January 25, 1996 |
They'll be locking up the doors and turning out the lights for the last time tomorrow at the old Frank H. Fleer Co. factory in Olney. The closing comes two months after the announcement that the old-line Philadelphia business was relocating its gum division south and contracting out all card-related activities. I spent the first couple of weeks of December telling people I wasn't moving to Mississippi and Fleer was not going out of business. It looked that way, I must admit, when one local TV station announced "the Fleer baseball card company was closing its doors forever" and area newspapers made much about the company leaving the area for good.
June 11, 1992 |
Annie Carpenter sat in a courtroom and listened yesterday as a businessman offered $2.2 million "cash money" for the assets of the Burlington City tin- box factory where she'd worked for 40 years and lost four fingers. And she listened as another businessman offered less - $2.04 million - but also promised a judge he'd reopen the Atlantic Cheinco plant and give jobs back to Carpenter and a hundred other laid-off men and women. The judge liked the sound of "cash money. " So, at 2:40 p.m. yesterday, Carpenter, who lost her fingers 32 years ago to Atlantic Cheinco's powerful stamping machinery, who kept working to raise five children alone and to pay off her mortgage, also lost her job. In stunned silence, she and about 20 other Cheinco employees filed from the third-floor courtroom in Camden when U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Rosemary Gambardella's decision ended two days of hearings.
August 12, 1990 |
While Ryan, Austin and Nolan Terrell show off their Batman toys and new radios, Wanda Terrell, the boys' mother, talks about the sickly lead scent that fills the air outside their Blackwood home. "You can't help but wonder if there's something in the air that could affect them," Terrell said. On Aug. 2, representatives of the Camden County Division of Health went door to door to collect blood samples from her three boys and six other neighborhood children. In a few days, she will learn whether the children have been contaminated by lead emissions from nearby Urban Casting plant.
May 24, 1992 |
Jim McCabe was looking for a subject that would make a meaningful play for the people of the Trenton area. "What was in my mind was the Revolutionary War. I knew there were battles fought here," said the playwright, a Dallas native. But when McCabe asked a Trentonian what he thought, the answer had nothing to do with George Washington's crossing the Delaware to fight the Battle of Trenton. "He said one word," McCabe recalled, "and that was Roebling. " As in John A. Roebling's Sons, the manufacturer of steel cable that for more than a century was one of Trenton's most prominent industries and for many years was the city's largest employer.
March 1, 1993 |
Down on the factory floor, where it smells of sweat and soldered metal, Alain Hauvel is counting the days until he goes on the dole. "Never thought such a thing could happen here," he muttered the other day. "Never could have imagined it. " He tapped a foot, took a puff and stole a glance at the assembly line, where the women busied themselves with the next batch of vacuum cleaners. Within the year, they will all be on the street. Hauvel had a good deal while it lasted. He had worked his way up to supervisor.
April 19, 1992 |
At the height of the Cold War, the Krasnoye Sormovo shipbuilding plant here produced a submarine every 10 days. Now, all work on the subs has ceased: The government won't even give factory director Nikolai Zharkov the money he needs to cut his half-built submarines into scrap. Across town, at the factory that makes the famed MiG warplanes, government production orders have slowed to a trickle, and plant director Vladimir Pomolov is seeking foreign buyers for his modern, $30 million MiG-31s.
June 1, 1986 |
When he graduated from Cherry Hill High School, Elmo Gibb, who was named after naval hero Elmo Zumwalt, could juggle "in several foreign languages" and play the balalaika. With these credentials, there were any number of careers he could have chosen. Gibb said he earned a college degree from the "Clayton Academy of Fine Arts and Vinyl Upholstery" and got his first job at the Penn Carbon Brush factory in Northeast Philadelphia. When the factory closed, he took what he thought was the logical next step.
August 11, 1996 |
The evening sky above this drab mill town's patched roofs and tarnished steeples is a Van Gogh swirl of pink and blue. Just off deserted Main Street, in the parking lot behind a rusting factory, a caravan of worn cars and pickup trucks arrives. Coaches emerge first, beefy men with thick legs, thicker bellies and close-cropped hair. They carry clipboards, and their swagger betrays their status in this football-mad region. Following slowly, moving in packs, are a few dozen high school players, muscular teenagers in numbered T-shirts, baseball caps, bandanas and shorts.
November 19, 2013 |
To understand why Don Rongione wants people to buy American on Tuesday - American Made Matters Day - put yourself on the factory floor of Bollman Hat Co., where on Friday the president and chief executive watched Tony Lehman fashion wool felt into a tuxedo-ready top hat. Tugging on finely crafted Texas wool felt as if it were hosiery, Lehman pulled the black fabric around a mold of wood blocks to form the sharply creased crown. That old-style skill, brought stateside by Germans, was one of the first things Lehman learned 31 years ago when he landed a job at Bollman, America's oldest hatmaker, outside Reading.
March 28, 1995 |
Osualdo "Gordo" Robles, a reputed North Philadelphia drug dealer, was jailed without bail yesterday pending trial on federal charges of ordering the torching of the abandoned Quaker Lace factory last September. Robles, 47, was held on federal arson and conspiracy charges by U.S. Magistrate Judge Edwin Naythons. Police arrested Robles on March 15 and accused him of hiring a juvenile and two young men to set fire to the factory at 4th Street and Lehigh Avenue because police were using it to spy on drug dealers.