Rebuilding After the '71 Fire
Only a couple of months after the 1971 fire, half of the employees of Texans Incorporated were back at work. A building downtown was converted to a make-shift shade shop and assembly facility, with lamps built from ceramic bodies fired in Del Rio. The Del Rio plant was still in the late stages of setup, but things were put into high gear to compensate for the loss of the Bangs factory. While intended only to produce lamp bases (with assembly taking place in Bangs), the Del Rio plant made fully assembled lamps until the new building in Bangs was complete. Further assistance came from a competitor, Horton Ceramics. Sixty-five miles away in Eastland, they provided the use of their kiln to aid in Texans recovery. In about two years time the new Bangs factory was operating at full song, the Del Rio plant abandoning their assembly operation to focus on making the ceramic lamp bases. The new building was significantly larger, and upgraded with more modern, efficient equipment. In spite of the increased production capability, the number of designs made in Bangs dropped from around 600 down to 200, due primarily to the enormous number of models/molds that were lost in the fire. The photos shown here illustrate the construction of the new Bangs plant, and were transferred to digital from slides that are in the collection of Pete and Evangeline Eads.