Bethlehem Press

Saturday, January 18, 2020
PRESS PHOTOS BY ED COURRIERBrothers Peter and Charlie Dent with an exhibition of antique cast iron toys manufactured by their family’s namesake hardware business. Hosted by the National Museum of Industrial History the exhibit continues through Jan. 12. Copyright - © Ed Courrier PRESS PHOTOS BY ED COURRIERBrothers Peter and Charlie Dent with an exhibition of antique cast iron toys manufactured by their family’s namesake hardware business. Hosted by the National Museum of Industrial History the exhibit continues through Jan. 12. Copyright - © Ed Courrier
Charlie Dent passed around a brass ashtray manufactured by his ancestor’s hardware company. The inscription under the piece reads, “Compliments of The Dent Hardware Co., Fullerton, PA.” Copyright - © Ed Courrier Charlie Dent passed around a brass ashtray manufactured by his ancestor’s hardware company. The inscription under the piece reads, “Compliments of The Dent Hardware Co., Fullerton, PA.” Copyright - © Ed Courrier
Peter Dent’s daughter, Mary, examines a Dent Hardware brass ashtray passed to the audience by her Uncle Charlie. She is a junior at American University in Washington, D.C. Copyright - © Ed Courrier Peter Dent’s daughter, Mary, examines a Dent Hardware brass ashtray passed to the audience by her Uncle Charlie. She is a junior at American University in Washington, D.C. Copyright - © Ed Courrier
Douglas Dodge holds a brass replica of a vintage Dent manufactured goat cart. Dodge had purchased the family business in 1985. His son, Tim, currently manages what is now called Dent Design Hardware. Copyright - © Ed Courrier Douglas Dodge holds a brass replica of a vintage Dent manufactured goat cart. Dodge had purchased the family business in 1985. His son, Tim, currently manages what is now called Dent Design Hardware. Copyright - © Ed Courrier
NMIH Curator of Collections Andria Zaia introduces the Dent brothers and describes how their Uncle Richard Dent had discovered a trove of cast iron toys behind a padlocked attic door in an old building on the family’s Fullerton manufacturing site. Copyright - © Ed Courrier NMIH Curator of Collections Andria Zaia introduces the Dent brothers and describes how their Uncle Richard Dent had discovered a trove of cast iron toys behind a padlocked attic door in an old building on the family’s Fullerton manufacturing site. Copyright - © Ed Courrier
“Oxen Cart with Driver” from the collection of Peter Dent. Copyright - © Ed Courrier “Oxen Cart with Driver” from the collection of Peter Dent. Copyright - © Ed Courrier
“Steam Pumper Fire Engine” from the collection of Charlie and Pam Dent seems to be racing it’s reflection. Copyright - © Ed Courrier “Steam Pumper Fire Engine” from the collection of Charlie and Pam Dent seems to be racing it’s reflection. Copyright - © Ed Courrier
“Adirondack Steamboat” from the collection of Lisa Dent. Both Peter and Charlie Dent recalled playing with this toy when they were children. Copyright - © Ed Courrier “Adirondack Steamboat” from the collection of Lisa Dent. Both Peter and Charlie Dent recalled playing with this toy when they were children. Copyright - © Ed Courrier

Cast iron toys at NMIH

Monday, January 6, 2020 by Ed Courrier Special to the Bethlehem Press in Local News

Once upon a time in Fullerton

Peter and Charlie Dent spoke about their family’s manufacturing legacy at the National Museum of Industrial History at 602 E. Second St. Dec. 14. They described how their great-grandfather, Henry H. Dent, and his business partners founded the Dent Hardware Company in 1894.

The Fullerton-based business produced hardware for refrigerators and cold storage units in their brass and iron foundries, as well as other specialty items. Between 1898 and 1937, the company added cast iron toys to its product line.

When NMIH Curator of Collections Andria Zaia introduced the Dent brothers, she related how their uncle, Richard Dent, had discovered a trove of cast iron toys behind a padlocked attic door in an old building on the Fullerton manufacturing site.

Several of these, from the Dent family collection, including a steamboat, carriages, farm wagons, fire trucks, banks, and cap pistols are on display at the Smithsonian-affiliated venue through Jan. 12. NMIH Guest Services Manager Robert Kent added Dent manufactured toys to the exhibit from his private collection.

In attendance was Douglas Dodge, who had purchased the family business in 1985. Dodge’s son Tim currently manages what is now called Dent Design Hardware.

Peter Dent told the story of how their late uncle, Charles C. Dent, revived Leonardo da Vinci’s unfinished project of casting a massive bronze horse statue. After his uncle’s passing in 1994, Peter Dent oversaw the casting’s completion and installation in both Italy and Allentown. Material related to the 15-year project, including a small “Leonardo’s Horse” replica sculpture is part of the exhibition.

Former Da Vinci Science Center Chairman Peter Dent is currently president of CDG Environmental, LLC, in Bethlehem, PA.

Charlie Dent, a former United States representative serving Pennsylvania’s 15th district, is a senior policy advisor for DLA Piper and a political commentator for CNN.

Information: nmih.org; 610-694-6644