LAUREL, MT — Wood’s Powr-Grip (WPG), a U.S. manufacturer of tools and equipment for handling glass and other materials, is marking its 60th year in business in 2024.

The company was incorporated in 1964 by Howard Wood. At the time, the Navy veteran had owned and operated an engine repair shop in Wolf Point, MT, for more than 15 years. Howard’s affinity for mechanical problem-solving sparked his first invention: a tool that held motor valves in place during checking and refitting. This “lapping” tool used vacuum in a way that revolutionized auto engine repairing. More importantly, it pointed Howard toward his next invention: The handheld vacuum cup for handling glass. The popularity of the hand cup, as well as the valve grinder, quickly led to the founding of WPG.

In the 60 years since, WPG has innovated and introduced many new products while making continuous improvements to existing ones. Along with Powr-Grip hand cups, WPG’s powerful below-the-hook vacuum lifters have become essential equipment for many businesses that handle glass, insulated metal panels, stone slabs and more.

Through a network of authorized dealers, WPG sells its lifting products and optional equipment both nationally and internationally. These products, as well as WPG’s customer service, consistently earn acclaim from industry experts and professionals alike. The hand cup is so iconic that many glaziers simply refer to it a “Wood’s cup.”

Currently, a third generation of Wood family members has been leading the company through a period of robust growth: Bryan Wood, president and CEO; Barry Wood, vice president of marketing and sales; and Brad Wood, production manager.

“I’m extremely humbled thinking back to the hard work and sacrifices of our parents and grandparents, who were so determined to make glass handling safer and easier,” said Bryan Wood. “It’s a passion that’s created many long-term friendships in our industry these past 60 years. It inspires us today to provide the type of customer service you would want a friend to have. It also motivates us to continue innovating, so that every one of those friends can safely provide all of us with our windows to the world.”

WPG plans to celebrate the milestone with employees, dealers and customers throughout 2024 — all while looking forward to another 60 years of innovation.

WPG employees and management gathered for a photo inside the company’s Laurel, MT facility on February 7th, in celebration of the company’s 60th anniversary. WPG makes tools and equipment used extensively in glass installation, glass fabrication and other industries worldwide.