National Aniline Defense Co - Baldwinsville

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National Aniline Defense Co - Baldwinsville

Postby nydepot » Thu Dec 21, 2017 7:38 pm

Looking for the location of this plant. Seems like it was short-lived. They had an in-plant railroad though.

Charles
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Re: National Aniline Defense Co - Baldwinsville

Postby NYCRRson » Fri Dec 22, 2017 12:08 am

I can't help right now with finding the National Aniline Defense Co in Baldwinsville.

But National Aniline was in Buffalo along the Buffalo River. It eventually became "Buffalo Color" in the 1970's. And is now the site of a railroad and technology museum. It was the premier producer of the blue dye for blue jeans. This dye is created from..... Coal. Some German chemists found a whole class of chemicals called the "aniline's" which form the basis for a whole set of very stable and long lasting color dyes. Some Americans bought the rights to the formulas and set up shop in Buffalo in the 1890's.

Along with producing the majority of the dye for blue jeans, during WWII National Aniline also produced synthetic Quinine which helped reduce the symptoms from Malaria for US troops fighting in the Pacific. I would not be surprised if National Aniline setup a WWII wartime factory in Baldwinsville to increase the production capacity of the Buffalo plant.

National Aniline also produced the first laundry detergents for the US consumer market in the 1950's (not soap, but detergent which breaks the chemical bonds between dirt and fabric).

My Mother's Father was a supervisor at the National Aniline factory in Buffalo, he retired in the mid 1950's and passed away before I was born in the late 50's.

I would be very interested to learn if National Aniline had a wartime factory near Syracuse, it would be the first time I heard of it. Given the demand for synthetic Quinine for WWII in the Pacific it's quite possible.

Cheers, Kevin.
Last edited by NYCRRson on Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: National Aniline Defense Co - Baldwinsville

Postby Mike Doughney » Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:20 am

I can't directly associate the name "National Aniline" with Baldwinsville, but where the planned community of Radisson is located used to be a WWII munitions plant which operated there very briefly. There are still a number of storage bunkers to the northwest of Radisson that might have been part of the plant.

http://www.radissoncommunity.org/sub_ca ... f+Radisson

https://goo.gl/maps/xi4ZVDsA1ck

Historic Aerials has a 1948 topo map of this area that shows two railroads serving the site.
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Re: National Aniline Defense Co - Baldwinsville

Postby lvrr325 » Fri Dec 22, 2017 7:26 am

The only railroads in Baldwinsville were the DL&W and a shortline which the DL&W took over that just barely crossed the river downtown. Presumably a second railroad at this plant would be the plant's own.
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Re: National Aniline Defense Co - Baldwinsville

Postby nydepot » Fri Dec 22, 2017 7:36 am

Hey Kevin, it's not only possible, it's true! :wink:

Their engine arrived new in 1942 and left in May of 1949. It was an ammonium picrate ( Explosive D) plant.

I saw an article about Radisson but wasn't sure of its location. The plant was on that site so thanks for the corroboration. It seems the Anheuser-Busch plant is on part of the former spur.

Charles
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Re: National Aniline Defense Co - Baldwinsville

Postby nydepot » Fri Dec 22, 2017 7:48 am

See original post - "They had an in-plant railroad though."

lvrr325 wrote:The only railroads in Baldwinsville were the DL&W and a shortline which the DL&W took over that just barely crossed the river downtown. Presumably a second railroad at this plant would be the plant's own.
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Re: National Aniline Defense Co - Baldwinsville

Postby NYCRRson » Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:49 pm

Very interesting info about a WWII explosive factory near Syracuse that apparently was operated by National Aniline Defense Co. Probably a subsidiary of the main company setup for the war effort. For a lot of those setups during the war the government would pay for the building and equipment and bring in the private experts to operate things.

It was probably safer to build a new explosives plant out in a farm field instead of right down on the Buffalo River near all the important railroad drawbridges.

My Grandfather used to brag about how every once in a while something would go wrong and they would blow the corrugated steel walls off of one of the factory buildings.

They would just bolt the walls back on and keep on using the building, ha ha...

Eastman Kodak got a huge wooden building for "free" during WWII. South of the Arby's restaurant on Ridge Road (just west of the NYC / BR&P railroad crossing) was a large white building, it later years it was the Kodak Park Wood Working Shop. It was originally built of wood because that is where Kodak assembled the "secret" radar proximity fuses for the artillery. Those fuses would "go off" when they got next to metal, hence the need to assemble them in a wooden building.

Thanks. Kevin.
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Re: National Aniline Defense Co - Baldwinsville

Postby Mike Doughney » Fri Dec 22, 2017 8:08 pm

I think I misidentified a canal (likely part of the plant) as a second railroad spur, looking more closely at it, it's a blue line on the topo map but it curves as if it were a railroad. It's still visible on the Google Map aerial.

Seems likely there were more buildings and infrastructure than what's on that map, but there's little trace of it today though, except for a bunch of roads (some apparently closed) through the woods.

As an aside, the diagonal right-of-way that goes right across the area of the bunkers is evidently that of the Empire State Railroad from Syracuse to Oswego. Strangely it doesn't appear on any of the old topo maps, except as a path marked as an abandoned railroad at the Baldwinsville end.
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Re: National Aniline Defense Co - Baldwinsville

Postby lvrr325 » Sat Dec 23, 2017 1:40 pm

Didn't even know that interurban line existed before today.
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Re: National Aniline Defense Co - Baldwinsville

Postby TB Diamond » Sat Dec 23, 2017 9:52 pm

Began as the Syracuse, Lake Shore and Northern Railroad on September 8, 1905. Line was completed Syracuse-Oswego on July 26, 1911. Reorganized as part of the Empire United Railways in 1913 and subsequently reorganized as part of the Empire State Railroad in 1917. Last cars operated between Syracuse and Oswego on June 24, 1931. Tracks removed 1932/1933.

Information from the book TRAVELECTRIC by James R. McFarlane.
You can't go home again- Thomas Wolfe
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Re: National Aniline Defense Co - Baldwinsville

Postby pumpers » Sun Jan 14, 2018 12:25 pm

nessman wrote:http://fultonhistory.com/Newspapers%20Disk3/Baldwinsville%20NY%20%20Messenger/Baldwinsville%20NY%20Messenger%201981%20Jan%20-%201981%20Dec%20Grayscale.pdf/Baldwinsville%20NY%20Messenger%201981%20Jan%20-%201981%20Dec%20Grayscale%20-%200202.pdf
I wasn't around back then, but when I read things like this, I am always amazed how fast stuff got done. Not 10 committees and consultants to study it 5 years first.

What's the date of the newspaper article? After the war, obviously, and someone is advertising take-out chicken wings, so it can't be too old... The link has "201981" in it a few times. Maybe 1981?
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Re: National Aniline Defense Co - Baldwinsville

Postby NYCRRson » Sun Jan 14, 2018 12:52 pm

Newspaper article is from 1981, but it quotes older news articles.

Seems like the place was ringed with barbwire and sentry towers.

And on the Google 3D view you can clearly see explosive storage bunkers (on Wigiloo road of "60 rd" near the Wildlife Management Area). They are buried with earth on three sides and widely separated. If one goes up you don't lose the whole thing.

Very cool piece of history.
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