The Mechanical Trades Building was constructed in 1941. By 1959 it had been renamed the Industrial Trades Building. In 1965 it was vacated when the College of Applied Science programs moved into the new Industrial and Engineering Technology facility (Kohrman Hall). The building then became home to the University's Brink Printing Services, named after Lawrence J. Brink, director of the Printing Management program. (Started in 1955, it was the first Printing Management degree program in Michigan.)
The turbine bas-reliefs reflect the use of the Mechanical Trades Building for the study of aircraft mechanics and technology. Western has a long history in aviation technology, flight science, pilot training and, most recently, aeronautical and mechanical engineering.
The Brink Building was razed in 2001 during planning for the Indoor Practice Facility. The bas-reliefs were preserved, and are being displayed at the new College of Engineering campus.
It is not known who designed any of the bas-reliefs. Through the years many faculty have freely given time and talent in support of the institution, and one of them may have designed these. John Kemper, faculty from 1942 to 1970, is well-known for his graphic designs and murals, but the bas-reliefs pre-date his tenure. Lydia Siedschlag, faculty and, later, head of the Art Department, decorated the interiors of all building built from 1936 through the 1950's, but there are no records that she dealt with the exterior facades or architectural details.