The Herald Bulletin

Midday Update

Community

January 25, 2014

An Anderson story

Lynch Corportion produced packaging machinery

(Continued)

Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, Lynch experimented with other types of packaging equipment and with a line of air compressor and refrigeration products. The latter operations were sold off, but the packaging equipment became another of Lynch’s major products. Lynch was able to take advantage of the explosion of the packaging industry world-wide and by the late 1950s it had equipment which could serve nearly all segments of the food packaging industry. Lynch products were used in 60 foreign countries. There was even, for a time, a Lynch Corporation subsidiary operating in London, England.

Lynch products weren’t just used around the globe, they were used at home as well. In the Emge Plant on West 8th Street, employees packaged bacon using Lynch’s Tux bacon cartoning machine, which weighed over 10,000 pounds. Delco-Remy used a Lynch machine to package pre-assembled sets of contact ignition points for the automotive replacement parts market.

By 1960, 450 Lynch employees were busy at two locations making elevators and conveyors, machines for packaging solids and liquids, candy bar wrappers, automatic cartoning machines of all sorts, machines to mold, wrap and carton butter, machines to make and wrap ice cream sandwiches, machines to wrap and seal cookies and crackers, scales to measure products to be packed and many machines to form plastic products in sheets, threads and various other forms. The plastic was provided by a subsidiary in Elkhart.

The driving force behind Lynch’s phenomenal growth was Thomas Chandler Werbe, Sr. Although not one of Lynch’s original founders, he became associated with the company in the 1920s and was a driving force behind the merger of Dice and Lynch. He bought out James Lynch’s stock in the company when Lynch retired. Werbe was yet another of the entrepreneurs typical of Anderson in the first half of the 20th century. In addition to his leadership of Lynch Corporation, Werbe was active in the community as well. He was a director for Anderson’s YMCA and the president of the board of the Community Chest, which was the precursor of the United Way. Werbe’s wife was Cleo Edwards Werbe, a native of Tipton County. Cleo had attended college in Virginia and had been a news gatherer for the Anderson Herald. In the 30’s, the Werbes built Cleo’s dream home, modeled on the gracious Southern mansions she saw while a student in college. When it was finished, their home, Whitehall, was the largest residence in Anderson.

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