York Town Square

Part of the USAToday Network

AMP’s and AMF’s alphabet soup spilled in same York County town

American Machinery and Foundry, best known to York County as occupant of the former York Safe & Lock factory after Naval Ordnance Plant and before Harley-Davidson, started in Hanover and became an international company. Its first plant was located on East Middle Street in Hanover until it burned down in 1903, leaving a ruin, according to an August 1967 AMF newsletter. Background post: From Bofors to bikes, Harley plant top hog, Where was the arsenal on Arsenal Road? and Glen Rock marked site of AMP/Tyco’s first Pa. plant.

AMP, now Tyco, opened its first Pennsylvania factory in Glen Rock.
AMF started in Hanover. It became best-known as the owner of the former York Safe & Lock plant, which later became Naval Ordnance Plant. Among other products that AMF made at its new plant after 1974 were Harley-Davidson motorcycles.
And AMF had a plant in Glen Rock, too
AMF and AMP in the same town.
Imagine trying to explain to relatives a change in job from one to the other… .

In the middle years of the 20th century, Glen Rock workers had the choice of working at AMP (Aircraft-Marine Products) or AMF (American Machinery and Foundry).
“Salute this Happy Morn,” the recently revised history of the Glen Rock Carolers, notes that Union Machinery Plant, successor to AMF, closed in 1989. AMP shut its doors in the early 1990s.
So did a host of other small manufacturers that gave Glen Rock a well-deserved reputation as an industrial center in the 20th century. The carolers’ book notes that 75 percent of the businesses that advertised in the book when it was first issued in 1972 are out of business today.
It was an example of change that was playing out in small towns throughout York County. No longer could workers, in the main, live and work in the same town.
They now faced long commutes – to Hunt Valley, Md., for example, that drained discretionary time that could be devoted to civic activities.
Makes one long for those days of alphabet soup.