On February 10, 1910, an article in The Detroit Free Press read, “The McNaughton-McKay Electric Co. is the name of a new firm of electrical supply dealers, just opened for business at 107 Broadway. The members of the company are Arch McKay and John McNaughton, the former for a number of years with the Miller-Seldon Electric Co., and the latter with Henry L. Walker & Co. Messrs. McNaughton and McKay are both young men with lots of friends, lots of ambition, and lots of ability.”
With this announcement, McNaughton-McKay Electric Co. began its journey toward becoming a prominent player in the electrical distribution industry. This year, the company is celebrating its first century, which will include the publication of a history of the company. Chapters of the book will be released on the company's website each month, beginning in February, and the whole book made available at the end of the year.
During its first year in business, McNaughton-McKay nearly doubled its projected sales of $75,000 in only 10.5 months of operation. That same year a young man named Clarence (C.R.) Bull joined the company as a delivery boy. Bull would go on to lead the company, becoming chief executive in 1949 and staying on as chairman of the board until his death in 1990.
Today, the company has 22 locations in five states — Georgia, Ohio, Michigan, North Carolina and South Carolina — and a European location in Krefeld, Germany. McNaughton-McKay's 2008 sales of $507 million made it the 14th-largest electrical distributor in the U.S. market.
Each of the company's locations is planning a customer appreciation event during the year, culminating in an event to honor both customers and suppliers in November in Orlando, Fla., at the Rockwell Automation Fair. McNaughton-McKay has also chosen to partner with Habitat for Humanity by providing electrical supplies and volunteers to help build five homes in their regions during the company's 100th year.