Note: Read here for a post that corrects some of the information in the post below.
Using Google Maps, you can chart a route from Mount Kisco, N.Y., to Bridgeport, Conn., by road or by rail. Google says it would take about an hour to drive the 41 miles between the two communities. The first was Babe’s home. The second is the former headquarters for The Bullard Company, which made heavy machine tools such as lathes.
It appears from my records and letters that Babe’s grandfather Vito Mauro worked at Bullard. I’ve reached out to the Fairfield (County) Museum and History Center to see if they have any information that would confirm that.
Honestly, I don’t know enough about Vito, who would have been my great-grandfather. I don’t know where he lived and there’s nobody left who would know. Maybe he lived in Bridgeport. I can’t believe he worked there and drove from Mount Kisco. If it would take an hour to drive to Bridgeport today, it seems like it would have taken longer than that in 1943, but maybe that wasn’t a problem during World War II, when it was all hands on deck to support the war effort.
The company was founded in 1890 as the Bridgeport Machine Tool Company. According to a document at the Fairfield Museum and History Center:
On January 4, 1929 the firm’s stock was admitted for trading in the New York Stock Exchange and the previously private company went public. At the same time, the name of the firm changed to The Bullard Company. After years of increasing production and marketing, the company was taken over by White Consolidated Industries and business declined. The plant closed in the early 1980s and was demolished in 1983.
Did you know there was a machine tool hall of fame? Well, E.P. Bullard Jr., the founder’s son, who ran The Bullard Company for 40 years, is a member.
It appears the assets of The Bullard Company were swallowed up by a company called DeVlieg Bullard, which eventually filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2004; the assets then went to a company in Rockford, Ill., called Bourn & Koch. This is from rough research, so I haven’t quite put all the pieces together perfectly quite yet.
The letter below, apparently to my grandfather (Babe’s father), refers to a certificate (they call it a scroll) expressing their condolences over the loss of a valued member of the family, Vito Mauro.