Federal Knitting Mills Building, Cleveland Ohio

Herbert G. (Goldberger) Goulder and Louis H. Hayes established the Federal Knitting Mills company in Cleveland in 1905. Within six months Louis L. (Seligman) Selden joined the company as a partner. The company, employing 75 people, was first located at a rented 10,000-square-foot loft at 600 Huron Road. Around 1910 the company relocated and became the sole occupant of a building at West 29th and Detroit. The firm was incorporated in 1926 and by 1928, the firm employed 650 people. Over 100,000 pieces of knitwear were produced each week. Federal Knitting Mills made sweaters, bathing suits, caps, dresses, shawls, scarves, knitted headwear, and many knitted novelties. It also exported knitted lace for Spanish shawls that were sold to tourists in Manila. The products were wholesaled to jobbers (middlemen) and also through Federal Knitting Mills' own agency in New York City, which controlled worldwide distribution. The company's customers included well-known department stores and mail-order houses, including Marshall Field, Sears Roebuck, Montgomery Ward, and Carson Pirie Scott. The Federal Knitting Mills continued to flourish during the Great Depression and sales reached a peak of $2,782,418 in 1932. That year the company had the best record of all issues listed in the Cleveland Stock Exchange. Production records were set in 1934 and bonuses continued to be given out as late as December 1936. In the summer of 1937, the plant was the site of union activities that were extensively covered in the newspapers. Unionization led to strikes, which featured "bitter rivalry" and jurisdictional disputes between unions. ILGWU (International Ladies Garment Workers Union) members at the plant went on strike, claiming management of the mill tried to block their organization campaign by inviting AFL (American Federation of Labor) organizers. The AFL had agreed on a contract with Federal Knitting Mills before it even had a single member in the plant. At one point, the ILGWU, a CIO (Committee for Industrial Organization) affiliate, picketed the mill, and the AFL and police escorted workers into the mill. The strike involved several locally notable names including Eliot Ness, who was safety director in Cleveland at the time, and Beryl Peppercorn, "one of the city's most influential labor leaders".

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Shelburne-Cox House, Taylorsville Kentucky

Deeds suggest that the house was built for Mastin B. Shelburne in about 1840. Shelburne bought the four lots (#29 -31) which became associated with the house between July 1838 and March 1839 for between $50 and $65 apiece. It is very doubtful the house was on the property before this date. In 1845 Shelburne sold "the houses and lots whereon I now reside" to his brother-in-law, Daniel Stephens, for $3400. By 1850 Shelburne was back in the house, renting it from Stephens in exchange for boarding three of his Stephens nieces and nephews. Shelburne, who is listed as a farmer in the 1850 census, was one of Taylorsville's early settlers, one of the county's first Justices of the Peace, one of Taylorsville's first Trustees, its postmaster for many years beginning in 1817, and a prosperous landowner. He is listed with seven slaves in the 1850 census, more than most other people in Taylorsville. The house is an interesting exception to a pattern of antebellum house siteing in Taylorsville. Nearly all the early residences in Taylorsville were observed to be sited at the very front of their lots, close to the street. This pattern is also apparent in neighboring towns in the region such as Bardstown and Shelbyville. The Shelburne-Cox House, set back sixty feet from Main Street on what was originally one of the largest properties in town, does not conform to this pattern. Its commodious setting was no doubt an attempt, along with its relatively high Greek Revival styling, to identify it as an "important" property built by a very prosperous local citizen.

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Shawnee Elementary School, Louisville Kentucky

Shawnee Elementary, like Shawnee High School, was named in honor of the neighborhood in which it is located. This "U" shaped building addresses its neighborhood by facing Herman Street and the neighborhood beyond. The school was built in 1915 with, additions made in 1927 and 1954. The school has been vacant for several years. Shawnee Elementary plays an important role as an architectural landmark in Louisville's west end neighborhood. It was designed in the Jacobean Revival style by J. Earl Henry, and serves as one of Louisville's finest examples of this style. Henry designed it while serving as the city architect for schools, borrowing architectural elements and detailing from historical sources. The two main entries to the building, for example, are framed by stone Tudor arches and surmounted by a stone parapet adorned with a crest flanked by quatrefoil cutouts and urns with wings. Crossed keys flanked by torches add symbolism to the crest. Educational symbols are in abundance throughout the design. Four human characters holding various decorative elements are located in a band below the parapet and include a book, globe, mortar and pestle and an open book with a torch. Elaborate stone carvings also embellish the parapet walls and side entries. Perhaps the most playful of Henry's decorative motifs can be found above the entrances facing east and west that are adorned with cherub-like portraits in stone, framed by a medallion, that remind us of the days when boys and girls used separate entrances. Henry is also responsible for designing both Male High School, and Brandeis Elementary School. Indeed, the architect has played a significant role in public and scholastic building architecture in the City of Louisville and has greatly enhanced the areas built environment.

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Armstrong Cork Company, Pittsburgh Pennsylvania

Cork is a natural product, the porous outer bark of the cork oak, an evergreen tree grown primarily around the Mediterranean. Natural cork is harvested easily and can be processed simply, and has been used for fishing floats and as stoppers for containers since before the start of recorded history. For a variety of reasons, Pittsburgh became America's largest producer of commercial glassware in the mid-19th century, especially glass bottles and jars. The growth in Pittsburgh's demand for cork for bottle stoppers and jar lid liners was a natural offshoot of the glass industry. Processed food manufacturers, such as Pittsburgh's H. J. Heinz Company, increased the local need for cork. Late in the 19th century other uses for cork emerged, including linoleum and other patented flooring, acoustical and thermal insulation, gaskets for machinery, and stuffing for life jackets. Pittsburgh's Armstrong Cork Company evolved from a one-room workshop in 1861 where John D. Glass cut cork bottle stoppers. Thomas M. Armstrong, a $12 per week clerk in a local glass factory, apparently provided $300 to start the business. When Mr. Glass died in 1864, Thomas Armstrong quit the glass company, and with his brother Robert and a third partner began a full-time cork business named Armstrong, Brother & Company. The Civil War created a huge demand for cheap liquor and patent medicine bottles, many of which were made in Pittsburgh, and Armstrong's company provided bottle stoppers. The business was located in a three-story building at 122 Third Street in downtown Pittsburgh for a time, and then moved to a location on nearby First Avenue. Obtaining adequate supplies of cork was a problem, and starting in the 1870s Thomas Armstrong employed native European buyers, paid by commission, to acquire cork for the company. Thomas Armstrong also worked to establish a reputation for quality and fair dealing. Armstrong corks were branded with a trademark at a time when many similar products were packaged anonymously and sold by weight. A written guarantee of quality was included in every bag of Armstrong corks.

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Blume High School, Wapakoneta Ohio

Public secondary education in Wapakoneta dated to about 1867, with the first high school class achieving graduation in 1871. High School classes were held on the top floor of the Third Ward (Union) school building for almost 40 years, until growth in the student population and inadequacy of the old building made construction of a new high school essential. The site for the school was donated to the board of education by L.N. Blume, an Auglaize County native who was successful in both mercantile and banking businesses in Wapakoneta and who lived near the school site. Wapakoneta voters willingly passed a bond issue for construction of the school, which cost somewhat over $40,000, and the new building opened in the fall of 1908. Blume High School (Blume passed away in 1912) was the first school in the city designed as a high school. When it was completed, it was expected that the school would serve the city's educational needs for an indefinite period. However, rapid growth of Wapakoneta's school-age population meant that Blume was becoming overcrowded after just a little over a decade. The school board turned to the voters again, and a $100,000 bond issue passed in November of 1922 by a two-to-one margin. The school board engaged well-known Columbus architect Frank L. Packard, who had made a specialty of schools and other institutional buildings. The new addition, which was built as a public building for school use, was operated in an unusual cooperative arrangement with the local YMCA, which established a library in the front portion of the addition and recreational programs in the gymnasium. The rear block was given over entirely to classrooms.

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Power Building, Cincinnati Ohio

The building was constructed in 1903 by the Power Building Company as a commercial venture established for the purpose of developing this building. The company went out of business shortly after its construction. It was purchased in 1904 by Anna Sinton Taft as a real estate investment. She was a member of the influential Taft family who was involved in state and national politics and who developed numerous downtown Cincinnati buildings by the 1920s. The building was designed for industrial use within which tenants rented space to produce a variety of manufactured or processed items. Early tenants included the Joseph Berning Printing Company and the American Book Company. Also included was Fechheimer Kiefer and Company, a company that was one of the largest clothing manufacturers in the American garment industry at that time. Shortly after its construction, the building housed a number of firms that specialized in clothing manufacturing, although the building did not exclusively cater to this type of industrial use. Throughout the years, the building continued to attract companies that manufactured clothing and leather goods. The last company to occupy space in the building, Polly Flinders, specialized in girl's dresses. The Power Building derived its name from the technological process of generating electrical power for use within the building and for its tenants. Located in the basement is a 240 horsepower engine and a 150-kilowatt generator. Steam that was produced from coal-fired boilers was transferred to run a reciprocating engine. The mechanical energy of the reciprocating engine was then transferred to the generator which changed the mechanical energy into electrical energy. The Power Building was not unusual with respect to producing its own electrical power, however, the process was not widespread. Several other buildings in downtown Cincinnati have been identified as doing this as well. By 1903, two other buildings were built that also produced their own power. The earliest of these was the Butler Building which was constructed in 1898. It was demolished in 1947. The second was the Commercial Tribune Building which was constructed in 1902 and demolished in 1970. Both were industrial buildings. The Power Building is the oldest surviving building that made its own electricity.

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