Reading Iron Orders Plants Here Demolished Corporafion Obtains City Permits To Raze Its 85 - Buildings (ronlinnrd from Pace One) Employing 7.500 men a quarter century ago in its various plants, including mills out of Reading, the Reading Iron Company's operations in Reading have steadily dwindled in volume of employment for the last IS years. Last spring, when its parent company, the Philadelphia and Reading Coal and Iron Company, Company, went Into reorganization proceedings proceedings under Section 77 - B of the federal law, the last major operation, operation, the Seventh street tube works, went out of operation. At that time estimates of the .number of employes on payrolls in Reading located plants ranged from 1,500 to 1,700. Many years ago employes in all the Reading plants. Including the long - vanished Spruce street mills, were 3,000 to 3.500 in number. Twenty - five to thirty years ago the company was our of the largest Iron pipe and bar iron producers In the Independent field not to mention Its blast furnace output.