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Sunday, January 2, 2011

For Sale: Lapcor Meladur Melmac Dish Building in Manitowoc, Wisconsin also made Stetson Melamine Too

Old Lakeside Plastics Building as named in 1952, Lapcor circa 1955 plus additions. Photo Credit: Courtesy LoopNet

Now you can own the commercial building originally built in 1945 at 2214 Franklin Street for a mere $295,000.  Too bad I don't live near Manitowoc, I'd probably be living in it with my Meladur dishes! Interviews with Marge Miley (local newspaper historian since 1943) and Jan Burkart (Ruh) led me to realize that Meladur dishes while at Lapcor were very popular circa 1955-1958 (unlike production in earlier years at General American). The factory produced other melamine dinnerware lines for outside companies such as Stetson. Aside from dishes this molder was big into production of industrial components.  I found indication this factory was still being used according to Hardware Age, circa 1966, but later addresses for Lapcor (1983) - give a 2702 Division St., Manitowoc. Wl 54220 (414-682-4666).  So is this picture a factory or storage house back in the day?

Meladur had a new following when at Lapcor, almost 10 years after it's original design.
For years I've done research on Russel Wright and melmac dishes. Originally designed and produced by Russel Wright to do market tests, (on the request of William Bell of American Cyanamid), they later went into production by General American Transportation Company (GATX).  With much contractual issues, the molds were later sold to Lapcor Platics circa 1955 after Wright's much disputed contract was defunct. 

More Meladur Info Needed: 
I'm pretty much finished my MELADUR page here on the blog, so check it out.  I'm really trying now to put together PROPER color names, ephemera, and this will take me many more years of research.   I can't tell you how many letters I've received from the citizens of Manitowoc, about Lapcor plastics, and how it employed someone they knew or loved.  Good town citizens like the late Mary Jane Wachal, who dedicated 19 years of her life to Lapcor Plastics, or the late Dorothy J. Gordon, who had 30 years in! Thank you for all the information!  It's getting harder and harder to find out information due to the fact the employees I'm looking for worked there in the 50s, which (even if they were in their 20s or 30's) puts them at 80 years old now.

Know anything?  Contact me!

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