Manufacturing Information on Lloyd's Cold Still: Yesterday and Today

By Maggie Heran

Reprinted from Lloydiana , Volume 8, Number 4, Fall 2004, pages 4-5

The Library often receives reference questions on Lloyd's Cold Still, or Extractor. Recently, we had two inquiries about the actual manufacturing of the device. One asked what company originally produced the still; and, another wondered from what company one could be purchased today. Those questions began a series of emails, telephone calls, and searches in pursuit of the answers.

The John Uri Lloyd Papers did not readily disclose the original manufacturing firm of the first Cold Still; however, there is one at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History. [At right: Cold Still at the Smithsonian, ca 1950. From Lloyd Library and Museum, John Uri Lloyd Papers , Collection 1, Box 23, Scrapbook #8.] Curators there told me that the manufacturer was F. C. Deckebach & Sons Co., Cincinnati, whose company was located on West Court Street, which would have been in the neighborhood of Lloyd Brothers. I learned of the Brighton Corporation connection through Drs. Ed Alstat and Francis Brinker. An article in Bulletin of the Cincinnati Historical Society ("Cincinnati Coppersmiths," by Roger W. Clark, volume 23, 1965, pp. 257-272) traced the business history of several coppersmith concerns and verified that the Deckebach Company was sold to Alvin Hock of the Brighton Copper Works, later Brighton Corporation, sometime after the death of Henry Emil Deckebach in 1934. [At left: Lloyd's Cold Still available from Brighton Cooper Works, ca. 1950. From Lloyd Library and Museum, John Uri Lloyd Papers , Collection 1, Box 22, Scrapbook #7.] I telephoned the company, based in the Cincinnati suburb of Sharonville, to inquire whether or not they could still produce Lloyd's Extractor, and learned that they had sold their fabrication division to another Cincinnati company, Enerfab, Inc. The company's history revealed an interesting connection that ultimately answered the question of who could manufacture Lloyd's Cold Still today.

In 1986 Brighton Corporation, after being owned and operated by the Hock family for over 50 years, was acquired by Trinity Industries Inc. (Apparently, the company still operated under the Brighton name because Dr. Alstat purchased Cold Still Extractors from "Brighton" in 1988 and 1996.) In 2002 Enerfab bought what was referred to as the Trinity Brighton division. Jeff Hock, descendent of the Hocks who owned Brighton, worked in the family business and continued on even after its sale to Trinity; however, in 1990 he left to work for Enerfab. When Enerfab bought Trinity, Hock found himself coming full circle and is currently executive vice president of Enerfab. Today, Enerfab makes containers and related products for the food and beverage industry, as well as the chemical and pharmaceutical industries. ("All in the Family: Beer Vat Maker Comes Full Circle with Acquisition," Cincinnati Post , January 25, 2003, p. 10B, column 2.) I telephoned Mr. Hock and he told me that when Enerfab purchased the Brighton division, they purchased all plans, drawings, etc. He was interested in the history and will search the company records to see if the drawings for Lloyd's Cold Still are there. In the meantime, however, Mr. Hock assured me that Enerfab has the technology to fabricate anything, and, if given the plans and particulars, the company would be able to manufacture Lloyd's Cold Still.