Jul 27, 2021

The Butchers Of Allentown

photograph by Bob Wilt

A&B (Arbogast&Bastian), dominated the local meat packing industry for almost 100 years. At it's peak, they employed 700 people and could process 4,000 hogs a day. The huge plant was at the foot of Hamilton Street, at the Lehigh River. All that remains is their free standing office building, which has been incorporated into America on Wheels. Front and Hamilton was Allentown's meatpacking district. Within one block, two national Chicago meatpackers, Swift and Wilson, had distribution centers. Also in the area were several small independents, among them M. Feder and Allentown Meat Packing Company.

Allentown Meat Packing was owned by my father and uncle. The area was criss-crossed with tracks, owned by both LVRR and Jersey Central. All the plants had their own sidings. This is an era when commerce was measured in factories and production, not just relocated office workers.

Molovinsky On Allentown occasionally takes a break from the local political discourse to present local history.  My grandfather came to Allentown in 1891 and lived in the Ward on 2nd Street. By the time my father was born in 1917, they lived on the corner of Chew and Jordan Streets.

reprinted from previous years

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