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History of Austin Armature Works, LP



Austin Armature Works was founded in 1936 by J.F. Kramer, Sr., age 31. After obtaining his degree in electrical engineering in Chicago, he moved to Austin and started rewinding and rebuilding electrical equipment on the back porch of the house he and his wife had rented. He quickly outgrew his space and was able to rent a vacant auto repair garage a few blocks away at 31st and Guadalupe Street.

When WWII broke out, he rode a bicycle to work to save gasoline and tire stamps to buy fuel and tires for his vehicles. He started doing work all over the state. At one time, he had over 100 cotton gins as customers, all the way from Brownsville to Amarillo. During WWII, he had a number of calls to do electrical work at an Air Force base near Harlingen. On one occasion, he was called to fix the motor that opened their main hangar doors. They couldn’t get planes out. When Mr. Kramer told them his truck tires were too worn to make the trip, they had new tires on his truck within two hours and gave him an escort all the way.

In 1948, Mr. Kramer bought a two story building on Neches Street. In the mid-1800’s, it had been a livery stop downstairs with hotel upstairs for people who were coming to Austin to catch the train. The downstairs still had a clay floor and hitching posts for horses. His first office manager had just been released from WAC (Women’s Army Corps) where she had been in the Pentagon during WWII, working her rank up to Captain. While at this location, Mr. Kramer was able to buy 3 acres of land which was, at the time, about four miles south of Austin on the San Antonio Highway, now known as South Congress and Ben White Blvd. In 1961, AAW moved to this location into a 12,000 sq. ft. building.

In 2001, AAW moved to its present location in Buda, Texas. Mr. Kramer, Sr. died at the age of 72 and his only son, Dr. J.F. Kramer, Jr., managed the business until more recently. Now, the founder’s two grandsons, Jay & Ted Kramer manage the business. Today they are offering greatly expanded services and the business is growing rapidly.