Courtesy of Anuta Research Center
A Chicago couple benefited from the generosity of Marshall Burns Lloyd during the harsh economic period of the 1920’s. Triplets were born to a couple who had little resources. When The Salvation Army put out a plea for help, Lloyd spotted the story in a Chicago newspaper. He had his workers design and build a special baby carriage for the three newborns. The above picture shows the babies — Mary, Paul, and Gerda — in the unique baby carriage. 
Courtesy of Anuta Research Center

A Chicago couple benefited from the generosity of Marshall Burns Lloyd during the harsh economic period of the 1920’s. Triplets were born to a couple who had little resources. When The Salvation Army put out a plea for help, Lloyd spotted the story in a Chicago newspaper. He had his workers design and build a special baby carriage for the three newborns. The above picture shows the babies — Mary, Paul, and Gerda — in the unique baby carriage. 

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Life was humble in the 1920’s. The economy was in meltdown, jobs were scarce and thousands of people lived in poverty. 

Christmas was approaching and many families were struggling. One of those families resided in Chicago, Illinois. A young couple was expecting a baby, but the stork surprised them. He delivered three babies. 

The father didn’t have a job. He went to The Salvation Army for assistance. Always ready to help people in need, the Salvation Army did what it could but also knew the family needed more that what it could provide. 

The Salvation Army contacted a Chicago newspaper and told it about the family’s happiness with three newborns, but it also noted the family needed assistance in feeding and clothing the three babies and the related needs that come with triplets. 

Marshall Burns Lloyd of Menominee happened to read the story about the Chicago family, his company — Lloyd Manufacturing — also happened to be in the business of manufacturing baby carriages and, in fact, was one of the leading manufacturers of baby carriages in the United States. But most of the company-made carriages were for one baby — not three.

Lloyd wrote to The Salvation Army in Chicago and offered to a build a special triplet carriage in which three babies could ride. His offer was accepted. 

Then one day in late September the special carriage arrived at the family home for the triplets — Mary, Paul and Gerda. A photographer arrived to take their picture. 

The carriage for three was 29 inches wide at the widest point and 70 inches long from the handle to the front. The wheel base was 51 inches long. The total seat bottom was 41 inches long or 66 inches with the adjustable back down. The rear portion was 21 inches wide and the front 15 inches, which afford each baby to have a foot well of its own and enough room to stretch and grow. 

“We built the carriage for service and comfort, but in doing so we have produced a unique and handsome carriage,” Lloyd told the Lloyd Shop News, which ran the story. Lloyd also noted the carriage had a frosted brown finish and individual compartments for each child, and was upholstered in the company’s handsome corduroy. 

The carriage was woven on the world-famous Lloyd loom and was made of fine wicker.

The Menominee-to-Chicago story made headlines in Chicago area newspapers. Christmas was still three months away when Lloyd delivered his special gift, but the young Chicago family was grateful for the early visit. Lloyd was a generous man in many ways and this was one of them.

Although the world economy was struggling in the early 1920’s, Lloyd and his aggressive sales staff was working hard to secure new contracts to keep the Menominee plant operating.

“For the last six months (1920) there has been a tremendous decrease in the business of the world,” reported the Lloyd Shop News. “During the last three months business has just about stood still. In fact, so dead that most people were ready to attended the funeral.”

Day after day the news on the economic front was depressing. 

“From all sides came news of manufacturing houses closing down; of jobbers going broke and of retailers being hit so hard they did not know which way to turn,” reported the Lloyd Shop News.

The eastern states had one of their worst business setbacks in history. The Midwest states were in bad shape. 

The M&M area was hard hit by the slowdown. Many of the lumber mills had complete shutdowns or were operating on a part-time basis.

The Menominee manufacturer received a spurt in business when it did well at the Chicago exhibition market. Although sales did not blossom the way the company would have liked, the Lloyd pitchmen performed well enough to keep the plant humming without forcing job layoffs. The sales staff recruited new dealers to market Lloyd-made products. 

Many of the dealers joining the Lloyd bandwagon were impressed with the company’s advertising punch. A spurt in the baby carriage line helped improve sales in other product lines.

For instance, 200 Lloyd Loom Woven chairs, davenports and tables were passing through assembly lines per day to keep up with orders for the newest line of wicker furniture. A big addition to plant facilities made it possible to increase production. The furniture line was increasing so rapidly the company expected it to surpass the baby carriage line, which was the company’s signature product. 

Marshall Burns Lloyd guided his self-made company through some stormy times over the years. From baby carriages to furniture to glider frames and shell castings during World War II. From the gloomy days of the 1920’s through the Great Depression of the 1930’s and the tense World War II era when women replaced men on the assembly lines. 

He had a penchant for drama and a kind heart when others were hurting. He proved that when he went to the rescue of a poor family in Chicago who was blessed with the birth of triplets.

More than 110 years later the Lloyd name is still glowing in Menominee.