Brief History of Lenzip


Leonard J. Lichtenstein (on phone)
Founder of Lenzip Mfg. Corp.

Leonard Distributing Company was founded by Leonard J Lichtenstein in 1946 and originally operated out of a basement of a tailor shop on the northside of Chicago.

Mr. Lichtenstein purchased zippers from various sources and resold the zippers to cleaners and tailors across the country.

In 1958, Mr. Lichtenstein purchased the machinery and assets from a bankrupt zipper manufacturer in Frankfort, Illinois.

In April of 1963, the company name of Leonard Distributing Company was changed to Lenzip Manufacturing Corporation to better reflect the nature of the business.

On July 18, 1977, a 5-alarm fire destroyed the factory of Lenzip, then located at 1650 W. Kinzie Street in Chicago. The blaze ranked #2 in Chicago in 1977 as the most difficult and destructive fire. Over 200 firefighters and 60 pieces of equipment battled the fire in the 70 year-old wooden structure.  The following month, a new location was found 3 blocks away at 1900 W. Kinzie Street and the re-building process began; a process that would take 3 years to complete.

Leonard J. Lichtenstein passed away on August 3, 1989 at age 68. The business continues with his son today.

On March 14, 2005, Lenzip purchased a 77,000 square foot industrial building in Rolling Meadows, Illinois. After a complete renovation of the building, Lenzip relocated to Rolling Meadows in April, 2007.

With over 130 pieces of zipper producing equipment, many of which are made by Lenzip’s own staff of highly-trained tool and die-makers,  Lenzip is the second oldest zipper manufacturer in the United States and one of only a handful of zipper manufacturers continuing to operate in North America.