|East Penn Manufacturing Company
In 1946, DeLight Breidegam Jr., a young Air Force veteran, started a battery business with his father. DeLight Sr. was a seasoned battery professional, having worked in Berks County, PA for Bowers Battery Company and Price Battery Company over the years.
The war made materials for new batteries scarce, but there was a great demand for rebuilt batteries to allow the returning GIs to get all those mothballed cars and trucks started. DeLight and his dad filled that need collecting old batteries and rebuilding them into new.
Having little money to start, they rented a tiny vacant creamery building in the village of Bowers, PA. DeLight Jr. had to use the grocery store across the street to weigh battery plates and the phone at the hotel to conduct business.
The company began to build new batteries as materials became available, and a new plant was built in Lyon Station, PA. By 1971 the company had grown to 350 employees, a number that would double in the next five years.
Large investments in new manufacturing and battery technology led to expansive growth throughout the 1980s and 1990s. The company is now the largest manufacturing employer in Berks County and has been recognized with many awards. Currently, East Penn has a 490+ acre plant site, the largest in its industry, and over two million square feet under roof.
According to its founder, DeLight Breidegam Jr., "If you look at the growth of our company, our reputation for quality and the expertise we have here, you could write a genuine success story about this company. A story of which all of us are proud."