Montgomery County Illinois History

Schram Automatic Fruit Jar manufactured in Schram City Illinois

This is one of Hillsboro’s great enterprises. Alexander H. Schram, the manager, is the inventor of the Schram automatic can sealer. Forming a company of capitalist, he came to Hillsboro in search of a suitable location for his plant. The company already had a plant atAlex H. Schram - Schram Automatic Fruit Jar Inventor - Schram City Illinois Waterloo, Canada, for the manufacture of the caps, and another plant in Eastern Canada for the manufacture of the jars, if we are rightly informed. A plant somewhere near the center of the United States’ trade was the thing desired. Hence, through the activity of the Hillsboro Commercial Club, Mr. Schram became convinced that there was no better place to locate, as here coal was abundant and cheap, and the railroad facilities were of the best, and the people themselves met the promoters with that spirit of progress which characterizes Hillsboro. The Schram Company is known as the largest exclusive fruit jar plant in the world. The plant was built in 1906, employing at first 125 people, gradually increasing it’s capacity till the present the plant has on it’s rolls 300 workmen and workwomen. It runs for about ten months in the year, usually shutting up during the extreme heat of summer, when all needed repairs are made.

The plant consumes about fifty tons of coal, about thirteen tons of soda ash, about forty tons of silica sand, about five tons of sheet zinc per  day when running at full  capacity. It further takes about fourteen boxes of tin and about 1,000 gross of rubber jar rings per day. From this it will be seen that the plant is no small affair. In some departments quite a number of women are employed, thus making it especially desirable, as we have at Hillsboro a certain percent of worthy and needy women and girls who are glad of this opportunity to aid the family needs and their own comfort.

Taken from “Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of Montgomery County” Volume 2 - 1918

The Schram Automatic Fruit Jar Company later became Ball Bros. Glass then later Hillsboro Glass Company manufacturing brown liquor bottles for Hiram Walker.

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