13 January 2021

American Vitrified Products (1960 - 1970)

Hillsborough's post-war endeavor to bring post-war industry to Hillsborough finally began to bear fruit in the mid-1950s. One of the first companies to take an interest in Hillsborough was the century-old Cleveland, Ohio firm American Vitrified Products. Two officials of the clay pipe manufacturer traveled to Hillsborough and appeared before the Planning Board in October 1955. With a couple of possible plant sites identified, the company wanted to gauge the reaction of the town before spending money on surveys and soil samples. Their trip was well worth it as the Planning Board proved receptive to the project - and the tax ratables.


7 October 1955 Home News

At that initial meeting the representatives of American Vitrified Products - often shortened to Amvit - explained that they would be primarily manufacturing sewer pipe using shale and clay that would be stripped from the ground leaving shallow pits - or perhaps leveling a small hill. 

Valley Road Amvit Plant, 1969

About a year later the company purchased 79 acres north of Valley Road between the Lehigh Valley and Jersey Central railroads for $38,000 and planned for a $2 million factory that was expected to employ as many as 120 people. 

26 May 1960 Engineering News

Three years later the company had expanded the site to 87 acres and was now planning a $4 million completely automated plant that was touted as being "the most modern ever to be built in the industry". In addition to standard clay sewer pipe, the new plant would be capable of producing Amvit's industry-leading plastic-jointed clay pipe and a new pipe product called Glas Glaz suitable for corrosive or acidic industrial waste lines.

Clockwise from top right,
clay pipe production at Amvit in the 1960s.

To make its inert sewer pipe, shale mined on-site was mixed with clay and treated water and then sent through a machine that extruded the pipe which was then automatically cut to length and placed on pallets to be moved through the drying area where a specified amount of humidity was removed depending on the specific intended use of the pipe. When the pipe was dry it was bathed in a ceramic glazing solution and sent to the kilns.

21 January 1971 Home News

In March 1970 Amvit sold the Valley Road plant to the Glen-Gery Corporation of Reading, Pa. which planned to convert the plant to manufacture its own line of products which included face bricks, glazed flue linings, and concrete blocks.

Today the site is the location of Hercules Chassis.

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