In order to offer such a vast array of building products, both Mesker companies often relied on other manufacturers for supply of raw material or finished goods. This wasn’t always made obvious to would-be customers nor did it need to. For example, in the early 1900s Mesker Brothers Iron Works sold what appear to be iron fences manufactured by Stewart Iron Works. Stewart had many distributors throughout the country that could make the fences their own by simply affixing individual company nameplates to the gates. This was, naturally, not pointed out in the Mesker Bros catalogs with the desired customer perception of Mesker Bros as the maker of the fences.
Conversely, during the 1920s George L. Mesker & Company openly advertised their partnerships with other companies in the catalogs. Acting more as designers and assemblers of storefronts rather than makers, in addition to their own products Mesker offered copper storefront sash by Brasco, Vitrolite bulkheads, Fenestra steel windows, and Rolscreens (Pella) window screens. Another company whose products Mesker sold had the best name of all. But as magnificent as the name, its products were rather unglamorous. Based in Huntington, Indiana, Majestic Company was the “world’s largest maker of coal windows.” The company’s 1926 catalog also promoted steel products such as underground or built-in garbage receivers, flower boxes, milk and package receivers, fireplace dampers, and what the company described as a “new idea in heating,” Regiseat Heaters.
Despite the other products, the coal chutes and windows were Majestic’s specialty and were offered in George L. Mesker & Company catalogs. Since Majestic also sold the items independently, it’s impossible to determine during present-day encounters whether they were purchased through George L. Mesker & Co. or another agent. That is, unless they also bear the distributor’s name.
Majestic’s coal window No. 20, as photographed below in Evansville, Indiana, was a glass panel design and in 1928 could be purchased from Mesker for $18 or $20 (with a hopper). The one pictured had its recessed glass panel painted or replaced and despite the frame’s construction of “break proof Certified Malleable Iron,” it appears to have broken at bottom center. Nonetheless it seems to be in fully functional condition after some 80 years of service. George L. Mesker & Company’s 1925 catalog put it best by stating that “Mesker fronts are made right and out of the right kind of stuff.”
This Holiday Season, as you venture into the cold wintry air to add some coal into your basement or when you clean your ash pit, glance at the doors or windows; you may find them Majestic.