ABM History Timeline

  • Before the Broom

    The Rosenbergs
    In 1909, Morris Rosenberg invests $4.50 in a bucket, a sponge, a mop, and a company’s future. Serving merchants on San Francisco’s Fillmore Street, Morris turns a profit of $3.50 on his first day.
  • A Window on the Future

    American Building Maintenance Co. Old Logo

    Expansion from window washing to full janitorial services demands our first rebrand. Morris updates the name of his growing business to American Building Maintenance Company.

  • Roaring Into the Twenties

    ABM in West America

    By the end of their first decade in business, American Building Maintenance Company expands from the streets of San Francisco to open offices in Los Angeles, Portland, and Seattle.

  • World’s First


    Winning a contract to clean Stanford University makes us the first janitorial contractor in America to clean a major college campus. Making a mark for ABM’s employee culture, a future president of the company (Morris’ son Ted) is sent there on his first professional assignment, as a janitor.

  • Coast to Coast Expansion

    ABM in New York

    When ABM opens our first New York branch office in 1933, we’ve grown to 1,500 employees and specialized services for banks, theatres, offices, department stores, and colleges. Our technical services have their first birthday, founded in Los Angeles as the APEX Electrical and Mechanical Company, soon to be renamed the Pacific Electrical and Mechanical Company (PEMCO).

  • Keeping a Whole World’s Fair Clean

    World's Fair

    The World’s Fair on San Francisco’s Treasure Island asks ABM to be responsible for 500,000 square feet of space, including entrance halls, pavilions, exhibit palaces, 400 restrooms, and more. To get the gates open on time, trucks have to haul 280 tons of debris off the newly created island. Our executives request 400 union workers within 24 hours. On opening morning, the site is ready.

  • The Giant Janitor

    ABM Logo

    The famous “Giant Janitor” logo steps up to represent the World’s Largest Janitorial Contractors. From 1953 and on into the ’60s, a genuine giant, Mr. Hite, made special appearances as our Giant Janitor at industry tradeshows.

  • It’s All a Part of the Magic

    ABM Cleans Disneyland

    When Disneyland opens the Magic Kingdom, ABM is on the job.

  • The Maintainer

    the maintainer

    Long before company emails and apps, ABM shares employee anniversaries, recognizes new accounts, and recaps business news of the day in our newsletter The Maintainer.

  • 45 Cities Strong

    old ABM building

    At our 50-year mark, ABM has grown to employ more than 6,000 people, with offices in 45 cities across North America.

  • American Stock Exchange

    American Stock Exchange

    Our stock lists on the American Stock Exchange.

  • Employees of the Month

    ABM team members secure $1 million of new annual service contracts in just one month for the first time.

  • Listed on the NYSE

    New York Stock Exchange

    Recalling the moment years later, the son of ABM’s founder says: “On our first day on the New York Stock Exchange I bought the very first share of stock. I still have it.”

  • Ranking in Dun’s Review

    Of the 4,000 corporations listed over-the-counter and on the major stock exchanges, only 234 have increased annual dividends in the last 10 years. ABM is one, ranking 65th.

  • From Trainee to President

    Bill Steele becomes ABM President in 1991

    Bill Steele becomes President and Chief Executive Officer of ABM in 1991, having started as a management trainee in 1958.

  • 82 Years of Revenue Growth

    Marking increased revenue for the 82nd consecutive year, ABM and our subsidiaries now serve clients in 35 of the 40 largest metropolitan areas in the United States.

  • A New Site for Service

    First ABM website

    ABM launches www.abm.com.

  • 9/11/2001

    The terrible toll of the attack on the World Trade Center includes 17 ABM employees. Survivor Jan Demczur, an ABM window washer, uses his squeegee to open a trapped elevator, saving not only himself, but the lives of everyone stuck inside. To honor Demczur’s bravery in leading those trapped with him safely out of the building, his squeegee and ABM uniform were later inducted into the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. At the time of the attack, the WTC is ABM’s single largest client, with approximately 800 janitorial, engineering, and lighting employees caring for the site.

  • The Century Mark

    ABM Industries Incorporated celebrates the 100th anniversary of our founding by ringing the Closing Bell at the New York Stock Exchange. The son of ABM’s founder, with former job titles from janitor to corporate director, is there to share the moment with us.

  • National September 11 Memorial & Museum


    ABM Facility Solutions returns to the site of its former largest client, the World Trade Center, taking on the responsibility for integrated facility services at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. Caring for these unique spaces remains a special honor for us, as 17 of the names memorialized there belong to ABM employees.