Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Neighborhood 2...

If you use Colgate toothpaste it was most likely made just a few miles away from my house. My dad retired this past fall after 30 years. Needless to say I grew up on Colgate products. I don't think I have ever even tried a different toothpaste. The plant has an interesting history. It opened as a State Prison in 1847. It was a women's prison for awhile and around 1890 they shipped the women elsewhere and it became a prison for men. In 1921 the prison was bought from the state of Indiana. The big clock is a very well known landmark. I think it is one of the largest clocks next to Big Ben in London. I thought the clock was just the neatest thing. My grandpa use to climb up to make repairs. I would beg him to take me up there. I just knew it had to have huge clock works like a wrist watch. I was really disappointed when he told me it was run by a motor the size of a shoebox. Since my dad worked there I got to go on tours. I watched them make and package toothpaste. Now the side by side toothpaste was pretty cool to see put in the tube. Most everything was automated, so there were lots of yellow lines painted on the floor, and do not touch signs every where. While looking at one of the machines, sirens and lights went off and the line shut down. My dad immediately looked for us to make sure it was not one of his kids that stuck their hand past the yellow lines. It wasn't us. The sensors will shut the lines down if something gets too close. Like a hand. Later on the tour dad took us to a different building and showed us the catwalk where the guards watched the prisoners.
Through the years some production was sent to other plants in the US and other countries. Toothpaste is the last production line to be run in the Clarksville plant.
Colgate Palmolive's Clarksville plant will shut it's doors later this year. Three generations of my family had been supported by Colgate.

1 comment:

  1. I find it quite appropriate that the Colgate plant used to be the prison. I sometimes feel this way about my work (wonder if it used to be a prison, too! ha ha)


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