YorksPast

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Pennsylvania Archives

Within the collections of the York County History Center are a few photos and a much larger group of negatives of a previously unidentified product of the S. Morgan Smith Company. The introductory photo is one component of that unidentified product; it shows S. Morgan Smith Company machinists inspecting a large rotor core being finished on their 42-foot boring mill. This post provides the sources that identify the overall product as a massive axial-flow air compressor; a key component in a Supersonic Wind Tunnel, which was one of NASA’s earliest development facilities.

Thirty years before President Ronald Reagan visited the Harley-Davidson Motorcycle plant in Springettsbury Township, York County, PA, he visited the General Electric plant in York, PA; then as director-producer-and host of the “General Electric Theater” television program and President of the Screen Actors Guild.

Lottie Hull submitted her story of growing up on a farm in Windsor Township during the 1950s and early 1960s. The weekly highlight was going along with her mother on shopping trips to the Country Folk Shop, located in a Locust Grove area barn; then continued along East Prospect Road to Seitz’s Food Market in Longstown.

Innovations of the S. Morgan Smith Company focuses on technological advances coupled with the history of the company and its successors during the Twentieth Century. As a companion to the excellent book “Re-Inventing The Wheel. The Incredible Story of S. Morgan Smith, Minister, Inventor, Industrialist,” by Stephen Nicholas, with Terry Downs, this Innovations Lecture shares stories and facts about the S. Morgan Smith Company that are not common knowledge.

William S. Shipley is known for his leadership in the “York Plan” and for being the national spokesman for that defense production plan during World War II; however he also provided astute leadership during York Ice Machinery Corporation’s transition from Ice Making to Air Conditioning during the 1930s. William S. Shipley succeeded his older brother Thomas Shipley as president of Yorkco in 1930.

Robert Fraser would like to share experiences operating a vintage ice cream freezer with others still using 1930s freezers manufactured by YORK Ice Machinery Corporation. Robert’s grandfather, Hans Erikson, Jr., took delivery of a YORK freezer in 1937; when he started the ice cream business at his dairy. That freezer is still used at Erikson’s Ice Cream Stand in Maynard, Massachusetts; because it makes better ice cream, compared to that made in modern freezers.

Robert Fraser submitted photos of a 1937 Batch Ice Cream Freezer, which was manufactured by YORK Ice Machinery Corporation, at their plant in Canton, Ohio. The freezer is still used at Erikson’s Ice Cream Stand in Maynard, Massachusetts; because it makes better ice cream, compared to that made in modern freezers. Robert’s submission was the tipping point in writing about the Canton Plant; which became YORK’s third major manufacturing facility in 1927.

Michael Miller shared a photo of his grandfather, Augustus H. Schaefer; York florist and developer of Stony Brook Heights in Springettsbury Township. Within that development, a site for Augustus H. Schaefer Memorial Park was deeded to the township in his memory. The Springettsbury Township Historic Preservation Committee will utilize the photo on an interpretative sign to provide a brief history of Augustus and his namesake park.

Cathy Ross shared stories of riding horses at Avalong Farms Morgan Stable and then working at their Barn Mall; in the Blue Sky Jean Shop and at the Boring Furniture Outlet. Prior to the opening of the Galleria, the Avalong Farms Barn Mall housed 25 shops in their former horse barn. Even so, that barn site played a part in the backstory of the Galleria Mall.