Thursday, March 8, 2012

Vanished Tool Makes: Dormeyer





The top picture is of the badge on a metal box I picked up somewhere.  I'd never heard of the name before.  Turns out that A.F Dormeyer (which started out as the MacLeod Manufacturing Corp.) was initially a Chicago-based rival of Sunbeam in the kitchen appliances and electric mixer market.  In 1927, this company produced the first electric household beater that featured a detachable motor for cleaning purposes.  Apparently, their kitchen products enjoyed a very good reputation, but couldn't compete against other less expensive brands.  It appears that in the late 40's, they started to manufacture power tools (designed by John "Jack" Morgan who went on to become chief product designer at Sears Roebuck.  He also had a Canadian connection:  check out his bio!)  In 1960 they were bought by another Chicago company, Webcor.  In its previous guise as Webster Chicago, this company had made high quality audio equipment, including equipment that ultimately made talking movies possible, and was among the first to make and offer office intercoms.  Later, as Webcor, they made wire recorders,  tape recorders and "fonographs".   The president of Webcor was Titus Haffa,  a former Chicago alderman who seems to have been involved in some pretty shady activities, including an alleged relationship with Bugs Moran (who was behind the famous Chicago Valentine's Day massacre) in the late 20's and later, in 1953, being accused of failing to provide adequate escape facilities in a building he owned that burned down with the loss of 34 lives. The Dormeyer company appears to have gone under within five or six years of Mr. Haffa's taking the helm.

4 comments:

Romberg said...

I knew the Dormeyer family. A.F. Dormeyer's son Karl lived directly behind us. Karl wasn't in the family business. Nice guy, died young in his early 50's.

Unknown said...

Anybody out there that knows where I might get some brushes for a Dormeyer saw. Or anything that might interchange my saw is model # 5-7021 Thanks Steve [searchin4411@aol.com]

pottsd said...

That wasn't Ogden Nash, it was W. C. Fields !

Unknown said...

I am looking for replacement beaters for a Dormeyer Deluxe Model 250 mixer. If anyone can help me locate a pair in good condition, please let me know.
Thank you.