Global Fastener News

2003 FIN – California Fires Destroy Mell’s Fastener Museum

June 14
00:00 2013

November 18, 2003 FIN – The fires of Southern California destroyed Mell’s Fastener Museum.]

“Every inch of it is gone,” retired fastener distributor Mel Kirsner said of the building he built with his own hands in the mountains above Julian, CA.
Kirsner began collecting fastener memorabilia in the 1960s and the museum building was designed around an oak bolt and nut cabinet that dated back to 1876. The collection started with books, advertising items such as pencils, rulers, letter openers, jewelry, wooden boxes and catalogs. There were bronze fasteners dating back to 3 A.D. and an 1853 photo of the Girard Steel Rolling Mills.
The museum was featured in the 1997 FIN Calendar.
Kirsner said he had just received a sign from Atlas Bolt and now doesn’t even have the name and address of the owner to send a thank you.
The collection included such items as an 1892 catalogue from Pawtucket Manufacturing Co. and a book, History of the Bolt & Nut Industry, written by W.R. Wilbur in 1905.
Kirsner said he does not know whether he will rebuild. “If FEMA funds and industry memorabilia donations are available, we will try.”
Kirsner founded Pell-Mell Supply in 1963 and sold it in 1991. He also was a partner in several other fastener companies.
Kirsner and his wife, Judy, also lost their mountain home on the property. Only the swimming pool remains.
They were evacuated on Sunday evening, October 28, and waited at their San Diego home until Thursday before finding out the property burned either Tuesday night or Wednesday.
Editor’s Note: Kirsner can be contacted at 726 Deal Ct., San Diego, CA 92109. Tel: 858 488-9805. Web: E-mail: ©2003/2012 Fastener Industry News.
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