The Manufacturing Powerhouse

Speech delivered to the Rome Chamber of Commerce
by Syracuse Businessman J. P. Whitcomb


J. P. Whitcomb had been a Syracuse resident for 8 years when this speech was given.  Here are some of the things he had to say about the Syracuse of 1921:

"We manufacture more typewriters than any other city in the world, more soda by-products than any other city in the world, more auto parts and gears than any other city in the world.

"Eighty percent of the auto parts and gears used in the pleasure cars of this country, aside from Ford, are made in Syracuse.

"(We are) the greatest producer of high-grade steel in the world with the exceptions of Pittsburgh and Sheffield, England; the finest tool steel with the exception of Sheffield.

"We make more high grade candles than any other city in the world, more condensed mince meat; more traveling men are sent out from Syracuse than any city in the world. We manufacture more different articles than New York City."

Due to the diversity of its industries, he said, Syracuse "does not suffer during business depression."

"Last vacation, I was visiting with my father in the shed on an old farm in Maine. Standing in the corner was a Syracuse plow. Hanging next to it was a Dietz lantern made in Syracuse. Mother was mixing Hodgkins poultry food for her chickens.

"I visited a battleship off the coast and found it splendidly equipped with steel furniture made in Syracuse. I visited a large real estate office in Texas; on each desk was a package of O.K. fasteners and the typewriters were made in Syracuse.

"I was invited to dinner at the home of a prominent attorney in Minnesota. He was wearing a pair of Nettleton shoes made in Syracuse. He took me to his home in a Franklin car [made in Syracuse]. We had pies for dinner made from None Such Mince Meat and we ate our dinner off pottery made in Syracuse.

"Indeed, her industries are known wherever civilized man is found...a city of which any man may well be proud."

Reported by Dick Case in the Syracuse Post-Standard, Tuesday, January 15, 2002


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