Mid-West Wholesale Lighting Corp. was founded in 1963 by Max Frandzel at the age of 47, a time in most people’s lives when they begin to plan for retirement. Born and raised in Chicago, Max took over his father’s candy business at the age of 18, when his father became ill. Having a great love of music, Max also helped support his family playing the saxophone in “dime-a-dance” halls and nightclubs. He played the clarinet in symphony orchestras, and conducted a military band to entertain veterans. He also enjoyed playing his sax at a local retirement home or just entertaining the troops on special occasions at Mid-West.
Max opened Mid-West’s doors in November, 1963, at 601 N. La Brea in Los Angeles. Max ran the business by himself, later getting help from his two sons, Alan and Bob. Fluorescent fixtures and lamps were Max’s basic product lines in the beginning; other lines were added as the company grew.