For several years, many local families depended on income from their work at the Michaels-Stern Company, which operated a facility on Liberty Street where the Aldi’s store now stands.
A few weeks ago, Diane (Putnam) Griffin found some photos in her mother’s belongings that she thought would be of interest to people who remember working at the factory where men’s clothing items were made.
According to an archived article from the Dec. 28, 1950 Chronicle-Express, the first machinery was installed at the Michaels, Stern and Company facility in Penn Yan in 1920. With 75 machines and 25 to 30 women employees, production of pants began. Over the years, the business expanded to meet demands.
During World War II, uniforms were made there, and in 1950 company owners were discussing another expansion.
The photos here are from two events in the 1970s. March 19, 1970, Mayor John Tusch joined a picket line at the factory to help spread the message about protecting American jobs by regulating imported clothing.
Workers went on strike June 3, 1974 seeking a new contract with wage increases. They went back to work June 12.
If you have any interesting stories to share about working at Michaels-Stern, please email GwenChamberlain@Chronicle-Express.com or bring items to The Chronicle-Express, 138 Main St., Penn Yan.