Atlas Waste Mfg Co

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What was Randolph Place in 2002 is now (2011) Randolph St., Brooklyn. This was the back end of 505-515 Johnson Ave. This advertisement for the Atlas Waste Manufacturing Co. from 1918 used the Johnson Ave. address. The cable address "Hemmer" refers to Henry Hemmerdinger (1883-1947), son of the founder of the Atlas Waste, Morris Hemmerdinger (1848-1907). Directory listings indicate that Atlas Waste Manufacturing Co. was located here on Johnson Ave., Brooklyn, from 1916 to 1922. In 1922 Henry Hemmerdinger bought land in Glendale, Queens, and moved his business to what became known as Atlas Terminals at Cooper Ave. and Dry Harbor Road (now 80th St.) in Glendale.

Henry Hemmerdinger's obituary in the New York Times, 17 June 1947, read, "Henry Hemmerdinger of 120 Greenway South, Forest Hills, Queens, president of the Atlas Waste Manufacturing Company of Glendale, one of the largest fiber-reclaiming firms in the United States, died yesterday in the Jamaica Hospital after an illness of a few days. He was born in Brooklyn on Christmas Day, 1883. Mr. Hemmerdinger was also president of the Atlas Terminal Company, the Hemmerdinger Estate Corporation, the Mol-Mon Realty Company and the Greenway Supply Company. He was a director of the Advertising Club of New York, the American Club of Cuba, the Children's Shelter in Queens and the Harmonie Club of New York. A keen yachtsman for many years, Mr. Hemmerdinger was a director of the Knickerbocker Yacht Club and owner of The Trial, a 100-foot power cruiser. He leaves a widow, the former Molly Levin; a son, Monroe E. Hemmerdinger, and a grandson, Henry Dale Hemmerdinger."

The obituary is in error regarding Henry Hemmerdinger's place of birth. Several sources state clearly that he was born in Germany and immigrated to the U. S. in 1890. One such source is a passport application dated 17 Jan. 1920, where he said that he was born 25 Dec. 1883 in Eichstadt, Germany. Hemmerdinger was recorded in the 1900 U. S. census, age 17, living with his father, Morris (called Maurice in the census) Hemmerdinger at 68 Beaver St., Brooklyn. At that time both Morris and Henry Hemmerdinger gave their occupations as "Day Laborer." In 1942 Henry Hemmerdinger registered for the World War II draft, age 58, when he said that he was born 25 Dec. 1883, "Germany, Black Forest." However, Eichstädt (now (2011) formally Eichstätt), Germany, is located in Bavaria (about 70 miles north of München), while the Black Forest is some distance west of Bavaria, in Baden-Württemberg...

Henry Hemmerdinger was succeeded as president of the Atlas Waste Manufacturing Co. by his son, Monroe E. Hemmerdinger (1916-1962). Monroe Hemmerdinger received the following obituary in the New York Times, 27 Feb. 1962, "Monroe E. Hemmerdinger of 60 Sutton Place South, president of Atlas Terminals, Inc. 555 Fifth Avenue, developers of industrial real estate, died Sunday in the Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore. He was 46 years old. Mr. Hemmerdinger was also chairman of Automatic Steel Products, Inc., of Canton, Ohio, makers of automotive equipment. A yachtsman and former captain of the Brown University swimming team, he served as an officer in the Navy in World War II. He was born in this city and graduated from the Horace Mann School before going to Brown. He had served as a trustee and vice president of the Brown University Club here, and was a director of Polyclinic Hospital. He had a summer home at Southampton, L. I. His yacht, the Gulf Stream, competed in important races at Newport, R. I., and elsewhere, and another of his vessels had represented this country in Olympic competition. Mr. Hemmerdinger's company had recently completed construction of the two major office buildings at 555 Fifth Avenue and 630 Third Avenue. Mr. Hemmerdinger leaves his wife, Mrs. Geraldine Cameron Hemmerdinger; three sons, Henry D., Charles P. and Monroe E. Jr.; a daughter, Carol Lyn, and his mother, Mrs. Molly Hemmerdinger."

An article published by the Juniper Park Civic Association details the history of the Atlas Waste Manufacturing Co. and of Atlas Terminals in Glendale, Queens. The early days of the business are described as follows in this article, "[Morris Hemmerdinger] established a business buying fabric scraps from the garment trade and selling them as 'waste' to other industries. Among his customers were manufacturers who used the inexpensive waste as rags to wipe up spills, and upholsterers who processed the waste to make stuffing. Eventually, Morris saw the value of processing the waste himself. So when he had accumulated sufficient capital, he opened his own factory and named it Atlas Waste Manufacturing Company, Inc."

As of Dec. 2011 a sign for Hemmerdinger Estate Corp. was visible on one of the older buildings along 80th St. at the Atlas Terminals site in Glendale, Queens. Also, Atlas Terminals was readable on the watertower.

Copyright © 2011 Walter Grutchfield