Duro Bag Manufacturing Company
David S. Shor established the Duro Bag Manufacturing Company in Ludlow in 1953. Both the offices and manufacturing plant were located in Ludlow for many years. Originally, the company produced only paper bags and sacks. Over the years, new product lines have been introduced.
The main paper storage facility and plant were located on the south side of the alley behind the two hundred block of Oak Street (Cedar Alley). This building had previously housed the Southern Railroad machine shops.
In the early morning of March 1, 1964, a major fire broke out at the Duro plant. By the time the fire department arrived, the entire block-long building was fully engulfed in flames. The fire quickly spread to a number of nearby homes. Before it could be extinguished, over a dozen homes had been damaged and several were completely destroyed. More than fifty Ludlow residents were left homeless. Property damage was estimated at over $2.1 million.
The main Ludlow plant was not rebuilt. Instead a large plant was constructed in Covington. The offices of the company, however, did remain in Ludlow. The company purchased the First Church of the Nazarene at the southeast corner of Oak and Linden Streets, and remodeled the building for office use. Later, the old Ludlow School on Linden Street was acquired for additional office space.
In February 1977, members of the United Paper Workers International Local 832 went on strike. At 11:00 p.m. on May 28, 1977, a fire broke out at the Ludlow warehouse. Many large rolls of paper stored at the facility were totally engulfed by the time the fire department arrived. Large pieces of burning paper began to rain down on Ludlow. Burnt paper drifted as far north as downtown Cincinnati. Many Ludlow residents near the warehouse doused their roofs with lawn hoses to stop the spread of the fire. Six fire companies brought the fire under control by midnight. The fire occurred on the same evening as the tragic fire at the Beverly Hills Supper Club in Southgate where over 160 people lost their lives.
During the last three decades, Duro Bag Manufacturing Company has experienced steady growth. In the 1970s, new plants were constructed in Brownsville, Texas; Mexico; Hudson, Wisconsin; and Tampa, Florida. The 1980s witnessed the completion of a large plant in Richwood, Kentucky.
More recently, Duro has expanded by acquiring similar companies. In 1995, the assets of the Union Company in Richmond, Virginia were acquired. Four years later, Duro purchased the Equitable Bag Company of Florence. In 2001, the company employees 1,400 people in the United States and Mexico.
News Enterprise, March 5, 1964, p. 1, March 12, 1964, p. 1, June 2, 1977, p. 1; Ludlow Centennial Souvenir Program, 1864-1964, p. 63; Promotional Literature of the Company.