#5. Alliance Ware Revolutionizes Bathtubs and Sinks

CJ RodmanIn 1934, Alliance Porcelain Products Company was newly organized by Clarence J. (CJ) Rodman, who purchased 33 of the 35 acres of the Buckeye Jack property, including all the buildings except the original bolt factory building. The basis for this company grew out of Dr. Rodman’s Steel Sanitary Company, a research company that operated between 1927 and 1932 in the malleable foundry building on the property; Steel Sanitary Company did research and development of the first successful steel bathtub in the country. Alliance Porcelain Products would be renamed Alliance Ware in 1944. The original bolt factory building would become the home of the Appliance Manufacturing Company, which would build washing machines until the 1950s.

About 1927, there was an engineering research project involving Alliance Machine Co. and a large plumbing company to bond porcelain on steel bathtubs and sinks. Three companies, including Alliance Ware were exclusively licensed to produce the new bath tubs, but the other 2 companies did not exercise their right, so Alliance Ware became the only active licensee. So Alliance Ware was not the first producer of pressed steel bath tubs, but it was the first producer “to stay in successful operation.” It was a well-designed product, which customers widely accepted. By 1951, Alliance Ware was the fastest growing company in Alliance, with about 450 people employed at the plant.