Pressure Lamps International

Armstrong Products Corp (APC)

7th Ave and 1st, Huntington, West Virginia, USA

 

Charles Carroll Armstrong was born in June 1874 in Columbus, Ohio. Son of a hardware merchant, he was a practical, hands-on, youngster. Charles became involved in metalworking and by 1900, along with his older brother Richard, he was working in the fabricating industry. The occupations for both men were listed as "Metal Spinners" in the 1900 Federal census, and in the 1910 census his occupation is "Factory Manager" in Ohio. By 1920 Charles is described as "Manager, stamping company" in Huntington, West Virginia and in 1930 he is "Manufacturer of metal goods". These simple snapshots don't really do justice to his story, and this article below (part of the "Lost Huntington" series) neatly sums up his success in business. It is reproduced here exactly as it appears on the website of the Herald-Dispatch newspaper in Huntington The original web page can be seen here .

 

HUNTINGTON - In Columbus, Ohio, in the 1890s, a young man named Charles C. Armstrong decided there had to be a better bicycle light than the one he was using on his bike. So he invented his own light and, yes, it was a better one. In 1899, a group of investors backed him in a new company, the Admiral Lamp Co., organized to manufacture and sell his light. Later the company moved to Marysville, Ohio, began manufacturing lawn sprinklers and other items and changed its name to the Standard Stamping Co.

In 1917, attracted by the region's abundant natural gas, the company moved to Huntington and built a two-story building at 7th Avenue and 1st Street, adjacent to the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway tracks. Later additions would significantly increase the structure's size. When the firm moved to Huntington, it was still known as Standard Stamping, as can be seen in this architectural drawing for its 1917 building. Later, the company's name was changed to the Armstrong Manufacturing Co, and still later the name would be changed again, to the Armstrong Products Corp.

Over the years, Armstrong manufactured a wide array of consumer items, including small electric appliances, gas and electric heaters, even metal mailboxes. One of its most popular products was the Armstrong Table Stove, a multi-use appliance that enabled one to fix an entire breakfast -- bacon, eggs and toast -- all at the same time. Plus you could buy an optional waffle maker insert. Beginning in World War II and continuing into the cold-war era, Armstrong supplied a number of items to the military.

Armstrong ceased operation in the early 1980s. In 1984 the building was the scene of a spectacular fire, and the burnt-out structure was later demolished. The Kroger Co. then purchased the property and used it to build a supermarket.

 

The Herald Dispatch Newspaper, 28 April 2015. See the full article  here

 

In 1915 a biography for Charles Armstrong was published, this too can be found on-line at http://www.ohiogenealogyexpress.com  A precis of this 1915 biography is given here:

One of the largest manufacturing establishments of Marysville, Ohio, is the Standard Stamping Company, of which Charles Armstrong is treasurer and general manager.  Mr. Armstrong has been engaged in business in Marysville for the past thirteen years and during that time has made an excellent reputation as a business man.  He has that rare foresight and good judgment which characterizes the successful business man, and while devoting himself primarily to his own interests, has also taken a prominent part in the life of his community.

Charles C. Armstrong, is the son of Francis and Amanda S. (Harker) Armstrong, was born in Columbus, Ohio, June 21, 1874.  He is one of four children, the others being Martha B., of London, Ohio, and Richard D. and Frank H., both of Marysville. Francis Armstrong  was a hardware merchant in Columbus for about fifteen years.  He then returned to Miami county and spent the rest of his days on the farm, his death occurring there in 1884, at the age of fifty-two years.

Charles Armstrong
moved from Columbus with his parents when he was a child and was reared in Troy, Miami county, Ohio.  After leaving school he clerked for a short time in Troy, and then started to learn the trade of metal spinning in Columbus, Ohio, and followed this trade for twelve years.  He then organized the standard Stamping Company in Columbus and operated it there for about two years.  In 1902 he removed his plant to Marysville and changed the name from the Admiral Lamp Company to the Standard Stamping Company.  The company was originally incorporated with a capital stock of seven thousand dollars, which was increased successively to thirty thousand, fifth thousand and seventy thousand, its present capitalization.  The company manufactures hardware specialties of various kinds and covers the entire United States and Canada in the sale of their goods.  Seventy people are now employed in the manufacture of the products of the company.  Its present officers are H. W. Morey, president; Waldo T. Guy, vice-president; D. G. Scott, secretary, and C. C. Armstrong, treasurer and general manager.

 

Source: History Union County, Ohio - Publ. by B. F. Bowen & Company, Inc., Indianapolis, Ind. - 1915 - Page 551

So Armstrong Products were not specifically manufacturers of pressure lamps, although they did make LPG gas lights and heaters for a time. In 1972 the company became part of A&J Industries and in the same year they were awarded a Defense contract for 9533 stoves, worth over $1M. They were successful in several bids for other Government Defense contracts, including the military specification gasoline lantern. They manufactured this lantern for two years, 1977 and 1978. The company ceased trading in the early 1980s.

armstrong1977

"Mil spec" Lantern, APC, 1977

 

 

References:

Beckly Post-Herald 1April 1962 p6

Charleston Daily Mail 24 January 1963 p17

Beckly Post-Herald 13 February 1967 p14

Beckly Post-Herald 10 December 1972 p2

Weirton Daily Times 29 June 1973 p8

Herald-Dispatch (Huntington, (WV) 28 April 2014

Website: Ohio Genealogy Express: Biography

 

Addendum:

 
Other manufacturers of the military specification lantern include many well known names, dates given here are approximate.
 
Manufacturer Production Years (Approximate)
Akron Lamp & Mnf Co 1944
American Gas Machine Co 1944, 1945 and 1951
Armstrong Products 1977 and 1978
Auto Fab Manufacturing 1967
Coleman Lamp Co.
1944, 1945, 1952-61, 1963-69, 1973-76, and 1979
Form-Tech Inc 1971 and 1972
King Seely (Thermos) 1963
State Machine Products Inc 1980 to 1991
   
   

 

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