In September 1940, with prompting from some close friends and the blessings of his family, Harold Christianson opened the doors for business of an Electric Motor repair shop. The Green Bay Foundry & Machine Works, located at 401 South Broadway, had recently closed down its tin shop in the rear of the building just off Arndt Street. This then became the first location of the motor shop to be come known as Christianson Electric Co. The building is no longer there.
Starting any business takes a lot of work, and work they did. Harold’s wife Evelyn helped with the new business by doing the book work at their home on South Maple Ave. The starting of WW ll a little over a year later didn’t help the fledgling business either. With many late nights of hard work the business flourished. In January 1941 Harold hired his old friend Pete Schoch to help out. Pete was a WW l veteran he had worked with some years earlier in the motor repair business. This was a perfect fit and a lot of help to the growing business.
Harold & Evelyn had two sons, Jack & Bill. Jack, being the older, started working for his Dad in 1942, after school and Saturdays, sweeping floors, taking out the trash and cleaning motor parts. After graduating from West High School in 1946, Jack joined the Navy V5 program to ultimately become a Navy pilot. Jack served his country flying missions over Korea. During that time Bill started working after school and Saturdays learning and doing the same jobs his brother had done before him. Jack was discharged from the Navy in 1952. This was just in time for him to attend Bills graduation from West High School and later that summer get married. Now both Jack and Bill were working for what became known as “The shop”.
Not wanting to be drafted into the Army, Bill joined the US Air Force later that summer. After basic training and electronics tech school Bill also served a tour of duty in Korea near the end of President Truman’s police action.
By the fall of 1956, with Bills discharge from the military, both boys had finished their commitment to the service of their Country. By this time the customer base and the physical size of the shop had grown. This expansion made ample room for new equipment and the now enlarged work force with all boys back.
In the summer of 1980 Christianson Electric became incorporated and Jack & Bill took over as its operating officers. At 77 years young Harold was now only working half days during the summers.
In late 1982 it became apparent we were going to lose our location of 42 years in the Green Bay Foundry & Machine Works building. A new location was found in the 1100 block of State Street, on the South West side of Green Bay. The shell of a steel building was constructed on the property by a local construction company. During this time business continued at the old shop as usual during the day. After closing the shop on Broadway and a quick supper, Jack & Bill spent their evenings at the new building location getting it ready to move in. Wood chips and saw dust were all over the floor when they left each night. Harold was now pretty much retired but enjoyed his mornings going to, what was to be the new shop, and cleaned up the messes the boys had made and left there from the night before.
Harold and company had done 98 percent of the required machining using the facilities of the Green Bay Foundry & Machine Works, machine shop, in years past. A lathe, winding machine, office desks and equipment were acquired for the new facility. With the walls insulated and covered, stand alone shelves would be required to store equipment, new and used motors and supplies. Harold played a major part in their design and construction.
The Christianson Electric Corporation was operated by the Christianson family from this location, with 5 to 6 employees, until December 31st, 1993, when it was sold as Christianson Electric. Jack & Bill both worked for the new owners for several years until they retired.
On June 1, 2008, the former Christianson Electric Company was purchased by Dale and Pamela Rasmussen of Green Bay, WI. With Dale’s 20 plus years of experience in Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Motor and Drive applications, they decided it was time to venture out, and start a new career.
Dale has been employed by some well known local Green Bay based company’s, FEECO International (Material Handling), and PDQ Manufacturing (Automated Car Wash Equipment), as well as some Nationally known company’s , NSK Corporation (Bearings), and Rockwell Automation (Reliance Electric Motors, DODGE Mechanical). The base of customers Dale has dealt with has been OEM, User, and Manufacturing clients.
It is Rasmussen Electric’s intent to carry on the rich tradition of Repairing, Rewinding, and Reconditioning Electric (AC/DC &Servo) motors that Christianson Electric established. We would also like to add Mechanical Supply, Dynamic Balancing, and 24 Hour On-Site Technical and Repair Service.