A developer has purchased the building that once housed North America's oldest injection molder, according to this story from The Republican newspaper in Springfield, Mass. Matthew J. McDonough is the new owner of the former Prophylactic Brush Co. building at 296 Nonotuck St. in Northampton, Mass., according to the story. He paid $950,000 for the building. "I'm very excited," McDonough told the newspaper. "This is a great piece of real estate, and we're psyched to get going on leasing." The building was home to Pro Corp., a company that was founded in 1847 by Alfred Critchlow, a manufacturer of horn buttons. He later experimented with shellac and was among the earliest to use injection molding, according to this story from our archives. In its early days, the company was known by different names such as Pro Molding Co., Pro-phy-lac-tic Brush Co. and later Pro Bush. It made buttons and toothbrushes. In 1964, it was among the first custom molders to concentrate on the business equipment market. The building could still have a future in plastics manufacturing. According to The Republican's story, the property is zoned General Industrial, and McDonough is looking for commercial tenants. "The city had proposed changing the zoning to Special Industrial, which would have allowed some residential use, such as artists' lofts, but that proposal never panned out," according to the report. Pro Corp. moved out of the building last year.
Buying a piece of plastics history
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