Updated 21-III-2020

Plymouth Lamp

The Plymouth Lamp Plant was opened in 1969 following its acquisition for over $ 1 million, from the American Can Company which had closed down in 1967. GE proceeded to make a $ 5 million investment to equip the site for the manufacture of miniature Christmas tree and automotive lamps. It is suspected that this may have been either to increase capacity, or to take over some production from the Memphis Lamp Plant which produced similar lamp types. Low labour costs in Florida were undoubtedly the principal reason for the choice of this southern location. Other lamp types, such as the famous GE Lighted Ice, were relocated from Memphis to Plymouth following the 1973 energy crisis. Plymouth was a huge 220,000 sq.ft. single-storey manufacturing, warehousing and office space situated on a 57 acre tract of land. It was operational until 1982 when lampmaking came to an end - the highly competitive Christmas lampmaking probably having been abandoned some years beforehand, and with the miniature production most likely having been relocated to Memphis and/or Euclid lamp plants.

In 1983 the site was re-occupied by the new GE Robotics division, which took a leading role in developing the software and central processing unit for robotic welding processes. GE overestimated the size of the market, and closed the plant in January 1987 with the loss of 118 jobs, citing the poor economic outlook at the time for the entire robotics industry. The land and factory were sold in 1999 to ACCO Aerated Concrete Systems, a subsidiary of the Florida Crushed Stone Company. That organisation made a $ 10 million investment and at once became the largest supplier of autoclaved aerated concrete. The production ran until 2007, and most of the building was demolished in 2011.

Aerial View of the Plymouth Lamp Plant in 1969 shortly before its opening 1

Address GE Plymouth Lamp Plant, 3351 West Orange Blossom Trail, Apopka, Plymouth, Florida, FL 32712, U.S.A.
Location 41.8234°N, -71.4371°E
Floorspace 220,000 sq.ft.
Opened 1969.
Closed 1982.
Products Miniature Christmas Tree & Automotive Lamps.

References & Bibliography
  1. Daytona Beach Morning Journal, 9th July 1969, p1.
  2. Private Communication, Jeff Carter, 31st January 2020.
  3. Abandoned Florida Urbex, ACCO Aerated Concrete Systems Plant.