In June 1950 Allen Z. Culp Jr. completed a home study course from the National Radio Institute of Washington D.C. In Richfield N.C. he started a small radio repair shop in the upstairs of his grandfather's house. After several months working long hours, his business grew and he moved the shop to Main Street in Richfield, NC. At that time Richfield was a small rural town with a small population. A parts salesman suggested that Al move to Norwood, as it was a larger town and had no repairman. In 1954 Al’s Radio Shop opened on Main Street in Norwood, NC. For two years Al drove 22 miles back and forth to work most days leaving before 7 and getting back after 9 at night. Al’s oldest son, Raymond, worked with him on Saturdays and over the summers. After 2 years of driving back and forth Al moved the family to their new home on Pee Dee Ave in Norwood. Al's Radio was a small business with Al and Raymond running service calls and working late at night to keep their customers happy. At that time they worked on radios, TV’s, record players, car radios, repaired irons, toasters, mixers sold and installed antenna and during the late 50’s Al sold and serviced Thermo floor furnaces.
   

 

In the early 60’s Raymond moved on to work at the Concord Telephone Co. and the next son, Steve, started helping out. He went into the Air Force in 1967 and the next son, Eric, came in to work. In 1971, after 4 years in the Air Force, Steve came back into the business and, that same year, they began selling Zenith Electronics. In 1976 a new building was built at the present location with expanded lines of electronics and appliances.
   
In 1986 Al retired after 36 years in the business and Steve's wife, Gail, came to help run the business. In 1990 the business name was changed to Culp Electronics & Appliances to reflect the current sales flow. As retail grew and the need for more floor space so a 625-sq. ft. additions was added to the front of the building. With this new floor spare they expanded their appliance line to carry Frigidiare and Maytag.


Photo by Matt Foutz