The bung factory

Bung Factory.jpg

Heh-heh. It's the bung factory. Heh.

By Jessica Pasko

So it turns out that I know a guy who lives in the bung factory. Yep, the bung factory.

The term brings out the 13-year-old boy in me. Every time I pass the S. Kampf and Sons' Bung Factory on Albany's Jefferson Street, near Dove, it's hard to keep from emulating Beavis and Butthead.

Seriously, is there anything not funny about the term? Try saying it with a straight face. Go ahead -- bung factory. Told ya.

So what exactly is bung? Probably not what you'd think.

It turns out that a "bung" is actually a type of cork or stopper used to seal a container or barrel, particularly barrels of beer or wine or other liquids. A bunghole, then, is actually just the hole that you'd stick a bung in.

Apparently while the S. Kampf and Sons' Bung Factory was operational, they pretty much had a solid grasp on the local market when it came to bung sales. If you needed bungs, you went to S. Kampf. Of course, with the introduction of aluminum barrels and kegs, the need for bungs dwindled.

The factory stopped operating in the 1940's and eventually it was sold as a HUD property - that is, it was government-owned by the Housing and Urban Development department.

Turns out Times Union photographer Michael P. Farrell bought the place about six years ago. Mike says the building was built around 1850, but by the 1980s, it was pretty much abandoned. These days, it no longer produces bungs but has been renovated and serves as home to Farrell and his family.

Comments

I know Mike! And yes, I love that building. I used to live right around the corner (now I'm a whopping 6 blocks or so).

I'm just glad to finally find out what "bunghole" means!

Mike is known for his varied and wondrous collection of hats...and lately facial hair. He's an original kind of guy living who happens to live in an original space, or so it seems.

Just one brush stroke away from being the Bong Factory. Dude...

earlier this decade (like 2000-2002?), I was part of a makeshift traveling guerilla busking band - we'd stumble out of Mother Judge's open mic with guitars and double bass (courtesy of Stephen Orsini or Jimmy Muppet) in hand or on our backs, playing the Mobil, the Dunkin Donuts and old Romeo's Pizza, and the old Lark Street Lionheart. Anyways, our name was Speed Bung, in honor of this place - nice to finally know more about the name's origin!

But why did Beavis need TP for his bunghole? I don't get it.

The Bung Factory is my one-stop historical tour when visitors come to Albany. It never ceases to delight.

Are you threatening me?

My people... they have no bungholes...

I lived there years ago when I worked in Albany. It was a great year.

I've got dibs on Bung Factory for a band name.

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