THE FLETCHER ENAMEL COMPANY
THE FLETCHER ENAMEL FACTORY OF ANDERSON, INDIANA AND DUNBAR, WEST VIRGINIA
Ulysses Grant Fletcher 1869-1933
President and Founder
The Fletcher Enamel Company
Marjorie Fletcher Page Update: November 2011
THE FACTORY HISTORY
The first factory was created by Ulysses Grant Fletcher and was located in Anderson, Indiana from 1909-1914. On March 31, 1887 natural gas was discovered in Anderson. With this discovery, several factories (i.e., glass, etc.) rushed to locate there. The population increase made Anderson bulge at the seams. Other industries that could use natural gas began to locate there overnight. In 1912 the gas ran out, several factories left and the whole city slowed down. This is the reason that the Fletcher Enamel Factory was shut down in 1914 in Anderson and was relocated to Dunbar, West Virginia, where another factory was built. The factory began operation in Dunbar about 1916 and Ulysses' brother, Solon Fletcher and their brother-in-law, Michael V. Ream who married their sister Emma Fletcher, were taken in as partners with Ulysses remaining as president of the company. After the death of Ulysses in 1933, his brother Solon became president and after the death of Solon in 1944 Frank Fletcher, son of Ulysses became president. The factory was finally closed down in 1958. During World War II, the company added a "shell shop" which made 60 mm shells under a federal contract. At this time, the Fletcher Enamel Company had about 500 employees.
THE WEST VIRGINIA REVIEW
April 1943, Page 16
Fletcher Enamel Company at Dunbar, West Virginia produces a large percentage of the enameled ware used by American and Canadian housewives. The company is equipped to produce more than 268 items. It normally employs an average of 650 persons. The peak production ranges between 20,000 and 30,000 assorted pieces of enameled ware per day.
Fletcher Enamel Company is one of the many important industries which came into the Kanawha Valley after the tapping of the rich natural gas fields of this region. The original Fletcher plant was at Anderson, Indiana. The idea for the company was conceived some time before its organization by two brothers, Ulysses G. Fletcher and Solon Fletcher. At the time, they were operating a sales organization for enameled ware with offices located in New Philadelphia, Ohio. Like many other aggressive young men, the two brothers believed they could improve upon the quality of enameled ware then produced. They discussed the plan with their brother-in-law, Michael V. Ream. The trio formed a partnership in 1908, and the following year they built their first plant in Anderson Indiana.
Researched and edited by Robert Edgar Fletcher, grandson of Ulysses Grant Fletcher