It began in 1924 on a $300 investment and a vision by founder Thibaut Casper (T.C.) Kaemmerlen. On the third floor of a building, now site of the south leg of the St. Louis Gateway Arch, a company bearing the Kaemmerlen name begins. It accepts and repairs small household electrical appliances. Since its inception, the resulting firm has stood for quality service, personal relationships and vision for its customers.
1903 - Founder T.C. Kaemmerlen is born in Mexico, the son of a US railroad company worker transplanted south of the border. Family eventually settles in DeSoto, Mo., when T.C. enrolls at Ranken Technical College and takes first job on assembly line at Frank Adams Electric Company in St. Louis.
1924 - Kaemmerlen and Gil Kramer, T.C.'s foreman at Adams, open Kramer-Kaemmerlen Electric Company on third floor of Second and Chestnut building (site of St. Louis Arch). The firm repairs small electrical appliances.
1927 - First major contract signed to wire grain elevator. Job provides much needed cash flow and encouragement in early years.
1931 - After brief moves to buildings on Lafayette Avenue, company relocates to central city site at 2318 Locust.
1937 - Partnership dissolves. T.C. buys out Kramer. Company officially now Kaemmerlen Electric Company.
1946 - Kaemmerlen Electric incorporates under Missouri laws.
1947 - The big move to current location - 2728 Locust. Shortly after move, addition is built, increasing total space to 12,000-square-feet. Kaemmerlen Electric is accepted in International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local #1 as a closed shop.
1950s - Consumer purchases, especially in home appliances, explodes. Sales boom also brings need for repairs. Kaemmerlen becomes one of largest repair shops in U.S. with 25-plus bench technicians repairing 50,000 appliances annually.
1960s - Commercial service continues development. But mid 60s and early 70s witness greatest growth from the 2-3 man fleet of the past. In 1968, company passes the $1M sales mark for the first time.
1974 - With increasing wages and lower replacement value, small appliance industry shifts from repair to replacement. Kaemmerlen discontinues small household appliance repair, redirecting focus to commercial food service equipment.
1970s - The founder, T.C. Kaemmerlen, turns over day-to-day responsibilities to his sons. The firm successfully transitions to the second generation of leadership.
1987 - March 31 company splits into two corporations - Kaemmerlen Parts and Service (new) and Kaemmerlen Electric. Move streamlines both operations and allows more autonomous leadership by T.C.’s sons Bob and Bruce and in their respective industries.
1996 - Kaemmerlen Communications becomes separate division within Kaemmerlen Electric due to booming market of voice, data and video.
1997 - With increased need for space to grow, Kaemmerlen Electric builds 14,000-square-feet warehouse.
1999 - Kaemmerlen Companies celebrate 75th year of business.
2000 - Robert M. (Bob) Kaemmerlen, Jr. is named president of Kaemmerlen Electric, establishing third generation of leadership.
2004 - The need for office space drives the decision for Kaemmerlen Parts & Service to relocate to a new home; the first move since 1947. Kaemmerlen Electric expands into the vacancy at 2728 Locust, adding an additional 7,000 of square footage to the office.
2006 - The growth and renewed focus on service work leads to the formal creation of a separate business unit, The Service Division.