Posted: 21 Jul 2010
Hillmann Electric & Lighting Celebrates 100 Years in Ridgewood
Hillmann Electric & Lighting, Ridgewood's oldest family-owned retailer, is now entering its 100th year in business.
In the early 20th century, current owner Tom Hillmann's great-grandfather retired as a PSE&G lineman to start an electrical contracting firm to wire all the new construction going on in Ridgewood in 1910 and convert the older homes from gas to the so-called "new" electric.
"We actually may be older than 100 years, but my great grandfather's electrical contracting company was listed as a contributor in the 1910 July 4th parade, and we have been contributing ever since," Hillmann said.
As for his own contribution, he maintains that his family's legacy had little to do with his joining the business.
"Most summers during my school years, I did not work for my family, seeking employment in a variety of businesses instead. After graduating from college with a marketing degree, it just made sense. Because the business was actually two businesses (retail and electrical contracting) my father and I had separate daily activities and it worked," Hillmann explains.
As for the time he has spent at the company, he says there is no one memory that stands out in his mind. However, this is due not to lack but to abundance.
"Of course there is the satisfaction of having control over your own destiny that many working for a large corporation don't receive. But all the best memories are working with the people, whether they were customers, other business owners or town officials. I have also been blessed to have some great employees during my tenure and all my current crew have been with me between 15 and 35 years."
See the attached below for a comprehensive history of Hillmann Electric & Lighting's 100-year stint in Ridgewood. The picture located to the left shows the front of Hillman Electric & Lighting circa 1948.
Congratulations to Hillmann Electric & Lighting for an outstanding century in the business, and here's to wishing them a bright future for many years to come.
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