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Van Wie - Eclipse - George D. Roper Corpoation

The Van Wie Gas Stove Company, located at the corner of Van Wie Street and Huffman Boulevard. In 1889 George D. Roper purchased of a 50% interest in the Van Wie Gas Stove Company of Cleveland, Ohio. He persuaded them to move to Rockford, Illinois and opened the above factory in September, operating as Secretary and Treasurer to company president P.G. Van Wie. They manufactured gas heating and cooking stoves and their appliances. Having survived the Depression of the 1890's the Van Wie Gas Stove Woks would become wholly owned by Roper on September 1, 1894. Ten days later, the institution was entirely destroyed by fire. Salvaged and rebuilt as the Eclipse Gas Stove Company, the business grew steadily, expanding to include the American Foundry Company in 1901 and the Trahern Pump Company in 1906. In 1919 George D. Roper merged all of his companies into one company named the George D. Roper Corporation.  It became the largest gas stove manufacturing plant in the world. Roper gas ranges were sold in every city in the United States and in many foreign countries. He passed away in 1925, and left the presidency of the corporation to his only son Mabon.  Mabon P. Roper died in 1942, ending the Roper family line. He was succeeded by Stanley Hobson. They sold the original Stove Company in 1957 to the Florence Stove Company. At the time, Sears and Roebuck owned nearly 50% of the company and was Ropers largest customer.

Plant of the Eclipse Gas Stove Company

Trahern Pump Company

Trahern Pump Company, Wyman and Mill Streets ( Water Power District ) Trahern was originally established in 1857 and was re-incorporated in 1888 with O. P. Trahern as President. The company manufactured a complete line of iron and brass hand pumps which helped transform America. The company also made pumps for windmills. The company had several buildings on the property including a three-story machine shop, a one story foundry, a five-story office and warehouse, a two story iron warehouse, and a brass foundry. The Trahern Pump Company was sold to George D. Roper in 1906 and in 1919 Roper merged Trahern Pump Company with the George D. Roper Corporation.

George D. Roper Corporation sold the original Stove Company and renamed the remaining pump portion Roper Hydraulics Incorporated in 1957. In 1959 Roper Hydraulics acquired O.E. Szekely & Company, pump specialists located in Commerce, Georgia, where Roper Pump Company maintains operations to this day, effectively ending the Roper legacy in Rockford. In 1961 Roper Hydraulics changed their name to Roper Industries Incorporated. Roper Pump Company is a division of their Industrial Technology Group today.

Employee's of W. D. Trahern Rockford Metal Pump Works, posed in 1868 with various crude hand operated implements and a few of their finished products.

George D. Roper Corporation ad from 1920, shortly after Mr. Roper merged all of his companies into one.

And now the crowning perfection of the kitchen of harmonized color. Now the full measure of the latest, smartest home enhancement to captivate the taste of refined households the country over. The gas range in color to synchronize with a ruling hue. A Roper Color Range to consummate color harmony planned for your kitchen. Quick to realize that interior decoration has finally found the kitchen, Roper is first to provide the color range, completing the concordance of tints and shades that bring the kitchen into artistic sympathy with the rest of the home. You can now secure a Roper Range in either Poudre Blue or Imperial Red - Canary Yellow - Jade Green - to dovetail into perfect unison with any color scheme. Learn the entire story of color ranges from the Roper merchant nearest you.

Geo. D. Roper Corporation Advertisement from 1949

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