This is another American success story of a boy named Henry Mentecki. He was born into an impoverished family of nine children in the Lawrenceville section of Pittsburgh at the height of the depression.
Henry's father died when he was nine years old and he continued to attend school until he reached an employable age. His family moved to Kinloch, PA. At the age of fifteen, just after 10th grade, Henry started work to help support his family. His first job was as a stock boy at the local Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company (A&P). Henry added a gasoline engine to his bicycle and rode his "motorbike" from Kinloch to Arnold to his job. The income from his job helped take care of the family obligations and while doing other odd jobs, he was able to save enough money to enroll in a trade school in New Kensington. His machinist training enabled him to secure work at Alcoa in New Kensington.
When the Japanese attacked the United States in December of 1941, Henry joined the US Army Air Force. Because of his mechanical skills, Henry was assigned to a flight crew as the "aerial flight engineer." During the Second World War, Henry married his longtime sweetheart, Stella Hrabczuk. They had two children, a son, Thomas, and three years later, a daughter, Elaine.
Returning home after the war, Henry went to work for Westinghouse as a machinist in the Research and Development Department. A year later, Henry's brother John, a partner and co- owner of Triangle Machine & Engineering, asked Henry to leave Westinghouse and join Triangle as the lead machinist. When Henry joined his brother's firm in 1947, all four of the Mentecki brothers were employed by Triangle Engineering Company.
In 1950, Henry decided to join the Lawson Manufacturing Co. in their Homewood, PA plant, a manufacturing company producing water, room, and wall heaters as well as floor type furnaces, the common method for domestic heat before central heating.
Several years later, the company moved their manufacturing plant to New Kensington, PA. While living in Springdale, Henry began fabricating and installing aluminum awnings for residential homes. He was fabricating the awnings in the basement of his home and eventually needed more space. He then purchased a vacant two car garage in Springdale and named his business Springdale Jobbing Company.
Still being employed at Lawson Manufacturing, he was successful in acquiring work from them on a sub-contract basis for drilling holes in the burners for gas appliances. Henry had to expand his burner drilling operation and included the addition of a tool and die room on the side of the two-car garage.
In 1958, a holding company purchased Lawson Manufacturing Company and combined the production operations into their Scaife air compressor company located in Oakmont, PA. Henry anticipated not only a possible loss of the burner drilling operations but also a loss of his full-time trade job. With the help of friends and business contacts, his company in Springdale started to expand into other interests by accepting work from other sources. Most noticeably were several local store fixture companies that quickly overtook his declining contract work. As the work of drilling burners faded, additional businesses from Armstrong Store Fixtures and National Store Fixtures enabled Henry to add on space by doubling the size of his existing location.
Several years later, when a new customer, Gas Lite Manufacturing, located in Lawrenceville, was seeking a larger production and warehouse facility, Henry purchased a section of the Wise Furnace plant located a half a block from his original building thereby more than doubling his fabricating facility.
This move by Gas Lite benefited both companies with the manufacturing skills at Springdale Jobbing, Gas Lite reduced their costs and enabled them to market their products in a wider market in the U.S. Aluminum sewer cleaning housings were Springdale Jobbing's first job from Gas Lite. Later, the fabrication stainless steel burners for barbeque gas grills and lampposts for the housing industry became staple products at Springdale Jobbing.
In spite of Henry's business prowess and his future business aspirations, he was diagnosed with cancer and passed away in 1981. The business continued under the leadership of his son, Tom.
In 1987, the company changed its name to TeckLane Manufacturing, Inc. The name was derived from the family name of Mentecki and Elaine's name. Today, Tom's son Todd, Elaine's son, David, and her daughter, Lori are working for the company. In 2019, TeckLane Manufacturing, Inc. purchased Gas Lite Manufacturing's building, totaling 58,000 sq. ft. of manufacturing space and warehousing area.
Over the last 50 years, the company has manufactured a wide variety of machined and fabricated parts for national and international companies.
Today, TeckLane Manufacturing sandblasts and applies epoxy and adhesives to hundreds of parts for the Railroad industry. TeckLane is fortunate that the business has remained stable over the years. This can be attributed to the wide diversity of the company's equipment and the dedication of the employees in doing quality work and the on-time deliveries, thereby ensuring customer satisfaction.
TeckLane Founder, Henry Mentecki