A Little More History Of The Liggett Spring And Axle Company

From the July 31, 1902 edition of Iron Age

The Liggett Spring and Axle Company, manufacturers of high-grade carriage and wagons springs and axles, whose plant is now located in Allegheny, Pennsylvania are going ahead rapidly with their plans for building a new works near Monongahela City. The company have secured at this place at tract of 150 acres, on which the new plant will be built, and the main building will be 600 feet long. Contracts have been given to the McClintic-Marshal Construction Company, Park Building, Pittsburgh, PA., for the erection of the buildings, all of which will be of steel, except the boiler house. The Coshocton Iron Company, recently organized at Pittsburgh, and who are a constituent interest of the Liggett Spring and Axle Company, will also direct the plant on this new track.

Beginnings Of The Old Combustion Engineering Plant, Monongahela PA.

What we know as the old Combustion Engineering (C.E.) plant started out as The Coshocton Iron Works. Here’s an entry from Iron Age, Volume 7o, 1902:

Application for a Pennsylvania charter will be made August, 21 by the Coshocton Iron Company, operating a foundry at Coshocton, Ohio, which have become allied with the Liggett Spring & Axle Company of Allegheny. The incorporators are C.E.M. Champ, William E. Marquis and S.E. Hare, all of the Liggett Company. The company will remove their works to a building 100 x 300 feet, which will be erected to adjoin the large plant which the Liggett Company are building on the  P., McK, & Y. Railroad, opposite Monongahela City, Pa. The chief product of the foundry will be axle boxes, of which the Liggett Company use about 100 tons per month.



I just found an error in my virtual scavenger hunt post of a few days ago. The image link took you to the general Gigapan.org site but not directly to the Gigapan image I created. Sorry about that. Here is a corrected direct link to the image:


There are a few items yet to be discovered:

the third church (St. Paul’s Episcopal and St. Anthony’s have been identified)

the ladder

there are still more rain barrels to be discovered

– the factory


the Hotel Main

a gas lamp

(items which have a “strikethrough” have been found)

I also learned a few things from the people who left comments about the image over at the Gigapan website. Checkout the conversation here:


Happy hunting!

PS: A few of you must have been able to locate the Gigapan image – it is now ranked in the top 50 most interesting Gigapans out of over 30,000 on the Gigapan website. Thanks for your help!

1909 Monongahela Panorama Virtual Scavenger Hunt

Have you ever heard of a Gigapan? It is a photograph comprised of sometimes hundreds of small snapshots, all stitched together by computer software to create one incredibly detailed high resolution image. When the image is uploaded to Gigapan.org you can view it and keep on zooming and zooming to see all kinds of interesting details.

Click this image visit my Gigapan page. (Once there, click on the panorama image on the upper right side to view it full size)

The image above is a panorama I made by stitching together two old postcards of Monongahela which were postmarked back in 1909. Click here to view the photograph over at Gigapan.org. (You have to double click the image to get it to zoom in)

The original postcard  photographs were shot from two close but separate positions on Cemetery Hill so it was impossible to get a perfect stitch (due to parallax error) but it’s good enough to make a decent panorama. Unfortunately you can no longer photograph from the same vantage point today because the view is now blocked by large trees. But this aerial picture below can give you some idea what the area looks like today:

Aerial view of Pigeon Creek in Monongahela PA, an area formerly known as Catsburg.
A modern view of the same area where the original postcard photographs were shot. Though now Monongahela, this area was once known as Catsburg. The Catsburg mine was located off the picture to the right. Click image for larger view.

Ok, lets go on a virtual scavenger hunt. To participate you need to create a Gigapan.org account (free). Then navigate back my Gigapan Monongahela panorama page. Then zoom in and take a “snapshot” and then leave a comment on my Gigapan page.

In the panorama you will find:

(strike throughs mean the item has been identified by somebody as of Monday, March 15, 2010 – 3:19 pm)

at least two people
at least two horses or mules
train cars (aka railroad cars lol, I couldn’t remember the correct term, It’s hell getting old)
Gregg’s Warehouse (This is the warehouse for the A.M. Gregg Hardware store as seen in this 1908 photograph. You can also see an old ad and picture of the proprietor here.
– 3 and possibly 4 churches (extra credit if you can name them) (two have been found)
– a ladder
– my girlfriend’s old house
two coal mine tipples (extra credit if you name the coal mines to which they belong)
– two houses with rain barrels (one found so far)
a barn
at least 1 coal barge
another barge (not necessarily a coal barge)
a saltbox
three bridges
Whiskey Point
an outhouse
this railroad tower: http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4045/4427907903_66f481e672_o.png
– a factory
the McGough Residence (oldest part built in 1802) was the oldest brick building in town until it was replaced by the architectural masterpiece known presently as the Monongahela Senior Center
– the Hotel Main
the village of Axleton
worker houses built by Liggett Spring and Axle Co.
– a gas lamp
River Hill

I will reveal the location of several of the items above each day until March 20, 2010 unless you all find things first. Also, don’t be afraid to snapshot something you discover that isn’t on this list.

Interior View of Liggett Spring and Axle Co.

 ***CORRECTION*** According to Mr. Lowell L. Dexter, the photograph below is of the Toledo Spring Co. plant in Toledo Ohio, which was a sister to Liggett in 1975. Please see the comments section below for more information.View of steel storage area looking towards shearing machines.
September 1975 - View of steel storage area looking towards shearing machines at Liggett Spring and Axle Co. (click once for larger view then click again for extra large view)
Hand written note on reverse of photograph.

Working At Liggett Spring and Axle, September 1975

Liggett Spring and Axle, Sept. 1975
Liggett Spring and Axle, Sept. 1975 (click twice to view full size)
"Second end - second plate line. Four burner forge furnace of our design and manufacture. Secondary spring plates are rolled and trimmed in Abbey-Etna roll and ... ?
Reverse of photograph above - "Second end - second plate line. Four burner forge furnace of our design and manufacture. Secondary spring plates are rolled and trimmed in Abbey-Etna roll and ... (?) press."
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Crips or Bloods?

I came across this photograph a while ago. Great details showing people at work. Anybody know who this is? Can anybody decipher the the last two lines on the back of the photograph? It’s hard to believe this photo is 35 years old!