S. Morgan Smith and P.H. Glatfelter head list of York County industrial movers and shakers

Want to debate the York County manufacturer of yore who left the most impressive legacy?
Two from the 19th-century immediately come to the top of my list: P.H. Glatfelter I and S. Morgan Smith… .


Glatfelter bailed out Jacob Hauer in acquiring the paper mill in Spring Grove in 1863. That mill became the hub of the paper manufacturer today that bears his name, headed by P.H. I’s great, great grandson George Glatfelter II.
Then another Jacob – Jacob Loucks – and other York Manufacturing Co. investors ran into tough times in the 1880s. P.H. stepped forward to bail out his brother-in-law, Loucks. (Jacob Loucks’ grandson and namesake outpaced him in legacy. Jacob Loucks Devers became a four-star general in World War II.) York Manufacturing went through various name and ownership changes, and the air conditioning/refrigeration company today is known as York International — actually Johnson Controls York.
Those are P.H.’s two prizes, among many other investments.
But Moravian-pastor-turned-industrialist S. Morgan Smith rivals Glatfelter’s legacy.
He was a key part of the early years of York Manufacturing.
That’s one.
But his own company, S. Morgan Smith, was an early manufacturer of washing machines and later made turbines, blades and other parts of the hydropower business.
In some permutation, S. Morgan Smith spawned Voith Hydro, American Hydro and Precision Components. The latter companies operate today.
That’s a four-company legacy.
Indeed, Precision Custom Components recently made the news when it borrowed money to position itself for the future. It seems to be a bright future. http://www.ydr.com/search/ci_4531921 The company makes dry casks and other equipment used to store and handle spent nuclear fuel, a growth market.

About Jim McClure

Editor of the York Daily Record/Sunday News, ydr.com and its many digital products. East Region Editor, Digital First Media. Journalism/history blogger: yorktownsquare.com. Author or co-author of seven York County, Pa., history books.
This entry was posted in 1st Moravian, Archives, all posts, Events, Explanations/controversy, God & York County, Local landmarks, Made in York, People, War, World War II, York celebrities. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to S. Morgan Smith and P.H. Glatfelter head list of York County industrial movers and shakers

  1. E. Bennett says:

    Jim McClure-
    It was interesting to see the your article on the Glatfelter paper mill as I had just encountered what may have been the very beginning of that field.
    The Ehrhart Report done by the York Historical Society in 1948 cites under Deeds: “April 1829 Jacob Ehrhart and George King of York township buy for @200 from Dietrich Mose/Hose the right to divert water of a small stream on grantor’s land into a dam grantees are now erecting for water works, paper mill and other works in York County.”
    The Ehrharts and Glatfelders/Gladfelters are intermarried at various places in their family trees.EB

  2. Jim McClure says:

    Thanks for sharing. Rich stuff.
    Jim

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