Historical Albion Michigan
By Frank Passic

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Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.

GALE MANUFACTURING WORKERS, 1915

Morning Star, January 26, 2003, pg. 3

When it rains, it pours. During the past year there have been two separate identical copies surface of a previously-unknown l-o-n-g photograph of workers at the Gale Manufacturing Company, dated 1915! The Gale was located on N. Albion St., and the original 1888 office building is still standing today next to (north of) the Social Services building. This is a “new” photograph that was unbeknownst to yours truly, and it is amazing that two copies only surfaced recently--both in the same year! Previously in this column (March 22, 1998 article) we featured a l-o-n-g photograph of workers at the Gale which dated from the late 1920s.

This photograph however, was taken in 1915 early in the World War I period. It measures 41 inches long, and 7˝ inches high. The scene was taken in back of the left side of the main plant office, and looks west. The same identical location was subsequently used for the late 1920’s photograph. This photograph was shot by Corbett & Spencer, photographers from Albion and Battle Creek according to the identification in the lower right hand corner.

Due to space limitations, this week we are picturing here in our Historical Notebook the far right 9 inches of this photograph. Special thanks to my uncle, Lawrence “Boom-Boom” Kulikowski for making this available. The full photo is displayed below, in sections for now. I have copied this photograph onto poster board and will be displaying it at various locations and events in the coming months. In looking through this photograph, I do not recognize anyone, not even by comparing it with the late 1920s photograph! 1915 was 88 years ago! The original owner of one of these photographs was a William F. Goot, but unfortunately there was no mark on the photo as to his whereabouts. If you think you might be able to recognize someone, please contact me. (517) 629-5402.

In the scene pictured here, we see men standing in front of the chain-link with barbed-wire fence in the background. Apparently that type of fencing was around even in those times. Notice the white birch tree behind the men. A couple of other observations to note here. There are no women in the photograph, unlike the late 1920s photo where there are several. There are also no black men in the photo, as the majority of our black population did not arrive here until November 1916 to work at the Albion Malleable Iron Company. The late 1920s photograph of the Gale has several black men in the picture such as Jonas Clark, Thomas Ridley, and Richard Tate, Sr.


Workers at the Gale Manufacturing Company, 1915

Next: ALBION 100 YEARS AGO - FEBRUARY 1903

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