Early History of Par-Kut International, Inc.
The forerunner of Par-Kut was Patterson Engineering & Fabricating, owned and operated by Maurice Patterson. Patterson was making map tables in 1954 when he was contracted to build a newsstand for a news concession in downtown Detroit, Michigan. The new idea was that Mr. Patterson thought to construct the newsstand out of heavy gauge sheet metal. Thus, the first factory assembled portable steel building was fabricated, delivered and put into service that year. Sadly, no pictures exist of that first unit.
Later in 1954, one of the earliest Parking conventions was held in Detroit. Some parking lot operators walked by that welded steel newsstand and asked if they could buy a parking lot cashier booth made of metal. “Uncle Pat” promptly invented a metal parking booth and then a trailer to deliver it a few weeks afterward. The first booths were fabricated in a garage, but after the 1955 national parking convention, where the concept of a factory built booth was embraced by the parking industry, the operation moved to a Quanset hut in north Detroit.
Fred W. Duemling began working for Patterson while attending business school. Fred graduated from Wayne State University in 1958 and it was his idea to rename the company PAR-KUT because that referenced the company’s primary product at the time (parking huts). Duemling and Patterson became partners and incorporated Par-Kut Engineering & Fabricating .
The operation grew as parking lot operators in other cities heard about the pre-fabricated cashier booths. By 1960 they were being delivered as far as Colorado and Utah by
Par-Kut’s company truck. Other market areas soon developed, including industrial guard shelters and weigh scale booths. The Par-Kut guardhouse was first displayed at the 1962 American Society of Industrial Security (ASIS) convention.
The rest of the story, as is often said, is indeed history. The company has come a long way since the 1960’s and is now based in Harrison Township, Michigan. Still family owned and operated, Par-Kut occupies two side by side factory buildings especially adapted to manufacturing and finishing portable steel buildings. Product improvements made over the last 25 years are too numerous to list here, but we will be glad to tell you about them if you call. We have shipped product to all fifty states and across the globe. The company has successfully adapted to changes in the manufacturing environment and to the ever growing set of building code regulations and continues to produce quality structures with no equal. The company’s vision: Be the best booth company in the world!