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Vulcan: The Offshore Experience


Vulcan relocated its executive offices to West Palm Beach, Florida, in June 1964. To begin with they rented space on Broadway Avenue in northern West Palm Beach. Two years later, in late June 1966, Vulcan opened its own office at 2725 N. Australian Avenue, West Palm Beach.

The manufacturing facility remained in Chattanooga. Today, with email, next day courier service, videoconferencing and collaborative web work, its easy to envision the operation of a company this small and this far flung at the same time. However, in 1966 Vulcan had to use the postal service, expensive long distance phone service, telex and a very slow fax (sometimes) to communicate. The fact that Vulcan ran as smoothly as it did is a tribute to the way in which the company was managed. Vulcan was managed from the Australian Avenue office through many of its years in the offshore industry, which was an is an international business.

To celebrate the opening, they held an open house. Below are some photos from that event.

Ken Wiggs of Wiggs and Maale Construction, which built the office, is shown at left with Henry G. Warrington, Chairman of the Board and President.
Donald Lamsey, Executive Vice President, is shown at left with Vernell S. Warrington, Secretary (and later Chairman of the Board) and Henry Warrington. With the departure of the executive offices, Lamsey was the operations manager of the Chattanooga manufacturing facility.
Looking through the receptionist's window into the secretarial pool office. Behind the glass, facing right and holding a drink is a very young Pem Warrington, later Executive Vice President, who would "office remotely" from the Houston facility from 1978 to 1992. He is taking with Capt. Jim North, whose nephew Bob would work as a sales manager for Vulcan in the 1970's.

Pictured on the desk is an IBM Executive typewriter; click here for a sample of its output (in case there's ever any doubt about what it looks like! The sample is the forward for the Vulcan Offshore Field Service manual during the 1970's, still good advice for your Vulcan hammer.)

The 1971 company Christmas card shows a "grown up" but still well kept office.

2725 N. Australian Ave. Today

History is full of ironies and the fate of this office is one of them. This office was closed and the building sold when the executive offices were reconsolidated (in part) to Chattanooga in 1978.

Since then it has had several tenants but the current one is the Liggett Animal Hospital. During most of the years Vulcan had the Australian Avenue office the Warringtons had an Applehead Siamese cat named Buff (shown at left.) The Liggett Animal Hospital (located up Broadway from the original Florida office) was Buff's vet and Buff hated to go to the vet. Doubtless Buff would be giving a reaction like the one shown if he knew where the Liggett Animal Hospital was today.

If you're a cat lover and want to learn more about Buff, click here. (Buff's photo by Bernice Ransom Studios, Palm Beach.)

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