Corporate Generosity

Posted inThe Daily Heller
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Corporations that understand “It’s good business not to be too business-like all the time” are rare. But that was the stated belief of the Phoenix Metal Cap Co. (Chicago and Brooklyn) in their unique in-house magazine, Phoenix Flame, published monthly (duration unknown). Its editor, who went by the name of HIG, was assisted by illustrator/designer Elmer Jacobs (covers below) and was a delightful anomaly in the worlds of big business.

“Hard facts can sometimes be spoken in a soft voice,” HIG notes in issue (or what is called “Spark”) #8. “Pheonix Flame has always tried to soft pedal the commercial. Thus this issue — like those before and those to come — is sent to you, not to beat you over the head with sales messages, but to say ‘Hello’ in type.”

Which isn’t to say the product, the Phoenix C T Cap, is entirely eschewed. The vignettes below by Jacobs puts the cap front and center, and the product photos highlight the brands that use the product.

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A dab of history: In 1905 the Safe Glass Co. merged with the J. A. Landsberger Co., a metal cap manufacturer in San Francisco, to form the Hermetic Closure Co. Glass making operations were discontinued and the new company moved to Chicago. A merger with the Phoenix Cap Co. of New York in 1911 formed the Phoenix-Hermetic Co. Phoenix-Hermetic pioneered in closure design, capping machinery, cap sealing, metal forming and lithography.

Innovations included the development of the modern continuous thread (CT) cap in 1922. In an effort to better describe the business, the company changed its name in 1932 to The Phoenix Metal Cap Company. The company continues today, with locations in Illinois, Tennessee, Iowa, Indiana and Ontario, Canada.

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