John Ray & Sons to Celebrate 100 Years of Service

Sunday, August 1, 2004 – John Ray & Sons, one of the Capital District’s oldest fuel suppliers, is celebrating its 100th anniversary year.

Established in 1904 in Troy as an ice delivery service, John Ray & Sons has adapted through the years as times changed – delivering ice, coal, wood, kerosene, gasoline, diesel fuel and heating oil to residential and commercial customers throughout the Capital District.

The Troy-based company’s President is Ken Ray, the third-generation of his family to own and operate the business. During its first 100 years, the company has grown to become one of the largest fuel suppliers in Upstate New York.

“My grandfather, John Ray, founded the company. He always said, ‘If you give people good service, they’re going to stay with you,’ and we continue every day to operate with this as our guiding principle,” Ken Ray said.

“Our mission,” Ken Ray said, “is to always remember people first. We earn our customers’ loyalty through outstanding customer service with a “do-whatever-it-takes” philosophy.”

When the company began in 1904, people would place a sign in their window to let the “Ice Man” know how many pounds to deliver. “My father often told me stories about harvesting ice from the Hudson River and making deliveries with horse-drawn wagons,” Ray recalls.

Since those early days, John Ray & Sons has expanded its services to meet new challenges. Ten decades later, the company continues to grow by expanding its site on Sixth Avenue, north of the Green Island Bridge. The company has embraced new technology, installing a Global Positioning System (GPS) on its fleet of fuel and service vehicles for faster, more efficient customer response. The firm also uses text messaging technology to get essential information to drivers so that they may better serve customers.

For residential customers today, the company provides a guaranteed supply of high-quality home heating oil, and a wealth of services including expert technicians, 24-hour emergency service, installation and repair of heating and cooling systems and furnace inspections. The RayComfortZONE Heating & Air Systems are custom-designed systems combining state-of-the-art engineering and oil heat technology.

The company’s commercial client base includes construction companies, marinas, agricultural businesses, and trucking fleets. The company’s office tracks the commodity exchange by satellite in order to purchase fuel at the lowest possible price and – in return – passes on the savings to its customers.

For additional information about John Ray & Sons, call 518-272-4432 or visit the website,

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