What Do Mail Chests and Grills Have In Common?
Do you have one of these?
So you are asking yourself, “What does this have to do with Weber???” “Or Grilling???” Here is a hint………….porcelain enamel! Sounding familiar yet? Porcelain enamel is and has been a part of Weber grills for many years. If you have a Weber kettle of any kind, it is made of steel, coated with porcelain enamel.
Have a Weber smoker? The lid, bowl and center ring, are all steel with porcelain enamel.
Maybe you have a Weber gas grill. If the lid is a color, such as black, green, blue, gray, red, etc,……yep…..that is porcelain enamel on steel too.
Inside the gas grills, the grates are likely porcelain-enameled cast iron or porcelain enameled steel. Flavorizer bars may be porcelain enamel coated steel too!
So, back to the original question…..what’s this have to do with Weber?
Back in the early ‘70s, when building and selling grills was still considered a “seasonal” business, our founder, George Stephen often found ways to keep his plant operating and his workers busy, rather than let them go during the off months. Good help is hard to find, and keeping them working through the off-season was a great way to retain experienced workers and take care of his extended Weber “family”.
Creating Weber Mail Chests, as they were called, used the same porcelain enameling process on the doors as used on the kettles. They also had porcelain enamel decals. The press shop, furnace, enamel shop and production department were able to continue manufacturing year-round in the Arlington Heights facility.
They were available in contemporary, colonial and traditional styles and a variety of trims, colors and wood finishes; and made in two types: narrow (as shown above) and long (shown below). The lid protected the mail from the elements, and there was a paper holder on the bottom where the mailman could put magazines, or the paperboy could tuck your home-delivered newspaper.
Who knew?? If you have one, or ever did, let us know! You had an interesting piece of Weber history!