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topic 2754

Hanson Van-Winkle Munning (H-VW-M) memories & memorabilia

A discussion started in 1999 but continuing through 2017


Q. Would anybody be interested in any 'memorabilia' from the old Hanson-Van Winkle Munning Company in Matawan NJ ? My father and grandfather as well as several other family members worked there for many years. I have newsletters and photos. Let me know

John Kinney
Newark Delaware


A. Dear John,

I lived in Matawan in 1998-99, and was hired into the electroplating business by Walter Pike into M&T Chemicals, Rahway, NJ. Walt still lived in Matawan at that time (1979).

I noticed that the HVWM building still stands across from the train station in Matawan. Do you know who owns the building?

If you would like to donate the right to post said newsletters/photos, we could put a newletter or photo up here at

tom pullizzi monitor
Tom Pullizzi
Falls Township,


A. Not many people know that the owner of Technic, Mr. Alfred Weisberg has a museum in Cranston, RI and two of the center pieces are working models of HVWM return type machines. The story I heard is that Mr. Weisberg pulled the models out of the junk pile when HVWM closed up shop and emptied the building. I am certain that the museum would have a place for the memorabilia alongside the models.

Claude Noiseux
- Bristol, Connecticut

A. I worked for H-VW-M (M&T Chemicals Equipment Division) from 1967 to the early seventies and remember at least the one model. I think they called it 'The Munning Machine'. Above each tank it had large trapezoidal loop tracks that the rack followed to lift it out of a tank, over the wall, and down into the next tank. I know that there were still a couple of those ancient machines in operation in the early seventies, but I never saw a real one, only the model.

I took a quick look through some old journals, and by 1948 the 'modern' H-VW-M return-type machine was already firmly established, making the Munning machine obsolete.

Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey


Q. On a more personal basis, I am interested in photographs and information about my great grandfather (Abraham Van Winkle), grandfather (Edmund N. Todd) and uncles (Van Winkle, Nelson, Hanson and Gearin Todd), principles of the old Hanson-Van Winkle-Munning Company.

Caroline J. Todd
- Berkeley, California, USA

June 26, 2008

thumbs up sign I would very much appreciate receiving any information anyone has about the company and the families operating it, particularly the Van Winkle and Todd families from which my brother and two sisters and I are descended. Our grandfather was Van Winkle Todd. I do have some photos to share. Cousin Caroline, as I am in San Rafael and you are in Berkeley, Perhaps we should have an extended family reunion. What do you think? Thanks to all for your gracious consideration.

Regards, Whit Ashley

William Whitley Ashley
- San Rafael, California, USA

January 20, 2009

Q. I was looking for information about "Hanson Van Winkle Munning Company" from Matawan, NJ. I have a "good luck" coin with their name on it. I grew-up in Matawan, but don't remember this company. Anybody with some information?

Sharon Wheeler
- Somers Point, New Jersey

January 20, 2009

A. Hi, Sharon. I worked there from 1967 to 1973 or so, but by 1967 it was already the H-VW-M Division of M&T Chemical Co., an American Can Co. subsidiary rather than an independent company. It was located on Church Street, a block south of Broad Street. As a native, you might remember the enclosed bridge across Church Street, which joined the two halves of the factory, but probably had an "M&T Chemicals" sign rather than H-VW-M.

Checking Google Earth, It looks like some of the buildings on the East Side are still standing, although converted to some other use. The building on the west side is gone -- that area looks like it was all simply razed and left to founder. I heard a rumor years ago that there was a toxic waste cleanup there and that's pretty much what the west side of the street looks like: like they ripped and dug and left it.

Hanson-Van Winkle-Munning was a manufacturer of electroplating equipment. At electroplating conventions in the old days, complete working plating machines were actually set up, and they would anodize or electroplate charms and keyring stuff and give it out; doubtless that's what you have. Times changed and the last great plating show with such working machines was in Detroit in 1967.


Ted Mooney,
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey

August 16, 2013

Q. During a barn clean out I came across a lightweight brick, standard size. It Has HANSON VAN WINKLE MUNNING along with the trademark on the front. It appears to be very old, I was hoping someone could tell me more about it and if it is of value to anybody. Thank you in advance for your help!

Dan Oliver
- Everson, Pennsylvania, USA

August 16, 2013

A. Hi Dan. H-VW-M made equipment and supplies for plating and metal finishing. I don't know why they would make any kinds of bricks. Does it sound possible that this "brick" could be a dried out bar of buffing compound? That sounds like something that they probably made, and it might resemble a lightweight brick after all the volatiles evaporated over the years.

I doubt that it's worth anything to anybody, but some day it will be really old, and then who knows :-)


Ted Mooney,
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey

October 13, 2013

Q. I bought what looks like a potter's wheel a barn sale. It does not have a motor, but does have Hanson-Van Winkle-Munning Co stamp on it. The model is 421A and serial #D5978. I would like to know what input RPM should be on the wheel should be.

Susan Aljets
- Dorsey, Illinois, USA

October 15, 2013

A. Hi Susan. H-VW-M was a metal finishing company and I doubt that they ever made bricks or pottery making machines. Could this be a piece of buffing equipment rather than pottery equipment perhaps?


Ted Mooney,
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey

Was grandpa's 1928 apparatus for "pH Determination in Nickel Plating Baths" ever built?

November 8, 2014

Q. I am looking at a blueprint made by my grandfather Prof. J. T. Burt-Gerrans, from Oct 1928, while he was then employed by the University of Toronto, as a Professor of Electro-Chemistry. It is for an "apparatus for the determination of pH in nickel solutions". In the bottom right corner of the blueprint is...
"Hanson-Van Winkle-Munning Co.
Matawan N.J."

with the following "7-11-28 A.F. XX-380"
under that -- which I presume to be the blueprint no. & date.

Attached with the blueprint is included a letter from A.K. Graham of H-VW-M dated Aug 20, 1928 to Dr. Burt-Gerrans, asking for a confirmation of verbal instructions given in regards to 'the operation of this apparatus in making a pH measurement.'
Grandfather's reply is attached in the package, along with a letter from a W.E. Sladel, Metallurgist, with the Wolverine Bumper & Specialty Co of Grand Rapids MI, requesting more info, and his interest in the construction of one for use with their nickel baths.

Does anyone know if this contraption was ever made?

I would be very interested for my family history background.

Jean Joudry
- Miramichi NB Canada

November 2014

A. Hello, Jean. Sorry, not familiar with it. A.K. Graham was the first editor of the "Electroplating Engineering Handbook", but I only have a later edition edited by Larry Durney.

In googling, though, I saw a tribute to a Harold Francis Burt-Gerrans, second son of Prof. Burt-Gerrans at I'm guessing he was your uncle?


Ted Mooney,
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey

November 8, 2014

thumbs up signHello and thanks for your reply. Maybe will take another approach to find out the answer to my question.
With regards to Harold, yes, he was an uncle I never got to know, as he was a Pilot Officer in the R.C.A.F., whose plane went down at sea off the coast of Scotland, and was declared lost on Dec 19th, 1942.

Jean Joudry [returning]
- Miramichi NB Canada

June 22, 2014

I found a set of flatware (M&T Mfg Co) in a brown wooden box at a garage sale. It looks unused. The finish is shiny and bright. It looks like it might have been an award, presentation or demo for metal finishing. Does anyone know whether it is safe to use for eating? Does it have value? It there a museum or organization that would appreciate having it? Mary Moon

Mary Moon
- Yardley, Pennsylvania, USA

Hi Mary. I don't think H-VW-M or M&T Chemicals ever used that name "M&T Mfg Co", so it's probably unrelated.


Ted Mooney,
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey

December 14, 2017

A. To Dan (from 2013) and Ted (from
Those 'bricks' are definitely polishing compound bars. I recently located a few dozen bars wrapped in newspaper from 1946! These are white bars and red bars with a logo marked 'Since 1820' Matawan, NJ and Anderson, Indiana.

My company was founded by my Dad in 1925 and he used these bars on a J.G. Blount buffing machine to polish metal fountain pen parts. They make great paper weights... and have some interesting history behind them!

Anthony J. Rosa
ACE Rosa Pen Corporation - Lyndhurst, New Jersey USA

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