Albion Interactive History / Businesses / Decker Screw

Albion Interactive History

Albion Interactive History / Industry

Decker Screw Products Company, 1927

By E.C. Biewend

The Decker Screw Products company was organized June 1, 1927, by a small group of far-sighted Albion andJackson men who saw the possibilities and the need of a steel screw manufacturing industry in Albion. Three of the men were master mechanics and possessed the necessary knowledge regarding purchase of machinery to produce such an article, which combined with capital, made it possible toset up eight machines in a building formerly occupied by the Cement Products company on East Mulberry street. At first onlyfive machines were operated, the work being done by men instrumental in forming the corporation, together with the aid of interested individuals. By August 1929,the firm had grown from 8 to 58 individuals on the pay roll, and more machinery had to be brought.

After a year’s activity in the initial plant, officials of the concern realized the inadequacy of their location and steps were taken to purchase a building site upon which to erect a new factory.

Before the site was purchased a number of cities in this region, including Jackson, made attractive offers for the plant to be moved elsewhere, but cooperation was given by various local interests including Mayor Frank W. Culver, and the City of Albion, the Chamber of Commerce, the Albion bank, and others.

Early in January 1929, various local interests cooperated with the heads of the company and after important negotiations with land owners, sufficient property was purchased on Clark street for the present modern plant.

Building was started in April 1927 by the Schumacher ConstructionCompany, the plumbing and heating work was in charge of Bruce Guvselman, the electrical contractors were the Crandall Electric Company of Jackson and Good Service Electric Shop of Albion.

Early in August of the same year, the machinery was brought to the new plant from the old building and from the former Albion Bolt company’s planton West Michigan avenue near the Michigan Centraldepot.

The new factory was formally opened to the public August 24, 1929. The factory building is constructed inside and out with fire proof materials, exterior of the building being of brick and 195 feet long and 55 feet wide; fronts on ClarkStreet and extends to the west adjacent to the New York central railroad tracks which are on the north side of the building. A smaller brick building stands just north of the plant which houses electrical transformers and other power appliances.

The company’s offices are located to the left of the main entrance with rest rooms to the right. The machine room is 180 feet long and automatic screw machines extend in two parallel rows on either side of the large room with additional benches and equipment along the south side.

Special attention was given to the ventilation and proper lighting of the new plant, long rows of windows extend the full length of the machine room on both sides while additional lights and ventilation are provided by sky lights in the roof.

Modern steam-heating equipment has been placed in the building to insure most efficient working conditions at all times.

Loading platforms are provided on the south side of the building, as nearly all of the company’s products leave the plant by truck.

From a few scattered consumers, the firm’s business has expanded to a number of the country’s leading automobile manufacturing plants, products going almost daily to Detroit,Jackson, and other cities. While still in its infancy, after four years of competitive development and regardless of the present industrial depression, its prospects for continued growth are bright.

The present officers of the company are W.R. Konkle, president; E.C. Biewend, vice-president and general manager; H.W. Russell, secretary;W.A. Krenerick, treasurer. K75

Photo of Decker Manufacturing Plant in 1929.

Photo of Decker Manufacturing Plant in 1990.

Source: Miriam Krenerick. Albion’s Milestones and Memories. Albion, MI: Art Craft Press. 1932.

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