Postcard of the American Viscose Corporation rayon plant in Meadville, PA, circa 1930.
flipFlip to Aerial view of the American Viscose Company's Marcus Hook Plant, Marcus Hook, PA, circa 1950.
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Color postcard of the complex.

Credit: Courtesy of Barbara J. Mogush

In 1930, American Viscose Corporation opened a new rayon plant in Meadville, PA, about twenty miles south of Erie. Meadville was also the home of Talon Inc., the nation's leading manufacturer of zippers, which in 1940 furnished 5,219 of the city's 9,000 industrial jobs. While the American Viscose Company considered closure of Philadelphia's Marcus Hook plant during the Great Depression, the Meadville plant seemed to lead a charmed life. In fact, Meadville's economy weathered the Depression so well that Time Magazine and New York newspapers were prompted to describe it as "a depression-proof city" whose "streets were paved with gold."

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