Back in about 1911, brothers Oscar and Edward Altshuler of Youngstown, Ohio were buying pickles from the local farmers, packing the produce in barrels of brine and shipping the pickles from the Pennsylvania railroad station, to Albro Industries in Youngstown.
This was profitable for our farmers as well as those in nearby Erie County. The business must have flourished as it became Incorporated in 1924. Oscar was President and Chairman of the Board (retiring in 1962). In 1953 the Company moved their main office to Springboro. This Industry would provide employment for more than 200 people during the busy growing months of summer. It was a good place for college students to find summer jobs and helped many young men and women attain their college degrees.
The produce was either fresh packed or used with a hot mix of brine which was then aged in large vats in their yard. This resulted In an aroma that clung to clothing and hung over the Town during the processing season. Among the favorites were sweet midgets, chips, dill, hot peppers, pepper snacks, cheese and cherry peppers, as well as salad peppers. They also manufactured vinegar and mustard.
The Company had their own laboratory where they tested recipes and these were kept "top secret''. They also had their own print shop where the labels were printed. (Some of these have been showing up on "e-bay", an auction Site on the internet). Albro products were shipped all over the U.S. and could be found on local store shelves.
In the fall it was Kraut making time. Acres and acres of cabbage were produced locally and brought to the factory by truck loads for processing into Sauerkraut.
In 1963 the owners sold the business to H. W. Madison Co. of Cleveland, Ohio. In 1966 they became a division of the J. M. Smuckers Co. in Medina, Ohio. In 1972 the business was sold to John Kaye who became President and chief executive manager of Albro Industries and it's subsidiary, Albro Packing Co. of Springboro, Penna. Within a year, the Company filed for bankruptcy. A small group of investors bought the business and continued to prepare the Albro Sauerkraut until 1976 bringing an end to the well known Albro products.
Gone, but not forgotten ....................
Twenty seven years later, two former employees, Dorothy Martin and Luella Wagner, put their heads together and decided it would be fun to meet with old friends for an Albro picnic, thus began the Annual ALBRO FAMILY PICNIC which met for the 11th time this past September, 2004.
The first picnic was held at the Beaver Center Community building, then moved to the large garage of Jack and Sue McCormick of Spring Township, and this past year, the Springboro Community building. Former employees and family members bring their memorabelia to share with friends and enjoy reminiscing. Betty Bowen of Spring Township was recognized for over 28 years of service, leaving only when the doors closed. Tammy Hritzay and mother Betty entertained by sharing their musical talents and it was Tammy who designed and air brushed their "pickle" green T-Shirts for the last reunlon.
Packers filling quart jars with hot peppers, carrots, cauliflour and onions.1
"Packers" Betty Vobrak and Edith Craig
Packing cans of ALBRO Sauerkraut for shipping
Office staff of Albro Packing Company
Maggie Varee Steigerwald, Ione Carr Davis, unknown)
This article is included in the CVAHS Newsletter, Issue 31, Vol. 16
1Source: Springboro Centennial Edition Plus 10 by Faith Scott
Scrap Book/Photo Album, Carl and Glenda Naas