WIX Filters History

L.G. Alexander, the first president of WIX, once said, “A look back is helpful – if it helps us look ahead.” His sentiment is just as applicable today as WIX begins its 75th year.

Our focus today is the same as it was when we were founded in 1939 – to provide our customers with premium quality filters designed to exceed their performance demands. We are proud of our nearly eight decades of growth and innovation, and our focus on product development has made the name ‘WIX Filters’ synonymous with a rich tradition of excellence.

With 11 facilities in eight countries, WIX manufacturers more than 210 million filters annually and has customers in over 80 countries. We also have more than 3,500 employees globally, including 1,500 in the greater Gastonia area, and their daily passion and personal dedication help us make the best filter in the world.

But how did it all begin?

WIX Filters was founded in an old cotton mill in Gastonia by Jack Wicks and his business partner, Paul Crenshaw, who needed an inexhaustible supply of pure white cotton thread waste for the filtering media of their new company. At the time, Gastonia and Gaston County produced more combed cotton yarn than anywhere else in the world.

Wicks and Crenshaw soon saw a need for filter replacements that would simplify the filter changing process and, within 15 years, they turned the filter market upside down with the invention and patent of a spin-on oil filter design – known at the time as “twist of the wrist” – that quickly became the industry standard.

The spin-on filter was among a small handful of parts in our company’s early years. Today, WIX leads the industry in filtration product line breadth, including:

  • More than 12,000 unique products numbers, offering the aftermarket’s widest array of domestic and foreign nameplate oil, air, fuel, coolant, cabin air, hydraulic, and transmission filters.
  • The WIX industrial filter line, with more than 8,000 product numbers available for hydraulic and fluid power system applications.
  • The launch of a new line of heavy-duty filters in 2011; and
  • Just last year, the launch of our high performance XP synthetic filter.

In addition, for more than 50 years the WIX name has become well-known among the generations of motorsports champions who have driven to the winner’s circle with WIX Filters. We are the No. 1 filter in motorsports, and our engineers will be working alongside Richard Childress Racing this season, applying their research in the ultra-competitive world of racing to the everyday demands of light- and heavy-duty consumer and commercial usage.

For more than 75 years, WIX has revolutionized the filtration industry our way – with quality and innovation. And, we’re still just as busy as ever applying for patents that will shape the history of filtration.

As a company we’ve come a long way since our humble beginning in an old cotton mill, but looking ahead, it’s easy to see that we’re just getting started.

Jack and LG2
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