History of The Nelson Family in the Electrical Trade
Bill Nelson worked in EJ, but took the opportunity to learn about the electrical trade at North High School, Binghamton. After completing the course and gaining some proficiency, he quit the EJ job and had his own business, “Bill Nelson, Electrician”. He also sold GE appliances. He was the first and only Nelson to take a course to learn the electrical trade, all who followed learned by on -the-job training provided by their father.
Dick, Bill’s oldest son, worked with Bill during school vacations and Saturdays. Some of their earliest work was to install wiring in older homes for families that had never enjoyed the convenience of electricity. Usually just the basics were installed, a light in the ceiling and a few receptacles.
Dick continued working with his father until 1952 when he entered Baptist Bible Seminary and worked on his own part-time to finance family and school. These were the years of much house construction in the Triple Cities, and he was fortunate to have a couple of contractors that kept his available hours filled.
In 1959, Dick and his family moved to Trenton, NJ where he was employed by Carol Electric in order to finance the family and the start of a new church.
In 1964, they returned to New York and in 1965 Dick began his business as “Dick Nelson, Electrical Contractor”. He carried his tools and supplies in the back of an old Plymouth, and the office and phone were at home on Glen Aubrey Road, Maine, NY. One of the major decisions made during those first few years was whether to hire help or keep the business small enough to work alone(and with his sons). He did hire an employee and then others and the business continued to grow.
In 1966, the family moved to 1 Griffin Drive, Apalachin, NY, where the parts were kept in the garage and the office again in the house; but the Plymouth was retired in favor of a van. The logo on the van at that time was a lightening bug, but it was often mistaken for a bumble bee. The name of the business also changed to “Lamp Lighters”.
By 1968, it seemed advisable to have a more organized space for materials and also to move the office to its own space. That was made possible with the purchase of a property at 203 E. Main Street, Endicott, NY. There was a garage that stored the materials and a basement space was fixed for the office.
In 1974, Mark was involved in the business and a move to 141 Front Street, Vestal, gave the business it’s own entire building – warehouse and several offices. The business was incorporated at this time and the name changed once again, this time to, “Nelson’s Lamp Lighters, Inc.” Soon after, Bruce joined the crew and eventually also Phil.
In 1978, Dick was ready to change his pursuits to a chaplaincy at SUNY, Binghamton, and the rest is the history of the next generation.