Updated 17-III-2020

Cleveland Welds

Little information has been found concerning the now-closed Cleveland Weld Works, a factory of General Electric's Lamp Components Department. It was located within GE's sprawling East 152nd Street Facility - a vast site made up of multiple individual factories, all of which were engaged in the production of component parts and pre-materials for supply to other final assembly lamp plants. The main site was founded in 1913 and it is not certain when the Weld Works joined these operations, although one reference cites its closure in 1972.

Entrance to the 1133 East 152nd Street Facility, 2015, which housed the Cleveland Weld Works

Address 1133 East 152nd Street, Cleveland, Ohio, OH44110, U.S.A.
Location Within the site at 41.5475°N, -81.5730°E
Opened Between 1913-1947.
Closed Between 1972.
Products Welded Leadwire assemblies for lamps and electronic tubes.

The main products of the Weld Works were leadwire assemblies for lamps and electronic tubes, known as 'welds' in the Americas. These consist of short lengths of different wires welded together end-to-end, with at least one of the wires usually having a special composition for sealing through a glass envelope. In 1947 the Weld Works hired Elmer Fridrich as a night-shift machinist, who quickly attained recognition for his ingenuity when he developed an automatic inspection and packaging machine for the pins of electronic tubes, sorting out bent pins and packaging them at the impressive rate of 10,000per hour. He later joined the company's Lamp Development Laboratory at NELA Park and achieved fame as one of the co-inventors of the tungsten halogen lamp. Following the closure of the Cleveland Welds operations, it is likely that its production was either taken over or absorbed by its sister operations, the Jefferson Welds and Carolina Welds plants.

1 A Century of Light, James A. Cox, published by The Benjamin Company / Rutgers, 1979, ISBN 0-87502-062-3, p.153.
2 Obituary Elmer G. Fridrich
3 Encyclopedia of Cleveland History, cites closure of Cleveland Welds in 1972