John Pritiskutch Reproductions

History of Lebanon County - Weimer Machine Works

The following is reproduced from the 1875 Atlas of Lebanon County, Pennsylvania

Reinoehl & Meily's Planing Mills and Lumber • Trade

Ranking first among the industries and manufacturing of Lebanon, is the well-known firm of Reinoehl & Meily, who are engaged extensively in the lumber trade, having connected with their lumber yard a large and commodious planing mill. They are located on North 9th st., and along the southern banks of the Union Canal, for several squares, occupying 4 1/2 squares. This large and flourishing business, which the present proprietors enjoy, had its origin some 45 years ago. To Mr. Samuel Reinoehl, of Lebanon, the father of the present proprietors, and Mr. Henry Smith, of Middletown, the credit is due of laying the foundation-of an industry that Lebanon can well be proud of, and will long stand as a monument of their foresight, in supplying the demands of an increasing population. Formerly, the lumber was floated down the Sawatara Creek, and hauled by teams; but the opening of the Union Canal made transportation much more convenient, and saved much time and money.

At one time, Mr. Reinoehl had associated with him, Messrs, Geo. Reinoehl, Jefferson Shirk, and Geo. Mark. In 18G5, Mr. Reinoehl associated with himself the present proprietors, his son Adolphus, and Mr. Chas. H Meily. The senior member, after being connected with the business for 35 years, retired, and placed it entirely in the hands of Adolphus Reinoehl and Chas. H. Meily, feeling confident that it would be carried on successfully, from the fact that they understood the business in all its branches.

Sufficient capital and credit had been secured, through the strict integrity and business ability of the former proprietors, to extend operations, and they and Messrs. E. & J. McCreary, of Middletown, built ill extensive saw mill at that. place, with half interest each, with a capacity of sawing 8.000 feet of square timber a day. This mill was conducted steadily along with their lumber and coal business here, up to July, 1873, when it was destroyed by fire. Undaunted by misfortune, another and much larger mill was erected by the first of November following, with a capacity of sawing from 25,000 to 30,000 feet of building timber a day. The machinery used in this null is driven by a 60-horse power engine, and employs regularly from 20 to 30 men. There are also two dry docks, a large basin for harboring their logs, and other buildings belonging to the mill, which adjoins the Pennsylvania Railroad and Canal, and the Swatara Creek, the entire property consisting of about fourteen (14) acres. The large stock of square lumber required by the extensive trade of the firm, is purchased at and near Lock Haven, and floated down the Susquehanna to the mill. Purchasing from first hands, enables them to furnish lumber at the lowest market rates.

In order to meet the demands of a steadily increasing business, they erected it large and extensive planing mill in the Borough of Lebanon, on North 8th street, adjoining the Union Canal. This mill contains all the modern improvements necessary for the manufacture of articles in their line. Its convenience for the workmen, facilities for transportation, and its location, surrounded by ample grounds for their extensive lumber yard-occupying 4 1/2 squares--reveals the foresight of the builders, and gives it a standing second to none in the country.

Space will not permit us to mention all the improved machinery used in this building; but two important features cannot pass unnoticed, viz.: 1st. The fan which conveys all the saw-dust and shavings, by means of pipes, from the machinery of every floor, with powerful force, to the shaving-house, where they are used for fuel.

2d. Their lumber seasoning process, which is a great improvement over the ordinary method. It consists of an iron boiler, nineteen feet in length, acid five feet in diameter, placed upon a stone foundation. The seasoner is secured at one end with strong rivets, and at the other end, with a large door swung upon hinges. The green lumber is placed in upon crossed strips of boards, in order to give thorough circulation from all sides. When filled, it will contain 1600 feet of lumber. When full, the door is closed and fastened securely with thirty eye-bolts to the seasoner. The steam is then supplied from boilers, through small pipes, attached to the side of the seasoner. When the steam is let on, a valve is opened beneath the boiler, from which the sap and condensation of steam escapes, as the seasoning proceeds. On the top of boiler process performs its work in ordinary pine lumber in 30 minutes, but longer time is required for different quality, or when the lumber is thicker. Lumber seasoned by this process is not affected by dampness, is a safety valve, with an indicator of a capacity of 140 pounds. This and is superior to lumber seasoned by other processes. Their annual purchases of lumber amount to from 4,000,000 to 6,000,000 feet.