The company was founded by Luther O. Draper in 1902 to manufacture window shades for schools, and that was Draper’s primary product for the next 60 years.
In 1918 Mr. Draper was joined by his son-in-law, Elmer Pidgeon. Mr. Draper later became a prominent state politician and Elmer Pidgeon assumed management of the company in 1938.
Elmer Pidgeon’s son, Luther, joined the firm in 1940 and became its President in 1960. He continued in that capacity until his death in July 2004.
In 1957 Luther Pidgeon secured a patent on an inexpensive classroom projection screen, marking Draper’s entry into the screen business. Today, projection screens and related products are the largest component of Draper’s business.
Draper manufactured products closely related to projection screens include rear projection display systems, video projector mounts and lifts, plasma display mounts and lifts, and presentation easels.
In 1989 Draper introduced FlexShade Systems, a second line of window shades designed for the commercial market. In 1994 Draper entered the gymnasium equipment market.
Today, the company’s gymnasium equipment products include basketball backstops, gym dividers, wall pads, volleyball equipment, batting cages and wrestling mat hoists.
In addition to its Spiceland, Indiana headquarters, Draper, Inc. has sales offices in Placentia, CA and in Blackwood, Gwent, United Kingdom. Draper also has three wholly owned subsidiaries: Draper Group Ltd., a sales and warehouse facility in Corby, Northamptonshire, United Kingdom, and two manufacturing companies in Sweden: Draper Europe AB, a leading European projection screen manufacturer, and SMS Smart Media Solutions AB, a leading European provider of video projector and flat screen mounts.
The company is owned and managed by the descendants of Luther O. Draper and has enjoyed steady growth for the past 111 years.
Draper products are shipped to dealers throughout the United States and more than 100 foreign countries.