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.


Albion Recorder, October 27, 1997, pg. 4

One of Albion’s great industries was the Gale Manufacturing Company, which was in existence here from 1864 to 1968. The Gale firm was located on the northwest corner of Superior and Cass Streets, the present site of Albion Floor Covering, Discount Daves, and westwards to where our City Hall now stands.

The Gale firm was a major manufacturer of farm implements and was most known for its “Gale Chilled Plow.” Gale plows were sold throughout the country and even to foreign locales. In the Michigan Museum in Lansing there is an authentic Gale plow on permanent display. In1918 the firm discontinued the farm implement line and went into the foundry business.

The Gale Manufacturing Company was located in downtown Albion until 1888, when it moved to its final location on N. Albion Street. Its former location became the headquarters of the newly organized Albion Malleable Iron Company, which used the facilities until it moved to its North Albion Street site in 1898., The building was subsequently demolished, and the Parker-Kessler block was erected in 1900. That building is still standing today.

This week we present a photograph of the original downtown Gale plant with its workers standing out front, and hanging out the upper story windows. Many of the workers were German immigrants that had been recruited during the 1870s and 1880s. This photograph appears to date from the mid-1880s. Notice at the top above the tower there is a weather vane. This is not the normal horse vane as one would expect. A closer look will reveal that the van is shaped in the form of a Gale plow. This is a “new” photograph that I haven’t seen before. Special thanks to Ann Neitzka for supplying it for us this week.

Original Downtown Location of Gale Manufacturing Company


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