#44 York Cracker Bakery in York; Top 50 York County Factories at End of 19th Century
In my post Late 1800s Factory Inspection Reports Assist in Identification of an East Prospect Photo I wrote about finding these reports in the State Library of Pennsylvania. For this series on the Top 50 York County Factories at the end of 19th Century, I’m using data from the 10th Report of the Pennsylvania Department of Factory Inspection.
The 10th Factory Inspection Report is for the Department’s year ending October 31st 1899. I ranked the 479 York County factories by numbers of employees; #50 has 47 employees, on up to #1 with 510 employees. In the coming weeks, on Monday and/or Tuesday, I’m counting down to the top employer in York County at the end of 19th Century.
Related posts include:
At #44 in the count down of the Top 50 York County Factories at End of 19th Century is the York Cracker Bakery. This company originated as a local cracker bakery in the late 1800s. If anyone can help me pinpoint the exact year they were established, please post a comment. Nevertheless in 1898, the York Cracker Bakery was one of 114 local bakeries around the United States that were merged into the National Biscuit Company.
The 10th Factory Inspection Report notes that on January 25th 1899 the York Cracker Bakery in York had 53 employees; 43 male and 10 female. Of these 53 employees, 1 employee is under 21 years-old; he is a male between 13 and 16-years-old.
Polk’s 1899 York City Directory, indicates that George W. Reider managed the York Cracker Bakery. The bakery was located on the southeast corner of West Princess Street and Oak Lane; i.e. on the south side of West Princess Street, opposite the current Agricultural and Industrial Museum of the York County Heritage Trust.
In 1898, the New York Biscuit Company, the United States Baking Company and the American Biscuit and Manufacturing Company merged with 114 local bakeries around the country to form the National Biscuit Company, later called Nabisco. The York Cracker Bakery was one of the local bakeries that became part of this conglomerate, which was headquartered in New York City. The name “Nabisco” was first used as the name for a cracker the company introduced in 1901, however the corporate name did not change to Nabisco until 1971.
In the coming years, the National Biscuit Company would acquire company after company, extending the gambit from companies making Shredded Wheat to Milk-Bone Pet Products. In 1925 the National Biscuit Company acquired another York business when they bought the York Pretzel Bakery, which was located along Pattison Street in York. Within my post How did Barshinger Creek get its name? I comment on some of the details of the York Pretzel Bakery.
This listing in the 1905-1906 Thomas Register Buyers Guide contains the names of the two York, Pennsylvania “Bakers of Crackers, Etc.” The AAAA rating on York Cracker Bakery simply indicates the parent company (National Biscuit Company) was capitalized at the highest rating; any company over $1,000,000. The purely local company D. F. Stauffer, who actually had a few more York County employees than the York Cracker Bakery, was capitalized over $100,000 and below $200,000 to receive the A rating.
A review of my count down, thus far, of the 50 top factories in York County at the end of 19th Century follows:
- #44 York Cracker Bakery in York; 53 employees
- #45 Penn Heel & Innersole Factory in Hanover; 52 employees
- #46 George W. Gable Cigar Factory in Windsor; 50 employees
- #47 Charles P. Ketterer Wagon Factory in Hanover; 50 employees
- #48 National Cigar Manufacturing Company in West Manchester; 50 employees
- #49 George W. Hoover Wagon Factory in York; 48 employees
- #50 David S. Detwiler Cigar Factory in Wrightsville; 47 employees