Wrought iron sash originators

To meet growing customer demand for fire-retardant products, in the early 1900s Mesker Brothers Iron Works began to offer fireproof hollow metal windows. In the early 1910s, the product line was extended to include solid section steel industrial sash and casements although the windows remained a minor component among a myriad of still primarily galvanized … Continue reading

How about some wood with that?

Beyond metal, the Mesker companies offered nearly everything else needed to erect an entire commercial building façade, dubbed a “house front” and evoking 19th century nomenclature that referred to business entities as commercial houses. While their stamped and cast metal offerings intended to provide instant architectural pretense to the entire building, the storefront with its … Continue reading

This 1892 catalogue

In contrast to the numerous patents held by Mesker Brothers (Bernard and Frank), there were no patents found to have been issued to George L. Mesker & Co. But the iron works did apply for at least one. The company’s 1892 catalog featured an ingenious yet simple method of choosing facade designs. The pages showing … Continue reading

Behind the iron curtain

While its use as decorative facing for buildings was perhaps the most dramatic use of the material, the principal exterior application of ornamental sheet-metal in commercial architecture was for cornices. Prior to sheet metal, wood was the primary material for cornices in small towns, with the exception of when stone was used by wealthier building … Continue reading

Supporting cast

Mesker Brothers Iron Works may be best known for their ornamental upper facades of galvanized pressed metal, but perhaps their most inventive architectural offering was to be found at the storefront level. While the overwhelming standard in the storefront construction industry were columns made of cast iron, Mesker Brothers designed and patented columns made of … Continue reading

Patent no. 405,232 – window cap

Always ahead of the competition, Mesker Brothers Iron Works invented and patented various improvements to architectural sheet-metal work. Out of the company’s 62 patents, 44 were issued between 1887 and 1892, showing the company’s early commitment to becoming the leader in the sheet-metal front business. While not the most important, one of their most interesting … Continue reading