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Mark Simonson

July 15, 2013

Procter & Gamble rose and fell in Chenango County


This was the beginning of the end of an era for Procter & Gamble in Norwich that had begun in 1982, after P&G’s acquisition of Norwich Eaton Pharmaceuticals Inc. The name of the company was changed in March 1992 to Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals.

P&G then announced in April 2001 that it was selling its North Norwich plant to a New Jersey-based company, Outsourcing Services Group, to make P&G prescription drugs as well as other companies’ products. The nearly 350 jobs were spared in the OSG purchase, ending a long period of uncertainty over the future of the building. P&G continued to operate its Woods Corners product development plant.

With the OSG purchase, the company brought back the name of “Norwich Pharmaceuticals,” adding it to the sign in front of the North Norwich facility in August 2001. OSG was then bought in August 2007 by AFI Partners, a private equity firm based in New York City. Manufacturing continued uninterrupted with the purchase.

The end was in sight for P&G in Norwich during 2007. In June, P&G said it was looking to outsource work at the Woods Corners facility. In October, 120 of the 160 employees were offered to relocate to P&G headquarters in Cincinnati. Woods Corners would officially close in December 2009.

While it did close, the facility wasn’t vacant for long. It was announced on Monday, Nov. 30, 2009, that Agro Farma, the Columbus-based based company that produces Chobani Greek-style yogurt, had its eye on the 335,000-square-foot facility. It was anticipated that 350 jobs could be created in Norwich over the next three years. The closing on the property soon followed.

This weekend: The long-held belief that talking pictures debuted in Oneonta in August 1926 will be reexamined and an asterisk placed next to it.

City Historian Mark Simonson’s column appears twice weekly. On Saturdays, his column focuses on the area during the Depression and before. His Monday columns address local history after the Depression. If you have feedback or ideas about the column, write to him at The Daily Star, or email him at His website is His columns can be found at

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