From WWII Army-Navy “E” Award poster (National Archives)
Glen Rock’s AMF plant awarded for WWII production excellence
The AMF facility in Glen Rock is listed among the nineteen York County war production plants granted the Army-Navy “E” Award during World War II. The “E” Award is for Excellence in Production; it was the highest honor given industry in recognition of outstanding production of necessary war materials.
A headline in The Gazette and Daily during April 1945 announced “Glen Rock Firm Awarded Coveted Army-Navy “E”. The article began: “Glen Rock—Representatives of the local plant of the American Machine and Foundry Company, on March 31, were in Brooklyn, N. Y., where they attended the awarding to the firm of the Army-Navy “E” pennant and to all the employees the Army-Navy “E” pins.”
The American Machine and Foundry Company headquarters were in Brooklyn, New York. The awarding ceremonies were held at the Hotel St. George in Brooklyn where several AMF plants were awarded the Army-Navy “E”. Attending from the Glen Rock plant were: Walter F. Dehuff, manager; W. C. Bollinger, foreman of the machine department; H. W. Anderson, office manager and W. R. Taylor, representative of the employees.
“Mr. Taylor received the Army-Navy “E” pins on behalf of all of the employees of the Glen Rock plant. A ceremony was held at the local plant on April 2, during which the pins were distributed to all plant employees by Mr. Taylor.”
The three AMF connections to York County
The American Machine and Foundry Company makes its earliest appearance in York County during 1900. The very first AMF plant was placed in Hanover. That leased facility employed 215 men, at the time a fire destroyed the plant in 1901. AMF never resumed operations in Hanover, instead deciding to relocate production operations to Brooklyn, near the company headquarters.
In 1935, American Machine and Foundry Company purchased the Glen Mixer Company in Glen Rock; as AMF began to diversify their product line beyond tobacco processing equipment. Glen Rock retained an AMF production presence until 1955.
In 1963, AMF was the winning bidder in acquiring the massive Naval Ordnance Plant in Springettsbury Township. American Machine and Foundry Company’s presence at that plant lasted not quite as long as in Glen Rock, when a group of thirteen investors and executives within AMF joined forces to buy back the Harley-Davidson product line and the plant from AMF in 1981.
The Glen Mixer Company
In April 1921, Walter F. Dehuff formed the Glen Mixer Company; producing commercial baking equipment; primarily mixers. The company established itself in a vacant building at the east end of Junior Street in Glen Rock. A Google aerial view, of Glen Rock, is marked up with that plant location.
Right out of school, Walter Dehuff served an apprenticeship with Norrish, Burnham & Company in Glen Rock; makers of the Burnham improved turbine water wheel. In 1906, Walter was one of the original employees of the Read Machinery Company; formed in Glen Rock to make bakery machinery and mixers.
By 1912, Walter Dehuff had risen to become general manager of Read’s Glen Rock plant. At that time Read also had a plant along Richland Avenue in Spring Garden Township. The Richland Avenue plant was growing rapidly on its 23-acre site; soon Walter was transferred to that site, becoming that plants general manager.
Walter F. Dehuff resigned from Read Machinery Company and in April 1921 formed his own company in Glen Rock. The firm concentrating on producing commercial bakery mixers and was named the Glen Mixer Company.
In 1935, American Machine and Foundry Company purchased the Glen Mixer Company; as AMF began to diversify their product line beyond tobacco processing equipment. The Glen line of mixers continued to be produced in Glen Rock, plus AMF introduced other products made at that plant, such as: large vertical mixers for the chemical trade, special vertical mixers for the abrasive industry, specially designed and equipped mixers used in making sponge rubber, and slip-stitching machines for manufacturing neckties.
AMF’s main plant in Brooklyn provided other work, such that the Glen Rock Division was often cramped for space. In March 1940, the American Machine and Foundry Company purchased the recently closed Steiner-Liberty sewing factory, which offered 40,000 square feet of floor space and faced the Pennsylvania Railroad.
The photo shows the present Rail-Trail side of that building, located just west of the Library in Glen Rock. AMF’s Glen Rock Division was located there from 1940 until 1955; when that plant became part of Union Machinery, Inc., in business until 1989.
During World War II, AMF’s Glen Rock Division facilities were turned over to the manufacture of parts for special milling machines, gun and turret lathes; and producing parts for gyro compasses used on ships, range finders and radar antenna assemblies. In recognition of outstanding production of those necessary war materials, the plant was awarded the highest honor given industry; the Army-Navy “E” Award.
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Links to other Army-Navy “E” Award or York Plan posts include:Reading the Headlines: A Quick Index to All YorksPast Posts