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Sycamore’s industrial past outlined in history book

Published: Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013 11:37 a.m. CDT

SYCAMORE – It’s an experience you can’t get anywhere else, a history you won’t find in any other book, and a testament to what it took to maintain Sycamore’s manufacturing might and keep improving the city.

Sycamore History Museum will host a book release event, including a panel discussion, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 25, at the DeKalb County Community Foundation, 475 DeKalb Ave. in Sycamore, for the book “Why Sycamore Works.”

“This work goes a long way to personify and document the challenges and opportunities which provided the fire in the belly to perfect and purify that which was, is, and will be Sycamore, a great place to live, work, learn, worship and play,” Sycamore Mayor Ken Mundy said.

Mundy was invited to sit on the panel, as were the Sycamore business leaders featured in the book: Harold Engh Jr., Bob Boey, Dean Copple, Bob Davis and Clint Gittleson. William Swedberg, who also contributed his recollections to the book, died early this year. The group will discuss Sycamore’s past, the city’s manufacturing history, and the men who gave time and experiences to the book project.

The book contains the oral histories of six Sycamore business leaders selected for their in-depth knowledge and involvement in the Sycamore community. It focuses on Turner Corporation, Anaconda Wire and Cable, and DuPlex Products Inc, from the 1950s to the 1980s, a crucial period in the development of Sycamore.

Author Robert A. Glover, volunteer archivist for the Sycamore History Museum, conducted the project, funded by the Illinois Humanities Council and the Illinois Association of Museums.

“The book complements the 2010-2011 award-winning Sycamore History Museum exhibit and helps develop the historical themes and trends that arose in the transformation of local manufacturing,” Glover said.

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