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Mullen Replaceable Vault Light Co letterhead


  • Fulton Building, Pittsburgh, PA; General Offices: Hartje Building


  • 1914-1922-?


The Replaceable Vault Light
The Replaceable Vault Light
Mullen Bros Co
Pittsburgh PA, ca.1920, 18p
JPG ~17MB: tar zip pdf
PNG ~94MB: tar zip pdf
Gift from Bill Mullen
Donated to Rakow

Bill Mullen, grandson of founder Leo, provided all the historic photos on this page, and donated the MRVL catalog, brochure, and No. 10 and No. 20 lenses shown below.

Leo Mullen on construction site Leo Mullen and grandsons, Noah's Ark, Kennywood Park, West Mifflin, PA, 1962 or 1963 Leo and family · 1963
Leo at construction site Leo E., Leo G., Tom
Noah's Ark, Kennywood Park,
West Mifflin, PA, 1962|63
Leo G., Tom, Jim, Helen, Bill, Leo E.

Henry Mullen:

Henry Mullen in the MRVL offices Fourth Draft Registration Card for Patrick Henry Mullen Fourth Draft Registration Card for Patrick Henry Mullen Henry Mullen in uniform
Henry Mullen in the MRVL offices WWI Draft Registration Card
National Archives via ancestry.com
Henry Mullen
in uniform, 1918
Henry died of pneumonia in France while serving with the
American Expeditionary Forces of The Knights of Columbus.

Pittsburg K of C Men Are Active
Knights of Columbus Officers Doing Effective Work for Boys in France

Staff Correspondent
Death Claims Mullen
Special From The Dispatch Bureau
PARIS, March 13—There was an air of sadness that came over the headquarters of the Knights of Columbus today when the untimely death of a Pittsburg boy was announced. When Henry P Mullen of Pittsburg came to France in December he was full of enthusiasm and a desire to do what he could in the service in which he engaged. Because of his experience as a contractor, he was assigned to the construction department, where he had the supervision of the erection of a number of huts for the organization at Chateauroux. In the performance of his duties he contracted a severe cold, which developed into pneumonia, which caused him to be removed to a hospital, where he succumbed to the ravages of that disease.
Andy McSwigan, who is the assistant commissioner of the Knights of Columbus, who is well-known in Pittsburg, personally occupied himself with the necessary arrangements for the transport of the body to Paris—something difficult under the French laws—and appointed Joseph Weldon of the firm of Weldon & Kelly of Pittsburg, and Bob Egan, well known in newspaper circles, to arrange the matter. It is expected to bring the body to Paris and bury it in the military cemetery where those who die in the overseas service are interred. Mullen is the sixth person in the Knights of Columbus who died in the overseas service.

MRVL Office Photos:

Bill Mullen provided scans of the photographs that were hanging in the MRVL office. Some have captions written at the bottom, but others are inexplicable. Click on a thumbnail for the color-corrected full-size JPG, or the link below each one for the original un-corrected PNG.

1907 Pittsburgh Flood

Bill: The flood pictures should be labeled at the bottom and dated. They are the Pittsburgh flood of 1907. They where taken at the flood crest of 36.6 feet on 3/15/1907. One with boat only corner of 7th and Penn. The picture of boat and person wading is 6th and Penn (this is by The Fulton Building where they had offices at one time. It is now the Pittsburgh Marriott Renaissance Hotel). The other is taken from the top of Mt Washington across the river from downtown Pittsburgh. If that picture was taken today Heinz Field and Three Rivers Stadium would be bottom left side.

1907 Pittsburgh flood as seen from Mt Washington (across the river from downtown) 1907 Pittsburgh flood (6th and Penn) 1907 Pittsburgh flood (7th and Penn)
View from Mt Washington
6th and Penn
7th and Penn


Goats pulling small wagon (hearse?)
Goats pulling small wagon
(or is that a hearse?)
Mullen Family Portrait
Portrait of the 7 Mullen Boys
Back: Henry, ?, ?
; Middle ?; Front Leo, John, Jim (?)
(No portrait of the 6 Mullen girls)
Westerfield Bro's Wholesale Grocers, 134-138 W. 4th St., Greenville, Ohio
Westerfield Bro's Wholesale Grocers
Grenville, Ohio, circa 1896

This is the photo visible on the wall in the photo of Henry in the MRVL office (see above). Bill: The picture of the larger wagon is in Greenville, OH. where several of the Mullen children where born. Their father worked for the railroad (never knew which) before being transferred to Pittsburgh. Henry born in Greenville, my Grandfather Leo born in Pittsburgh.
Visible on the façade: Poster for Gilmore & Leonard's opera Hogan's Alley; Sign ASK FOR STAR SOAP (BEST FOR FAMILY USE) / Schultz & Co., Zanesville, O.; Sign CHEW / HORSE SHOE / PLUG TOBACCO / NOTHING LIKE IT / BEST ON EARTH Wares being delivered: Lion Coffee, Drummond's Plug Tobacco J. T. Smooth, St. Louis, Uncleaned Killicknick Smoking Tobacco
<q>Under the Elm at the National Cash Register Factory, Dayton, Ohio</q>
Under the Elm at the National Cash Register Factory, Dayton, Ohio · Bill: one of the Mullen boys is on the left hand side behind lady with flowery hat and lady with pillbox style hat.


Lenses were made by the Smith Glass Company, who is listed as a creditor on May 22, 1918.

Mullen Replaceable Vault Light Company lens No. 10, embossed MRVL Co.
Lens No. 10
"M R V L Co."
Mullen Replaceable Vault Light Company lens No. 10 (top) Mullen Replaceable Vault Light Company lens No. 10 (bottom)
Mullen Replaceable Vault Light Company lens No. 20, no embossing
Lens No. 20
No embossing
Mullen Replaceable Vault Light Company lens No. 20 (top) Mullen Replaceable Vault Light Company lens No. 20 (bottom)


Identifier Mon DD Year Inventor(s) Patent Title
US 1,081,979 Dec 23 1913 Mullen, L. G. Transparent Pavement
US D45,123 Jan 6 1914 Mullen, L. G. Design for a Prism-Lens
CA 158,484 Oct 20 1914 Mullen, L. G. Transparent Pavement
GB 1,147 Jul 1 1915 Mullen, L. G. Glass Paving Blocks
FR 477,642 Nov 3 1915 Mullen, L. G. Pavé en verre
US 1,180,412 Apr 25 1916 Mullen, L. G. Transparent Pavement


Sales Kit Items
MRVL Co sales kit items MRVL Co sales kit items MRVL Co sales kit items MRVL Co sales kit items

MRVL Co sales kit items MRVL Co sales kit items

MRVL Construction Pictures
Mullen Replaceable Vault Light Co construction Mullen Replaceable Vault Light Co construction Mullen Replaceable Vault Light Co construction

Completed MRVL Installations
Mullen Replaceable Vault Light Co canopy (skylight) installation Mullen Replaceable Vault Light Co vault light installation

MRVL Drawings and Blueprints
Mullen Replaceable Vault Light Co drawing Mullen Replaceable Vault Light Co drawing Mullen Replaceable Vault Light Co blueprint Mullen Replaceable Vault Light Co blueprint
Mullen Replaceable Vault Light Company in 1915 Sweet's Catalogue of Building Construction
1915 Sweet's Catalogue


Bills owed May 22, 1918:

American Spiral Spring Co., 648.?? Bills owed May 22, 1918
Bills owed May 22, 1918
J. B. Beeth & Co., 24.??
N. J. Bique, Chicago, 56.??
Bernitz & King, Harrisburg, 35.??
Cambridge Glass Co., 9.??
C. S. Caldwell, Birmingham, 121.00
Duncan & Porter, Cement, 65.64
E. M. Diebold Lumber Co., 31.20
F. W. Dodge Co., Reports, 122.50
Houston Bros. Co., Cement, 34.60
Hartje Paper Co., 25.50
Higgins Lumber Co., 76.07
Meyer Cushman & Rea, Attys., 193.70
May Lumber Co., 27.59
Richards & Kelley, Chicago, 164.17
Rodgers Sand Co., 24.47
Rodefer Class Co. Bellaire, 111.15
Smith Glass Co., 1861.36
Do., 10,000 glass. 408.34
Sweets Catalogue, N.Y., 255.00
Thornton-Claney Lumber Co. 58.24
Witherow Steel Co., 41.40
White Transfer Co., 89.25


The metal threads were apparently made by the American Spiral Spring Company: American Spiral Spring Company
"Pittsburg and the territory immediately about it make up the greatest centre of iron and steel manufacture in the world, ad the unsurpassed natural advantages enjoyed, and the high skill attained by the men engaged in this industry with the vast superiority of the great plants which have been established by the investment of immense capital, are assurances that the district will retain its supremacy in this important field. The production is no longer confined to steel in bars or ingots, or other forms of raw steel, but the energy of local enterprise has advanced to the manufacture of a variety of steel products—pipe, tools, wire, springs, etc. One of the most valuable and useful forms of steel manufacture is that of spiral springs, and in this important special industry a great advance has been made. In this connection special attention is commanded by the works of the American Spiral Spring Company, and the enterprise and skill displayed by the proprietors and managers. These works are located at Shingiss and Bluff Streets, and while not the largest in the district, are worthy of particular attention, because of their growing business, and because they illustrated the fact that despite the tendency to combination and concentration and monopoly, which is too common in this district, there is still a field for individual enterprise. The American Spiral Spring Company was organized May 1st, 1889, by Messrs. Jas. F. Larkin [superintendent] and John Pfeil [general manager], both of whom had the advantage of a long practical experience in the manufacture of spiral springs. Mr. Larkin had been in the business since his boyhood, a period of twenty-five years, and Mr. Pfeil had an experience of twenty years. With the savings from their earnings they started an independent business, and beginning in a modest way their business has steadily grown. They make springs of the best quality, using the very best steel and taking the greatest care in their manufacture and the uniform high quality of their product has given it the highest standard. They make all kinds of spiral springs, also flat spring keys. These springs are used on locomotives, railroad cars, electric cars, and by manufacturers of agricultural implements. They are shipped south to New Orleans, east to Massachusetts, and west to the Mississippi. Liberality and just dealing have always characterized the business transactions of this company, and under its present able management its future prosperity is assured." —Allegheny County, Pennsylvania; illustrated