STROUDSBURG — A mom and pop shop in the Poconos is celebrating 100 years in business. American Ribbon in Stroudsburg has been in business since 1913 and after all this time, it’s still owned by the same family.
After 100 years, the sound of ribbon being made still fills the air inside American Ribbon Manufacturer in the heart of downtown Stroudsburg.
Pictures taken a few years after the opening in 1913 show the workers who made ribbon.
“Mainly it was to manufacture seam binding, because seam binding, at that time, (was) a real, real big item,” said American Ribbon President Kenneth Barthold.
Today, American Ribbon sells ribbon, mainly for decorating along with other crafts and for trophies.
One thing has remained constant: it’s been in the family for generations.
“It’s a good feeling. It’s family. We’ve given a lot of people jobs and we feel like we’ve helped the community in ways,” Barthold said.
His grandfather founded American Ribbon, passed it down to Barthold’s father, who gave it to Kenneth Barthold.
He plans to eventually hand it over to his son, Greg Barthold who hopes his daughters will run it one day.
“We’re one of the only businesses still around,” said Greg Barthold.
The manufacturing room for American Ribbon is still where all the ribbon is made. Back during World War II, the area was packed with about 100 workers, and at that time, American Ribbon was one of the largest employers for the Stroudsburg area. The people back then made ribbon for parachutes.
“During the war, this building was confiscated to make parachute chord, bullets during (Viet)Nam, and after that, it went right back to manufacturing ribbon.”
“It’s a history,” said Kenneth. “It’s nice to have a history,”
A history of ribbon making that’s survived 100 years in Stroudsburg.