Robert Fulton, born in Lancaster County in 1765, was the first to make navigation practical with a ship powered by steam. Fulton did not invent the steam engine, but he made history with his steam powered voyage on the Hudson River in 1807. A township in southern Lancaster County is named after him.
Milton S. Hershey, whose name has become synonymous with the chocolate bar, actually started his first milk chocolate factory in Lititz, Lancaster County, PA. Hershey learned his trade in Lititz, before founding the famous factory and town that was named after him in nearby Dauphin County.
The Stehli Silk Mill in Lancaster, recently slated to be converted to residential condos, was at one time the largest silk mill under one roof in the world.
The Follmer-Clogg Umbrella Corporation, located at West King and Mulberry Streets in Lancaster, was once the largest umbrella factory in the world. It has now been converted to residences known as The Umbrella Works.
The Hubley Manufacturing Company in Lancaster was once the largest manufacturer of toys in the world. Vintage Hubley toys (pronounced "Hoobley" by the locals) are now highly prized by toy and antique collectors.
The Famous Woolworth's 5 & 10 Cent Store was first founded by Frank Woolworth in Lancaster in 1879, after a previous unsuccessful attempt in Utica, NY. His original Lancaster store was located at North Queen and Chestnut Streets. Woolworth later went on to establish his corporate headquarters in New York City in the skyscraper named after him.
Armstrong World Industries, with headquarters in Lancaster, is the largest resilient flooring and ceiling tile manufacturer in the world. It was forced to file for bankruptcy in 2000 due to a class action asbestos lawsuit. It emerged from reorganization in 2006. It had a huge factory complex in Marietta, converted from a former defense plant. Armstrong currently operates in 39 different countries. Its Training Center in Lancaster, established in the Armstrong Manor in 1920, is said to have been the first residential training center for single young men.
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