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History of Freeland, Pa.
Freeland factory workers

Workers in Freeland's factories - group photos shown courtesy of the Freeland YMCA, Freeland Historical Society, Tom Landers, Joe Flanagan, Carol Jones, Joe Moore

Do you recognize anyone in these photos? They were taken from the 1920s to the early 1960s - you might see yourself, or family, friends, neighbors. If you can identify anyone, would you please let me know? I can post identifications here. Also, if you can provide any information about any of the photos or the factories, I'd love to hear from you. The earliest photos are shown first. Photo credits follow the 1963 factory photo near the bottom of the page.

Freeland Overall Mfg. Company

                Mfg. Co., early 1920s Charlie Gallagher noticed that the flag has 48 stars here, and guesses that this photo might have been taken sometime around 1923. In this photo we see how grand the factory building looked there on lower Ridge street, next to the railroad tracks, and we can also see a few buildings on the other Freeland Mfg. Co., early 1920sside of the tracks. The Freeland Overalls logo is painted on the front windows. A group of 24 men stand on the steps (see photo at right), and one more man is standing at the far right of the photo. Approximately 139 women sit or stand in front of the factory.  It's fascinating to see the variety of clothing and hair styles, a few hats, and how these folks posed for this photo.

Freeland Mfg. Co., 1920s Freeland Mfg. Co., 1920s

Freeland Overall Mfg. Company

                Mfg. Co. Here is another photo of workers at the Freeland Mfg. Co., makers of Freeland Overalls, possibly taken in the early 1930s. When I again consulted Charlie Gallagher regarding when the photo might have been taken, he wrote: "Some of the women are now sporting curls (that would have been late twenties, early thirties)." Regarding their wearing pants, he added, "twenties but not really accepted until 1930. You can thank Amelia Earhart, Marlene Dietrich and Katherine Hepburn. I believe the two gentlemen at the bottom are Oberrenders. The uniforms, to me, suggest marching in a parade or festival of some kind. Did Hazleton have a 40th anniversary parade as a city in 1931?"

The cropped copy below left should make it easier to see faces, and when I noticed the man behind the right window I thought we should take a look at him, too.

Freeland Mfg. Co. Freeland Mfg. Co. Freeland Mfg. Co.

Freeland Shirt Company, early 1930s

This is interesting for many reasons, one of which is that we have two different takes here! (I need to go back and scan the left end of the take 2 photo.) Actually I don't know which one was take 1 or take 2, I'm just using those names here to differentiate them. There is also a sheet of paper that has some identifications or possible identifications listed. I'm especially taken with the women looking out of the window at far left (why are they still inside?), and the guy leaning on the building at far right. A note on the back of this photo said that it was taken in the early 1930s and was the property of Wilberta Breznitski.

                Shirt Co. early 1930s Freeland
                Shirt Co. early 1930s

Freeland Shirt Co. early 1930s Freeland Shirt Co. early 1930s

Freeland Shirt Co. early 1930s

Freeland Shirt Co. early 1930s Freeland Shirt Co. early 1930s Freeland Shirt Co. early 1930s

Some of these people, like the girls seated behind the guys in the front, seem very young! This take 2 photo has a couple of boys poking their heads in at right that weren't in the other photo. Also, here there's a young woman sitting on the plank in the front with the 5 guys. In the take 1 photo she's at right center next to the man in the dark sweater. Maybe this was really the first take and they made her and the two kids at far right move. It's always tempting to think of narratives and scenarios when looking at these old photos!

Freeland Shirt Company, July 22, 1947

                Shirt Co. 1947

What a great photo - it's huge! 1947, the war is over and people are feeling optimistic.

                Shirt Co. 1947 Freeland
                Shirt Co. 1947 Freeland
                Shirt Co. 1947

Freeland Mfg. Company, November 1956

This photo was apparently made by Hines, the name written under the date at top left. Joe Moore very kindly sent me scans of the sepia photo some time ago, and I copied the black and white photo in Freeland in 2008 when Carol Jones lent it to Tom Landers for me to scan. It had belonged to Wilberta Heyes Breznitski, then Sara H. Corazza, Lou Corazza, then Carol Corazza Jones.

Freeland Mfg.
                Co. 1956

Freeland Mfg. Co.
                1956 Freeland Mfg.
                Co. 1956 Freeland Mfg.
                Co. 1956

NEW ID: Charlie Gallagher reports that two of his aunts are in this photo. Susan Kuskolis, married to Andrew "Pundy" Evanisko, is standing behind the 6th woman from the right in the front row, standing 2 rows back, dark coat and short dark hair. Gizella Kuskolis, married to Stephen Spock, is standing directly behind the woman in the front row in white toggle coat, with dark coat and dark hair.

Identifications on back of the black and white copy, as written: front row, from left: 13, Irving Abrams older son - 14, Abrams owners - 15, Simon Abrams youngest son - 16, Ilene Hollick - 17, Leola Poltrock - 18, Gertrude Poltrock Hollick --- second row, from left, 6, Wilberta H. Breznitski.

Freeland Mfg.
                Co. 1956 Freeland Mfg.
                Co. 1956 Freeland Mfg.
                Co. 1956

Freeland Shirt Company, May 1963

This is the photo with the highest likelihood of people actually seeing themselves in it! Scanned at the Y. I might not have gotten the entire thing scanned, and I don't know whether the blurriness in my scans comes from the photo or my scanning, but maybe I can post a clearer copy at some point. Meanwhile, this is what I have.

Freeland Shirt Co. 1963 Freeland Shirt Co. 1963

Freeland Shirt Co. 1963 Freeland Shirt Co. 1963 Freeland Shirt Co. 1963

NEW ID: Mark Berta tells me that his father Joe Berta, who worked at this factory as plant manager, is the third man from the left in the back row.

These six group photos were scanned between 2008 and 2014. In 2008 the late Tom Landers, then president of the Freeland Historical Society, offered to put out a call to the community to see if anyone would lend him photos or documents so that I could come and scan them, after which he would return the items to the owners. A few of these photos come to us that way. He also gave me scanning access in 2008-2009 to a group of photographs that were housed in the basement of the YMCA under his watchful eye (Joe Flanagan, manager of the Y, tells me that most have now been given to the Freeland Historical Society, while a few remain at the Y on display). Joe Moore kindly sent me scans of the 1956 photo of the Abrams factory. A couple of other photos were at the Freeland Historical Society and I was allowed to scan them there. I'm grateful to everyone who lent photos, shared photos, gave me access to photos, and to Tom Landers, Joe Flanagan, Carol Jones, Joe Moore, the YMCA and the Freeland Historical Society for making it possible to capture and save these images digitally and to share them with you through this website.

As always, additions and corrections are welcome.

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