Thursday, August 11, 2011

Branchell Melmac History and Factory Tour: Kaye Lamoyne, Colorflyte, Royale and Aztec

What a steal!  This trio of Kaye Lamoyne designed ashtrays are only $15 at The Weathered Bungalow on Etsy.    

Kaye Lamoyne was the designer for The Branchell Company--you may know them from the wonderful lines such as  Colorflyte and Royale Melmac Dinnerware!


Lovely Colorflyte set by AERetroRescue on Etsy, $58.

Branchell Royale Colors!  This available at EnergyForTheSoul on Etsy!

Not much is said about Aztec dinneware, but Branchell did produce this.  More often than not, found in salad sets in browns/confetti melamine though actual dinnerware was produced.

This large salad bowl is available at Funkomavintage on Etsy.
Facts and Factory Information:
In 1958 it was written in a Chilton Jeweler's circular that Branchell was one of the largest dinnerware producers of it's day, having been officially founded in 1946** (by Ernest E. Hellmich).   The "Hellmich Manufacturing Company" was listed at 1610 Hampton Street St. Louis, Missouri in the November 1956 Life Magazine. **According to this very reputable Branchell website, this is not the date that the Branchell Company (4 partners) was actually incorporated.

There were two factory sites that may have produced the dinnerware. In Modern Plastics, 1955, there is talk of Hellmich Manufacturing company at Bayamon in Puerto Rico making melamine tableware. In the USA, Edna Campos Gravenhorst wrote in her book, "Southwest Garden" that the factory at 3176 Brannon Avenue aka the CD Midland Building had been where the Mundet Cork Company and Branchell Company was located.  She has photographs in her book.

The defunct site that Ms. Gravenhorst talks about is here:

From Google Maps.

By 1958 Lenox had taken over the Branchell company that according to Chemical Week had a "combined sales volume of over $14 million per year. "

By 1961 the company was still labeling products "Branchell -Aztec" with a mailing address of 4417 Oleatha Avenue in St. Louis.

Further Reading:
For more information on Branchell or Kaye Lamoyne, visit this great site here by Dennis Teepe.

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