In its 100th year, Winona’s Peerless Chain is still innovating and committed to its Winona roots.
The company was founded in 1917 by three brothers making tire chains in the back room of a butcher shop. Since then, Peerless Chain Co. has to become the largest chain producer in the U.S. and the third-largest in the world.
Peerless chain sells to 32 countries, and their chain can be found in a multitude of residential and commercial products, from fire hydrants and U-Haul trailers to handcuffs and swingsets. The chain is used in most commercial tuna fishing, and on aircraft carriers, transport planes and helicopter slings through contracts with the U.S. Department of Defense.
While the company has continued to expand through corporate acquisitions starting in the early 2000s —the operations have remained based in their east end Winona campus, with around 350,000 square feet of manufacturing space.
Peerless has continued to innovate through all of the changes and remains the largest manufacturer and distributor of industrial and consumer chain in North America. There are a total of about 400 Peerless Chain employees, with 280 in Winona.
Every day Peerless creates around 80 tons of chain, which if stretched out would reach around 40 miles.