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Links to Information about Pattern Making and Casting

"John J. Vicic, Sr., 1885–1964." Recollection of how a student of iron banks found out that his grandfather had been a foundryman.

"Grandpa Frank T. Becker, the life of a foundry man." Includes a link to Frank Becker's apprenticeship contract. Mentions that Becker Manufacturing Company made some toy and banks. "Both Aunt Evelyn and Aunt Dolores have cast iron animals and a miniature wood stove made in the foundry."

Excerpts from: "Patternmaking" by Joseph A. Shelly. This "how to" was published in 1920. Excerpts relate to definitions of Pattern, Draft on Patterns, Contraction or Shrinkage, Finish Allowance, Pattern Varnish or Shellac, Varnish Pots and Brushes, Applying Pattern Varnish, Pattern Color, Finishing Metal Patterns, and Pattern Letters.

Excerpts from: "Practical Pattern-Making" by F. W. Barrows. "A thoroughly practical work on the art of making patterns, written by a pattern-maker with thirty years experience." Published 1906. Excerpts about the selection of lumber for patterns, shellac, and alloys for metal patterns.

Pattern maker Philip John Baker, who "has run a Whiting cupola and ran up and down that ladder poking 'hung up charges' down the hole," recommends the textbook "Foundry Practice" by William H. Salmon & Eric N. Simons.  "This was a standard text book for all budding UK foundry technologists in 1968 when I started my pattern making apprenticeship, and even then, it was recalling some of the earlier 1950's practice (a time when The book of knowledge castings were being made)."  The book was published in 1951 and again in 1960.  [No link for online access is known and the book is out of print, but used copies can be found.]

Reprints of books about the foundry.

Online English—Bulgarian Dictionary of foundry engineering. Requires that your web browser have a Cyrillic font available. (Even if you don't want to translate to Bulgarian, the list of English words is itself informative.)

"Practical Hints on Cupola Operation" and "Useful Information for Foundrymen," downloads of booklets by the Whiting Corporation.

"A Brief History of Iron and Steel Production," by Professor Joseph S. Spoerl. Saint Anselm College.

"Hills of Iron," A Day-Long Event Celebrating the Iron Industry in Bartow County, Georgia.

"Foundry Management & Technology." This site is devoted to modern foundry news and practice, and has a searchable archive of articles.

         "Iron casting – Sand casting.Monmet is a specialized consulting firm with expertise in iron castings,
         sand casting, forgings, fabrication, machining and power transmission.

Links to General Information about Toy Banks

Selected links from the Mechanical Bank Collectors of America web site:

Engravings that depict the J. & E. Stevens Co. foundry in the late nineteenth century.

Photos taken at J. & E. Stevens Co. in 1982. Although the photos are modern, they depict the foundrymen and foundry operations as they were even a century earlier.

"Foundry Practices at the J. & E. Stevens Co. During the 1880's." An amazing lecture by Mark Haber to the MBCA Convention in Valley Forge, PA., September 15, 1962. It describes an imaginary visit to the Stevens Co. that includes conversations and a tour of parts of the foundry. This lecture is excepted from a MBCA publication that includes several lectures by Haber. (Download size about 800K.)

"J. & E. Stevens Company, Foundry Notes by Bob McCumber." These notes describe the facilities and operation of the foundry.

"Still Bank Collectors Club of America" (SBCCA). Portions of this site are available to non-members.

Three photos of the Bankers Utilities Co. in South San Franciso. From the Historical Photo Collection of the San Francisco Public Library. Photo 1. Photo 2. Photo 3.

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