1. Emerson A. Bolen
  2. Kitchen Matches
  3. The Yankee
  4. The Northwestern Novelty Company
  1. Diversification
  2. Ice Cream
  3. Waldo Bolen
  4. New Horizons in Bulk Vending
  1. Landmark Machines
  2. Disaster
  3. Pat and Richard Bolen
  4. Nortwestern Today

Chapter 10: Disaster

Northwestern entered the sixties just like the country did, with a turbulent beginning. In the early morning hours of April 1960 a fire started in the factory. By the time employees arrived at the plant, Northwestern was ablaze. When it was over the company was leveled, except for the warehouse and 7000 machines therein. Overnight a successful business was gone.

Grief stricken at first, Waldo Bolen Sr. was determined. His courage and fight quickly grew and the rebirth of Northwestern was underway. In July production began in what was previously the warehouse and by December of that year Northwestern was back in operating order.

Sadly, Waldo Bolen Sr. did not live to see the completion of his dream. In October 1960 he died, and his eldest son, W.E. "Pat" Bolen Jr. stepped into the presidency.