Mendets – The 1930s-40s Way to Repair Pots and Pans

Mendets front

I recently posted something about a 1940s era junkman who visited my neighborhood and how my mother always looked for old pots and pans which she would repair with little pieces of metal.  My daughter found this card of Mendets on eBay and bought it for me.  This is exactly what my mother used, except sometimes she bought them in a small box.

Mendets were patented in the early 1900s and the dress/hairstyle of the lady on the card makes me think this might be from the 1930s.  The back of the card has instructions as well as suggesting some other uses such as repairing a hot water bottle, using on campfire utensils and even shows a lady perched precariously on a ladder repairing a gutter (“Saved the cost of a tinsmith”).

Mendets back (669x1024)

Until World War II was over, I believe every pot, pan and kettle in our kitchen had a Mendet or two helping to give a bit more life.

Click on photos to enlarge.

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Lillian Applegate Westfelt was a mother of 4, grandmother of 6, and great-grandmother of 3. She was an 86-year-old widow living in a nice little bungalow with her oldest daughter and a beagle-dachsund named Addie. She passed away in November, 2018.

13 thoughts on “Mendets – The 1930s-40s Way to Repair Pots and Pans”

  1. Wow; neat! I like your daughter searching for them on E-Bay ! My mother-in-law, no doubt used them too; and if I really went digging through the boxes in the attic, I bet I could find a package too. Thanks for sharing!

  2. When I was in France I saw pots and pans in kitchens with these little repairs done, they don’t throw it out they fix it! Great post!

  3. Too bad we can’t still use them, but we live in a throw-away society now. I try to use-it-up still. =)

  4. Mendets were made by the Collette Manufacturing Company here in Amsterdam, NY, about 35 miles west of Albany in the Mohawk Valley. They were patented by Clarence C. Collette in 1907 and the first product of his company. They were manufactured continuously up until the company went out of business in the mid-1980’s.

    In 1912 Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show played Amsterdam and placed a large order for Mendets directly with Collett’s main office. When questioned about the size of the order, the show’s representative explained that they had a large number of hot water bags which they had been saving up while on tour that needed repair and they had waited until reaching Amsterdam to purchase the Mendets directly from the supplier to make the repairs and to have on hand. It seems that it was necessary to have all of those hot water bags in order to keep all of the snakes warm that were part of the show’s western animals exhibit!

  5. I have a pair of double-runner ice skates from Collette Manufacturing, Amsterdam NY. Can’t find any other info on them.

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