Who was McKay of York College McKay Hall fame?

For decades, The McKay Company, 850 Grantley Road in York, made chain, welding products and automatic welding equipment. The long-closed company is back in the news because York College is expanding McKay’s already expansive former building. This photograph, from ‘Greater York’ in action, show the immensity of the building when it operated as McKay Company. Its expanse is hard to gather in from the road. (See rendering of McKay expansion below.) Also of interest: Check out this informative map of York College of Pennsylvania’s expanding presence and How a bird see the original part of York College’s campus.

McKay Hall at York College of Pennsylvania is growing higher with a planned two-story addition.

That expansion will help accommodate a new hospitality recreation and sport management studies as well as provide space for an larger nursing department.

All this raises the question about how McKay Hall got its name.

That is McKay of the McKay Company fame.

Here are some bullet points from ‘Greater York in Action,’ a late-1960s publication of the York Chamber of Commerce:

– The McKay Company expanded to York from the Pittsburgh area post World War I. Its early specialization included electric welding in the chain industry, then in demand with the growth of the automobile.

– Over time, the company made welding electrodes, which became a major product line.

– In the late 1960s, the McKay Company produced commercial chain and accessories, tire chains, welding electrodes and automatic welding equipment.

All this points to a change in the way York is expanding. In the old days – in those days when McKay was first entering the scene in York – factories expanded when they added new product lines. With the growth of York College, representing the service or information sector, that same building is expanding to accommodate new academic fields.

Information is the new oil. Or to torture the metaphor, McKay expanded in the 1920 to because of the growth of the oil-dependent automobile. McKay is expanded today because of the increased need for information.

Also of interest

York College adding interns to Yorktowne Hotel; horticulture studies on Appell property.


A rendering of the McKay project at York College.

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, Explanations/controversy, For photo fans, Local journalism & Web, Local landmarks, Made in York, Nostalgia & memories, School days and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Who was McKay of York College McKay Hall fame?

  1. Michael McKay says:

    We appreciate your research on the McKay Hall and it’s name origin. I am the son of Lawrence McKay one of the 3 brothers who owned The McKay Company. I sent this article to my niece Anna who just recently graduated from Pit School of Nursing in Pittsburgh PA.
    Michael McKay

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