Company Background

Our History

Blackie’s was founded in 1926 by William B. Murray, originally as Automatic Engineering Co. Murray came to Danville from Washington in the mid-1920s to sell railroad companies a new piece of train equipment he invented. Once that transaction was finished, he liked the area so much he decided to stay. In 1926, Murray put his money into a sheet metal production business for residential and commercial uses. This led him to duct work, and he soon added boiler systems, gravity air systems and coal burning heating systems to the business.


Where We Got Our Name

W.B. Black, who was known to most of his friends as ‘Blackie’, married Murray's daughter and joined the business in 1939. Under his eventual leadership, the company continued to add new heating and air conditioning technologies to its product line. Since the 1940s, customers almost always referred to the company as "Blackie's", after the second owner. "That’s when we acquired the name Blackie's because that is what everyone called him. We finally had to put the name on the door", says Rob Black, current owner and great-grandson of the company's founder.


Four Generations Later

Today, Blackie’s is one of the area’s largest and most respected heating and air conditioning companies, offering its customers a combined 200 years of residential mechanical systems expertise. Our four generation, family-owned business is deeply rooted in the Danville and Champaign, Illinois area. We are, and will continue to be, committed to our client's satisfaction, first and foremost.


Community Involvement

  • Sponsors of several local high school teams
  • Members of local Chamber of Commerce Organizations
  • Committed to recycling scrap metals, paper/cardboard, and all hazardous waste in an EPA approved manner

Simply the Best

Since 1926, our four generation, family-owned business has provided prompt and professional heating and air conditioning services.

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