MIDDLETOWN HISTORICAL SOCIETY
"Linking the Past with the Present for the Future"
Development of Middletown, Ohio
George C. Crout
Later Developments of the Paper Industry
In the fifties, William Webster came to Middletown. He opened a store
and advertised that he was a dealer in stoves, old iron, copper, brass,
and all kinds of tinware. When he was not busy selling merchandise, he was
busy trying to invent paper machinery. He was successful, and developed a
small machine for manufacturing paper bags, which at that time were made
by hand. His machine made the manufacture of paper bags much cheaper, and
made possible a wider use for that product.
Since Middletown was noted for the manufacture of paper, this would be an
ideal place for the making of paper bags. Being near the material needed,
money could be saved, and bags manufactured more cheaply at this point. In
1873 R. E. Johnston established a paper bag factory in this town. Having
no machinery, the bags were made with the Webster machine, and one person
made seven hundred bags a day. Mr. Webster was a partner in this venture,
but at the end of six months the firm was dissolved.
Webster bought part of an old tanning yard, and built a factory on the
lot, where he began the manufacture of paper bags using his own
patents--at one time he used seventy machines which he had built himself.
To help him in his industry he employed seventy men, and manufactured a
half million bags a week.
Johnston continued to manufacture bags using power machines, and he made
60,000,000 bags a year. Middletown had two paper bag companies, but in
1883 the Johnston plant was destroyed by fire, and he went out of
business. In 1880 Webster retired from the industry.
The patent rights for the manufacture of satchel bottom bags were
purchased by the Tytus Paper Company, which manufactured fine manila
papers that were excellent for the making of paper bags. For a while the
Ohio Bag Company prospered, but with the coming of the consolidation of
industry, the company found it could not meet the keen competition of
other larger companies, and so the company sold its patents, machinery was
shipped away, and the skilled labor left.
E. L. McCallay, upon finding the vacant Ohio Bag plant, bought the
buildings of the old company in 1899, refitted the factory with new and
improved machinery, and began again the manufacture of paper bags in
Middletown. The plant soon became very efficient and within a few months
was manufacturing 1,250,000 paper bags a day. This company was called the
Advance Paper Bag Company. By 1903 the company showed rapid growth; in
that year it used 4,400,000 pounds of paper in making 235,000,000 bags. It
used twenty-one bag machines instead of the original four. In 1904 the
company spent $20,000 in wages for fifty persons. The capitalization that
year was raised from $50,000 to $200,000 and the company was doubled in
size, using forty machines to make 475,000,000 bags a year.
Paper from the Middletown mills had been used by the Raymond Bag Company
of Cincinnati. In order to cut down the costs of transportation, this mill
was moved to Middletown, but after the death of the owner of the mill, the
plant was not too successful. During the nineties the mill was purchased
by James Lawrence, the superintendent of the Wardlow-Thomas plant. Using
old ropes as a base, Wardlow-Thomas manufactured flour sacking paper. The
new Raymond Bag Company became a competitor of the Wardlow-Thomas company.
Finally the company built a new plant northeast of Middletown.
As the use of paper bags increased, the demand became greater, so Lawrence
organized another bag company. At first he could not find a suitable
location in Middletown, so he began a factory at Miamisburg,but in a few
years he moved the Lawrence Bag Company back to Middletown.
The Later Paper Industry
In the meantime another paper company had moved to Middletown. In 1892
with a capital stock of $25,000 Mr. Robbins began the manufacture here of
specialty papers--English cloth blotting, die cut cards, and cabinet
manila. The company increased its production from 1,500,000 pounds of
paper in 1900 to 5,500,000 pounds in 1904. Middletown became known as the
"Paper City." In 1880 a visitor to the town wrote:
The business of Middletown is largely in the manufacturing of all
kinds of paper. The paper interest is immense, great enough to make the
town one of the principal centers in the country for that kind of
business. Seven great paper mills run in full force, month in and month
out, year after year, giving employment to hundreds of men, women and
In 1880 the paper industry of Middletown employed 440 hands, and put
over 12,000,000 pounds of first class paper on the market. In 1887 Henry
Howe said this about Middletown:
Middletown is known throughout the country for its paper mills, which
manufacture all grades from the common straw and manila for wrapping to
the finest writing. The medium writing grades are however most
manufactured. One of the men most prominent in the building up of this
great industry is Mr. Francis J. Tytus . . . Middletown enjoys the
advantage of good and cheap water power and manufactures, besides paper,
agricultural implements, pleasure vehicles, and tobacco to a large
In 1904 the paper mills had a yearly output of 50,000,000 pounds of
paper. The industry used 85,000,000 pounds of raw material and consumed
65,000 tons of coal. Over $200,000 was paid to employees in wages.
Many supplementary industries developed around the paper mills of
Middletown. Paper bag companies, and specialty paper manufacturing
developed due to the proximity to needed materials. Paper box companies
were later established. In order to make and repair paper mill machinery
new companies were organized for this work.
The first large machine shop to be organized was that of La Tourrette and
Company who started with an iron and brass foundry. The company
specialized in the manufacture of paper and tobacco machinery, both of
which had a market in this area.
Peter La Tourrette came to Ohio in 1838. His great uncle Daniel La
Tourrette had served in the French and Indian War and the American
Revolution. His father had been a major in the War of 1812. Peter, who was
born in 1817, came from New Jersey to Ohio. He began as a blacksmith, and
in 1873 he formed a partnership with John Harrison, and they leased the
Middletown Agricultural Works, which La Tourrette converted into a pump
factory, and later they began the making of paper mill and tobacco
Since the growth of the company was so rapid it soon consisted of brass
works, repair shops, and a general foundry. The Middletown Pump and Box
Company was absorbed by this organization, and the pump work was taken
over by La Tourrette’s shop, and the other company devoted its time to the
manufacture of tobacco boxes.
P. P. La Tourrette, C. F. Gunckel, and F. B. Searage directed the machine
shop which employed thirty men in 1880.
The Tobacco Industry
The Miami Valley became a center of the cigar-filler tobacco growing
industry. The growing of tobacco gradually spread westward from Virginia,
and as early as 1839 Ohio ranked seventh in the production of this crop,
by 1889 it was third, but in 1919 Ohio was sixth. In 1889 this state
produced 38,000,000 pounds of tobacco, but in 1919 it produced only
In 1838 Seedleaf tobacco was introduced in this region and in 1851 its
production was begun in the Dick’s Creek valley four of five miles south
of Middletown. Since the Miami Valley had heavy clay soils, this
particular variety of tobacco, an excellent cigar filler, became one of
the main varieties of tobacco grown. The Spanish Zimmer variety introduced
in 1869 became a popular tobacco for the upland country, while the
Seedleaf was more adapted to lowland cultivation.
During the years 1839 to 1909 this region increased its annual yield of
tobacco. During the World War, men turned to smoking cigarettes, and the
demand for cigars, and thus for the kind of tobacco produced here,
declined. Geographically this valley is not suited to the growth of other
varieties of tobacco.
When the Miami Valley became the center of tobacco culture, this
geographical change led to the establishment of tobacco processing plants
In 1839 Samuel Weigle was Middletown’s "tobacconist." He carried a
complete line of tobaccos, and rolled some "common Segars." On his shelves
he kept chewing tobacco of every kind, including Sweet Cavendish and
Virginia Twist. He kept on had snuff and cut and dry tobacco.
John G. Clark and J. B. Cecil entered into the manufacture of tobacco in
1859, but due to the upheaval of the Civil War and the depression in
industry, the business failed.
In 1844 John Auer, a tobacco roller in Cincinnati, met Paul J. Sorg, a
foreman in a foundry. Mr. Auer could make tobacco, but he couldn’t keep
books, and while Paul Sorg knew nothing about the manufacture of tobacco,
he could keep books, for he had learned bookkeeping at a night school in
Cincinnati. These two men organized a firm for the manufacture of tobacco,
starting in Cincinnati with a capitalization of $6,000 and twenty-eight
workers. In 1869 the firm was consolidated with the firm of Wilson and
Jacoby, who owned a factory in Cincinnati, but who resided in Middletown.
This new firm organized as Wilson, Sorg and Company moved to Middletown
and began the construction of a tobacco factory here. The factory
represented an investment of $20,000, and had a daily capacity of 1,000
pounds of tobacco. A three story brick building was erected. In 1870 Mr.
Jacoby sold his interest in the company. In 1878, when Sorg and Auer
disposed of their business to Wilson and McCalley, the business was worth
Sorg and Auer began their own business. The first building they
constructed was forty by one hundred and forty feet, and in it they put
improved machinery with a total investment of $60,000. Four thousand
pounds of tobacco was processed by one hundred and fifty men. When Auer
retired from the firm in 1884, the number of employees of the firm had
doubled, the capacity of the mill had been increased to 10,000 pounds
daily, and the capital to $350,000. Each year had brought new additions.
The factory’s product, plug tobacco, had a world wide reputation.
In the eighties Middletown became the third city in the United States in
the output of plug tobacco.
In 1879 the P. J. Sorg building was one hundred and forty by one hundred
feet; in 1880 and addition of fifty by one hundred feet was made to the
plant; in 1881 another addition of fifty by one hundred forty feet came,
and from then on the plant grew each year during this decade.
In 1881 the Wilson-McCallay plant was housed in one hundred forty by one
hundred forty-four foot three story brick building and had a capacity of
3,000,000 pounds yearly; when this plant began in 1870 it boasted a
production of 200,000 pounds yearly. In the early eighties it employed
around four hundred men. By 1900 this firm was manufacturing 8,000,000
pounds of tobacco each year to the value of $2,500,000. The company then
employed five hundred skilled laborers.
In 1898 the Continental Tobacco Company was looking forward to
expansion; they entered into negotiations with P. J. Sorg and bought his
plant, which became a part of this large tobacco corporation. In 1901 the
company obtained the Wilson-McCallay factory, and in the same year a
Cincinnati tobacco firm, which manufactured the "Polar Bear" brand, leased
part of the P. J. Sorg building and moved there. In 1902 the Wilson-McCallay
plant was abandoned and the business moved to the Sorg plant; now the
whole plug tobacco business of Middletown was in one building with G. H.
Shafor as resident manager.
In 1900 the American Cigar Company came to Middletown, and built a branch
leaf house. A few years later the firm leased the old Wilson-McCallay
plant and used it for a warehouse.
In the early eighties, the Cullman brothers, which had its national
headquarters in New York, established one of its large warehouses here; it
had eighteen such houses throughout the nation. Its largest warehouse was
located at Middletown; this warehouse had a capacity of 30,000 cases and
handled the produce grown in the Ohio region. Since 1884 Colonel Isaac
Hale had operated the business, which began in a small shed, but which in
1900 employed three hundred persons and paid $75,000 in wages each year.
The company handled only cigar leaf tobacco; the tobacco bought here was
used as cigar filler. Mr. Hale purchased practically the whole crop of
Zimmer Spanish which was grown in the Ohio tobacco area.
In 1903 the tobacco business of Middletown employed 1,000 men, paid over
$9,000 in wages each week, and shipped annually 17,000,000 pounds of
manufactured tobacco. Cullum Brothers and the American Cigar Company
bought 14,500,000 pounds of cigar leaf in 1903 at the cost of $1,500,000,
employed 550 persons, and paid $3,500 in weekly wages.
When the period of consolidation of industry began in
the decade of 1880-1890, it was little thought that this movement would
profoundly affect Middletown Industries. The first local industry to feel
the octopus of the trusts was the twine factory, which the owners were
forced to sell, and the machinery was shipped away. Another large
corporation obtained control of the paper bag industry, and the other
plant had to close.
But the industry most affected was the tobacco industry. While the other
industries meant the work of many men, the tobacco industry was one of the
largest in the city. Chief Justice White of the Supreme Court said:
There is no dispute that as early as 1893 the
president by authority of the corporation, approaching leading
manufacturers of plug tobacco, and sought to bring about a combination
of plug tobacco interests and upon failure to accomplish this, ruinous
competition by lowering the price of plug tobacco ensued. As a result
of this warfare, which continued until 1898, the trust sustained
severe losses amounting to more than $4,000,000. The warfare produced
the natural result, not only because the company acquired during the
last two years of the campaign control of important plug tobacco
concerns but others engaged in that industry came to terms.
In 1898 P. J. Sorg sold out his interest rather than
lose his investment. Since the plant was well located geographically for
raw material and access to the national market, and since many of its
brands were so popular with the public, and because the plant and its
machinery were in good condition it was decided by the trust to continue
operation of the plant. In a few years however production was cut, and the
working force reduced.
Establishment of New Industries
Paul Sorg, from the time of his coming to Middletown in 1870 until his
death in 1908, was a leading citizen. He did more for the industrial
development of Middletown than any other man of this period. He came to
the town with a few hundred dollars, and left an estate valued at more
than five million dollars. He won the respect of the citizens of the
community and in 1892 was sent to Congress.
He was born in Wheeling, West Virginia, on September
23, 1840. Henry Sorg, a German immigrant, was his father. In 1851 the
family moved from West Virginia to Cincinnati. The family was so poor that
Paul Sorg, as a boy, sold flowers in the market place of Cincinnati and
turned the money over to his mother to spend in support of the home. Being
ambitious, the boy attended night school and received a business
education. Later he formed a partnership and came to Middletown to begin
the tobacco industry.
Through the work of this industrialist several
companies were organized in Middletown, among which were the Sorg Tobacco
Company, the P. A. Sorg Paper Company, the McSherry Manufacturing Company,
the Miami Cycle Manufacturing Company. He was also responsible for the U.
S. Hotel, the Middletown Gas Company, and the Sorg Opera House. Since the
paper company and the tobacco organization have been described in
connection with those industries, the other companies are discussed in
The McSherry Manufacturing Company, no longer in
existence, was a manufacturer of grain drills. When the company could find
no room for expansion in Dayton, it decided to build a new plant at
Middletown. The company was recognized all over the United States; in 1898
at the Trans-Mississippi exposition in Omaha it received the highest award
for machines of its class.
In the early days of Middletown, carriages had been
built in small shops by excellent craftsmen, but in 1857 William Ling and
a Mr. Levoy formed a partnership called the Ling and Levoy Carriage
Company, which was the first Miami Valley organization to build light
vehicles for the wholesale trade. Through the manufacture of cheap
buggies, the company brought about a revolution in the vehicle trade. In
early manufacture, a buggy was a product of the skilled laborer, who,
using no machinery, fashioned each part by hand, and made vehicles which
were heavy and clumsy, but strong and durable. But one of these buggies
fashioned by hand cost from $150 to $350.
Ling and Levoy introduced the use of machinery and the
division of labor in the making of fine carriages which sold for around
With the retirement of Mr. Levoy, D. H. Van Sickle came
into the business; it became known as the Ling and Van Sickle Carriage
Company, which continued as a partnership until 1899, when it was
incorporated. The following men were the officers of the new firm: William
Ling, D. H. VanSickle, C. B. Oglesby, A. J. Moon, and T. F. Carroll. In
1901 the company’s plant was enlarged so that 3,500 buggies, carriages and
surreys and other kinds of vehicles could be manufactured. These were sold
in all parts of the United States. A rubber tire plant was added so that
rubber tires could be put on carriages used in the cities.
In 1879 the company used a building one hundred and
forty by one hundred feet, employed fifty men and two salesmen. Although
the company manufactured 1,200 buggies a year, it also manufactured
platform beds and spring beds.
On July 26, 1895, the Miami Cycle and Manufacturing
Company was organized with Frank Ray, C. B. Oglesby, Thomas Hetzler, C. H.
Shafor, P. J. Sorg and H. Halburg as its directors. The new plant was
equipped with the best machinery, much of which was electronically driven.
In 1895 only 1,500 machines were marketed.
The bicycle made by this company was called a Racycle,
which ran twenty-seven per cent easier than other bicycles because of a
new invention. In 1895 the company manufactured 3500, but by 1901 the
output reached the total of 14,000.
In 1886 Charles Shartle started a small machine shop to
do general repair work. The main business of the company was soon
concerned with the manufacture of the Miami gasoline engine. Among the
sixty men employed were skilled mechanics. An engine a day was the output
of this company.
When the Decatur Buggy Company removed here from
Indiana, Middletown’s carriage trade was increased. In 1900 the company
made 10,000 vehicles, and it planned to double its production. The famous
Western Buggy and the Columbia Rubber Tire buggy were its most popular
models. This firm composed of Harry Elwood and Harry Quakenbush, was
brought here by the Industrial Commission.
Another industry based upon agriculture was the Hartley
and Shephard firm which manufactured malt. During its peak production it
used 100,000 bushels of grain a year, and sold its product throughout
In the decade from 1880 to 1890 the Harvester Company
made twine to bind wheat.
The Interstate Folding Box Company was organized in
1912 with a capital of $10,000. In spite of great flood damage and a fire
which destroyed the plant, the organization obtained credit, rebuilt the
plant, and in 1918 did an annual business of $350,000
All kinds of switches are manufactured by the Harkelew
Electric Company, which was organized in 1904 with a capital of $15,000.
The Shartle Brothers Machine Company, which specialized
in the manufacture of paper mill machinery began operation in 1912.
Other companies which were organized in Middletown
during the early twentieth century and which have since gone out of
business included: The Nashua Gummed and Coated Paper Company; C. C. Fouts
Company, which manufactured tanks and grain bins; O. K. Paper Pail
Company, noted for paper pails for ice creams, oysters, etc.: and the
Waite Clock and Manufacturing Company.
William Smith who headed the firm of Smith and Company
was the pioneer contractor in the town. He began his work in 1877; his
first big contract was the St. Paul’s Church. In 1880 he formed a
partnership with R. H. Wilson and together they built a brick yard. This
company built the Lutheran Church, Boyer and Juff Building, Masonic
Temple, Excello Paper Mills, Sorg Factory, Wilson-McCallay addition, and
the Hill paper mills. In 1877 the partnership was dissolved, but Mr. Smith
continued his work by building the Oglesby mill, the Tytus Gardner mill,
Sorg’s factory addition, the Middletown Machine Works, the Sabin Robbin’s
plant, the Sorg Opera House, the Presbyterian Church, Sebald’s Cold
Storage House, the North School, and the first building for the American
George Jacoby and William Caldwell began a small lumber
yard in Middletown in 1859. Later the company came under the management of
Caldwell and Iseminger, doing all kinds of mill work, particularly the
manufacturing of tobacco boxes. In 1900 the firm employed one hundred and
The largest industry in Middletown is the American Rolling Mill
Company. This company began in Cincinnati as the Sagendorph Iron Roofing
and Corrugating Company in the year of 1883. Although the business began
as a small unit, its sheet metal products became well known, and in 1891
the company changed its name to the American Steel Roofing Company. In
1889 George M. Verity became manager of this Cincinnati firm, which
manufactured corrugated iron, iron and steel roofing, metal lath, caves
troughs, and sheet metal specialties. On December 2, 1899 the American
Rolling Mill Company was organized with a capital of $200,000 which was
increased to $500,000 when plans were made for the improvement of the
In the fall of 1899 the people of Middletown decided to
spend $100,000 to bring new industries to the town. Captain Robert Wilson,
E. H. McKnight, and Jacob Shaffer, were placed on the commission to raise
the funds and to obtain the new industries. The people decided that they
wanted a steel plant; negotiations were begun with George M. Verity and
Mr. Taylor of Cincinnati. It was agreed that the American Rolling Mill
Company would move to Middletown.
On July 12, 1900 the cornerstone for the new plant was
laid. At that time the Daily Signal declared:
Today the people of Middletown were in holiday
attire. The business houses were closed for the afternoon and the
people with one accord assembled to witness the laying of the
cornerstone of the new American Rolling Mill and to welcome the plant
to our city. It was a glorious event, the opening of a new era of
prosperity of this city in the establishment of a great industry,
which is destined to renew again our old time energy and place
Middletown high in the ranks of the great manufacturing cities of
To begin an independent steel company in those days
took courage, for the United States Steel Corporation had begun its
program for the consolidation of many independent rolling mill units into
The new plant began operations in March 1901. Before
this time, the iron and steel business had been very specialized--one
company bought sheet iron, bars, or billets, and manufactured them into
sheet iron or steel, while galvanized and corrugated iron were made by
separate companies. The American Rolling Mill, popularly referred to as
Armco, was the first to bring all these scattered branches of the steel
industry into one plant. Only the blast furnace was not consolidated with
the operations. One man wrote:
The original conception including an open hearth
furnace department which manufactured steel ingots; a bar mill
department which reduced these ingots to billets or sheet bars; a
sheet mill department which converted the sheet bars into sheets
already for market as black iron or steel sheets; a galvanizing
department which coated a certain percentage of the black sheets,
making galvanized iron and steel; and a factory department where both
black and galvanized sheets were used in the fabrication of sheet
metal building materials of all kinds. This brought together into one
harmonious whole that which had formerly covered four distinct lines
At the end of the first year of operations the sales
totaled $281,181. The company began with the installation of one
twenty-five ton open hearth furnace, but by 1906 it had two fifty-ton open
hearth furnaces. At the close of five years of operation the company’s
annual sales had climbed to over a million dollars, and over seven hundred
men were on the company’s payroll.
Since the company had a surplus of steel from the open
hearth department, and since there was a demand for more finished steel
products than the company could produce, the directors decided to purchase
the Muskingum Valley Steel Company at Zanesville, Ohio, which doubled the
tonnage of finished sheets.
In 1911 Armco had an annual sales of $3,600,000,
employed fifteen hundred men, and produced 4500 tons a month of galvanized
and black sheets, compared with 900 tons a month in 1901.
By 1909 the company had used every foot of available
land at the Central Works, and a new plant was needed. Many cities tried
to induce the company to build a new plant in their city, but Middletown
wanted the new plant. Verity said that if Middletown would promise to make
certain improvements that he would do all he could to get the directors to
build the new plant at Middletown.
In 1911 the new East Side Works began operations. The
new unit contained four 75-ton open hearth furnaces, soaking pits for the
re-heating of ingots that had come from the open hearth department, a
forty-inch blooming mill to convert the large ingots into slabs, a bar
mill to make sheet bars, a central power station, maintenance shops, a
sheet and jobbing mill department, and a finishing department, which could
take blacksteel sheets and finish them as alloy coated sheets, galvanized
sheets, or highly polished sheets.
In 1916 and 1917 the company inaugurated a large
construction program resulting in the great increase in production. In
1916 the company employed 4500 men and sold $13,262,835 worth of steel
products. During the war a forge shop was built so that shell forgings,
crank shafts, and miscellaneous forgings could be made.
When the price of pig iron was increased in 1917, the
company decided to obtain its own supply. Since Armco had been buying much
of its pig iron from the Columbus Iron and Steel Company, a committee
brought about the merger of the two companies. The Columbus Iron and Steel
Company obtained its ore from the Lake Superior district, which was
carried on its own steamers on the Great Lakes, while its coal came from
the company’s mines in West Virginia, and coke from ovens at Portsmouth
which the company controlled. The limestone came from a quarry near the
plant. The blast furnace at Columbus produced 200,00 tons of pig iron a
In 1921 the Armco corporation purchased the Ashland
Iron and Mining Company at Ashland, Kentucky. The factory had two blast
furnaces, six open hearth furnaces, a blooming mill and five sheet mills.
It was here that the continuous sheet mill was introduced.
The American Rolling Mill Company inaugurated another
expansion program in 1927; in that year it purchased the Columbia Steel
Company of Butler, Pennsylvania; the Forged Steel Wheel Company of Elyria,
Ohio; and an interest in the Hamilton Coke and Iron Company at Hamilton,
Ohio. In 1930 the properties of the Sheffield Steel Corporation were
acquired; in 1935 the Calco Iron Pipe Company of West Berkeley, California
became part of the corporations’ holdings.
Research has always played an important part at Armco,
and its metallurgists and engineers have made four outstanding
contributions to the iron and steel industry.
The development of a special electrical steel was its
first contribution. Since Armco was the organization to pioneer in this
field, careful investigation and testing had to be made before putting the
product on the market. In 1903 Armco shipped the first carload of
electrical sheets, which were made for special purposes, being made from
steel low in phosphorus, carbon, and sulphur.
When Armco metallurgists read in a government bulletin,
that farmers needed rust-resisting fence wire, they decided to produce a
steel that would not rust so easily. Using a high grade raw materials and
eliminating as much manganese and carbon as possible, the company
succeeded in making an almost pure iron, which could be galvanized. This
"Ingot Iron", which was 99 per cent pure came into use in 1907. Armco
"Ingot Iron" could also be enameled, and it became the world’s standard
enameling iron. Its rust-resisting qualities made it ideal for culverts
and underground use of all kinds, and for wire products. Due to its
electric conductivity and magnetic property, it is used in telegraph and
In 1910 the Armco research department began to
experiment with making sheets for auto bodies, and this resulted in the
development of sheets which met the exacting requirements of automobile
The invention of the continuous steel mill for rolling
iron and steel was the greatest accomplishment of the Armco organization.
This method, first used at the Ashland plant, was later introduced at the
This continuous method is described as follow:
It is just what the name implies--continuous,
instead of many different segregated operations, each with its
individual function to perform. The continuous process begins with the
hot ingot at the blooming mill and moves forward in a straight line
through the mills and furnaces acting successively on the product.
Beginning as an ingot, weighing thousands of
pounds, the metal travels in a straight line for some 800 feet and is
delivered at the end of the line as sheets at the rate of more than a
ton a minute.
It is easy to grasp the significance of such a
change in manufacture. Lifting of the burden of what was probably the
hardest and most grueling of labor of mankind onto the shoulders of
sleek, infinitesimal measurements, for it was found that as small a
difference as .001 of an inch had a decided influence on the finished
In 1911 Armco began to spread its fame all over the
world. Culverts of ingot iron are soon demanded in South America. Through
Armco International Corporation, Armco products are now sold in all parts
of the world.
George Crout Chronicles
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