Joliet Wall Paper Mills, Inc., Joliet, Illinois
From: History of Will County, Illinois
By: August Maue
Historical Publishing Company
Topeka-Indianapolis 1928


The Joliet Wall Paper Mills, Inc., one of the leading manufacturing concerns of Will County, has had a remarkable growth during its comparatively short existence. It was incorporated in 1914 for $30,000.00. Capital increased in 1915 to $60,000.00. In 1916, was reorganized with a capital stock of $125,000.00. The original officers of the company were as follows: Charles S. Nowell, president; Edward C. Hintz, secretary; Albert Metzelburg, treasurer; Thomas F. Flynn, superintendent.

Since May 15, 1916, the officers have been: John E. Chaistrom, president and treasurer; F. E. Chaistrom, vice president; Edward C. Hintz, secretary.

Business during the first year amounted to $58,800.00. In 1927 the total volume of business amounted to more than $750,000.00.

The company manufactures approximately 14 million rolls of wall paper annually with the nine machines in operation at the present time. Five additional machines will complete the plant's equipment during 1928. The entire mill is equipped with automatic rolling machines and has two heating plants, each with a capacity of 60,000 cubic feet of hot air per minute, which are used for drying purposes. Water is supplied from a 750 foot well, with a supply tank, having a capacity of 15 thousand (15,000) gallons, elevated on a brick tower 80 feet high.

About 150 men are employed in the mills and 18 travelling representatives throughout the United States and Canada. Recreation rooms are maintained for the employees as well as a swimming pool and showers. The pool is 22x72 feet in size, 6 feet deep, and contains 60,000 gallons of water, heated by steam.

The Joliet Wall Paper Mills, Inc., occupies a tract of four acres. The building is 240x550, a large part being two stories, and has 250,000 square feet floor space. The plant, with the exception of the first unit, was designed by Mr. Chaistrom, who owns the controlling interest in the business. Reconstruction work in 1928 will place the value of the company's investment at one million dollars, and will make it one of the most up to date factories of its kind in the United States.

Among the oldest men in point of service in the company's employ may be mentioned Edward C. Hint; secretary and office manager, and Ben Evans, chief color mixer, both of whom have been with the firm since its inception. J. R. McDade, master mechanic, and Charles Peterson, millwright, have been in the employ of Mr. Chaistrom for 35 years. Frederick C. Hanfeld, factory superintendent and colorist, has been with the firm since 1920. It may be stated that harmony prevails at all times and labor troubles are practically unknown.


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