Business: Em-Roe Distributors
Date of Ad: July 29, 1906
Location: Downtown – 209-211 West Washington Street
Years of Operation: 1913-2015
Notable: Em-Roe’s, incorporated in 1914 by Lee Emmelman, was the leading name in sporting goods in Indianapolis for over a century. The company began as a wholesale distributor dealing in everything from clothing to appliances. Early on, they specialized in outfitting the weekend outdoorsman specializing in an assortment of tackle and rifles. Hoosier Hysteria was at its craziest in the 1950s and Em-Roe’s took full advantage, offering customized uniforms and equipment to area high schools. You might find a vintage letterman sweater with an Em-Roe tag by rummaging through Indy area closets and attics. The company phased out its retail operations over time, closing their last location in Southern Plaza in 1995. For the next twenty years, they operated as a custom athletic apparel supplier out of a large warehouse on Georgetown Road in Park 100. Em-Roe’s was purchased and liquidated by a Texas firm in 2015, ending more than 100 years of supplying sporting goods to Indy.
Additionally The radio featured in the above ad also has a local tie-in. The Jesse French Company, based out of New Castle, Indiana began building upright pianos in 1875. Not wanting to lose out on the latest in home entertainment technology, they jumped into the radio business in the late 1920s. The company was bought by out-of-state interests in 1955.