Northampton Press

Monday, August 19, 2019

Remembering: Tour of Coplay Cement building projects continues

Wednesday, August 7, 2019 by ED PANY Curator, Atlas Cement Company Memorial Museum in Columns

In this fourth column, this writer and Mr. Larry Oberly, camera in hand, are joined by railroad historian Mike Bednar at the Coplay Lehigh Valley Railroad station to continue our visit to Coplay Cement Manufacturing Company’s building projects.

Our first stop is at the Wilson & Baillie Manufacturing Company in Brooklyn, N.Y. They specialize in manufacturing concrete pipes.

We are also thrilled to see the Woolworth building, an early skyscraper.

Remembering: Taking a tour aboard the LV Railroad

Wednesday, July 24, 2019 by ED PANY Curator, Atlas Cement Company Memorial Museum in Columns

The year is 1920, and this writer and my friend Larry Oberly are at the Lehigh Valley Railroad station in Coplay. With us is Mike Bednar, a railroad engineer and rail historian from Darktown, Whitehall Township.

We convinced Mike to flag down a Lehigh Valley passenger train so we could board the train and visit some projects that have used cement from the Coplay Cement Manufacturing Company.

We will be traveling to the Catskill Mountains in New York state to view the construction of an aqueduct that will supply fresh water to New York City.

Cement Worker of the Month

Wednesday, July 17, 2019 by ED PANY Curator, Atlas Cement Company Memorial Museum in Local News

Jim Berger

Mr. Jim Berger was raised in Leesport, graduating from Schuylkill Valley High School in 1985.

After school, at age 14, he worked at the Leesport Cattle Auction, recalling, “I enjoyed working with the cattle as a youth. I even milked cows on a relative’s farm.”

Upon graduation, he was employed full time at Leesport.

Later, he studied masonry at Berks County Vo-Tech; as a result, Jim was hired by Ken Short Construction to do brick and block work.

His cement career started Feb. 13, 1989, at Evansville, which is today Lehigh Heidelberg.

Remembering: Coplay Cement Company: Progress in the industry

Wednesday, July 10, 2019 by ED PANY Curator, Atlas Cement Company Memorial Museum in Columns

Today, I am looking at a rare piece of Saylor history — a century-old booklet titled “Cimento Portland Saylor’s Coplay Cement Manufacturing Company.”

Coplay Cement decided to open an export sales office on Fifth Avenue in New York City. They decided this was necessary to continue to be competitive.

When World War I started in 1914, European cement companies curtailed exporting their cement to many customers in Latin America; as a result, United States companies filled the void.

Saylor starts business in Coplay

Wednesday, June 26, 2019 by ED PANY Curator, Atlas Cement Company Memorial Museum in Columns

(Editor’s note: This series was written to honor the borough of Coplay on its 150th anniversary.)

Over the years, we have written numerous columns pertaining to the Lehigh Valley cement industry, but I am sure there are many stories that will never be told, as less people are employed in the industry. Modern technology has streamlined our cement plants; they operate more efficiently with a smaller labor force.

‘To whom is entrusted, much is expected’

Wednesday, June 12, 2019 by ED PANY Curator, Atlas Cement Company Memorial Museum in Columns

This final column concludes our visit to the Bath Museum.

Bath is a community with over 200 years of history. We were happy when Japan surrendered in August 1945, V-J Day. World War II was officially over.

Men and women returned to their homes, and family celebrations were held worldwide. In Bath, it was a return to civilian life. There was a G.I. bill to help veterans adjust to civilian life.

Remembering: Impact of war on Bath Borough

Wednesday, May 29, 2019 by ED PANY Curator, Atlas Cement Company Memorial Museum in Columns

Today, I am in the new Bath Museum looking at the impact of World War II on Bath — the year, 1940.

Our economy was slowly improving. We were optimistic. We hoped the Great Depression was in the past.

In 1940, war raged in Europe; Japan threatened the peace in Asia. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941, thrust us into a world war, one we attempted to avoid. Now, our factories, farms and citizens mobilized for the war.

Cement Worker of the Month

Wednesday, May 22, 2019 by ED PANY Curator, Atlas Cement Company Memorial Museum in Local News

Stuart H. Guinther

Mr. Stuart Guinther was born in Boston, moving to Kutztown in his youth and graduating from Kutztown High School in 1980.

He recalled, “I enjoyed all the math courses; they were taught by Mr. Gougler, a real perfectionist.”

Stuart pursued his education at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, Ind., earning a degree in chemistry.

Mr. Guinther’s remarkable cement odyssey started as a chemist at Lone Star in Nazareth. He then moved to Michigan and was hired as a process engineer at St. Mary’s Peerless Cement Company.

Cement is big business in Bath

Wednesday, May 15, 2019 by ED PANY Curator, Atlas Cement Company Memorial Museum in Columns

In this fifth column, I am continuing my visit to the Bath Museum, recalling 200 years of local history.

In our last column, we remember when the cement industry had a great impact on the Lehigh Valley. In 1926, the Penn Allen, Pennsylvania Cement merged with a Tennessee company and changed their name to Penn Dixie Cement. They would now have three plants in the area, Nos. 4, 5 and 6.

Borough residents see battle action

Wednesday, May 1, 2019 by ED PANY Curator, Atlas Cement Company Memorial Museum in Columns

In this fourth column, I continue to explore the history of Bath. The historical roots of the borough go back to 1737.

In 1861, the Civil War divided the country. The North responded to President Lincoln’s call and rallied to preserve the union. Fifty-six men from Bath served in the Grand Army of the Republic.

They served in the Pennsylvania 153 Regiment. The men saw action at the Battle of Chancellorsville and the monumental Battle of Gettysburg.