A full service moving company will celebrate 80 years of business this year.
Tom Roan, president and owner of Roan's Transfer & Storage, 2100 Whitney St., is the fourth generation since his great-grandfather, Frank, started the business in 1932. And it looks like there will be a fifth generation of Roans to take over one day.
"The older son wants to be here," Roan said. "The younger son says the same thing. If they get into it, we'll have a fifth generation."
Roan started working with his father when he was about 12 years old and has seen plenty of changes since then.
"The trucks got bigger," he said. "The loads got bigger. The time to do a job has shrunk."
Nowadays, people can walk in to the business and say they want to move next week. Previously, they would call up months in advance for an estimate for moving.
"It used to surprise us when they did last minute," he said. "Now it surprises us when it's six months in advance."
Another big change is people coming to Pennsylvania from out of state for jobs. Previously, the state was considered outbound because people would leave it for jobs elsewhere. Now Roan said it is more balanced.
"We definitely were outbound," he said. "(Now) we're moving as many in as out."
Roan's father, Robert, was in charge of the business back before everyone had their own phone line and he would receive telegrams. Roan said his father notices how people have more stuff now.
"He's 84," Roan said. "He started with little trucks. He looked at the side door (of the new trucks). He looked at the front and back. 'No one family will fill this.' They could fill it and still need a straight truck."
Roan's Transfer & Storage is an agent of Mayflower Transit, which is a network of agents that cooperate to relocate people throughout the country and the world.
The business offers local, in-state, long-distance and international moves, as well as long and short term storage.
Even though there have been several changes in the business, Roan said there are some things that can never change.
"You still have to carry a dresser down the stairs and load it in the truck," he said. "It's still hands-on."
Roan's favorite part of the job is helping people.
"There's no end product," he said. "If it looks like it did when we started, they're relaxed. They're comfortable. We do whatever it takes."
He also likes how no two days are ever the same. He would joke with his father about what they would be doing the next day and his father would respond that they will be moving boxes and furniture, but Roan said it was different.
"You can just imagine," he said. "There are some happy, some sad. You like the happy ones."
The business employs 10 full-time staff, as well as six or seven helpers in the summer which is the busiest time of year, since people like moving when it's warm and when the kids are not in school.