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Getting to know Irvin

July 18, 2011
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Photo from a 1944 Bell Telephone publication

With the help of the researchers at the Missouri History Museum’s Research Library, we now have quite a bit more personal information about the architect of our BAB, I. R. Timlin. We already know some general information, from the databases available from the public library and from the AIA St. Louis membership files, but the information the researchers uncovered literally puts a face on our building’s architect.

He played the violin and conducted the Bell Orchestra. This article even features a caricature of him.

Their concert had a wide audience

He started the Bell Camera Club and his photos were included in some of the Bell publications.

Irvin's photo featured in a Bell publication from 1933

Another photo from 1934

And once they finally let him into the AIA St. Louis chapter, he was active for several years as the Treasurer and worked at the State Level on architect’s licenses.

"Lumber and its uses" -must have been a riveting chapter meeting

Working for Bell Telephone for over 40 years, he must have seen tremendous changes in St. Louis and in the technology behind the telephone. As a final thank you, he was given a portable typewriter. That doesn’t seem like much of a gift for 40 years of service, but maybe it was quite the honor in 1945.

They threw him several parties

A company man until the end, he made his way up the ladder and ended up being celebrated for his accomplishments. Not a bad career story for someone whose work history was during fairly turbulent times.

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