Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Top 40 Erie Industries in 1950

As I was coming home last night on East 12th Street, a couple of things caught my eye. The setting sun looked like a blazing ball of fire in the sky. The three smokestacks were a sad reminder of the old Hammermill Paper Company on East Lake Road. I turned north on Downing Avenue and captured this scene just before the sun disappeared below the horizon 

The stacks also got me thinking about what a great manufacturing town Erie, Pennsylvania was. Coincidentally, I found a list of the principal industries of Erie in a 1950 publication. Thousands of skilled workers were employed in these shops. Just a handful of these businesses remain.* See if you can name them.

Alsco, Inc. made aluminum windows and doors
American Sterilizer Company
Henry Althof & Sons specialized in iron and iron works
American Hollow Boring Co. made forgings
Bliley Electric Company
Bucyrus-Erie made steam shovels
Burke Electric Company made motors
Bury Compressor Company made compressors
Cascade Foundry Company made castings
Continental Rubber Works made rubber goods
Erie Brewing Company made beer
Erie City Iron Works
Erie Concrete and Steel Company fabricated steel
Erie Forge Company made machinery
Erie Foundry Company made machinery
Erie Malleable Iron Works
Erie Meter System made meters for gas station pumps
Erie Plastics Company made radio parts
Erie Resistor Corp. made radio parts
General Electric Co. makes locomotives
Griffin Mfg. Company made hardware
Hammermill Paper Company made quality writing paper
Hays Mfg. Company made brass  products
Jarecki Mfg. Company made valves and fittings
Johnson Metal Products made metal items
Kollman Mfg. Company made sewer and drain cleaners
Lord Mfg. Co. made rubber mountings
Lovell Mfg. Co. made wringer washers and mouse traps
Metric Metal Works made gas meters
National Erie Corporation made machinery
Nosco Plastics manufactured items out of plastic
Nubone Company made items for undergarments
Odin Stove Company made stoves
Pelham Electric Manufacturing
Penn Brass and Copper
Perma-Lite Displays made neon tubing for signs
Protane Corporation made items for gas
Reed Manufacturing Company
Skinner Engine Company
Standard Stoker Inc.
Talon Inc. made zippers
U. S. Printing & Lithograph Company made circus posters
Wayne Brewing Company made beer
Weil-McLain Company made radiators
J. A. Zurn Company

*some companies merged with others or operate today under a different name

Enjoy more facts and photos of Erie, PA at: Old Time Erie


  1. WOW! What a kick in the teeth! To think of how many industries were founded here in Erie, flourished and then faded away! My Dad was an engineer at Nosco Plastics until it was sold to White Eagle of Texas approx. 1961. I worked at G.E. in buildings #13 1nd #17, both of which are now gone. Koehler Brewery hosted a graduation party for us Gannon (College) graduates back in 1969. Keep up the good work.

    1. Any chance that you have a photo of your dad at work? Or any other photos of Nosco? I would love to see them. Thanks for sharing your memories!

  2. I was employed at Standard Stoker Co. Which changed name to Read Standard Co. started building bakery machinery equipment. 1949 to 1952 as assembler and stoker screw tester.
    Have old Standard stoker employee badge.