Covering some fifteen acres, the plant has a capacity of 3000 circled head, 80,000 feet of jointed staves, and 10,000 cross pieces per day, employing as many as 150 workers at the peak of its operations. All machinery is individually motorized, including sawmill and lumber transfer cars, and the plant operates two of the latest type Moore Cross Circulating Dry Kilns.
True to the old adage that the world beats a path to the door of the maker of the best mouse-trap, the Overton Company has found a ready market for their product throughout the entire South. At present, their materials are shipped to Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, and into portions of Canada. The materials are used to manufacture hogsheads, which in turn are used in packing redried tobacco. Hence, the moisture content of the hogshead material is of vital importance, and the moisture is constantly checked by the latest type electronic meters and held to a maximum of twelve per cent. This guarantees a tight package under all storage conditions, and absolutely prevents mold damage, often caused by improperly seasoned lumber.
Hogshead when finished are forty-seven inches in diameter, top and bottom, and forty-eight inches in height.
Deliveries flow constantly from this plant, both by rail from the company-owned truck-trailers. All material is bound by modern, steel strapping machines for unloading with fork-lift trucks at a minimum labor cost to the purchaser.
One of the most interesting phases of the Overton enterprise is the beautiful modern airport, Overton Field, maintained about two miles from Andrews on Highway 511. The field, southwest of Andrews, is fully approved by the Civil Aeronautics Administration for G. I. flight training. At the present eight students are taking lessons under an authorized instructor. Four planes are in operation at the airport, one Aeronca, one Cessna, and two Piper Cubs, and gasoline and oil are available at the field for these planes as well as visiting aircraft.
The field consists of three runways, each 150 feet wide. Two of the runways are 3,200 feet in length, the other is 1,400 feet long. All three runways are well-drained, grass tufted, smooth and hard, and many visiting fliers have complimented the management on the excellence of the field as compared with those maintained at much larger cities.
The taxi strip is convenient to the main runway in front of the hangars, and a windsock on a corner of the hangar indicates the prevailing wind. Individual hangars are available for visiting planes.
The civil Air Patrol is now putting in equipment for use by the local unit, recently organized, and the Patrol at Andrews is alert and growing rapidly.
The successful Overton Manufacturing Company has proven that a quality product, economically produced and distributed, will find a ready market in any part of North America.