Poster and info courtesy of Collins Powell
The BITCO home office was in
Missoula Montana with two other locations,
Cardin, OK, and Paris, Texas.
When I retired in Seattle 10 years ago we stopped in Missoula and ate
in a restaurant on the way back here. Next door was the BITCO
home office. I had only been back here a few weeks and had to go to Paris, Texas
to moms brothers funeral. I was surprised to see one there.
BITCO has a small operation now in Roseberg, Oregon and the other three are gone.
I can't find anyone to tell me when the Cardin branch closed,
but it has been a while. Tobe Wood was the local manager and his son
Frank Wood was a classmate of my brother Jerry.
Frank Wood adds:
Bitco was started in 1935 first in Wallace, ID to serve the mining area there.
The Cardin branch was opened in l938 to serve the Tri-State mining district. My dad,
Tobe Wood, worked there when we lived in Cardin 1942-43. We moved to Picher in
1944, and he became Branch Manager in l945. He served in that position until
he passed away and at which time my mother, Gen Wood, assumed the position until
1972. Dad was a PHS graduate of 1927. The Cardin shops were closed in 1974.
Bitco at one time had plants in: Spokane, WA, Paris, TX, Cardin, Wallace, ID, Kellogg, ID,
Red Dear Alberta, Kawai, Hawaii, and Missoula. Kaman purchased all of Bitco in 1968.
Kaman at the time was a manufacturer of helicopters and the famous Kaman guitars.
What kept the Cardin shops running for so long after mining began to phase out is
that they also served the construction industries (quarries, etc.) and sold explosives.
The company’s customer base reached as far east as the Tennessee Valley Authority
(TVA), and shipped a great deal of equipment and supplies to Saudi Arabia for
US companies doing work there.
See also Dump Finds