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M.S. Johnston Co. celebrates its 64th year as York dealership

December 19, 2004

M.S. Johnston Co. Inc. of Hagerstown is marking its 64th year as a dealer for York International Corp., which makes M.S. Johnston the longest-tenured York dealer in the world.

M.S. Johnston Co. began as a household refrigeration service business in the basement of founder Maurice S. Johnston's home in Hagerstown in 1932. On Dec. 27, 1940, M.S. Johnston signed up with York Ice Machinery Corp. as what then was referred to as a "contracting distributor."

In the mid-1950s, M.S. Johnston changed from a York contracting distributor to a York dealer, and Aircon Engineering of Cumberland, Md., became its distributor.

M.S. Johnston's original work force consisted of two men serving the household refrigeration service needs of residents in Hagerstown. Today, the business has 48 full-time employees who serve the HVAC, sheet metal, design-build and refrigeration needs of customers in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia.

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M.S. Johnston continues to operate out of the barn it purchased in the 1940s. In addition to the sheet metal shop and offices that already are there, the company currently is building a new warehouse to house equipment and supplies. The company also continues to be a family-owned and family-operated business, with Maurice F. Johnston's son, Michael Johnston, P.E., vice president and chief operating officer, working alongside him.

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