EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the 23rd in a series of articles recalling vanished Huntington landmarks.
HUNTINGTON - In Columbus, Ohio, in the 1890s, a young man named Charles C. Armstrong decided there had to be a better bicycle light than the one he was using on his bike. So he invented his own light and, yes, it was a better one. In 1899, a group of investors backed him in a new company, the Admiral Lamp Co., organized to manufacture and sell his light.
Later the company moved to Marysville, Ohio, began manufacturing lawn sprinklers and other items and changed its name to the Standard Stamping Co.
In 1917, attracted by the region's abundant natural gas, the company moved to Huntington and built a two-story building at 7th Avenue and 1st Street, adjacent to the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway tracks. Later additions would significantly increase the structure's size.
When the firm moved to Huntington, it was still known as Standard Stamping, as can be seen in this architectural drawing for its 1917 building. Later, the company's name was changed to the Armstrong Manufacturing Co, and still later the name would be changed again, to the Armstrong Products Corp.
Over the years, Armstrong manufactured a wide array of consumer items, including small electric appliances, gas and electric heaters, even metal mailboxes. One of its most popular products was the Armstrong Table Stove, a multi-use appliance that enabled one to fix an entire breakfast -- bacon, eggs and toast -- all at the same time. Plus you could buy an optional waffle maker insert. Beginning in World War II and continuing into the cold-war era, Armstrong supplied a number of items to the military.
Armstrong ceased operation in the early 1980s. In 1984 the building was the scene of a spectacular fire, and the burnt-out structure was later demolished. The Kroger Co. then purchased the property and used it to build a supermarket.