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Our History

The Buckingham Routh Company celebrated their 170th anniversary in 2024, making us the oldest plumbing and heating contractor in continuous operation in the United States.
Tim Taylor, Owner of The Buckingham Routh Company

The company first opened its doors in 1854 as the New Haven Steam Heating Company, selling boilers and flat radiators nationwide—many of which remain in use in the country’s oldest homes and estates.

In 1895, the company’s founder, James Shearlock, hired his nephew Arthur Thorpe as the heating engineer. He also hired Thomas Routh and Alfred Buckingham to take charge of plumbing operations and sheet metal work. That same year, the three men incorporated the business as The Buckingham Routh Company.

The Buckingham Routh Company installed many of the original central steam connections for New Haven’s buildings, which can still be seen today in the Wooster and Chapel Street areas of the city. They helped build the infrastructure for many Connecticut icons, including those in New Haven such as Yale University and IBM, and others across the state such as AT&T Underground Communications in Cheshire, the U.S. Naval Submarine Base in New London, the F.B.M. Building & Dental Clinic in New London, General Dynamics, and Pratt & Whitney.

History Image - The Buckingham Routh Co. New Haven, CT
History Image - The Buckingham Routh Co. New Haven, CT
History Image - The Buckingham Routh Co. New Haven, CT

Today, Buckingham Routh also installs the most advanced modern technology, including systems for a high-tech lab at Bristol Myers Squibb and an epidemiology lab at Yale University’s Medical School. Although times and technology have changed, our dedication to getting the job done right has not, and we are proud to remain a leader in the mechanical contracting field.

They’ve seen their home city change from mercantile, to industrial, to a knowledge-based economy, and have adapted with the times while remaining a bedrock member of the New Haven community.

John DeStefano, Mayor of New Haven, 1994-2014
History Image - The Buckingham Routh Co. New Haven, CT
History Image - The Buckingham Routh Co. New Haven, CT
History Image - The Buckingham Routh Co. New Haven, CT