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th:: poiiit Brt:^'!;^-^ plmt op te'C "f'^.sT'^i^E .''^iriCTPLic cojrpAiiy 

■^DWrtT M. GUI] 


The establishment of the Point Breeze 'Vorks of 
the 'Vestern ''llectric Company in Baltimore.Hd, is a t^/pical 
example of the many companies, which have ohosen that city 
as the site to build factories. Such activity has increased 
thB industrial prestijre of Baltimore, 

About one year rgo the Vestern lleGtric Company 
with two manufactiiring plants, realised the need of a new 

The location of this plant at Point Breeze was 
the result of a long and thorough investl;!Tation with cer- 
tain requirraentB in mind. 

Due to the necessity of beginning manufacturing 
at once '-eatern Slectric rented the Colgate 'Warehouses 
and planned to lay out a small plfnit thsre. 

At the new plant there is to l>e a cable building, 
an insulated wire frctory, a power h.:nise,a s-cale h6\3se and 
office buildings. In addition roads, streets, and parks 
are to be laid out, 

A bulkhead is also being constructed In the Pat- 
apsco river and Colgate creek, to provide docking facilities 
and to re-'laim land, 

Beginjiing only a fev; days after January 1,19?.9 de- 
velopment at the Colgate ".Warehouse h was very rapid, llany 
sections were taken over, and a complete manufacturing unit 

'7. H, Meese, Works Manager at Point Breeze 

THE] POINT T^R'-l^^Si: PMU'C 0? Ym l^.f^'H'^RH [^Ji^j^.'V'^lC COrPATTY 


At tbe present tir.e in the City of Baltiriore, 
Trlthin viBion of the -^vnovB Fort '''cHeniry, the hirthplrce 
of the '*Star Span^^led Banner," there is helnr conB+ruoted 
one of the ^re-^^t'est raaniiff.ctnrln-^ plrnts in the strte of 
Maryland. This referr; to the new Atlantic Beahoard plrnt 
0' the '/eotern "'Uectric Gonpan^f, lu.r.ely the ''"'oint Breeze 
'Vorfcs. Thin «:i?:antiG indiir^trirl enter"nrlRe in r typicrl 
exR:3:ple of tlio laany Gor.ipanies, ^vhich, dnrin^- the pant fev/ 
ye.-rs, hare choBen Balti.'-^ore, Tarj^'land a;-- the sjte to bnlld 
plantsa, in preference to the other indnc'ricl citien t:.lon;' 
the Atlantic Coa^t. IJotahle anoii^ these conpfnies are the 
CiirtiBS-Caproni Aircraft Gorport tion, Proctor and Ganhle Co., 
Standard Sanitary Kan7factllrin'^ C,or\-pvnyf and the lentern 
Electric Co-jipany--.^:ll o-^ ther.e attracted to Br Iti-ore hy 
the city'c ideal location and the cooperative ar.KiFitf.nGe of 
its officirls. 

All of ■^heae jaanufactTU'in;'? units have increared 
the indnstrial rsrestige of 'Baltiy.ore and o:^" the ^tate of 
Varyl'iid. Hence they are all o^ inportance, hTit perhaps the 
parar^onnt one in pnhlic interest today is the Point P-reeze 
'.Vorlcs of the Western "^llectric Gonpany, This-^ inter ep.-i; in 
prohahly |A to the vAze of the project; to th.' fact tht t it 
is under construction at the pree.ent tlno, rn'' to the fact 


tliat thin enterprine rfhen completed, will rrrJ: Baltimore 
£.s the n.'tlon's thirrl telephoBS r-r.rmfrctnrin-' citv, 'Tence 
this project is worthy of note to r,ll T'orylrnderfi, no in 
the follov/lns: pages T will -i'/e RO-.e infor-i? tion re-prriinr 
the hictor;/, locr tion, doni;';!!, ; nd other pniut:' of Interest 
concerning the "^oint Breeze "Plant. 


The hii3tory oi the Point Tireoze 'VorlcB hr.p. its 
source v/ell hack in the annals of the /estern 'jlectric 

The "/evStern Uectric Gor.vpnny is the r/.aniTir eti:rin!:, 
purchasing, distrihutino:, and Ki^ppljr subsidiary of the 
A!?>,erican Telephone ond Telegraph CoT^.psny. AhOTit one ^/evr r^ro 
this corporction had two hrr.nches, one, the Hawthorne "/or]:s 
c.t Chiorfo, 111. and +he other tlio erntorn fnctory rt TCerrny, 
Nev7 Jersey. These tv/o plrntrj were e^'^ployin'^ rhoiit -30,000 
people, yet it vvbr evident thrt eren if they he exp' nded to 
their '»;rerie't porsihle di^-en^ions, they won Id not her hie 
to si^pply the fiitiire de-n.-ndc, e-specially for lon«: distmce 
coKivinii cf t ion appr-ir.'; tus . 

In the lsf":t five yerrs thero her, heen ri tre^ond- 
OTjg htilldin'' ■pro.rreTi in the United otc.tec, '"'ny office 
Iirjldinj'S hi ve heen confitrncteri rnd there hc.y heen an in- 
cre.T.ned deruind for hrnd ets, denksets, cr^hle rnd 
other telephone <':,ppf?.rttuG, Alno the hiiolneos 'u:n hen learned 
to make vne of the ^reat -udllity of the l-'nr lintance tel- 
ephone ,, instead of leaving tin hiislness and r\ahin»^ a journey 


to carry on go?'0 desl or pronositioii lie rr.rkes une of 1011,'^: 
distfiiGQ telephony and Jsaren botla ti^e f-nd r.oney. This 
inc^ea^•ed "ase has cn.ised ;• >»rec':ter detif nd for puch lines aad. 
hencG for lonr dist; iico telephone cj:hle. 3o in order t .r.eot 
this iiicrei^red der-isnd v. new plant lu-'l to he conBtni.cted, the 
purpose of which Iv, explrined hy ^^dsrar y. Blooix, president 
of the ■'/eRtorn Electric Corapany, in the follov/inr atcitenent , 
He stys, "The Baltimore Plant iB reonirrd primarily for the 
for the mamifacture of telephone cable to meet the increasing 
demands of the American public for loniT iistJ^nce telephone 
seryice. The improvement .15 in trnnsmisBion and in the maniif- 
BCtiire of long distance telephone cable have revolutionised 
long distance telephony. 'Vhile these improvements hcve m£! do 
possible the things to v/liich I have jtist referred, I believe 
lon^ distance telephony is still in its infancy." 

In searching for site for the new plant the 
company's engineers hod several msjtters in mind, First^they 
def;ired r, site alonr': tha Allu,ntiG seaboard in order to be 7ier.r 
the lew York and Hew Jersey Telephone Companies, the greatest 
users of toll cable. The comnany also desired from 100 to 150 
acres of Itrid, well located as to transportation facilities, 
both water and rail; proximity to an adeqiiete labor supply for 
a plant th t would have an ultimate ca-pacity of 50,000 employ- 
ees; rer.sonable ta?: r;tes; suf iciont power at fair rates and 
governing officials with a fevor-ble attitude toward indiistry. 


The compfiny's officials first visitod the principle 
railroads serying the Atlantic senboard and found mont of them 
rerdy to give a.sRist&nce. Eoxt they went to all the possible 
cities and ecch one wg.b given r. thDroijn:h investigation. 
Finally the prospects were thinned down to three cities, 
Y/ilmin.^ton, Philadelphiai and Balti'iore, Of those throe cities 
Baltimore was chosen s.p. t e niost desirable one dne to its 
excellence of location^ md to the wholo-heartod cooperation 
of its busines' nen. In v/lnnin,rr this nev/ indnstry for the city 
the Industrial Bureau, and or.'^aiization whose purpose is to 
encourage new business in Baltimore and to render thern all 
possible aid in "becoininp: eBta.blished, ^ns very active in sidinr- 
the 'Western iSlectric Gonpany to deterriine the most advantageous 

With tho aid of the above nentloned Btireou and 
its director 11, i'indlay French, the company decided upon 
Point Breeze, a section of la,nd loca'^ed in the Canton district 
of Baltimore on the Northern side of the Patapsco river. It 
was only after con^^iderablo deliberations that this i3ite v/as 
chosen, as it w as necessary to consolidate two pieces of 
property owned by different interests, Purthermore a railroad 
passed directly tlirough the property inhere it v?oiild be necessary 
to construct buildings. Also the land on deep v;ater could 
not be made of sufficient area to handle shipping unless the 
IT. S. Government v/ould grant the Company perinission to cons- 
truct bulkheads in the Patapsco river and In ^^olgate Croek, 
finally all of these difficulties were arranged by the im- 


selfish, cooperation of the citizens and officials, and as a 
re stilt V/e stern ,'illectric pitr chased the property from the riill- 
road corapany and tho Gunton company. 

It Ik hu interesting fact to note that River View 
Park occupied part of this land for many years and before 
constrnction for the Point Breeze '/orlCxS coi^ld becrln, rollar 
coasters, nierry»»go-ro"aiids, and all sorts of anrasenent dOTic os 
had to be removed, 

In studying the design of the Point Breese ''!or]£8, 
there are two di:^ferent plants to be considered, that is, the 
temporary quarters in the Colp:tite j'orehouses must bo explained 
as well as the v/ork at the Point, 

The 'Testern Electric Company, desirinn: to be^in 
operations at onoe an^l knowinf^ that some little time woiild 
elapse before manufacturing could berin at the Point, rented 
from tlie Canton Gompan;/ a frroup of one stor;/ buildings Icnov/n 
as the Colgate '.Varehouses. These warehouses are located only 
a short distance from the iroposed plant ?::nd are nov; being 
used as 'he rnanufrctiirinG" and storing unit of the ?oint T3ree se 
Works. There are foixi' rows o:'" thene barracks, separated by 
concrete drives. On the outer sideB of buildings 1 and 8 
there is a freight landing, Virhich extends the entire len-Tth of 
the structures. The v/arahouses are numbered in the foliar:! ng 
manner: dlonfr the ends they are labelled 1, 3, 3, aM 4 md 
each separate warehoiise Ib divided into sections desin:n?.ted 
by the letters A, B, G, Th^is it is possible to refer 


a'chiteot 'b drawing olT find plant 


directly to one particnlr-.r soGtion of the •a:ronp, as A~2, 
this of course, siginifies the first section In "/^rehouse rio, 
2, and as the above method is applied to till divisions it 
greatly enhances the ease of directin;T: or I'eferring to any 
definite section of the plnnt. 

As stated above the 'Ypjrehotises are n coTriT-'lete inr;rm- 
factnrlng iinlt and ;ire laid out in such a manner as to provide 
departments for f.ll branches of the v/ork. The en.^ineer v/ho 
was chrTrred with the task of layinjr out, reiriOdellinf\ , find. 
Installlns: machiiiery in the barren v/arehoiises was Charles ■'. 
Davidson of the Factory Planning Division of the 'Western 
raiectrlc Oorapany. A thorough dlsci^sslon of this installation 
and development will be given in p. later paragraph, 

Nov/ the most important part of the design miist be 
considered, that is, the part at the ^oint itself. The 
accompanyinpr drav/ing will perhaps be more explanatory thart 
the following disconrse, however a few facts may help t o ex- 
plain some of the details. 

The main parts of the Point Breeze 'Vorks ire the 
cable plant; the insulated wire plant; the building of a bulk- 
head to reclaim land e^.nd to provide a suitable dock for deep 
water vessels; the yard railroad scale house; the pov/er house, 
and the railroad tracks. In addition there ivill eventually be 
constructed store houses; concrete roa.ds and streets; light- 
ing systems for all roads, an'^ complete park and playground 
facilities for tho use of fie einployees. 

''^'f ^ausiiiiiilsasssaiiiKffi __ 






The fir^-it unit of the cable plant is the larsrest of 
the biiildings now incler constniction, Itn iiiiiennions are 500 
feet \';ide by 600 feat long, and it has-:: a total floor aree. of 
7.5 acres. At the ';Qrth "Vest corner of the structure there Is 
a three-story office hiTildinP^. The syperstrnctitre hef! a frnrtie- 
work of structural steel which hs.s a total weight of abotit 
4,500 tons. This enormo-us frameworic is supported by 5,500 
GTibic yards oi concrete v/hioh rests on S,800 piles. The out- 
side walls are made of brick while the roof, or the open sect- 
ions of the roof, is covered with a speoiril trlnss which permits 
the passage of trie ultra-violet rays of light into the building^. 
Another feature of the building is th^t It is so constriioted 
thfit additional units "nay be built to it at any time. In this 
tremendous plant there is to be installed and in fret is being 
installed all the necesrcry apparatus for the manufacture of 
lead and tape armoltred coble. This includes insulators, cotton 
binders, tv/inters, slranding int chines, lead presf as end the new 
35 ton tape amoitring machines. 

The second largest building is the insulated wire 
building. It in to coyer 6.4 acres and to be Bimul;;r and ad- 
jacent to the -able mannf'::ctnring unit, /.Iso it is onl- one 
unit of the probable plant of the future. The only real dif- 
ference in design and construction from the cable building is 
that the nature of the soil under this structure riakes the 
driving of piles unnecessary, but there are about 2,000 cubic 
yards of concrete foundation which support the steel super- 

^0 IiisrlBtE^l ""ire ■p.iTil.iinfr 


The other niaiii bulldinpis teina; erected rt pret-ient 
are the holler house portion of the power imit, which when 
completed will arise to a height approximately eonfil to tJte t of 
a thirteen-story b-ailding, raid the railroad scale house. 

In addition to these projects there is also another 
major o^^eration on the Point. This in the hulkhead, v;hich is 
bieinaj constructed to provide i satisfpctory doclc for sea 
going frei;^hters. This hnlkheed will he v.. concrete v/all, whicji 
rises seven feet from mean low tide f.nd will h;. ve a total 
length of 7,100 feet. There will jiIho hj a suhstnntial "rip- 
rap" deposited to c.ct as a sustaining wall foi- the fill-had: 
of tjie hulkhead. This wall 
will he Gonstrueted in the 
waters of the I'^atapsco rivor 
and the Dolaiate Creek, and 
will serve as the new shore 
line of the Point, As this 
line will he extended from 
the old position, a numher 
of acres now under water v/ill 
he reclaimed. 

The above laeiitioned 
structures, along v/ith several 
miderpaff&es, ^re the main feat- 
ures of the Point Breeze 'Vorks 
at present , hut from the accorji- 

panying drawing it is seen that Vie^s of property lines and 



many more namifacturing units, and beautifying projects are 
contemplated in tlie future, The man in cliarge of the design and 
construGtion of the plant is Herbert ^r. Dean, Construction 
Engineer, and a representative of 0. ^. Spnrling, the co;np- 
any's ^-^ngineer of Plant. 

A few days after Januar;/ 1, 1959, \-iheii it was fin- 
ally settled as to the location of the new factory, negotiat- 
ions were carried on by the Western :-']lectric Company vd. th the 
Canton Goinpany for the rentimr of a pert ion of the Colgate 
V/arehouses. So about the third v/eek in January, 19S9 the 
Company took over Sections ? and G in V/arehouse No. 1, and 
the installation of flame-proof wire equipment was promptly 
stf-rted. A hospital rnd offices v/ere also installed in 
Building G— 1 jtb u'ell as facilities for shipping and receiving. 

However the demana f02: more npace grew, ;.- nd in Aiiri 1 
1939, "Building E-1 was rented. This section with a floor area 
of 32,400 squfjre feet was used to install more Y/ire equipment; 
and to provide a re taurant for the ever- increasing number of 

During the same month the Company also rented sect- 
Ions J-2 and G-3, with a combined area of 41,600 square feet. 
In Building F-2 machine shop equipment was Installed, and to- 
day it is one of the finest shous of its nrture in t he country. 
In Section G-2 a tool room vras laid out. Toward the end of 
Fay, the Buildings 3-2 and H-1 were also taken over, !>ection 
H-1 with an area of 19,200 square feet v/as to be used for the 


^'^^^^^ ^L ^H ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ ^^^^^H 




II* G, lean, Construdtion ^n.crineer 


manufacture of er.ble ternl?iol,s, v/hlle i^-g was ass-lsnied to leed 
covered calile apparatus wliioli included '>vinders, doublers, £nd 
tvisterR "but not the lead presres. The raanufrcture of fuses 
was also started in tiiip Kcction, 

On August 10, 1929, 5,400 square feet in rieGtion A-3 
were rented to he utilised a*- a storehouvse for machinery, aid 
a clearing for equipraeiit destined for the Point, ^XMng 
this \*iole period the office force had ftrov/n steadily and rooms 
for them hod heen found in different parts of the Tnanuf^cturing 
sections, however, it I'tas (decided th: t thoy should he more cent-/' 
ralized in a better locp.tion. It the sane time it became nec- 
essary to h* ve more space for merchandise, no in order to re- 
move these tv/o conditionH Building A and C v/ere talcen over on 
October 29, 19S9, Of the--e tv/o aections, A v/r.s a,ssigned to tlie 
merchendise department f.nrl w^.s utilized as the nev> loc tion 
of the entire office group. 

The si:ae of the plant on IJovenemher IE, 1929 was- as 
follovVB: Totf-il gross^ area in the .Varehouses 194, SOD Bqi:^-. re 
feet, made up of 83,200 square feet in Ho. 1; 105,600 squere 
feet in ;>Io, 3,and 5,400 square feet in V/arehouse I?o, 3. In 
fact the sise of the plant had oontinously incresned, rndby 
this time the barren warehouses of January, 1939 h£^.d been 
transformed into a small raanuff ctnring unit. 
DaVT^LO^^T^lJT AT IJlilV/ VltlJlT 

In studying the develo-iir.ent at Point Bree ze perhaps 
the rncR t rstonishimT thizig is the swiftness of its -rowth. Tn 
an article by Tiss Alice H. Jlrameyer, an employee of the IVest- 

ern Electric, this charpcteristic is aptly put. She writes 



"Tho KOBt amazing thing atout Point Breeze Ik the swiftness 
of its ,5ro*yth; ljesifl.e it,'s fsmons "bean stclk Ir p cent- 
tiry plant" . 

On August 1, 19:^8 a f^ronp of "Vestern Uec trie off- 
icials made their first trip to PaltiMore. 7ifter haia ng 
fOTind a desiralDle site as descrihed before, the oontir. ct fbr 
all eiif^ineorinp: &nd construetion v/ork was awarded to the H, 
K. rerguson Company on lIOYeraber 10, 1928. This Gompp.jiy sn*b- 
av/arded the contrKct for all excavetionF) and ,^rf-.,din»- t'o Potts 
and Callahan, on January 28, 1939, 

The excavations were first he^nin on Jamirary 19, 
1929 when work on the cable plant found£:.tlon was started. 
By April 1, 1929 the first pile of the 2,800 which support 
the structure had been driven, and by September 6, the last 
poiind of structural steel had been rivited in place. At the 
present time this first unit of the cable plr.nt is nearly 
completed and in fact some nanuf cturln^g' is 1'ein.R; carr-ied on. 

On April 30, 1929 the United titates Governraent 
granted the Vifestern Electric Comj.any a permit to dredge 
channels in Golgf.te Creek and to construct bulkheads, bo lb 
to reclaim Is nd. '.7ork on this structure progreci-ed raplflly, 
v/ith pile drivers end dredges workinji day and night, and by 
September 16, 1929 there had been 5,500 piles driven, 13,200 
cubic yf:.rdK of preliminary dredfring removed, and 252,00 
board feet of lumber used for pile caps, decking aid the like. 
At tbe rresent time the portion of the bulkhead in tlie Patapsco 


river is completed except for the 'btiildinE- of a mud fence, 
an^ the portion on Col??;- te Greelc is expected to "be fininli- 
ed about Petrxmry 1, 1930. 

icoavations for the Insulated '7ire BulMing "be- 
gan on July 12, 19S9 anl by the middle of Septent er the steel 
frftmev/ork was partly erected, .- nd ft preBont the plcnt is 
about 50 percent cori^pleto. 

The other loaln structures, the t is the boiler 
house end: the scale house, were started in Aufnist rnd Sept- 
ember resnectlvely. 'York on these buildinpr pro^resped rsp*- 
Idly rnd now the scale house Ib about 80 percent completed, 
while t he boiler house lacks r.bout 70 percent of being fin- 

In addition to the projects describe'-] aljove, there 
haT0 beeji roads built, ntreet car lines re-ronted, and r£dl- 
rofid tracks run into the property/. Tisch of this work is nw; 
beir^R' done and more is contenplt ted for the futui'e . 

V/henthis industrial enterprise is corTilet ed there 
will be three prodiiotion brr.nches. The main one /.'ill be for 
leod and tape arrao^red cable, and tho othorB will > e for 
flame proof v;ire and for sub-vstf tion apparatus. Includin,^ in 
this sub-station equipment will be sub-sets, condenser f?, 
induction coils, rnd other telephone paits. 

At present in tefqjorcry quarters in the Colpr-'te 


V/arehoiLseB, the '7e stern •'llectric iR employing fbout lf)00 — 
1400 persons in the nianufj ctiire of t he three ole. :r €s of pro- 
dticts mentioned in the last par^igraph, lowerer in the nomi- 
fecttjre of enisle there are no de^^ioeF. for apnlyirje: the leid. 
eorerin.'^ on the Rteel tfipe used for arnofr. At the nev/ 
plpnt over on the "Point, there is "being sorae cable inanufact- 
Tired . H^owerer they are not opert'ting extensively aR yet. 
Inreg£rd.sto the smonnt of production it cm he S£. id that 
erch d;.:y sees an increcssed T3ersonnel and rn increased output, 
"relictions "been made ±11'. i eventually the plant will 
provide ei:iplo;/ment for ap"nroxim- tely 30,000 peoiile, an1 that 
the cable unit, alone, in full o^ierrtion will produce v;eekly 
cables containing 170,900,000 feet of wire. 

The Gonfstrnction of thl3 great nev/ ftctory nrnrks 
ranoth&r step in the industrial development of BaLtlraore rnd 
of t lie State of T'arylrnd. It is another cvr.e where the paries 
and. open p]a pes of the city hrve given away before the re- 
lent let:s iTErch of industry. 

V.o nac e do "Bpltimoreans go to ?.lv€r Vlev/ Per Ic to 
en^oythe ocean breezss and the thrills of the plsf sure dev- 
ices, instee. d they ,'ro to Point Breeze as employees of or 
visitorp to the fcrert new pl&nt of the './extern Electric Com- 
pany, Mo loji3:er do the roller coasters clf^t'er ?nd rtn.ible 
aloniT t heir tracks, and no nore ^lo the me:'ry-8;o-rau nds send 
out their plaintive tunes. All of ihis is gone. In its 


place there is the htim of braiders, the vrtiine of tv/isters, 
and the clatter mid b;izz of indiistry. In ftct when one lookss 
at the tremendous "building's which have hoeii erected, it is 
hard to realize thfit only one year aixo thin laiid vva s pf.rtly 
covered with a great amuReaent park, Tiowever this ^larveloiis 
developr.Bnt ie merely an exairple of the gre't engineer ing: 
skill of today. 


The material for this paper wgr ob- 
tained fron the following ptiblications,; and 
partly from interviews v/ith I-r. B. r^, Yining, 
Publicity Director at Point Breeze; ?!r, G>.3. 
Booth, Merchandice Ilanager; Ilr. L. B, Davids, 
Office T'anaFTGr, and Kr, ^, H, Leedoro, an emplo^/- 
ee in the Iterchandice Department* 

The publications rre as follows: 
The Baltimore :>un . 
The '(Western 'Jllectrio News. 

The Pointer (a pub li cat ion at Point Breeze) . 
"How A City 'Ton An Indnstry" by P. I. I'homson, ' 
Director of Public Relations, V/e stern Electric