Douglas AutoCare began as a dream of two brothers, Wilson Douglas (1903) and Tom Douglas (1905). The boys grew up on North Spring Street, Winston-Salem, NC less than two blocks from the shop's present location at 575 North Broad Street.
Wilson had a keen interest in electricity and in his young teens, he set out for a job interview at Duke Power Company in Richmond, VA. He arrived by train and having arrived earlier in the day before his interview, he spent his time walking around town and happened to come upon a batter re-building shop. After talking to the owner, he was hired on the spot. He quickly picked up on the trade, how to order battery components (cases from Richardson, separators made from cedar trees in Oregon, etc.) and how to build them.
After a few years, he decided it was a time to come back to Winston and try his hand at starting his own company. The batteries were assembled in the garage behind his parent's house. At times, neighbors would complain when the charging rectifiers came on which created a spooky, creaking noise and caused the neighborhood lights to dim as the rectifiers converted the AC power to DC to charge the batteries.
As time passed, Wilson got sick with an illness which could not be treated locally and got in touch with his brother, Tom Douglas, who was a freshman at Trinity College (Duke University) in Durham to tell him of his illness. Tom left school that same day on the back of an Indian Motorcycle driven by one of his friends. Tom Douglas grew the company and upon Wilson's return, they partnered to build one of North America's top five battery companies. They moved the battery making from their garage on Spring Street to a building on Trade Street just beside one of the city's largest tobacco warehouses. They quickly realized they needed more space as customers were seeking their help with vehicle repairs.
Soon after the shop's move, their brother, Albert Douglas, who served as a combat pilot during World War One, came home from Wyoming to become the first manager of the Douglas Battery Service Company. The manufacturing operations were located south of town by the railroad tracks near the Sunnyside Avenue extension. The facility ended up producing nearly four million batteries a year and employed more than 900 people throughout North America.
Albert retired from the Trade Street shop after many decades of work and Wilson's son in law, Terry Minnis became manager. Soon after taking the position, a fire in the warehouse next door burned part of the Service Company and in 1968, the shop was moved to 575 North Broad Street.
Following Terry's retirement, David Reed was assigned the shop manager. In 1996, David retired and Joe Jarvis became the new manager and in 2006 he became co-owner with Jim Douglas.
In 2015, Joe retired and Jim Douglas became the sole owner with Derek Watkins as the Service Manager (previous employee of Douglas Battery Manufacturing Company).