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NORWOOD HISTORICAL SOCIETY
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Boss Washing Machine Company.
(est.1890-1940?)

birdseye view of the original Norwood Boss Plant
Boss Washing Machine Plant (ca. 1900)
Pine Avenue at left, east of the plant; Harris Avenue on right, north of the facility; B&OSWRR tracks south, behind the factory; CL&NRR tracks diagonally in distance



Conrad Dietz, President of Boss Washing Machine Company (photo ca. 1900)
Conrad Dietz
President of Boss Washing Machine Company
(photo ca. 1900)

Map of Boss Washing Machine Company


Map of Boss Plant
at Harris and Pine Avenues

According to the Ohio Secretary of State records, The Boss Washing Machine Company was incorporated February 21, 1907, with Wm. C. F. Dietz, agent.

The Boss Washing Machine Company building was located at 2339 Harris Avenue, at the southwest corner of Harris and Pine Avenues. As shown on this map: to the east, on the other side of Pine was the Norwood Water Works Pumping Station and Electric Light Facility (W.W. on this early 1900's map). To the south was the B. & O. S. W. Railroad tracks. To the west was a dwelling. At 2335 Harris Avenue, on the Boss property, was another dwelling, perhaps for the plant manager.



On a Monday afternoon, November 10, 1913, the Boss factory was destroyed in one of the worst fires in Nowood's history. A couple of days later, Louis Dietz, the Boss President at the time, said although the company would temporarily locate in Cincinnati, it would rebuilt at the old Norwood site, because of the railroad facilities. But, he was still upset, and said that the fire protection and water supply was inadequate, and to solve that problem, "Norwood must be annexed by Cincinnati."

Later, Norwood's fire fighting abilities were the least of Boss' concerns, as the company developed financial problems. In 1938, it reorganized, paying creditors 45¢ on the dollar. However, the Boss washing machines must have continued to be manufactured, since the 1954 Williams Norwood City Directory records a Boss Washer Sales and Service Store at 3960 Montgomery Avenue.

Today, the Zumbiel Box Company has a plant at the old Boss site with a warehouse constructed over the abandoned section of Pine Avenue and the long-gone water works plant site. The company also has parking lots on the north side of Harris Avenue, across from the facility.



A few of the many models of the Boss Washing Machine Company.
The washers evolved from hand-operated wooden machines
to electric-motorized metal washers.

1908 Boss Washing Machine 1910 Boss Washing Machine 1922 Boss Washing Machine


A 1930 newspaper advertisement for the Boss Washing Machine Company.
Silverton is a community not to far north of Norwood.


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