• August 30, 1932
12-year old Fred McBroom cleaned the attic of his parents’ home at 961 West 30th Street.
• August 31, 1932 (Hilton’s 25th birthday)
Hilton McBroom & Herb Farrington opened Service Electric Company in above said attic. In order to survive during the Depression, any and all repair services were offered – residential auto repairs, home appliance repair and starter and generator repairs for businesses.
The repair business grew and the company was moved from the attic to a garage at 939 West 30th Street. Herb Farrington went out on his own to start HF Electric and Hilton took a former GE engineer, Robert Goslin, (“Duckie”) as a partner. They got out of the home appliance and auto repair business and concentrated on auto starters and generators for cab and truck fleets.
Small motor service business was increasing and the business expanded to a large garage and room in a house at 939 West 30th Street. Later in the year, another move was made to 619 South Illinois Street. Hilton and Duckie also brought on a new partner, Tom Waggoner, a foreman at Meyer Electric (now Brehob). The move was made and again the name changed – this time to Electric Manufacturing Company.
Hilton decided to “go it alone” and rented a 720 square foot storeroom at 916 North Illinois Street and the company name was changed again to McBroom Service Electric Company.
• December, 1941
Fred McBroom was the lone employee during the war years – the company survived on electric tool repair and war-related sub contracts. Hilton became plant manager at Stewart Manufacturing until 1945. When he returned they exited the automotive starter and generator business by selling it to Automotive Armature. The business focus was now on industrial motor repair.