Updated 21-XII-2019

Ivanhoe Road Chemical Plant

The Ivanhoe Road Facility became a part of GE's Lighting operations in 1949, when it was opened to provide more space for the burgeoning Chemical Products Works of General Electric. That facility had started in 1906 when J. LeRoy Dana was named head of the new Paste & Paint Department, within the Euclid Lamp Plant. Initially it had only two products: carbon clamp paste for mounting filaments, and red phosphorus getter suspensions for painting stem assemblies. Later it grew to produce coloured lamp varnishes and lacquers, marking inks, and specialised rubber tubing required for the lamp exhaust machines. In 1920 having moved five times around the Euclid site, it was relocated to the Nela Park headquarters and re-named the Preparations Division. It subsequently expanded to absorb the company's Chemical Laboratory, and took on the manufacture of basing cements and many other lamp chemicals - such as shatterproof lacquers and explosive primers for photoflash lamps in 1932. However, its real growth occurred in 1942, when, known as the Chemical Products Works, it took on the manufacture of emission mixtures and luminescent phosphors for the new fluorescent lamp business.

Not only does phosphor manufacturing require large spaces, many of the necessary raw materials are not commercially available either at all or with the necessary purity. Therefore the world's principal lamp manufacturers all established their own facilities for the synthesis and preparation of large volumes of highly specialised inorganic chemicals, to feed their phosphor manufacturing facilities. GE set up its phosphor and chemical operations at the Ivanhoe Road site, which quickly grew to enormous proportions. Prior to this activity, the same building housed GE's RCA Division for the manufacture of electronic valves and radio tubes, and it is not known if that moved out in 1949 to make space for the lamp chemicals division.

Following the sudden and sharp decline of the fluorescent business in the early 2000s, GE abandoned the manufacture of standard lamp phosphors but for several years did continue with the development and production of specialised newer phosphors for LED light sources. Nevertheless Ivanhoe Road continued to dwindle, at one time having just three employees. It is understood that the site has since been abandoned completely.

Address GE Ivanhoe Road Plant #7645, 1099 Ivanhoe Road, Cleveland, OH 44100, U.S.A.
Location 41.5511°N, -81.5691°E
Opened 1949.
Closed 2018?
Floorspace Unknown.
Products Lamp Chemicals.

References & Bibliography
  1. A Century of Light, James A. Cox, published by The Benjamin Company / Rutgers, 1979, ISBN 0-87502-062-3, pp.150-152.
  2. Deciphering RCA Factory Codes.