Industrial Mississippi: Mississippi Products, Jackson

Manufacturer's Record 1951The 1951 Manufacturers Record had this to say about the enormous manufacturing complex that stood on Livingston Road near what is now the Jackson Medical Mall until just a couple of years ago.

Mississippi boasts the world’s most modern and efficient cabinet plant, that of Mississippi Products, Inc., which turns out radio and television cabinets for the big-name companies, in addition to producing sewing machine cabinets and kneehole desks. Its mile-long production line begins with the dry lumber and veneer logs, and is manned by 1,600 Mississippians, who four years ago had never seen the inside of a cabinet plant. All skills were developed from scratch in this plant, which utilizes over a million board feet of Mississippi timber each month.

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The plant later became Hood Furniture Company, but stood vacant for a long period of time before recently being mostly demolished, a process that took a few years. There was some talk maybe 10 years ago about a big new housing development going on this property, but I suspect that was a victim of the bursting of the housing bubble in 2008. Still standing on the site as of 2016 are a section of the original two-story brick building and some interesting concrete pavilions that probably date to the 1960s or later. Does anyone know when and why Mississippi Products closed? (I’m presuming the company currently known as Mississippi Products is not related?)

 



Categories: Industrial, Jackson

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10 replies

  1. The extensive collection of Jackson city directories at the Eudora Welty Library should tell you the span of years when this plant was in operation.

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  2. I like those pavilions–seems I have seen them somewhere featured before?

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  3. Re: City Directories: If you have access to an ancestry.com subscription city directories from every city & town in the U.S. (or, all the ones I have ever sought out) are available online.

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  4. It took a while, but here is what I have discovered (and yes, this was therapy this morning :):
    Mississippi Products was established in 1946 and began taking applications for employment, with ads running frequently in the Clarion-Ledger. They were a subsidiary of Sears, Roebuck, and by 1957 had expanded the factory by 200,000 square feet, employed over 1700 persons with a 6 1/2 million dollar payroll, and purchased several thousand acres of hardwood timberland to ensure a supply of lumber.

    In 1960, they were purchased by the Storkline Corporation of Chicago, a factory that manufactured baby and juvenile furniture. Labor organizing resulted in men getting fired, and in 1962, the Labor Relations board ruled in favor of reinstating them, and found the company had intimidated them to prevent the union, and order a new election. In 1964, they renamed the company MPI again to be more fitting with the items manufactured. Storkline Corporation dissolved in Jackson in 1969.

    The Storkline factory in Chicago is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. That nomination form indicates in the mid 1960s the Storkline Corporation was purchased by MPI, a company that manufactured wooden containers for television tubes. Furniture production ceased at the factory in Chicago, and at some point, MPI vacated the building. It is not clear that MPI is Mississippi Products, Inc., but since they renamed the Jackson factory that in 1964, it is possible that it references the renamed Storkline.

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  5. If you go to the right on the Google streetview, there is a diamond shaped medallion on the front of the concrete planter that says “MPI”.

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  6. Isn’t this the Delta Industries building? It closed in mid-1980s or early 90s I think. They made wooden furniture. I attended an auction of some of the office furniture and also some of the other equipment in the factory.

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