Match and Strawboard Making

Matt Goodman

Mr. Barber also has a connection with another relatively “behind the scenes” industry - strawboard production (one of my areas of interest). Mr. Barber’s formed the Portage Strawboard in 1882 - not too long after Diamond Match was formed. He merged Portage with American Strawboard by 1889, which he continued to operate until his death in 1920. American Strawboard later became Mid-West Box Company, then finally (for the purposes of this list, anyway) the Container Corporation of America.
According to my notes, Diamond Match consumed a good deal of the strawboard produced in New Portage, Ohio (later Barberton). Most of the product created in strawboard mills was used for packaging - so perhaps match boxes, in this case.
Several early American Strawboard cars were rebuilt by Ralston Steel Car Company in Columbus, Ohio. See a few images here. (thanks to Columbus Railroads web guy for curating these, and to Eric Hansmann for the reminder).
By the way, thanks for stating Mr. Barber’s full name, Thomas. The references I have were limited to “C. Barber”. When I read his name in your post (Ohio Columbus Barber), I was fairly sure there had been some copy and paste error - I just could not figure out that sentence (confused all the more by the fact that I live in Columbus, Ohio)! Thanks to Wikipedia for the “ah-ha” moment.
Matt Goodman
Columbus, Ohio, US
Modeling Circleville, Ohio (home of the second Portage Mill) in 1938

On Jul 11, 2020, at 12:18 PM, Thomas Klosterman <tom.klosterman@...> wrote:
Eventually (early 20th century) most of the matches in the US were manufactured in Barberton, Ohio [Diamond Match and others served by the A&BBRR (the "Belt Line") from interchange with the PRR] and Wadsworth, Ohio (nearby and served by the Erie). Many men in Barberton worked at the match factories. My father, as a youth, worked as a "block feeder," feeding blocks of (probably) these or similar blocks made from trees like this into a machine that produced matchsticks. My Grandfather worked in the dipping tank area. The Blue Tip Match was made in Wadsworth with the same equipment until the 1980's. The town still celebrates the Blue Tip Festival. 
Diamond match was started and owned by Ohio Columbus Barber (who planned and started the town), hence "Barberton." He also started the Belt Line (and many other manufacturers in town) and eventually sold it to a combination of PRR. B&O, Erie and maybe the AC&Y.  Interesting history here.

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