Origins: Kunz Powell and Associates
In my first chapter of the Kunz-Powell story, I told of quitting my job in Boston to move back to Philadelphia to begin Powell electrical Sales.
On August 1, 1980 I made my first call on Jim Stamson at Fromm Electric in Reading—a cold call as I had been to an interview at Berk-Tek earlier that day. No order, but I did get some good advice—no cold calls!!—make appointments.
As I look back, I cannot believe the amount of change that has taken place in our area over the past 41 years.
More than 60 independent electrical distributors do not exist today. They either were acquired, merged or simply closed their doors. National chains did not escape change either—at least 6 branches were closed.
The very much incomplete list includes from east to west includes:
Franklin Electric AC, Pullan Electric, Maegin Electric, Kay Electric AC & Vineland*,Uhr Electric, Mao Electric*, United Light*. Silvers Electric, West Philly*, Allen Electric, Power Electric, Lighting Fixture & Supply*, Pyramid Electric*, Progress Electric*, Fluorescent Supply, Harrisburg Electric, Raub Supply*….. The * indicates those that gave me my first order—I believed that giving them that designation might help get me to get a second order!!!
The Rep community didn’t miss out either.
I did not pay attention to my competitors in 1980 so I can’t give an accurate count, but, I found the Show Directory from The EAP’s 1993 show. 22 Rep Firms listed there are no more:
R.H May Company, Barry Siegfried ( Although, I heard that one of his kids did OK ), J.B Currell, Trio Sales, Murray Gubin, Fred Isenberg ( Pre F&M ), Delta Sales, Tony Tosti, Fite-Walker are only a few.
The list of Manufacturers is even more stunning:
Triangle Wire & Cable, Phelps-Dodge, Alflex,KorKap, Youngstown Sheet & Tube, Jet Line, Atlas Fittings, Red Dot, Senator Wire, Certainteed, Cadillac Wire, Russell-Stoll, American Metal Moulding, American Insulated Wire, Theppitt, American Electric, Norelco ( with Pete Rose as their spokesman ) Sylvania, Singer Electromod, Neer Fittings, Blackhawk Fittings….
There are a ton more in every category, but my handlers want me to keep this short.
In my next chapter I will give a look back at some of the truly good, smart and iconic folks that I met during the early years that helped me to survive and mildly prosper.