This is actually the 4th Generation in the exhibit business. Their grandfather, the late John McKernin was affiliated with their great uncle Joe McKenna in Advertisers Displays, Inc., at the time of the Chicago's Century of Progress Exposition. Joe sold the business at the start of World War II. Tom McKernin began building exhibits when he was 15 years old. In 1966 he was offered a partnership at a POP house, Stevens Displays and was soon joined by his brothers, who have since retired. Together, they turned the business into the full service exhibit success it is today, changing the name to Stevens Exhibits/Displays Inc.
When we were kids we loved coming down to the shop. It was the best place to play hide and seek, there was always cool stuff being built. Things like a giant working coffee pot, furniture that rose out of the carpet and a huge Willy Wonka Oompa machine that had lights, sounds and a big breathing balloon with polka dots. The best part was if you pulled down one of the 4 hands, you'd get FREE CANDY!!!
We used to take turns going on installations with dad. It was especially fun when they were in another city. The boys worked on the docks when they were younger. I remember they laughed and joked around a lot and I'm sure they have some stories that aren't suitable for print.