Lore E. Feiler was born in Pforzheim, Germany, a very old (over 2,000 years) manufacturing city at the foot of the Black Forest, on June 17, 1914. Pforzheim was known for being the jewelry center of the world at that time.
Four weeks after her birth, World War I broke out.
Feiler lived in Pforzheim with her father, mother, three sisters and two brothers in a large house, with her father's factory and office located in the downstairs portion. He built precision machinery for the jewelry industry and manufactured jewelry cases. Miss Feiler loved nothing better than to go down and watch the machines in operation.
When Lore was five years of age, she attended a small, private girls' school called the Institute. At age eight, she passed the entrance exam and was accepted into the Academy Reuchlin Gimnasium, a coeducational school which was named after Reuchlin, a native who was an educator, philosopher, humanist and one of Luther's collaborators. Each class contained no more than twenty students, with about four of them being girls. It provided her with the very best education. She learned Latin, French, algebra and geometry.
She loved to study and was an avid reader. Miss Feiler was also very athletic, and excelled at swimming and tennis. She attended Sunday school and would never miss a lesson. She preferred participating in activities rather than socializing.
In 1922, Miss Feiler's father left for America on a sales project. He decided to stay. His family followed in 1925 on the liner Albert Balin landing in Hoboken on Thanksgiving Day. They crossed the Hudson River to New York City where they lived in an apartment. Mrs. Feiler returned to Germany for three years to take care of production at the factory. She was a brilliant executive.
Miss Feiler's first challenge in America, at age 12, was being put into kindergarten until she learned English. After only six weeks, she was transferred into fifth grade and finished that grade as an outstanding student. That June of 1926, Miss Feiler' s father bought a house in West New York, New Jersey, where they moved. Miss Feiler lived there with her parents for thirty-three years.
Miss Feiler then attended Public School #5 and Memorial High School, only two blocks away from her new home. She graduated from both with honors. Miss Feiler was accepted to Wellesley, but in September, the second depression hit and her father could not afford to send two daughters away to college. Miss Feiler's sister, who had started her second semester at NJC, registered Miss Feiler at Packard Business Administration School in New York City. Miss Feiler attended, gained a marvelous education, and graduated with a degree in business administration in just seven months.
No year went by that she did not take second semester courses at local universities in the liberal arts for lack of college education.
With her business education firmly established, Miss Feiler's father hired her to run a small factory, Metro, that manufactured Metro Flash cameras. In 19;37, her father asked her to work with him at Arrow Manufacturing, where he was a stockholder and head engineer. The company manufactured jewelry boxes like the ones her father made in Germany. In the height of their season, June through December 25, they employed up to 300 people. Under her father's guidance and administration, Miss Feiler was named production manager until 1951.
In 1944, while still working for Arrow, Miss Feiler bought a shell of a four-story factory building at 252 Paterson Plank Road in Jersey City. With the help of a $30,000 bank loan from Hudson Trust Company in Hoboken, Miss Feiler had it reconstructed. Contractors for the reconstruction and renovation of the 30,000 square foot building were Benjamin Lucarelli, Stevens Class of 1929, and his brothers. Miss Feiler soon established the Lor El real estate business and rented out the space until 1948.
At that time, plastic was coming into its own. Miss Feiler took 5,000 square feet of her building and started a mold shop, the first one in Hudson County, while still in the employ of Arrow.
The mayor of Hoboken was a good friend of Miss Feiler's because Arrow's employees were all from Hoboken. He suggested that she take courses at Stevens Institute of Technology and get acquainted with Professor Gaudet. She was permitted to attend classes, unofficially, of course, since women were not permitted at the time. The professors in the Engineering Department were most helpful to her in her work in the plastics industry.
Six months after the passing of her father and mentor in 1951, Miss Feiler left Arrow and went into business on her own under the name of Lor El. By 1963, she was no longer only a molder. She went into the complete manufacturing of jewelry boxes. Her new company, Custom Manufacturing, was in direct competition with Arrow. One of Miss Feiler's greatest pleasures being in the packaging business for the watch industry was travelling to Switzerland, France and Germany where the watch companies were located. For twenty years after 1962, Miss Feiler would go every Spring with her packaging line and ideas to visit with customers such as Bulova, Girard Perragaux, Hamilton and others.
Miss Feiler lived at home, enjoying the companionship and security of her parents. She loved golf and was an ardent bridge player. She was a member of the North Jersey Country Club in Wayne. In 1947, Miss Feiler was accepted as the only female member of the Engineers of America. In 1954, she served as Chairperson of the Hoboken Chamber of Commerce. In 1958, when she moved to Haworth, she became a member of the White Beaches Country Club and was the first woman "A" member. She was a member of Personnel Managers of America for 25 years and a member of the National Republican Women's Club in New York.
She is a philanthropist and has established a mechanical engineering laboratory at Stevens Institute of Technology in honor of her parents. Currently, she has gifted and made possible the renovation and support of a women's center at Stevens which is due to open in January 1999 and will be called The Lore-El Center. She has also endowed a scholarship for women students attending Stevens that will provide significant financial assistance to students studying at the Institute.