MARIETTA, O.H. – Like many businesses, Murray’s Auto Glass in Marietta has been closed as part of the precautions against the COVID-19 pandemic. But when a nurse friend of owner Dennis Farrar came to him worried for her safety, he and his crew jumped in to help by shifting production from auto glass to face masks.
“That was the initial idea. I thought, gosh, we could make these. I’ve got the 1/32nd polycarbonate in stock, I’ve got ten sheets, it’s sitting here. We closed anyway, so why not?” Farrar explained.
His crew started small, making only a dozen of the face masks, and sending them to the WVU Medicine hospital in Parkersburg. He explained that they’re not built like the ones hospital staff may be used to, but they come with some advantages, too.
“These you can reuse. They can clean, resterilize them, so hopefully they’ll work in the way we intended them to, but with that said, we sent the first 12 out. She got back with us and said they were perfect, so we started popping them out,” Farrar said.
Farrar has since ramped up production in his shop, and has had to order more of the polycarbonate to make the masks, with the help of fabric supplies from other local shops.
The shop has also supplied other area healthcare organizations and a local fire department. Farrar said he may not have a huge capacity, but that’s not going to keep him from helping.
“You know, I’m not producing these by the thousands by any means, I wish I could. That’s not the way it works with a small crew and a small glass shop here in Marietta. But if I can get 600, I’m going to do it. And if I can get a thousand, then we’re going to do it,” said Farrar.