In June 1922 Arland E. Longacre, a farm boy from Bally, took his "muskrat money" and started his own electrical business. What he began, however, was much more than a business venture. He initiated a continuing Longacre family tradition of quality sales and service.
Arland worked several years for a local electrical contractor and enrolled in a correspondence course to learn the fundamentals while serving as an apprentice electrician. In 1922 he used his $250 savings of muskrat money and with his father's reputation and encouragement purchased a small truck and materials. He started doing local electrical wiring jobs and used a shed on his father's farm in Barto for his first shop.
Several years later, he and his wife moved to a small farm near Bally. As the house wiring business grew, he needed help and started hiring men. The utility companies were extending their lines into the rural areas and many farms were wired for them to benefit by use of electricity - replacing light plants and windmills used for power. They went as far as the Dublin-Doylestown area.
In 1932 electric ranges and refrigerators were starting to appear on the market so Arland decided to rent and open a retail store building in Bally. This was also the year he sold the first automatic Surge milking machine to a local farmer. Two years later the business moved into a newly constructed building at Fifth and Main Streets, Bally.
More appliances were on the market. The introduction of an automatic washer was made in 1937. Longacre received three Bendix automatic washers from the first carload shipped east. Mr. Longacre was very active in demonstrating them and sold the idea of automatic washing to the housewife. As time passed, he expanded the appliance lines, including sound equipment. Again more space was needed so he built a warehouse and five car garage in 1944.
But with the addition of expanded appliance lines the building soon became too small. Longacre purchased and renovated the former Bally bank building in May 1947. At the end of that year the business moved into the new two-story building, complete with approximately 3,300 square feet of display area. In the late 1940's television was introduced into the area. Longacre has sold and serviced black and white color television receivers since their introduction. Additional office and warehouse space was again added in 1959, giving the company over 10,000 square feet of space.
That same year Mr. Longacre incorporated the business to form Longacre Electrical Service, Inc. He served as president until his death in October 1969 when the family tradition continued with his son, J. Arland Longacre, president/treasurer; his wife, Jean Ann, vice president; Edna M. Longacre, secretary; and Mrs. Kenneth Greaser, assistant secretary.
What started in 1922 as an electrical wiring business serving local farms blossomed into what is today a diverse enterprise serving residential, agricultural, commercial, and industrial clients. The company's electrical, dairy, appliance, kitchen remodeling, bathroom remodeling, plumbing contractor services, building, and HVAC heating, ventilation and air conditioning contractor divisions work together to offer customers complete and dependable design, sales, installation, and service.
The industrious spirit that led a country boy to do the best job he could for folks in 1922 continues to weave its thread through the business he founded. That business today remains a family enterprise with the third generation continuing the excellent tradition founded over 90 years ago. The family prides itself on that tradition of quality combining modern technological expertise with old- fashioned sincerity and dependability. This spirit has enabled Longacre Electrical Service, Inc. to maintain its reputation of service and credibility for over 90 years.
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