Rotary 100 — National Lead

This is the latest in an occasional series of posts leading up to the centennial of the Glens Falls Rotary Club in April 2022.

The №1 challenge of seventy five years ago was the same as what many employers face today.

“The company is shipping all the titanium it can make,” The Post-Star reported on Jan. 7, 1946, recapping a speech that Gloyd M. Wiles, plant manager for the National Lead Co. McIntyre operation at Tahawus, in Newcomb, gave the previous day at the Glens Falls Rotary Club luncheon at The Queensbury Hotel.

“His company’s major problem, he said, is manpower, since proper operation of the plant requires at least 400 employees and thus far it has been possible to obtain only from 250 to 350, with a heavy labor turnover,” The Post-Star reported.

The plant paid out nearly $1 million in wages in 1945 — the equivalent of nearly $14.7 million in 2021 dollars.

The Essex County operation’s main product was titanium, a whitening agent used in the manufacturing of paint.

A secondary product was magnetite, an iron ore.

Wiles predicted the Tahawus operation would have “a long, prosperous future,” if an adequate workforce could be found.

The operation closed in 1982.

Click here to read the most recent previous post in this series.

Freelance history writer and documentary film producer from Ticonderoga, NY