The history of Balkan Plumbing begins in the year 1952. World War II had been over for seven years and Joseph L. Balkan had a decision to make. He was trying to decide if he should remain at “a secure, lifetime job” at the Brooklyn Navy Yard where he went to work after serving in the Seabees – Or to pursue a private profession in plumbing. Joseph enjoyed the plumbing trade and saw the value in performing quality services. The community had a need for quality plumbing services that was waiting to be filled.
At the same time Joseph was mulling over his decision to leave the Brooklyn Navy Yard he quit smoking. This afforded him enough savings to get the plumbing endeavor rolling with a bankroll of $900.00. He acquired three employees and Balkan history was made.
From The Brooklyn Navy Yard To Today
Founded on the simple principals of doing quality installations and keeping his word the business survived and then thrived throughout the years. Joe’s clients counted on his handshake as his bond – and he didn’t let them down. From our founders original Brooklyn Navy Yard principals came our motto “Quality & Service”. Balkan Plumbing is proud that after over sixty years of providing the best sewer and water services we are now the oldest subsurface plumbing firm operating under the same original family name in New York City. “A Trusted Family Name For Over 60 Years”, and “Quality, Service, and Experience”.
Joseph L. Balkan Inc. is still a family run sewer and water main business with Joe’s sons Paul and David carrying on the family tradition of high quality work, done at the most reasonable of costs always utilizing a ‘uniform pricing policy’. Through this family and company wide dedication to customer satisfaction Joseph L. Balkan Inc. has grown from the Brooklyn Navy Yard, to a small plumbing shop, and on to be the largest sewer and water service contractor in the five boroughs of the NYC metro area. Balkan performs over 2,000 sewer and water service installations a year city-wide.
The company has remained true to its original principals, and is large enough to handle all the potential sub-surface plumbing needs of its clients and customers 24/7. Yet we still provide friendly personal service with all aspects of the operation overseen by a Balkan family member and the most experienced field and support staffs in the industry. Continued success is based upon a company-wide commitment that excellence is not by accident.
Founder Joe Balkan In The Navy Seabees
No story about Balkan Plumbing or Joe Balkan the founder of Joseph L. Balkan Inc. would be complete without mentioning the Navy Seabees (actually an abbreviation for Construction Battalion)- a section of our armed forces that people may not be too familiar with anymore. Joe’s service in the Seabees in the South Pacific left an indelible impression on him and gave him a fearlessness that he carried with him his entire life. It seems that seeing wars devastation and having a close brush with death can do that to a person. To the day he died Joe Balkan retained vivid memories of WWII and what he witnessed – And how lucky he was to survive.
The history of the United States Navy Seabees in World War II begins with the 7 December 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. After the attack and the United States entry into the war, the use of civilian labor in war zones became impractical. The Navy therefore created Construction Battalions (from which the abbreviation “C.B.” became Seabees).
The first Seabees were not raw recruits when they voluntarily enlisted. Emphasis in recruiting them was placed on experience and skill, so all they had to do was adapt their civilian construction skills to military needs. To obtain men with the necessary qualifications, physical standards were less rigid than in other branches of the armed forces. The age range for enlistment was 18–50 but, after the formation of the initial battalions, it was discovered that several men past 60 had managed to join. During the early days of the war, the average age of Seabees was 37. After December 1942 voluntary enlistments were halted by orders of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and men for the construction battalions had to be obtained through the Selective Service System. Henceforward, Seabees were on average much younger and came into the service with only rudimentary skills. Courtesy Wikipedia.
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