Some recent reflections from Charles H. Browning, Jr.
Browning Pools and Spa is an outgrowth of a business started in 1942 by C. Hanford Browning and his wife, Vivian Browning, doing custom farming and excavation for farmers and contractors. In the late 50’s a local contractor asked my father, Hanford, to dig for an inground pool. That pool had a concrete block wall similar to a small house foundation. It had a sand bottom floor and a vinyl interior. This was the early version of today’s modern vinyl liner pools and we have since installed hundreds of them in the central Maryland area.
A few years later Hanford saw an advertisement for dealerships of fiberglass pools. This was 1959 and there were not many companies using fiberglass for pools at that time. Most pools were some version of concrete or this new product called vinyl liner pools. Hanford had a friend fly him out to Ohio to see this fiberglass pool company and decided to buy a franchise.
My father sold his first Lancer Fiberglass pool to a Mr. Brown on Ridge Road in Damascus Maryland only about a mile from our current business location at 23731 Ridge Road, Germantown, formerly a Damascus postal service. That pool came to us in 4 sections, which, when assembled on site, made up a complete pool. The excavation site was hand shaped and the pool sections were screwed together and the seam was sealed with fiberglass to create a single piece. We installed a number of them until the manufacturer went out of business a few years later.
Today we are again excited about the fiberglass pools we install from River Pools. Conveniently, the pools are now delivered to the customer’s home in one piece.
There have been a lot of improvements in the 60 years since we installed our first fiberglass pool but the goal remains the same: to provide a high quality, low maintenance pool that allows families to spend time together in their backyard.