Historical Timeline

1914: Albert O. French, Sr. begins French Electric, a motor repair shop at 110 South 10th Street in downtown St. Louis.


1923: French Electric acquires Electrical Machinery Company from J.P. Gerleman. The new company incorporates as French Gerleman Electric Company Inc.


1920s: French Gerleman forges one of Allen-Bradley Company's first agency relationships.


1965: French Gerleman moves to 5737 West Park Street.


1976: The company moves to 2446 Schuetz Road in Maryland Heights, MO.


1988: The first two branch locations are opened in Quincy, IL, and Columbia, MO.


1994: French Gerleman's fourth location is opened in the Kansas City suburb of Lenexa, KS. 


1995: French Gerleman expands its headquarters and St. Louis warehouse and sales counter into a second building across the street from its existing building on Schuetz Road.


2000: A fifth French Gerleman location is opened in Washington, MO.


2008: The company expands its Quincy, IL, branch by moving to 1700 North 45th Street.


2011: French Gerleman moves its headquarters to 2023 Westport Center Drive in suburban St. Louis, MO.


2017: French Gerleman opens its sixth branch in Springfield, MO.

History


Five generations of service and leadership

A family-owned, St. Louis-based corporation, French Gerleman is featured in the annual St. Louis Business Journal's list of Top 150 Privately Held Companies.


With 90 years of innovative service to customers, employees and the community, French Gerleman was a proud recipient of the 2001 Mississippi Valley Family Business of the Year Award for medium-sized companies based in the state of Missouri, and first-runner-up in the national Mass Mutual Family Business Award competition. Recently, it was a recipient of the inaugural Family Business Award by the St. Louis Business Journal in 2016. As a reflection of our own strong commitment to both business and family, these awards recognize the technological leadership and spirit of service that the French family has strived to achieve since the company incorporated in 1923.


As technology evolves, so do we
At French Gerleman, one of our goals is to respond to - and even anticipate - changes in customer needs and demands, and adapt our product and service offering accordingly. This has resulted in many changes over the years since the company's founder, Albert O. French, opened a small motor-repair shop called French Electric in downtown St. Louis in 1914. Today, the company's distribution arm, called French Gerleman Supply & Service Center, comprises Automation, Electrical Supply, Datacom, Power Transmission and Safety divisions.


Grounded in the past, poised for the future
French Gerleman was built on a strong foundation of strong principles. Perhaps chief among them is a continued emphasis on forging powerful, enduring relationships with all those who have had an interest in our success.

For example, our mission statement incorporates these interrelated objectives:


  • To provide a true career environment for employees

  • To serve every customer above and beyond the abilities and standards of the rest of the industry

  • To ally with the best manufacturers and to build enduring relationships with them.


As we celebrate our past and look to the future, we especially want to thank our loyal customers, who have grown with us; our manufacturers, who have supported us and encouraged us for so many years, and our dedicated employees, who literally are the company to both manufacturers and customers.

Our goals for the immediate future are to:


  • Maintain healthy growth in our mature businesses

  • Produce dramatic growth in those initiatives still in their infancy

  • Exercise creativity in forming new ventures

  • Continually improve the quality and efficiency of all business systems


Aggressive pursuit of these goals, combined with adherence to our guiding principles, will push us on to the next level.

Our success is dependent on all of us working together to become more of what we are today. In that way, as our company grows, everyone associated will benefit.

We make a firm commitment to achieve this bright future. To this end, we pledge continued performance above and beyond the minimum...building on our solid foundation and investing in strong relationships with our employees, our customers and our partner manufacturers.



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All products, images, designs, videos and specifications shown on this website are subject to change at any time without notice. Some products shown on this website may not be available at all French Gerleman locations.

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