The ownership of the original Gang-Nail connector plate invented by John Calvin “Cal” Jureit has been transferred to MiTek to preserve the legacy of the revolutionary invention.

At a special ceremony held at MiTek’s global headquarters in Chesterfield, Missouri last December, Jureit’s widow, Marie Jureit-Beamish handed over the original Gang-Nail connector plate and patent documents to MiTek chairman and CEO Mark Thom.

Invented by Jureit in 1955, the Gang-Nail connector plate was the first metal tie that allowed for the building of wood trusses without the need for nails, screws, or glue. Jureit’s labour-saving invention revolutionised the building industry and served as the foundation of what would later become the company – MiTek. The original Gang-Nail connector plate and other historical artefacts from Jureit’s career are now on permanent display at MiTek’s headquarters.

“He, as you know, transformed how we built houses with one simple idea,” Jureit-Beamish said. “However, a simple idea doesn't come from just one moment. It comes from a lifetime of preparedness for that one moment and then what you do with it after that one moment.”

Jureit learned production and ‘how to get things done’ while working in the Jureit Family Bakery in Miami, Florida. After serving in the U.S. Navy as a cartographer during the war, he graduated from Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) in 1949 with a degree in engineering. Jureit was inducted into the Engineering Hall of Fame at Georgia Tech in 1996.

Following a short stint at a company that designed and built roof trusses, he got the crucial idea that would change the building industry. Using his skills as an artist, he sketched out the design of the Gang-Nail connector plate. These drawings were captured in the original patent documents.

Before the invention of connector plates, roofs were often constructed with individual rafters. This process required highly skilled carpenters, precise cuts, and a difficult procedure where nails were driven into the lumber at a sharp angle. Jureit’s Gang-Nail connector plate would save 125 manually driven nails per truss built. Throughout his career, Jureit filed more than 60 construction industry patents.

He founded Gang-Nail Systems, Inc. in 1956, which sold connector plates, assembly machinery and engineering services. In 1987, Gang-Nail was purchased by Hydro-Air, and, soon after, they merged to form MiTek.

“MiTek is a company that has become very intent on innovating, solving big problems in building in new and creative ways, and, as a result, hopefully making an impact on communities around the world,” said MiTek chairman and CEO Mark Thom.

“Cal’s story reminded me about the simplicity of taking a great idea and being willing to run with it, but also the work that's required to follow through.”

Today, MiTek annually ships millions of pounds of connector plates in hundreds of sizes and configurations globally. Jureit passed away in 2005 at the age of 87, but his legacy lives on in every connector plate sold. His spirit of innovation inspires MiTek’s vision to meet the demand for smarter, more affordable, and more sustainable homes and buildings.