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.


Morning Star, March 8, 2015, pg. 4

One of Albionís "forgotten" factories of the 20th century but one which was a big employer, was the Service Caster & Truck Corporation. Located at 509 N. Albion St. along the south side of the main New York Central Railroad tracks, it was in existence here from 1923 to 1954. Service Caster manufactured casters, floor trucks, lifters, lift trucks, skids, portable cranes, trailers, dollies, levelers, and similar items. At its peak the company employed around 300 persons in 1952.

During World War II the Company produced torpedo handling gear, projectile trucks, and numerous types of torpedo testing equipment for the U.S. Navy, as well as parts for the U.S. Army. The Company was the recipient of the prestigious Army-Navy "E" Award on March 24, 1943. At the presentation ceremony held at the plant, employees were presented with special "E" [Excellence] pins, and Rear Admiral William C. Watts presented the "E" flag to Company president Walter C. Peak. A large banquet was held that evening at the Parker Inn.

The Company was sold to the Colson Corporation of Elyria, Ohio in early May 1954, and the local plant was soon renamed the Colson-Service Company. Just three months later Colson informed its workers that they were closing the plant at the end of October, and that the property would be listed for sale or lease. A skeleton crew remained until early 1955 to complete closure of the local plant. Eventually Union Steel Products purchased the property where it operated its plant No. 4 for many years.

From our Historical Notebook this week we present a 1940 photograph of Service Caster plant superintendent Werner Zeindler (left) inspecting a part being worked on by Gilbert Sharrar (right). How many of our readers remember the Service Caster and Truck Corporation?

Werner Zeindler (left) and Gilbert Sharrar (right).


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