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1977197819791980198119821983198419851986198719881989





LOCAL FOUNDRIES PRODUCED WIDE VARIETY OF CASTINGS
September 20, 1979

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PIX #1 - S-C Regulator Mfg. on East Crocker Street.

PIX #2 - Copley Machine, at Perry and High, the location of Fostoria's first foundry in 1860. S-C regulators later manufactured in that building before moving to Crocker Street.

PIX #3 - Stove still exists that was made at Fostoria Foundry & Machine Co.

PIX #4 - Old casting unearthed on east North Street made at John Brothers in Fostoria.

PIX #5 - Atlas Mfg. Co., manufacturers of safes, later occupied the building at Center and Wood streets where Fostoria Foundry & Machine had been earlier.

PIX #6 - Fostoria Foundry and Machine Co., also known as The Brass & Iron Works Co., at Wood and Center. The stove on this page was made there.

The several old foundries that existed in Fostoria in the last century can't be compared with the present day Chrysler Fostoria Foundry in terms of size, employment and production volume.

However, those that existed 100 years ago produced castings for a wide variety of products. Two of those castings were recently discovered.

When Gray Printing Co. purchased and demolished the house at 328 E. North St. to use the lot ofr parking. Clayton Risner who was filling in the basement area, made several "finds", one of them a cast iron part which appeared to have been a part of ao door for a stove or furnace. The part and perhaps the rest of the casting, was manufactured by John Bros., Fostoria. The name "John Bros." and "Fostoria Ohio" can still be seen in the casting, as well as a figure of a cherub.

Although the part is definetly a casting and was manufactured here, no reference could be found in historical data for a foundry by that name in Fostoria.

At about the same time that part was found, Mrs. Greene, an employee at Buckeye Aluminum Extrusions and a Potluck reader, called to my attention a cast iron heating stove from the last century, still inexistence at the home of one of her relatives.

The two "finds" prompted me to write a story about foundries during the earlier days of Fostoria, an article I had been planning to do for some time.

EARLY FOUNDRIES

In 1880, the Fostoria Foundry...Machine Works here was owned by Charles Foster, Nicholas Portz, and F. Manecke. It was an outgrowth of the foundry owned earlier by Bement & Robers, still earlier by Roberts & Co., and later C & B.W. Bonnell & Co.

Eventually, the Fostoria Foundry & Machine Works became known as the Fostoria Brass & Bronze Manufacturoy, and was located where the post office is now, at Center and Wood Streets. In 1885, a brass foundry at Titusville, Pa., was moved to Fostoria and consolidated with the Fostoria Foundry and Machine Works.

As far as I can ascertain, the earliest foundry establishment in Fostoria was in 1860, owned by C.W. Bonnell and High located at Perry and streets. A Mr. Jacobs purchased the foundry in 1874 and continued the business at the same location. The principal products were: scrapers, plows, agriculture implements, vases, columns, and house castings. The company employed nine people and the value of the annual production was estimated at $15,000, according to old data.

Voglesson's Foundry, a small industry, was located in the western part of Fostoria during the earlier days, but I found no further reference to it in old historical notes.

ABOUT OLD STOVE

Now, about the old stove, mentioned earlier in this story. It was manufactured at Fostoria Foundry and Machine Co. The owner is Harry Rogers, a retired farmer, living on South Prospect Street, Bloomville.

I believe that the stove could still be used as a heating device. There are some small openings where castings are joined, where furnace cement would be required, but other than that the old stove appears to be in good condition.

It is approximately three feet long, 18 inches wide, and stands on legs which provide an elevation of approximately 26 inches. The top has two removable round covers to accommodate cooking utensils.

When Fostoria Foundry & Machine became Fostoria Brass & Bronze it manufactured a patented tapping machine which was sold nationwide.

S-C REGULATOR

It must have been in approximately 1905, that two Fostorians, N.G. Copley and a Mr. Shork, designed a water and steam pressure regulator system which came to be used extensively on hot water and steam generating systems. The product was used by utility companies, on steamships, by industry and even at Boulder Dam.

The complete line was described in their catalog as: feed water regulators, pump governors, regulating valves, drainage controls, heater controls and pressure regulators.

The company to manufacture the devices later became known as S-C Regulator Co. the name being derived from the initials of the designers, Shork and Copley. At first they started in the old foundry building at Perry and High streets, because foundry facilities were already there. Later, they required more space and moved to the Gas Light Co. building on East Crocker Street in approximately 1923 or 1924.

The company built and operated their own foundry facilities at their new location to make the various nonferrous parts for their products.

Orrin hammer, 1005 W. Tiffin St., may be the only living employee of S-C Regulator. He was very young when he went to work at the Crocker Street plant in 1923 as a pattern maker for the intricate control devices. He explained that many of the small patterns for the parts were actually whittled out of wood by hand.

The officers of S-C Regulator, according to an old descriptive catalog in the posession of Hammer, were: M.M. Carr, president; H.J. Adams, vice president; George A. Snyder, treasurer; N.G. Copley, secretary; J.M. Barrett, manager.

The S-C Regulator had a competitor - The Swartout Co., Cleveland, which was having trouble competing with the quality of the local company's superior design. So, Swartout bought S-C Regulator in 1927 and moved it to their Orrville plant, where it continued to produce the regulators.

STILL OTHERS

The Brass & Iron Works at Center and Wood streets, was later the location for two companies that manufactured safes. They were the Schwab Safe Mfg. Co. Inc. at Lafayette, Ind., and it may be the one that originated in Fostoria.

This ends another story about a segment of Fostoria history when our town was growing and prospering.

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