Here’s another fascinating artifact of the 1940s, by a little-known artist, Frank Soltesz. “How a Brewery Operates” was one of around 29 cutaway illustrations he did for a client, Armstrong’s Industrial Insulations (specifically their Armstrong Cork division). The ads were produced between 1947 and 1951, and ran in the Saturday Evening Post, each one designed to show how Armstrong’s products were used in a wide variety of scenarios. Apparently you could even send away for a 21″ by 22″ print, which was, as the ad says, “suitable for framing.” “How a Brewery Operates” ran in the Post on July 3, 1948. It can viewed full size here. You can also see many more of his cutaways at Full Table or Past Print.
Gary Gillman says
In Montreal today, there is a scene which could almost be this one if it was summer and you had a beer or two looking at the Armstrong floor covering factory from the western side of Decarie Boulevard. If you looked toward the Armstrong building which is on the east side of Decarie, you would see a similar 1940’s plant, not a brewery in this case, but the exterior looking similar to the cut-away view in the illustration. A couple of miles south-east of that, you would see the rise of a low mountain, which is Mount Royal, the hill which dominates Montreal.
On the slopes of Mount Royal from that vantage point, you would see a building very similar to the narrow yellowish brick tower in the illustration. The Montreal tower is part of the Universite de Montreal, Montreal’s premier French-language university. It was built in the 30’s and looks somewhat like some of the buildings at Orval monastery, same era of construction.
I wonder if the artist perhaps had visited the Montreal Armstrong plant, or seen a picture of it, and used it in part for his illustration.
Armstrong was, or is (I am not sure), an old Pennsylvania manufacturer of floor coverings and insulation. It had some rough times a few years ago and I heard that the Montreal plant would close. I used to bike around it in the 60’s, and its continued presence in an area which mainly became residential and light commercial was something of an oddity, but no doubt, acquired zoning rights couldn’t force them out. Changing markets finally did, in that location anyway in terms of manufacturing, but I’m not 100% sure and perhaps the old plant on Decarie still rattles away.
Gary Gillman says