Atlas Heating & Ventilating opened with a three man shop south of Market Street. The first company truck was this chain-driven 1908 model.
Today and Tomorrow
The family-run business has continued to prosper guided by three generations of Tucks. The founder’s son, Robert G. Tuck ran the company for 30 years with brothers Douglas and James. Bob Tuck, grandson of George graduated from UC Berkeley in 1972 and is president of Atlas Heating and Air Conditioning Company. Atlas now represents major national brand furnaces and is still at the forefront of heating and ventilating (HVAC) technology, specializing in residential and light commercial work.
Most homes were heated by potbellied stoves or kichen ranges. The new cast iron gravity furnace with ductwork supplied ample heat to most areas.
George Tuck developed the Atlas gas furnace for manufactured gas. He also invented the first integrated blower furnace and safety pilot light. He was one of the first to design furnaces with steel, making them lighter and easier to install.
A residential furnace installation was scheduled with a signed contract and a $10 deposit. The customer paid $5.47 a month for 12 months to pay it off.
By the mid-1930s until World War II, San Francisco was one of the biggest builders and suppliers of gas funaces in the county. It was also during this time that Atlas began shipping its furnaces for use on U.S. military bases as far away as Alaska, the Philippines and near the Panama Canal. The post war decade provided a robust economy and plenty of residential and commercial demand. Bob Tuck, shown upper back left and Don Ockerman, shown upper back right worked at Atlas for over 50 years.
Three articles described Atlas Heating and Ventilating Company with personnel in their San Francisco, Oakland and Marin offices. Commercial projects featured “new air conditioning” and included the Crown Zellerback Building, Di Maggio’s Restuarant and the Pacific Scientific Building. Atlas had recently completed work with several large oil companies, shopping centers (Stonestown, Hillsdale, Stanford) and Army and Navy installations. Congratulatory ads from companies still doing business with Atlas today include: Norman S. Wright & Co., Edward B. Ward & Co.,Slakey Brothers Oakland, P.E. O’Hair, Honeywell (then Minneapolis Honeywell Regulator Company), Shoemaker Manufacturing, Grainger, and Sheedy Drayage.