1929, the height of The Great Depression, Roy A. Reed took a leap of faith and bought a closed filling station, and started R.A. Reed Electric in Los Angeles. Roy built a high bay building which he used to operate his electric motor repair operation. The satisfaction of a rapidly growing customer base allowed him to expand by adding 3 much larger high bays with full overhead bridge cranes and state-of-the-art motor rebuilding equipment.
The era of the 50 hertz to 60-hertz cycle change during the 1940’s generated major growth from multiple full-time around-the-clock crews that were required to onsite rewind all the large motors in the many bustling major manufacturers in the Los Angeles Basin. Massive tire plants such as Goodyear, Firestone, Uniroyal as well as the major refineries and the Bethlehem Steel mill all were in dire urgent need of complete rewinds on huge synchronous motors. Many years of 24/7 in the field rewinding as well in-house workload fueled further growth.
A transformer rewind plant was opened in Long Beach and served the needs of many municipalities including the City of Los Angeles.
A second Reed Plant was opened in Portland, Oregon to serve the Pacific Northwest and also operated on a 24/7 three-shift basis primarily serving the burgeoning paper mill industry at the time.
Smaller pump and motor repair facilities were opened in El Centro and Los Banos California to serve the special needs of the water districts and farming communities in these areas.
Roy Reed’s sons (Jake and LeRoy) and daughter (Dorothy) worked in the plants as winders, mechanics, customer service and earned their way into management. The Reed organization was very much a continuing family business in every sense.
Upon the passing of the founder Roy Reed, his beloved business was reorganized to streamline for efficiency. Jake and LeRoy Reed owned and managed the Reed Portland operation and Dorothy Reed Richard and John Richard took ownership and management of the Reed Los Angeles Plant. Both plants flourished and became leaders in their markets. To this day, the Reed corporations continue to be a family affair owned and operated by LeRoy, Jr., John Richard, Jr., and Roy Richard all working their way from the plant floor as steam-cleaners, machinist, mechanic, purchasing, sales, accounting providing them with the experiences needed to serve customers and build and maintain a high-quality team.