Saturday, January 4, 2014

Boonton Melmac Factory Tour Stop One : This Was The Melamine Factory

Boonton Factory Time to Make the Melmac Dishes
This is the ariel tour of the Boonton factory as seen in some old memorabilia I have from Derek Schultz.
One of my resolutions for New Years was to finally move all the old Boonton New Jersey photos over from my old website from when I went several years ago in search of the Melmac Factory.  The first thing I want to explain is that when I originally thought of a big factory, I thought I'd find something like that old plant of the Solvay Factory in upstate New York. 

You would assume you'd see big industrial buildings, many stories and chimneys, towers, and industrial looking outsides. Not so, this far all the old sites for melmac factories I've been to have been long warehouses. I was lucky enough to have a paper guide, thanks to the late and great Derek Schultz, who left me a guide to the Boontonware plant, Derek spent many years in Jersey and was privy to many factory tours and behind the scenes time with the people in charge doing research on Boonton. Curiously peaked me to visit, and I did some ride by's of the existing building that compromise now 300 to 400 Myrtle Avenue. 

Boontonware Melmac Factory Google Maps
Here is an ariel view of the Boontonware address "326 Myrtle Avenue."

The original factory address says it was at 326 Myrtle Avenue.  I will explain in another post more about the inception of the factory, as George K. Scribner started up the factory in a tiny corner of another factory.  Boontonware dishes date back to 1946 based on my research! By 1955, Boontonware would be turning out 70,000 pieces of dinnerware an hour.  That's a lot of dishes.  Wow!

Sorry about the photos, that day it was raining and my camera went dead. I was forced to use a then cell-flip phone to take these crappy photos!

Boontonware Dauphin Factory
This would have been the site of the original Boontonware Melmac Factory. The building is so long, it had to be taken in several shots.

This huge conglomerate which comprises now addresses of 300 to 400 Myrtle Avenue is nearly a block long.  Above is a very large elongated building on end which had to be taken in a few shots, it was so long it would not fit in one.  This is  300-326 Myrtle Avenue, and at the time of my visit belonged to Dauphin (a furniture cmopany).  The left end (above) is considered 300..... and you must continue with your eye to follow the building....
Boontonwas Melmac Factory History
Former Boonton Melmac  site, underneath the red numbers the door is marked 326.

See how long it is! I could not get it all in one shot, it's huge!  The only clues leading me to the fact this was indeed home of all the lovely pastel Boonton dishes at one time was the teeny numbers above the door on the far right , right next to the garage door. I went to get a closer shot.  (This town is small, but this street is busy, which makes it hard to get good photos).

Boontonware Melmac Tour
Although hard to see, this door  on left with steps is marked 326 above it, and therefore, the exact address of Scribner's Boonton factory!

Boonton used both 300 Myrtle and 326 were depending on what ad or article you viewed circa 1946-1961.   The building to the right, only a few feet away from the door (probably the length of a car) . This building shrouded in bushes is way too close to be ignored. It's address is 400 Myrtle. 

Melamine Dinnerware Boonton Factory
Now 400 Myrtyle Avenue, Too close to be ignored?

The building now labeled 400 Myrtle was marked Carbone at the time of my visit could have easily been overflow offices for Boonton, but I'm unsure just what this was back then. I wanted to explore this further. 

boonton new jersey
   Mind you, this is technically marked 400 Myrtyle Avenue.  

What you see here above is the end cab of Carbide, and appears to be some sort of left employee and office entrance. Below if we follow the building around to the right, we'll find the fact the building wraps around

Old Boonton Factory perhaps?
Unsure if this was part of Boonton factory in the 50's
 I had to explore behind it to see that this seemed to be all connected to a series of warehouses and old storage buildings at one time.  I just had a hunch.  Here is what I found:

Melmac Melmac Melmac
Hello, was this part of the huge conglomerate they called the Boonton Factory?

Behind Carbone, you can see where the old glass windows of an old factory type building still stand. I am curious to know if at one time, this entire conglomerate was indeed Boonton Molding.  The way these buildings connect, it reminds you of someone continually adding on, and adding on, and adding on as they needed more room. Whether they are used now,or then, we can't know. I could easily envision those 70,000 pieces of melmac per hour having to be stored somewhere, can't you?

So my question to the locals is this, did Boonton inhabit any parts of the 400 Myrtle way 

COMING SOON:  Read How Boonton Melmac Dates Back to 1946! 

Take Part Two of this Factory Tour here.  
See the original blueprints made by Belle Kogan for Boonton's melmac here.  


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