In 1938, an electric motor winder/mechanic by the name
of Byrl R. Shoemaker decided that he would go into business for himself.
So, he left his job at Sackett Electric in downtown Columbus and opened
his own service center at 1201 Christopher Street. The Christopher Street
address served as home for B.R. Shoemaker and Son Electric Company for the
next twenty years until construction of I-71 forced the move to 831 Bonham
During the first seven or eight years, the company employees consisted of Byrl, his wife Clara, and one or two other non-skilled employees. During World War II, the electric motor repair industry was a defense priority trade and there were restrictions on the changing of jobs. Therefore, Byrl was unable to hire trained people to work for him.
Among B.R. Shoemaker and Son's first customers were the Timken Company and the Clark Grave Vault Company. We are proud to say that the Clark Grave Vault Company remains among our valuable customers 70 years later.
From the mid-forties until the early sixties, the company grew steadily. In 1962, Byrl began to look forward to retirement, so he sold the business to his nephew Dick Schafer. Dick began to expand the company's capabilities and signed on to sell U.S. Electric Motors, our first motor supplier. Dick felt that having replacement motors available was an additional service to the customer.
In 1962, Dick hired Fred Kletrovets to be the first outside salesman. The additional contacts generated by Fred increased the business from just service and replacements to the beginnings of a full sales department. Additional sales and shop personnel were added as the company continued to grow. Then in 1983, Dick sold control of the business to Fred. Since 1984 the company has continued to grow as emphasis has been placed on quality, professional service and competitive rates.
In 1994, the company got involved with an electric race vehicle project at The Ohio State University. The electric motor in this vehicle was prone to failure, given the extreme operating conditions. Shoemaker decided to overcome the shortcomings of the existing design and built its first motor in 1995. The motor was a huge success and the company built several other prototypes after that for other customers.
In 1998, Shoemaker Electric Company changed its name to Shoemaker Industrial Solutions, in a move to more accurately reflect the company's capabilities. The change transformed the company from its roots in motor repairs only, to a full-fledged engineering and service company specializing in electric motors, motor control systems, engineering services, predictive maintenance programs, as well as pumps and other industrial equipment.
In 2001, Shoemaker Industrial Solutions designed and built another motor for OSU, a land speed record attempt vehicle called the Buckeye Bullet. This vehicle went on to set the U.S. Land Speed Record for electric vehicles at 314.9 mph and the World Land Speed Record at 271.7 mph, at the Bonneville Salt Flats in 2004. The Buckeye Bullet has since retired but continues to hold both records in its class.
The Buckeye Bullet made great strides and has led The Ohio State University to a new project, the Buckeye Bullet 2. The Buckeye Bullet 2 is the world's first hydrogen fuel cell powered land speed streamliner. The custom-made Shoemaker motor continues to power this innovative project. In 2007, the Buckeye Bullet 2 made its first appearance at the Bonneville Salt Flats where it made a respectable showing during Speed Week and The World Finals.
The research required to build these motors had tremendous impact on the quality procedures and materials utilized in repairs for our customers.
In 2013, Shoemaker Industrial Solutions celebrated 75 years in business. Today, Shoemaker Industrial Solutions has 29 employees. The Owner and President is Fred Kletrovets and the Vice President/Treasurer is Teri Richardson.