Catasauqua Press

Friday, November 24, 2017
Above: A Flag of Excellence was presented to Coplay Cement Company in 1944. Above: A Flag of Excellence was presented to Coplay Cement Company in 1944.
Left: At the flag presentation, a member of the military was one of the speakers. Left: At the flag presentation, a member of the military was one of the speakers.
Also at the podium, Coplay Cement Company officials and War Production Board members spoke.PRESS PHOTOS COURTESY OF ESSROC AND LARRY OBERLY Also at the podium, Coplay Cement Company officials and War Production Board members spoke.PRESS PHOTOS COURTESY OF ESSROC AND LARRY OBERLY

Coplay Cement Company supported the war effort

Wednesday, September 6, 2017 by ED PANY Curator, Atlas Cement Company Memorial Museum in Columns

Recently, Larry Oberly and this writer visited Essroc, now Lehigh Hanson, in Nazareth, to look at some old records of the Coplay Cement Company. Coplay constructed the plant, which became Essroc on 1978.

We found a treasure of historic photographs. The photos in today’s column were taken in 1944.

During World War II, the cement companies in our area continued operation, but their machine shops took on extra responsibilities. The War Production Board directed the companies to utilize their shops to manufacture equipment to support the war.

Coplay milled everything from pumps to 16-inch naval shells. They were so efficient that they were awarded a Flag of Excellence in 1944. The photographs show members of the Navy and Army and officials from the War Production Board and Coplay Cement Manufacturing Company who received the prestigious honor. It was a great day for Coplay and all the cement workers.

The Atlas Cement Company Memorial Museum proudly displays this original flag in the museum, remembering all the cement plants and their employees who contributed to the efforts to win the war.