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Wheeling Mold & Foundry | Continental Roll | Blaw-Knox


Places of Wheeling Icon ➤  WHEELING HISTORY  ➤  PLACES   ➤  BUSINESSES   ➤  IRON & STEEL


Wheeling Mold & Foundry | Continental Roll | Blaw-Knox Quick Links

➤  History   |   ➤  Location   |   ➤  Images   |   ➤  Additional Resources 


Wheeling Mold & Foundry | Continental Roll | Blaw-Knox Quick Links

History
Location
Images 
Additional Resources 


Wheeling Mold & Foundry | Continental Roll | Blaw-Knox In Wheeling

Wheeling Mold and Foundry was organized by C. E. Blue and Associates on June 5, 1893, along with Conrad Rader, James R. More, Arthur G. Hubbard, Louis V. Blue, Louis C. Good, John H. Felmlee, William V. Hogue, and John McCrum. The firm began with a capital of $100,000, although only $6,500 of that had been subscribed (Legislature of West Virginia 1895:26).

The foundry opened in mid-June of 1893 at 18th and Eoff St. The Wheeling Sunday Register reported on June 18, 1893, "The Wheeling Mold and Foundry Company is on in full. New men were put to work last week and more will be given positions to-morrow. The new foundry is giving the best of satisfaction." The ground floor of the building served as the foundry with the second floor housing the machine shop.

The business specialized in the manufacturing of glasshouse molds and machinery and as well as making cast iron castings. Early on, and developed Blue's new methods of molding glass by machine which revolutionized the glass industry. The company's first glass molding machine was used at the Hazel-Atlas Glass Company factory in Washington, PA. in 1895. By September of 1897, the company had built eighteen machines for the Hazel Co., the Beatty-Brady Company, and the Atlas Glass company and was completing another twelve at the foundry. The machine was used in the manufacture of the Mason fruit jar. Blue's patents brought enough success to the company that they were able to open the "Manchester Plant" in 1897.

As capital continued to increase, the company purchased the Peninsula works in 1901. When the Peninsula Foundry opened in 1901, the company's main product was chilled cast iron rolls. The Foundry supplied mill equipment to plants across the nation and beyond. In 1903, the company started on a 60,000-ton tunnel segment for the Pennsylvania Railroad tubes under the Hudson and East rivers in New York City. The Foundry was able to expand its main building and equipment on this contract.

Between 1911 and 1913, Wheeling Mold and Foundary provided many so parts for the Panama Canal that an office of the U.S. Inspection Department of the Canal Commission opened in Wheeling.

All work was transferred to the peninsula site in 1906 until World War I broke out. In 1915, the Manchester site was reopened for a sub-contract under the Bethlehem Steel Co. for the production of small caliber 75-millimeter shells for Russian and French contracts, and in 1917, American 3-inch shells, while the Peninsula plant took on a contract for 100,000 6-inch shells.

Following WWI, the Manchester Plant was used as a small chilled roll foundry. Eventually, it was retired for pattern storage.

Blue would serve as the president and general manager of the company from 1893-1914 and chairman of the company's board of directors until 1917. Following Blue's resignation in 1914, H.E. Field took over as president and general manager of the company and would oversee the transfer of the West Virginia-chartered Wheeling Mold and Foundry Co. to a Delaware corporation of Wheeling Mold and Foundry Co. in 1919. Field remained the president and general manager of the company until it was sold to Continental Roll and Steel Foundry Co in June of 1930.

The Wheeling Works of Continental produced hull and turret castings for M-4 tanks and gun shields for the Navy during World War II. After the war, the focus was shifted to designing and manufacturing various types of steel mill equipment. Some special projects included wind tunnels and saddles for suspension bridges.

In 1952, during the Korean War, the Wheeling Works made casted and machined turrets for the M-47 and M-48 tanks.

A deed of transfer was registered on November 14, 1955, completing the sale of the Wheeling properties from the Continental Foundry and Machine Co. to the Blaw-Knox Co. of Pittsburgh for $825,000 (effective Nov. 1, 1955). The sale included the properties at the Peninsula and the factory in Warwood. Built in 1922, the Warwood property had first been called the Wheeling Steel Castings Co. and later the Cast Iron Roll Foundry. 

By 1960, Blaw-Knox employed over 6,000 people across the country and own ten operating plants: five in the Pittsburgh area, two in Wheeling, and one each in East Chicago, IN, Ellwood City, PA, and Warren, OH. 

In 1968, Blaw-Know became a division of White Consolidated Industries and continued to produce mill machinery and hull and turret castings for M-60 tanks. The Warwood plant was closed in 1986 and the Wheeling plant in closed in December of 1993. The grounds of the factory were sold to the Park Corp. real estate company in April of 1994. Demolition of the site took place between 2003 and 2004.

Sources:
Wheeling Sunday Register, June 18, 1893.
Wheeling Daily Intelligencer, "A Wheeling Invents a Machine that will Revolutionize a Part of the Glass Making Business", September 16th, 1897.
➤ Turning Blue: Charles Blue and the Early Jar Machines, Bill Lockhart and Barry Bernas, March 9, 1994. 
Wheeling Daily Intelligencer, January 22nd, 1901.
➤ Wheeling Intelligencer, June 17th, 1930.
➤ Wheeling Intelligencer, November 15th, 1955
➤ Wheeling Intelligencer, "Blaw Knox Removal Leaves History in Wake", Shelley Hanson, August 13, 2003.


Locations

➤ 1893: 18th and Eoff Streets
➤ 1897: Manchester area of Wheeling
➤ 1901: Peninsula area in Fulton

➤ 1922: Warwood


Images

Wheeling Mold & Foundry | Continental Roll | Blaw-Knox in Wheeling


Images

Wheeling Mold & Foundry | Continental Roll | Blaw-Knox in Wheeling


Additional Resources

Materials in the Library's Wheeling Room: non-circulating, ask at the Reference Desk for access
Book: Foundries in Wheeling: Wheeling Mold & Foundry Co., William Allen Bumgardner, 1998. CALL #: Wheeling 338.76 B88f
➤ Book: Blaw Knox Rolls, Inc., Wheeling, West Virginia, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 1994. CALL #: Wheeling 613.62 B614
➤ Vertical File: Blaw-Knox Company

Materials in the Library's Archives: non-circulating, please call 304-830-1814 or email to make an appointment to view materials.
Archives Vertical File: Blaw-Knox Company
Archives Collection: William Carney Collection on Wheeling History


Additional Resources

Materials in the Library's Wheeling Room: non-circulating, ask at the Reference Desk for access

Book: 
Foundries in Wheeling: Wheeling Mold & Foundry Co.
, William Allen Bumgardner, 1998. CALL #: Wheeling 338.76 B88f
➤ Book:
Blaw Knox Rolls, Inc., Wheeling, West Virginia, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 1994. CALL #: Wheeling 613.62 B614
➤ Vertical File: 
Blaw-Knox Company


Materials in the Library's Archives: non-circulating, please call 304-830-1814 or email to make an appointment to view materials.

Archives Vertical File:
Blaw-Knox Company
Archives Collection:
William Carney Collection on Wheeling History

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-Information on this page compiled by erothenbuehler

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