr. Pickens and his wife Glana to be comfortable in the home where they had lived for over 30 years. As the project organizers noted, "Atlas jumped at the chance to help, as they have many times over the years."

Bob Tuck has served on the Bay Area SMACNA board of directors for many years, and currently is Treasurer. He has also been on the national SMACNA board, where he currently serves, and his wife Lisa Tuck has been an advocate for SMACNA as an active member of the organization's legislative committee.

"Because of the opportunities the business has provided me, I want to be of greater service by working with SMACNA to address industry challenges and use the organization as a forum to facilitate constructive change," said Bob Tuck, President Atlas Heating.

Like other Bay Area SMACNA contractors, Atlas Heating and Air Conditioning employs the latest HVAC technologies and energy efficient solutions, making sure that their employees take advantage of the training and resources provided by SMACNA so that they maintain a competitive edge. "Atlas exemplifies the SMACNA model of 'standards set, standards met,'" said Schwenk. "One hundred years in business speaks for itself -- a true legacy of quality work and customer service."

"We take pride in our work, but most importantly, we are in our fourth generation of a true family operation, and we love what we do," said Tuck.


The Bay Area Chapter of the Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning Contractors' National Association (SMACNA) works closely with the Sheet Metal Workers International Association (SMWIA) Local 104 to champion standards for quality and safety in sheet metal construction. The Bay Area SMACNA chapter is the largest in the country with 151 members, employing approximately 18,000 personnel.

Working together, sheet metal management and labor have a 100-year legacy of raising industry standards for construction quality and safety. By providing members with ongoing training and education, together they ensure the highest caliber, most cost-effective work product, using the most advanced technologies, energy efficient systems and innovative design. For more information please visit

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