Rocklin Manufacturing Blog

Posted by Ross Rocklin in Rocklin Mfg on 12/12/2018

In 2005, second generation Rocklin Manufacturing owner Jim Rocklin commissioned local Sioux City, IA, artists Paul Chelstad and Mark Kochen to paint a mural on the south wall of our 1912 building. At the time, the building was largely vacant as we operated out of an adjacent building, so the artists painted over boarded up windows and brick badly in need of tuck pointing. When we decided to restore and move back into the building that had first been our home over 75 years ago, it was clear the brick and mural were in need of a refresh. Luckily, Paul and Mark were once again up to the challenge.

The 32’ x 40’ mural depicts metalworking and metal fabrication scenes from vintage photographs of Rocklin Manufacturing employees taken during World War II. The detailed photographs have been digitally reproduced and then converted into stencils that were laboriously cut out as a pattern for the actual mural painting.

During WWII the factory operated 24 hours a day to produce subassemblies for tanks and trucks, particularly tank escape hatches, transmission parts and running gear components for tanks, 4 x 4, and 6 x 6 trucks. The mural graphically details men and also “Rosie the Riveter” women working side by side to support the war materiel effort.

Paul and Mark again brought that pivotal time in our company’s and our nation’s history to life. They also added Jim, who lost his battle with cancer in January 2017 after leading Rocklin Manufacturing for four decades, to the mural so he now stands next to his father, company founder IJ Rocklin. We’re proud to display this work of art and to recognize what IJ, Jim and all of our employees in the mural accomplished.

Rocklin Manufacturing Mural

Tags: Mural , Jim Rocklin , IJ Rocklin , Sioux City , Iowa , Paul Chelstad , Mark Kochen , 1912 Building , Restoration , Metalworking , Fabrication , World War II , WWII , Tanks , Trucks , Rosie the Riveter

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