Thompson Manufacturing


The A. F. Thompson Manufacturing Co. produced a wide variety of gas
Space heaters in its Vernon Street factory.


HUNTINGTON -- The A.F. Thompson Manufacturing Co. started out in a small way.
 In 1913, A.F. Thompson, then living at 11th Ave. and 15th Street, began making stoves
 in the basement of his home. Having patented a burner that was uniquely
 efficient, Thompson hired a couple of workmen to help him, and soon
 the business was so busy it outgrew its small basement quarters.

Thompson moved his fledgling company to a building on 8th Avenue at 1st Street, but soon it also
proved too small. So, in 1925, he moved again, this time buying the former Saks Stamping
Co. plant, a block-long building along the Chesapeake & Ohio track
at 1040 Vernon St. in the Westmoreland neighborhood.

Cecil Thompson succeeded his father as the company's president
in 1940, and the elder Thompson died four years later.

The Thompson plant produced a wide variety of gas space heaters in different shapes and sizes.
 By the 1950s it employed 140 workers. In an assembly-line process, stacks of
sheet metal entered the eastern end of the plant and completed
gas heaters emerged near the building's western end.

The company established a second plant at Tyler, Texas,
in 1946. It sold the Texas plant in 1959.

According to information filed at the West Virginia Secretary of State's office,
Thompson Manufacturing went out of business in 1962. Clothing manufacturer
Corbin Ltd. later operated in the former stove plant until 2002.

The old factory building sat vacant and neglected until 2014 when the
Coalfield Development Corp. saved it from demolition. Now known
as the West Edge Factory, it houses a number of job training programs.


Note:  This Article and picture appeared in the Herald-Dispatch Newspaper on May 29, 2017.


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