Mesker Brothers


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    The Mesker Brothers Iron Works and George L. Mesker & Co. were competing manufacturers and designers of ornamental sheet-metal facades and cast iron storefront components from the 1880s through the mid-twentieth century. The Mesker Brothers Iron Works was based in St. Louis, Missouri, and was operated by brothers Bernard and Frank Mesker. The George L. Mesker Company was operated by a third brother, George L. Mesker, and was based in Evansville, Indiana. The Mesker brothers were the sons of John Mesker who operated a stove business in Evansville and later galvanized iron for buildings. The three brothers learned their iron-working skills from their father.

    The companies’ products are often referred to as “Meskers.” The companies also produced tin ceilings, iron railings, stairs, roof cresting, ventilation grates, iron awnings, skylights, and freight elevators.

    The Meskers marketed their products through catalogs displaying their designs. The catalogs were so successful they expanded print runs from 50,000 to 500,000 one year later. According to a 1915 catalog, there were Mesker storefronts in every state, including 4,130 in Indiana, 2,915 in Illinois, 2,646 in Kentucky, and even 17 in the territory of Alaska.

    A number of their works are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


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