Here’s to the laborers — past and present — who’ve shaped LaPorte

Photos and information courtesy of LaPorte County Historical Society

Happy Labor Day to every worker in every job and profession, and to those who retired after years of labor. To mark the holiday, here are some photos from the archives of the LaPorte County Historical Society.

LaPorte was once home to a Heinz pickle factory, which had a run in the 1890s-early1900s before fire destroyed it. Here women work to package the pickles.

This photo of LaPorte Allis-Chalmers employees shows a World War II-era work scene. Having converted to war production from its regular line of agricultural equipment, A-C filled government contracts for machinery to be used in the war effort. These workers are finishing a 90-mm gun. Also made at the LaPorte facility were the Ontos and the M-6, both track vehicles somewhat like a tank. The LaPorte A-C plant reached an all-time high of 3,200 employees during the war.

Workers assemble meat/deli slicers at U.S. Slicing Machine Co. (later Berkel) in LaPorte. The once-mighty industry distributed its machines throughout the nation. Thanks to its early contributions of uniforms and more to LaPorte High School teams, it’s responsible for the LaPorte Slicers moniker.

This photo was taken Oct. 7, 1896, on Michigan Avenue in LaPorte. It shows the Third Ward Fire Department in competition to determine which volunteer company had the fastest men. In that era, some equipment was pulled by horse and other pieces, such as this hose cart, by manpower.

These workers take a break from assembling pianos at a LaPorte piano factory. (Presumably Hobart M. Cable). Note the partial piano assemblage at left.

A milkman loads his delivery truck outside Long’s Dairy in LaPorte.

Workers embark and/or disembark from buses that transported them at Kingsbury Ordnance Plant in LaPorte, where employees assembled ammunition and explosives during World War II and the Korean War.

Some of the many female employees who helped the war effort at Kingsbury Ordnance Plant gather for a photo,

Levine’s was one of the largest and busiest retail stores in downtown LaPorte for decades, employing many. Here, customers swarm during a special celebration.

8 Responses to “Here’s to the laborers — past and present — who’ve shaped LaPorte”


    Sep 03. 2018

    Fantastic pictures! Some of the good old days of LP.
    Thanks for posting those up. Happy Labor Day.

    Reply to this comment
  2. lawman

    Sep 03. 2018

    as a kid in the 50s I was always thrilled to watch the Levine’s clerks ”shoot” the bill upstairs to the office on the springloaded wire system. wow-that was modern! great story

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  3. Lynn Lisarelli

    Sep 03. 2018

    Yes, lawman, I, too, remember the Levine’s of old, with the shooting of the bill upstairs. After a short wait, the receipt came back the same way. A great memory and great pictures!

    Reply to this comment
  4. Mike Kellems

    Sep 04. 2018

    Always appreciate photos from the past that show a great historical perspective!

    How great would it be for someone to be able to identify a relative in one of the photos from this story?!? Particularly the photo of all the ladies at K.O.P. There has to be a lot of grandmas, mothers and aunts in that pic!

    Reply to this comment
  5. Kathy T

    Sep 02. 2019

    Wonderful photos! I looked for my mother-in-law who worked at the KOP plant but didn’t see her. I also remember Levines, a great store.

    Reply to this comment
  6. John

    Sep 02. 2019

    This is an old article with old comments. Did you think it wouldn’t be noticed?

    Reply to this comment
    • Staff

      Sep 02. 2019

      We felt historical photos are worth re-posting! They are evergreen. The pickle photo was added this year.

      Reply to this comment
  7. John

    Sep 03. 2019

    Oh, O.K. Thank you for the explanation. They really ARE good photos. Loved the one of the old Levine’s!

    Reply to this comment

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