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.

GAFFER NEWS

Morning Star, November 19, 2006, pg. 3

Albion’s major factories all once had “company papers,” which were magazines printed by these firms. Usually these magazines contained articles about company products, their customers, and safety issues. The majority of their pages, however, were filled with employee news. Major themes included sports such as bowling leagues and softball/baseball teams, fishing and hunting, employees sons or daughters high school graduations, years of company service awards, and retirements.

We’ve previously covered in this column company magazines such as “The Gale News” published by the Gale Manufacturing Company; the Albion Malleable Iron Company “Circle-A-Tor;” “The Union Steel Messenger;” and “The Hub” produced by the Hayes Wheel Company. I’ve still yet to see my first copy of “The Brooks Foundry News,” begun in October, 1953. These magazines are excellent sources of local history, and I’m always looking for issues to add to my Albion history archives.

This past week I spent time sorting through issues of the “Gaffer News.” Remember the Gaffer? What a name for a magazine! Actually, one of the dictionary definitions of a gaffer is the head glassblower. That name fit perfectly for employees of the Corning Glass Works, which operated here from the 1950s through most of the 1970s.

The Gaffer was a nationally produced monthly magazine published by Corning, and featured news from all its plants around the U.S., including the Albion one. Very few employees here saved them, as I’ve seldom come across these. I do have, however a copy of the November, 1955 issue in front of me. In looking through its pages, I came across articles about the following:

William Knickerbocker who was awarded $193 for the “suggestion box” ideas that saved the Company money; a photo of Albion Local 1006 Union officers taking a course in collective bargaining; a photo of the just-born Weller cousins (Stephen and Cheryl) with their parents; and a back-page article with photo concerning the Albion plant’s new safety and housekeeping campaign. The publishers page lists the following persons from Albion who were on the local magazine committee: J.B. Smith, Shurleigh Sherman, Victor Hoag, John Jasienski, Joyce Kopp, Fred Kraus, Maxine Weckman, Al Proteau, and Julyann Tyzsko.

From our this week we present a photograph of the back page of the November, 1955 issue of The Gaffer. How many of our readers remember The Gaffer?


The November, 1955 issue of The Gaffer

Next: ALBION 100 YEARS AGO--DECEMBER 1906


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