R.J. Loock & Co. not only distributed parts, they patented and created them and also operated a retail storefront in Baltimore. While there is very little information online about them and the following should be taken with a grain of salt, when I was granted access in 2014 I was told that they operated from 1913 until 2001, when the last heir passed away.
What was left behind was pretty amazing, particularly to anyone with an interest in vintage automotive supplies and paraphernalia. R,J. Loock & Co. had operated not only as a parts distributor, but had also had a storefront, a machine shop, and had apparently created and developed parts as well for their in-house Lightnin’ line. Filled with decades of signs, parts, ads, posters, and tools, most of the items inside the four-story buildings were later salvaged by MD Architectural Rescue but on my visit they were untouched, left as they had been when the company closed 13 years earlier. Filled with everything from antique adding machines to closets filled with stacks of old Playboy magazines, R.J. Loock & Co. represents perhaps one of the most rare sorts of finds for a photographer of abandoned spaces: a place that has been allowed to decay quietly, unmolested by vandals or thieves, and thus offers a quiet portrait of nearly a century’s worth of lives passing through.
Matthew Christopher MD Baltimore Aug 20, 2021 Automobiles