In 1858 Franklin B. Norton and his older cousin Frederick Hancock left
Bennington, Vermont, and opened a pottery shop at Washington Square in
Worcester. When they had to move in 1866 because of railroad-related
construction, they relocated to Water Street. At first they made only redware
pottery, but soon added stoneware to their production. They supplied Worcester
and surrounding towns with an incredible variety of jugs, preserve jars, storage
and cooking pots, pitchers, spittoons, beer bottles and water kegs.
Today Norton is the largest manufacturer of abrasives
in the world, and it has also expanded into other fields. Their production
divides into three groups: abrasives, engineering materials, and petroleum and
mining. After more than a century of local ownership, the company was purchased
in 1990 by Compagnie de Saint-Gobain of France. Norton Company remains a
significant presence in Worcester.
-Source : www.worcesterhistory.org
Norton abrasive products are still found at Home Depot, Lowes, etc. Saint Gobain manufactured glass can be found on cars such as Volvo’s. Many of Norton’s buildings, smokestacks, signage, etc has been rebranded with Saint Gobain logos. There are a few remnants, and the brand lives on. The facility, while not especially a great photographic subject, has always fascinated me as a Worcester landmark. A couple of shots from last month- Tri-X, and D-76-
PS- do they still manufacture beer bottles and spittoons? Doubtful.