Biography of Fred M. Opitz
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Fred M. Opitz, in whom inventive genius has combined with executive ability to make a most enterprising and successful business man, is numbered among the recent valuable additions to the manufacturing circles of Racine, where he has operated since 1912 as the head of the Perfex Radiator Company. A native of Germany, he was born in Berlin on the 24th of October, 1886, and pursued his education there, receiving thorough training along mechanical lines. He was, as it were, “to the manner horn,” for his father, Herman Opitz, had been engaged along mechanical lines as a manufacturer of bathtubs, and F. M. Opitz has had practical experience in mechanical work from his early boyhood. Hoping to find still broader business opportunities in the new world, he came to the United States in 1906. when a young man of twenty years, settling in New York, where he was connected with leading radiator manufacturers of the east, thus gaining several years of practical experience along the line to which he is now devoting his energies. Arriving in Chicago in 1911, he organized the Aero Sheet Metal Works, in which undertaking he was joined by A. B. Modine. They conducted the largest repair shop for radiator repair work in Chicago and did all kinds of sheet metal repair work. Having gained extensive knowledge of all kinds of radiators through his connection with different companies in the east, Mr. Opitz began studying radiator construction with a view to improving those upon the market and at length his investigation, thought and experimentation resulted in the invention of a radiator which would do away with the faults of others, the result being today known to the world as the Perfex radiator. This has been improved from year to year and is today the standard radiator upon the market. In order to engage in the manufacture of this radiator Mr. Opitz and the company removed from Chicago to Racine and incorporated the business under the name of the Perfex Radiator Company, erecting here a large plant, since which time the business has grown steadily. The history of the enterprise is given above and indicates not only the high standard of the output but also the capable business management of the promoters.
On the 10th of May, 1916, Mr. Opitz was united in marriage to Miss Alice Paulsen, of Racine, a daughter of Martin and Henrietta (Kirby) Paulsen, who became early residents of this city. Mr. Opitz has never become an active factor in public life nor has his ambition centered along that line. He feels that his time is fully occupied with his business affairs, and that his efforts are resultant is indicated in the establishment and conduct of the splendid industrial enterprise of which he is now the head.