Alabama Mechanical Contractor Celebrates 110 Years of Successfully Navigating Change
For over a century, M&D Mechanical Contractors, Inc. (M&D) has provided high-quality mechanical contracting solutions to clients within the commercial, government, industrial, and institutional sectors across North Alabama and the Southeast. Started by two friends in 1910, M&D is one of the oldest companies in Alabama, making it one of few to survive the Great Depression, multiple wars and recessions, continuous industry changes, and six global pandemics. Throughout M&D’s history, its focus on maintaining a reputation of excellence in safety and quality has landed the company contracts with high-profile clients like Huntsville Hospital, Boeing, Blue Origin, NASA, FBI, ULA, 3M, Toray, and many more.
“Since 1910, our commitment to excellence has remained at the forefront of our business model, allowing us to overcome every industry and economic hurdle over the last 110 years and emerge better and stronger than before,” says current company President Rodney Ferguson. “Because of our determination to persevere through the difficult seasons, we have had the opportunity to work on many notable and history-making projects over the years.”
Founded in Birmingham, Alabama, M&D’s legacy began when two plumbers and old friends, Leon Dulion and James Mason, decided to open a plumbing and heating company, naming it Mason & Dulion Co. Over the next 35 years, the company contributed to many high-rise buildings still standing in Birmingham, Alabama, today. Additionally, it oversaw several military construction projects throughout the Southeast and expanded its operations to the Florida coast to continue supporting the United States’ war efforts throughout World War II.
“The early to mid-1900s were some of the toughest years for the company,” says Ferguson. “However, our determination to rise above the hardships and continually embrace innovation and change is what carried us out of the dark and into a new, exciting, and profitable era.”
During the 1950s, as the demand for in-home air conditioners began to rise significantly, Mason & Dulion Co. expanded its operations once more by opening a sheet metal shop in its Birmingham, Alabama, location. The company now had three divisions – Plumbing, Heating and Process Piping, and Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning. During this time, the company earned its first contract at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama.
In the 1960s, the Alabama and Florida locations split into two separate entities. The Alabama firm became M&D Mechanical Contractors, and the Florida firm remained an independent company keeping the original name. During this time, M&D began to experience significant financial growth as it landed contracts with 3M in Decatur, Alabama, and NASA in Huntsville. Ferguson explains the company’s transition to separate organizations as an important move that allowed each company to more effectively meet present and future local market opportunities.
From 1970 – 2010, North Alabama experienced exponential growth in its commercial, government, industrial, and institutional sectors. To remain competitive in the construction industry, M&D moved its headquarters to Decatur, Alabama, and gradually expanded its service offerings to include specialty piping, vacuum chamber piping, medical gas systems, high-end technical fabrication, and LEEDTM certified construction. In 2010, M&D celebrated its 100th year of business with record-high employment and several notable contract awards.
Today, 110 years after its founding, M&D continues to provide mechanical contracting services and solutions to clients in the commercial, government, industrial, and institutional sectors. The company has added specialty services to its capabilities in more recent years, including medical gases, duct fabrication, and green building. The company fabricates piping and custom metal products, including spiral and ready-to-erect ductwork, in its cutting-edge pipe and metal fabrication shops. Additional capabilities include in-house CAD and Building Information Modeling (BIM) expertise.
“In 1910, two friends had the vision to build the future, and they did just that,” Ferguson states. “To be able to look back over the last 110 years and see their vision unfold inspires our generation to continue evolving and embracing innovation so that we can continue to build the future that Mr. Mason and Mr. Dulion once dreamed about.”