The 100-Mesker club has a new member—Ohio. Perhaps not so new, as the 100 mark was reached some time ago, but additional Ohio discoveries just kept coming, preventing this write up from appearing sooner.
Historically, Ohioans purchased a not insignificant amount of Mesker products, ranking 13th nationwide with a combined estimate of approximately 1,230 facades. Fronts supplied by Mesker Brothers Iron Works netted a total of $52,477.76 in receipts between 1885 and 1908 for approximately 455 facades. Mesker’s best year for Ohio jobs was 1889, with $5,612.53 in net receipts. The projected number of Mesker Bros. installations rank #22 on the company’s charts with the expenditures at #24. These results seem discordant with the marketing effort: 197,427 catalogs distributed in the state from 1888 to 1909, which ranked 5th in the nation and with 30,759 in 1902 as the top mark. The stiff competition within the state as well as from other regional manufacturers, including George L. Mesker & Co. in neighboring Indiana, must have impacted the St. Louis Meskers’ Ohio sales. Unsurprising, and likely due in large part to the state’s proximity to Indiana, is the large number of products purchased from George L. Mesker & Co. The company’s literature claims 775 facades sold in the state, which ranks very highly at #4, behind just Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky.
Below is the breakdown of the 129 facades identified so far in Ohio (download the Excel inventory for a complete listing):