Three views of York’s Naval Ordnance Depot/AMF/Harley-Davidson plants

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Springettsbury Township’s Harley-Davidson plant is seen during shift change in January 2009. Today, the buildings at left are for sale as Harley plans to consolidate York operations in the former softtail plant, right. (See additional photos below.) Background posts: All Harley posts from the start and All York Safe & Lock posts from the start and All Made in York posts from the start.

It began during wartime and the old plant in Springettsbury Township has never really been at peace.
It’s had a long series of owners since York Safe & Lock built it. Harley-Davidson occupies it now, but for how long?
It’s had labor strikes. Celebrity visits. Presidential praise.
Just three years ago, George W. Bush was there, touting its great American qualities… .


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The plant operating as AMF in this photo taken from ‘Greater York in Action,’ 1968.
And he got on a hog, unlike predecessors Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan.
After he dismounted, the president commented to Harley worker Joel Toner.
“You must have a great job, riding motorcycles.”
Toner replied, “Yeah, I think I got one of the greatest jobs in the world.”
Here’s hoping that these greatest jobs remain great in York County.
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The Special Ordnance complex in 1946, taken from a Naval Ordnance brochure.
Selected York Safe & Lock links:
- New Freedom station houses alien safe
- York Safe & Lock worker recalls chat with Hedy Lamarr
- Hedy Lamarr’s visit to York long remembered
- From Bofors to Bikes, Harley plant top hog
- Forry Laucks, Lauxmont sparked debates
- York-made safes spotted in post-war Tokyo
- York Safe restoration ‘once in a lifetime’ project.
- York Safe faltered after owner’s death.
All York Safe & Lock posts from the start.

*Edited, 7/15/10.

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 Archives, all posts, Events, Explanations/controversy, For photo fans, Harley-Davidson, Local landmarks, Made in York, Nostalgia & memories, War, Wheels of York, World War II. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Three views of York’s Naval Ordnance Depot/AMF/Harley-Davidson plants

  1. carl klauck says:

    I’m disappointed there isn’t a mention of AMF BOWLING PRODUCTION at York or the Rodney Gott museum at the plant. The bowling production moved from Shelby Ohio in the 60′s and we were running 2 10 hour shifts employing around 175 people. The bowling production moved back to Shelby in the 70′s but I don’t remember when.
    I worked as a production foreman for around 3 years in York before going to Shelby to manage the Rhythm Bowl.
    I still have a lot of my family living in York, Daughter and many grand-kids and Great grand-kids.
    I would love to see info on the bowling division at York.
    Otherwise a great article.
    Carl Klauck – age 76

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