Cement conference tours Atlas museum
The Atlas Cement Company Memorial Museum, 1401 Laubach Ave., rolled out the welcome mat Oct. 26, 2018, as more than 100 men and women associated with the cement industry toured the Northampton-based museum.
The tour capped the IEEE Cement Industry East Coast Subcommittee Technical Conference, held in Allentown. The organization is based in Chicago.
The conferees also toured the Saylor Kilns in Coplay. These Schoefer kilns are the last of their kind in the United States. The Coplay Cement Company was the first in the country to utilize vertical kilns in the process of making cement. Also on the itinerary were visits to the Lafarge Cement Plant in Whitehall Township, the Buzzi plant in Stockertown and Keystone Cement in Bath.
Museum curator Ed Pany said the memorial museum specifically focuses on the former Atlas Cement plant. Atlas provided the cement for building the Panama Canal, the Empire State Building in New York City and other historic landmarks.
The visitors were able to see original artifacts, the original office, a mural, displays and interactive exhibits.
Larry Oberly, an officer with the museum’s board of trustees, pointed out the importance of the Atlas Cement plant with its numerous kilns in the community and far reaches of the globe.
The museum also has artifacts and history of the other cement companies in the area, which was often referred to as “the cradle of the cement industry in the United States.”
The conference attendees were from a number of states, including Texas, Alabama, Tennessee, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Delaware, New Hampshire, New York and more. Some guests came from as far away as Peru and Mexico.
The Atlas Cement Company Memorial Museum is the only museum in the United States dedicated solely to the cement industry.