In 1959, Charlie Barber, the head operator at Shenango Valley Water Company, decided to capitalize on the relationships he had developed with his chemical suppliers and other small treatment plant operators. His father, Launce, had just retired from Westinghouse and was interested in a retirement career. Thus, Barber’s Chemicals was conceived and took its first breath. Chemicals were purchased and distributed. Launce used this 1960 Chevrolet delivery truck. The original warehouse was the size of a residential garage.

One of the suppliers Barber’s Chemicals used was Opalco Chemical Company (later P.B.& S.) out of Pittsburgh, PA. The northern Sales Representative for Opalco was a gentleman named Ed Earnhardt, Jr.

Ed’s father, Ed Sr., had been a truck driver, and his father-in-law Cyril D. Wilson, Ph.D., a patent-holding chemist. Ed Jr. and Cyhad worked to develop and sell products in the cleaning market whilerepresentedting Opalco. Based upon influences from his parents and in-laws, as well as his business background, chemical distribution seemed like a natural fit. Unfortunately, due to the unexpected passing of Cyril, the production side of the operation became less of a reality, but a sense of entrepreneurship had been sparked.

In 1968, after Charlie Barber decided it was time to sell his business and Ed Earnhardt was ambitious enough to set off on his own, they came to terms with the sale of the company, with the condition that the name could not be changed for five years after the purchase.

After initial years of struggle, growth was realized, and in 1976, Barber’s Chemicals was incorporated and moved to the facility at 950 W. Main Street in Sharpsville, PA. This location had an office and a separate warehouse.

The business was in the Earnhardt family for 56 years and endured until the second generation of ownership with Lee Earnhardt at the helm.

In 2024, Jamie Ball, having worked for Lee for 14 years, took over the company’s ownership after learning the ropes during a two-year tenure as the Vice President of Operations.

As we have grown, our processes and professionalism have also matured. Our growth will continue to result from hard work and planned capital investment.

We maintain several certifications, represented by the logos shown below:


In 2017, we completed the construction of our new administration and service building and redesigned our showroom and offices. This was done in part so that we could host Environmental Service Laboratories (ESL) and their Northwest satellite in part of the original office, which serves as a retail store.


Over the years, we have continued to experience steady growth as we have supplied products, technology, and services to our clientele in the potable water treatment, wastewater treatment, commercial pool, and food industries.

As our capabilities increase, we look forward to what we can accomplish for you!

Barber's Chemicals
950 West Main Street
Sharpsville, PA 16150