John M. Newton electrical museum searching for industry's history

The John M. Newton Museum of Electrical History is expanding and updating its exhibits. To do that effectively, they need your help.

The museum, operated and housed by Horizon Solutions, formerly Oakes Electrical Supply Co., is seeking donations or loans of electrical devices, products, advertisements, catalogs and other materials dating from 1885 to 2000 when Oakes merged with Holmes Distributors to form Horizon Solutions Co. These items will help round out the materials already in the museum's collection and will help to tell a more complete story of this industry's important history. People interested in donating or lending materials are asked to contact Jim Newton Sr. at [email protected] or Jim Bauer at [email protected] or (413) 533-3933. They would be greatly appreciative of any and all contributions and assistance.

In the 1940s, John M. Newton, then owner of Oakes Electrical Supply Co., created a small museum in Holyoke, Mass. This museum began as a method to remind those in the industry of how the products and technology changes affected the company and its customers since the company's beginning in 1885. From the earliest incandescent lamp bulb, which had just become commercially available, to today's automation products, the company has gone through historic changes to bring to its customers the products and services needed for them to succeed in an ever-changing marketplace. The past few decades saw few additions to the museum. The John M. Newton Museum of Electrical History is currently working to update and broaden the scope of exhibitions.

Horizon Electrical Solution, 81 Commercial St., Holyoke, Mass. 01040, operates the John M. Newton Museum of Electrical History. The museum is currently closed to the public for renovations and exhibit changes.

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