Galax Gazette 1950, Alva E. Tucker
Judy Nunn Alley collection
Another instance of the importance of Galax in the competitive world of industry is the fact that we have right in our midst, the largest mirror manufacturing factory in the United States, the Galax Mirror Company, Inc., one of the Messer Industries.
It is difficult indeed, to believe that from this community of something over 50000 goes over eight million square feet of mirrors every year.
Founded in 1927 down in the rear of the Webb Furniture Company, the business moved up to East Grayson Street in 1934. After building four additions on East Grayson Street, the plant now takes up half a city block, bounded by East Grayson, East Oldtown, and Carroll Streets and occupies a total of 60,000 square feet.
Officers of the company are: President J. A. Messer, Jr., Vice-President, K. G. Messer, and Secretary-Treasurer Mrs. R. P. Nunn. General Manager is Wiley Gentry. Mr. Messer, Jr. is the second president of the company, he having succeeded his father, J. A. Messer, Sr., who is now Chairman of the Board for all Messer Industries.
One hundred and sixty-five employees were paid a total of $335,000 last year, but J. A. Messer, Jr. says the work they do is well worth it.
Perhaps the fact that the company has all modern machinery, completely conveyorized, explains why it is high ranking in the battle against accidents. However, as the president pointed out, work in a mirror factory has its dangers and, because of the constant association with glass, each employee must be extremely careful.
The Galax Mirror Company became the center of attention recently for the nation's other leading mirror manufacturers when its officials developed the first mirror cleaning machine in the trade.
The factory is divided into two different departments insofar as the manufacture of mirrors in concerned. First, there is the plain mirror department, and secondly the framed mirror department.
The second department was started in 1933, bringing in at first only about $1000 monthly. Now it averages $75,000 monthly says firm officials. Twenty-four employees work in that division.
The framed mirrors are sold throughout the United States to such stores as Macy's, Gimbel's in New York, Foley's in Houston, Richards in Miami and hundreds of other prominent stores in large cities.
Permanent sales offices are located for the Messer Industries in New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Dallas, Texas. These handle the sale of the mirrors.
As a whole, shipments of mirrors go everywhere from this Galax plant. For instance, last year shipments were made to Havana, Honolulu, Greenland and all over South America.
The Galax Mirror Company has gone a long was in its struggle against economic dissolution. It was founded in a period when the stock Markets were seriously wavering and just a few years after World War I. but, today, it is as already pointed out, the largest mirror manufacturing organization in the world and commands a position of respect in that field.