Topics

Match and Strawboard Making


Matt Goodman
 
Edited

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.


Thomas Klosterman
 

Yes, indeed, Barberton was New Portage early on. The location of the central part of each was not the quite same, but geographically close. The center of Barberton is a little south of New Portage, both on the Ohio Canal.

Are the early (or any of) these  companies related to the paper box company in Rittman, Ohio? This is west of Barberton on the old Erie.  I think it had the name of Ohio Straw Board for a while.


Eric Hansmann
 

This Atlas and Industrial Geography of Summit County (Ohio) is a fascinating look back at Akron, Barberton, and other communities. The maps are similar to Sanborn maps but document the infrastructure. Barberton index is on page 85. Maps featuring Diamond Match, American Strawboard, Babcock & Wilcox, and the American Sewer Pipe plant (later becoming American Vitrified) are on pages 87, 88, and 93.

https://www.summitmemory.org/digital/collection/new-maproom/id/492

 

Barberton would make a great setting for manageable sized steam era layout. Don’t miss the pages in the last third of the book with period images of factories, homes, and businesses.

 

 

Eric Hansmann

Murfreesboro, TN

 

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Thomas Klosterman
Sent: Monday, July 13, 2020 8:50 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Match and Strawboard Making

 

Yes, indeed, Barberton was New Portage early on. The location of the central part of each was not the quite same, but geographically close. The center of Barberton is a little south of New Portage, both on the Ohio Canal.

Are the early (or any of) these  companies related to the paper box company in Rittman, Ohio? This is west of Barberton on the old Erie.  I think it had the name of Ohio Straw Board for a while.


Matt Goodman
 

Thanks Eric - I’ll take a look through. It might fill out some of more details on strawboard in general. The ownership part is turning out to be a real rabbit hole - mainly thanks to Barber being involved in merging 22 strawboard companies into American Strawboard. At some point, I need to limit the scope creep. Maybe once the web page is done.

Thomas, Eric’s link may answer your question about Rittman. Barber moved the his Strawboard works from New Portage to Barberton around 1891. The source described the latter being west of the former, so… maybe?

Sources: Portage Strawboard (also search on Barberton for additional detail)

Matt

On Jul 13, 2020, at 11:02 AM, Eric Hansmann <eric@...> wrote:

This Atlas and Industrial Geography of Summit County (Ohio) is a fascinating look back at Akron, Barberton, and other communities. The maps are similar to Sanborn maps but document the infrastructure. Barberton index is on page 85. Maps featuring Diamond Match, American Strawboard, Babcock & Wilcox, and the American Sewer Pipe plant (later becoming American Vitrified) are on pages 87, 88, and 93.
 
Barberton would make a great setting for manageable sized steam era layout. Don’t miss the pages in the last third of the book with period images of factories, homes, and businesses.
 
 
Eric Hansmann
Murfreesboro, TN
 
 
From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> On Behalf Of Thomas Klosterman
Sent: Monday, July 13, 2020 8:50 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Match and Strawboard Making
 
Yes, indeed, Barberton was New Portage early on. The location of the central part of each was not the quite same, but geographically close. The center of Barberton is a little south of New Portage, both on the Ohio Canal.

Are the early (or any of) these  companies related to the paper box company in Rittman, Ohio? This is west of Barberton on the old Erie.  I think it had the name of Ohio Straw Board for a while. 



ron christensen
 

This is the first time I have heard strawboard, it makes sense that the Cherry paper mill in Tama, Iowa, was making that product .
 In the late 40 the school toured the plant. They had many bales of straw, and paper all to be mixed together in huge kettles.
At the time the paper product was made into the folding egg separators in wood egg cases.
The plant changed hands several times and is still inspiration today. I believe it is now Tama Paperboard.
Doing a bit of research it was know as a strawboard plant
See the history at
https://books.google.com/books?id=N1UiAQAAIAAJ&pg=RA3-PA14&lpg=RA3-PA14&dq=history+tama+Cherry+paper+mill&source=bl&ots=8xT6qUY1No&sig=ACfU3U022vs7rAs8vXHXznBo2_VTf-6huw&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiq4uqD4szqAhVDVc0KHbSZAqAQ6AEwAXoECAoQAQ#v=onepage&q=history%20tama%20Cherry%20paper%20mill&f=false
Probably too long to work I googled this   history tama Cherry paper mill
Ron Christensen