The largest manufacturing facility in Bedford was located on the west side of Northfield Road, south of Union Street. The McMyler-Interstate Company covered 43 acres of land, including 50 buildings with 400,000 square feet of manufacturing floor space.
- The Company was the result of a consolidation of four companies:
- The Excelsior Iron Works, dating back to the 1870’s;
- The McMyler Manufacturing Co., dating back to the 1880’s;
- Kaltenbach & Griess, Consulting and Contracting Engineers, formed in 1897;
- The Interstate Engineering Co., organiged in 1902
The McMyler-Interstate Company was organized in 1910, thus bringing together engineering and manufacturing talent for the design and manufacture of large crane and material handling equipment. During the next two decades the company gained national and world-wide recognition, producing 59 different types of cranes, dumpers and other large industrial products.
The largest crane in the world was built in 1919 for the U.S. Navy. Known as the “League Island”, it stood 245 feet high, had a capacity of 350 tons and weighed 3,500 tons. It was designed and built in Bedford and shipped to the Navy shipyard in Philadelphia for installation.
Closer to home, the McMyler-Interstate Company designed and built the Dunham Road Bridge in mable Heights in 1911. This steel structure served for many years and only recently was torn down.
At it’s peak the company employed up to a thousand people. To provide housing for these workers new streets were laid out, including First Street and Interstate Street. Other new streets had individual’s first names — Charles, Justin, William, Henry, John and Paul streets. Employees could walk to work anmd children of employees could walk to Interstate School.
For over 30 years The McMyler-Interstate Complex was a dominant influence on the life of Bedford. It prospered through World War I and into the 1920’s. However, by the end of the 20’s it had declined from its prior levels of prosperiety and influence. In 1929 the Bedford Directory no longer listed The McMyler-Interstate Company.
A page from the The McMyler-Interstate Company catalog lists the following products designed and manufactured by the company: