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Douglas Battery & AutoCare 

 

 

 

 

 

The story began with the wide-eyed curiosity of a boy born in 1901, who had an intense interest in and fascination with electricity. Much to the dismay of neighbours, it was not uncommon for the lights to flicker throughout his Spring Street neighbourhood as he experimented with motors, starters and batteries in the garage behind his house.

At the age of 14, Wilson Douglas quit school and went to work for Duke Power Company where he learned more about kilowatts, alternating current, power generation and transmission.

A short time after that, Wilson learned of job openings with the railroad in Richmond, Virginia. So, as a young teenager, he set off for Virginia, but again, his curiosity intervened. As he passed an electrical generator repair shop, he stopped to peer through the window. The shop owner started talking with him and was impressed with how much Wilson knew about kilowatts, amps and generating power. He was asked to stay and work as an apprentice. Needless to say, Wilson never made it to the railroad employment office.

Wilson’s fascination with electricity continued to flourish and after two years as an apprentice in the small shop in Virginia, Wilson returned home to Winston-Salem.

In 1917, Wilson got the distributorship for Hartford Batteries and opened a small retail shop on Third Street. Soon thoughts turned towards manufacturing and more space was required. In 1921, moving to a new location on Trade Street, the first Douglas battery was manufactured, and Douglas Battery Manufacturing Company was founded.

Although this story has been the catalyst for the founding of one of the largest battery manufacturers in the world, Douglas Battery & AutoCare is one of the largest independent garages in this area. In January 2007, Douglas Battery & AutoCare was purchased by Jim Douglas (nephew of Wilson Douglas) and Joe Jarvis (grandson of G C Jarvis founder of Jarvis Battery Co.). Today we still operate with the integrity and values that Wilson Douglas Sr. built this company.

 

See also:

  • Douglas Battery Manufacturing Co

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    Last modified: Saturday, 18 March 2017