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Mesker Brothers

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Photograph of Frank Mesker
Geo. L. Mesker & Co. catalog, 1904
Grainfield Opera House, Grainfield, Kansas
Josephine White Block, Providence, Rhode Island

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.[1] 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.[2]

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.[3][4][5]

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.[5] 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.[2]

A number of their works are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[6]

Works by the Meskers include:

Their work features identically in the History of South Dakota, the History of North Dakota, the History of Montana, and the History of Nebraska.


  1. ^ a b c Darius Bryjka (April 2006). "Sibling Rivalry Good for Illinois Architecture: The Meskers' Sheet-Metal Businesses". Historic Illinois. Archived from the original on September 22, 2008.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  2. ^ a b Rich Davis (February 26, 2008). "Putting steel into the city Evansville's Mesker buildings". Evansville Courier & Press.
  3. ^ a b "Sheet Metal Facades by Mesker Companies". Illinois Historic Preservation Agency. Retrieved August 7, 2012.
  4. ^ "Got Mesker? Identification Guide to Sheet-Metal Facades and Building Components Manufactured by Mesker Brothers Iron Works and George L. Mesker & Company". gotmesker.com. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |url= (help)
  5. ^ a b "Mesker Brothers Iron Works Records, 1879-1953 (11 volumes on 3 microfilm rolls)". State Historical Society of Missouri Research Center, University of Missouri-St. Louis. Retrieved August 7, 2012.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  7. ^ "Gunning-Purves Building". Wisconsin Historical Society. Retrieved October 31, 2015.
  8. ^ Bryjka, Darius (May 6, 2013). "Colorado list reaches 100". Mesker Brothers. Retrieved November 18, 2022.