Paul B. Zimmerman Electric Welding & Repair

In 1947, with the financial aid of Paul's parents, a small farmhouse, barn, and cluster of outbuildings on the corner of Burkholder Drive and Wood Corner Road was purchased for $9,400. At the advice of Paul's father-in-law, Paul drew up plans for a 40' x 60' shop beside the intersection of Wood Corner Road and Burkholder Drive. Within weeks of moving Paul's shop was open for business.

Paul expanded his shop's services in 1955 when he built a portable crane. The mobile portion of this device was the cab and chassis of a well-traveled 1952 Dodge truck. The truck's extra-long wheelbase provided Paul with room to mount a 45-foot, fixed-length boom. Hinged at its base, the boom could be raised and lowered by mechanical winches. It could not pivot, however, and in order to rotate the boom, Paul had to climb into the cab and reposition the whole vehicle.

By the late-1950s, Paul was also building up the retail hardware side of his business. As the shop got busier, Paul needed to keep a larger and more varied supply of materials on hand. Paul "basically got into the hardware business by needs - his and his neighbors."