Viking’s History


The Viking Group traces its roots back to the 1880s when Emil Tyden, a Swedish immigrant, developed an innovative railroad car seal in Chicago. In the late 1890s, Tyden was introduced to a businessman in Michigan who convinced him to move to Hastings and found the International Seal and Lock Company to manufacture the patented seals. To produce his new boxcar seal in mass, Tyden went on to create one of the world's first automation systems – fully a decade before Henry Ford mass-produced automobiles.

 Around 1920, after a fire destroyed the factory at the International Seal and Lock Company, Tyden resolved to enter the fire sprinkler business.  Through a mutual friend, Tyden was introduced to a St. Louis businessman who claimed to have developed some designs for fire sprinklers and valves. A short time later, after it was apparent that the business was in trouble, Tyden bought 100% interest in The Viking Corporation and began manufacturing fire sprinklers and valves in Hastings.

Tyden continued to expand the company by partnering with talented “sprinklermen” around the United States and, in a very short time, developed a sizable number of highly qualified Viking sprinkler contractors. Viking maintained this contractor orientation until the mid 1960s.

The rapid growth of the fire sprinkler market in the mid 1970s caused Viking to establish a network of affiliates who could properly service the market with Viking products as well as other components necessary for sprinkler installations. By the mid-to late-1980s, Viking divested itself of all contracting and design interests and focused on the development, manufacture, and distribution of fire sprinklers, valves, and devices.

By the early 1990s, Viking Supply Net was established as the sole distributor of Viking products, as well as related fire protection components. Viking Supply Net International was also developed to build a strong international presence. Worldwide, Viking Supply Net is now represented by over thirty wholly owned locations as well as a large network of independent distributors.

In 2002, Viking Group, Inc. launched Viking Fabrication Services to offer contractors complete fabrication services for steel pipe, the largest component for most sprinkler systems.

Viking Plastics also joined Viking Group Inc in early 2007 to provide an integrated package of products and services for independent fire sprinkler contractors worldwide and create a seamless, comprehensive single-source solution for residential fire protection.

 Viking has set ambitious goals for the future and has positioned itself to capitalize on the sprinkler industry’s significant growth potential. It has invested in a significant expansion of its facilities and equipment in order to ensure its future competitiveness. Together, the companies of Viking Group, Inc. are now well positioned to continue to provide independent sprinkler contractors with the finest fire protection products and services.