Marine sport and industrial equipment for domestic and international customers. Supplying light industry, film property rental and location arrangement, and lots of incredibly interesting Navy and industrial surplus stuff.
View our picture gallery and take a look at what kinds of things we stock.
Born: October 11, 1921. Died: March 5, 2013.
Born: June 29, 1949. Died: October 3, 2011.
Louis Equipment Company was founded by Manuel "Manny" Louis in 1948. Manny's daughter, Anina Louis, worked in management and sales at Louis Equipment starting in the 1970's, with a few hiatus periods working overseas, but working for most of 35 years.
Anina Louis, Manny and Rochelle's daughter, worked most of 35 years here at Louis Equipment. Officially she worked in management and sales, but she did everything at one time or another, from mopping the floor to closing major export equipment agreements. Her fluency in Spanish was a major driver of our Mexico business, and served no small role in welcoming our local Latino commmunity customers as well. Anina also played a major role in serving our theatrical prop rental customers. Her untimely loss in 2011 is still commented upon; our customers frequently register sadness at her absense. She is missed every day.
We hope to expand this section about Anina, over time, as anecdotes come in.
Louis Equipment was founded in 1947 by Manuel "Manny" Louis, not long after he mustered out of the US Navy after his service in World War II.
Manny Louis was born October 11, 1921,Edmonton, Alberta Canada. When he was six months old Manny’s family moved to San Pedro, California where he was raised in the environs of Los Angeles Harbor. His father was a ship supplier during those turbulent years, which invested him with an enduring love of the harbor and maritime things.
Graduating from San Pedro High School in the winter of 1940, he enrolled at San Diego State College. As World War II changed lives, it did his. He went to work at California Shipbuilding (Cal Ship) in San Pedro working on rapid production of Liberty ships and pioneering the revolutionary Kaiser modular shipbuilding technique. Working as a ship-fitter/layout man and serving as foreman two days of each week, he was elected Boiler Maker's Union Shop Steward. He and his crew worked on the very first after peak section for the first of 345 Liberty Ships launched by Cal Ship, the John C. Fremont.
After one year at Cal Ship in San Pedro, Manny was nominated to the United States Merchant Marine Academy at King's Point, Long Island, New York. In 1944 after his midshipman's cruise and passing exams, he graduated, received a U.S. Navy commission, and shipped out as an Ensign to his first duty station, the newly launched USS Arlington. At the end of 1944, he was transferred to the General C.C. Ballou (AP-157).
Two days before the ship set sail for France, Manny and Rochelle Frechter were married. The ceremony was held at Rochelle’s sister's home on 22nd street, a mile north of the Ballou’s dock at 22nd street landing in San Pedro.
After victory, in 1946, Sr. Asst. Engineering Officer Louis mustered out as a 2nd Lieutenant (Lt. J.G.) with decorations and commendations appropriate to his service, which included four circumnavigations.
After a year getting his land-legs back he was drawn back to his real love, engineering and machinery. Going to work for an independent machine and device designer/inventor, working mainly on assembling large-winch oil well draw works, he also assisted in inventing a new type of automated press tire and wheel rim separation device.
In late 1947 Manny started his own company, Louis Equipment, an independent chandlery business purchasing surplus materiel from the Federal War Assets Administration and selling in the post-war domestic and international commercial industrialization market.
In 1949, he incorporated Louis Equipment Company, Inc. in California. Projects expanded from the marine industrial supply into international commercial and military provisioning, marine fleet hull sourcing and outfitting (customers included the French, Argentine, and South Korean Navies), real estate and home development, and movie and television properties procurement, supply, and site management. Elements of these businesses continue to this day.
As of 2009, in his 88th year, he can be found on most days in his office at Louis Equipment Company, perhaps not working on business as much as participating in community and alumni activities.
"I am fortunate to have a daughter who has assumed management of this company and a son whose technical abilities have enhanced the operation."
Manny's history of participation in community and industry associations has been recognized through numerous awards and acknowledgements. Included among them: Awards and recognitions from the California State Senate, 2001; California State Assembly, 1997, 2001, 2009; City of Los Angeles, 2001, 2003, 2009; Society of Set Decorators Hall of Fame award, 2007; USMMA Alumni, Long Beach/Los Angeles Chapter, multiple awards; Wilmington California Chamber of Commerce, multiple awards.