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The Role of Industry in Saxonburg

The borough or town of Saxonburg in Pennsylvania has a long tradition of building and manufacturing. Though it’s small, it has been a powerful place when it comes to making useful products that keep the country running. Industry has built Saxonburg and has continued to sustain it through the years. Still, few people who live or visit there know its full history.

In some ways, it’s possible to trace America’s development through each decade of Saxonburg’s progress. The town represents a tiny snapshot of what built and kept the country going after all these years. To find out the role that industry and business played in the town’s development, keep reading.

Saxonburg’s beginnings to the 19th century

John Roebling was an engineer by profession and in a way, began the tradition of industry in Saxonburg. He was the founder of the town which began as a farming community at a time when Pennsylvania was part of America’s frontier. It was originally called Germania. Roebling’s workshop, which was significant to the development of the wire cable used in projects like the Brooklyn Bridge, was located in Saxonburg before he moved it north to expand and produce the cable he invented on a larger scale.

The 20th century

The 1970s would bring the Nuclear Research Center to the outskirts of Saxonburg. There was an important development at the center when the synchrocyclotron was invented. There was significant research carried out as America continued to be active in the nuclear arms race. After the technology of the synchrocyclotron became obsolete, the nuclear site was dismantled. The plant shut down, but the site continued to be used for business.

Following the nuclear facility shutdown, Saxonburg US Steel Sintering Plant was in operation for a few years, but shut down in 1987. This came at a time when many industries around the country were suffering after labor union strikes and disagreements. The domestic steel industry had been overproducing, which led to low prices and profits. Saxonburg, like most towns where manufacturing was important, saw another major closure.

Industry in Saxonburg today

In 1999 the country acquired 350 acres of industrial land and created Victory Road Business Park. In the late 2000s, a large medical manufacturing company called Medrad opened on the site of the former steel plant.

The state gave the company $4 million in investment aid. This was to ensure the site would be attractive and there was also the expectation that there would be plenty of jobs created for residents. Low taxes continued to attract industry to Saxonburg and ensure it would always be a productive town.

Today, Oberg is one of the major companies manufacturing in Saxonburg. Cygnus, which was founded in 1962, creates precision parts in Saxonburg as well. The II-VI Incorporated headquarters are on the site of the former nuclear plant. Many of the residents of Saxonburg, as well as the surrounding areas, work in the industries that call this borough their home.