Thursday, February 21, 2013

Firch Baking Company- 75,000 Pounds of Lard

Old Time Erie Firch Baking ad from Erie Dispatch, Aug. 28, 1927.
The Firch Baking Company was owned by the Firch family in Erie, PA. William Firch founded the company around 1889. He was one of the leading bakers in Erie prior to his death in 1917. William's son George Firch managed the bakery for a few years, and James B. Dwyer became president of Firch's around 1925. They made bread at 1902 Cranberry St. in Erie, PA. John Dwyer was president and Paul Dwyer was vice-president of Firch's in the sixties.

Firch's sold a lot of bread, as you can tell by the amount of ingredients they used in 1926:
30,000 barrels of flour
300,00 pounds of milk
200,000 pounds of sugar
75,000 pounds of salt
75,000 pounds of Crisco and lard
60,000 pounds of Fleischman's yeast

According to this ad, "Everyone knows that Ma-Made bread is clean, because the Board of Health has given this bakery a rating of 99% for the sanitary conditions prevailing throughout the plant and the good health of the bakers...About one year ago we enlarged our bakery and installed modern equipment, including a large Traveling Oven, with the result that it has proven to be a year of great achievement." 

Bread travels along a conveyor system from one end of the oven to the other, hence the name 'Traveling Oven.' I wonder when bakeries stopped using lard. So many questions...

Enjoy more historic facts and photos of Erie, PA at:


  1. I remember a "Little Miss Sunbeam" look-alike contest sponsored by Firch Bakong Company. My sister entered along with lots of other little girls in curls.

    1. Very interesting! If your sister (or any of the other contestants) can find a photo, I'd love to see it. Please drop me an e-mail if you find one. Thanks!