Foundry Maple Reclaimed From American Crayon Company

The American Crayon Company’s factory in Sandusky, Ohio was slated for deconstruction, so we headed out to rescue the antique wooden bones of the building before it went to waste. We rescued 2 truckloads – that’s 24,000 board feet – of Foundry Maple. The old wood has endured thousands of footfalls, heavy machinery, and a smattering of colorful wax crayon materials.

Here’s a peek inside the former factory:

The American Crayon Factory in Sandusky, Ohio being deconstructed

The American Crayon Factory in Sandusky, Ohio being deconstructed

The factory’s history
When the first superintendent of Sandusky’s public schools wasn’t satisfied with the chunky chalks used on the boards in classrooms, he turned to his brother-in-law to create a new and improved chalk. William D. Curtis’ accepted the challenge and began experimenting in his kitchen in 1850 with what became, years later, the American Crayon Company. ACC became the largest employer in the area and produced many popular art products including crayons, chalk, watercolors, pencils, paste and cleaners.

Over the years, American Crayon acquired many other companies, most notably Prang Educational Company with their trademark Old Faithful geyser logo in 1913, and Dixon Ticonderoga who expanded their industrial supplies line in 1984. The former merger slowly outsourced the labor and plant operations to Canada and Mexico, sadly forcing the Sandusky plant to close in 2002.

crayon factory 2

 

 

The flooring’s next life

Bundle of Maple Foundry reclaimed from the American Crayon Factory

Bundle of Maple Foundry reclaimed from the American Crayon Factory

After leaving their old factory life behind in Ohio, the raw industrial salvaged Foundry Maple arrived at our eco-friendly shop in Upstate New York where we’re de-nailing and re-milling the planks into paneling, flooring, fixtures, and more to be used in commercial and residential spaces. Limited quantities are available and each ‘batch’ of this grade comes with one-of-a-kind often hard-earned texture, wear marks, and color.

Reclaimed Maple Goundry from the American Crayon Factory

Reclaimed Maple Foundry from the American Crayon Factory

Full of texture, and on occasion original paint, Foundry Maple can be put back into service with little or no finishing. Ranging from browns and golds to greys and occasional lavender tones, Foundry Maple offers unmatched color, original distressing, and character. While this reclaimed Foundry Maple may not be as boldly colorful as the products that passed through the factory, the boards continue to maintain a vibrant history and unmatched durability.

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A tour of reclaimed Chestnut Hill

Jered took a recent trip to Boston and stopped at Chestnut Hill mall to check out our reclaimed wood in its new home. Here’s what he found:

When you walk up to Anthropologie, you’re greeted by doors made of a mixture of Douglas fir and Cypress milled from wood reclaimed from wine vats. That same wood accents select areas of the store as flooring. Our sister company, NEWwoodworks, created a shelving unit made of reclaimed American Gothic Oak.

Anthropologie entrance with wine vat stock siding.

Anthropologie entrance with wine vat stock siding.

 

NWW AG Oak shelves

Anthropologie American Gothic Oak shelving.

Fir Cypress flooring

Anthropologie wine vat stock flooring.

Anthropologie wine vat stock flooring.

Anthropologie wine vat stock flooring.

Madewell features Character Select Heart Pine flooring that has no finishing on it, though some is painted white as part of their more recent designs.

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Character Select Heart Pine at Madewell.

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Character Select Heart Pine at Madewell.

Next up is Eileen Fisher, where the ladies working there told Jered they get lots of love for the floor. The flooring is Engineered American Gothic Elm which has been stained and refinished on site.

AG Elm

American Gothic Elm flooring.

The new Basset Store features FSC Certified Red Oak siding that has been heavily brushed and primed in our shop then finished in the field.

FSC Red Oak

FSC Certified Red Oak siding at Basset.

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FSC Certified Red Oak siding at Basset.

We’re excited to see our ‘old’ wood getting new life in Boston. Jered had a good time visiting (he said something about the best cannolis in the country?!) and is already gearing up to go back in late Fall. We’ll be sure to share more!

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Reclaimed Heart Pine with a powerful history

When we heard of plans to demolish many of the General Electric Factory buildings from the 1900s, we were led to Bloomfield, NJ to prevent the factory’s bones from ending up in the landfill. To date, we have rescued over 23 million board feet of antique wood from ending up landfills or other wasteful disposal methods.

A little plant history:
Opening the doors to its 17 buildings in the 1900s, GE expanded to meet the demand for battery manufacturing. With over two thousand workers, and one of the largest local manufacturing facilities, they were busy producing the batteries behind communications systems as well as kinetoscope, wax for phonograph cylinders, x-ray equipment, medical instruments, electric fans, and later, much of the equipment for WWII. After a decline in the demand for manufacturing, the company vacated Bloomfield in 1959.

Timbers within:
While the main building currently remains and is being converted into residential spaces, we reclaimed 81,500 BF of Long Leaf Heart Pine timbers as well as a small amount (15,900 BF) of Oak from several of the surrounding buildings. Heart Pine is said to be the species our country was built on with many of the factories and mills of the past having been largely constructed using these pine timbers. Reclaimed Heart Pine is a highly desired species due to its dense grain patterns, deep patina, character, and of course, history.

 

What’s next for this wood:
While the GE factories have run out of juice, their wooden timbers, posts, and planks will be recharged around the world. Our goal is to continue to rescue ‘old’ wood from factories, warehouses, and other industrial buildings giving it new life as flooring and other products for retail, commercial, and residential clients. Beginning with raw industrial salvaged timbers, we mill board stock repurposing the antique wood into paneling, flooring, fixtures, and more to be used in commercial and residential spaces.

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What’s new in The Big Apple

Jered has been trekking to NYC quite often over the past few months and has snapped many pictures of our wood in use. Flooring, paneling, and siding are most common but there are new twists including patterns, shapes, and finishes.

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We’re so inspired by this blasted Foundry Maple wall at WeWork on Broadway.

 

At Pop at Pod restaurant in Manhattan, you’ll find sanded reclaimed gymnasium flooring from a high school in Minnesota, and rough-sawn FSC Certified Western Red Cedar ceiling t&g.

At Pop at Pod restaurant in Manhattan, you’ll find sanded reclaimed gymnasium flooring from a high school in Minnesota, and rough-sawn FSC Certified Western Red Cedar ceiling t&g.

Chop't Creative Salad Company in Brookfield Place features a creative use of reclaimed Settlers' Plank Oak in a herringbone pattern.

Chop’t Creative Salad Company in Brookfield Place features a creative use of reclaimed Settlers’ Plank Oak in a herringbone pattern.

 

Jered stopped in at Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken, off of East Houston, and spotted a nice vertical grain reclaimed Heart Pine counter crafted by our sister company NEWwoodworks. (He also said the chicken is absolutely amazing!)

Jered stopped in at Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken, off of East Houston, and spotted a nice vertical grain reclaimed Heart Pine counter crafted by our sister company NEWwoodworks. (He also said the chicken is absolutely amazing!)

Timberland's corporate showroom in NYC incorporated American Gothic reclaimed oak flooring and paneling, as well as reclaimed white pine ceiling joists salvaged from a sawmill in New Hampshire.

Timberland’s corporate showroom in NYC incorporated American Gothic reclaimed oak flooring and paneling, as well as reclaimed white pine ceiling joists salvaged from a sawmill in New Hampshire.

 

Heart Pine on the facade of this Brooklyn pasta restaurant warmly welcomes its guests. Beveled edges define the planks and add texture while the character complements the clean horizontal lines.

Heart Pine on the facade of this Brooklyn pasta restaurant warmly welcomes its guests. Beveled edges define the planks and add texture while the character complements the clean horizontal lines.

 

We shipped out some industrial salvaged wood for wall cladding to the very first Wolverine company store, located in in Nolita. The old planks were split in half and wire-brushed, giving the look of an industrial stacked wall. The client, contractor, and patrons are thrilled with the finished appearance and we have to agree - it turned out pretty darn cool.

We shipped out some industrial salvaged wood for wall cladding to the very first Wolverine company store, located in in Nolita. The old planks were split in half and wire-brushed, giving the look of an industrial stacked wall. The client, contractor, and patrons are thrilled with the finished appearance and we have to agree – it turned out pretty darn cool.

 

The overlapping and alternating corners of the reclaimed Ash planks add visual interest to the wall, cabinets, and cashier wrap at Charlie Bird restaurant in SoHo.

The overlapping and alternating corners of the reclaimed Ash planks add visual interest to the wall, cabinets, and cashier wrap at Charlie Bird restaurant in SoHo.

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