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.

One thought on “The Bullard Company, Where It Appears Babe’s Grandfather Worked

  1. katheen fairbrother says:

    Oh, the memories! I worked at the Bullard Co. for little over a year in 1965-6(?) and loved my job, the people and wouldn’t have left except my husband wanted to return to California. I was hired to process insurance claims but there wasn’t enough to do so shortly I was also secretary to a lawyer. I believe his name was Tom Mangines. His job was to have meetings with the organizers who were trying to unionize the company and try to convince them they were better off keeping the unions out. I had limited contact with the workers in the foundry but from what I know now the conditions were pretty dismal. There were guys whose job was sweeping up the shavings and metal dust and I’m sure they never wore any protection to protect their lungs. This was the lowest job and only Black people (there weren’t any African Americans then) did it.

    I don’t know why I was thinking of the Bullard Co. today but it was nice to see someone else is interested in it. Thanks for the photo. I’d forgotten how big it was.

    1. Kurt says:

      Kathleen, thank you so much for taking the time to comment here. What a great memory and I appreciate your adding your thoughts to my (long-neglected) blog. I really hope to find time to getting back to my uncle’s letters. How particularly nice that I’m reminded today, Memorial Day, by your comment.

    2. Ken Bullard says:

      If you have FB, send me a message, I have a bunch of Bullard’s picture from way way back, you might enjoy! My name on FB is Codge Bullard

      1. I’ll do that! Thanks, Ken.

    3. John Kent says:

      My father Clarence BUD Kent worked at The Bullard Co for over 33 years. He had only good tings to say about the people there. The workers ALWAYS came first. The family would put up their own money if the company failed to pay what the workers were to get. I also worked for a summer there. E.P.Bullard 3rd would always come down on the floor to hear the production thoughts of the workers and if they had a good thought they got paid for them, The people working the machines knew about what was needed. All this stopped when White took over the the company went down the tubes

      1. John, thank you for taking a few minutes to stop by my little corner of the Internet and for making a comment here. Your father’s experience sounds familiar. As you’ve probably read, several others have shared similar experiences from Bullard, and that seemed to come through inasmuch as the company was careful and sincere in its recognition of Babe’s death. Thanks again for your comment..

  2. Gary Babineau says:

    I worked at the Bullard Company from 1976 till I was terminated with a whole host of other employees in the closing layoffs of 1983. In that time I went from a machinist trainee on the manufacturing floor to an In house Customer Service Engineer in charge of 4 different Product Lines. My final job was basically a liason between customers, Engineering and of course our traveling service repairmen. I can honestly say I have had no other job in my life that I enjoyed more than working at Bullards. The people were warm and friendly, there was a sense of responsibility and enjoyment from all the workers. It was the end of an era in America and in American manufacturing. The last of the family owned business’s,…A time before the need for Corporations and annual Profits. I am not sure if the fellow you mentioned was a US veteran. Being somewhat of a history buff even at that time I noticed things in the plant and had access to areas not all hourly employees could have. I do know that upstairs in the main shop on the balcony there was a tool crib. Run by a fellow by the name of Gino Delia,.. anyway i remember up towards the ceiling seeing a plaque of all the veterans that had served our Country and that had worked at Bullards. This particular plaque was old dusty and looked as though it was even forgotten. Anyway it was entitled “Bullard Honor Roll”,.. I remember reading the names on that plague when I would visit Gino in the tool crib. It’s been a long time but I believe the name you speak of was on there. I do know there are some employee records I believe at the Bridgeport Library. You can locate them online. It will tell you what box number etc. But you have to go in person to acces the info. Hope this helps.

    1. Ken Bullard says:

      If you have FB, send me a message, I have a bunch of Bullard’s picture from way way back, you might enjoy! My name on FB is Codge Bullard

  3. Gary Babineau says:

    I knew I saw this online here is the link to the Bullards company records from 1899 to 1983. It appears they are in the Fairfield not Bridgeport library system.

    1. Kurt says:

      Mr. Babineau: Thank you for finding your way to my corner of the Internet and for taking the time to comment. You’re not the first person I’ve heard say that Bullard’s was a great place to work. I’m looking forward to taking a minute and following up on your leads. Thanks again. Very appreciative of your comments.

  4. Robert H. Webster says:

    It was most interesting to read a little about the history of the Bullard Company. My Dad, Benjamin C. Webster Jr., worked for Bullards from the late 1930’s until he retired in 1971. He was a draftsmen at first and worked his way up with many different positions in the front office. The last 10 years or so he was Assistant to the President, Mr. Bullard. I can remember, as a child, going with my Dad to the shop floor, on weekends, to watch him check out one issue or another. If I was good I would get a bag of scrap wood block pieces to take home from the model shop where plans for new machines started to take form. A number of years ago I drove past where the front offices use to be and found that the old narrow parking lot where my Dad parked every work day for over 30 years was still there. Surprisingly, his name was still readable on the wall at the head of his parking space. He passed in 1979 so he never knew of the plant shutdown in 1983 but he knew it was going to happen. He kept in touch with Ed Bullard after he retired and The Bullard Company was taken over by The White Company. To keep busy, in his last years, Mr. Bullard tutored high school students in math. I believe he passed a few years before my Dad. The Bullard Company was a big, busy, impressive place in it’s day. I wish you well in your effort to find information about your grand father Vito Mauro. Maybe my Dad and he crossed paths a time or two on the plant floor during the war years.
    Best Regards, Robert

    1. Kurt says:

      Mr. Webster: Thank you for sharing your story about Bullard on my blog. I’m so grateful for those who are wandering into my corner of the Internet to share memories here. Thank you.

    2. Ken Bullard says:

      If you have FB, send me a message, I have a bunch of Bullard’s picture from way way back, you might enjoy! My name on FB is Codge Bullard

  5. Michael Degnan says:

    My mother Arlene Jackson of Fairfield and father Paul Degnan both worked at Bullard .Mom as a secutary and dad as engineer. Dad worked from 1953-1966 they married in 1957 .Stories from dad were all good about the company. How we let a gem of a company go down an out is not know to me. I fallowed in my fathers footstep an as a machinist toolmaker. Can still see 60 year old machines in service today. American made by the great generation ww 2 vets.

    1. Mr. Degnan, thank you for taking the time to comment here. Your’s isn’t the first comment I’ve heard complimenting the company for being a good place to work. That’s great to hear. Thank you for sharing your memories here.

    2. Ken Bullard says:

      If you have FB, send me a message, I have a bunch of Bullard’s picture from way way back, you might enjoy! My name on FB is Codge Bullard

  6. Dan Wisenski says:

    You might all be interested that Bullard Tool has been announced as one of the inaugural members of the American Manufacturing Hall of Fame. Actor John Ratzenberger is the inaugural chair. In induction ceremony is 10/7/14. Here is some information on it. Dan

    1. Mr. Wisneski, thank you for taking the time to comment and to add that new information. I appreciate it!

  7. Dan Wisneski says:

    Apparantly, I cannot spell my own last name. Its Wisneski.

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