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.


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.

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

What's All Over Albany?

All Over Albany is for interested and interesting people in New York's Capital Region. In other words, it's for you. It's kind of like having a smart, savvy friend who can help you find out what's up. Oh, and our friends call us AOA.


Recently on All Over Albany

Albany is set to build the link between Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail and the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail -- here's the plan

The city of Albany is planning to start construction next year on the much-anticipated link between the Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail and the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail.... (more)

AOA Thanksgiving charity drawing 2018: What are you thankful for this year?

In our (almost) annual tradition, we'd like to know: What are you thankful for this year? Please share in the comments -- it could be... (more)

Stuck on Albany

These Albany-themed stickers by local artist Cara Hanley are delightful and they're available via Etsy for $8. Blurbage: Set of 4 Albany stickers made from... (more)

Harry Rosenfeld: Battling Editor

Former Times Union editor Harry Rosenfeld has a new memoir coming out: Battling Editor: The Albany Years. Blurbage: In 1978, Harry Rosenfeld left the Washington... (more)

Breaking out, on screen

From Amy Biancolli's review of the new Escape at Dannemora series on Showtime, about the 2015 prison break: "The result is fascinating, nuanced and smart,... (more)

Recent Comments

Very nice redesigns. I hope that area becomes more of a neighborhood rather than what it currently is - still an expressway that happens to have hotels and apartments along it. I'd love to see wide sidewalks and protected bike lanes from Crossgates all the way to Manning.

AOA Thanksgiving charity drawing 2018: What are you thankful for this year?

...has 6 comments, most recently from Jeff D

Library Expedition 36ers

...has 3 comments, most recently from Jack Owens

The skating rink on the ESP opens for the season at the end of this month

...has 2 comments, most recently from Jeff D

Approval to convert two prominent downtown buildings, a warm response to increased density, and more exciting tales of the Albany Planning Board

...has 1 comment, most recently from Ian Benjamin

Stuck on Albany

...has 2 comments, most recently from Ian Benjamin