Coca Cola Plant
History of the Plant.
Importance to the U.S
The plant was important to the U.S. at its time for several reasons. One reason was that it started up right after the Second Industrial Revolution. This was noteworthy to its time because it had new technology that allowed the making of beverages faster and easier. With new technology, came a greater industry. Another reason why it was so significant was that the business started before the Great Depression, and survived through it. Not very many companies lasted throughout the depression. The plant also went through World War I and World War II as well. The company continued to persist and stay in business through the Civil Rights Movement. Seeing many different worldly changes the business still served as a competitive figure during these economic and social struggles. It offered a sense of help to its community during the United States’ time of struggle. (Rademaker)
Impact on Grant CountyThe Coca-Cola plant had a considerable impact on Grant County and the surrounding areas. One reason was by providing cold beverages to the city at a low cost. Rademaker also bought all of their products from local businesses and factories not only supporting themselves but other struggling businesses in the area. For example, they bought glass from Owen’s Glass in Grant County. With many unfortunate people in Grant County, the plant provided jobs for the minorities, hearing impaired, mute, and poor class citizens.
During all the years of business, thousands of people were employed and supported through the company. Even though it was not a large plant, it was still able to provide a scholarship for a student at Mississinewa High School through the Community Foundation once a year. Like many other local businesses, it also sponsored a baseball team at The Marion Pal Club and Lincoln Field. Unlike other factories, Rademaker’s offered educational tours to all elementary, middle school, and high schools in Grant County. Along with all the other companies in Grant County at the time, the factory provided extremely competitive wages and benefits. Some of these benefits included being a part of the Union, a provided health insurance, and a pension program as well. These programs helped many people once they went into retirement with their finances. While offering many benefits, the company provided jobs year round, even though coke was only a summer demand for quite a long time. This helped many of the less fortunate people to get jobs and make money. With the growing poverty of Grant County, a plant provided much economic assistance during its time.
Impact on today
The Coca-Cola plant is also important to our modern times. One reason was that it helped set up an industry in not only Marion, but Grant County as well. The plant also showed the start of the fall of Grant County’s economy. Without the full support of their customers, the company could not afford to buy the new products that technology was demanded. New equipment needed to be purchased in order to stay competitive in their industry. As a result, this showed that the economy in Grant County was on the downfall. Thus, with the economy on the downfall, the lack of support showed that people were not very eager about the business founded in Marion to support Grant County anymore. During the economic crisis, the company could only support twenty employees through its final two years of business. These twenty employees were sadly enough preparing the factory for shut down. After it was ready, the Rademaker’s decided to sell the business in 1985. The business was sold in late 1985 and Tom Rademaker was the very last person to close the doors in May of 1986. He said, “This was a very sad thing, to see this company start with my great-great grandfather and end with me.” This company showed the sad turning point of the decline of the economic state of Grant County. (Rademaker)
The Coca-Cola plant was a prominent business at that time and always will be of that time. This business was noteworthy during the time periods of the U.S. and the rest of the world. It also impacted Grant County in several ways. The Coca-Cola plant was significant during its generation and continued to ours. Rademaker family’s business added much economic range from 1896 to 1986.