||The success of Angelus Plating Works has been due primarily to the
dreams and efforts of its founders. In 1933, John Kebajian (1893-1969)
started a plating business in a small shop in the back of a poultry store
in Los Angeles, California. Two years later, his brother-in-law,
Nishan Amerian (1910-1991), joined him as a partner. In 1936,
the company was moved to a new location in Los Angeles (pictured at left),
where it remained for 22 years.
||Together, the two worked hard to expand
their business. The picture at left shows Nishan (far left) and John
(far right) taking a hands-on approach to their work in 1937. During
its formative years in the 1940s, Angelus Plating Works was involved solely
in the plating business. Items such as bicycle racks, barbecue grills,
shopping carts, barstools, and table legs were routinely brought in to
be chrome plated.
||The plant also began to plate several items
in the automotive industry, such as headlight reflectors, front grilles,
and bumpers. Items began to be manufactured at the plant as well.
One of the earliest examples of this is pictured at left. This automobile
certificate holder was designed for easy attachment to any steering column
or sun visor.
||In the early 1950s, Angelus Plating Works
would begin to chrome plate the item that would soon become its sole source
of business: the exhaust extension. Several manufacturers of
these tips came to Angelus for quality chrome plating of their goods.
Realizing the potential for expansion, John and Nishan quickly bought out
one of the original manufacturers of the tips, and began to produce and
plate the items themselves. The picture at left shows one of the
earliest price sheets Angelus published. This sheet included the
new custom curvex design. Invented by Nishan, this turn down style
is now a standard in the industry throughout the world.
||By 1955, Angelus Plating Works had expanded
to include a new building in Gardena, California that would serve as a
manufacturing base. The tips were fabricated at this plant, and then
shipped back to the plating shop in Los Angeles. In 1958, a fire
destroyed the original building, and the company was formally moved to
its present location in Gardena. This facility was immediately expanded
again to include the plating operations, and is pictured at left.
||For the next 40 years, Angelus Plating Works began to concentrate
its business on manufacturing and plating exhaust extensions. By
the end of the 1960s, this transition was complete, and the company became
the premier supplier of quality chrome tips. From just over 10 stock
numbers in the early 1950s, the full line of chrome and stainless steel
tips has grown to include over 150 variations today. John Kebajian
retired in 1959. Nishan Amerian presided over the company until his
death in 1991.
||The year 2000 saw the business expand even further, as an adjacent property was acquired for warehousing purposes. Angelus Plating Works currently operates under the guidance
of longtime employee Frank McWhirt and Nishan's grandson, Jerry Bozajian.