The Virtual Corkscrew Museum's Weekly Newspaper

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Number 547

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Electro Chemical Engraving Company

The slide out combination corkscrew and bottle opener from Electro Chemical Engraving Company can be found with a number of different advertisements in a variety of colors. Even more can be found without the corkscrew and either an over-top-style opener or lifter type opener. Although they are marked PAT. PEND., no patent issued has been found.

This Side view of the Electro-Chemical Engraving plant at 1100 Brook Avenue near 167th Street in New York. The firm specialized in etched lithographs, chemical dyes, and precision stamped metal parts. The firm produced parts for the Norden Bomb Sight during World War II.

The Electro Chemical Engraving Company Chronology

In 1900 the Electro Chemical Engraving Company was founded.

On May 14, 1901 the Brooklyn Eagle reported "The annual report of the Electro Chemical Engraving Company of Long Island City shows that the capital stock is $17,000, all paid in."

In 1903 the State of New York reported receiving $4 in Corporate Taxes from Electro Chemical Engraving.

In 1904 Electro Chemical Engraving exhibited at the Universal Exposition - Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis, Missouri.

The 1906 Automotive Industries directory has this listing: "The Electro-Chemical Engraving Company, 450-458 Nineteenth street, Brooklyn, N. Y. is offering to the automobile trade a line of name plates etched in brass for attachment to cars and all sorts of machine tools. These are made in any desired style and size and are artistically designed. The wording appears in raised letters on a dead black sunk background. Holes are provided in the ends of the plates for attaching to the machinery. The design is etched shallow or deep, as preferred, but the company recommends deep etching, since it is more enduring. The makers, who received the highest award for metal name -plates at the St. Louis Exposition, also manufacture clock and meter dials, scales, metal signs, etc." The 1906 American Trade Directory also lists the firm in Brooklyn

In 1913 Nelson Jacobus was listed in the U. S. Government Alien Custodian Report under "Dealings with the enemy".

The 1918 and 1919 U. S. Government Alien Custodian Report under "Dealings with the enemy" has "Electro-Chemical Engraving Co. Etching metal name plates, dials, etc. Address: Brooklyn, N. Y. . Capital stock: $25,000 common; $28,800 preferred. Number of directors: 5. Enemy interest: 20 per cent common. Report number: 19860. Trust number: 9527. Thomas F. Crean, 29 Broadway, New York City."

The 1919 United States Congress Serial Set reported "Electro-Chemical Engraving Co. (Etching metal name plates, dials, etc.) Address: 450-458 Nineteenth Street, Brooklyn, N. Y. Authorized capital: $35,000 common, $36,000 preferred. Issued capital: $25,000 common, $28,800 preferred. Enemy held: $6,250 common. Counsel: Lyttleton Fox, 120 Broadway, New York, March 24, 1919. Counsel fee: None paid."

In a 1920 directory L. S. Southwick is listed as the Production Manager of Electro Chemical Engraving Co., producing airplane dials, compass dials, and range finder plates.

The 1921 EMF Electrical Yearbook has this listing: "The Electro-Chemical Engraving Company, Brooklyn, N. Y. Manufacturer of electrical instrument dials and name plates for electrical machinery. Business established 1900. President and treasurer, Frederick E. Switzer; Vice-presidents, N. L. Jacobus, F. H. Southwick, R. Schlezinger; secretary and sales manager, N. L. Jacobus; treasurer, N. L.. Jacobus. Main office, 440-458 19th St., Brooklyn, N. Y. Branch office, 52 Vanderbilt Ave., New York, N. Y." In this same directory The Metallograph Corporation is listed at 1100 Brook Avenue, New York which would later become the home of Electro-Chemical Engraving.

June 25, 1921: Electro Chemical increases working capital from $35,000 to $250,000.

On April 3, 1927, the Title Guarantee and Trust Company placed a mortgage in the amount of $100,000 for five years at 6 per cent for the Electro-Chemical Engraving Company, Inc. on the seven-story building at 1,098 to 1,104 Brook Avenue.

In 1930 the office at 52 Vanderbilt Avenue was listed under the "Advertising Novelties" in White-Orrs Classified Business Directory.

In May, 1930, Electro-Chemical Engraving increased its capital by $610,000 on 41,000 shares of which 1,000 are preferred $100 each; 40,000 common no par.

A 1935 Brewers Calendar list sales offices in Chicago and Detroit. Both were buildings that held many offices and most likely were the offices of sales agents that handled several lines. (Courtesy of Larry Moter).

December, 1933 - Carl Halpern who was then Superintendent of Electro Chemical Engraving and his wife took a cruise on the Holland America Line Steamer Rotterdam. After the ship stopped in Jamaica on December 28, the local paper reported "Even the repeal of prohibition will not diminish the travel business, which opinion is contrary to that held by some persons, who think that a lot of people went on cruises only because of the liquor served on the ships."

A Century of Progress was the name of a World's Fair held in Chicago, Illinois from 1933 to 1934. Electro Chemical Engraving souvenir bottle openers from each year show the symbol of the fair. (From the collection of Art Johnson).

The planning for the fair was begun in 1928 with a 1934 target date. The fair opened May 27, 1933. The slide out bottle opener and corkscrew from Electro Chemical Engraving shows the 1934 year.

In 1936 Electro Chemical Engraving was listed as located at 1100 Brook Avenue, New York City (Bronx borough) with the officers F. E. Switzer, N. L. Jacobus, Robert Schlesinger, Julius Erdoes, and L. S. Southwick.

1930s advertisements for the slide out from the Electro-Chemical Engraving Co. of New York proclaim "If you want to put an army of walking ads to work, this unique, disappearing bottle opener, etched and enameled in color, will serve you loyally. No owner can help playing with it and showing it off, when he is not actually using it. And whenever he pushes the button, he also pushes your brand!" The advertisements appeared in the American Brewer.

In 1939 the New York Mortgage Corporation extended a $174,000 mortgage to April 1, 1943.

On June 10, 1940 Reinmark Realty, Inc. leased a "One-story building on a plot 100 by 90 feet at 1088 Brook Avenue to Electro Chemical Engraving Company for a warehouse and distributing plant. 1088 Brook Avenue was constructed in 1931. The photos below show the building when it was Washington Stables. Today it is the home of Marquez Auto Repair. There is a parking lot to the left of the building where the seven story building housing Electro Chemical Engraving once stood.

On November 13, 1941 the New York Times reported "Nelson Lee Jacobus, vice president of the Electro Chemical Engraving Company of New York, died here yesterday in his home at 176 Fulton Avenue."

On December 27, 1947 the New York Times reported on the death of M. C. Jacober at the age of 54. At the time he was executive Vice President and General Manager. The notice stated "He began as an office boy for the Electro Chemical Engraving Company in 1911. During the first World War he served in the Army. He was active in veterans' welfare affairs."

In 1951 the Seamens Bank for Savings extended a $32,881.86 mortgage to Electro Chemical Engraving having an address of 1088-1100 Brook Avenue.

On January 10, 1966 the New York Times reported "Robert Schlesinger of 1025 Fifth Avenue, president of the Electro Chemical Engraving Company in the Bronx, metal fabricators, died yesterday in Polyclinic Hospital. He was 82 years old."

The Electro Chemical Engraving Company Products

Three different size slide-outs advertising the company and
a metal decimal equivalent chart from the sales office on Vanderbilt Avenue.

The side of the large slide-out listing products

Promotional slide-outs with corkscrews

Serving tray advertising the company

Three of the many beer trays produced by Electro Chemical Engraving

A "calling card" from sales representative J. W. Moran
(From the collection of John Stanley)

Slide-out with no engraving marked STERLING

Prototype product from Electro Chemical Engraving?

Art Johnson's Slide Outs

Collector Art Johnson has assembled an impressive collection of Electro Chemical Engraving corkscrews and bottle openers.

Nelson Jacobus' Patents

Nelson Jacobus obtained two design patents for "Bottle Cap Removers". Above left is a the drawing from his August 4, 1914 Design Patent No. 46,218. On the right is his February 15, 1916 Design Patent No. 48,550. Both patents were assigned to the Electro Chemical Engraving Company.

This 2 1/2" long opener may be the design poorly represented in the
drawing of the 1914 patent (photo courtesy of John Stanley).

A dozen of the 1914 patent with beer advertising (John Stanley).

Openers from the collection of John Stanley based on the 1916 patent. 2 1/2" high. (John Stanley).

A larger version of the 1916 patent 3 3/8" tall. (John Stanley).

In addition to the two bottle cap remover patents, Jacobus is credited with a number of other inventions. Most of them were assigned to Electro Chemical Engraving.

Date of Issue Patent Number Title
August 6, 1912 1034621 Frame
February 4, 1913 1052000 Calendar Stand
June 24, 1913 1065613 Calendar Stand
February 8, 1918 1170541 Memorandum Holder
November 2, 1920 1357565 Method of Producing Figure Wheels
August 20, 1921 1597795 Memorandum Pad Holder
April 29, 1924 1492464 Name Plate
November 17, 1925 D68809 Calendar Stand
March 1, 1932 1847876 Tire Shoe
January 9, 1934 1942477 Portable Hot House
May 3, 1940 2242750 Illuminating Device
October 29, 1940 2219870 Means for Promoting Plant Growth

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©2009 Don Bull, Editor


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