ARNOLD-CREAGER COMPANY


In 1877 Mr D.J.C. Arnold came to New London and bought land from Mrs. Starbird on Ashland St. (South Main St.) and built a small shop for making brick molds. In 1879 he added machinery to make staves. By 1882 he had orders for over 100 brick mold machines. In 1889 he built a new foundry and blacksmith shop plus an engine house for the two steam engines he had. In 1892 he added a pattern room, a forge room and a new office. He added steam heat to all of the buildings.

By 1900, the Arnold S.S.S. Automatic Brick Making Machine was considered the best in the world. In 1902, Mr Arnold purchased the Jonathan Creager Co. of Cincinnati, Ohio and from then on the plant was known as the Arnold Creager Co. He also started producing a wide wheel rim that became so popular that he couldn't keep up with all the orders. He had invented his own machinery for producing these wheel rims.

Back in 1894, Mr Arnold had installed a Dynamo powered by one of his steam engines for lighting his buildings. He also sold power to the village of New London and helped install lighting to twelve business places downtown. This was the first electric lighting in the Village of New London.

Mr. Arnold also built a new home in 1895 on the corner of South Main and Prospect Streets. Made of brick the home had woodwork which was all imported from Germany. This home later became the New London Hospital, and though no longer a hospital, the home still stands yet today.

The Arnold-Creagerr Co. catalogs were shipped all over the world, and in 1902, one of the huge brick making machines was shipped to Australia. Some of these machines weighed over two tons and were shipped out of New London in crated segments on the Big Four Railroad. By 1910, almost 200 people were employed by the company.

In 1914, Mr Arnold's health was at the point where he could no longer manage the company anymore so he sold it to the Lancaster Iron Works of Lancaster PA. The automatic brick making machinery continued to be sold by the Lancaster Works until 1929. The Company closed the New London plant then and moved part of the machinery that they wanted to Lancaster PA.

The building was later used to build and repair airplanes in the 1930's and then as a steel trucking company during the war years. The buildings were torn down one by one and the site is now occupied by the Kent Watersports.

D.J.C. Arnold died at Oberlin, Ohio on the 21st of February, 1920 and is buried in the Grove Street Cemetery here in New London.

V.K. Neel, from Foskett's History of New London.




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