The building, now vacant and boarded up for many decades, once housed a company whose brand was once synonymous with excellence in its field, but has now faded into obscurity. In its prime, Warren Webster & Company was renowned for providing heating systems to plants, factories, and large buildings across the nation. They pioneered systems and controls that revolutionized the delivery of continuous, comfortable, and cost-effective steam heating to large structures. If you find yourself inside a building constructed in the early 20th century, there’s a significant likelihood that it once contained or still contains components made by Warren Webster.
The company was established by Warren Webster in Philadelphia in 1888 before relocating to Camden just five years later. At this new location, a substantial factory was erected at the intersection of Point and Pearl Streets. After World War I, they expanded to an even larger facility in East Camden, situated at 17th & Federal Street. This move was prompted by the realization that the original plant would be in the path of the soon-to-be-constructed Delaware River Bridge.
Tragically, Warren Webster passed away in December of 1938, during the 50th year of his company’s existence. His son, Warren Webster Jr., took the helm. Unfortunately, his grandson, Warren Webster III, a West Point graduate, lost his life in action during the Korean War in February of 1953. The company remained operational in Camden as late as 1959, but by 1970, Warren Webster & Company had vanished from the Camden County telephone directory.
In 1942, Warren Webster Jr. penned a biography of his father, with a limited edition published to commemorate his legacy.
If you fare inside a building constructed in the early 20th century, there’s a significant likelihood that it contains components made by Warren Webster.
Warren Webster had a tremendous capacity for work—for getting things done. He was quick to recognize talent and ability in others and never hesitated to acknowledge it.
General Warren was my grandfather’s particular war hero—and when my father was christened he was named “Warren” in his honor.
I don’t know of any particular thing that helps business so much as being able to advertise in such a way that people know exactly what they are going to get.
Little did he think that within a few short years steam heating throughout the world would bear the name of “Webster.”
The late Mr. John Wanamaker said: ‘You are just starting out in life. You may be looking for easy roads to travel, but you won’t find them. You have to work hard to accomplish anything worthwhile.