A Legacy Built on Quality, Innovation, and Family Values

In 1848, Charles Hager embarked on a journey from Germany to New Orleans, eventually traveling to St. Louis by wagon. A year later, he purchased a blacksmith shop, recognizing the opportunity to provide wheel rims and hardware to the influx of settlers heading west. Charles’s craftsmanship and quality quickly earned him a stellar reputation. By 1878, the blacksmith shop evolved into C. Hager and Sons Hinge Manufacturing Company, reflecting its transition to a family business specializing in high-quality hardware. Hager's reputation for excellence and innovation continued to grow, leading to collaborations with iconic brands like Budweiser.

As the 19th century closed, Charles Hager's commitment to quality and innovation positioned his company for future success. Under his son August W. Hager’s leadership, the company modernized its manufacturing processes and expanded its product line to meet the growing demands of both rural and urban construction. This period saw significant growth, including the production of custom hinges for the Panama Canal and substantial government orders during WWI. The Great Depression tested the company’s resilience, but Hager persevered, maintaining its workforce and stockpiling inventory to weather the economic storm.

Throughout the 20th century, Hager continued to adapt and expand under successive generations of Hager leadership. The company diversified its product offerings, including the introduction of commercial hinges, electronic access control systems, and advanced manufacturing techniques. Strategic relocations and modernizations of facilities ensured Hager remained at the forefront of the door hardware industry. Today, under the leadership of the sixth generation of Hagers, the company continues to honor its legacy of quality and innovation, positioning itself as a global leader in the industry. As Hager celebrates its 175th anniversary, it remains dedicated to upholding the values and craftsmanship that Charles Hager established over a century and a half ago.

From Hinges to High-Tech


Hager Companies, initially focused on commercial hinges, significantly expanded its product offerings over time. Starting with a major contract for custom hinges for the Panama Canal locks, Hager's production surged during World War I due to government orders. Despite the Great Depression's challenges, the company maintained operations, ensuring job security for employees by reducing work hours instead of closing. Under Charles A. Hager's leadership, sales tripled, and the company broadened its market through distributors. Post-World War II, Archer L. Hager modernized factories and introduced the Architectural Hinges product line, propelling Hager into the commercial hinges market.

In the late 1980s, under the leadership of A. William Hager and later his son Rusty, Hager expanded its product range to include Roton® continuous geared hinges, sliding door hardware, and other door accessories. This diversification continued into the 2000s, with the addition of stainless steel continuous hinges, locks, door controls, and exit devices. Rusty's tenure saw further innovations like electric locks and the introduction of the Euroline product line, catering to international markets. Hager's modernization efforts included new manufacturing facilities and a strategic relocation to increase production efficiency.

The 2010s brought technological advancements and leadership changes, with Johnston Hager stepping into a prominent role. Hager introduced electronic access controls, ADA-compliant operators, and touchless door solutions, reflecting a focus on safety and modernity. Continuing to innovate with new product lines and a substantial investment in modernizing manufacturing and distribution. 

About Hager 175

With this series, we celebrate with stories from 175 years of rich Hager History… stories of family, stories of innovation, stories of resilience. We invite you to join us in our 175th Anniversary Celebration and hope that you see exactly why Hager is known for Generations of Excellence.

Where are we now?
Hager in 2024:

As we celebrate Hager's 175th anniversary, we are always looking towards the future. Today, Hager Companies offers a wide range of products, including locks, exit devices, door controls, and electronic access control systems. Our commitment to quality and innovation keeps us at the forefront of the market, ensuring we meet the ever-changing needs of our customers. With modern manufacturing facilities and a focus on sustainability, Hager continues to provide top-notch products that enhance security and functionality in buildings worldwide.

In recent years, Hager has expanded our product offerings and improved our technological capabilities. A significant part of this growth is our new distribution center in Montgomery, Alabama. This modern facility allows us to streamline our production processes and improve the efficiency and accuracy of our product deliveries. Despite these advancements, we remain true to our roots with our corporate office still located in St. Louis. This blend of cutting-edge technology and historical continuity helps us maintain the high standards of quality and service that have defined Hager for 175 years.

Today, with the sixth generation firmly in place, Hager operates more as an extended family of associates than merely as a company. The heritage of Hager grows ever greater and the heart of Hager beats ever stronger.

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