Old News – Sentry Safes

In 1930 John D. Brush, Sr. and his brother-in-law, Willard Punnet opened a small shop to manufacture safes. In 1943 Brush bought out his brother-in-law to become sole owner. IN this article from 1968 the company is moved into a a much larger plant on Linden Avenue in the Town of Pittsford. The company name was changed to Sentry Group in 1987. In 2014 the company was sold to Master Lock who decided in 2016 to close the plant and move manufacturing to Mexico.


Herald – Mail

Wednesday, Oct. 9, 1968

John D. Brush Opens Linden Avenue Plant

In the company’s first move since its founding on West Avenue 38 years ago, John D. Brush & Co., Inc., has opened its new plant and executive office at 900 Linden Avenue, Rochester. The new facilities were completed at a cost of more than $750,000. October 2, an open house reception was attended by a large number of guests who came to see the new manufacturing plant and offices and to congratulate John D. Brush, Sr., and his son John D. Brush, Jr., and Richard F. Brush on its successful completion.

The plant and executive offices together have more than 30,000 sq. ft. of floor space, three times the area of Brush’s former plant, providing increased production capacity for the manufacture of Sentry Safes and Brush’s other product lines, together with much needed storage space. The building is constructed of tilt-slab concrete on 17 acres of land, with space for future expansion up to 150,000 sq. ft.

The new plant includes a 400-ton Bliss press for drawing major steel safe parts, plus a large capacity automatic oven for drying the insulation of the completed safes. Four shipping docks are included, and there is provision for later installation of an overhead crane. A 5,000 cu. ft. exterior silo stores Vermiculite insulation material used in the safes. The plant has a fully automated insulating process, including an automatic batching operation by which the Vermiculite is mixed with sand and concrete.

The  executive office wing, comprising some 4,200 sq. ft. of the total area, is fully air conditioned and has both hot water and hot air air heating systems. Each office has individual heating and air conditioning controls. A continuous ceiling in the office area makes possible the repositioning of walls for revised office layout as needed. The exterior of the office wing features highly individual tilt0slab walls which are textured by a process involving the pouring of concrete on raked sand.

A newly developed Culter air chute system connects the office wing with the plant, using translucent polyethylene tubes. Both plant and offices are fully protected against fire by a modern sprinkler system. The plant is heated by an infra-red gas system.

Other usual features in the new plant include paint booths with hydraulic left mechanisms for raising and lowering during spray painting operations, and a recirculating system by which warm water from welding equipment may be used in the mixing of Vermiculite insulation. High intensity plant lighting is supplemented in some areas by domed skylights, providing an emergency light source in the event of a daytime power failure.

Some 14,000 sq. ft. of the plant floor is covered with 1/4″ steel plate, to handle the weight of the safes during assembly and shipping operation. Provision has also been made for a conveyor system to be installed at a later date, supplementing the present materiel handling by fork-lift trucks.

The company employs some 40 people, and expects to add others as production increases. A lunch room and showers are provided for all plant employees, and ther is a large off-street parking area for employees and visitors.

The building was designed by Ronald Sattelberg of the architectural firm of Parks, Morin, Hall, Brennan & Sattelberg. The builder was Waggaman & Collyer of Glens Falls, N.Y., specialist in tilt-slab construcion.

One Comment

  1. Thank you, Dick, for the interesting article. It’s sad that another specialized company like this moved production out of the U.S.

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