The W.H. Mullins Company created what was probably the world's largest working weathervane. The 18-foot high, 1,800-pound figure of the goddess Diana (right) was originally constructed for New York City's Madison Square Garden, and was so delicately balanced that it revolved with only 1/2-pound of wind pressure.
|The original was later removed to the agricultural building at the Chicago World's Fair and replaced by a smaller version, shown at left in the Mullins workshop.|
Most of the vanes, however, were of a more conventional size. These weathervanes
were available in both zinc and copper; thrifty midwestern farmers, as you would
expect, usually opted for the less-expensive zinc.
10 1/2" long
16 1/2" long
"A large class of imitators and so-called competitors have sprung up in different parts of the country who are furnishing a cheap and inferior line of work, different entirely from the work we are making, and in many cases pirating our designs."
The best place to look for Mullins' work is on public
buildings. Mullins manufactured an extensive line of eagles (we had one several years ago with a six-foot wing span), as well as heroically proportioned
figures of Justice, Law, Mercy, etc. which were often incorporated into the
architecture of old county courthouses. Public libraries often displayed
lions, seated or standing, or figures of the Muses.
from the courthouse to the town parks and cemeteries. The Civil War statues may well
be by Mullins, and that statue of old Chief Hopican could easily be one of the
generic Mullins Indian figures.|
In addition to the impressive statuary illustrated here, W.H. Mullins also manufactured embossed tin ceilings, architectural pediments and corbels, and an extensive array of lawn and garden ornaments.