Frank Sargent, who founded the Thetford Corporation with his sons, Charles and Ron, in 1963, recently celebrated his 100th birthday in Naples, Florida.
Thetford, which was sold by the Sargent family in 1989, has become the world’s leading supplier of sanitation products for the RV, marine and heavy-duty truck industries. Within its first five years, the company developed and began making the Porta-Potti, Aqua-Kem for deodorizing RV holding tanks, and porcelain RV toilets.
Earl Sweet, who became the company’s first non-family employee in 1964 and retired in 2002, said Frank Sargent “was a mentor to many people, especially those of us who were involved in starting Thetford. Frank was very active in the design arena and was constantly coming up with new product ideas for discussion.”
Still privately owned, Thetford is now headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and has eight manufacturing plants in four countries. One of its subsidiaries is Norcold, which makes gas-absorption refrigerators and freezers.Research Campgrounds, Plan RV Safe Routes & Turn your phone into an RV GPS.
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