Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)
Cold Rolling Mills
Cold Rolling Mills Carlow
By Dan Carbery
The Carlow razor blade factory owned by Steel Products Ltd. was purchased about 1956 by a Mr Klotsman. He needed a supply of steel band to make the blades and decided to set up a factory to produce this material.
He discovered that there was a better government grant available for setting up in Co. Laois rather than in Carlow. He purchased a field on the right hand side of Killeshin Road just past the Poor Clare convent. The top corner of the field was in Co. Laois.
I had the job of locating the new factory in Co. Laois in the summer of 1957. We just about achieved it. If you view the Ordnance Survey map of that part of Laois you will see that the factory is almost touching the Carlow Urban District boundary at that point.
Large bands of steel were imported. These were heated to temper them in a furnace and then put through cold rolling machines until the required thickness was achieved. Having cut them to the necessary width the steel was ready for making blades.
The factory not only supplied their own blade factory but exported the prepared steel to many parts of the world.
Mr Klotsman then installed machines at one end of the factory to extrude plastic products such as clothes pegs and casings for ball point pens. Part of the operation was putting on the springs to join the two parts of the pegs.
This new facility increased in demand and in 1959 a new factory was built adjoining the existing. This was called Belco Plastics and was even larger than the cold rolling building.
The cold rolling mills building is now partially occupied by Terry Smith Kitchens and the Belco Plastics building is now The Rehab Centre.