Collection Samples

In 1912, Ely-Walker Dry Goods Co. of St. Louis, MO, announced they were opening a Belleville branch in the Rentchler Agricultural Works Building at East B and Delmar. The wage was $4.50 per week. In 1917, employees clashed between union and non-union representation. On, March 30, 1918, employees went on strike for union recognition.The photo shows a small portion of the 160 employees of Ely-Walker in 1928. Donated by Pat & Jack Lindsey and Teresa Schaeffer.

The drawing is from "Signature of 450,000", a publication of the ILGWU, 1965. Donated by Betty Julian.

Excelsior Foundry is one of numerous companies established by the Rogers family since emigrating from Ireland to Belleville in 1876. The 1877 street directory lists John and Robert Rogers as Iron & Brass Founders. Later, Robert Rogers moved into stove making by founding Rogers Foundry and Stove Works. Excelsior Foundry was founded in 1891 by Edward P. Rogers and George B. McClellan Rogers.
Today, the foundry specializes in gray iron castings for industry that are shipped worldwide.
The ca. 1930 product catalog shows a complete line of sugar cane milling equipment, evaporators and furnaces. Donated by Frank P. Rogers.