NWIGS - Gary Screw & Bolt Employees Index

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Gary Screw & Bolt Company Employees

The Gary Screw & Bolt Company was a well known early employer in Gary. Founded in 1911 by a group of Pittsburgh Screw & Bolt Corporation executives, the local company was located on 20 acres of vacant land along 7th Avenue. With a workforce of less than 100 when it opened in 1912, employment grew to 700 by the 1940's and totaled over 900 by the mid-1950's.

As an important defense contractor during WWII, monthly production reached as much as 4,000 tons of finished bolts, nuts, and rivets, as well as threaded rods and special fasteners. In 1947, a major fire resulted in a 40 percent reduction in plant output; however, by 1951 the company directors authorized a $1 million modernization and expansion at the Gary plant complex.

Gary Screw & Bolt was acquired by the Modulus Division of RBS Industries. Unfortunately, by the 1980's the economic decline resulting from international competition resulted in the company filing for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. The plant officially closed on December 31, 1986, and the equipment was sold to a liquidator.

NWIGS has indexed the names and information included in the employment records from 1915-1949. This index is useful to those who have had family members employed at the company during this period.

If you would like to obtain records of any of the individuals listed below, then please complete and follow the directions on the Gary Screw & Bolt Company Employees Request Form.

Please contact Steve McShane of Calumet Region Archives if you are interested in learning more about this index.

Gary Screw & Bolt Index (comprising 14,286 records)

The historical images below of the Gary Screw & Bolt Company have been provided by the Calumet Regional Archives, Indiana University Northwest. Click the small image to view it in full size

Girls packing nuts and bolts for shipment to customers. They pack, weigh for proper quantity and label each box according to size. The Screw and Bolt Works provides employment for about 900 person in Gary.
[Photograph appeared in the Sunday, May 20, 1956, issue of the Gary Post-Tribune, Jubilee Edition]

Photograph credit: Calumet Regional Archives, Indiana University Northwest
Photograph credit: Calumet Regional Archives, Indiana University Northwest Screw and Bolt workman checking balance in large bolt making machine in which hot rods are headed, trimmed, pointed and threaded. The machine turns out 25,000 to 30,000 bolts a day. The plant has seven such machines.
[Photograph appeared in the Sunday, May 20, 1956, issue of the Gary Post-Tribune, Jubilee Edition]

Photograph credit: Calumet Regional Archives, Indiana University Northwest
Photograph credit: Calumet Regional Archives, Indiana University Northwest Photograph credit: Calumet Regional Archives, Indiana University Northwest

Newspaper article appearing in in the Sunday, May 20, 1956, issue of the Gary Post-Tribune, Jubilee Edition:

Organized in 1911, Firm Now One of Largest of Its Kind

One of the first and still one of the largest independent companies to located in Gary, was the Gary Screw and Bolt Co., now the Gary Screw and Bolt Division of Pittsburgh Screw and Bolt Corporation.

In 1911 a Pittsburgh group, consisting of directors and officers of the parent company, organized Gary Screw and Bolt Co. of Indiana, and purchased 20 acres of land. The new company immediately started construction of the plant, with operations beginning during the early summer, of 1912, and at the start employed between 75 and 100 workers. At the time operations began, the area east of Emerson School was unimproved and until several years after World War II employees trekked through the woods and over the I.H.B. highline to the plant. This area now is completely subdivided and built up with residential properties.

Some of the key supervisory organization transferred from Pittsburgh were:

Philip ROBINSON, recently retired and at the time of his retirement resident vice president in charge of sales; Fred D. LATSHAW, present plant superintendent; Joseph G. SCHWEINSBERG, retired; Matt BOWSER; retired; Ed “Spider” GARRETTY, and George GARCINA, both deceased.

The parent company was founded in 1897, and grew to be one of the leaders in the Industrial Fasteners Industry. The main plant of Pittsburgh Screw and Bolt Corporation is located on the Ohio River in Pittsburgh. Other plants are the Graham Works on Neville Island in Pittsburgh, the American Equipment Division at Norristown, PA., and another plant at Longview, Tex.

The Colona Division manufactures a device known as a “thread protector,” through the use of which the threads on line pipe tubing and casing used in the oil fields are found to be in exactly as good condition as when the pipe was shipped. When it is considered that the oil fields are usually many miles away from facilities for threading pipe, the proper kind of thread protector is of extreme importance. This division of Pittsburgh Screw and Bolt Corporation was originally organized in 1909, and became part of the corporation in 1929.

During the years, expansion took place and other plants were purchased and became part of the group. In 1925, for instance, the Gary Screw and Bolt Co. Purchased the Continental Bolt and Iron Works in Chicago, and operations continued as a part of the Gary Co.

During 1927, a change took place in the entire corporate structure. The Pittsburgh and Gary companies were consolidated, creating the Pittsburgh Screw and Bolt Corp., a Pennsylvania Corp.

Also in 1930, the plant of the Hammond Bolt and Nut company in Hammond became part of the group. Later, it was decided to consolidate the operations of all Midwestern plants. Accordingly, operations of the Chicago and Hammond plants were transferred to Gary.

Since its beginning this manufacturer of industrial fasteners has enjoyed a steady growth and now furnishes employment to 900 persons in Gary, of whom approximately 750 are hourly workers.

The plant manufactures a complete line of bolts, nuts, rivets, threaded rods and many special industrial fasteners, serving customers throughout the Midwest, West, South and Pacific Coast areas.

John M. YAHRES, who recently retired as chairman of the board, resided in Gary and was one of the key personnel in the Gary plant during its early years.

From 1922 to 1945, George E. HORNEY headed Gary Screw and Bolt Division as its general manager and later as resident vice president. He retired in March as executive vice president of the corporation.

Gerald J. GARVEY, now president of the Gary subsidiary, is a member of one of the pioneer families of Gary. As a boy he delivered newspapers to the earliest Gary homes. The GARVEYS came to Gary in 1907 from Goshen, Ind., and in 1913 GARVEY became an employee of Gary Screw and Bolt plant. He held various positions in the plant and office at Gary and in 1917 was transferred to the Chicago sales office. On Jan. 1, 1945, GARVEY was appointed general manager of the Gary division and on May 16, 1951, became president of this subsidiary of Pittsburgh Screw and Bolt Corp.

In 1925, Raymond P. McDONALD was transferred from the Pittsburgh plant to Gary, assuming the office of plant manager and continuing in that capacity until his retirement in 1950.

Robert G. ROY, the present general manager here, came to Gary as a boy in 1909. He is a product of the Gary school system, having graduated from Emerson in the class of 1917. He has been actively employed with this company since that time, having held numerous administrative positions. In April, 1954, he was appointed general manager of the Gary Screw and Bolt division.

Fred D. LATSHAW, was transferred from Pittsburgh in 1914 as a department foreman. He since has held the position of assistant plant superintendent and for a number of years his present position as general plant superintendent. Over the years LATSHAW has contributed much to the development and efficient operation of this plant.

The first superintendent of the Screw and Bolt plant was Jack BOYLE who came from Pittsburgh but remained only a short period. He was seceded by Charles E. CARR, who was general plant superintendent until 1922, when he joined a Chicago industry.

William E. IRVIN succeeded CARR and remained as superintendent at the Gary plant 18 years, leaving in 1940. Irvin started as a departmental superintendent in March 1914, and was advanced to assistant superintendent under CARR. He was seceded as plant superintendent by his brother-in-law, LATSHAW.

Other members of the official plant family are: Arthur B. CARROLL, Donald W. CAMERON and Richard J. WAGNER, assistant superintendents; Robert LOWERY III, assistant general manager, and John L. GEIGER, master mechanic.

Sales and executive offices of the Gary division are maintained at 122 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago. Company officials say the Gary plant has kept abreast of improvements in machine tools and equipment, with modern facilities for production of a complete line of products.

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