Serving plumbing, heating and industrial customers since 1871

Anniversary Celebrations: Rundle Spence

Image depicting the Brass Foundry & Finishing Building.

Last updated on April 6th, 2021 at 03:36 pm

Rundle-Spence Mfg. Co., has been part of Milwaukee’s landscape since 1871, serving plumbing, heating and industrial customers for 150 years

Just imagine, in 1871 Ulysses S. Grant was our 18th president, the cable car was invented and the first major league baseball game was played. We have quite a history – in fact, our first deliveries were made with horse and buggy.

Thomas Spence and Joseph Rundle founded the business to fill a need for quality plumbing products in a brand new industry. 

Our brass, iron and china foundries, located in Milwaukee, manufactured quality plumbing products which were shipped all over the world. South Water and Virginia Streets housed our iron foundry and finishing as well as many other departments. Brass plumbing faucets and fittings were manufactured in our plants on 4th street. Our showroom, also located on 4th Street, allowed customers to visualize these new plumbing products which were becoming more common in homes.

Drinking fountains, known as “bubblers’’ to Wisconsinites, also have quite a history which involves Rundle-Spence. Through the years, Rundle-Spence manufactured a wide variety of these drinking fountains and has used the term ’bubbler’ in our catalogs dating back to the early 1900s.

Drinking fountains became essential to provide a good source of freshwater for the public in urban communities. Early versions of drinking fountains included a bubbling stream for humans, a trough for horses, and a bowl for dogs. 

Throughout our long history, it has been our goal to provide our customers with the latest technology in plumbing products as well as a vast inventory and knowledgeable staff. 

As Rundle-Spence evolved, our customer base diversified. In addition to serving plumbing, heating, and industrial contractors, we also serve manufacturers, architects, and institutions such as municipalities, utilities, and schools. Other services we extend to our customers include on-staff engineers who aid our customers in planning and design, fabricating, and our RedHot Services which include commercial water heater delivery, water heater and boiler repair, and onsite startup services for commercial heaters and boilers installations. 

Our plumbing showrooms allow our contractors to send their customers for assistance in plumbing selections. We have also broadened our offerings to include our main website, a website specific to our ShowPlace at and customer service via text messaging at our main line, 262-782-3000.

Today, the 5th generation, still locally owned and operated by the Spence family continues the company’s long legacy of exceptional customer service from our three locations in New Berlin, Madison and Fond du Lac. According to David Spence, president, “Although manufacturing ceased in the 1950’s the company continues to thrive, serving the plumbing, industrial, heating, well and septic industries through innovative products and services as a wholesale distributor.” We are thankful to our many customers and vendors who have helped Rundle-Spence attain this monumental anniversary and look forward to serving our trade professional for years to come. 

2075 S. Moorland Road
New Berlin, WI  |  53151


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