Two brothers, Hubbard and W.T. (Baldy) Richards, brought up in the depression era farm land of East Texas and recently discharged from the military at the end of World War 2, came to Houston in pursuit of employment. Finding work as safe and door closer technicians they soon pooled their savings and in 1949 purchased Acme Safe and Lock Service Company, a company whose roots dated back to the late 1890's. The following is the companies 100+ year timeline…
1918 Acme Safe and Lock Company established by Sam G. Tutwiler. Sam was a safe expert who serviced and sold safes. He also installed bank vault doors and traveled to various locations (world wide - Japan, in particular) to assist and supervise with difficult or custom installations.
1940’s Sam’s son John inherited the business and managed operations until 1949.
1949 By 1949 Acme was, for various reasons, to the point of bankruptcy, and was preparing to close shop for good. Hubbard and Baldy were able to secure a bank loan and purchase the business. Acme Safe & Lock Service Company was now under new management at 611 Capital in downtown Houston.
1950’s Hub and Baldy went to work 6 and 7 days a week drawing on their childhood work ethic as depression era farmers to begin rebuilding Acme into a profitable business. They found a niche in the rebuilding of door closers and by working the school districts located in the rural areas of South Texas and the Louisiana Parishes they were able to survive the lean years. Closers rebuilt by Acme were considered equal to if not better than factory fresh closers as each was perfectly adjusted for its application. During this time they also served as locksmiths and safe technicians.
1960’s In 1960, Hub and Baldy erected a 30' x 60' metal building to house the business. As they added employees the business grew, their footprint expanded. They were now considered the premiere locksmith and safe tech company in Houston and serviced a large commercial client base. They held and serviced the master key systems for many including Houston’s Southwestern Bell Telephone. The door closer rebuilding continued and Acme kept rebuilt closers in reserve offering an immediate exchange program for their clients.
1970’s The second generation entered and began learning the day to day operations of the business. In 1975, Peden Iron & Steel Company, then the largest Sargent Lock distributor in the world, was bought out by a holding company and quickly liquidated into bankruptcy. A decision was made for Acme to enter the wholesale market and offer the wholesale discount to qualified accounts. By 1979 the idea had begun to catch on, and Acme gained a reputation as a reputable distributor of door hardware with fair prices and an excellent sales staff to service its customers, and profits began to rise. During this time Acme built an additional 2 story building next to the existing shop and added additional staff and materials
1980’s By 1982, wholesale and retail sales had become such a large and profitable part of the business that a decision was made to sell off the service arm of the business and focus strictly on sales and in house repairs. Throughout the rest of this decade Acme established itself with many manufactures and became a stocking distributor of many popular lines. It was also during this decade that Acme ceased to rebuild door closers. Deeper factory discounts on new closers and a higher cost of labor simply made rebuilding closers no longer necessary.
1990’s The second generation was now taking control and was able to acquire ownership of all stock. During these years bulk buying for additional discounts resulted in growth and expansion. Acme added an outside sales team and adjusted pricing for a more competitive market.
2000’s Acme expanded to a second location in Northwest Houston due to the need for more square footage. In 2006 Acme closed the downtown location and move the entire operation to a larger warehouse in Northwest Houston.
2010’s In 2011 Acme moved once more to its current facility at 1006 34th Street. In 2014 the third generation began entering the business and just as the second generation had done, they began to learn the day to day operations. In June of 2020 Acme increased their Texas footprint by adding a door manufacturing facility in Houston and acquiring a location in the Bryan/College Station Market. These moves were in perfect timing with Acme’s growth and allowed expansion in many directions. Today Acme is much more than distribution and we now offer the following services…
Distribution Sales stocking and representing over 100 manufacturers and 10,000 SKU’s
Commercial Locksmith and Master Key Services
Hollow Metal Door and Frame Manufacturing, Sales and Service
Wood and Plam Door Manufacturing, Sales and Service
Automatic Door Operator Sales and Service
Access Control Sales and Service
Fire and Life Safety Services
Division 8 Hardware Contract Sales and Installation
Division 10 Bathroom Partitions and Accessories Contract Sales and Installation
Our Future… Acme is focused on you the customer and desires thru our core values to ACHIEVE your trust by being “Your one stop door shop providing solutions one opening at a time”
Adaptable, whatever it takes attitude
Customer-centric and relationship focused
Humble, hardworking team of service professionals
Innovative ideas, advanced solutions
Exceeding Expectations, one opportunity at a time
Valuable product knowledge and reliable service
Eager to ACHIEVE