Class of 2002

Charles H. "Andy" Anderson was born March 25, 1902, in Chicago, Illinois. Andy's first exposure to flooring was with A.L. Jackson Co., in Chicago, who installed many of the floors in the Chicago World's Fair-The Century of Progress-which opened in 1933. During his tenure with A.L. Jackson Co., Andy developed the ability to collaborate with architects to produce quality specifications, which served him well throughout his career.
In 1935 he started Anderson & Cooper, a specialty contracting company, principally dealing in hardwood floors. Andy bought out his partner in 1938 and chartered the Chas. H. Anderson Floor Co., Inc. He continued his close relationships with the architectural community. The company sold and installed floors for many large national bakeries and other factories using maple flooring. MFMA mills supplied his maple flooring. In 1939 Andy sold and took a contract to install over one million feet of mastic-set maple flooring for Studebacker Motors in South Bend, Indiana. The company earned a stellar reputation for also installing gymnasium and other maple sports floors.
Andy started a second company, A&W Floors, with Joseph Wickless managing. Joseph left the business soon after its inception, and Andy renamed the company Northwest Floor & Carpet, specializing in residential floors. He subsequently turned the business over to relatives. It is still in operation under another name.
Following World War II, the services of the Chas. H. Anderson Floor Co. were in demand throughout the Midwest. Andy set up another company and warehouse in Minneapolis under the name of Anderson-Ladd Floors managed by John Ladd. This company installed maple sport floors west into the Dakotas, Nebraska, Iowa, and Kansas. By the late 1950s Andy set up a branch office of Chas. H. Anderson Floors in the Kansas City area. He sent Robert Lankford to manage the business. During these years, Andy's three locations together were perhaps the largest specialty maple floor contracting business in the country.
In the mid-1950s Andy developed the "Air-Thrust" rubber-cushioned plywood subfloor for wood floors still used today. Not only did he promote and install his floor system in Midwest market areas, he set up distributors for Air-Thrust throughout the U.S. and Canada, as well as in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and southeast Asia.
Encouraged by several MFMA manufacturers, Andy arranged and chaired a meeting in Pittsburgh in the 1950s with other prominent floor installers including Walter Leonard of Standard Floors in Pittsburgh, Robert Stoehr of Cincinnati Floors, George Storm of Storm Floors in New York City, and Joe Bauer of Whitcomb-Bauer Floor in Detroit, and others. The Wood Flooring Institute (W.F.I.) was organized at this meeting.
During his last years, over a period of time, Andy sold his contracting companies and other investments to others who he felt were competent to manage them not only for their own betterment but also for the welfare of customers. He passed away November 18, 1988 at the age of 86 at his home in Delray Beach, Florida.
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