Re: Western Electric
Date: February 12, 2013 12:04PM
I was a maintenance manager at the 26st plant. All of the metal that was used for telephone equipment, was produced at this plant. People don't realize how big the Hawthorne works really was. At their peak, around 44,000 people worked there.my father,and most of my uncles also woked there.Parking stickers to the cable plant parking lot were passed down from father to son.The complex consisted of the TA buildings,where they made switching systems and components, the largest and fastest cable plant in the world,the rod and wire mill, where the took ingots of copperand drew it down to small wire,also there were the new machine construction shop, the merchandise buildings,the foundry,the MJ railroad buildings,the security building with its tower,the main cafeteria and storeroom, and finally the powerhouse.what most people do not know,was that the Hawthorne works was never connected to Commonwealth Edison power--we produced 900lb steam in our six story tall Reilly Stoker boilers, and generated all of our own power with 13 General Electric steam turbine generators. The plant had its own hospital,stores,fire and police departments,and even it's own athletic field. There are so many memories to share !