Re: NY State- Finger Lakes/Southern Tier


cripete <pjboylanboylan@...>
 

--- In STMFC@..., "PGrace" <pgrace@a...> wrote:
Does anyone know what the main industries were in the Finger Lakes
area
of New York State in the period 1945 - 1955

I am in the process of planning a new club HO American and want to
make sure
that the industries are reasonable....
Patrick Grace

Patrick:
The other replies you have received should be helpful ,
but you should be also aware that this was a region that
produced major amounts of the small arms weaponry ( e.g.
Remington and Ithaca) and was the major source of
edged weaponry used by U.S. Armed Forces.
CAMILLUS, CATTARAUGUS, ONTARIO, QUEEN, and ROBESON were
among the well known cutlers that come to mind.

In Olean, immediately S.W. of the Finger Lake country,
Union Cutlery (Ka-Bar trench knives, among others) and
Aldase Cutlery were producing. The latter had been founded
by Alcoa's domestics division (Wearever pots, et al) and Case
knives to make reasonably priced civilian goods. Case Cutlery,
by the way, was in Bradford, Pennsylvania. This home of
cigarette lighters, specialty glass goods, and the only
railroad company surgeon (ERIE) that held a ticket to
hold down the right hand seat box that he used on weekends,
was just over the hills to the south of the Lake region.
Geneva Forge, and Utica Forge were producing all sorts of
military goods. Oneida Community, makers of table cutery,
knocked out some 210 million serving pieces (a/ks) for WW2.

I do not have everything at finger tips, but recall
some staggering (i.e. to me) figures.
Camillus, for instance, became economically secure as a result
of producing 1/2 million knives and bayonets for the Great
War. We were only in that show for a year and half. The
Watervliet Arsenal, and I presume others, proofed nearly a
quarter million artillery breech blocks made for the Second
World War, by makers in the central New York region.

Local history societies, as well as urban public libraries,
and the academic reference libraries, have books or periodicals
produced after the war by manufacturers that give details of
what they accomplished. Commonly, they have titles such as,
"Wow We Won our E". This refers to the blue and red standards
having a big block letter 'E', given to makers of war materials.
This was for maximal Effort, in fulfilling production goals.

The nature of modern war being what it is, all goods are
war materiale. So every organized form of production, of any
kind, was given incentives. Hence, everybody from Twinky makers
to bulldozer producers, justifiably - could feel part of the
struggle, and could, and did, leave behind an enormous collection
of production details.

Cornell University's library , being
both in the heart of the region and possessing in-depth
regional economic holdings, would be the first place to
start looking for this material. Since you are in England
this will require some phoning and ultimately, going
through a major (probably, academic)library over there to
work out interlibrary loans; if needed.
What you will have in England is copies of the,
"THOMAS REGISTER of MANUFACTURERS and TOP HANDS in ALL LINES",
in the British Museum. They also are going to be
available in various years at major Research Libraries, but
few will have every years because of the tonnage of printed
paper involved. These are annuals issued giving
names and locations of purveyors of processed or manufactured
goods in the United States. In the time frame you are interested in
they are very good for locating production points. Today, because
of: the centralization of producers and a diminution of
their overall numbers; the loss of domestic producers, with
their replacement by importers; and lastly, the
separation of clerical activities directly related to
sales from production sites, the current volumes have little
utility for locating discrete production sites.

Fifty years ago, there are also some discordancies,but
a researcher with some knowledge of the nation will
recognize the major office districts in New York, Chicago,
Philadelphia, and a few other places when they appear in
"THOMAS' REGISTER". Thus, when a producer lists
a Park Avenue,Broad Street, and so forth...form of address
-one can discount these appearances as production nodes.

Manufacturing activity with a strong bias towards both small
firms, and needing proximaty to related producers and
suppliers of materials (such as the fashion clothing industry and
notions making and selling), will require more detailed local
information.

Still, none of these activities are heavy industry
related, and their finished products were users of LCL
and express services, rather than carload. If you
know zilch about an industry , you would be advised
to get the Input-Output tables from the Dept. of Commerce,
for the time period, and the industry that concerns you .
However, that is not what your folks will need to do
to accomplish there ends.

There is one other Finger Lakes related military phenomenon.
Sampson Naval Base on Lake Keuka, was the principal U.S.
Navy boot camp( i.e.basic training base) for the eastern U.S.
So lots of trainloads of once, and future tars, were online
in WW2 through Korean War.
In mid 50s it became a state park.

Good-Luck, Peter Boylan

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