Remington Rand Company

Remington-Rand Companies - Rand Ledger Company merged in 1926
with the KARDEX Company to form Remington Rand Co. at 162 - 184 Sweeney Street. 

The Remington Rand Company, a leading manufacturer of office equipment and office supplies, once occupied approximately 150,000 square feet of space in its North Tonawanda plant, just east of the Delaware Bridge. This photograph taken in the 1920's, shows the southwest corner of the Remington Rand plant. Sweeney Street is in the foreground. Marion Street is at the left of the building, on the west side, with automobiles parked from Sweeney Street to Tremont Street. The plant was a printing plant for the bankers' and other clerical supplies for which the original Rand Company had become world famous. It was the profits from the Rand international office supply operations that made possible the acquisition of the Remington manufacturing operations. One of the Remington Rand plants in Maryland produced the first mainframe computer (UNIVAC) used by the U.S. Census Bureau. The Sweeney Street plant closed in the mid-1970's.

These 6 images are of women employees of Remington Rand's printing plant on Sweeney Street during World War II.  These ladies worked on the 3rd floor and were making folders.  Thanks to Jane Dziomba for identifying the location in which the women worked.

Above: Esther Pastor, Alfreda Cotton, and Jean Serbert at work in an unidentified factory, probably in the 1940s. We think the interior looks like the Remington Rand plant. Can anyone help identify the location?

Click here for a News Release about Unidentified Factory Photos of Women Workers

Below: Margaret Meyers, machine operator, and Margaret Hughes.

The typical office in the early years of North Tonawanda's life as a Village and then a City was a cluttered and inefficient place, busy with clerks endlessly thumbing through ledgers or picking through dusty letters in search of information.  It was in this atmosphere that a North Tonawanda telegraph clerk, turned bank cashier, invented the world's first visible record, visible index and visible file--all destined to revolutionize the record keeping methods of modern business.  This industrial pioneer, James H. Rand, Sr., had concluded in the early 1890's that if American business was to match the country's progress in other directions, it would have to be supplied with devices to speed its operations and make them more efficient.

Above: Elnora Woodward, machine operator, and Mary Wamenanik.

Below: Margaret Meyers at work.

It was in North Tonawanda, in 1898, that this North Tonawanda-born son of North Tonawanda pioneer residents, organized the Rand Ledger Company to manufacture, promote and sell his special record-keeping equipment and supplies.  It was in this city, too, that his son, James, Jr., was born and raised and served his apprenticeship with his father's firm.

Above: Angie Grasso at work.

Below: Helen Richter and Viola Siedinski at work.

In 1915, the younger Rand organized the American Kardex Company in neighboring Tonawanda to manufacture and market his own invention, the KARDEX visible record control system, which brought "facts at a glance" to the business office. The Rands, father and son, joined forces in 1925 to form the Rand Kardex Corporation.  Two years later, Remington Rand, Inc., was organized.  Almost thirty years later, in 1955, Remington Rand, Inc., and the Sperry Corporation consolidated to form the Sperry Rand Corporation.  The Corporation decentralized the operations of Remington Rand's organization to providea more manageable structure.  In 1963, the Office Systems Division and the Office Machines Division became the Remington Office Equipment Division.

Remington Rand office workers in February 1919 in the Sweeney Street plant. Photo donated by Doris & June Hollister.

Remington Rand plant workers in February 1919 donated by Doris & June Hollister.

In 1925, the newly-merged Rand Kardex Company purchased Herschell-Spillman Company's manufacturing plant on Sweeney Street.

An aerial photograph in the early 1940's shows the Erie Canal location of the Sweeney Street plant.

The North Tonawanda manufacturing plant was the company's major facility for the printing of KARDEX and Records Retrieval Systems forms in the 1960's.  The Main Street plant in Tonawanda produced the steel filing equipment necessary to house the Remington Records Retrieval System.  It was known in the 1960's as the Remington Office Systems Division, Sperry Rand Corporation.

The "girls" in second floor personnel, Remington Rand's Main Street, Tonawanda plant, on a night on the town at the old Town Casino in downtown Buffalo on Monday, November 18, 1946.  Standing from lel\ft:  Harriet Rohe, Ruth Gath, Mary Basco, Olive Smith, Audrey Ensminger, Viola Holesko, Helen Batka, Ruth Weihrich, Marie Meyer, Phyllis Sarkovics, Betty Pascuzzi, Joy Gammell, and Josephine Arenz.  Sitting from left:  Carolyn Green , Edna Schutt, Shirley Luther, Ruth DeRue, Irene Sherman, Irene Ahrens, Grce Schnorr, Gertrude Weber, Helen Greinert, Kay Goodwill, and Cordelia Van Allen.

Caption to be forthcoming. Courtesy of Loreen Smith.

 


Photos:  Courtesy of William C. Wittkowsky Collection, 1965 Centennial Magazine and Tonawanda News Frontier , Saturday, December 27, 1975

© 2005-2010 North Tonawanda History Museum
54 Webster Street
North Tonawanda, NY 14120
(716) 213-0554