His vision from the day he arrived in St. Joseph in 1891 was beyond those of the common man. His inventiveness inspired those around him while his genius formulated a company that would soon become the cornerstone of the maintenance industry. For N.S. Hillyard, the founder of Hillyard in 1907, growth was inevitable, quality was the strengthening asset, and promotion was the essential key to success. People, employees in particular, were the keys to longevity.
N.S. Hillyard was an innovator, producing products that improved the world around him and finding better ways to get things done. N.S. held over 100 patents, many for the maintenance industry, including dust mop systems, hand soap dispensers, paper towel dispensers and trash receptacles. He revolutionized not only the maintenance industry with new products and equipment inventions, but also used his inventive mind to create everything from simplified window sashes to law enforcement equipment and numerous gadgets for the home too.
N.S. built and formulated quality products but he understood labor accounted for over 85% of a cleaning budget. N.S. pioneered custodial training and closely tied his products to cleaning process, teaching custodial staffs how to properly maintain floors, gymnasiums, restrooms, kitchens and more. Over a century later, Hillyard's unwavering commitment to deliver best-practice custodial training is what helps our customers provide clean, safe, and healthy facilities for their stakeholders.
With a winning combination of high quality, innovative new maintenance products and strong customer service, the company grew quickly. As the company continued to grow, N.S. called on his children to help him keep up with the demand for Hillyard products. With the help of his family, N.S. took on a new, uncharted area of maintenance - wood gym floors. Basketball was in its infancy, and the courts the players competed on were slick and dangerous injuring the athletes. So, N.S. invented modern day gym finish, an innovative coating that provided the sure-footed traction for the athletes, and protected the courts they played on. Visit our Basketball Legacy page for the whole story.