By William A. Greene


In July 1903 papers were signed by the Andover Business Men’s Association and F.E. Doolittle of Elmira and F.H. Rundell of Johnstown Pa. to move the Enameling Works to this location.

The plant, which was then in Watkins, Pa. and had been run successfully for a number of years, was moved here bringing their machinery and some of their skilled labor. F.H. Rundell was the General Manager of that plant. A Board of Directors was organized from the common stock subscribers and they were; F.H. Rundell, F.E. Doolittle, Crayton L. Earley, William B. Bundy and J. Harvey Backus. The name of the business was "The Rundell Manufacturing Company of Andover, N.Y."

By the end of July and early August 1903, ground was broken and work began on building the new plant. A wheel scraper was brought in to make the necessary fill and the work of building the new 70ft. x 160ft. with an 80ft. two-story elevation, beside other buildings began, with F.H. Rundell, Superintendent, overseeing. It was to be located on the south side of Rochambeau Ave. across from the depot.

In the later part of September of 1903 the company was organized and incorporated and officers were elected, they were; President – F.E.Doolittle; Vice President – William B. Bundy; Secretary and Treasurer – F.H. Rundell.

As the building was under construction in November of 1903, heavy winds were hampering the project. A sudden heavy gust of wind wrecked a portion of the second story. Falling timbers struck one of the workers causing a serious injury to his head. He was taken home and treated by a doctor and made a full recovery.

At the beginning of February 1904 the transfer of the Rundell Manufactory to the Andover Stamping Company was made and the new company started doing business. The building was almost complete and a large part of the machinery was set. The gas engine that supplied the power to run the plant was in good working order and the wheels of industry began to turn and the Andover Stamping Company began business.

By August of 1904 the business was in full swing, turning out enamel goods daily, with the Alberta Kettle a huge success. Here is how the Andover News describes how business was being done: One–third of the first floor of the main building is used for the stamping and drawing presses, spinning lathes, etc., the other two-thirds was used for the enameling plant proper. A large oven of special construction stands in the center of the enameling department. On the right side of which, as you look toward the back of the building on entering, are the store and mixing rooms, where the various ingredients required for the formation of the enamel are kept and mixed to ready for the smelting furnace. Just back of this department may be found the pickling room, where the articles to be enameled are put into large vats of acids to prepare them to receive the enamel. On the left of the oven is the dipping and sorting departments. At your right as you enter the first floor of the main building are lathes, shapers, drill presses, and other tools used by machinists for making the dies for the presses. Just in front of them extending nearly across the room is a row of stamping and drawing presses, used for cutting, pressing and drawing steel or tin into various shapes as desired, from dyes fastened to the bed of the press. On either end of the line shaft, which runs across the building are large gas engines that furnish the power for the plant - one on either side of the building, either capable at present of running the entire plant independent of the other, should it be necessary to shut one down for repairs, or they work in tandem. Immediately in front of the presses and nearly in the center of the building is the huge 440,000 pound press, made especially for pressing and drawing heavy steel ware.

On the second floor of this building are the offices of the company, storerooms for the finished products, soldering, and assembling and packing departments. The half story above this being used for storage.

The smaller building is used for woodwork exclusively. In it will be found a planer, boring machines, saws, etc.

The factory is now making nine of the twenty-four household utensils its purpose is to manufacture. They are: the Alberta Kettle, Star Carpet Stretcher, New Queen Chopping Knife, Combination Dipper, Patent Bake Pan, Perfect Scraper, Little Jim Tack Puller, Ideal Can Opener and Housekeeper’s Delight. Besides these articles, the company contracted at the request of another firm a patent dustpan in large quantities.


At this time the Andover Stamping Company employed thirty people and more were being added almost daily. Because of the demand for the goods that the company made, the management found it necessary to order three more stamping and drawing presses. The future of the Andover Stamping Company was assured.

In August of 1904 one of Andover’s leading grocery firms had quite a surprise when they received a number of combination dippers ordered from New York City and they were made here in Andover.

At the end of 1904 it was being noticed that they were unable to fill orders so preparations were made to increase the plants output.

As January 1905 arrived the company had done better than a $30,000 business for the first year and were not yet fully equipped. More orders were being received that they could fill at the present facilities. They had thirty orders waiting to be filled.

In March of 1905 the Andover Stamping Plant received this letter for one of their retailers. "I think I can retail from 100 to 500 of your articles every day right here. While I do not wish to hurry or worry you, I trust you will do the very best you possibly can to get those goods out at the very earliest possible moment. If you can spare any size, of any kind, send some, as I feel I can sell anything in this line that you can send. Send anything, firsts or seconds, pudding kettles, basins, dippers, any color, and any kind in anything. It all goes here. In fact the women are wild over the goods."


By May 1905 the Stamping Company had built a forty-five foot addition onto the plant in this village in order to provide room for their enameling department.

The largest freight car of packaged freight ever sent out of Andover was shipped in May. It consisted mostly of packages from the Stamping factory and was the shipment for one day.


Orders kept coming in and with all of the additions and new machines put into place the stamping plant still couldn’t keep up with the orders. So in June of 1906 the Board of Directors purchased the Standard Stamping Company of Albion, N.Y.

This meant they could almost double its present capacity along with building a new seventy-foot wing on the north side of the present building at once. They could hire fifteen more Andover men immediately.

One of the trusty employees will be going to Albion to act as superintendent until the new buildings were erected here and the business moved to this village. It was necessary in order to take care of the many orders of articles that were manufactured there. There was more than $5,000 worth of orders and others coming in daily.

The Andover Stamping Plant purchased the Albion plant for $7,550. What they got was a plant that had been carrying stock, material, machinery and good will at an inventory of $40,000 from a progressive competitor. They got it for less than one-fifth of the actual value of the material along with the good will, patents, dies, orders on hand, and extensive advertising of the Standard Stamping Company thrown in.

In July of 1906 General Manager F.H. Rundell of the Andover Stamping Company, gave the newsmen a peek at the huge order book full of orders of their products. There were orders from all over the country, amounting to many thousands of dollars. But those that interested us the most were from such firms as Butler Brothers of New York City and Sears, Roebuck & Co. of Chicago, Ill. These people are very impatient that they would not get goods faster. They wanted them in carload lots, instead of by a few dozen at a time. The company is doing everything in it’s power to increase the output, and is shipping every day large amounts, but cannot begin to keep up with the orders. One firm was so anxious they sent a representative to Andover to see if there was a way to rush the production.

When 1907 arrived the Andover Stamping Co. had done twenty-five per cent more business than it had done the year before. And their payroll for the last year passed $19,141.29, an increase of nearly $5,000 than 1905.

On Monday July 29, 1907 between eleven and midnight, it all went up in smoke and flames. The first intimation Andover people had of a fire was the alarm sounded by the Erie Railroad pusher engine, and before it was possible for but a few to reach the building, it was a seething furnace with the flames protruding from every door and window. So rapidly did the flames spread, the night watchman was powerless to do anything towards subduing them. In a short space of one hour the building was burned to the ground.


The cause of the fire was unknown, but there was little doubt that it either started from the smelting furnace or from the gasoline for the buildings power engines caught fire.

The buildings were frame structures, the main building being 180 x 70 feet with an addition of 30 x 40 feet on the west side. The heat from the furnaces had been so intense that every stick in the building was veritable tinder, and though the fire department made every effort possible to save the property, even before the hose was laid, it was evident that no amount of water would extinguish the flames.


Nothing was saved except a few toolboxes of a few employees. Everything was gone, a devastating loss of nearly $35,000 with the company carrying $26,000 worth of insurance.

At the time of the fire, they were doing nearly $6,000 worth of business a month, employing about seventy-five men with a payroll of about $500 a week.

From the time of the fire thru September many meetings were held with Business Men’s Association and the Board of Directors, along with an open meeting to see what was going to happen. Were they going to close down or try to rebuild? Finally it was agreed that the Andover Stamping Company would rebuild if the Business Men’s Association would sell thirty lots out of the plot of forty lots upon which the company held options, one-half of them, the choicest lots at $200, and the others at $150 each. The company agreeing to lay out the lots and streets and build one house on every fourth lot. The lot purchaser not to be held to accept the lot unless the company rebuilds. By time the meeting was over, twenty-seven of the thirty lots had been sold and before eight o’clock the next morning every lot had been sold.

By the middle of October 1907 the I.H. Smith & Co. were contracted to do the concrete work and the concrete walls for the new Stamping plant were being rapidly constructed.


In May and June of 1908 the Stamping plant started their smelting furnace, and some of their presses and within a short time every department of the plant will be busy.

Also about that time the exterior and front of the building were completed. A new tool room and a new oil house in the rear of the lot were built. The frame building of the plant was fitted for the installation of a box factory. But things never got to the way they were before the fire.

Then another bombshell hits the Stamping Plant in August of 1910 when its officers filed for bankruptcy. With assets of $58,000 and debts of $16,000. A few more meetings were held but to no avail.

At the end of September 1910 the Stamping Company was sold at auction. A referee sold buildings, machinery, material and stock of company in bankruptcy to local parties for $8,500. The parties purchasing the plant were some of the local creditors and preferred stockholders who had formed themselves into an association under an agreement to try and save something of their accounts and stock in the company. There were no other bidders.

In September of 1912 another Andover business, the Andover Silk Co. purchased the 24,000 square foot building for the expansion of their business.

In the middle of October 1912 all of the machinery and tools of the Andover Stamping Company were sold to John E. Potter, of Wellsville. They were taken to Wellsville where Mr. Potter was the manager of the National Aluminum Works.

Thus was the end of a business that Andover had high hopes for.