Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.
March 8, 2020, pg. 3
With the welcome news of the scheduled demolition this spring of the remaining portion of the old Union Steel Products complex, we note that these buildings were originally erected as the home of one of Albion's big industries during the first two decades of the 20th century: The National Spring and Wire Company. The firm manufactured automobile (and carriage) upholstering cushion springs for seats. It employed around 125 persons during its heyday.
The Company was organized in 1902, and in 1904 moved to 505 N. Berrien St. in the building formerly occupied by the Albion Buggy Company. In 1915 it built a large new manufacturing building on the other side of the block at 504 N. Monroe St. The date, "1915" can still be seen today in the center section of the building along N. Monroe St. The Company was serviced by the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railroad, whose spur along the southern part of the building was used to load railroad cars to ship parts to customers across the United States and Canada. The tracks still go past the building today to service the Knopf Insulation plant.
The 1917-18 Albion City Directory lists the following officers of the Company: Alfred J. Abbott, president; Solomon M. Raftery, vice-president; Otis A. Leonard, secretary; Elmer Jacobs, treasurer; Fred B. King, superintendent. The National Spring & Wire Company closed in 1922, and the building was subsequently purchased by Union Steel Products which used the building for its own manufacturing needs until its closure.
From our Historical Notebook this week we present just a portion of a 36-inch long panoramic photograph taken in 1916 showing all of the employees of the National Spring and Wire Company assembled outside the plant at 504 N. Monroe St., with the "1915" date on the building. How many of our readers have worked in that building when it was Union Steel Products?
1916 Employees of the National Spring and Wire Company
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