#48 National Cigar Manufacturing Company in West Manchester; 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.
At #48 in the count down is the National Cigar Manufacturing Company in West Manchester. So far, the ONLY place I’ve found any information on this company is in the Factory Inspection Reports. I’m posting this with the hope someone familiar with West Manchester can help with more details on this company.
This is a mystery listing in more ways than one. The illustration points out an even greater unknown. The location listed in the Factory Inspection Reports for this company is West Manchester. All other factory locations in York County are towns, villages, boroughs, crossroads, etc.; and not townships. If the location is not West Manchester Township, was it part of Manchester Borough or a crossroads west of the borough known as West Manchester?
The 10th Factory Inspection Report notes that on February 21st 1899 the National Cigar Manufacturing Company in West Manchester has 50 employees; 23 male and 27 female. Of these 50 employees, 21 are under 21 years-old; of these 4 male employees are between 13 and 16-years-old, and there are 7 female employees between 13 and 16-years-old.
This company was a growing concern entering the 20th Century. The factory inspection the following year revealed the National Cigar Manufacturing Company in West Manchester grew from 50 employees to 80 employees.
UPDATE: This post resulted in a picture of employees in front of the National Cigar Manufacturing Company, a little additional information and still more questions. Blake Stough has the picture posted at Preserving York; his great-grandfather, Stephen Wildasin, worked at the National Cigar Manufacturing Company. I count 70 employees in Blake’s picture of this cigar factory; a count in the ball-park from data in factory inspection reports at the turn of the 20th Century.
Blake discovered a little about the company, however is still seeking additional information. There is the possibly this company was part of a larger national organization. The Wildasin family lived in North Codorus Township so Blake believes this factory has a good possibility of being in West Manchester Township due to its proximity to their home.
In my count down of the 50 top factories in York County at the end of 19th Century, there are 12 cigar factories represented. Only one cigar factory shows up in the top 15; do any of my readers care to guess where this factory, that made cigars and also cigar boxes, was located in York County.
#48 National Cigar Manufacturing Company in West Manchester, with 50 employees, is the second cigar factory in my count down of the top 50 York County Factories at end of 19th Century. Previous cigar factories that have made the list include:
#50 David S. Detwiler Cigar Factory in Wrightsville; 47 employeesReading the Headlines: A Quick Index to All YorksPast Posts