Bobby pin manufacturer

New Modern Machine Products Co. made bobby pins in a factory at 10th and Miller streets from 1950 to 1959.

Specifically, the company’s products were described in a Dec. 31, 1953, Illinois State Journal article as “rubber tipped, hair setting bobby pins especially designed to hold pin curls at night.” The bobby pins,  trade-named Wil-Hold Hair Setting Bob Pins, were sold in the U.S., Cuba, Puerto Rico and Hawaii (then not a state), the Journal said.

A sample product

A sample product

The factory was moved to Sunbury, Pa., in August 1959. One factor may have been New Modern Machine’s failure to reach agreement with the International Association of Machinists, which unionized the plant’s 110 production employees in 1958. A total of about 200 people worked for the company in Springfield.

However, Sunbury also built a plant for the firm that was three times the size of the Springfield factory, plant superintendent Burton Ketcham said in announcing the move in July 1959.

He said New Products had been planning the expansion for several years. The company considered Springfield as an expansion site, but most of its customers were in the East.

“We regret having to leave Springfield, but feel we must for business reasons,” Ketchum said.

City Water, Light and Power bought the old bobby pin factory in 1961 for use as a warehouse.schs-logo-22

Original content copyright Sangamon County Historical Society. You are free to republish this content as long as credit is given to the Society.


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4 Responses to Bobby pin manufacturer

  1. regina peltz says:

    I have a card with some wilhol short bobbie pins. I am looking to buy more of the short bobbie pins; who sells it in las vegas, nv.?

  2. Meri Kayma Lee says:

    My father, William Kayma, worked there when I was a child.

  3. Justine Long says:

    My mother’s father’s side of the family had something to do w/ Will-hold. The family story is that Mary Pich had been a secretary at the company & somehow ended up owning the company? Not sure…would love to know the history. It’s been lost to us. We believe Mary Pich was married to our grandfather’s brother. Our grandfather was John Pich. Any help you can provide from your company historical archives would be greatly appreciated. Mary Pich lived in Lewisburg PA.

    Thank you.

    • editor says:

      Ms. Long: I’m afraid I don’t have any records from the company. You could check with the Sangamon Valley Collection at Lincoln Library; they might have more info. Thanks for reading.

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