In 1926, three MIT engineering graduates, W. Grant Peirce Jr., J. Trevor Peirce and Charles M. Phelps, decided to start a company based on the hottest new technology product of the time—radios. The three founders started a
distribution company to bring this technology to the market and quickly trained and built an extensive dealer base throughout the Mid-Atlantic market. From the first moment of the company’s birth until today, Peirce-Phelps
has been dedicated to bringing the highest quality products, produced by the industry’s leading manufacturers, to the customers in our market.
Company founded by W. Grant Peirce Jr., J. Trevor Peirce, and Charles M. Phelps.
Acquires the Spitdorf (manufacturers of radios) from R.C. Allen Company, distributors of adding machines, calculators and like instruments.
Opens business at 222 North 13th Street, Philadelphia.
Opens four-story building at 224 N 13th Street.
Starts distributing Mohawk six tube radios and Sonora radios and phonographs along with Majestic Eliminators and numerous other lines of batteries, speakers and accessories.
Takes on distribution of Majestic radio; opens in Wilkes-Barre and Harrisburg.
Moves to North 5th Street, Philadelphia; STOCK MARKET CRASH.
Merges with Penn Phonograph, forming exclusive Majestic radio distributor for current territory; begins selling Majestic electric refrigerators.
To combat the Great Depression, company broadens base of products and adds vacuum cleaners, washers and dryers, heating and air conditioning equipment, gas ranges and space heaters.
Majestic goes bankrupt; Wilkes-Barre and Harrisburg closes, company broadens products with vacuum cleaners, washers, HVAC, space heaters, first white goods product Crosly appliances and gas ranges.
Company charters SS Oriente and runs first dealer trip to Puerto Rico for vacuum cleaner promotion; company takes on distribution of Youngstown steel kitchen cabinets.
Distributes the first American-made compact automobile “Crosley” with showroom on North Broad Street, Philadelphia. Trevor had to drive backwards up 59th Street ramp to get out. Reverse was a low enough gear.
United States enters World War II, and products become unavailable.
In order to hold nucleus of organization together the company:
- Takes on Coolerator line of ice refrigerators
- Manufactures and sells Peirce Kitchen Craft (wooden unit cabinets)
- Services large air conditioning equipment in war plants and Navy installations
- Distributes black-out shades
- Develops food dehydrator unit with approval of War Production Board
- Installs insulation for homes
All branch operations closed
Takes on Carrier Corporation HVAC products.
End of World War II.
Company resumes distribution with an expanded line of products including Admiral radios and refrigerators, Whirlpool laundry equipment, Youngstown kitchen cabinets, Smithway water heaters, Carrier air conditioning, gas
ranges, heating equipment, Hamilton dryers, deep freezers, electric houseware and a number of other items.
Company re-establishes branch in Harrisburg on South 10th Street.
Business expands and Company uses four outside warehouses in Philadelphia, along with expanded space at 5th and Noble Street.
Establishes Frostore frozen food store in Ardmore and Germantown on a two-year trial basis.
Broadens stock ownership with employees.
Opens warehouse at 59th Street.
Builds pre-fabricated homes in Conshohocken; closes two years later.
Acquires Zenith Radio Corporation franchise.
Color television introduced, begins Audio/Video Division.
Harrisburg location burns down.
Camp Hill Branch moves to current facility.
Company purchases first computer.
W. Grant Peirce III becomes President.
Enters flooring business.
Adds Amana products.
Exits carpet business.
Starts Data Systems Division, Zenith/Heath, Sperry, Datafox computers.
Begins video teleconferencing business with AT&T.
Opens first HVAC Parts stores in Pleasantville, Wilkes-Barre and Valley Forge.
“Big Box” retailers begin to take over mass distribution functions with consumer products.
Closes Amana and Zenith Data Systems Divisions.
Focuses effort on growth of high-end appliances, video systems and HVAC products.
Brian G. Peirce becomes President.
Acquires Swanstone Counter/Vanity line.
Academy Awards Gala at The Bellevue, Philadelphia.
Video teleconferencing business peaks; sells to VTEL. Zenith reorganizes and takes distribution direct.
Acquires Bryant of PA, oldest Bryant distributor in the country.
Opens Distribution Center in Northeast Philadelphia.
Launches Mid-Atlantic ProHome, LLC.
Becomes Viking Appliance distributor.
Sells remainder of video business to focus on distribution and dealer services.
HVAC store number up to 16. ServAssure developed.
Expands HVAC territory into western Pennsylvania and Maryland with ICP.
75th Anniversary – Gala Event at The Bellevue, Philadelphia.
Carrier takes commercial applied business direct.
Peirce-Phelps focuses on the 30-ton and under market with primary focus on replacement.
Expands efforts with Mitsubishi Electric City Multi and fails venture with PETRA commercial products.
Expands counter presence with the addition of Caesarstone.
Prints first full HVAC product offering catalog.
War in Iraq.
Viking Culinary Arts Center opens.
Consumer Division moves to Bryn Mawr.
ProHome business separates from franchisor and is renamed Home Management Systems.
Carrier develops national sales program with Sears.
Opens the Northeast Superstore.
Creates new dealer online ordering system.
Exits Baltimore market for ICP.
Joins Affiliated Distributors.
Exits Viking and appliance business.
Sells Home Management Systems.
Expands hearth products into southern states and adds Napolean products.
Hearth moves to third-party warehouse.
HVAC adopts new 13 SEER minimum DOE efficiency standard. Large commodity price increases.
PPI continues to build and strengthen logistic capabilities.
RE Michels exits the Bryant business, giving PPI exclusive selling capabilities in our territory.
Bryant takes off.
Philadelphia drivers unionize.
Vineland Warehouse is added to network.
Housing market bubble bursts. Caesarstone and commercial businesses show strong growth. Country enters long recession.
CFM files bankruptcy.
PPI eliminates third-party warehouse and moves Hearth products to the NE Superstore.
RCD reduces its number of SKUs to focus on the Factory Authorized Parts business.
New computer and phone system is added.
Expanded Valley Forge MINI Hub Network completed for Mid-Atlantic market.
$1500 Federal tax credit for HVAC equipment is introduced, and market takes off. PPI has record year.
Northeast Superstore moves to Bensalem.
PPI sells hearth business.
Customer Finance and Inside Sales moves to Valley Forge.
Sells Pittsburg ICP business.
R-22 Dry ship units introduced.
Federal tax credit dropped from $1500 to $500.
Caesarstone goes public, and PPI changes to a fulfillment versus 2-step distribution relationship.
Purchased new facility for the Vineland Minihub.
P21 is selected as new software system.
Mitsubishi training room is implemented. Reading branch opens.
Opens West Chester Branch. Implements P21.
Strong growth in residential and HVAC parts and supplies sales.
Purchases new headquarters in Blue Bell, PA, and distribution center in Bridgeport, NJ.
Sells 59th Street facility to PECO.
Qualifies for “Fly for 185” PPI employee incentive trip to Bermuda.
90th Anniversary open house at Pureland.