Monthly Archives: December 2018

Gene Stratton-Porter’s Company

Kendallville Broom and Brush Company, incorporated from 1914 to 1926.

The object of this company was to manufacture brooms and brushes in the town of Kendallville, Indiana. This company was started by Gene Stratton-Porter, a very popular novelist and naturalist from northern Indiana in the early 20th century. There are copies of the incorporation papers, amendment papers and annual reports for the company in this file. The first papers are the Articles of Incorporation filed on May 14, 1914. It is interesting that her husband, Charles D. Porter, did not sign on as a director at the inception of the company as he did in the subsequent years.

There are various annual reports signed by the directors from 1914 to 1926. Besides the Porters the directors were Gertrude Lay Sumption and her husband Rinaldo Sumption, Wells S. Murphy, and John E. Jellison. Rinaldo Sumption was listed in the 1910 Federal Census as a General Merchant and Gertrude had no listed occupation. Wells S. Murphy was listed in the 1910 Federal Census as a Railroad Yard Marker in Cadillac, Michigan, and was listed as a manufacturer of brooms in Kendallville in the copy of his WWI registration. He was also the company’s secretary. John E. Jellison was listed as a laborer in the 1910 Federal Census, and was listed as manager of the broom company in 1920. Gene was listed as a writer of fiction in the 1920 Federal Census, and her husband as a bank manager in Rome City.

The Amendment papers for the company on January 20, 1921 increased its Capital Stock from $15,000 to $100,000. By that time the Porters had moved to California, where these papers were signed. Its interesting that all of the company’s directors had also moved to California by then. Gene was involved in producing films of her novels while in California, but was killed in an auto accident in December of 1924.

The last set of papers in this file is the Corporation Report of 1926. It looks like some investors from Pittsburg, Pennsylvania had bought the broom and brush company by then. Arthur A. Auer of Kendallville, Indiana is listed as the Vice-President of the company. Auer’s occupation listed on his death certificate in 1967 was as a manufacurer of brooms and brushes in Kendallville, so maybe the company started by Gene Stratton-Porter stayed in business in Kendallville for many years after she died.

Mono-Wing Aircraft Corp. or Arup Inc.

In 1926 Dr. Cloyd L. Snyder, a podiatrist from South Bend, Indiana, supposedly got the idea for a single-wing aircraft after noticing the shape and gliding ability of a shoe’s heel lift. So, with the help of others he developed a mono-wing glider which was successfully piloted in 1932 by Glen Doolittle, cousin of the well-known pilot Jimmy Doolittle.

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Raul Hoffman, an experienced aircraft engineer, then added a motorcycle motor and stronger landing gear to the glider, which was successfully tested in 1933 by Glen Doolittle. They designated this single-wing aircraft the Arup S-2 for its quick take-off ability, or Air & Up.

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“The purpose or purposes for which it is formed are as follows:

  1. To engage or become engaged generally in the manufacture and sale of aeroplanes, dirigibles, and all other types of flying craft and all parts and accessories thereof including gas bags and balloons.
  2. To manufacture, purchase, lease or otherwise acquire and/orĀ  sell, mortgage, lease or otherwise dispose of any and all kinds of flying machines or motors; to export or import the same and to carry on any trade or business incidental thereto or connected therewith.
  3. To apply for, purchase or otherwise acquire, hold, own, use, operate, sell, assign or grant or conduct licenses in respect to any and all inventions, improvements and processes used in connection with or secure under letters patent of the United States or elsewhere in the whole world.”20181203_19563288407807.jpg

The 1932 investors in this unusual airplane were all South Bend, Indiana, residents. Francis J.Vurpillat was a doctor, Roland W. Goheen a banker, Forbes A. Hurcomb an automobile engineer, Otto H. Collmer, Jr. a tool maker shop owner, Harold A. McCollough a life insurance agent, Paul O.Kuehn a shoe store merchant and J. Clifford Potts an attorney. I couldn’t find anything about H. L. Stuart.

20181203_135622_001331476601.jpgPhoto from “365 Aircraft You Must Fly” by Robert F. Dorr

The Arup S-2 was shown off at events like the Indianapolis 500, the 1933 National Air Races, and for the Army, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, and the Civil Aeronautics Authority.

Strangely enough, a modified version called the Arup S-3 was destroyed by arson. A re-engineered version, the Arup S-4, was built on a tight budget and again successfully tested by Glen Doolittle in 1935.

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This new and improved model could not be sold to aircraft companies during the Depression. It was mainly flown to advertise the Sears & Roebuck Co., and then was grounded and abandoned during WWII.

Dr. Snyder’s mono-wing airplane was significant as a bold experiment. It later influenced the radical aeronautic designs of Charles H. Zimmerman who interested the U.S. Navy after WWII in his quick take-off mono-wing airplane. But his creative concepts were cancelled with the development of jet aircraft.