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Staying power

Melissa Topey • Aug 27, 2014 at 2:40 PM

A local company founded 125 years ago is still going strong.

Brohl & Appell was started in March 1889 by Edward Brohl and Herman Appell at 203 W. Washington Row, mainly installing gas lines and gas chandeliers. It grew, as the area grew, into a plumbing and heating company installing the heating and plumbing in many area businesses.

An invoice from 1894 hangs on the wall. It appears to be for the installation of a bathroom. The total amount of the project is $141.71 On Oct. 1, 1935, the company saw its future. It was in automation. That year they became an Allen-Bradley distributor, their introduction to Rockwell Automation. “Automation was very basic then” said Neal Ebert, vice president of Brohl & Appell. “It became more complex in the 1980s” It was the start of a policy that served the company well — diversification as a key to growth and survival. Through many transitions in ownership, the company has remained in Sandusky in continuous operation. Today the company, owned by the Ebert family for 45 years, is going strong. They help companies create and implement plans for efficient operations. The company has seen a lot of changes over the years.

In 1984, Brohl & Appell Inc. opened its first branch location in Elyria, focusing mostly on electrical and factory automation. It took a big step forward when it was named an Allen-Bradley distributor for Lorain County.

In August 1998, Brohl & Appell purchased Province Data Link. This allowed the company to provide business support and training with technical certified professionals in Microsoft Certifications, Rockwell Software and Automation Certifications.    The company, working with Rockwell Automation, has helped automate many local businesses, including Whirlpool, Toft’s Ice Cream, 3M and Siemens.

It created a room dedicated to training its clients’ employees on different components and software automation.

In 2012, the company acquired the New Haven Supply Co., a plumbing and heating company. This expanded the Brohl & Appell name into New Haven, Norwalk, Mansfield, Tiffin and Upper Sandusky.

More importantly, it brought them back to their roots. They had not been in the plumbing and heating industry since the early 1990s.

“Our future is to move ahead: bigger, better with more products” Ebert said.

One thing that has never changed: they are dedicated to the success of their customers.

To show their appreciation to the customers, they are holding a vendor day on May 22.

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