$50 Dollars and The American Dream!
In December of 1939, Hyman Gulker pawned his pocket watch and gave $50 to his son-in-law, Israel, and daughter, Pearl Stern. That was the beginning of Metropolitan Vacuum Cleaner Company; that was the beginning of our AMERICAN DREAM. Prior to starting METRO, Israel worked for a number of major floor care companies, selling vacuum cleaners door to door. He was such a great salesman, the president of the last company he worked for offered him $100 to come back to work for him. Israel’s wife Pearl, said “nothing doing, we’re on our own now!”
Over the last sixty seven years, since 1939, the Metropolitan Vacuum Cleaner Co., Inc. has evolved into a multidivisional corporation. From a small retail store front in the Bronx, NY, rebuilding and selling vacuum cleaners. Metro is now a diversified multi-unit, manufacturing facility in 2005, producing amongst other products; Data-Vac Computer Cleaning Systems and Air Force Dog Dryers.
The early years for Metropolitan were solely devoted to vacuum cleaners. Metro was totally involved in the distribution and retailing of vacuum cleaners. During the period of years, from 1946 through 1949, the main core of Metro's business was the reconditioning and sale of vacuum cleaners to retail specialty stores, 5 & Dime and mail order houses.
In 1951 Jules Stern, son of Israel and Pearl, joined the business on a full-time basis. Between 1957 and 1970 Metro introduced three innovative industry "firsts": In 1957, a popularly priced, 110-volt handheld vacuum cleaner. In 1964 the first 12-volt automotive hand held vacuum cleaner that plugged into the cigarette lighter outlet of cars. With the introduction of these two overwhelmingly successful products, demand outstripped production capabilities and a move to larger quarters was necessary. In 1968 Metro moved into its own 32,000 square foot building in Suffern, NY. In 1970 Metro introduced another industry first, the Metro Duo-Volt, the world's first and still only dual voltage (110V-12V) hand held vacuum cleaner, designed to work in the home and in the car.
In 1974, Kenneth Stern, the eldest son of Jules, joined Metro, adding a third generation of Sterns to the family business. Through the seventies and into the eighties Metro introduced many different models of vacuum cleaners from compact powerful canisters to full size vacuum cleaners.
In the eighties, Metro aggressively began to diversify into new and different industries. David Stern, Jules' youngest son, entered the company on a full-time basis in 1984. Since 1984 under the keen eyes of Jules, President, Kenneth, Vice-President of National Sales and David, Vice-President of Marketing, many new and different markets have been opened for Metro products.
Metro is now a major factor in the computer/office product industry with Metro Data-Vac Computer Cleaning Systems. Data-Vac Computer Cleaning Systems are designed to avoid costly downtime. Ever so important, is the cleanup and maintenance of computers, printers, laser printers and copiers.