Industrial Cork Company, formerly Industrial Products Company was founded on December 15, 1935 by Paul C. Simonini, the original owner, who opened a small office with office furniture and a filing cabinet on the third floor of The America Fore Building located at 841 N. Rush Street, Chicago, Illinois.
With a knowledge of the insulation and roofing business and an engineering background, Paul started out with a small clientele of friends and acquaintances he had made since leaving college while working for other companies selling roofing, flooring, pipe & boiler insulation as well as cold storage insulation and sound-proofing materials and installing them on small contracts that he felt that he could finance, since he started on a comparatively small capital.
With a determination to succeed and much perseverance, he managed to make expenses the first year. The only profit he realized was an amount about equal to his cash discounts and on numerous occasions wondered how he would be able to pay his workmen, often making it necessary to go out and make 11th hour collections and small loans in order to carry on.
It soon became evident that if he were to take on contracts of any consequence that it would be necessary to establish a credit rating with a good bank in order to make short term loans. This was done by borrowing a small amount for 30 or 60 days and paying it back promptly; from time to time the loans were gradually increased until he was able to make fairly large loans without security for 90 days.