Monthly Archives: November 2016

French Gerleman Helps to Light Veteran Memorials in Quincy, IL

At French Gerleman, it’s important for us to not only give back to our community, but to also support those who fought to keep us and our country safe. Rick Craven, Quincy’s Branch Administration Manager, was inspired by an email from RAB Lighting detailing a program to light up monuments and memorials for veterans. Rick then challenged the Quincy team to help identify a location to help promote RAB and give back to a veteran. Ultimately, they identified the Illinois Veterans Home as the recipient of this monument lighting program.


Together, RAB Lighting and French Gerleman donated approximately $3,100 of exterior LED fixtures along with the lighting layout and selection to illuminate nearly a dozen monuments and memorials, including the WWII Memorial, the Korean War Memorial and the Vietnam War Memorial, on the Veterans Home’s property with 13 new fixtures. French Gerleman’s Quincy branch donated the layout and selection of lights, and the Veterans Home staff provided the labor to install the material.


From start to finish, this project took several months. We had to identify the areas that would be included in the project, work with the local rep and RAB lighting to get approval on the project, and then get them in and to the home for installation. It might have been a lengthy process, but it was worth it to help out this great organization and to see the finished product.

The previous lighting at the Veterans Home was only partially functioning. They had a mix of incandescent, HID and fluorescent lights. We were able to provide functional lighting on all of the monuments that improved light levels and the quality of light for the monument. As well, the new LED lighting will reduce energy consumption and require less maintenance. Over 15 years, this new lighting will save the Veterans Home more than $12,500 in energy.


While on a tour of the home, we noticed that this hallway was extremely dark.  The Superintendent of the Veterans Home’s office is in this hallway, and we thought it would be a nice gesture to improve this area. We reached out to Philips and they were able to provide us with some LED lamps.  As you can see it really helps the hallway and shines some much needed lights on the flags and artwork.

“When we heard about this program through RAB, we knew it was something we wanted to do as an organization to give back and show our support,” said Rick Craven. “It was a great experience for us as a team to research and identify a local organization we would be able to help save money and receive the recognition they deserve.”


“The monuments, memorials and paintings look better than ever thanks to the new lighting,” said Rick Gengenbacher, Director of Marketing for the Illinois Veterans Home. “Not only does this beautify our grounds, but the annual energy savings will help us fund other projects to help the Veterans who reside at the Home. We cannot thank French Gerleman and RAB enough for their support of the Illinois Veterans Home.”

The Quincy French Gerleman branch started out as an 8,000 square foot warehouse that focused on automation products, specifically Rockwell Automation. Located at 1700 North 45th Street, our Quincy branch has not only physically grown over the years to our current 17,500 square foot warehouse, but we have also grown our product offerings including products for the construction market, datacom, mechanical power transmission and personal safety supplies.

Quincy might feel like a small town, but this French Gerleman branch is anything but small potatoes. They have access to over $20 million in inventory, but offer the friendly customer service of a small, hometown company, which our customers love. It’s also important to this group to give back to their community, so opportunities like this monument lighting program are exciting to the Quincy team.

To learn more about the Quincy Branch or the RAB monument lighting program, feel free to give us a call at 217-223-3122.

Thanksgiving Celebrations Abound at French Gerleman


We have a lot to be thankful for at French Gerleman. This time of year, we like to take some time to reflect on the things and people we are most thankful for, and to celebrate the season. This year, we have much for which to be thankful, including our families, friends, wonderful employees and the support of our customers.


This past week, our Kansas City, St. Louis, Quincy and Columbia branches hosted Thanksgiving lunches for our employees to show our appreciation for their hard work throughout the year. We had a great time eating and spending time together as the extended French Gerleman family. French Gerleman provided the turkeys and the sides and desserts were pot luck style, with employees sharing their favorite dishes. It was a fun way to sample holiday favorites and learn more about the French Gerleman team. As you can see in the pictures, we had TONS of fantastic food.


We would like to send out a big, heartfelt thank you to our employees. We are extremely fortunate to have a team of passionate and dedicated employees who embrace our culture, work hard to serve our customers and give back to the community.

Thank you to our customers who have supported us now for nearly 100 years. It’s because of you that we received the recent St. Louis Business Journal’s Family Business Award and what has helped us continue to grow, year after year.

From all of us at French Gerleman, we wish you a happy Thanksgiving! We hope you have a wonderful holiday with your family and friends and enjoy this holiday.

PIP Bouton Fuselage™ Line – Protective Eyewear with Foam Gasket

New Foam Gasket in Protective Eyewear Offers Employees Added Convenience

Protective Industrial Products, Inc. (PIP), is an industry leader in consumable personal protective equipment (PPE). If your safety glasses haven’t been making the cut, look no further than PIP Fuselage.

Fuselage glasses feature interchangeable temples and headbands to provide added protection. The soft foam padding forms a protective seal to keep out dust and airborne particles. The soft seal helps protect against dust splashes and mechanical hazardous.



These glasses are not “one size fits all,” they feature adjustable temples and headband for a custom fit. It’s also a great multipurpose product, the soft foam padded design quickly converts from glasses to a goggle with the supplied headband.

These glasses are used for general manufacturing, dusty work areas and anywhere eye protection is needed. The Polycarbonate lenses block 99.99% of the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. This UV protection has been incorporated within the lens material when the lenses are produced, offering you the best sun protection.


  • Soft foam padding forms a seal to keep out dust and airborne particles.
  • Protects against dust splashes and mechanical hazards.
  • Adjustable temples and headband for a custom fit.
  • Soft foam for close-to-face comfort.
  • Adaptable for under face shields or with helmets.
  • Hybrid design – quickly converts from glasses to a goggle with the supplied headband.
  • Safety spectacle that morphs to a dust goggle in seconds.
  • Bayonet nylon temples with rubber tips for a secure it- no slip or discomfort.
  • Anti-fog lens coating so your lenses and vision stay clear.
  • Eight base curve lens for protection.


You can see the full product description HERE.

If you have any questions about PIP, Fuselage or PPE equipment, feel free to give your Account Manager a call or click HERE to request more info.

French Gerleman Family Business Award Recap and Thank You


This past month, we had the honor of attending the St. Louis Business Journal’s Award Dinner for the Family Business Award. This was a wonderful event honoring a few select family owned businesses. Bill French, French Gerleman CEO, accepted the award on behalf of the entire French family.


Here are a few highlights from Bill’s acceptance speech for our Family Business Award:

“The company was started in the 1920s when my Grandfather returned from serving in France during WWI as an artillery captain in the same outfit as Harry Truman.  He came back and, along with his father and brother, incorporated French Gerleman in 1923. My grandfather would tell me stories of getting on a horse-drawn trolley car on south 10th street near where Busch Stadium is today and going down to Anheuser-Busch to pick up a 100 pound, 5 HP motor and bringing it back to the office for repair.”

Today, if we saw a horse drawn trolley hauling a 100 pound motor, we would all be taking pictures and posting them on social media. It’s a very different world, right? French Gerleman has grown from a small motor repair shop to a company which employs more than 250, including six family members, and has a 174,000 square foot corporate headquarters and retail distribution center in St. Louis.

Bill thanked the French and Wagner families for their continued hard work and support in running a family business. He also thanked the 250+ people who help to run French Gerleman on a daily basis and do a great job servicing our customers, all of whom share this award.

Bill is often asked about his values, what makes French Gerleman successful and how he generates enthusiasm, comradery and family spirit?

“I give credit to my faith in God and all I have learned through my study of the Holy scripture,” said Bill French.

Thank you to St. Louis Business Journal for this award and especially to our customers who have supported us over the years and helped us to grow.

Switchgear Solutions: What You Need to Know

Switchgear: The goal is to maximize equipment life cycles and improve reliability with preventive and predictive maintenance of power distribution equipment. Here’s a closer look at Switchgear Solutions.

Electrical switchgear is composed of passive and active components. Passive components are horizontal and vertical bus structures. Active components are power circuit breakers, fusible switches, protective relays and motor control. Their role is to protect the electrical assets downstream, disconnect the circuit and protect personnel in case of an arc flash event. They are extremely important when it comes to your safety.


Preventive Maintenance
Once installed, all electrical equipment begins deteriorating due to normal wear and tear. This will happen regardless of the brand or product used. Regular maintenance ensures the equipment’s integrity and proper mechanical and electrical functionality, as well as optimizing the equipment’s lifespan. Even the best maintained equipment ultimately will degrade and reach the end of its useful life. The average useful life for well maintained equipment is 35 years versus only 17 for unmaintained equipment. With a little maintenance, you can double the equipment’s life.

How you can perform preventive maintenance:
Switchgear should be cleaned, inspected, tightened, lubricated and maintained on a regular basis. You will need to consider the environmental and equipment conditions when determining a preventive maintenance schedule. This is where a trained switchgear maintenance person or firm should come in and help you to prepare a plan.

Power System Studies and what you need to know:
Power System Studies, or PSS, provide multiple benefits including retention of protective device settings, proper sizing of electrical equipment, protecting employees and the equipment and compliance with industry standards and codes.

Electrical equipment and power distribution systems have never been designed to remain perpetually energized without interaction by the owner, so electrical equipment requires your attention and ongoing maintenance throughout its installed life.

Contact your Account Manager or Randy Laird, Switchgear Specialist, at 314-478-4458 or