My great-grandfather Emile Zinsmeyer and his son, my grandfather Martin Zinsmeyer started the company Zinsco Electric. I was looking up information about the company for my son’s school project and came across your website. When I read a few things that people were saying on there I thought I should post on there too, but since you have to be an electrician, I thought maybe you could post this for me. Here is a short history about my family and the company they owned.
Frank Adam Electric (formed 1891 in St, Louis, Missouri) came out of Blacker and Adam Watch Co. In addition to watches, Blacker and Adam sold surveying equipment. Frank Adam hired only people they knew and Emile Zinsmeyer (my great-grandfather) was a sharp young salesman working at the store. They offered him a job as sales manager. In 1904 The World’s Fair put Frank Adam Electric on the map.
The family moved to Santa Monica, California in the late 1920’s so that Emile could run the Frank Adam west coast operation. After the Stock Market Crash, Emile negotiated with Frank Adam to buy the west coast stock (rather than ship back to St. Louis) and started Zinsmeyer Co. with his son Bill and six others.
They started with an 8,000 sq. ft. garage and a station wagon. They would get an order in the morning, build in the afternoon and get to the job site by night. The distributors would not deal with them, so they got to know the contractors, which eventually really helped them after World War II.
Martin Zinsmeyer (my grandfather) started working at Zinsmeyer Co. with his father and Bill, after graduating from USC. He bought the company from his father in 1943 and renamed it Zinsco.
In 1973 Zinsco was sold to GTE Sylvania.
I was told by my family that he was the inventor for many things that changed the way circuit breakers are used today. I know that the parts that were used then do not compare to what is available now, but many electricians have told me that his company was ground breaking and it paved the way for other electrical companies. Please tell your posters this. My grandfather was a great man and I hate to see the Zinsmeyer name trashed. He died in 1986, so he’s not able to defend himself.
Thank you for your time.
Heather Hill