Blair Cedar and Novelty Works in Camdenton, Mo. is the world leader in
the production of cedar souvenirs and novelties.
The company began in 1930 as a one man operation when the late Mr. John
H. Blair, after using hand tools to make cedar tables and chairs for
his cafe, began turning out small souvenir items which he sold in the
Mr. Blair came to this area to supervise the construction of the area's
new major highways in the days when the Lake of the Ozarks was in it's
Without his realizing it, Mr. Blair's hobby of making salt and pepper
shakers was to grow into a factory which would
become the heartbeat of the new community. It's first employees were
the owner, his wife and sons.
Cedar novelties continued to sell, and following W.W.II, the hotel was
sold and full time was given to the business of
making salt and pepper shakers along with other souvenirs.
Because of the scarcity of gasoline during the war, a mail order
business was introduced. The slogan, "From the log to you" and the name
Blair Cedar became known in surrounding areas.
Because of the it's distinctive aroma, Blair's labeled their product
"Cedaroma" - a name that became and remains the company's trademark.
By the late forties, the business had been moved to it's current
younger sons whose job once had been to sit on the posts while their
father carved cedar products, now were involved in specific jobs
throughout the plant.
Over the years, sales have increased. Today, five salesmen
over the United States selling novelties. Items are exhibited at
shows throughout the nation. Salt and pepper shakers, ash trays
banks are among the top sellers.
The latest techniques in sawing, sanding, shaping,
spraying are used. Cedar is heated in a dry kiln to 150 degrees
fahrenheit and takes from three to ten days to dry. Much research
into developing a special lacquer for spraying the cedar.
Souvenir stamping originally was hand written by Mrs. Blair, but now is
accomplished by rubber stamping. Designs have advanced from hand
printing to printer's press to silk screening. As in the
beginning, products are still designed by the sales and production