Maplewood History: Made in Maplewood – A Very Surprising Discovery is Found on a Vintage KECO Product

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So you thought you were done with the Kalb Electric posts? Not so fast, buddy. This is the 6th post on the Kalb Electric Corporation with at least two more in the works. Since I aired the KECO TESTIT literature a few posts back, two TESTITS have showed up in the flesh so to speak and another was reportedly discovered during a remodel inside a wall of a home in Webster Groves.

Even cooler than that a has-to-be-rare KECO Battery Charger has a very unusual detail shown to me by the owner. I’ll show it to you at the end of this post. That owner, by the way, is our own collector/philanthropist Mr. Martin Fischer who has very kindly permitted me to photograph and present to you his fascinating collection of Maplewoodiana.

In addition, I’d like to thank the new owners of Kalb Electric, Larry and Angie McAteer, for allowing me to photograph their KECO TESTIT along with its original box. Anyone who has any needs of or interest in decorative lighting should definitely stop in and see them. They had a large number of interesting projects underway during my recent visit. Angie also informed me that they had recently restored all of the chandeliers for the Mayfair Hotel. Way to go!

These locally owned businesses are a very important part of our community. Buy local! We’ve plenty of interesting shops and services from which to choose.

Ta Dah! Here it is a surviving member of the once-thought-to-be-extinct KECO TESTIT family. Courtesy of Martin Fischer.
Ta Dah! Here it is – a surviving member of the once-thought-to-be-extinct KECO TESTIT family. Courtesy of Martin Fischer.
And here's another. Shown with its original cardboard container. Courtesy of Larry and Angie McAteer.
And here’s another. Shown with its original cardboard container. Courtesy of Larry and Angie McAteer.
The container was made by Sefton. A Maplewood business whose building still exists at the northwest corner of the intersection of Big Bend and the railroad tracks.
The container was made by Sefton Can Company, a Maplewood business whose building still exists at the northwest corner of the intersection of Big Bend and the railroad tracks. One of their other products was cardboard cans for motor oil.  Remember those?
An early brochure for some of the products of Kalb Electric. Courtesy of Martin Fischer
An early brochure for some of the products of Kalb Electric. Courtesy of Martin Fischer.
A photograph of a couple of those products. Courtesy of Martin Fischer.
A photograph of a couple of those products. Courtesy of Martin Fischer.
This battery charger proves that everything was not monochrome as the early black & white photos would have us believe. This charger is the item where an unusual discovery was made by the owner, Martin Fischer.
This battery charger proves that everything was not monochrome as the early black & white photos would have us believe. This charger is the item where an unusual discovery was made by its owner, Martin Fischer.
The vent holes in the top of the charger case have been arranged to form a swastika. You may want to see my previous post on this subject. Thanks to Marty for sharing this very interesting discovery with us.
The vent holes in the top of the charger case have been arranged to form a swastika. You may want to read my previous post on this subject, (Nazis!!-In Maplewood?). Thanks to Marty for sharing this very interesting discovery with us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 COMMENTS

  1. Tom is exactly right. The Nazis also rotated the symbol so it appears balanced on one of its legs. But no matter what position the swastika is in these days, the Nazi horror has forever tainted a symbol that was once widely used to suggest peace and good luck.

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