National Plumbing fire of ’59

    The National Plumbing fire on top of the hill was a very memorable fire. The building itself was on the main road in and out of Ellwood City as the four lane highway wasn’t even a thought yet. These pictures were taken the next day and as you can see there are still pockets of smoke smoldering from a very hot fire. You can see how hot the fire was by what the heat did to the steel beams that held the building up. If you remember this fire or National Plumbing itself, please share your memories by leaving a comment below or email me at
     The fire was not the end of the business nor of the building itself. When the local 2688 United Steelworkers of America (CIO) went on strike in September of 1954, the National Plumbing Fixture Corp. employed 185 men. The firm ceased operations January 31 1967. Company officials reported that the firm could no longer compete with the larger manufacturers of plumbing fixtures.
     It was reported in September of 1969, that a newly formed corporation, Guards Inc., leased the former machine shop building to manufacture safety guards for industrial machinery.

Post originally published 29 April, 2009

3 Comments to “National Plumbing fire of ’59”
Danny John wrote: I remember this fire well I was kinda young but my friends and I got really close to the fire
Don Anderson wrote: I remember the fire very well, we were coming back from Zeleinople and could see the fire for miles
Jim Bastian wrote: We had just moved to Ellwood and lived at the end of Smiley St. We could see the fire from our windows and my Dad took us over there because he thought it was Aetna Standard where he worked.

2 thoughts on “National Plumbing fire of ’59”

  1. Well The National Plumbing is no more. My Grandson and I road down South 2nd. the other day to see if a gardening friend of mine was out and low and behold the structures were gone. It’s a big lot now. Nothing is forever and recently in Ellwood that point has been proven. First the building that housed McGlincy’s old camera store that had the American Legion downstairs, then the Oasis’s, followed by the Mr. McGlincy’s Studio that was located behind his home, then just about a month ago the West End Cafe came down and last week the National Plumbing. I guess it’s called progress, but I see only things leaving, nothing coming to replace them. Maybe someday..!!

    It doesn’t change the fact, I love this little American town. I have such fond memories of my childhood here, as so many of you do and have shared with us. Now, as the years are drifting by, I have the new memories I’m making with my Grandsons. But no matter where I go with them in Ellwood making the new memories, there is always an old memory that pops into my head from those times long ago when I was a snot nosed kid, running the streets of Ellwood, without a care in the world.
    Be Safe Everyone

  2. Does anyone remember the night Ellwood had 5 fires? I could be mistaken on the amount.Zeigler furniture was one of the fires.

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