Friday, September 10, 2010

Stiglitz Corporation

An article in The Courier-Journal entitled "Longtime supplier to GE closes" by Chris Otts (September 9, 2010, B8) announced the equipment of Stiglitz Corporation had been auctioned off.  They were one of Louisville's oldest manufacturers which recently employed 56 people.  The article stated their primary customer was GE making parts for their dishwashers, ice makers, ranges, and air conditioners.  The company was founded by Charles George Stiglitz in 1882 though their web site says their company history dates back to 1818 in Louisville after they acquired Bridgeford and Company. 

The company started out as foundry pouring cast iron manhole covers.  By 1949 they started manufacturing appliances fabricated with sheet metal.  They later supplied Sears with gas space heaters and clothes dryers.
The operations were located in westend of Louisville (Portland) until the construction of I-64 moved them to 2.8 acre complex on Mellwood Ave.

Still remaining is their web site (created in 2002?) which has its domain name paid for till 2017.

The Bridgeford company was profiled in the book The Industries of Louisville, Kentucky, and of New Albany, Indiana.  It was published in 1886 by J.M. Elstner & Co. Publishers of Louisville.  The guide lists them as "manufacturers of stoves, ranges, tin, and sheet-iron and japanned ware.  The facility was located on 6th Street between Main and River.  The entry on page 98 explains that the high grade casting sands found near the falls of the Ohio make it possible to make smooth castings.  The heating stove highlighted is the "Orient" (shown in picture) that was patented in 1884.  Described as "the handsomest, cheapest, and most perfect-operating open stove in the market."

Interesting, the company is listed as being organized in 1880 with $200,000.  The president, James Bridgeford started with a different company in 1829, Wright & Bridgeford.  Facts about the company operation in 1886: 250 employees, 18-20 tons of pig iron used daily, payroll of $4,500 a week and $500,000-$600,000 annually in sales.

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