In 1927, Raymond V. Thalman and Lawrence Schmitt partnered and began a business of rewinding armatures for the coal mines in the region. They set up shop at the garage in the back of Thalman’s home at 431 Hazlett Avenue. By 1932, they expanded their business to 128 N. 7th Street. As the company flourished, they erected their sales division building at 623 River Rd. in 1969.
Backstory and Context
The company was founded and is located in Warwood, Wheeling's northern most neighborhood. the neighborhood is named after Henry Warwood, who founded the Warwood Tool Company in 1854 in Martins Ferry. The company was relocated to Warwood in 1907.
As early as 1795, Thomas Glenn is the first known owner of the land; he bequeathed the land to his son, William, sometime before 1795. Farmers initially settled in the region north of Wheeling for its rich, fertile soil.
Farmland in Warwood made way to industrial and residential development at the turn of the century. Foreseeing the potential of Warwood’s future, R. J. McCullagh founded the Warwood Land Company in 1903. The company sold the lots at a very low price at the time, starting at $300 each. The land was far less susceptible to floods than other parts of Wheeling, and streetcars ran between Warwood and Wheeling every 15 minutes, which became excellent selling points for prospective residents. Working-class families who came to the area sought employment at the industrial plants and built their residences, businesses, and churches nearby. Coal mines were abundant in Warwood, and an oil boom hit Warwood in 1911.
Warwood became an incorporated community on May 26, 1911, and as part of the “Wheeling Greater Movement”, Wheeling annexed the Warwood neighborhood in 1919.
Jourdan, Katherine, and Laura Pfeifer. "West Virginia Historic Property Inventory Form". Feb 1991. http://services.wvgis.wvu.edu/SHPOdocs/PDFs/Architectural/OH-0001-1940.pdf.
Jourdan, Katherine, and Laura Pfeifer. "West Virginia Historic Property Inventory Form". Feb 1991. http://services.wvgis.wvu.edu/SHPOdocs/PDFs/Architectural/OH-0001-1945.pdf.
Rieth, Christina. "Warwood: a Walking Tour of its History and Architecture". Wheeling Heritage, 2017.