Friday, January 30, 2015

Diffusion: Store Fronts

In 1908, the George L. Mesker Company of Evansville, Indiana announced the diffusion of its products nationwide. Touting the hundreds of its storefronts on a map of the continental United States and including Bermuda (shown above), Mesker claimed his enterprise was the largest such establishment in the country. It specialized in inexpensive two-story fronts decorated with galvanized iron cornices and pediments and cast iron sills and columns.
Mesker also provided services to architects and employed architects to assist prospective builders. Boasting 104 fronts in Alabama, the company worked with architect L.E. Marley on the Brockton storefront represented above.
For the South, Mesker's products were especially popular in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. 178 Mississippi structures featured Mesker iron, including Neff and Owen's storefront in Osyka, shown above  Its general plan No. 7011 (below) was used for the Osyka Bank on Railroad Avenue.

Images:  George L. Mesker & Co.  Store Fronts. Evansville, Indiana: The Company, 1908. Architectural Trade Catalogs, Southeastern Architectural Archive, Special Collections Division, Tulane University Libraries.

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