Some of my fondest memories from my teenage years and young adulthood are of this company and the close knit group of people who worked here. We were small then – fewer than 40 people – and not very automated. Summers in both the plant and the office were long and hot, as we had no air conditioning. When business was good the whirr of sewing machines filled the air nine hours a day.
Today most of our window shade and projection screen surfaces are cut by computer controlled machines, but for decades they were cut by hand. Two men, Max Moffitt and Ted Applegate, measured and cut each shade fabric to width and length, and their work set the pace of our window shade production.
Max and Ted both graduated from Spiceland High School, served in the US Army during World War II, and joined Draper shortly after returning from the war. They spent close to half a century working side by side at the cutting tables. They both retired in 1992. It is a cruel irony that they departed this life together as well – Max on November 27 and Ted on December 9. They will rest in Spiceland’s Circle Grove Cemetery.
When I reflect on this company’s growth and success, Max and Ted will always be present.