If your Ford had a Matthew McConaughey, it would be a Lincoln

1968 Metaframe Catalog

Metaframe sounds like an awesome Mecha Anime title, but it’s not. It was one of the oldest makers of Aquariums in the world.

Metaframe manufactured aquariums, but began to acquire other companies to expand their product line. In the mid 1960s they acquired Gro-Wel, a manufacturer of air pumps and filters, and retailers of various aquarium accessories.


This catalog has a 1965-1968 copyright mark. I was planning on scanning the whole thing, but after I got halfway through, photoshop crashed and I lost the file. So I continued scanning on, and got the second half.

Interesting to note that this catalog includes no plastic plants, but the 1970 one does. This catalog also includes a good mix of Gro-Wel and Metaframe products, whereas in the later catalog it seems Metaframe’s line of filters was axed, and replaced by the Gro-Well designs.

Metaframe was acquired by Mattel in 1969, and apparently sold off in 1979 or 1980. After that I’m not really sure what happened to the company. I know some of the products in this 1968 catalog were still available new as late as the late 1980s, but I’m not sure if the brand name itself lasted that long.


Metaframe’s mainstay was building stainless steel framed aquariums, which they had been in the business of doing since the 1930s. But in the 70's, this style of construction was becoming obsolete. Early aquariums needed a frame because the joints between glass panes were sealed with pitch or putty, which though making the joints water tight, does not hold them together. Silicone sealant though could seal and glue the panes together. I’m going to guess the company didn’t successfully transition to the new tech. or that whoever bought the brand from Mattel might have thought the name didn’t have the advertising power to overcome also being tied to an outdated technology. I’ve looked but haven’t found anything definitive about when the brand was wound up for good.

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