*** ONLINE AS OF AUGUST 5, 2011 ***

Universal Sanitary/Universal-Rundle Corporation - Taylor Twnp PA

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In early 1901 a group of local industrialists took a gamble and provided the capital for Charles J. Kirk to start a small company known as the Universal Sanitary Manufacturing Company, which would make ceramic plumbing fixtures for bathrooms such as toilets and sinks. The company built a plant at New Castle Junction to take advantage of the railroad facilities and commenced operations with thirty employees in late 1901. A huge fire devastated the facility on July 15, 1911, and its future was in doubt. Kirk decided to rebuild at the same location and made a host of revolutionary changes in the coming years, including erecting a tunnel kiln system that cut production times in half. The company became a major success and its products were in use all over the country. (c1905) Full Size

Universal Sanitary merged with the Rundle Corporation of Milwaukee WI to become Universal-Rundle Corporation in February 1948. The firm was later acquired by other companies to include Sears, Roebuck Co., Nortek, and Crane Plumbing and at its height had over 700 employees in New Castle. I believe Praxis Companies purchased the financially-strapped plant in late 2005 and continues operations there at this time. (c1908) Full Size

Workers pack products for shipment at the Universal-Rundle plant. At center of photo is employee Harry Petrine. (c1955)

The Universal-Rundle facility in Taylor Township. (1975)



  1. I want to address the design of Universal-Rundle product, in particular the design of your toilet. 1. I will first mention the design of the toilet which looks like a giant large intestinal bowel… Completely ugly! I think it is a disgusting looking design.
    2. I just spent 8 to 10 hours cleaning the inner rim… It is in a rental property and it was full of shit… even after all this time cleaning It is still not clean or cleared of this waste matter.
    I would suggest to you that you enlist the viewpoints of the people who have to clean these toilets. So Disgusting and unsanitary, If you have one in your home, which I doubt, Try to clean it yourself. It is impossible to clean under the rim… I will probably be trying to clean this toilet for at least another week or more… the thought of other people’s shit in my toilet is so repulsive.
    So sorry I cannot say anything nice about your product. I would suggest that your company give more thought to the design crew… enlist the aid of those who clean toilets.

    Jette · 10/23/2017 09:24 PM · #

  2. I wholeheartedly agree with the comment that I read on your website about the design of the toilet which will not allow proper cleaning/sanitation. A toilet is one of the things in life that must have regular cleaning and this toilet must have been designed by someone who didn’t have a sense of smell or never cleaned one! Completely the worst toilet I have ever seen, (although I have to say it does seem to flush okay). What good is that (?) if the thing stinks! I live in a rental house, and I can tell you for sure that when the lease is up, I’m out of here just because of these Rundle toilets. They should be recalled just based on the impossibility to clean the product, and the “sewer” smell they often emit. Never saw anything like it in my life! I think it should be called to the attention of the health department……no telling WHAT is living under that rim, don’t think I want to know!
    Your company should replace every remaining toilet that exists with this problem for FREE!! UGH! 12/5/17

    Linda · 12/05/2017 04:12 PM · #