While at a local restaurant recently, noted for its eclectic decor (see photo above), we noticed a photograph on the wall of the restaurant showing a diagram of an old toaster just like Mom had when we were growing up.
The diagram was taken from the patent for the device and the patent’s originator was Lud Koci, none other than the father of the very same Lud Koci that I had written about in a recent blog. Lud, Sr. was an engineer at Sunbeam Corporation after WWII where he developed many other patents for household appliances, like shown on this add from the period. According to Lud, Jr. his mother would complain about a chore around the home and his father would invent a new appliance to make it easier.
Thus evolved Sunbeam’s product strategy after the war tailored to women like Rosie the Riveter who worked in the factories while all the men were fighting overseas. They had become accustomed to using labor-saving tools, so it was only natural that after the war, new household appliances were created to similarly ease the efforts of homemakers. My mother literally had all the various appliances shown in the ad, but I don’t recall much labor being saved around our house as she always seemed to have a chore up her sleeve for me, which I disliked then and still do to this day!
Mom would reminisce about her wartime work at the Minster Box Factory located in a quonset hut directly behind the K of C Hall. Before the war, the factory made cigar boxes, but quickly converted to making customized corrugated boxes for wartime supplies by employing many young women from the area. The building still stands today as shown in this photo and now houses the Front Porch Candle Company.
The other women she worked with at the wartime factory became her lifelong friends. They all married after the war and had families, but at least once a year for the rest of their lives, they would get together to laugh and share memories of those storied times. Photo below of l-r, Delores, Norma, Betty, Louise, Arckie & Sally at Mom & Dad’s wedding May 3, 1947.
Back to my college friend, Lud, he and his wife Trudy became very active in the Catholic Church, founding Mary’s Children, a non-profit hospice care organization for children with brain injuries. Lud & Trudy have adopted several kids from the organization as shown in this family photo.
Their charitable efforts earned them recognition by Pope Paul II and the Catholic Order of Malta in the 1990’s.
God bless people like Lud and Trudy..