Mirro Aluminum Company
|Successor(s)||Koenig & Vits|
|Products||Variety of Consumer goods|
The Mirro Aluminum Company was an aluminum cookware company that existed in Manitowoc, WI from 1909 to 2003. It was colloquially referred to as simply Mirro.
Founding - 1940
The roots of the company can be traced to the founding of three companies: the Aluminum Manufacturing Company founded by Joseph Koenig in Two Rivers, Wisconsin in 1895; the Manitowoc Aluminum Novelty Company, founded in neighboring Manitowoc, Wisconsin by Henry Vits in 1898; and the New Jersey Aluminum Company founded in 1890 in Newark, New Jersey. In 1909, the three companies were merged, and the resulting company was renamed the Aluminum Goods Manufacturing Company. It was headquartered in Manitowoc and headed by Vits as president and Koenig as vice president. In 1910, a $200,000 deal between George Vits and the eastern capitolists, all offices and manufacturing were moved to Manitowoc.
The company received its first government contract in 1911, winning an $80,000 contract to build aluminum canteens for the army that was developed by Joseph Koenig. Koening filed for a patent in Apr 1911 and was granted patent US1062716 in May 1913.
By 1914, the company reported that their employment was over 400 and building space had grown to almost 90,000 sq ft. In 1915 the company acquired the facilities of the Standard Aluminum Company, another manufacturer in Two Rivers. For the next two years the company concentrated on the production of cooking utensils. The Mirro brand was introduced in 1917.
The company continued strong growth and by 1920 had increased its capitol to $12,000,000.
During WWII they retooled their factories to make aluminum products for the military. When the war ended in 1945, the company expanded into aluminum toys as well making the popular Sno-Coaster saucer shaped sled. In 1957 shareholders approved a name change to the Mirro Aluminum Company. By the 1960s the Mirro brand of cookware was flourishing and the company was renamed to the Mirro Aluminum Company.
At its peak, Mirro was the United States' largest manufacturer of aluminum cooking utensils, and over time it had as many as eight plants in three states, with products ranging from pots and pans to small boats and aluminum siding.
Mirro was acquired by The Newell Companies in 1983. Facing competition from other manufacturers, Newell had moved most of its Manitowoc area operations out of the country by 2001, and shuttered the most modern of the area Mirro plants in 2003. Mirro also closed its administrative offices in Manitowoc at that time, ending the company's 118 year history in the area.
The manufacturing facility in Manitowoc was purchased by Koenig & Vits, Inc. when it closed. They formed an alliance in 2005 with Tramontina, a Brazil-based cookware and cutlery manufacture to manufacture cookware in Manitowoc at the plant. As of 2014 they are still manufacturing cookware in Manitowoc.
- Louis Falge (ed.), History of Manitowoc County Wisconsin, vol. 2. Chicago: Goodspeed Historical Association: 1911-1912, pp. 210-213.
- "NEW COMPANY TO EMBRACE THREE". Manitowoc Daily Herald. 8 Mar 1909. p. 1.
- Falge, vol. 2, pp. 54-57.
- "VITS FAMILY OF THIS CITY TAKES OVER BIG EASTERN INTERESTS". Manitowoc Daily Herald. 19 Dec 1910.
- Manitowoc Daily Herald. 20 Jan 1911. p. 2.
- "Flask for liquids". p. 4. Retrieved 23 April 2014.
- "Aluminnum Plant at 2 Rivers Employes 400 Hands". Manitowoc Daily Herald. 1 Aug 1914.
- Evan Gagnon, Neshotah: The Story of Two Rivers, Wisconsin. Stevens Point, WI: Worzalla, 1969, p. 236.
- James M. Rock, "A Growth Industry: The Wisconsin Aluminum Cookware Industry, 1893-1920", Wisconsin Magazine of History, vol. 55, no. 2 (Winter, 1971-1972): 86-99.
- "Would Change Goods' Official Name to Mirro". Two Rivers Reporter. 20 Mar 1957. p. 2.
- "Tramontina’s US HQ is in Sugar Land". Fortbend Now. Retrieved 22 April 2014.