What do an Andy Warhol painting and a box of Fig Newton's have in common?




Look for this sign on Beekman Street near the entrance to Dia.





The Nabisco printing and carton plant opened in Beacon in 1929 and produced  milllions of cardboard boxes annually. In 1953 the factory employed 600 men and women. It is here that the machine that inserted the string on the animal cracker box was created. In 1985 Federal Paper Board Company bought the building and continued printing operations until 1990. Dia Beacon, Riggio Gallery opened its doors in May 2003.






Women often had the job of "pickers". Using a hammer they would knock out the perforated pieces of cardboard not needed in the construction of the finished box.

Note the skylights. The 40,000 square feet of glass provided natural light for inspecting the print quality of the boxes and was one of the features that made the space ideal for a museum.






This story has been condensed and edited from a longer interview.

Interviewee: John Ballo

Recorded: October 1, 2009

Time Period: Mid-twentieth century

Subjects: Dia Beacon, Nabisco cardboard factory, Beacon, New York

Collection: Newburgh-Beacon Audio Tour

Credits: Photos courtesy of the Beacon Historical Society

Production: Produced by Mia Lobel and Eileen McAdam. Narrated by Jim Metzner.

Funded by: New York Council for the Humanties

Some Rights Reserved: This production including audio, text, and images, may be used for educational and research purposes as long as it is not altered in any way and is credited to The Sound and Story Project.

Transcript:  Coming soon

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