HISTORICAL POSTCARDS OF SPRINGFIELD, MISSOURI
Lily-Tulip Cup Corporation
On December 6, 1951, after inspecting 40 cities around the country, the Lily Tulip Corporation chose Springfield as the site of their new manufacturing plant. The company would build a $4 million plant at 1100 North Glenstone that would initially employ 500 to 600 persons. This was the first major manufacturer to choose Springfield as its location, followed by Kraft, Dayco, Zenith, Royal-McBee and Litton. The plant was dedicated June 12, 1952. Many features of the building were designed and adapted according to the materials available in the Springfield area. The building is an outer layer of red brick along the 1000-foot structure, with an inner layer of structural tile, separated by a one-inch air space for insulation. The roof was made of gypsum and lightweight "aggregate" pumped into place while in a liquid state. Notice the prominent Lily cup at the front of the building, proudly demonstrating what the factory creates. A group of local boosters, including C. Arch Bay, were credited with enticing Lily-Tulip to build in Springfield. They provided a piece of prime real estate on Route 66, across from what was then the O'Reilly Army Hospital (now Evangel University) and took the Lily-Tulip officials on a tour of the Ozarks, including the Bull Shoals Dam and the School of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Missouri. The corporation also sent a man to go "undercover" and talk with individuals living in Springfield to see how they felt about their city. The results encouraged them to locate the plant here. In 1968 the Springfield plant was sold to Owens-Illinois and became Owens-Illinois' Lily Division. In 1981, at which time the plant employed 1,200 workers, the plant was sold again, this time to a newly formed company which took the Lily-Tulip name. Thus it became the Lily-Tulip Corporation again. Fort Howard owned the company briefly in 1988. In 1989 the manufacturer became Sweetheart Cup Company, the name it still bears. It remains one of Springfield's largest manufacturing firms.
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