Norton Labs and its impact on Confer Plastics

If you’ve read our company history or attended one of our tours, you know that our founder Ray Confer had worked at Norton Laboratories in Lockport after serving in the Second World War.

 
Norton is where Ray first started to work with and fell in love with plastics. There, he saw the vast potential for blow molding for the manufacture of durable and/or industrial goods. Prior to that, it was looked at as a technology only fit for bottles, containers and small items.
 
Ray left Norton in the early 1960s to chase his dream of expanding the application of blow molding.
 
This photo shows Ray Confer’s first paycheck from Norton Labs. We keep that memento from 1947 in our office.
 
Norton Labs had a long, storied history in the city of Lockport. Here is a brief history lesson courtesy of the Lockport Union Sun & Journal…
 
Norton Laboratories, Inc. was founded in 1916 by Charles Norton and William R. Seigle. The plant initially consisted of seven buildings, including a factory, boiler room, factory office, front office, machine shop and two warehouses.
 
Norton originally manufactured metallic magnesium during World War I and later expanded its product line to include molded plastic handles for pots and pans, camera parts, automotive parts and circuit boards.
 
In 1958, Norton Labs was acquired by Auburn Plastics, which was based in Auburn. The company operated as a division under Auburn Plastics and continued to manufacture its products under the Norton Labs name.
 
Norton Labs moved its plant to a single building located across the street from its former site on Mill Street in 1971. Ten years later, Norton Labs closed.