Saturday, January 28, 2012

Old receipt for Landis Stone Meal Company in Lancaster County

This receipt was never officially used (except for some calculations scrawled on the back), and it's not tremendously fascinating. But I wanted to post it because the Internet is lacking in detailed information about Landis Stone Meal Company and its history. So this helps add to the online knowledge base on that (admittedly obscure) topic.

This "Customer's Copy" receipt indicates that H.K. Landis was manager of the company. There were two phones -- at a residence and quarry in Elizabethtown. And the company made poultry grit1, mineral and pulverized limestone.

Here's what else I was able to dig up about Landis Stone Meal Company:
  • It was chartered as a Pennsylvania corporation, based in Rheems2, Lancaster County, on October 14, 1915. It had capital of $25,000 and was chartered for "manufacturing and selling stone meal and kindred products."
  • According to a bulletin of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, the company had a license to sell "White Lily" pulverized limestone in Pennsylvania in 1918.
  • This advertisement for the company appears in Volume 19 (1921-22) of Our College Times, a publication of Elizabethtown College:

  • A 1922 Penn State University bulletin on Pennsylvania's mineral industries indicates that Landis Stone Meal Co. had P.K. Landis as president and H.K. Landis as general manager. It had capital of $30,000 and production of 6,330 tons. There were seven employees and the annual wages were $6,500.3
  • Here's an excerpt from a 1932 bulletin of the United States Geological Survey:
    "Two miles south of Rheems there is another active quarry (No. 9), also in Beekmantown limestone4, belonging to the HK Landis Stone Meal Co. The quarry is 50 feet square and about 25 feet deep and is equipped with tracks, crusher plant, and bins. There are three crushers and rolls..."
I don't know what eventually became of Landis Stone Meal Company, but I did find some evidence that it was still in operation as late as the 1960s.

1. Poultry grit is a material fed to birds that consists mainly of crushed stone, which helps a bird's digestive system grind food.
2. Rheems also appears in this March 16, 2011, Papergreat post: "Crown Coal, J.W. Wolgemuth and Wenger Feeds."
3. That's not $6,500 per employee. That figure would have been the total wages earned by all employees, combined, in a year.
4. Beekmantown is a geologic unit found throughout the Appalachian Basin. According to the National Geologic Map Database, it was named Beekmantown limestone for exposures at Beekmantown, in Clinton County, New York. The unit was previously called calciferous sand rock. In central Pennsylvania, Indian Echo Caverns and and Penn's Cave and Hotel are examples of natural attractions featuring Beekmantown limestone. More information on Beekmantown can be found here.

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