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About Us

Over Seventy-Seven Years Of History

Any company with a record of longevity like the Phillipsburg Memorial Company certainly should have experienced a number of major changes in its operation over the years. The difference in our case is the age-old adage that the more things change, the more they seen to remain the same. While most manufacturers have become more and more involved with hi-tech development, sophisticated production techniques and modern marketing approaches, we on the other-hand, may have made Phillipsburg Memorial Co., Present Day
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some major manufacturing changes, but we haven’t changed our marketing philosophy in over three quarters of a century. This paradox is just one of the many reasons why ours is truly a unique business.

Friend W. Ehrhardt
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The Ehrhardt family business started in 1939 when Friend W. Ehrhardt, after having been employed by the company as a part-time salesman since 1926, purchased Jacob Schwar’s & Son Monuments, which had already been part of the Phillipsburg community since the late 1800’s. (Although undocumented, some local history buffs believe the monument company may have had an owner even prior to Schwar). The Schwar’s company was originally located near the railroad yard on South Main Street, which made incoming shipments of granite from Vermont a relatively easy process.

During the carefree times of the early to mid-20’s the company prospered and additional space requirements forced the move to its present location in 1928.
The Carefree 1920's

Phillipsburg Memorial Co., circa 1940
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However, with the 1929 stock market crash and subsequent depression of the late 20’s and early 30’s the company’s prosperity came to a crashing halt. Times were so tough in fact that Friend, like so many others during those times, was forced to seek additional employment. To augment his steadily decreasing income Friend started driving truck for Schiables Bakery located in Easton, PA.

Up until 1939 not much had ever changed in the monument industry. Since the typical grave marker of the day could require the dulling of 60-80 chisels, the need for a good blacksmith was obvious, and just about every monument company had a blacksmith on staff. But, major changes were on the horizon with the advent of the carbide tip in the early 1940’s.

Blacksmith

The Great Depression