Early in his career, Harold H. Heath, the founder of Heath Tecna, served as a machinist apprentice at Boeing for four years. By the age of 25, he emerged as a journeyman machinist and worked in local area shops for a short period of time. By 1950, he set out to start his own machine shop by purchasing a modest facility in Renton, Washington, where he employed a staff of three.
While the first year was a struggle for the small shop, the first notable assignment for Harold was to design and manufacture a machine known as the Stripenizer
, which put chocolate and strawberry stripes in soft serve ice cream. By 1951, Harold's shop was approved to bid on Boeing jobs, and soon thereafter received their first order from the OEM for brackets.
With the company steadily growing, in 1956 Harold moved the operation to Kent, Washington, where a new plant was built and the company became known as Heath Manufacturing, Inc. Shortly thereafter the company expanded when Harold started another business called Heath Plating. In 1958, with an order from Boeing to manufacture 707 insulation batts, Harold purchased a company called Tecna Plastics and ran the business as Heath Tecna Plastics, Inc. By the close of the decade, Penberthy Instrument, Seattle, became affiliated with the Heath group, making it the fourth company to contribute to the organization's success.