Manufacturer Notes: Swank, Jacob, & Company

  Although much of the Swank Pottery’s history is unclear, certain facts are known. Three brothers, Josiah, Jacob and Hiram Swank, moved from Somerset County to Johnstown around 1856 to operate the Johnstown Pottery, which soon became the Swank Pottery. The Swank firm produced a wide range of salt glaze stoneware pottery, including very large pieces, in the mid- to late 19th century. The pottery, which was often hand decorated, was thrown in the firm’s earliest years, while later examples were molded. Together or separately, the brothers produced pottery that was signed “J & H Swank,” “Hiram Swank & Sons,” “J. Swank & Co.,” and “Swank & Brother.” Food storage jugs and crocks were among the main items produced, along with some children’s toys like coin banks.
  In the 1850s, the firm was located on Market Street and was moved to Kernville by 1859; however, there may have been more pottery locations. As the advent of glass canning jars reduced the demand for food storage pottery, the firm evolved to become a major manufacturer of refractory materials including firebrick and other ceramics used by the steel industry. The Swank refractory business was in operation until the late 1980s. “The Swank brothers were very important in the history of Johnstown’s business community – they were quite entrepreneurial,” Stromsdorfer said. In addition to the pottery business, the brothers owned a hotel and a tannery, and Jacob Swank later started a hardware firm and built the Swank building downtown to serve as its headquarters. The brothers were civic-minded as well, contributing to the establishment of the Vigilant Fire Company in Johnstown.



Was born one mile west of Hooversville, Somerset county, Pa., January 6, 1828; was raised on the farm of his father Samuel Swank; worked on the farm until he was 18 years of age; then went with his brother, Josiah Swank, to learn the potter trade on the same farm; served as an apprentice for three years, then went to Schellsburg and worked for Peter Schell six months; then went home again and worked at the pottery business on his own account for about a year; then went to Bedford and worked for Isaac Reichard for about 14 months; from there went to Davidsville and worked at pottery for his brother; that was in 1852; in 1858 he was married in Davidsville, and was with his brother until 1856, when his brother purchased the Johnstown Pottery, from James Hamilton, on Market street; then he carried on on the pottery; then moved the pottery to Kernville, the Sixth Ward of Johnstown, where the pottery now is. About 1860 his brother, Hiram Swank, entered the partnership with him in the pottery business, and in 1862 they engaged in the hardware business, on main street, where W. H. Levergood's tin store is now, and in 1865 bought and moved to the corner where the hardware store is now, and lived in the same building till 1876, when he built and moved where he lived, at No. 523 Bedford street, up to the 31st of May, 1889, when the flood swept away his hardware store, including his house, wife and entire family. He was one of the thorough businessmen of Johnstown, and his loss will be long felt by his friends and neighbors. To give some idea of the magnitude of Messrs, Swank & Sons' establishment, we submit the following facts: "The buildings occupied by them are a three-story brick, size 40x130 feet, and a two-story brick, size 30x50 feet. the business demanding more room, they erected a new building 40x115 feet and four stories high. Located on a corner their buildings had a street frontage of 275 feet, and the floor space was 60,000 square feet. In connection with the store they had started a steam power carriage and wagon and blacksmith shop, located in the rear of the store. All store and factory was destroyed by the flood."

Cadwell, J. A.; Illustrated historical combination atlas of Cambria County, Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, Atlas Publishing Company, 1890)


One of the brilliant young men of Johnstown was Andrew Jackson Hite, a gentleman and a first-class printer and writer. He started a job office in a building where the Citizens' National Bank is now situated, and, as he said, not having much to do, he published a paper-back book of fifty-eight pages under the title of "The Hand Book of Johnstown for 1856, containing a short sketch of its history, together with a general business summary." The advertisements and the history alternated, page by page. In referring to "The Present" he said:

Johnstown--familiarly,--it includes the Borough of Johnstown--embracing as well as the town proper, the villages of Kernville, Sharpsburg, and Hornerstown; the Borough of Conemaugh--embracing the borough proper, The Island, and Goose Island; Cambria City, the Iron Works, Rheystown, Prospect, & C., with a united population of over six thousand.
"The business of Johnstown is embraced in fifteen Dry Goods Stores, about thirty grocery and provision stores, four drug medicine and book stores, three clothing, two watch and jewelry, two fancy and millinery, two variety, one hat and cap, one hardware, one fur store, one eating house, four oyster saloons, one wholesale liquor, one brewery, one billiard room, one ten pin, one wall paper, one shoe findings, four paint shops, fourteen shoemakers', one tallow chandler, fifteen plasterers, four tailors, eight or ten carpenter shops, four cabinet, four barber shops, three tanneries, two newspapers, one job office, one daguerrean gallery, one stoneware manufactory, one marble shop, three wagon drops, one carriage manufactory, three saddler shops, twelve butchers, one cigar manufactory, six blacksmiths, eight or ten bricklayers, seven lawyers, two dentists, one banking house and twelve teachers."
The business men, their occupations and places of its transaction were as follows:
Charles Ambrose, barber and hairdresser; Main street, four doors from the Mansion House.
J. Swank & Co., stoneware, Market street. (They were Josiah and Jacob Swank)

HIRAM SWANK, of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, now retired from active pursuits is one of the oldest business men of that city. He came to that place from Davidsville, Pennsylvania, 1854, and started a pottery. Two years afterward he was joined by his brother Jacob, and from that time the firm of J. & H. Swank was known in manufacturing circles in Cambria county for more than thirty years. In 1862 the firm added a general hardware business to the pottery enterprise and continued it as a part of the joint property until 1887, when the partnership was dissolved, Jacob Swank taking over the mercantile business, while Hiram retained the pottery branch.
  Soon after the dissolution of the firm Hiram Swank changed the character of his pottery and began the manufacture of a special fire brick, which was and still is used extensively in steel works. From the very beginning the new venture seems t have been a success and the business has been continued to the present time, although the works have frequently been enlarged to meet the increasing demand for the product, and at the same time there have been occasional changes in the personnel of the firm. The plant as it now stands represents a considerable investment of capital, employs a large number of workmen and is numbered with the leading industries of Johnstown. The product of the works is marketed throughout the United States and Canada, and considerable shipments are made to Nova Scotia. When Mr. Swank's sons, Charles and Albert, became of age they acquired all interest in the business and then the firm took the style of Hiram Swank & Sons. In 1895 the senior partner retired and his interest in the business was taken by his son Milton. Then the firm name changed to Hiram Swank's Sons, as since known in trade circles, although two other sons, James W and Ralph L. Swank, are now members of the firm and Charles M. Swank, eldest son of the founder and original proprietor, is now dead.
  Hiram Swank has contributed his full share to the industrial prosperity of the borough and city of Johnstown, also to the building up of Johnstown, erecting a large number of residence properties, and is entitled to the rest and retirement his earlier years of earnest effort have enabled him to take. His business life has been a success and he has been the means of furnishing profitable employment to hundreds and perhaps thousands of workingmen during the course of his long career. His old employes remember him with gratitude and affection, and a wide circle of business and social acquaintances hold him in high esteem for his sterling integrity and moral worth.
  Hiram Swank was born in Somerset county, Pennsylvania, July 16, 1834, a son of Samuel and Katherine (Snyder) Swank, and a descendant of the Swank family, which is made the subject of extended mention in this work. He was brought up on a farm and attended school until he was about nineteen years old, when he began work as clerk in a general store. After a year there he went to Davidsville and learned the trade of a potter. Later for two years he and his brother Jacob carried on a pottery business at that place. In 1854 Hiram left Davidsville and came to Johnstown, where his brother joined him in 1856, and in the same year the firm of J. & H. Swank began a general pottery business in the then borough, as is mentioned in a preceding paragraph. He was a member of the First Lutheran church.
  In 1862 Mr. Swank married Melinda E. Wills, daughter of Elias Wills, of Somerset township. Nine children were born of this marriage: 1. Charles McClelland, born June 4, 1863, married Charlotte Oppy, daughter of William Oppy, of Johnstown, and had one son -- Albert Milton Swank, born October 6, 1890. Mr. and Mrs. Swank are now dead. 2. Annie E., born March 10, 1865, married F. B. Harmoney, of Johnstown. 3. Albert Franklin, born November 17, 1867. 4. Leonore, born February 14, 1871, died September 3, 1871. 5. Milton R., born October 6, 1872, is a prominent Mason, a member of Johnstown Lodge No. 538, F. and A. M.; Portage Chapter No. 195, R. A. M.; Cambria Council No. 32, R. and S. M.; Oriental Commandery No. 61, K. T., and Java Temple, A. A. 0. K. M. S. He also is an Elk, and Knight of Pythias. 6. Ids May, born June 16, 1875, married Frank Phillips, of Johnstown, Pennsylvania. 7. Mary B., born July 5, 1877, married L. G. Zang, of Johnstown, Pennsylvania. 8. James Webster, born February 10, 1880, married Elizabeth Crotzer, daughter of William Crotzer, of Elk Haven, Pennsylvania, and has one son -- James Webster Swank, Junior. 9. Ralph Lloyd, born March 28, 1853. These sons and daughters were all born in Johnstown and were educated in the public and graded schools of the city. Charles McClelland Swank, the eldest son, was a practical machinist for several years previous to his connection with the pottery enterprise. He developed into an excellent business man, but death cut off his useful career. 

GEORGE WASHINGTON SWANK, business man of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, treasurer of the Swank Hardware Company, is a native of Johnstown, born February 22, 1870, son of Jacob and Catherine (Border) Swank, and a descendant of Jacob Swank, the American ancestor of this branch of the family, and who was one of the pioneers of Somerset county in this state. The genealogy of the Swank family from the time of the ancestor is made the subject of more extended mention in the sketch of the life of Harry Swank, of Johnstown, to which reference is made.
  Mr. Swank was educated in the public schools of Johnstown, and when about eighteen years old began work in the hardware store of his father and uncle, and there entered upon his active business career. On the death of his father, in 1889, he became one of the proprietors of the business, and in 1893, when the Swank Hardware Company was incorporated, he was elected its treasurer. The other officers at that time were Harry Swank, president; Charles R. Glock, vice-president, and Morrell Swank, secretary. His attention is devoted closely to the company's financial affairs and the business in general, and much of the success which has rewarded the efforts of the company officers and managers is due to his capacity and judgment. In politics Mr. Swank favors the principles of the Democratic party, but he votes independent of party ties. He never has sought or held public office. He is a member of the First Lutheran Church, and at one time was a trustee of Trinity Lutheran Church. He also is a member of Conemaugh Lodge No. 191, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, of Johnstown, and has passed all its chairs; member of Johnstown Lodge No. 245, Ancient Order of United Workmen, and of Johnstown Lodge No. 175, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.
  George W. Swank married, March 15, 1889, Martha Jane Ream, daughter of Isaac and Ellen (Rogers) Ream, of Somerset county, both descendants of old families of that region. Children of George W. and Martha J. Swank: Paul George, born January 28, 1897, died November 17, 1904. Harold R., born July 30, 1898.

HARRY SWANK. The Swanks of Pennsylvania are of German origin, and while the representatives of that surname in the state are not numerous there are among them men of character and of action, whose part in the industrial and commercial history of the Commonwealth has gained for their family name an enviable standing in all circles.
Of the branch of the family in Pennsylvania the American ancestor was Jacob Swank, who was one of the pioneers of Somerset county, where he was a farmer. He married and had children, but authentic records of them are meager.
  Samuel Swank, son of Jacob Swank, was born in Somerset township, 1798, spent his life in that locality and died in 1879. He married Katherine Snyder, daughter of Josiah Snyder, who also was an early settler in Somerset county and a thrifty farmer.
  Jacob Swank, son of Samuel and Katherine (Snyder) Swank, was born January 6, 1828, in Somerset county. He engaged in business pursuits and for several years carried on a pottery at Davidsville, Somerset county. Mr. Swank came to Johnstown, 1854, where two years afterward Hiram Swank joined him and together they engaged in the pottery business under the firm name of J. Swank Company. The business was continued several years with good success, and in 1862 the firm purchased of Charley Frank the hardware business which was thereafter conducted under the firm name of J. & H. Swank. In 1882 the partnership interests were divided, Jacob taking the hardware store and his brother the pottery. Later Newton Swank, a son, became a partner, the firm name being changed to that of J. Swank & Son. In May, 1889, Jacob Swank, his wife and two youngest children lost their lives in the awful flood of that year, after which the business interests were looked after by his sons, who for some time had been associated with him. For more than thirty years Jacob Swank was identified with the business history of Johnstown, and his efforts were rewarded with success. He is remembered as an honest, capable, straightforward business man and a respected citizen in the community. For many years he was a trustee of the Savings Bank, also stockholder in the First National Bank. For many years he was a member and trustee of the English Lutheran church. In politics he was a Democrat, and for some years a member of the city council.
  Jacob Swank married Catherine Border, daughter of Samuel Border, a cabinetmaker and farmer of Somerset county, and their children were: 1. Morrell, born August 6, 1857, married (first) Ella Fry, who was drowned in the flood disaster of May 31, 1889; married (second) Araminta Fry, a sister of his first wife. 2. Newton B., married Naomi Parsons, and is now engaged in business in Johnstown. 3. William, married May Stickler and lives at Walnut Grove, near Johnstown. 4. Harry, see forward. 5. George Washington, treasurer of the Swank Hardware Company. 6. Etta, wife of Charles R. Glock, of Johnstown. 7. Frederick, drowned May 31, 1889. 8. Jennie, drowned May 31, 1889.
  Harry Swank, fourth son and child of Jacob and Catherine (Border) Swank, was born in Johnstown, January 6, 1868. He was educated in the public schools, and after completing his studies worked in his father's hardware store and acquired a thorough knowledge of the business. Previous to the death of his father he had charge of the machine and blacksmith department, and afterward, on the organization of the Swank Hardware Company, he had especial supervision of the builders' hardware stock.
  The Swank Hardware Company of Johnstown was the successor of the firm of J. Swank, Son & Co. In 1886 Mr. W. E. Parke was admitted to the firm, the name being changed from J. Swank & Son to J. Swank, Son & Company, which continued until time of flood, 1889. The day following the great disaster the present members of the firm began the work of reconstruction and drove the first nail in the rebuilding of Johnstown; they conducted business that day, Saturday June 1, 1889, and the following days secured quite a creditable stock of new goods. This business was begun in a small temporary structure which they occupied for several weeks, at the expiration of which time they erected on the site of Greer's furniture store a building in which then conducted business for several years. They then erected a frame building at the corner of Main and Bedford street, which they occupied until 1898, when it was replaced with a five-story brick building, which was burned March 28, 1906, wherein the firm lost heavily. They are now building a modern six-story building, of reinforced concrete construction, and when completed they will have in their combined stores and warehouses over five acres of floor space devoted to the hardware and vehicle departments, with house furnishing department. When the new organization was affected, June, 1898, they were associated under a partnership agreement until 1902, which included the three brothers--Morrell, Harry and George W.--and the brother-in-law, Charles R. Glock. In 1901, owing to the increased business, they incorporated under the firm name of Swank Hardware Company, with a, capital of $250,000, with Harry Swank as president, Charles M. Glock as vice-president and manager, George M. Swank as treasurer and Morrell Swank as secretary. In 1902 the Bantley Hardware concern was purchased and stock changed to house furnishings. In 1896 Newton B. Swank withdrew from the firm and assumed the implement and vehicle end of the business, which he conducted independently until 1906, when the consolidation of N. B. Swank and Swank's house furnishing department was effected, making it by far the largest mercantile concern between Pittsburg and Philadelphia, in fact in all western Pennsylvania. Almost since the business was founded its proprietors have given attention to the wholesale trade, but within the last several years the jobbing trade has become first in importance in the company's operations. Several traveling salesmen are now on the road, and the region covered by them includes all the territory of which Johnstown is the business center and even extends into the state of Maryland.
  Besides being president of the Swank Hardware Company and manager of its house furnishing department, which duties occupies much of his time, Mr. Swank is in many ways closely identified with industrial, commercial and financial interests in Johnstown, and is in all respects a successful, competent business man. At one time he was treasurer of the B. H. Campbell Brick Company of Johnstown, and is now vice-president and a director of the First National Bank; director of the First National Bank of Rockwood, Pennsylvania; trustee of Vigilant Fire Company, director of Johnstown Sanitary Dairy Company and of Johnstown Ice and Cold Storage Company. In each of these corporations he has a financial interest. In politics he is a Republican, but inclines to be independent in disposing his vote, favoring principles and men rather than party in the election of public officers.
  Mr. Swank married, June 5, 1889, Sarah E. Hartzell. daughter of Napoleon B. and Jane (Penrod) Hartzell, formerly of Stoyestown, Pennsylvania, now of Johnstown. Children of Harry and Sarah E. (Hartzell) Swank: Luke Hartzell, born February 21, 1890; Anna Jean, born June 14, 1892. 

Storey, Henry Wilson; History Of Cambria County, Pennsylvania (New York, LEWIS PUBLISHING COMPANY, 1907)

HIRAM SWANK, brick manufacturer of Johnstown, this county, is a son of Samuel and Katharine (Snyder) Swank, and was born on July 16, 1834, in Somerset county, Pennsylvania. The Swank family is of Swiss extraction. Jacob Swank (grandfather) was one of the pioneer settlers of Somerset county, Pennsylvania, where he owned and cultivated a large farm until the time of his death. Josiah Snyder, grandfather on the maternal side of the family, was a native of Somerset county, and also followed the pursuits of a farmer. Samuel Swank, father of the gentleman whose name heads this sketch, was a native of Somerset township, and was born in 1879. He, too, followed the pursuits of an agriculturist, owning and successfully cultivating a large farm in Somerset county, Pennsylvania. He married Katharine Snyder, and died in 1879, at the age of eighty-one years. Hiram Swank received his early education in the common schools of his native county, and remained on the farm with his parents until, at the age of nineteen years, he accepted a position as clerk in a general store for one year, at which time he went to Davidsville, Somerset county, where he learned the trade of a potter. In 1854 he came to Johnstown and engaged in the pottery business, which he followed until 1887, when he changed the character of his business. That year he began the manufacture of a special brand of bricks, used in the construction of steel works. This new plant, which cost about £50,000, is located in the Eleventh ward, Johnstown, and when running its full capacity, gives employment to one hundred men. This firm is well and favorably known, and their goods have been introduced into all parts of the United States. They also find a ready market in Nova Scotia. , In 1862 Mr. Swank married Miss Malinda E., daughter of Elias Mills, of Somerset township, and to this marital union have been born four sons and three daughters : Charles M., a machinist by trade, but now employed in the brick works with his father ; Albert F., who is secretary to his father ; Annie E., wife of F. B. Harmony, of Johnstown ; Milton, a plumber; Ida May, Mary B., J. Webster, and Ralph Lloyd. 

MORRELL SWANK, a member of the 4 firm of the Swank Hardware Co., of Johnstown, this county, is a son of Jacob and Catherine (Border) Swank, and was born in Johnstown, August 6, 1857. His grandfather, Samuel Swank, was born and reared in Somerset county, Pennsylvania, where he engaged in agriculture all his life. He died in his native county in 1884. Jacob Swank (father) was born in Somerset county, and removed to Cambria county in 1856, locating in Johnstown, where he engaged in the pottery business, being a practical potter himself. He continued this business successfully until the time of the late Civil War. In 1862 he embarked in the hardware business in Johnstown, and conducted the business successfully until the flood of 1889, in which terrible disaster he lost his life, aged fifty-seven years. He was a member of the English Lutheran church, and in politics was identified with the Democratic party. Mr. Swank was a very successful business man. He was a hard worker, and by honest methods and close attention to business he gained tjie confidence of all who knew him. His marriage with Catherine Border, a native of Somerset county, who also lost her life in the memorable flood, resulted in the birth of a number of children. 
  Morrell Swank was reared in Johnstown, and received a good common-school education. On leaving school he entered his father's hardware store as a clerk, and continued with him in that capacity until the great flood. His father having lost his life in the flood, Mr. Swank, in connection with his brothers, Harry and George W., has conducted the business under the firm name of the Swank Hardware company. 
  Mr. Swank has been twice married. In 1884 he was united in marriage with Miss Ella, a daughter of the late Dr. Fry, of Johnstown. By the first marriage Mr. Swank has one daughter living: Zora. In 1893 he married his second wife, Miss Ariminta Fry, a sister of the deceased wife. In the great flood of 1889 Mr. Swank lost his wife, one child, father, mother, brother Frederick and sister Jennie, besides about twenty other relatives.

Biographical and Portrait Cyclopedia of Cambria County, Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, Union Publishing Co., 1896)

Hiram Swank's Son's, Johnstown, Pa. — Mr. Hiram Swank established a fire brick works in what is now the 6th ward of Johnstown as long ago as 1856, which were in operation until about six years ago, when new works were constructed in the 10th ward on the line of the Penn. Central R. R. This is on the opposite side of the town from the other companies mentioned. The business is now managed by Hiram Swank's sons, Chas M., Albert F. and Milton B. Swank. They manufacture centre and bottom plate runner brick, sleeves, nozzles and Bessemer tuyeres, also vitrified buff-colored building and paving brick. 
They operate a clay mine about half a mile east of the works and ship some of their clay from South Fork Station, a few miles further up the valley. 

Beaver, James A.; Annual Report of the Pennsylvania State College For The year 1897 (Harrisburg, Wm. Stanley Ray, 1896)

25 25 Josiah Swank       27 M Potter 300 Penna
           Elizabeth do         24  f                       do
           Mary C       "            2 "                         "
          Jacob         "            1 M                        "
          William Lore         16 "  Potter             "

1850 Pennsylvania Somerset Conemaugh

74 77Samuel Swank 51 m farmer 5000 Penna
         Catharine do     47  f                            do
          Noah          "      24 m farmer                "
          Jacob       do     24 "  Potter                 "
          Jeremiah   "       20 "  farmer                "
          John           "       17 "  Do                      "
          Hiram         "       15 "  Do                      "
          Samuel      "       10 m                            "
          Eliza           "         9 f                              "
          Susan        "         7 "                              "
          Daniel        "    9/12 m                            " 

1850 Pennsylvania Somerset Quemahoning

54 63 James Robb 38 M Brickmaker Pa

1850 Pennsylvania Cambria Johnstown

431 442 Josiah Swank        37 M Master Farmer 600 905 Penna
                Elizabeth E "          35 F                                               "
                Mary             "         12 F                                               "
               Jacob            "         10 M                                              "
               Edward H      "           9 M                                              "
               Sharlot          "            5 F                                               "
                Nelson Smith          20 M Farmer                                "
                Samuel Masters     17 M Farmer Apprentice            "

1860 Pennsylvania Somerset Conemaugh

1064 1095 Jacob Swank             31 M Master Potter 1000 800 Penna
                    Catharine  "                25  f                                                 "
                    Morrell        "                  3 M                                               "
                    Newton       "                  1 M                                               "
                    Lacey Miller                 16  f Domestic                              "
                    Christian Hudson        25 M Laborer                        250 "
                    Ann                "              20 f                                                "
                    Hiram Swank               25 M Master Potter 100 700      "
                    Jacob     "                     15 M Pot. Apprentice                  "
                    Samuel   "                     22 M Potter                                  "
                    Alex Miller                     22 M Teamster                            "

1860 Pennsylvania Cambria Johnstown

1863 Swank J. & co.           Johnstown Crockeryware                787.00 3 Pct A58   23.61
1864 Swank J & Co            Johnstown Stoneware &c               105 900.00 5 pct     45.00
1864 Swank J. & Co.          Johnstown Manufacturer May 1 42              $10              10.00
1864 Swank J & Co            Johnstown Manufacturer May 1 64 219      $10              10.00
1864 Swank J & Co.           Johnstown Pottery Ware                   507.00 3 pct A 58 15.21
1864 Swank Jacob & Co   Johnstown Crockerware Income 64 774.00 3 Pct 50    23.22
1865 Swank J & Co            Johnstown Stoneware                      1534.26 6 pct         92.06
1866 Swank, J & Co           Johnstown manufacturers                                                 10.00
            same                              do          Ret. Dealers                                                   10.00
         Swank Jacob                   do          Income                                                               7.50
         Swank Hiram                   do                do                                                                 7.50
1866 Swank J & Co            Johnstown Crockeryware                        1650.00 6%    99.00
1866 Swank Jacob             Johnstown Income                                     150.00 5 pct     7.50
          Swank Hiram                      do           do                                        150.00    "         7.50

IRS Tax Records

35 35 Swank Jacob             42 M W hardware Meht 10,000 6000 Pa
            -- Cath                        36 f W Keeping House                          do
            -- Morrell                    12 M W                                                    do
            -- Henry                      10 M W                                                    do
            -- Willie                         7 M W                                                    do
            -- Harry                         3 M W                                                    do
            -- George               4/12 M W                                                     do
            -- Daniel                     20 M W Salesman                                  do
            Lohr Elisa                   18  f W  Domestic Servant                    do
62 60 Swank H.                      32 M W Potter                    6000 1200 Pa
             -- Melinda                   28  f  W Keeping House                        Pa
             -- Ch.                             7 M W                                                    Pa
             -- A. E.                           5 f   W                                                   Pa
             -- Alb F.                         2 m W                                                   Pa
63 61 Swank Saml                 36 M W Teamster                 500  200 Pa
            -- Mary                          26 f W Keeping House                         Pa
            -- Perry                    6/12 M W                                                     Pa
64 62 -- John                         38 M W laborer                                200 Pa
           -- L.                               35 f  W  Keeping House                         Pa
           -- N                               16 M W                                                     Pa
           -- Newton                     16 M W                                                     Pa
           -- Nathan                      14 M W                                                     Pa
           -- Norman                       8 M W                                                     Pa
           -- C. B.                            6  f W                                                      Pa
            -- Cath                           4  f  W                                                      Pa
            -- John                      3/12 M W                                                     Pa
71 70 Swank Jacob               23 M W Potter                                1000 Pa
           Swank S. J.                  19 f W Keeping House                           Pa

1870 Pennsylvania Cambria Johnstown

189 187 Swank, Joseah                  47 M W Farmer         12,000 1,000 Pa
                 -- Elizabeth                        44 F  "   Wife                                       "
                 -- Mary                               22 F  "    at Home                                "
                 -- Elwood                          20 M "      "     "                                      "
                 -- Charlotte                       14 F  "      "     "                                      "
                 -- Peter                               7 M  "      "     "                                      "
                 -- Samuel                           6 M   "     "     "                                      "
                 -- John                                6 M   "     "     "                                      "

1870 Pennsylvania Somerset Conemaugh

Swank Daniel, potter, 122 Morris.
SWANK GEORGE T., editor and proprietor Tribune and Postmaster, Franklin, residence 57 Walnut.
Swank Hiram, of Swank & Co., 122 and 124 Napoleon.
Swank J., of J. & H. Swank, Main and Bedford.
Swank J. & Co., pottery works, 118, 120, 122 and 124 Morris.
Swank J. & H., hardware, Main and Bedford.
Swank Jacob J., potter, 128 Napoleon.
Swank John, potter, 118 Morris.
Swank Morrell, clerk, Main and Bedford.
Swank Nancy M., widow of George, 57 Walnut.
Swank Neff, painter, 135 Napoleon.
Swank Samuel, potter, 119 and 121 Napoleon.

-- Pottery. --

Swank J. & Co., 118, 120, 122 and 124 Morris.


523 Bedford 
217 231 Swank Jacob      W M 52                      Hardware Merchant Penna
               -- Catharine          W F 45 Wife             Keeping House        Penna
               -- Morrill                W M 23 Son              Clerk in Store           Penna
               -- Newton             W M 20 Son               Clerk in Store           Penna
               -- William              W M 16 Son               Clerk in Store          Penna
               -- Harry                  W M 12 Son              At Home                   Penna
               -- George              W M 10 Son                                                Penna
               -- Elmarretta          W F   8 Daughter                                        Penna
               -- Jennie                W F    4 Daughter                                       Penna
               -- Frederick           W M  1 Son                                                 Penna
218 233 Zimmerman Mary W F 16 Servant          Servant                   Penna

163 163 Swank Daniel        W M 30                      Clerk in Hardware Penna
                   -- Lovina              W F 28 Wife                  Keeping House Penna
                   -- Martha J          W F   4 Daughter                                       Penna
                   -- Elsie C            W F   3 Daughter                                       Penna
                   -- Walter H          W M 8/12 Son                                            Penna
                 Fry Caroline          W F 40 Aunt                                              Penna

115 115 Swank John            W M 48                        Pottery                  Penna
                  -- Lorina                 W F 45 Wife               Keeping House  Penna
                 -- Newton                W M 19 Son               Engineer              Penna
                 -- Norman               W M 18 Son               Laborer                Penna
                 -- Carrie                  W F 15 Daughter                                     Penna
                 -- Kate                     W F 15 Daughter       at School             Penna
                 Swank, Nathan       W M 22 Boarder                                     Penna
                 Woodruff Charles  W M 21 Boarder        Printer                  Penna

233 233 Swank Samuel         W M 42                       Potterer               Penna
                  -- Mary                     W F 36 Wife              Keeping House  Penna
                  -- Perry                    W M 10 Son              at School              Penna
                  -- Maggie                W F    8 Daughter     at School             Penna
                  -- Nellie                    W F    6 Daughter    at School              Penna
                  -- Sadie                   W F    4 Daughter                                  Penna
                  -- Noah                    W M    1 Son                                           Penna
                  Sellers Rose           W F  17 Servant                                     Penna
                  Knee Margaret       W F  72  aunt                                          Penna
234 234 Swank Hiram            W M 48                       Potterer               Penna
                  -- Malinda                W F 38 Wife              Keeping House  Penna
                  -- Charles                W M 17 Son               Machinist            Penna
                  -- Annie E                W F 15 Daughter                                   Penna
                  -- Albert                    W M 12 Son                                           Penna
                  -- Milton                    W M    6 Son             at School             Penna
                  -- Ida Mary                W F    5 Daughter                                 Penna
                  -- Mary B                  W F    3 Daughter                                 Penna
-- Webster W M 4/12 Son Pa

245 245 Swank Jacob             W M 34                      Potter                   Penna
               -- Sarah J                     W F 27 Wife             Keeping House  Penna

1880 Pennsylvania Cambria Johnstown

331 vine Street
267 269 Swank George         Head                 W M      30 Penna      Hardware Merchant
                 -- Martha                  Wife                   W F      30 Penna
                 -- Paul                      Son                    W M        3 Penna
                 -- Harrold                 Son                    W M 11/12 Penna
                 -- Gray Ada             Servant               W F       33 Penna

441 Vine Street
414 423 Swank Morrell           Head                  W M      42 Penna     Hardware Merchant
                  -- Ariminta               Wife                    W F      50 Penna
                  -- Fore                     Daughter            W F      12 Penna      at school
                 Fry Christina            Mother in Law    W F      67 Penna
                 -- Fora                      Sister in Law      W F      41 Penna
                Hidden John             Lodger                W M     40 Penna       Draftsman
                Marat Edward          Lodger                W M      23 Penna      Draftsman

507 Napolean Street
340 348 Swank, Newton      Head                   W M      41 Penna      Merchant
                 -- Naomi                 Wife                    W F      37 Penna
                 -- Mona                   Daughter            W F       15 Penna      At school
                 -- Bessie                 Daughter            W F       13 Penna      At school
                 -- Newton               Son                      W M      10 Penna
                 -- Ella                      Daughter            W F         5 Penna
                Goller Maggie L     Servant                W F      18 Germany  Servant

634 South St
170 173 Swank, Harry           Head                  W M        35 Penna      Merchant
                --, Dolly                     Wife                   W F         35 Penna
                --, Luke H                 Son                    W M         10 Penna      At School
                --, Anna J                 Daughter            W F           7 Penna      At School
              Hartzel, Napoleon B F-in Law             W M        62 Penna

617 Napoleon Street
247 250 Swank Samuel         Head                 W M         61 Penna
                --, Mary                     Wife                   W F          36 Penna
                --, Perry                    Son                    W M          29 Penna Drayman
                --, Nellie                    Daughter          W F           26 Penna
                --, Sadie                   Daughter           W F           24 Penna
                --, Noah                    Son                    W M          21 Penna Drayman
                --, Samuel                Son                    W M            6 Penna At School
623 Napoleon Street
248 251 Swank Hiram           Head                 W M            65 Penna Manu'f (Brick)
                  --, Malinda E          Wife                  W F             58 Penna
                  --, Albert F              Son                   W M            31 Penna Manu'f (Brick)
                  --, Milton                 Son                   W M             27 Penna Manu'f (Brick)
                  --, Ida M                  Daughter          W F             24 Penna
                  --, Mary B               Daughter          W F             22 Penna
                  --, James W          Son                    W M            20 Penna Laborer (Brick Works)
                  --, Ralph L              Son                   W M            17 Penna Laborer (Brick Works)
                  --, Albert M             Grandson         W M              9 Penna At School
                  Steger, Lizzie        Servant             W F             22 Penna Servant
625 Napoleon Street
245 245 Swank Jacob           Head                W M             54 Penna
                --, Jennie C              Wife                 W F              33 Penna
60 1/2 Garden Alley
203 229 Swank, Nathan         Head               W M             45 Penna Brick Burner B wks
                 -- Annie                    Wife                 W F             34 Penna
                 -- John                      Son                 W M              22 Penna Laborer Beam Mill
                 -- Mary                      Daughter        W F               20 Penna
                 -- Laura                    Daughter         W F              17 Penna
                 -- Bertha                   Daughter         W F             14 Penna
                 -- Nellie                    Daughter          W F             12 Penna at School

1900 Pennsylvania Cambria Johnstown

Manufacturers of fire brick.

Harbison-Walker company, Cambria City.
A. J. Haws & Sons (Limited), Johnstown and Coopersdale.
Hiram Swank Sons, Johnstown.
South Fork Fire Brick Company, South Fork.

Emmons, S. F.; Eckel, E. C.; Contributions of Economic Geology 1906 (Washington, Washington Printing Office, 1907)

623 Napoleon Street
9 9 Swank Hiram Head M W 76 Penna Retired Brick Manufacturing

1910 Pennsylvania Cambria Johnstown

IRA E. MATTHEWS, superintendent of the fire brick plant of Hiram Swank Sons, which is being completed at Irvonia, Clearfield county Pa., was born in Iowa, September 1, 1881......
...and two years later was made superintendent of construction and superintendent of the plant for Hiram Swank Sons, at Irvonia.
The Irvonia Fire Brick plant of Hiram Swank Sons, is one of the finest of its kind in the country. This plant is being erected by four sons of Hiram Swank of Johnstown, Pa. Hiram Swank is a pioneer in the manufacture of fire brick, he established his first plant at Johnstown, in 1856, which is still in operation, conducted by his four sons under the name of Hiram Swank Sons. The construction work on the Irvonia plant was started in June, 1910, after experts had visited the largest and most modern kind all over the country, the object being that nothing that would add to the convenience and utility of the new plant should be 'omitted. the laying out, construction and equipping of the plant has been directly under the supervision of the present Superintendent, Ira E. Matthews. the main building has dimensions of 206x77 feet, and the boiler-house extension of 70x30 feet. The frame is entirely of steel. The plans are for sixteen kilns, with a contemplated extension of 300 feet additional space to the main building. The product includes the manufacturing of nine-inch brick and all kinds of shapes. If the output was reduced to nine-inch brick exclusively, the capacity provided for would be 80,000 brick daily. At the end of one year if plans are completed employment will be afforded 175 men.
The plant is constructed in such a manner that the clay and coal can be conveyed to their respective places without resorting to manual labor, by means of elevator trucks. The concern owns an abundance of the finest grade of clay and has both the New York central and Pennsylvania Railroads insuring good rates as well as fine accommodations for shipping both raw materials and the finished product. During the months since this plant has been under construction, real estate in proximity has increased from one hundred to one hundred and fifty percent. The value of the plant is $100,000.

Swoope, Roland D. Jr.; Twentieth century History of Clearfield County Pennsylvania (Chicago, Richmond-Arnold Publishing Co., 1911) 


IRVONIA--Production at the Irvonia brick plant, which is owned and operated by Hiram Swank's Sons of Johnstown will be resumed next Wednesday, May 1, after being shut down since mid-December of last year, it was announced today by plant officials.
Agreement on long-standing differences between plant officials and local union No. 457, United Brick and Clay Workers, AFL, on issues of pay differential, vacation pay and other differences has been virtually completed, officials stated.
While it is expected that that a prolonged coal strike will definitely affect production at the local plan, officials pointed out that production will continue until the plants coal stockpile is exhausted. It is estimated that coal on hand will be sufficient for about two week's production.
Repairmen have been working for the past two days in the plant making the necessary adjustments and repairs for the resumption of production. Plant officials declined to state the exact number of men to be employed next week.

Clearfield Progress (Clearfield Pennsylvania) April 27, 1946

Mr. Swank said his company is completing its 100th year in business with prospects brighter than ever.
The company was founded by Hiram Swank as a pottery concern in 1856. In 1887 it turned to making of special kinds of ..

The Progress (Clearfield, Pennsylvania) January 18, 1956

On a visit to the McKean Mine near Clymer, the Honorable John S. Fisher noticed a grayish material under the coal seam. He had some of it analyzed, and it turned out to be a high grade of clay. He then organized the Clymer Brick and fire Clay Company, which was incorporated on April 9, 1907, with Fisher as president.....Hiram Swank of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, purchased the plant in 1917 and renamed it Hiram Swank's Refractories, Clymer Plant. Brick production ceased, and Swank's company made clay nozzles of different types for the steel industry. It closed in 1977.

Busovicki, John F.; Postcard History of Indiana County (Portsmouth, Arcadia Publishing, 2003)

TYK AMERICA, INC. a wholly owned subsidiary of TYK Corporation of Japan was established in 1982 when TYK Corporation bought the assets of Swank Refractories. 
Swank Refractories, established in 1856, was the worlds oldest supplier of refractories for the iron and steel industry pioneering pouring refractories for the first Bessemer Convertor. During its long history Swank Refractories developed refractories for the electric, open hearth, and basic oxygen steel making processes. Swank refractories was a leader in the development of new materials and processes for refractories. 

TYK Corporation, established in 1947, is known world wide for the development of new refractory materials and processes. TYK Corporation is located in Nagoya, Japan. TYK has developed (and is a recognized leader) in supplying special refractory compositions for bottom teeming, iron making, steel making, steel refining, and Continuous Casting. TYK Corporation was one of the principals in the development of the Nippon Rotary Valve for the steel ladles. Currently TYK Corporation operates directly or as subsidiaries over 10 plants in Japan and plants in the UK, Taiwan, and the United States. 

The Akechi plant of TYK Corporation employs over 250 people in research, development, and production of Alumina Graphite Refractories for the continuous casting of steel. Akechi plant was one the first plants in the world to produce such refractories and continues to lead in their development. The Akechi plant is the preferred supplier to many Japanese steel companies and their customer list is world wide. 

TYK AMERICA, INC. operates two plants in the United States. These plants, located at Large (near Pittsburgh), and Irvona (near Altoona), Pennsylvania are engaged in the manufacturing of Magnesia Graphite and Alumina Graphite Brick, Bulk Ultra Low Cement Castables, Precast Monolithic Refractories, Isostatically Pressed Magnesia Carbon Shapes (BOF Tapholes, EAF-EBT tapholes, etc) and Alumina Graphite Shapes for continuous casters. The company also develops various equipment for steel and aluminum industry. 

TYK Corporation is expanding its production capacities worldwide by expanding those plants already established outside of Japan and is actively seeking to expand in other locations by either acquisition or construction. 

TYK AMERICA, INC. has undergone a rapid expansion in production capabilities over the last ten years and will be expanding its operation further in the near future. 

1947 Feb. Tokyo Yogyo Co., Ltd. founded. 
1947 May. Established Nagase Woks at site of Daido Steel, Tajimi. [PHOTO] 
1958 Nov. Akechi Taika Renga K.K. made a subsidiary. 
1960 Oct. Kunimistu Yogyo K.K. made a subsidiary. 
1960 Nov. Constructed the Nº 3 factory at Tajimi Works. 
1961 Oct. Listed on second stocks markets of Tokyo and Nagoya. 
1964 Sep. Hisada Yogyo K.K. made a subsidiary; Mizuno Taika. 
1967 Mar. Separated Works shops from Tajimi Works; established as Hoei Kogyo K.K. 
1968 Sep. Constructed the Nº 4 factory at Tajimi Works to manufacture Zircon brick. 
1969 Sep. Established TYK Research Institute. 
1970 May. Hinomaru Yogyo K.K. made a subsidiary. 
1970 Jun. Purchased Hime Works, Daido Seito K.K. and made it the Nº 3 factory of Mizuno Taika. 
1973 Dec. Constructed Akasaka Works. 1km from Tajimi Works. [PHOTO] 
1974 Oct. Listed on first stock markets of Tokyo and Nagoya. 
1975 Oct. Separated Tokitsu plant; Toki Taika K.K. made a subsidiary. 
1976 Nov. Established Rotary Nozzle International S.A. in Belgium. 
1977 May. Established liaison office in Paris, France. 
1977 Nov. Established liaison office in Chicago, IL. 
1981 Apr. TYK Co. established in Pittsburgh, PA. 
1981 Aug. Established liaison office in Duisburg, West Germany. 
1982 Mar. Established liaison office in Seoul, Korea. 
1982 Apr. Invested in Swank Refractories Company; made it subsidiary; TYK Swank Refractories Company. 
1983 Aug. Constructed new ceramics factory. 
1983 Nov. Established liaison office in London, UK. 
1984 Apr. TYK Swank Refractories Co. changed name to TYK Refractories Company. 
1985 Oct. Constructed Nº 2 new ceramics factory. 
1988 Sep. Changed the name of Tokyo Yogyo Co., Ltd. to TYK Corporation. 
1988 Oct. Established TYK TAIWAN in Taiwan.

Go To North American Soda & Beers Home