(Image: Briner Electric Company, copyright IBEW, all rights reserved. Briner Electric opened in 1895 in St. Louis and their first office was on the same street as Henry Miller's boarding house. Briner Electric remains a successful IBEW Local 1 contrator.
A letter from Business Manager Frank Jacobs
To the Members and Families of our Beloved Union,
In a letter to Philosopher Robert Hooke, scientist Isaac Newton wrote, “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” No one understands this more than those whose birthright afforded them the fortunes of their forefathers.
I am fortunate to be a blueblood, a fourth generation member of the IBEW and relative to a charter member of this great Union. High wages, a great pension, health insurance, paid vacation, holidays, and world class training were all mine for the taking. It is hard, if not impossible to quantify the value of the level of sacrifice made by our founding fathers and forefathers to ensure the survival and growth of our great union. No matter your heritage, be it first, second, third, fourth or fifth generation, this Union must always work to ensure, not only a dignified life while working in the field, but also in retirement. That is what our founders and forefathers fought for every day.
Even with the considerable forces trying to nullify our voice in the state, country and world, today’s IBEW membership remains the, “golden ticket,” to a fulfilling career, offering untold opportunities. All of us have reaped the benefits of the foundation built by these great men. It is with that spirit that we seek to resurrect and preserve the original meeting place of Henry Miller, JT Kelly and the other eight men that met at the boarding house on Franklin Avenue in Saint Louis.
Once complete, the museum and park will stand as a solemn reminder of the legacy left us by Henry Miller, J.T. Kelly, William Hedden, T.J. Finnell , F.J. Heizleman, E.C. Hartung, Harry Fisher, J.C. Sutter, Joseph Berlovtz and James Dorsey. The museum governance will fall under the Electrical Workers Historical Society, whose board is composed of representatives from our International Office and IBEW Local One. All funds generated will be used to support and maintain the museum many years into the future and will provide revenue for increased research on our founders and other great men of the IBEW.
Please consider taking part in this exciting historical find and bringing it back to life.
Frank D Jacobs
IBEW Local One