Zenith Machine

This Month's Ghost Sign Photograph

“Zenith Machines • Manufacturers of Zenith home laundry equipment” (Image: Dan Turner)

This month’s ghost sign can be found in Duluth’s Canal Park, on the south side of the building at 310 South Lake Avenue, which today houses Grizzly’s Restaurant and Canal Park Square. The Zenith Machine Company, a subsidiary of Duluth’s Marshall-Wells Hardware, manufactured refrigerators, freezers, washers, dryers and ranges. The “Zenith” name was not new to Marshall-Wells: their line of tools was named “Zenith” (think “Craftsman” and Sears) and the company produced a variety of products—including bicycles—that bore the Zenith name. Directly across the street from the former Zenith Machine building, an entryway to the former Marshall Wells buildings bears a stone-carved relief of a lion and the Zenith logo, which Zenith City Online pays homage in its own logo (see below). And of course the use of Zenith in Duluth business names began after Dr. Thomas Foster first referred to Duluth as the”Zenith City of the Unsalted Seas” back in 1868, before Duluth was even a city. After Marshall-Wells closed operations in 1959, Marquette Appliances of Minneapolis took over Zenith Machine.


This Month's Ghost Sign Photograph

8 Responses to Zenith Machine

  1. I parked in the parking lot south of that sign and building for many years when working at Halvorson Equipment, Inc. which was located across the street at 325 Lake Ave. South on the 3rd floor in what was then the Meirhoff (sp?) Building.

  2. As a child, I had a two-runner snow sled called a Zenith Zipper. With all of its variety, Marshall Wells probably produced that too. I recall Zenith bicycles, but had a J.C. Higgins (Sears) myself. When I breathe my last, I hope I have the good sense to utter “Zenith Zipper.”

  3. Thank you for this article. My dad worked for Zenith Machine. He was a machinist and worked by a window that faced Lake Avenue. He held a couple of patents on parts used in making the washing machines.

  4. Any connection between Zenith TV’s and Zenith Mfg?
    The Zenith logo on the building sure looks like the classic Zenith TV logo.

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