Category: Factories

Colonial Salt, Halo, Kenmore, Akron, Ohio

Colonial Salt

Construction of the Colonial Salt plant began in 1899 and by 1901 salt was being produced. At that time the area was known as Halo, but today is known as the Kenmore neighborhood of Akron. By 1905, the office force at Colonial was larger than nearby Firestone Rubber.      

The Goodyear-Zeppelin Corp's. Airship Factory and Dock

The Goodyear-Zeppelin Airship Factory

The Air Dock, as it is known, was constructed in 1929. It was the largest building in the world without interior supports and provided a huge structure in which “lighter-than-air” ships (later known as airships, dirigibles, and blimps) could be constructed. The first two airships to be constructed and launched at the Airdock were USS Akron and its sister ship, USS Macon, built…

Hower Building Fire, Akron, Ohio

Hower Building Fire of 1909

On May 18, 1909, a fire in the seven-story Hower Power block destroyed the building and its contents, causing losses in excess of $1,500,000. Several girls employed in the building had a narrow escape. Firemen were in danger from falling walls. The building was occupied entirely by light manufacturing companies. There were more than 200…

Werner Publishing Company, Akron, Ohio

Werner Printing Company

The Werner Printing Company established its dominance in the world of print long before Akron’s rubber boom. By 1900 the Werner Company was the largest and most complete book factory in America. Legal battles with Encyclopedia Britannica over copyright issues, which the Werner Company ultimately won, resulted in financial losses that ultimately destroyed the company.

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company Plant

USS Akron flys proudly over the Goodyear plant. She was the world’s first purpose-built flying aircraft carrier, carrying F9C Sparrowhawk fighter planes which could be launched and recovered while she was in flight. The Goodyear company is named after American Charles Goodyear, inventor of vulcanized rubber. The first Goodyear factory opened in Akron, Ohio, in…

Werner Company Plant, Akron, Ohio

Werner Company Plant – Publisher

Paul E. Werner established his dominance in publishing long before Akron’s rubber boom. By 1900, Werner’s publishing house, the Werner Company, claimed to be the largest and most complete book factory in America. Legal battles with Encyclopedia Britannica, of which Werner ultimately won, resulted in financial losses that destroyed the empire Werner had built.

Aerial view of Goodyear Factory, Akron, Ohio

Goodyear Factory – Aerial view

By 1926 Goodyear was the largest rubber company in the world. Only four years earlier it was forced to temporarily halt production of racing tires due to heavy competition. Nevertheless, the popularity of the Goodyear tire on the racing circuit led to a popular demand for the return of the brand.

Zeppelin Air Dock, Akron, Ohio

Zeppelin Air Dock

The Goodyear-Zeppelin Airdock was a purpose-built facility for the construction of large airships. The $2.2 million building is over 200 feet tall and more than 1,000 feet long. Most remarkable, the entire length of the building is free of interior supports like pillars or struts. At the time of its construction in 1929, the air dock was the…

Goodyear Rubber Factory, Akron, Ohio

Goodyear Factory

The first Goodyear factory opened in Akron, Ohio, in 1898. The thirteen original employees manufactured bicycle and carriage tires, rubber horseshoe pads, and poker chips. The company grew with the advent of the automobile. In this image, an Akron & Barberton Belt steam train switches cars at Goodyear’s east Akron factory.  

Mills of the Quaker Oats Company, Akron, Ohio

Mills of the Quaker Oats Co.

Mills of the Quaker Oats Co. can be seen in the background of this postcard. The former CA&C/Railway Express Agency station is in the foreground. A railroad boxcar is being loaded on the team track at the right of the image. The image was taken from the mill street bridge over the city’s main railroad lines.

Firestone Rubber Company, Akron, Ohio

Firestone Rubber Co.

Firestone had its origins in the rubber city. Founded in1900, the company started operations with just 12 employees. Together, Firestone and Goodyear (also an Akron company) were the largest suppliers of automotive tires in North America for over 75 years. In 1906 Henry Ford chose Firestone for Model T original equipment tires.  

Quaker Oats, Akron, O.

Quaker Oats

Early view of the Quaker Oats Factory on Howard Street in Akron, Ohio. This postcard view also shows wonderful examples of period advertising. Billboards include Akron’s Famous Heaters, and S&G’s Portage Brand Coffee & Tea. On the Left side of the street is a sign for McClains.

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