Gary Screw and Bolt

01/03/2015 61 images Share: , , Album RSS
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Pittsburgh Bolt and Screw Works started construction of a new plant in Gary Indiana in 1910, with doors opening in 1912. Like many other factories of its type, during World War II the plant was put into government service. During those years, 1,000 men produced more than 4,000 tons of bolts, nuts, rivets, fasteners, etc. Unlike other plants, however, many of the workers were retained after V-J day. 1950 stats report about 900 workers. A 1947 fire broke out in the plant, destroying two of its main buildings. Production was reduced almost by half, but the plant stayed open and the company invested another $1 million in 1956. The recession of the 1980s hurt the company and it finally closed in 1986.

The non-profit Gary Urban Enterprise Association bought the factory in 2002 to use the factory floor as a storage area for donated clothing, before the cloth would be cut into strips and shipped to countries that needed bulk textiles, like the Dominican Republic and India. In exchange for forgiving back taxes they promised to do basic environmental cleanup on the site, and release it back to the city for private sale upon request. However they reneged, and collapsed under the weight of several rounds of corruption charges in 2006, leaving behind several tons of clothing, spread out in hundreds of rotting piles. (

Environmental Cleansing, of Markham, Il purchased the factory in February 2014 to store scrap metal, wood, concrete, glass, and paper. They anticipated creating 10 to 15 new jobs, and planned to maintain its headquarters at the site. The company also plans to build a rail spur to connect to the Norfolk and Southern rail line on Screw & Bolt’s south side. The plan is to buy old rail cars being scrapped. Portions of the old factory could be demolished.

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