Barry Bauer’s Photo Project – Vickie Salters


Vickie Salters worked in the Metallurgical Lab. Her job was to make sure our products, lining and steel, met specifications.

One of the projects I was involved with was the Chrysler Air Shoe. This part went into an air conditioner pump, and there were six of them per pump. We made hundreds of thousands of them because we also made them for Ford.

These parts were just under ¾ of an inch in diameter and were coined out of a blank. After going through an eight station rotary die they came out with a ball seat and a small oil hole in the center. The Lab would have the Toolroom cut them in half and grind them to a near perfect half circle and then they’d encase them in bakelite and polish it to a mirror finish. That way they could tell us how much lining we had before we hit steel.


Barry Bauer’s Photo Project – Doug Beagle


Doug Beagle worked in Maintenance as a machine repairman. The job could vary from an air cylinder that needed new O-rings to a press on bottom.

A press on bottom meant the ram was on dead bottom and couldn’t back up and couldn’t roll over because of the die inside. Maintenance had to come out and put the heaters on the massive bolts that held the press together in order to expand them. This eventually freed the ram.


Barry Bauer’s Photo Project – Loren Simons


Loren Simons was also a manufacturing engineer. The one thing I do remember was his being involved with was the Bihler presses. Bihlers formed bushings not by brute force but by cams.

Loren hired in about the same time as the 1979 UAW Local 925’s strike against Federal-Mogul. This was the first such strike against the Federal-Mogul St. Johns plant.

Loren is the last person that I’m aware of that was still working sometimes at the Federal-Mogul building. That puzzles me, but it may very well be mop-up duty although I can’t believe they left anything that important behind.

The last I heard he had transferred to F-M’s Greenville plant.


Barry Bauer’s Photo Project – Daryl Mendrick


Daryl Mendrick was a manufacturing engineer at Federal-Mogul. His job was to improve the operation of the area where he was in charge. The question always was, how can we improve our process?

Daryl didn’t stay at Federal-Mogul very long. He may have sensed what others did — that Federal-Mogul St. Johns was doomed.


Barry Bauer’s Photo Project – Mike Schafer


Mike Schafer ran a heavy press that produced washers. Some of the washers produced at the St. Johns plant went into automatic transmission. Others were for other applications.

Mike’s mom, Jean, worked in payroll.

When the St. Johns plant closed Mike transferred to Blacksburg, Virginia.


Barry Bauer’s Photo Project – Leeann Bradley


When this photo was taken Leeann Bradley was working in the Press Room/Secondaries office.

Her regular job was running a Superior Facer. This machine cut chamfers inside and out and cut the bushing to width or as we called it, length. It is an automatically fed machine and all the operator had to do was keep the feeder chutes full. That reduced the number of finger injuries.


Barry Bauer’s Photo Project – Ted Halitsky


Ted Halitsky was the supervisor of the Electrical Department at Federal-Mogul. He followed in the footsteps of his dad, Nick Halitsky, who was a production supervisor. Not only did Ted’s dad and his brother, Eric, work there, but to my knowledge he had two uncles who also worked there.


Barry Bauer’s Photo Project – Tom Burk


Tom Burk worked as a Class C Inspector. As you can see on the bench behind him there are numerous gauges to check a sample of finished parts before they were shipped.

Tom’s dad, Merlin “Curly” Burk, worked at Saylor-Beall and was at one time the president of UAW Local 925. The Local represented both Saylor-Beall and Federal-Mogul employees. Tom’s mother, Betty, also worked at Federal-Mogul.


Barry Bauer’s Photo Project – Ron Atkins


Ron Atkins started at Federal-Mogul as a production worker. At one time he worked in the old Mentor heat treat department. The two big heat treat ovens came to us along with a bunch of presses and jobs from the closing of the Mentor, Ohio plant in early 1970s.

What happened this year is not the St. Johns plant’s first experience with a plant closing.

Ron transferred to the Toolroom, and at the time of his retirement worked as an O.D. / I.D. grinder on second shift. His brother, Rick, ran the grinders on days.


Barry Bauer’s Photo Project – Phil McAlvey


Phil McAlvey worked in one of the most secretive departments in Federal-Mogul that I was ever aware of. Of course all of that CIA stuff eventually went out the door, and it became just another department. They bonded steel strip to aluminum strip. That increasingly became the washer/bearing material of choice by the customer.

Rumors have been flying that F.C. Mason bought the vacant Federal-Mogul building. I called F.C. Mason to confirm the rumor, but the person who answered the phone was unable to tell me.


Barry Bauer’s Photo Project – Dan Spohn


Dan Spohn worked in other salary positions before ending up in Quality Control. These guys were responsible for the quality of the parts coming off the floor.

In the old days we had floor inspectors all over the place, and they made their rounds every hour. That’s a time they pushed quantity more than quality. The operator didn’t always check the parts as often as they should have, and that’s where the floor inspector came in.

Keep in mind that the tolerances were nowhere near as tight as they are today which explains why car engines and transmission last as long as they do now. The car buyer expected more, and they got it.


Barry Bauer’s Photo Project – John Garcia


John Garcia worked in Tumble and Pack. This was a department that was called the Swamp.

My favorite story to come out of the swamp is still that time in the late fifties when they were having trouble getting the burrs off a part. The operator was told to throw two pans of media (stone) in the tumbler along with the parts. The bosses who advised him to do that came back a while later only to heard an awful noise coming from the Swamp.

The operator, misunderstanding their instructions, threw the media in pans and all.


Barry Bauer’s Photo Project – Eric Halitsky


Eric Halitsky worked in the Roll and Slit department.

Eric is another example of a Federal-Mogul employee who had relatives that worked there. His dad, Nick, was a well-liked production foreman and his brother, Ted, was the electrician foreman. Eric’s uncle, Bob Peck, worked in the Wall Broach department when I hired in.


Barry Bauer’s Photo Project – Barry Bauer


I never wanted to post this picture. Because Federal-Mogul St. Johns is history, I feel I have to report all the history I have on it. That’s me manning my Bridgeport Vertical Mill. The picture was taken by Mike Asher with my A-1 Canon camera. I always say my mill because I ran it from the day it came in the building brand new. We had a way about us, of claiming a machine as our own, and you can believe I took good care of it. Olympian Tool originally ordered it but when the time came for the delivery, the economy went in the tubes for them.

I wouldn’t say I was a great Toolmaker; I leave that title to Rod Andrus, Stanley Wassa, and Mark Shepler. Still, I wasn’t bad.

Since the closing of Federal-Mogul I’ve had time to reflect on the subject, plant managers. No matter what anybody says, History will always judge us and them. We’ve had some great plant managers and we’ve had stinkers. All of them left their mark.

The one that comes to mind today is Bob Claycomb. Bob was known as a hardhead and lacked people skills. As we look back on him, I think he was one of our best plant managers. Had he been plant manager of the St. Johns plant at the time of the decision to close the plant. I think he would have gone down with the ship fighting to keep it afloat. That’s the mark of a good captain. Bob did with the plant like we did on the floor with our machines; he claimed it as his own.

As for the plant managers who followed Bob, one went to China, one took Bob’s old job (I think), one disappeared into the Bermuda Triangle, and one went back to Greenville.

I have a picture of every plant manager except for Mike Craig. He okayed my taking it, but we never touched base.


Barry Bauer’s Photo Project – Eddie Paseka


Eddie Paseka worked in the Centerless Grinders department. The operator fed bushings into the machines that ground the outside diameter to the customer’s specifications.

I was asked one time to look at the operation and see if we in the Toolroom could eliminate the need for a second person who was needed on certain parts to catch the bushings as they came out of the grinder. My suggestion was to relieve the grinding wheel at the end and let the feed wheel carry the bushing out of the machine without being hit by the one behind it. When that happened the angle face bushing would be mutilated.

It looked successful, and I never heard otherwise.


Barry Bauer’s Photo Project – Gary Harrier


Gary Harrier ran a 200-ton press that stamped out the bigger bushings which shouldn’t be confused with the limited quantities of big bushings the D-Die department put out in a single-step operation. The presses used to be in one big Pressroom, but then the idea of cells was born. We ended up with a few presses here and a few presses there. Throw in a few facing machines and a few parts tumblers, and they had a cell.

It did nothing to stop the closing of the plant.

I wish I had the money they spent digging a hole for a new press pad location and filling in the old one. I’d be writing this from the Bahamas.


Barry Bauer’s Photo Project – Steve Davis


Steve Davis worked in Maintenance as a machine repairman. He was reportedly the last Maintenance man kept over to maintain the building after the plant closed.

According to my information there are no hourly employees left in the building.


Barry Bauer’s Photo Project – 2001 Golf Outing


From left to right: Steve Duflo, Don Adair, Gene Burnham, and Tuan Hoang

This is the winning team in the afternoon Federal-Mogul golf scramble held at the North Star Golf Course in 2001. It was also the last golf outing sponsored by the company.

I’m not sure when the first outing took place or even where, but my first experience playing at one was at the old Clinton County Country Club which is now the Emerald. Because the Federal-Mogul golf outing grew in size, they moved it to North Star.


Barry Bauer’s Photo Project – Jerry Jones


Jerry Jones worked in the Tool Inspection department. Tool Inspection went from being a department that used Jo Blocks, an indicator stand, micrometers, height gauge, and in some cases, a six or twelve inch scale to a department that used a digital coordinate machine, and modern day optical comparators.

Sometimes they had to go to the toolmaker in charge of the project for a deviation from the print or go to the engineer that designed it. Otherwise the piece of tooling in question was either repaired in-house or sent back to the tool & die supplier.


Barry Bauer’s Photo Project – 925 Union Officials


Seated l. to r. around the table at a newly acquired building are: Ken Pyle, the late Henry Bendt, Dennis Feldpausch, Ken “Skip” Russell, Ben Hudson, unidentified, and Carol Frechen.

These 925 officials were responsible for purchasing the building on W. Walker St. that was at one time the A&P food store, Gambles, and Video Land. Extensive remodeling turned the building into what is known today as the UAW 925 Union Hall. The Union’s previous office was located at the northwest corner of State and Brush Sts.


Barry Bauer’s Photo Project – Mark Kraemer


Mark Kraemer worked in Quality Control, a department that was in charge of making sure that the products going out the door were of high quality.

Mark was one of the many salary employees that came and went in that department.


Barry Bauer’s Photo Project – Kirk Brock


Kirk Brock hired into Federal-Mogul on March 16, 1981 as a production supervisor after having worked previously at Motor Wheel. Kirk’s father, Bud, worked at F-M along with Kirk’s sister, Sandy, and his two uncles, Dick and Bob.

Again we find family ties at Federal-Mogul, and it was great while it lasted.


Barry Bauer’s Photo Project – Dwight “Rocky” Craig


Dwight “Rocky” Craig worked on the jumbo slitter in the West end of the plant. Federal-Mogul ordered generic rolls of steel (few sizes) and then processed it in-house. The jumbo coils could be slit to almost any width. The operators would set the slitter up using different sizes of spacers with the slitter blades in between. The jumbo coil could start out at the beginning of the operation as one coil and come out the other end as six narrower coils.

Dwight left Federal-Mogul on April 25, 2002.


Barry Bauer’s Photo Project – Pat Cook


When this photo was taken Pat Cook was working in the Sample department as a helper. Pat worked in the D-Die department, so a lot of what he did there pretty much applied to what they did in the Sample department. The Sample department made parts for a customer’s new product as well as parts for existing applications that didn’t justify the cost of a die because of the number of parts ordered.


Barry Bauer’s Photo Project – Jan Cox

Jan Cox was the shipping secretary at Federal-Mogul. She had to handle all the paper work coming and going from the shipping department. My guess was that shipping would be the last department standing. Not true as it turned out. On December 13, 2004 Jan got what seems like everyone in America is getting nowadays — downsized.

There’s supposed to be one Maintenance man, one Electrician and two Painters who will probably remain on the job until the contract expires this October.