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 22, 1998, pg. 2

Continuing with our series about the Gale Manufacturing Company, occasionally an important unknown historical photograph surfaces. It is photographs like these that provide an exciting challenge to not only yours truly, but also to our readers for help in identifying persons.

Gale Manufacturing Company Workers 1.

Recently I was given a photograph of 120 Gale Manufacturing Company workers posing in back of the office building on N. Albion Street. This is one of those "long" (in size) photographs which apparently was taken sometime during the 1920s. The photo measures 32 inches long and 6 inches high, and is very clear and sharp in its image. I have not seen this particular photograph before and am now trying to identify as many persons as possible. Special thanks to Sue (Buinowski) Cobley, Robert Abbott, and Beatrice Bearman for their help in getting some names.

The following persons have been identified in this photograph: Glenn Smith, Tom Sanders, Karl Miller (Superintendent), Ray C. Neal, Lloyd Wilson, Andrew Balchik, Ogden Landenberger, Julius Rutz, Clyde Waite, Jesse Nutt, Irene Bearman, Leon Anthony, Tom Wallace, Glenn Smith, Ben Shannon-foundry Sup.t., August Stark, Robert Watson, Rollo Hastings, Al Fierke, Larry Bearman, Robert Watson. Out of 120 persons, there are five African-Americans. Those identified are: Richard Tate, Tom Ridley, and Jonas Clark. Those interested in local black history need to view this photograph.

Gale Manufacturing Company Workers 2

While many of the workers at the Albion Malleable Iron Company at the time were foreigners and blacks, most of the workers at the Gale came from a "different stock." Some were of German ancestry who had worked at the Gale during the year when they still made farm implements. Others were descendants of 19th century Albion settlers.

Of interest is a row containing several women who worked there. No, they weren't secretaries, but they worked in the core room! That's right. The women had nimbler fingers which assembled the sand cores easier and quicker than fat clumsy men fingers. If your ancestor was one of those women factory workers (long before our local factories hired women during World War II when men were off to war), you too, need to view this photograph.

If your ancestor worked at the Gale Manufacturing Company during the 1920s, your help is needed in identifying more persons. I have placed the photo on display at various locations, and have an identification sheet prepared which I update. From our Historical Notebook this week on the INTERNET version we present the entire photograph in three sections. If you click on the photo itself you can make it even Bigger. If you recognize anyone, copy the photo and circle the person and supply me with the name. E-mail: albionfp@hotmail.com., or Frank Passic, 900 S. Eaton St., Albion, MI 49224.

Gale Manufacturing Company Workers 3

There is another photograph of Albion Malleable Iron Company workers, which was published in the Morning Star on January 26, 2003.


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