Considering his company’s immense history of suc- cess, and its current state of business, Jon Eames knows NH Bragg’s future prospects and reputation
“It’s going to take a lot to screw this place up,” Eames
says with a laugh.
Eames is the sixth-generation president of Bangor, ME-based NH Bragg, the state’s largest distributor of industrial and safety supplies, which has pre-Civil War roots
dating back to 1854 when it began as a blacksmith supply
shop. In the following years, as the horse and buggy
became the automobile, the company sold auto parts. As
the coal and bellows were replaced by oxygen and acetylene, the company became a welding supply distributor.
The company has seen all sorts of changes in the
162 years since its start, but its family element has kept
it grounded all along. Despite its age, this industrial
distributor has continued to post solid growth through
recapitalization and keeping its business modern.
But first, a history lesson.
Norris H. Bragg moved his family to Bangor in 1854,
and with his partner Sumner Basford, opened the busi-
ness Bragg & Basford. The partnership with Basford ended
three years later and the company was renamed to N.H
Bragg. The first Eames family member to have a leadership
role was Donald J. as vice president in the mid-1940s.
With 162 years of history, Maine-based NH Bragg continues
to grow by staying modern.
By Mike Hockett
Balancing Old And New
A look at the store front of
N.H. Bragg & Sons in 1875. (NH Bragg Photo)