Thursday, April 16, 2009

Marion Bronze Company

As a child, about as far back as I can remember, I always loved our family visits to my maternal Grandparent's home in Metuchen, New Jersey. Those visits were usually during the Thanksgiving or Christmas holidays. Both my Grandmother (Marion France) and my Grandfather (Arthur France) were quite typical, I suppose, in how loving and happy they were to see both my brother and me. And there were several fascinating items in their home which were fun and entertaining for us - a player piano and a large music box, both of which we played for hours. And exceptional holiday meals as my Grandmother was a wonderful cook. And when my Grandfather returned to the house in late afternoon from his factory, he always changed into a suit with vest, white shirt with tie and would sit in his rocking chair by the picture window and his large and very ornate radio (the radio tubes were each over one foot in length) to listen to the news. He always wore his gold pocket watch with chain across his vest, something I was fascinated with, and as I sat in his lap, wanted to examine.

Each morning Grandpa and Grandma were up by 6:30 am. Grandpa, now in work clothes, would eat his breakfast and head out of the house's back door, to walk about forty steps to the entrance for the Marion Bronze Company factory. The factory building measured 28 feet by 64 feet and included plaster casting room, facilities for the necessary heated wax bath, equipment for spray painting, two large open floor tanks for electroforming (a type of electroplating) the plaster castings hanging in a copper sulfate and acid solution, equipment for grinding, buffing and oxidizing, equipment for toning (shading / antiquing), the necessary electrical current conversion equipment, converting line AC current to DC for electroforming, and the packing / shipping area.