- Fulton Building, Pittsburgh, PA; General Offices: Hartje Building
- Founded by Leo Gordon Mullen (1888-1965).
Henry Patrick Mullen (Leo's brother) was also involved. Leo was the son
in law of Carl Seyler (
formerly general manager and vice-president of the Hubbard Company
then founder of Seyler Manufacturing (pole line hardware and insulators)).
- "CHARTERS TO NEW CORPORATIONS. Pennsylvania. Mullen Replaceable
Vault Light Company, Pittsburgh; $25,000; manufacture of vaults,
lights, etc. Leo G. Mullen, T. J. Moran, Charles J. Magee, all of
Pittsburgh." —Steel and Iron, Volume 48, June 22, 1914
- "Mullen Bros Co iron 1022 [1222?] Fulton bldg Bell phone Grant
2743" —Polk's Pittsburgh Directory · 1908
- Incorporated 1914: "MULLEN REPLACEABLE VAULT LIGHT
COMPANY—Pittsburgh, Pa., June 8, 1914. Capital $25,000.
Manufacturing vault lights, selling, installing, placing, or
replacing the same, etc."
—Charters of Corporations · Pennsylvania · Secretary of the Commonwealth · 1915
- 8 employees in 1920 (see Industrial Directory of Pennsylvania)
The Replaceable Vault Light
JPG ~17MB: tar|zip|pdf
PNG ~94MB: tar|zip|pdf
Gift from Bill Mullen
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 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.
Pittsburg K of C Men Are Active
DEATH CLAIMS MULLEN
By FLORENCE O'NEILL
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
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
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
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.
|View from Mt Washington
|6th and Penn
|7th and Penn
|Goats pulling small wagon
(or is that a hearse?)
|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
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 &
ASK FOR STAR SOAP
(BEST FOR FAMILY USE) / Schultz
& Co., Zanesville, O.
CHEW / HORSE SHOE / PLUG TOBACCO / NOTHING
LIKE IT / BEST ON EARTH
Wares being delivered:
Drummond's Plug Tobacco J. T. Smooth, St. Louis
Uncleaned Killicknick Smoking Tobacco
Under the Elm at the National Cash Register Factory,
Dayton, Ohio ·
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.
Lens No. 10
"M R V L Co."
Lens No. 20
||Mullen, L. G.
||Mullen, L. G.
||Design for a Prism-Lens
||Mullen, L. G.
||Mullen, L. G.
||Glass Paving Blocks
||Mullen, L. G.
||Pavé en verre
||Mullen, L. G.
Sales Kit Items
MRVL Construction Pictures
Completed MRVL Installations
MRVL Drawings and Blueprints
1915 Sweet's Catalogue
Bills owed May 22, 1918:
|American Spiral Spring Co.,
|J. B. Beeth & Co., |
|N. J. Bique, Chicago,
|Bernitz & King, Harrisburg,
|Cambridge Glass Co.,
|C. S. Caldwell, Birmingham,
|Duncan & Porter, Cement,
|E. M. Diebold Lumber Co.,
|F. W. Dodge Co., Reports,
|Houston Bros. Co., Cement,
|Hartje Paper Co., |
|Higgins Lumber Co.,
|Meyer Cushman & Rea, Attys.,
|May Lumber Co.,
|Richards & Kelley, Chicago,
|Rodgers Sand Co., |
|Rodefer Class Co. Bellaire,
|Smith Glass Co.,
|Do., 10,000 glass.
|Sweets Catalogue, N.Y.,
|Thornton-Claney Lumber Co. |
|Witherow Steel Co.,
|White Transfer Co.,
The metal threads were apparently made by the American Spiral Spring
"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