What do a washing machine and getting rid of termites have in common? If you’re Tomlinson Exterminating Service, Inc., it is how your business got its start 40 years ago. Chris Tomlinson of Gloucester, who previously worked for another exterminating service and wanted to start his own company, said he used the motor from a washing machine, along with hoses and other apparatus, to build his first exterminating unit.
Tomlinson, who retired from the day-to-day operations of the family-owned business in 1999, remains active as chairman of the Tomlinson board. The business—with more modern equipment—at one point grew to about a dozen workers, he said, and now has a staff of eight.
Tomlinson’s wife, Charlotte, handled books for the home-based business from the start. In the early 1980s, they first moved to a storefront on Main Street and relocated to their present Main Street location about 20 years ago.
Today, Tomlinson points with pride to their two sons, Mi...
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