All About North Alabama Glass Co., Inc.

 

About Us

North Alabama Glass Company Inc. of Decatur, AL is your premier glass company. We are a true full service glass provider that has been in business since 1946. We offer same day service at no premium cost and emergency hours are available for after hours and weekends. We service most of north Alabama and have installed a large variety of glass products.

A Short History of North Alabama Glass Company

 
Mirror Installer — North Alabama Glass With White Car Office in Decatur, AL
North Alabama Glass Co., Inc. has been in continuous operation as a business in Decatur, Alabama since 1946. Our founders were a trio of union glaziers (glass installers), Sam Allen, Robert Stewart and Sherman Harris, who had been working for the large union firm of Pittsburgh Plate Glass out of the Birmingham, Alabama office after World War II.

Sam Allen founded the Decatur office on Bank Street in 1946. In 1947 Sherman Harris joined Mr. Allen as a partner. Soon after, the partners opened a branch office in Huntsville and then another one in Sheffield, Alabama. Robert Stewart, Sherman's brother-in-law, joined the firm and operated the branch serving the tri-cities of Sheffield, Florence and Tuscumbia (later including Muscle Shoals). Sam Allen managed the Huntsville office of North Alabama Glass and Sherman was in charge of the Decatur branch.

In 1958 the three entrepreneurs split the company into three parts with each taking sole ownership of the branch they ran - while still using the name North Alabama Glass Company.
 
 
Mirror Installer — North Alabama Office in Decatur, AL
In 1961 North Alabama Glass Company, Inc. of Decatur was incorporated in the State of Alabama. Soon after, Mr. Harris moved the business into the white three story building at 153 NE Second Avenue. The location was on the corner of Lee Street and Second Avenue directly across the street from the Morgan County Courthouse (famous as the site of the Scottsboro Boys Trial). That building had originally been built as Decatur's Model-T Ford dealership in the 1910s.

In 1968, after 25 years in the U.S. Army, retired Sgt. Bruce Gamble joined in a partnership with Bob Stewart by opening a “sister” glass company in Scottsboro, Alabama. The company was known as Scottsboro Glass. Bruce was a nephew by marriage to both Bob Stewart and Sherman Harris. Although he had no experience in the glass industry, Bruce was able to "grow" the Scottsboro business into profitability by 1970.
In late 1970 Sherman Harris was in poor health due to a case of glass falling on his leg. He offered to give Bruce fifty percent of the Decatur business if he would move to Decatur and take over the day-to-day operations. Decatur was four times larger in size than Scottsboro and represented a chance for quicker financial success. Bruce sold his interest in Scottsboro Glass to Bob Stewart's son, Sherman Dick Stewart (an aerospace engineer), and moved to Decatur.

In 1973 urban renewal claimed North Alabama Glass' building and Bruce and Sherman moved the business to the opposite end of Second Avenue to the location at the corner of Second Avenue and Prospect Drive where it is housed today. The old building was demolished and became a large parking lot for the courthouse employees and customers.

The new building was originally built as a large cleaners in the 1920s. Over the years it served a number of purposes including hosting wrestling matches and a skating rink in the lot to the north of the building that we now refer to as the "contract yard". In the 1940s the building served as a canteen factory during World War II. It had been used a number of years as the Thompson Tractor "CAT" dealership before North Alabama Glass bought the building.

In the mid-1980s after the death of founder, Sam Allen, the office in Huntsville was closed by Sam's son - John Allen, who chose to get out of the glass business. Around the same time in the Sheffield office, Robert Stewart retired and turned over the day-to-day operations to his youngest son, Cliff Stewart. And in Decatur, Ken Gamble had recently graduated from the University of Alabama with his MBA and was making plans to work on his doctorate at the University of North Carolina when Sherman passed away. Ken bought Sherman’s stock and took over 51% ownership of the Decatur office to work with his father, Bruce. By the early 1990s Bruce had retired and his youngest son, Brian Gamble, became Ken's partner.

North Alabama Glass of Decatur opened a Huntsville office in the early 1990s on Jordan Lane. In the late 1990s Ken & Brian took ownership of Huntsville Glass Company on Holmes Avenue; purchasing the business from Stan Wells, who remained as manager, and the building from Mr. Turner, who had originally founded Huntsville Glass in 1941 mainly to serve Redstone Arsenal's need for laminated safety glass.

The addition of our new 35,000 sq. ft. facility in Madison, Alabama in 2018 will allow us to service the Huntsville-Madison-Athens area better than ever.

After a combined 135 years in business, North Alabama Glass (1946) and sister company Huntsville Glass (est. 1941) remain as two of the oldest, most reputable and financially sound glass companies in the Southeastern United States.

North Alabama Glass excels in installation of storefront and curtainwall systems in new construction with well over $100 million dollars in billings for glass, storefront and curtainwall construction. But North Alabama Glass remains true to its historic roots as a full service glass company performing residential window replacement, shower installations, mirrors and auto glass.