The History of Tenney

Posted: Jul 06, 2016 | Categories: History

Committed to innovation and robust designs, Tenney boasts one of the most comprehensive lines of environmental-testing chambers and rooms in the industry, however the company didn't start out that way. Surprisingly, Dwight Tenney spent his early years perfecting bakery equipment, when news of his successes reached the ear of the U.S. government, all of that changed, and the company began its surprising and successful march forward.

From Bread to Testing Chambers

Creating the perfect loaf of bread, one with an inviting brown crust balanced with light-as-air interior, is a delicate art. The temperature and humidity needs to be just right all the way through the rising, proofing, and baking processes. To repeatedly make perfect loaves, these conditions need to be easily and faithfully replicated. While making bakery equipment, Tenney learned virtually everything about creating environments with perfect temperature and humidity levels. 

Familiar with Tenney’s accomplishments, the U.S. Government called upon Tenney to create test chambers during WWII. Like bakery equipment, the test chambers needed to have specific temperatures, humidity and pressure levels as well. However, rather than producing bread, these chambers could be used to test virtually anything. 

After World War II

After WWII, progressive companies including IBM, General Electric, RCA, Xerox and many of the Detroit automakers began using Tenney’s test chambers, creating demand for this new industry. Additionally, another significant role that Tenney played was in America’s space program. To meet the demanding requirements of testing the environment of space, Tenney developed space simulators with the highest precision and complexity for the Apollo and Gemini missions. Astronaut, John Glenn, prepared for space travel in a space simulator built by Tenney for the Mercury and Gemini missions. 

Arguably Dwight Tenney’s pioneering work and notable role in the development of testing chambers made him the grandfather of the industry. But as Tenney and his company became more well-known, similar companies were also popping up in the marketplace. In 1992 about 50 years after Tenney was asked to join the war effort, the company joined forces with two sister companies. 

Creating Synergy

Lunaire Environmental manufactured stability and steady state chambers as well as forced air ovens and environmental rooms. Gruenberg manufactured industrial ovens, pharmaceutical sterilizers and dryers. The elements of these two companies beautifully complemented Tenney’s offering and processes. Combining these three sister companies was a synergistic move designed to furnish even more innovative solutions to the testing industry.

Fueled by collaboration and innovation, Tenney introduced the world to high vacuum chambers, cryogenics and multi-axis motion for space simulation. It was the first company to use cascade refrigeration in environmental chambers. 

Tenney has been a leader of the testing chamber industry, and through its commitment to excellence, the company continues to march forward by continually developing stronger, more robust and more effective testing chambers. Tenney’s line of test chambers promises to meet all of your temperature, humidity, altitude, and vacuum-testing requirements in this generation and in to the next. 

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