On April 10th, 2011, Sandon Utensileria, the company established by my grandfather, Francesco Sandon, and his brother Luigi (later joined by the other two brothers, Felice and Fausto), celebrates its 75th anniversary of uninterrupted activity, even when WWII swept across Milano the warehouse was moved in a hayloft outside the city, and orders were dispatched via sidecars to the workshops that were still operative.
The first site, via MacMahon 22, in the very early years
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Spanning several decades of Milano life, Sandon Utensileria began its life in the years of autarchy, stood the war (Francesco's house was hit by bombing, but the company was not), flourished in the years of the "Miracolo Economico" ("Economic Miracle"), the renaissance of the Italian economy starting at the end of the Fifties, being an active part of the manufacturing landscape of Milano. Famous comapanies (Alfa Romeo, Carlo Erba, RivaRossi, Luxottica just to name a few) and many of the smaller ones that formed the living tissue of Milano industry were and are among the customers, although some faded slowly into oblivion, or transferred their manufacturing plants elsewhere. But mixed among the customers there was a chance to meet people who had nothing to do with the hardware tools business, like Gianluigi Bonelli, the creator of Tex Willer, a friend of Francesco's.
Francesco Sandon at his office desk, 1974
Although one of the founders, Luigi, dead early in 1957, and Francesco died in 1981, the company has been able to stand the economic turmoils of the 1970s and 1990s, and it is still run by Francesco's son Lanfranco and the last of the Sandon brothers, Fausto, and it is still renown for its customer care and the ability to fulfill customers needs for special manufacturing processes, as in the aereospace sector.
Happy 75th birthday, Sandon Utensileria!