In the 1890s electricity was beginning to catch on in a big way. The J.D. Oliver home, more commonly known as Copshaholm, was one of the first homes in South Bend wired for electricity when it was completed in 1896. Around that same time J. Franklin Colip began his career as an electrician, working in Mishawaka. A few years later he and brothers Charles E., and Delbert L. Colip formed Colip Brothers Electric. Today Colip Electric is the oldest continuously operating electrical contracting firm in northern Indiana.
In 1919 Colip Bros. expanded into the appliance business after acquiring the W.E. Priest electrical construction and supply at 103 Lincolnway East in Mishawaka. Charles E. Colip controlled operations at the new facility while J. Franklin Colip managed Wayne Street store. By 1950 the building at 114 W. Wayne it had seen was showing its age, and the Colip brothers envisioned a brighter future for their growing company. They temporarily moved their Wayne Street store to 417 South Michigan while a new, modern two story facility was erected on the original site. The new store expanded space substantially, affording more showroom space for the ever expanding appliance and television business. Original Store.....................................

Photo courtesy of Mrs. Jane Colip
New Store

Photo courtesy of Mrs. Jane Colip
In 1963 the name changed to Colip Bros. Electric Inc. In 1972, in a move to concentrate on the constructin business, Colip Bros. discontinued the home lighting and appliance business, but maintaining customer service by offering parts and service to their appliance and lighting customers. At that time they erected a new building, at 115 South Hill Street, to house the construction division and provide warehouse space. The new building replaced the Columbia Street location which had been destroyed by fire.
In 1972 Colip Brothers, Inc. merged with Tri-City Electric Co., one of the largest electrical contractors in the mid-west, and reportedly the largest steel mill contractor in the nation. Tri-City was formed in 1911 with offices located in Hammond, East Chicago and Gary. Meade & White Electrical Contractors, Inc., of Bridgeman, Michigan, established in 1966, acquired Colip in 1988. A few years later the company moved to its present location of 714 East LaSalle.
Throughout its history, the emphasis of Colip Electric has been to provide top notch products and service at a fair price. That dedication to the community and to our customers is as strong today as it was when the company first opened its doors in 1909.
Lloyd Colip (c. 1920)...............................................................

Photo courtesy of Mrs. Jane Colip