Archive for August, 2014

Ames Bag Manufaturing Company Selma, AL

Here is some interesting history about the Ames Manufacturing Company (now closed) in Selma Alabama… written by Bobbie Ames:

“My husband inherited the old Ames Bag Manufacturing Company in Selma, Alabama, at the end of WWII. It was the largest manufacturing plant in the area, and had hundreds of employees who had worked there for many decades. It had awards for the efficiency of the operation and for the race relations, which were always remarkable in those years.This was not true of every business in those days.

The demand for cotton and burlap bags dwindled, and the company was forced to close or to make a transition to other products. Space does not permit me to expound on this remarkable story which has been related in corporate boards over the nation as an inspiration.

Just let me say this: Our Selma and Blackbelt employees unanimously wanted to learn new methods of manufacturing and they remained true to my husband’s business, as they learned new skills of making fiber and plastic containers of every kind imaginable. They made the first miniature Morton Salt and Accent cans for one example. The very first “Wet Ones” were designed in part by Jack Green, our on-sight ngineer. I never knew if he had his PE or not. He was a genius. These were fast changing skills for a work force that never finished college. They had the character to love learning new skills, and they shared Prayer and Scripture over the loud speaker. They had an open door any time day or night to the “Boss’s office.” We all shared moral absolutes and family values. I prayed with many individual mothers who worked there. There was no racial divide in that workforce.”

Source: “The Battle for the Minds of Children: American Education at the Crossroads” by Bobbie Ames, Alabama Gazette, 03/01/2014: http://www.alabamagazette.com/story/2014/03/01/education/the-battle-for-the-minds-of-children-american-education-at-the-crossroads/200.html

On September 20, 1979, A F2 tornado hit and that Ames Bag and Packaging Company sustained major damage when the roof and 3 walls of one of the buildings collapsed, causing $25,000 worth of damages. There were no fatalities, 2 people suffered minor injuries.: http://www.srh.noaa.gov/bmx/?n=tornadodb_1979

If you have anything to contribute, please post below in the comments–your resources, web links, stories and thoughts are appreciated!

NOTE: Just discovered my relative Ira Smith worked at the Ames Bag Manufaturing  Company in Selma.

Ira Smith (b.1891)  m. Alma J. Smith (b. 1897). According to the City Directory, Ira and Alma lived on 1538 Range Street in Selma.

 

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August 4, 2014 at 10:53 pm Leave a comment


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