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, January 18, 2015, pg. 12

One of Albionís most prominent industries was Union Steel Products. It was originally founded in 1902 as the Union Steel Screen Company, and came to Albion in 1905. This firm was the worldís largest manufacturer of oven racks and related items. It employed hundreds of Albion-area workers. Early president of the firm was George E. Dean (1872-1932) who made his fortune here. An 1896 graduate of Albion College, George was a prominent Albion industrialist in the early 20th century. He was a big supporter of the College and served our community in various capacities, including the Albion School board.

The numerous buildings that made up the Union Steel complex included a hodge-podge of acquisitions of other nearby factories that closed, such as the National Spring & Wire Company, the Elms Buggy Company, the Cook Manufacturing Company, and others.

From our Historical Notebook this week we present a rare postcard artistís depiction of Union Steel Products. I wish I would have had this card last year to use in my book "Albion (Postcards)." This "birdís eye" view looks northeast from the corner of N. Berrien and E. Mulberry Sts. In the foreground are the tracks of the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railroad. A track still remains there today to service Guardian Industries up the line. On the far left can be seen the Union Steel office building.

Just to the right of center is N. Huron St, which was temporarily closed during World War II for national security purposes as War materials were produced there. Reopened after the War, this portion of the street was permanently closed in the 1960s so Union Steel could expand. Unfortunately after Union Steel closed, the street was not reopened even though $150,000 had been earmarked by the Albion City Council to reopen it. This whole area was demolished in 2000, a decade after the factory was closed. It remains vacant and fenced-off today. How many of our readers worked at Union Steel Products?

1921 artistís depiction of Union Steel Products


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