Wiss Littleton Ave Factory: Aerial Picture 2013

A 2013 Google, Sanborn aerial map. The stand alone building in the upper right with the five satellite dishes was the new office building built in 1968. It had been connected to the factory with a bridge. It was the last stage of the 1960s expansion. It had been in continuous use as an office and cable TV studio. But on my April 2014 visit I found it abandoned with broken windows.

Also a more zoomed in picture of the factory complex.

  1. The newer part along Littleton is a little wider. It was used as offices on the 1st floor, inventory on the 2nd floor, inspection on the 3rd floor, and miscellaneous storage on the 4th floor. It was added between 1912 and 1917. After 1968 the offices moved to the new office building.
  2. The original 1887 factory building along Littleton was long (about 250 feet) and narrow. All grinding wheels were driven by common drive shafts. There was an aisle down the middle and grinding wheels were rowed up along each side. At the south end was painting, plating, and packing. At the north end, on one of the floors, was the cafeteria.
  3. Welding Shop. This is where the inlaid blades were welded to the shears.
  4. Two-story high boiler room. It originally also had a 2-phase generator. From the beginning in 1887 there were electric motors driving the long drive shafts. After WWII they changed to 3-phase and on a piecemeal basis the motors were removed and rewired. And at some point they started to buy electricity from PSE&G.
  5. Forge Shop where the drop hammers were installed in 1906. The same drop forges were in use until Cooper totally vacated the plant in 1979. The holes in the roof are where the furnace chimneys were.
  6. Staging area.
  7. Peaked roof over outdoor area that you could drive into from the gate on Littleton Avenue.
  8. Building A (steel warehouse) and was built mid-1960s as part of Stage One of their expansion. (See Three Up - One To Go! folder.) The continuous annealing furnace and the Wheelabrators that were used to descale the forgings were here.
  9. Building B (tool and die shop). The other part of Stage One.
  10. In this taller building, and/or elsewhere at the top of the picture, the flashing was stamped off the forgings.
  11. New production space inaugurated in December 1967 and is the focus of the Three Up - One To Go! folder. Had grinding, trim presses and heat treating. The vibratory tumbling machines, a.k.a. finishing mills were in here. For an example see Sweco Finishing Mills.
  12. The Heinisch Building. Before they had the Maplewood, NJ plant the garden tools were on the upper floors.
  13. Heavy wet grinding. There was a space behind this building where the water was filtered and then reused. You will see a patch of concrete behind it that is a different color.
  14. Computer room.
  15. Along 11th Ave, starting at Littleton Ave, there were a row of homes that Wiss owned and rented out. I believe they were torn down and incorporated into the parking lot in the 1960s.

Aerial-View-2013


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