This blog is intended to clear up the mysteries of the Duro / Indestro connection. Below, I will lay out what I've found thus far, but here are the highlights:
1. The "Indestro" Bottle Capper was a product of the E. M. Blumenthal & Co manufacturing company as of October, 21 1921. It was being marketed / distributed by the Sure Steel Bottle Capper Company, also of Chicago. At this point we believe that "Indestro" was simply a product name. We believe this is in reference to the claims of "It is impossible to break a bottle" in most of their advertisements of the day.
2. Duro was established in 1918 and the notice below identifies Messrs Alferd W. Hays and Alfred N. Powell as principals. However, we found the business registration in the state of Illinois on 2/16/1918, listing Messrs Gertude, McNaught and Odlum as registrants. Research continues on the identities/roles of Hays, Gertude and Powell.
3. According to the 1932 edition of Steel, Indestro is Incorporated at 2649 N. Kildare Ave. by a Warren Horton of 2300 Board of Trade Building. We should note here again the fact that there has not been an actual business registration document discovered.
4. We found a copyright registration for the Indestro "All Steel Products" Catalog #3 on 10/1926. Given this, we are searching for proof of corporate formation around 1924, assuming yearly catalog production.
5. While we have yet to acquire an original copy, in 1943 there was a formal complaint against the Indestro Manufacturing Corp. with the Federal Trade Commission. If Indestro were a subsidiary, we would have to believe the complaint would be formally filed against the parent company, or as a minimum, name them in the complaint. Indestro Manufacturing Corp. is the only entity mentioned.
1/13/2016 update to the Duro / Indestro story. In a search of the Canadian Trademark records, we found that Duro Metal Products registered trademarks for "Duro" and "Duro-Chrome" on 1/10/1933. Curiously, Indestro also registered the "Indestro" trademark on 1/10/1933, with Indestro Mfg. Corp. listed as registrant, and Duro Metal Products listed as owner. However, more research is required in order to determine when the "owner" portion of the record was updated.
Addresses found thus far:
March - August, 1918 - 361 E. Ohio St. (Newspaper labor want ads)
1918 - 109 N. Dearborn St.
1919 - 361 E. Ohio St.
1921 - 361 E. Ohio St.
1922 - 360 E. Grand (First mentioned August 11 of 1918 in newspaper labor want ads)
1924 - 2649 N. Kildare Ave
1930 - 2649-59 N. Kildare Ave.
1932 - 2649-59 N. Kildare Ave.
1926 - 2650 Coyne St.
1927 - 2650 Coyne St.
1929 - 2650 Coyne St.
1931 - 3249 W. 47th
1932 - 2649 N. Kildare Ave.
1950 - N. Kildare at Schubert Ave
While the addresses for the two companies converge at 2649 Kildare Ave. in 1932, the 1935 Duro Metal Products Catalog mentions nothing of the Indestro line/brand.
On 12/8/1924, Norris McNaught filed patent #1,694,549 for vibration dampers / shock absorbers.
It is also interesting to note here that while researching the Cragin Tool Company, and reading the 1939 Illinois State Certified List of Domestic Corporations, the entry above Cragin Tool lists the "Cragin Building Corp." at 2649 N. Kildare. Most readers should immediately recognize this address as the home of Indestro and Duro at the same time from the notes above.
Yet another interesting note is that the MacLean-Fogg Lock Nut Co. also used the 2649 N. Kildare Ave. address from at least 1928 to at least 1937. We assert that it is possible, perhaps even plausible that being a screw machine company, MacLean could have been churning out socket blanks for Duro and Indestro during the 1930's. MacLean-Fogg was established in 1925 by J. A. MacLean (Pres.), J. W. Fogg (VP / Sales Mngr.) and Mr. William Odlum (VP / Treasurer). This announcement from Manufacturers News in 1925 even includes Mr. McNaught as an officer and notes the Maclean-Fogg address at establishment in 1925 as 2649 N. Kildare. This establishes a firm link between Duro and MacLean-Fogg and increases the likelihood of product collaboration.
UPDATE to above quote on MacLean-Fogg. I spoke with the founder's son who noted that MacLean-Fogg did indeed rent floor space in the Duro factory. Mr. Maclean also noted that his father did NOT manufacture sockets for Duro. He also noted that his father rented part of the overall factory and recalled seeing some of the tool manufacturing operations.
We found a reference to a law suit against Indestro Mfg. Co. by Aetna Machine & Mfg. Co in 1925.
In at least 1931, Duro tools were being advertised in the Sears catalog under the "Durobilt" trademark (not yet found).
In the 10/13/1955 edition of the Arlington Heights Herald, Mrs. McNaught is noted as the Sec/Treas of Duro Metal Products Co.
In a 1959 edition of "El Automovile De Cuba," Duro and Indestro are mentioned as a single entity.
A 1961 volume of Motor (snippet unavailable) refers to Indestro as "Manufacturers of Duro-Chrome Hand tools."
In the 1973 edition of Chicago, Cook County Industrial Directory, Indestro and Duro are both listed, and all corporate officers are the same.
By 1974, and possibly earlier, Indestro is being referred to as "Duro Metal Products Co., Indestro Division." By the early 1980's, the company as a whole is referred to as Duro/Indestro.
The 4/25/1974 edition of the Ironwood Daily Globe (Ironwood, MI) notes that the Ashland Forge Corp. is a subsidiary of Duro Metal Products.
On May 18, 1990, Duro transferred their trademarks to JAF, Inc. of :
419 THIRD AVENUE EAST
ASHLAND, WISCONSIN 54806
NEW - 4/3/2017 - Here is some interesting information from the Made In Chicago Museum.