We all know that Thomas Edison is credited with inventing the light bulb, but did you know he is also closely connected to the invention of the first Christmas lights?
Just one year after inventing the incandescent light bulb, Edison created the first strands of electric lights and put them up outside his Menlo Park Laboratory during the 1880 Christmas season. But it was Edison's friend and business partner Edward H. Johnson, who would create the first Christmas tree lights. Two years later, in 1882, Johnson hand-wired a strand of 80 red, white and blue light bulbs and wound them around his Christmas tree!
We've been all about the electricians lately with the recent crowning of our 2015 Electrician of the Year, but we certainly haven't forgotten about our lineman brothers and sisters.
Linemen are a huge part of our heritage. Heck, we have a lineman climbing a pole as part of our logo - our "lineman logo." And the classic story of Mathias Klein, the founder, making the first pair of Klein pliers? Well, he made them for a telegraph lineman, of course.
As cool as this truck is, our search for the Electrician of the Year was about much more. We were on a mission (again!) to find an electrician who excelled in the areas of professional achievement, safety excellence, and community dedication.
Joey's nomination story was one that stood out right away. He was named the Region 3 "Great Lakes" winner, along with five other regional winners – all finalists for our Electrician of the Year. We flew the finalists to San Francisco where Joey was named Electrician of the Year.
With a custom truck on the line, it is no surprise that we were flooded with nominations for Klein Tools' Electrician of the Year.
But out of the nearly 600 nominations we received, six exceptional men emerged from the pack to become our regional finalists, one of which will go on to become our 2015 Electrician of the Year and win a 2015 Ford F-150 XLT Crew Cab customized by off-road specialists Addictive Desert Designs.
It's a process that has been part of Klein Tools' manufacturing since our founding in 1857. Though the scale and mechanics of the tool forging process has changed throughout the last 158 years, the act of forging as defined above still very much applies today in Klein Tools' forging facility.
It's hard to believe it's already that time of year again…Back to School. But sure enough, this week started the "First Day of School" picture brigade on my Facebook page. And while most kids will be learning the basics (math, English, science, history, etc.), some will also be learning electrical trade skills.
It's no secret that there is a potential looming worker shortage in the skilled trades. For the sixth year in a row now, ManpowerGroup's Annual Talent Shortage survey lists "Skilled Trades" as the #1 hardest job to fill. Couple that with the Bureau of Labor Statistics expecting 20% job growth for electricians over the next 10 years.
The submissions are just pouring in for our Electrician of the Year search! We’ve been looking through the nominations as they’ve come in and we already have some really great candidates for our regional finalists. Of course, we’d love to see more, so I thought I’d take a moment to highlight some electricians I’ve read about who are excellent examples of what we are looking for in our Electrician of the Year.
One of my favorite holidays of the year is almost here...Independence Day! My family typically spends the long holiday weekend at our lake cabin – out on the boat, BBQ-ing, and (my favorite!) watching and shooting off fireworks!
Hopefully you were able to get Friday off of work to enjoy the long weekend, and you have some good 4th of July fun planned. I've taken the liberty of browsing Pinterest for some pretty cool patriotic DIY projects to tackle on your day off. (HINT: Some Klein tools may be required)