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INDUSTRIES - - -
SHELBY FOUNDRY CO.
Daily Globe, Industrial Edition April 2, 1906
Booming Industry That Promises Great Things -
Employ 125 Men By The Middle of This Month and Promises Still
Shelby Foundry Company is a hustling young infant. It has developed
by leaps and bounds and is brim full of lusty life and vigor.
There isn't a fraction of the people of this town who realize
what this concern is doing and how they have grown. Being located
so far away from the business district, there is not a great
many people who visit them, but those that do are astonished
to find them employing such a large number of people. It is certainly
a gratification to know that this concern is so prosperous, as
their prosperity means so much to Shelby, because of the large
pay roll and it's resultant effects upon the business life of
Daily Globe Photos
Shelby Foundry Co., is a corporation organized two years ago
(1903) with a capital
of $10,000. Originally the company consisted of six molders from
Cleveland, but about two years ago Mr. Greer bought them out
and reorganized the plant on its present basis. The officers
of the company are Robert Greer, president; Philip Rosskopf,
vice president; and Wm. Wise, secretary. Mr. Greer is the large
stockholder in the factory and to his genius and efforts is due
largely the great strides which the company has made in its onward
march of progress."
product of the company consists of light and heavy grey castings,
and the extent of their business operations extends in all directions
from this city. They get business from all the surrounding country,
and so crowded are they with orders that they have been compelled
to decline further business on account of the great rush they
have had from their regular line of customers."
the present time they are employing over 70 people and have under
construction a very large addition to their works which will
double their capacity. When the new addition is completed they
will have a foundry floor 170 X 60, besides core room, cleaning
room, pattern house, and a main building three stories high.
They will also add two monster steel cranes which will be located
in the new addition.."
pay roll now is $3500 per month, and when the extra force is
put on which they will do this month, them amount disbursed for
labor will amount to almost $7000 monthly, giving employment
to almost 150 men. And be it remembered that these men are nearly
all skilled mechanics drawing good money. When it is considered
that two years ago when Mr. Greer took charge of the place, there
was nothing at the shop in the way of business, it will be clearly
seen that he has accomplished wonders, and produced a grade of
work which had to be satisfactory in order to get the immense
business which he has secured during this period of time."
the past year the company has added a number of new additions,
among them being two new core ovens, and with the new $4000 addition
to the plant now in course of construction, they will be admirably
fitted to handle an immense business."
Shelby Foundry photo c. 1906
During the winter they have been shipping on an average of nine
tons of product daily, and this output will be doubled before
the month is out. As showing the confidence in which this concern
is held by its patrons it is only necessary to state that one
of their customers stands ready to give them sufficient business
to take the entire capacity of their addition."
The management have gone on the principle to send out nothing
that is not first class. To see that every piece of product is
perfect, and to use none but the best materials in the work.
This has given them a reputation which has brought many thousands
of dollars worth of business to their doors unsolicited ."
We are frank to say that so far as we could see there is a great
future for this business - a future that will make them one of
the big institutions in this section and will eventually pay
out more money to labor than any other place in town. This may
be putting the case a little strong, but everything indicates
it, if past growth counts for anything. Their prospects are most
glowing - they have all the business they can possibly handle
- their goods are first class, and with all these elements in
their favor they are sure to go ahead by leaps and bounds. The
Globe congratulates Mr. Greer and his associates on the splendid
showing which they have made, and the great good which they have
done and are doing to Shelby."
following are excerpts from an article appearing in July 17,
1918 issue of the Daily Globe:
burned To The Ground Last Night During Electric Storm.
Insured For $16,500 . Undecided as to Whether Company will Rebuild.
worst fire which has occurred in Shelby since the Brightman Manufacturing
plant burnt to the ground took place this morning at about 3
o'clock when the Shelby Foundry Company, one of the largest,
manufacturing concerns in the city, together with many valuable
patterns was burned. The plant was struck by lightning at about
1:30 o'clock, during the severe electric storm which passed over
this community, and the fire was not discovered until more than
one hour afterwards. It is estimated that the property loss will
reach $60,000 with only $16,500 insurance on the building and
contents. More than one hundred men are thrown out of employment,
and the loss to the city will be heavy, since this was one of
the principal industries here."
fire started in a large exhaust pipe, which was constructed of
wood in the blacksmith department, where the ball of lightning
seemed to have entered. The fire was discovered by William Chapin,
night watchman at the foundry, in the room where the blacksmith
shop is located. After Chapin gave the alarm of fire, in a few
minutes the remainder of the employees rushed to his side, and
the small hydrant, to which was attached a small rubber hose
was turned on. In a instant the flames broke out in various parts
of the building, and in five minutes the entire factory was a
mass of flames. The night force consisting of W. F. May, Ted
Pfeifer, Victor Simon, foreman of the machine department were
at work when the lightning struck the factory. William Chapin,
the night watchman was also on duty. Dale Yarnell and a man by
the name of Keller who was employed on the night shift had returned
to their homes shortly before 2 o'clock, and were not at the
plant when the fire broke out."
lightning struck the plant a dense smoke arose in the blacksmith
department and after a careful investigation made in all departments
by Mr. Chapin, he was unable to discover the least sign of a
blaze. It is thought the fire from the lightning kept smoldering
in the dust and timbers of the building until it became so hot,
causing fire to break out in various parts of the building. It
seems that the fire first originated in the frame part of the
times prior to this there had been small fires in various parts
of the plant and the night watchman was able to extinguish them.
He tried to do so this morning, but failed. The building which
was largely constructed of wood, was very dry, and thoroughly
saturated with oil. There were several dust explosions after
the flames were under headway. When the night employees realized
they could not cope with the situation, Chapin turned in an alarm
and the fire department and hundreds of citizens rushed to the
plant, located along the Big Four railroad tracks in the northern
part of the city. Although the men fought hard the blaze was
not placed under control until 4 o'clock. The moulding and machinery
departments lay in ruins at that time. The entire structure is
a total loss."
before the fire department responded to the call the large air
tank, located outside the engine room exploded and the report
was heard very distinctly in all parts of the city. Shortly before
the explosion the night men had left the building. The night
employees rushed for their tools and only a few of them were
able to remove them before the roof fell in. The fire started
so quick that the men did not have time to remove any of the
contents, that were valuable."
- July 18, 1918
plant was devoted largely to the manufacture of Greg iron castings,
road graders and machinery castings, and the company did an immense
business shipping their products to all parts of the United States
and South America. The employees were kept busy all of the time
and only half of the orders could be filled. The business had
grown to such an extent that a number of salesmen were kept on
the road continuously."
the fire occurred there was a light wind from the east and the
sparks went to the west. The east side of the Thomas Manning
residence in Irish town was badly damaged by sparks and it was
thought by the firemen that the building would burn to the ground.
The fruit trees in the rear of the Manning residence were badly
scorched, and when the firemen attempted to put water on the
small blaze an objection was raised by members of the family
thinking the water would damage the building."
fire laddies did an excellent work. Six strings of hose were
attached to two hydrants and the members of the department worked
hard for more than two hours in order to prevent the flames from
spreading. A number of cans containing oil were located in the
plant, and loud reports were heard when these exploded. This
is the first big fire which has occurred in Shelby for the past
seven years and the destruction of the Shelby Foundry means a
heavy loss to Shelby."
All the iron and grader patterns which were taken from the pattern
room to the foundry Monday were burned. The Shelby Foundry company
did not own any of the patterns, they being shipped here by the
different concerns who had their work done at the local plant.
A box car containing grey iron castings and other castings, loaded
yesterday and prepared for shipment was located on the side track
near the foundry and one side of the car caught fire damaging
it considerable. The fire was easily extinguished before much
damage was done."
oil shed, pattern room and the main office which are located
close to the plant were not threatened by the flames. Several
hundred gallons of oil and some dynamite was harbored in the
oil shed. If the building had caught fire considerable damage
might have been done and probably lives would have been lost."
- July 18, 1918
ten years ago, when the stove factory burned to the ground considerable
damage was done to the Shelby Foundry Company. The latter plant
at that time did not burn to the ground, but it required considerable
money to make the necessary repairs. Some time afterward the
Foundry Company purchased the ground for the purpose of enlarging
Shelby Foundry Company had in its employ several expert molders
all of them at present residents of this city. The greater part
of them went to Plymouth and New London this morning in search
of work. A number of the employees also applied at local factories
today for work, and it is very probable that most of them will
remain in Shelby if work can be secured."
Greer is the largest stockholder in the factory and to his genius
and effects was due largely the great strides which the company
has made. Robert Greer, the present president and treasurer of
the plant and William Wise owned all the common stock, and had
controlling interests in the concern. A few years ago the company
issued $10,000 of preferred stock, and at that time a number
of new stockholders were added. At present the company is composed
of about thirty stockholders."
Greer, when asked by a reporter, whether the company expected
to rebuild the plant, replied that he did not know, until a meeting
of the stockholders would be held for the purpose of determining
payroll at the foundry was between five and six thousand dollars
per month. Nearly all of the men employed were skilled mechanics
drawing good money."
the past few years the company had added a number of new additions,
among them being two new core ovens, and with the $4,000 addition
erected eight years ago to the plant the company admirably fitted
to handle an immense business."
prospects for the plant were glowing, and had all the business
they wanted to handle. Their goods were first class and with
all these elements the concern was sure to succeed. It is hoped
that the stockholders will get together and consider the proposition
of rebuilding the plant. Shelby cannot afford to loose this industry
because it means much to the city.
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