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   Lovell Manufacturing Company


Historic Name

Lovell Manufacturing Company


153-55 East 13th Street


City of Erie

Tax Parcel


Historic District



Class 1 (Definitions of Classes)

State Key Number


Historic Function

Commercial - business









Barn Type on property


Last Entry Update



The Lovell Manufacturing Company was founded by Melvin Newton Lovell and his three stepbrothers in 1881. The company was originally located at 523 and 526 French Street, mainly producing spring beds. By 1882, Lovell had secured patents for other spring products, including mouse and rat traps. The following year, the company constructed the first segment of their factory at French Street, and began producing corn shellers, dynamos, folding wood chairs, and hammocks. The company was successful until Lovell died in 1895. Three years after his death, the company filed for bankruptcy, but was able to reemerge as a stronger company after gaining more control of its production.

In the following two decades, the Lovell Manufacturing Company manufactured a limited range of products. By World War I, they had added a three-story annex to their factory complex, and were capable of producing three hundred clothing wringers per day. In November 1914, The Lovell Manufacturing Company was brought before the Federal Court at Pittsburgh. They were accused of violating the Sherman Anti-Trust Law in regards to their control of clothing wringer production. The company was convicted and fined, but continued production after paying their debts. By 1921, the plant had doubled its size, filling up an entire downtown Erie block. The plant had added a rubber department solely for the production of wringer rolls. The company would later produce wringers from cast iron and cast aluminum rather than wood. The wood department would continue to produce new commodities, including hockey sticks and klacks, which are wood-soled sandals worn by workers in coke ovens. The Lovell Manufacturing Company managed to maintain production levels despite the Great Depression due to the high quality of their goods. In World War II, they were tasked with making unspecified parts for the American war effort. Like many industries during World War II, the Lovell Manufacturing Company’s employee numbers and production levels peaked. The company would continue to thrive as one entity until the 1960s.

In 1967, the Lovell Manufacturing Company became a subsidy of the Paterson-Erie Company. Lovell began manufacturing parts for machines, rather than whole products. Now making metal casings for humidifiers, televisions, computers, fax machines, and a plethora of other technological items, the company was operating as it did in the nineteenth century. In 1974, the company ceased production, and by 1980, the building was being used by a realtor and a technology company. Quinn Machine and Tools began using the building in 1990, which prompted a major revitalization project for the entire property. In October 1990, Steve McGarvey purchased the entire building, and sublet sections of the building out to various businesses for office space, manufacturing space, and storefronts. The property was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1997. In 2016, the entire complex is now referred to as Lovell Place, and has been renovated into apartment units and offices.




Lovell Manufacturing Company National Register nomination


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Photo courtesy, Erie County Assessment Office



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