PHOTOS: The Faces of Gougler Machine
Hundreds of Kent residents worked at C.L. Gougler Machine Co. throughout the years. Do you recognize any of them?
Perhaps the most visible element of the C.L. Gougler and Machine Co. will disappear into the pages of history today.
Demolition of the former factory's massive smoke stack, which has towered over Lake Street for nearly 100 years, is scheduled today for some time between noon and 1 p.m. The demolition is closed to the public.
Hundreds more of the less visible yet arguably more important faces of the factory have already gone from this world, though some remain.
Gougler industries was one of the largest and most successful manufacturing operations in Kent's history. At its peak, C.L. Gougler and Machine ran 10 different plants across Kent and employed 1,500 people.
You can take a virtual tour of the empty factory, before demolition started in December 2011, by scrolling through this photo gallery.
In recognition of the demolition, today Kent Patch publishes a select few photos from the archives of the company's successor, Furukawa Rock Drill USA. FRD USA, the last remnant of the Gougler companies, has dozens of photos from the factory's history, which stretches back to around 1920. It would have been impossible to scan and publish them all, so we picked some of the clearest photos to run.
Some — almost none — of the photos have scribbles of information on the back to provide some indication as to who was in the photo and when it was taken. Others have only the interior of a hot factory in Kent and the decades-old faces shown to identify them.
That's where you come in. If you can identify any of the faces shown in these photos, please do so in the comments below by indicating the picture number.
If you have photos in a shoe box or in a photo album of friends, relatives or yourself during the time when the Gougler plant was a hotbed of activity, please share them with us by clicking on the "Upload Photos" button.
Help us remember a time in Kent's history when manufacturing was king.