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Lay, Norman

Inventor, Business Owner

Birth: May 6, 1913, Hubbard, Trumbull County, Ohio
Death: November 5, 1970, Broward County, Florida
Burial: Hubbard Union Cemetery, Hubbard, Trumbull County, Ohio

Norman Lay worked at Westinghouse Electric Manufacturing in Sharon in the 1940 according to his World War II draft card.  The family moved from Trumbull County to Mesa, Arizona in 1946 where they owned and operated the Desert Sage Motel.  They came back to the area in 1954 and lived in Vienna.  At the time, Lay took a job at Taylor Winfield in Warren.  Mrs. Lay also wanted to work so in 1954 they opened a general store in Vienna called Lay's 5 and 10.

Lay was also one of Vienna's inventors.  In 1967 he patented Lay's Mail Signal.  The simple cylindrical device signals whenever the postman has opened the mailbox.  The cylinder lays in a slide attached to the mailbox door.  On a hanging chain, the bright orange colored cylinder falls away from the box whenever the postman opens it to put mail in.

Lay's invention was highlighted in a local newspaper.
Source: News Reporter (Hubbard, Ohio) July 12, 1967

Lay's Mail Signal
From the Vienna Historical Society's collection
Donated by Richard Sheridan

Norman married Vera Eileen Mason on October 8, 1937.  They had four children together: Myrna Snyder, Norman Lay Jr., Karen Rappach, and Larry Lay.

Mr. & Mrs. Norman Lay
Image courtesy of Karen (Lay) Rappach

Contributors: Karen (Lay) Rappach and Christine Novicky
Updated 8/26/2020