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Nathan Kramer, a metalsmith from Russia, established Kramer in 1914 in Trenton, New Jersey, with automobile radiators as the company's first product. Staying with finned coils and heat transfer, the company expanded into building refrigeration equipment, establishing a working relationship with Hill Refrigeration, also located in Trenton.


Over the years, Kramer earned a reputation for quality, long-lived products while also leading the refrigeration industry with innovation and new product development. In 1930, Kramer introduced the RC series of Unicon® remote air-cooled condensers, still unmatched in providing low maintenance performance under all conditions. Kramer also was the originator of packaged condensing units, engineered systems that matched compressors to coils for optimum performance and reliability. To expand, the Kramer family established additional manufacturing plants, with each business named by its location, Kramer-Trenton, Kramer-Pittsburgh, Kramer-New York.

World War II

During World War II Kramer's product lines shifted temporarily from refrigeration equipment to artillery shells. During this time the company closed its Pittsburgh and New York plants and the company became identified as Kramer-Trenton.


In 1940 Kramer introduced Freeze Ovens, the company's name for electric defrost evaporators. In 1947, right after W.W. II, belt drive, BD series, Unicon® condensers were introduced for industrial applications. In 1948, the first of the company's famed Thermobanks was introduced, the "V" series. This was a free-standing hot-gas defrost unit which fairly rapidly was followed by several improved models, the "B" and "L" series. Ten years later, in 1958, the patented Thermobank® principle was introduced as an integral part of an air cooled condensing unit. Nathan Kramer remained the driving force behind the company until his death in 1959 when Israel Kramer became president.


Continuing its deserved reputation as a leader in refrigeration equipment, in 1960 Kramer introduced the DD series, direct drive Unicon® condensers. In 1961 the famed "Straddle" units were introduced, in 1963 the KE series electric defrost evaporators, and in 1965 the LV series, the first low velocity evaporators. One of Kramer's over thirty patents is on the exclusive Minimum Charge Monitor®, which permits fully charging a system simply and quickly with a minimum of refrigerant. The Kramer-developed Thermolator™ used in Kramer-Saver® split systems helps keep energy costs low. In 1977, Thermobank-2 condensing units and balanced systems were introduced. These took the famed, patented Thermobank® principles and improved them even further into the fastest defrost, most efficient refrigeration systems on the market.


In January, 1990, Kramer-Trenton Co. closed its doors and the rights to the products and designs and name were acquired by Ardco Inc. Today, the Kramer philosophy of quality and innovation continue, with tens of thousands of reliable systems and products still operating and supported in the field, and new refrigeration equipment achievements being realized. New medium profile evaporators were introduced in 1995. Further refinements on the famed Thermobank® design were patented in 1997. After 82 years, Kramer-Trenton continues to lead with achievements in heat transfer, as it did when Nathan Kramer first started the business. And it remains as true today as in 1914 that quality is the best investment.