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Worcester,Mass - Places of the Past, American Steel
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The following are comments left about American Steel from site visitors such as yourself. They are not spell checked or reviewed for accuracy.

Eleven years after Ichabod Washburn came to Worcester in 1820, he started drawing wire. Three years later, he established a wire factory on Grove Street across from Salisbury Pond. One of the largest of its kind in the country, the Washburn & Moen Company made wire for barbed wire, piano wire and even corset wire. (The Royal Worcester Corset Co. was started by David Fanning in 1864 as the Worcester Skirt Co.) Eventually, Washburn & Moen became part of American Steel & Wire Company.
The people in Quinsigamond Village used the lunch and end of shift whistles to tell time. We were told to come home "when the whistle blows" etc. In addition to American Steel & Wire/Southworks, I recall we also had Johnson Steel & Wire
Chuck Hintlian - Report this comment
My dad worked at "The Wire Mill" for about 15 years until it relocated operations to Pennsylvania. While we sat and waited for him, I would watch the Blackstone River flow over the dam out the left window of the car, or watch the red hot bars of steel move around on rollers out the right window.
Dolores Middleton- September 03, 2007 - Report this comment
Is there anyone out there that may have known a Henry Clay Middleton - He was Vice President of American Steel & Wire either late 19thC or early 20th Century. He is a lost relative in our past. He supposedly deserted his wife and children and my grandfather never spoke of him again. Would love to have some history on him if anyone is around that may have heard or knew of him. Thank you D. Middleton
Kerry- March 12, 2009 - Report this comment
My grandfather worked for American Steel, I still have his ID card from that time. It's good to put a picture to the place he loved to work.
Richard Ayres- December 24, 2009 - Report this comment
I went to A,S,&W, at the time when they was drawing flat steel for razor blades (Gillette). At that time they had a tool to measure the thickness using a atomic radiation, this wa one of the first peacefull uses for atomic energy, and good advertising for gillette.
jim sadowski- March 09, 2010 - Report this comment
Called by many names from the 1820,s to the closing in 1971 as "American Steel & Wire Co.". Probably the biggest asset to Worcester's past. Made Worcester a manufacturing Giant 1870's into 1940's +/-. Three "Washburn related plants" in Worcester in the hayday, the original on Grove street called the "North Plant", the "Central Plany" near downtown, and the Quinsigamond plant called "South Worcester Plant".
Leanne Rossi- October 15, 2010 - Report this comment
Washburn Iron Company, a rolling mill which made railway iron & railway & streetcar wheels, was located at 14 Bloomingdale Road(now Franklin St., just opposite Union Passenger Station)in the mid-1860s, 1870s, 1880s. Many Italian and other immigrants found work there when first coming to Worcester. My own Italian grandfather and his brother later worked for American Steel and Wire, North Works
Daniel- November 18, 2010 - Report this comment
This is a very informative article, keep the great blogs coming!
Jennifer- August 15, 2011 - Report this comment
I have a book about the Washburn Wire company in Worcester with pictures and invoices. I'm looking to get some sort of value? Can anyone help?
Matt- September 13, 2011 - Report this comment
My grandfather emigrating from Lithuania in 1909 was recruited at Ellis Island by a recruiter at American Steel & Wire (because he has managerial experience and spoke some English). He met his future wife on the ship, and they both moved to Worcester immediately. While my grandparents were waiting for their house to be built (1920 in Quinsig Village) they lived in a 3 decker on Vernon Hill. My Grandparents had 7 boys, and my Dad told me that the company frequently held Christmas parties and dances at a 'hall' somewhere in the village that the wire company owned. They would have afterschool programs, and dinners there sometime. Today, I live in the same home ( 3rd Generation).
Sally- November 16, 2011 - Report this comment
Looking for old photos and memoribilia from American Steel & Wire , Worcester ,MA . If you have anything to share bring to my shop Herbert Berg Florist , 19 Blackstone River Rd, Worcester ,MA trying to get a collection together as the last remaining buildings are vanishing.My shop and house was built by Washburn& Moen and is one of the few single family cottages left in Quinsigamond Village built in 1875 for steel workers.
Stephanie- December 23, 2012 - Report this comment
Anyone know of any child deaths at American Steel & Wire .. even any after when it was Norton Company ? Looking into past history for a little personal project/investigation
Robin Burns Hutchins- December 26, 2012 - Report this comment
My grandfather, James Burns, worked at the Washburn and Moen Wire factory at the Northworks plant as a carpenter from around 1900 to 1931. According to our father, Robert Burns, James was killed in a fire at the plant in 1931. He had escorted some dignitaries through a tank when one of the men struck a match, igniting the tank. Our grandfather was the last up the escape ladder. He was severely burned and died a month later. He was the only fatality in that accident. My brothers and I would like to know more about our grandfather's employment there and to know if there are any remaining photos of the employees. We have never seen a photo of James as all family photos were subsequently lost in the Worcester tornado in the early 1950s. If you have any information please respond to robertahutchins1947@gmail.com. Thank you
Debra- February 08, 2013 - Report this comment
I have been told that my great grandfather, last name was Carlstrom, was killed in an explosion at the plant. It had to have been in the late 20's or early 30"s. He would walk to work daily from his farm in Sutton (now Eaten Candies). After he perished, an epidemic of diphtheria broke out resulting on the death of a young son. As a result the farm had to be quarantined which caused my great grandmother to sell and move to Quinsig Village
Jackie- May 03, 2013 - Report this comment
@ Matt....Are you a Daltwas relation?
Mark Malchik- July 17, 2013 - Report this comment
I grew up at the base of Vernon Hill (near Ballard St.) and attended Quinsigamond School in late '50s and early '60s. A few recollections: - Quinsigamond Village was what we considered a "Swedish Neighborhood" with a large Swedish population, originating from immigration in 1875 of Swedes seeking employment in the wire mill. Recall the Swedish Methodist Church (behind the Quinsigamond Brand Library), Borglund's Gift Shop, Anderson & Sundquist market, Berg Florist (still there). - A three decker across the street from my childhood home had the remnants of a cement chamber in the walk-out basement. I was told that it was a steam bath or sauna of some type, and that many people in the neighborhood built them so that the Scandinavians walking home from their shift at the wire mill would stop for a sauna for a nickel. - I also understand that during WWII, the Quinsig Village wire mill employed a huge number of employees (10,000 or more?), and they largely lived in adjacent neighborhoods. Few had cars, and walked to and from work. So, during shift changes around the clock, there were hundreds of pedestrians in the streets on their daily "migration" to and from work. - From Quinsigamond School, we walked to adjacent Quinsigamond Branch Library for story time. That library was such an integral part of the school experience, that the facade from that building, as well as a facade from one of the original brownstone school buildings, were incorporated into the new Quinsigamond School build about a decade ago. - We used to walk home for lunch every day from school, and return for the afternoon...I definitely remember the "one o'clock whistle" from the wire mill which unofficially began our afternoon session. - There was an old building (it may still be there, not sure) just up McKeon Rd. from Blackstone River Rd., which I was told was an old vaudville performance hall....it was likely owned by the wire mill, and may be the location of family parties, etc.
Jeff Hohman- July 26, 2013 - Report this comment
I worked at Johnson Steel and Wire Co., Inc. in Worcester, MA from June 1986 to October 1986. At that time the union had gone on strike and the company was making plans to shut the plant down. I was the wastewater treatment operator during that time. I had the responsibility of emptying the chemical tanks and treating the wastewater, as well as dumping the wastewater treatment sludge on site. I left before emptying all of the tanks because the company was not paying my medical insurance. Found alot of interesting things around the plant, such as reclinging chairs, radios, TVs, floor lamps, magazines, tools, etc.
beck- September 06, 2013 - Report this comment
D.Middleton- my grandfather abandoned my grandma and her kids around 1958. I don't know his name, my grandma has passed and dad knows nothing about him since an other man adopted him and his sister. All he can remember is that he was a higher up at us steel Worcester mass. Do you know anything else about the guy that is your long lost relative?
D Middleton- October 13, 2013 - Report this comment
Beck - Still a family controversy found out by my cousin he probably did not work at AS&W. My father heard this information and I don't know how he acquired the information. Dad passed away a year ago. So, I am left with wholes in the history. My great grandfather would have been born in the mid to late 1800's. He is our family mystery never to be recovered. Everyone has gone to their graves' now. I doubt there would be a link. So sorry. I only have the name. So much lost with time.
Elaine- January 18, 2014 - Report this comment
Regarding the City View homes above American Steel atop Holy Cross, any information on the actual building of homes on Electric Street? City Directories show very few inhabited homes through 1916.
Debbie- August 07, 2014 - Report this comment
My great, great grandfather worked for American Steel and Wire in Worcester and was a foreman on the George Washington Bridge, stringing the cable! Just found out this info today from my dad.
L. Brodeur (iso Daugela's)- January 27, 2015 - Report this comment
Looking for "Matt - September 13, 2011" who made comment above. my DH's gr-grandfather also immigrated from Lithuania in 1909 and lived in "Vernon Hill" area of Worcester for the reminder of his life. Wondering if our relatives are the same or possibly came from the same area in Lithuania.
Joy Manning- April 05, 2015 - Report this comment
I have found out that my great great granddad workked there. James Manning. Sadly after his wife passed he decided to unsuccessfully go swimming in the Salisbury Pond. Does anyone know about him or any Mannings? There were a few who worked there.
Richard Palmer- May 20, 2015 - Report this comment
Between 1944 and 1955 or 56, the Great Lakes steamer "Clifford F. Hood" (named for the president of U.S. Steel) transported pig iron from Lorain, Ohio to Oswego, N.Y. where it was loaded into railroad gondolas and transshipped to the Worcester plant by train. Does anyone have knowledge of this? What was the pig iron used for? Making wire? (Railroad@twcny.rr.com)
Richard Palmer- May 20, 2015 - Report this comment
I write a weekly column for the Oswego Palladium-Times of Oswego, N.Y., and am seeking information regarding the shipment of pig iron from Lorain, Ohio to the Worcester plant of American Steel & Wire Co. via steamship and railroad. For 10 years or more, from 1944 to 1955-6 the steamer "Clifford F. Hood" was involved in this business. Anyone familiar with this please contact me at Railroad@twcny.rr.com
Jim Marlborough- December 07, 2015 - Report this comment
Today we're sadly watching the start of them taking down the front of the Mill.
Jo- February 06, 2016 - Report this comment
Hi im so sorry to write here when its not about steel. Just take it away if its not ok. But i saw someone talked about a place near by. I do some family history and it was 4 brothers that went from Sweden to America. Ive tried so hard to find something!! histories or photos anything but it´s so hard. I know they lived on stebbins street and also worcester ward. They were milke dealer and they had a company named Anderson brothers. If someone maby knows anything about them i would be so happy to hear from you my e-mail is juhannis83@hotmail.com
Bill mayher- February 27, 2016 - Report this comment
I remember driving by a big American Steel and Wire plant on the road to Providence just after the war. On a large industrial plain south of the plant there were pile of steam engines and railroad wheels that I presume would be used as scrap for the plant. It was a very dramatic scene marking the end of the era of steam. Does anyone remember this. are there pictures?
Timothy F. Donohue 3rd- October 15, 2016 - Report this comment
My Grandfather: Timothy F. Donohue Sr. worked at American Steel & Wire in Worcester for most of his entire adult Life, retiring in 1951. He had a pension from the company. He never lost a day of work during the depression or WWII. I would like to get information about his time with the company if possible. If anyone has an idea of how I might gather information about this I would be very grateful. Tim Donohue au82tiger@aol.com

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