100 Years Built on Relationships, Dedication, and Integrity
In 1893, the World's Fair introduced AC power and the country started consuming electrical goods. In 1919, Fred R. Eiseman, Sr., a sales manager at Electric Appliance Company and Van N. Marker, a sales representative for Adams-Bagnal Company, believed that their vast experience and deep relationships with contractors and industrial accounts was exactly what they needed to start their own electrical distribution company.
On August 12, 1919; with an initial bank deposit of $500, the Revere Electric Company was incorporated. They purchased a 15,000 square foot building (439 Plymouth Court) conveniently located in the growing Chicago loop area. In the early days, it was difficult getting the suppliers to recognize and support the young, up-and-coming electrical distributor. To gain the trust of the suppliers, Revere created a product catalog called "The Messenger of Service", which was taken from Paul Revere and his ability to make sure the right message was delivered quickly and accurately every time. This catalog, coupled with hard work and dedication, helped develop the necessary trust within the supplier community and soon Revere was being supported by many suppliers such as Crouse Hinds, Micro, Hoffman, Hubbell and many others.
In 1927, the company outgrew their current space and moved to 757 W. Jackson. This new facility was twice the size of the original building, 35,000 square feet, and it housed a staff of 21 and growing. In 1930, the Revere Electric Company rented a building behind their current location and pursued the service station lighting business. Service station lighting was a very successful enterprise and they expanded the manufacturing facility multiple times. In 1941, the service station lighting business was split off and eventually sold to the Crouse Hinds Company. At that time, Revere Electric Company became Revere Electric Supply, owned and operated by Fred Eiseman, Sr.
In 1935, Revere Electric Supply Company became an Allen Bradley authorized distributor and continued to grow at a fast pace. In 1952, the Dan Ryan expressway was in the process of being constructed and its path led straight through Revere's facility. The company was forced to relocate and moved into their new location one day before the facility was demolished.
Revere's new home (2501 W. Washington Blvd.) was a 70,000 square foot facility made from concrete and steel. It housed 79 people and three (3) automated conveyor systems to move paper and products in between the four floors. One conveyor was for office paper, one was for interfloor paper communications, and the final one was for product. During this period, Revere also installed the latest in telephone and inter-departmental communications. One local prominent newspaper called the transition "An Old Business with New Ideas".
1952 also marked the beginning of a new era. Fred Eiseman, Sr. retired from the company and his son Fred Eiseman, Jr. (Bud) took the reins.
In 1966, Revere entered the electric data processing era and purchased an IBM card machine. As technology continued to progress, Revere continued to upgrade to the latest technology to improve efficiencies within departments and keep the lines of communications open.
Throughout the 1970's, Revere expanded operations and opened its first branch location in Elgin, IL in 1973. In 1979, Revere expanded into Northern Indiana with the purchase of Kwains Electric, located in Hammond.
In 1980, Fred Eiseman Jr. passed away and Tom Eiseman became the third-generation owner of the company. At the time Tom took over, he had already been working by his father's side for almost a decade in various managerial roles. Tom was more than ready to assume his grandfather's legacy and created a strategic direction for the company that hinged on the rise of industrial automation.
The nineties continued to bring growth for the organization and soon a pivotal acquisition was presented. In 2002, Revere acquired Holt Electric, Inc.Founded in 1892, Holt had two locations; one in Milwaukee, WI, which also included a motor shop, and a 2nd location in Hartland, WI. Holt was a family owned company and an authorized Allen Bradley distributor; similarities that made for a perfect union.
In 2003, Tom Eiseman felt that the company needed additional leadership. He hired Paul McCool, an electrical industry veteran, to act as Chief Executive Officer for the company. At the same time, Tom and the leadership team established a Board of Directors and named Tom as Director of the Board.
Continuing to expand the business was paramount to the company's strategic growth plan. In 2005, another family owned Allen Bradley authorized distributor was acquired. Complete Industrial and Electric Supply, located in Morris, IL and Peru, IL was founded in 1963 and followed the same footprint as the last acquisition, Holt Electric.
At this point in time, Erik Eiseman, Tom's son, was already working in the organization as a territory field representative but was ready to expand his role. Erik joined the management team at Complete Industrial soon after the acquisition and led the company's integration into the Revere family.
Revere Electric now had six locations throughout Northern/Central Illinois and Southeast Wisconsin. Two major acquisitions within five years had meant that Revere had doubled in size. Technology continued to play a major role in our customer's facilities and a new strategic direction was conceived. Moving forward, Revere would be known throughout the marketplace as a value-added solution provider; utilizing our employee's breadth and depth of knowledge to create solution businesses that would meet the increasing needs of our customer base.
Known throughout the industry as a premier industrial automation distributor was something to be extremely proud of, but the Board of Directors felt that Revere needed to diversify the business and started focusing on the contractor market.
In 2013, Revere made two historic decisions. The first was to acquire BJ Electric Supply, a contractor based electrical distributor with locations in Madison, Janesville, and Pewaukee, WI. BJ Electric Supply, owned and operated since 1969, has a strong history in both Madison and Janesville and is known throughout the region as the experts in switchgear, lighting and wire, cord, and cable.
The second historic decision was to close the corporate headquarters location at 2501 W. Washington Blvd., which we had resided in for 61 years, and move to a new 45,000 square foot facility in Mokena, IL. The new corporate headquarters would house a customer experience center, a training room, and a full-service counter.
By 2016, we had learned a lot from BJ Electric Supply about the contractor market and felt it was time to increase the diversification efforts in the Chicago land area. To that end, Revere acquired a one location contractor house, Glenbard Electric Supply, located in Lombard, IL and today that operation serves as a secondary branch to our corporate headquarters in Mokena.
After the purchase of Glenbard, Revere felt confident that the company was adequately diversified, and any additional growth would come from the markets we were currently serving. Then in early 2017, we were given the opportunity to acquire Nelson Electric Supply, another family owned, Allen Bradley authorized distributor.
Nelson Electric, founded in 1944, operated two branches in Racine county, and just so happened to be situated right between our locations in Milwaukee and Chicago. Revere and Nelson had a friendly relationship and informal talks about Revere acquiring Nelson had happened many times throughout the years. The timing finally seemed right and Revere was honored to bring them into the Revere family.
Today, Revere operates 11 locations throughout Northern Illinois, Central Illinois, and Southeast Wisconsin. We are fortunate to be a 4th generation family owned business who believes in "family first" and cherishes the talented employees and top tier suppliers that have made us the premiere industrial and electrical construction distributor we are today. It's a great honor to be sharing our 100th year of service with everyone who has made this company a success over the years. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts and we look forward to servicing you for another 100 years.