Our History: Lighting the Way Since the Turn of the Century
Roberts Manufacturing opened for business in 1895 as a company that specialized in crafting what was the prevalent lighting of the times–custom gas light fixtures. Soon after the turn of the century, as communities slowly began to modernize from gas lighting to
electrification, the company embraced the future; they repositioned themselves as electrical contractors and became Roberts Electric Co.
Roberts Manufacturing: The historical significance
Several of our customers have forwarded images of antique lighting fixtures that were imprinted with “all right reserved Roberts Manufacturing”. One customer found some of these fixtures in an old home and wondered if they had any historical significance for us—and they do. These beautiful fixtures were all produced by Roberts Manufacturing in the early 1900s.
Fine craftsmanship, attention to details
Roberts Manufacturing produced and shipped lighting fixtures around the country. They were beautifully crafted of premium materials that were often
embellished or carved. There were no synthetics in those days, so these fixtures were heavy and substantial, often with intricate details that were a testament to quality workmanship. Leaded glass and crystal bulbs were ornately shaped or carved. Materials included cut glass and milk glass, crystal, brass and cast iron, along with handmade shades that were often etched by hand. The lamp bases were also sculpted into unique designs and even chandelier chains would be embellished in some way.
We’ve come a long way . . .
Family-owned for more than 80 years, we’ve come a long way from those early days, and we now have robust commercial tenant improvement and industrial divisions along with our residential custom construction and remodel division, but we’ve never strayed from our roots.
Quality products and craftsmanship, attention to detail and a commitment to customer service are the values that enabled Roberts Manufacturing to build a successful market for their lighting fixtures.
After more than a century, these are the same qualities that Roberts Electric values today. Our commitment to our team, our product and our clients is what has helped us continue to grow our own Bay Area footprint.
As Oakland has evolved, so has Roberts
We like that people recognize the RECO brand on our trucks as we drive through the City’s neighborhoods. We’re proud to have played a role in Oakland’s historic development and excited to be part of the vibrant city that Oakland is today. We’re a company that’s transcended the old and embraced the new.
Our own little neighborhood is exploding with growth. We feel the energy and spirit, along with an emerging attitude that if we all work together we can get it done. We’re solving problems every single day, finding new and better ways to work with our partners, our clients and our City. This has always been a fundamental principle at RECO, and it’s key to our continued success.
One of our prized keepsakes is a RECO electrical permit from 1919 that we found while upgrading a local residence. We proudly display the permit as a reminder to ourselves, and a promise to our customers, that our work spans generations.