Alpha Portland Cement Co.

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{Photos courtesy Don Delawder} – For the photo album of nearly 200 pictures of the Alpha plant, Click Here. 


Cement Loaded Loose in Huge Barges By Pipe Line

Product Transferred From Cars to Barges By Suction

Cement, purchased from the local Alpha Portland plant by the Dravo Construction Company, is being loaded in novel and modern fashion. Cement is delivered f. o. b. barge and under the present system of operation delivery is being made more rapidly and more economically than ever before in the history of the plant.

At the start, loose cement is fed into a box car from the plant bins, thus eliminating the use of sacks. The railroad car is switched to the Belfont Steel and Wire Company switch at the loading dock below Etna street and modern methods have replaced the former system of lowering cement by a crane, for hand loading in barges.

A long hose, approximately four inches in diameter, is run from the box car at the top of the grade, over a trestle and to the barge being loaded. A suction machine similar in operation to a carpet sweeper, is operated in the box car. The loose cement is picked up and forced through the hose into the barge bins.

The barge, property of the Dravo company is designed specially for cement storage purposes, with enclosed, waterproof top and sealed hatches. The average box car is loaded with cement equivalent to 250 barrels and on one occasion the large barge was loaded with 2800 barrels, or with more than 10 car loads of cement. After being filled the barges are sealed, pushed to the point of operation and a similar suction machine used for unloading the product direct in the mixing machines.

At the present time the Dravo company is working on a dam in the Kanawha river. It has its own tug and barges are being alternated between the two points. While one is being unloaded at the work site, the other is being filled here.
Ironton Tribune, 20 March 1932, Sunday, Page 8.

Men Recalled to Solvay Plant; Cement Co. Will Increase Output In Sept. Decided Upturn Shown By Local Industries

The second block of ovens at the plant of the Ironton By Products Coke Company was placed in operation this morning, with a group of approximately forty workers being called back to their jobs. Orders assure an extended run, it is understood.

The newest block of ovens at the plant has been in operation for some time and this morning’s resumption of the second block means that the plant is at capacity operation.

Another bright spot on Ironton’s business horizon was announcement by the Alpha Portland Cement Company that the local cement plant will also go on full operation on or about the first of September. Employees have been working on a part-time basis for some time but next month will receive full pay. An extended period of operation also seems assured there.

Several hundred workers are to return to their jobs at the Russell C. & O. terminal in early September and part of the force at the Carlyle-Labold plant in Coal Grove has been recalled and men are now engaged.

It has also been indicated that additional women are to be employed at the Reade shirt plant on north Second street, a group of twenty now being trained there.
Ironton Tribune, 26 August 1932, Friday, Page 12.




 About the Safety Monument:

The Iola Register, Iola, Kansas, January 5, 1932, Page 2
Alpha Cement Plant Holds Safety Record
Operated 1849 Consecutive Days Without Single Accident —

Safely working a total of 1849 consecutive days to January 1, 1932, the employees of the Alpha Portland Cement Company’s plant, located in Ironton, Ohio, established a new all-time safety record, which entitles them to national honors. This record of safely operating over five years is second to that of only one other cement plant in North America.

The plant will be re-awarded the Portland Cement Association trophy, a handsome cast stone monument designed at the Art Institute of Chicago. The monument, which stands over eight feet high, is made of portland cement and white granite and upon its face are sculptured two life-size figures representing Safety following Wisdom. The new record will be appropriately inscribed on the massive base of the trophy.

“Supt. F.C. Brownstead and Safety Director W.W. Hamilton, as well as all employees of the plant, are to be congratulated on their perfect safety record which is an outstanding example of the value of cooperation between management and employees,” said Wm. M. Kinney, Vice President of the Portland Cement Association, presenters of the trophy.