YELLOW JACKET Celebrates History In HVAC/R Industry

Over the last 66 years, the YELLOW JACKET name has become synonymous with quality products and service in the HVACR industry.

It all started back in 1946, when the late Jack Ritchie founded the Ritchie Engineering Company in Bloomington, Minn., as a manufacturer’s representative organization. He worked hard and in 1949, created a high quality hose. Jack picked yellow for the hose color as a way to designate its use for refrigeration. The color stuck with Jack and inspired the name YELLOW JACKET. Today, it is known as the YELLOW JACKET Charging Hose and it remains the best-selling refrigeration recovery hose in the industry 66 years later.

With commercial and residential development, the demand for high quality HVAC/R equipment has continued to grow. To meet these demands, Jack’s two sons, Steve and Tom Ritchie, joined forces to help grow the brand after their father’s retirement in the early ‘70s.

“While a lot has changed in the last 66 years, one thing has remained the same: our philosophy of giving HVAC/R professionals the quality products they need at a competitive price with fast delivery and dependable follow-through,” said Tom Ritchie, President and CEO.

Since the launch of its first charging hose, YELLOW JACKET has continued to innovate and expand its line of recovery and maintenance tools. The brand has sold hundreds of thousands of its namesake hose. In the process, it has set the bar within the HVAC/R industry with its innovative manifolds, tubing tools, vacuum pumps, leak detectors, recovery and wireless gauges.

YELLOW JACKET remains dedicated to its philosophy of creating quality products, which are made to exacting standards, and carefully assembled by highly skilled workers at its manufacturing facility in Bloomington. The company employs 150 people who do everything from the making smallest crimp to sealing the final packaging. Each part is handpicked and inspected. Every tool is assembled, and tested by hand before being shipped.

From its humble beginnings, the YELLOW JACKET brand has continued to grow and innovate while remaining a family business. Its products are now available on six continents. “We’re looking forward to the future,” said Ritchie.

“We’re excited to tackle the changes in the industry and to continue setting the bar for high standards when it comes to quality, service and technical support.”