Maplewood has been a good location for many businesses. Many have come and gone and left no trace. Al-Bro Manufacturing Company might have been one of those except they left a building and a brochure.
Due to my less than meticulous record keeping I no longer remember where the brochure came from. It might have been in the large stack of stuff I was given when the American Legion Hall closed their doors. Or maybe I found it at the library?
It doesn’t matter. I copied it from somewhere and here it is.
A closer look at their building. Those curved building corners, metal window frames and what looks like glass blocks on the corner identify it as Art Moderne…I think. Any comments?
During the Sahara Oil years, those streamlined curves were hidden behind a faux tudor facade.
This ad posted on October 5, 1947 is the earliest mention I find of the company in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch archives.
The inside of their four page brochure gives us an idea of what they were up to.
The back cover displays a couple of interesting images.
We can just make out “Savings and Loan” on this large sculptural medallion. The buffing the man is doing is in their line of work but the creation of the piece of advertising is not. First an artist was required to draw it. Then a sculptor would create a 3D model out of clay. A mold would be made. Then the piece would be cast out of metal in this case probably aluminum. None of that was done on site or at least their brochure doesn’t indicate that it was. They didn’t do foundry work. They did, however, do polishing which is what the gentleman in the photo is doing.
This ad from September 27, 1950 is how they found him.
This picture of the draftsmen is interesting to me. I am intimately familiar with the lamp on their drafting tables. It was made by Dazor Manufacturing which was located at Duncan and Taylor. This used to be just east of Jewish Hospital. The whole site has been demolished and rebuilt since I got my first real, summer job there in 1965. My Uncle Lester was a foreman. He fudged my age by a few months to 16 so I could get a work permit. There was nothing that was fun about working in that factory. I was glad to get back to school when the summer was over. 54 years later I still recognize all of the separate parts that make up that lamp.
Part of the Al-Bro building is visible in this photograph I took of the steam train on October 18, 2016.