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1130 North Ridge Avenue, Lombard Illinois 60148

Telephone 630-916-9722 Fax 630-916-9725 email empire@regalbronze.com

Business Hours: MONDAY - FRIDAY 7:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M.

ANNUAL VACATION SHUTDOWN

July 30 to August 10, 2018

OUR HUMBLE BEGINNINGS

The “Basement” of the Riccini home located on the Northwest side of Chicago has the unique distinction of being the “Start Up “ location of two ecclesiastical bronze ware companies.

EMPIRE BRONZE CORPORATION IN 1959 and PROGRESSIVE BRONZE WORKS IN 1935

The following is a brief history of Empire Bronze Corporation.

In 1959 Mario Riccini on a part time basis, in the “Basement” designed and made patterns for the decorative builders hardware industry. Luciano “Lucky” Mordini joined Mario to help make the decorative door knobs and push plates. Lucky had been employed at the Greco Mfg. Co. (Pep Industries). Mario had been employed at Progressive Bronze Works and Greco Mfg. Co.

In 1960 Empire Bronze Corp. was co-founded by Lucky and Mario, and relocated from the “Basement” to a 1000 square foot loft space in a former brewery which was in severe disrepair. The building was located on the west side of Chicago near Augusta and Paulina streets. Although the conditions were less than ideal, the rent was the factor. $80.00 monthly !!!

As it is for many start up companies times were very lean. To supplement the few orders from local Church Goods Dealers for Ecclesiastical Bronze Ware, orders were taken for the Polishing of Handles of Motorola Portable Radios and the manufacture of Decorative Builders Hardware which eventually became a substantial part of the business volume.

Brochures depicting Ecclesiastical items were developed and sales calls were made on dealers throughout the country.
Many lasting customer relationships were developed by Mario attending the Catalog Group Meetings in New York City. Slowly Church Goods Dealers confidence began to grow in the company.

The sixties was the time of many church renovations and the company participated in many projects throughout the country.

In 1965 the company was relocated to a 3000 square foot loft space in Chicago, Illinois. In 1970 the company was moved again to a 12,000 square foot facility in Franklin Park, Illinois.

In 1994 Edward Bandola joined the company as a partner after working for Watra Church Goods Co. for over 20 years. He became the general manager of Empire Bronze in 2000.

In 2003 the company was once again relocated to its present 18,000 square foot facility in Lombard, Illinois, a Western suburb of Chicago.

In June 2010 Mario Riccini passed away unexpectedly.

In December 2015 Empire Bronze acquired the assets of Summit Bronze & Brass of Guttenberg N.J. Summit Bronze had served the East Coast Church Goods market of over 50 years. Originally fabricating tabernacles exclusively for Agnus Dei Studios.

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