Service Warehouse

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John Quarles stocked products from Pillsbury, Armour-Dial, Borden, Quaker Oats,
Swift and a long list of other major food companies at the giant central
 distribution center he built on 27th Street in Huntington. Note the
 dual rail sidings shown in this aerial photograph.

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HUNTINGTON  John Quarles was a man with an inventive mind. Born in Richmond,
Virginia, in 1915, he graduated from Virginia Polytechnic Institute in
1937 with a degree in industrial engineering. Early in his career,
 he worked in Alabama and Virginia.

In 1947, he came to Huntington, where he developed and patented equipment
 to treat railroad right-of-ways with brush-killing spray. He sold his
 company, Spray Services, Inc., in 1954, after which he
 founded the Service Warehouse Corp.

The huge warehouse Quarles built at 550 27th St., adjacent to the C&O
 Railway's main line, utilized an entirely new storage concept he
devised. Naming it the "Transolidate System," he later
 franchised the idea to other warehouse
operators across the nation.

The system enabled food-making companies to ship carloads of their
 product to a central distribution center like the Huntington
warehouse. When a supermarket chain or other
customer ordered some of a company's
product, it was combined with
whatever products the
customer wanted
from other food
firms.

The consolidated order shipped from the central distribution center,
 saving on freight costs and providing quicker service.

Quarles stocked products from Pillsbury, Armour-Dial, Borden, Quaker
 Oats, Swift and a lengthy list of other major food companies
 at the giant distribution center he built.

Active in civic affairs, Quarles was president of the Tri-State Transit
Authority, served on the Huntington Planning Commission and
 was a member of the board of directors of the Huntington
Trust and Savings Bank. He died in 1978.

According to records in the West Virginia Secretary of State's
 office, Service Warehouse Corp. ceased operation in 1989.

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Note:  This Article and picture appeared in the Herald-Dispatch Newspaper on Feb. 19, 2019.

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