Foundry Design, or...the Die is Cast ;)

Category: What on Earth!?

What on earth is in the basement today?

Stuff made out of metal. Specifically, stuff that I think was made in a "casting process." What do I know about this process? Practically nothing. But my dad knows a lot.

I know this is a flower frog. You put it in the bottom of a vase or bowl and it helps your flowers stay arranged. I know that.



But all I know about metals and metal casting is that I usually can spot something that has been cast. Because, well, I've hung out with my dad all my life. And, if this were a sixth grade paper, I would describe his job as "my dad designs systems to make castings." How do I know this? Because he told me.

One of my early memories of my dad at work is visiting a foundry in Ohio with him when I was 6 or 7.

Not this foundry.

They were pouring molten metal that day and everything was HUGE and there was fire and sparks. It was pretty cool.

In the wintertime, after work, I used to drive home past A. Finkl & Sons in Chicago because you could see in the open doors...fire, sparks, molten metal...the whole thing. Still cool 25+ years later.

Here are some bells made in the casting process:

The first two look like sand castings. The third...could be a wax cast or a sand cast with the edges filed off and buffed for smoothness. I know those bells of Sarna were taken from fraternity to fraternity to secure buyers in the 1920's. India was still a mystery to the U.S. then. And the casting process, goes back to 4000-3000 B.C. It you look closely, the dust on the bell in the second picture probably also dates to that era.

I don't know if this will work, but here is a newsclip from the 1930's-40's (?) illustrating the importance of foundries. You should have Windows Media Player.

Download file


Okay, we're back to researching and tagging soon :( Groan. I need this stage to end finally!


Looking for More?

House in Progress Search for more on 'vintage cast iron' on this site.
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Comments

I love old foundries too! But I've never been IN one. I've just peeked in the doors on Armitage, is that the Finkl foundry?

 

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