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Vulcan: The First Hundred Years


The centennial celebration was one of the finest gala events -- and certainly the best documented -- that Vulcan ever put on. Following are some facts about the celebration:

  • The banquet took place on 31 January 1952. It was scheduled to coincide with the end of the AED (Associated Equipment Distributors) meeting in Chicago.
  • The celebration was held at the Sheraton Hotel, Grand Ballroom, Chicago, Illinois. It began at 6:00 pm, with cocktails, then the dinner, and after that the speeches.
  • Music for the event was provided by Shay Torrent, a well known organist for the Hammond Organ Company. Shay was a family friend of the Warringtons for many years. It was necessary to rent an organ with Leslie speaker for the occasion.
  • Each of the guests was furnished with complementary Old Gold cigarettes for the banquet. Smoking proved the undoing of the Warringtons, though: Chet Warrington died of emphysema nine years after the celebration, son Henry's early retirement was forced in part by the same disease, as was his death at 69, and grandson Pem's death at age 41 was also hastened by smoking.
  • Each of the guests was also given a leather portfolio as a momento of the occasion.
  • Just before the celebration, on 17 January 1952 there was a fire at the Vulcan plant.
  • The correspondence surrounding this event is a fascinating look at a world now gone. Here are some quotes from some of the guests, suppliers, Vulcan people, and others who participated in the event:
    • "We leave Washington on the Capital Limited at 5 o'clock Wednesday afternoon...and on our arrival in Chicago the next morning, we will take a taxi...Bob is talking about flying back, but the air service is too uncertain at this time of year...I think I'll stick to the old B&O." (Overnight train travel looks pretty good after 11 September 2001--at least until the Madrid bombing...)
    • "...Mr. Fleming would be very appreciative if you would reserve a room and bath for him at the Sheraton as he prefers to have a room to himself rather than share it."
    • "I was your shipping clerk at Milwaukee and Clinton fifty years ago [1902] when Mr. [Henry] Warrington Sr. was alive...Mr. Wm. Warrington had charge of the machine shop. I'll say men really worked in those days his work was his soul...I wish you another hundred years but won't be able to be here as I am eighty years now." (G.C. Lind, Oak Park, IL)
    • "Illness as a result of an epidemic in this and many other cities in Ohio have prevented me from acknowledging before this receipt of a fine leather document case..."

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