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February 20, 2019

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Moser-Bixel Co. manufactured automobile floor mats here

Business operated from 1925 to 1928

Note: The Icon acquired a manuscript titled “A Brief History of Bluffton’s Industrial Developments.” This publication was prepared by the classes in Marketing and Small Business Administration from Bluffton College, under the director of Dr. Howard Raid. Publication date is May 1959. We’ve updated some current addresses so viewers may identify locations.

Moser-Bixel Company
Owned by Ezra Moser and Gordon Bixel

The Moser-Bixel Company created floor mats for automobiles from 1925-1928 in Bluffton.

The floor mats were composed of a type of hair felt with a burlap center. The felt was purchased from Chicago in carload lots. These came in rolls 4 feet wide and 50 feet long.

The selling area extended throughout the east and sales were made as far west as the Dakotas. As many as 20,000 floor mats were sold one year. Mr. Bixel, traveling by car, made contacts for sales in eastern U.S. Many mats were sold to auto accessory houses.

The Moser-Bixel Co. was located on Vine Street. The business was mainly seasonal. Demand slipped when auto manufacturers made floor mats standardized equipment in cars.

Bixel and Moser operated from some time in Canada before opening business in Bluffton. They had a number of other ideas. One was a lawn sprinkler that sprinkled water in a square instead of in circles. It was later discovered that this idea was patented only for a short while before they completed their idea.

They also made a unique clothesline complete with gear and pulley.

Ron Lora and Del Karnes

Main sources:
Ezra Moser and Gordon Bixel