Mueller Co Supplied Equipment for the Panama Canal

Special Valves Built by Mueller Co Protected Lock Gates in the Panama Canal

In the early 1900s the Mueller Co. began a search for an engineer to redesign and modernize its line of pressure regulators. It found such a man in the person of A.W Cash, a Boston engineer who had made his reputation by developing pressure reducing valves for the Boston Pneumatic Street Car Co.
Old black and white photo of A.W. Cash

A.W. Cash

Cash designed a new line of pressure regulators that included, for the first time, a line of large valves. In 1913 this led to an order from the United States government for 95 large special valves to protect the lock gates in the Panama Canal from being damaged by ramming of ships unable to stop as desired. On each of them was a diamond-shaped trademark which said H. Mueller Mfg. Decatur, Illinois.

Old newspaper article with photo of valve

Old Newspaper article with photo of the Valve

The Government contract consisted of: 95 Valves in all. Each valve measured 3’6” in height, and weighed 500 lbs. It took 3 weeks to make one valve. The spring was the only part not made by the Mueller Co. The contract came to a grand total of $25,000.

Your Invitation

The Hieronymous Mueller Museum is proud to display numerous exhibits and memorabilia from the Company’s history. We invite you to visit this incredible collection at your earliest convenience.

The museum’s address is 420 West Eldorado Street in Decatur, IL. We’re open to the public on Tuesday through Saturday (except holidays) from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. You can also schedule a visit by calling 217-423-6161. Admission is $2.00 for adults and $1.00 for those under 17 years of age.

Recent Stories

Working at Mueller Co. in 1925

An interesting little bit of history was unearthed in sorting some old company papers - Mueller Information and Factory Rules. This small 34 page booklet was published in 1925 for distribution to all employees and tells us a great deal about the relationship of the...

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Mueller Son Races from Bloomington to Decatur

The story of Hieronymus Mueller and his interest in automobiles is pretty well known by those of us with an interest in Mueller history. Hieronymus earned a spot in automotive history through this success in America’s first auto race in 1895.

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Defeating “The Cup of Death”

In the summer of 1911, Decatur newspapers were filled with the buzz of the new state law abolishing the public drinking cup. “The Cup of Death”, would soon be a thing of the past.

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News & Events

Taste of History

A progressive evening of cocktails and hors d’oeuvres returns!

The Taste of History event returns this year Saturday, October 7 from 5-9pm. During this event, you’ll explore five of Decatur’s history sites while enjoying delicious hors d’oeuves and drinks at each location.

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Mueller Museum Donating Art to Decatur Area Arts Council for Fundraiser

The Hieronymus (HAIR-on-i-mus) Mueller Museum of Decatur, IL is partnering with the Decatur Area Arts Council to showcase a selection of museum founder, Jane Mueller’s personal art collection. The show will be up April 1-23 in the Anne Lloyd Gallery at the Decatur Area Arts Council. All of the art will be for sale, with proceeds supporting the Arts Council. Learn more at

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