LATHAM, N.Y. - Bob Murray is the proud president of R.J. Murray Co. Inc. Founded by his grandfather, passed on to his father, and now run by Bob, R.J. Murray is celebrating 75 years as a Carrier distributor. A fourth-generation of Murrays is working for the family business.

“Just as my grandfather did, we always try to put the customer first and find innovative ways to stay ahead of the competition,” said Bob Murray. “It is this attention to detail that allows us to live up to our motto, ‘always a better value.’ We’re proud of our legacy. It’s been that way for 75 years and it’s not going to change anytime soon.”

Grandfather Richard J. Murray Sr., with wife Agnes at his side, formed the Kelvinator commercial refrigeration business in the mid-1920s in Schenectady, N.Y. As the market grew, commercial refrigeration products became increasingly relevant to residential applications.

One day Richard made a service call that would change the face of his business forever. A woman complained that her refrigerator was not cooling properly. When he entered the woman’s kitchen, he noticed she had been ironing with the refrigerator door open to keep her cool. It gave him a bold idea that would shape his growing company: comfort solutions for the home.

In 1902, Willis Carrier had invented air conditioning by capturing some of the same principles that were used in refrigeration. Carrier had applied those refrigeration principles to a Brooklyn, N.Y., printing plant. A few years later, Carrier patented his invention.

In 1933 - the year in which Schenectady Kelvinator changed its name to R.J. Murray Co. - the company started selling Carrier products as a full-fledged dealer, a designation used at that time for both dealers and distributors. The company moved from Schenectady to its present location in Latham, N.Y., in 2002. The 75-year relationship makes R.J. Murray Co. the oldest Carrier distributor in the world.

Three generations later the business is still going strong, with locations in Latham and Williston, Vt. Today R.J. Murray Co. focuses on IAQ, power generation, and the environment as growth opportunities.

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Publication date:12/15/2008