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, 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. Search for 'vintage cast iron' on on other houseblogs like this one.
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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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