Riverdale Park in Prince George's County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
The History of the Engineering and Research Corporation (ERCO) and the Ercoupe
1937 - 1947
On this spot stood the sprawling campus of the Engineering and Research Corporation (ERCO), complete with numerous manufacturing buildings, lightweight prefabricated structures known as Quonset huts and an L-shaped runway.
The main manufacturing structure, according to the Maryland Historical Trust, was constructed in the Moderne style, an architectural form characterized by streamlined and curved surfaces, tubular chromed steel frames and minimal ornaments. Its look was reminiscent of 1930s-era transportation machinery such as ships, automobiles and airplanes. The building was outfitted with an early form of airconditioning, richly-grained wood lobbies and walls of glass brick.
The factory floor was a bevy of activity, churning out 34 Ercoupes daily at the height of its production capability. The diversity of machinery that surrounded where you now stand, included 2,000-ton hydraulic presses, boring mills, grinders and a 35,000 square foot final assembly shop. The factory was loud, with skilled workers moving around quickly and with purpose to maintain quotas.
First tested in 1937, the Ercoupe was recognized
After ceasing production of the Ercoupe, the company was involved with the production of fligth simulators, school bus bodies and rocket launchers. This plant continued activity until closing in 1954.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Air & Space • Architecture • Industry & Commerce • War, World II. A significant historical year for this entry is 1937.
Location. 38° 58.057′ N, 76° 55.939′ W. Marker is in Riverdale Park, Maryland, in Prince George's County. Marker is at the intersection of Rivertech Court and Lafayette Avenue, on the right when traveling west on Rivertech Court. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 6501 Lafayette Ave, Riverdale MD 20737, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Native American History (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Trolley (approx. Ό mile away); Calvert Hills: A National Register Historic District (approx. 0.3 miles away); Riversdale Plantation (approx. 0.3 miles away); MacAlpine Farm (approx. 0.3 miles away); MacAlpine Icehouse (approx. 0.3 miles away); ERCO and Calvert Homes (approx. 0.3 miles away); Eternal Tribute (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Riverdale Park.
Credits. This page was last revised on December 11, 2021. It was originally submitted on December 11, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 78 times since then and 35 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on December 11, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.