CARLOW TRADERS
 

Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)


Cold Rolling Mills

Carlow


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.

Cold Rolling Mills. Photos by Dan Carbery

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.

Dan Carbery

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.

The name on the bottom of the door reads Steel Products Ltd. Carlow.
(No other info on the photo such as location or date)

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.

Ovsey Klotsman
Picture taken ca.1941 in Alexandria, Egypt

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.



Source: Carlow County Museum 2012

The Carlow Razor Blade Factory

The Carlow Razor Blade Factory owned by Steel Products Ltd. was purchased about 1956 by Klotsman Enterprise. One of its employees, Dan Carbery, remembers in his memoir published on Carlow County Virtual Museum Web site:

“Mr. Klotsman needed a supply of steel band to make the blades and decided to set up a factory to produce this material. …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”.

Blue Prima, and Blue 8, both made in Ireland

Several dozen different razor blade brands were made by the Carlow Factory. The design of some of them (OK, The Blue 8, Elka) has a striking similarity with the original blades made by Okava. For illustrative purposes Okava Prima made in Israel, Blue Prima, and Blue 8, both made in Ireland, are shown side by side.

In 1966, Klotsman was diagnosed with lung cancer and died on July 2, 1967. The OKAVA factory was sold in 1972 to Perma Sharp Co. and ceased to exist by the mid-seventies.

The Carlow Factory was sold after Klotsman death in 1967.

Source: http://www.kolblade.narod.ru/okava.html
The information contained in these pages is provided solely for the purpose  of sharing with others researching their ancestors in Ireland.
© 2001 Ireland Genealogy Projects, IGP TM By Pre-emptive Copyright - All rights reserved

TOP