Hutchinson Foundry, where manhole covers were cast, closed in 1972


Hutchinson Foundry, photo courtesy of Linda Laird

The “foundry” in Hutchinson Foundry & Steel Inc., D and Washington, will be a misnomer after Oct. 1.

Blaming federal safety requirements, the firm has announced it will shut down its gray iron foundry on that date.

Ken Green, general manager, said last week that the measure is being taken because of requirements for environmental air dust handling handed down by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Green said that the step is not being taken because of new state air quality requirements.

OSHA has not inspected the Hutchinson foundry. But Green says it would take construction of a new facility to meet the standards which are designed to prevent employees from breathing pollutants.

Hutchinson Foundry, photo courtesy of Linda Laird

Hutchinson Foundry, photo courtesy of Linda Laird

As for the state regulations, Green remains confident that the foundry could meet those regulations. In fact, the state had given preliminary approval for the preliminary design of a scrubber.

The company, which will get a new name, will continue manufacturing structural steel, fabrication and building specialties.

Closing the foundry will mean the loss of 13 employees. But Green expects some of this loss—all of it in the long run—will be offset by the manufacture of a small hydraulic iron worker.

The iron worker was designed and engineered by Harry Oswalt, Garden City, president of the Hutchinson firm. Oswalt hand-built the prototype model which is now in operation at the plant.

Manufacture of the iron worker is expected to begin within six months.

Hutchinson Foundry, photo courtesy of Linda Laird

Hutchinson Foundry, photo courtesy of Linda Laird

The foundry has been working on an arrangement with Wyatt Manufacturing Co., Inc., Salina, whereby the firms patterns and customers will be transferred to Wyatt’s foundry operation.

Hutchinson (Kan.) News, August 13, 1972 

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