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.

10 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]

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.

Anonymous said...

Interesting site. My grandmother worked for the Dormeyer company in Chicago, as an assembler. A long time ago, maybe in the 1950s to the 1970s. Her occupation (assembler) and the Dormeyer company name is listed on her death certificate.

Mister G said...

Thanks for the comment, and the connection, always looking for more info...

Unknown said...

I have a Dormeyer mixer , Silver-Chef Model 4300 series.no. 096172), I also have the meat grinder. I was wondering how much would this be worth these days?

Mister G said...

Not a lot, according to ebay!

Unknown said...

A Silver Chef is good condition is a great appliance and will still give any countertop mixer a run for its money. That's the good news. The bad news is that to be used safely, the entire thing needs to be stripped down by a good appliance man and have the original wiring removed and updated- especially the power cord. You may need new brushes too. Any remaining original grease is totally shot and needs to be removed and replaced. Lucas Oil Red & Tacky #2 is the best. Once that's done you'll have a fantastic mixer. Be very careful of your beaters. Replacements haven't been available for more than forty years.

Virginia said...

No idea, but probably worth more as sentimental value. I have my mom's that she bought in early 50s, in perfect condition with meat grinder attachment & wooden pestle & instruction booklet with recipes. I still use it!

Unknown said...

I am looking for beaters for my SM-12 Mixer. Or does anyone know if another model is interchangeable. Please email me at Besthoof@comcast.net