Very few companies can claim even a century-long existence. Not counting the Cari years, Vulcan Iron Works endured for 144 years from its founding by Henry Warrington until 1996. The portion of vulcanhammer.info focuses on the first hundred years “and then some:” the years the company was located in Chicago, 1852-1960.
During this time, the company went from being a general purpose foundry to the greatest manufacturer of pile driving equipment in the world, this in an era when driven piles reigned supreme in deep foundations.
Come with us as we explore the following:
- The Beginning of Vulcan
- Early Products Other Than Pile Driving Equipment: Vulcan manufactured many different types of products from its founding until World War I
- Bridge Mechanisms
- Marine Boilers, including the products of the Warrington Iron Works, owned by George Warrington
- Marine Engines and Boilers, a contemporaneous book that may give you some idea of how these were designed and built
- Caldwell Cyclone Snow Plow — a “special product” that went seriously awry
- The First Pile Hammers
- Vulcan Drop Hammers–a product line that Vulcan both maintained and helped to marginalise at the same time.
- The 327 North Bell Facility
- California Pile Hammers
- A Product Line in Transition: an overview of proposals during the late 1920’s and early 1930’s, when new designs were coming to market
- Vulcan Pile Extractors, and Wood Pile Puller
- Super-Vulcan Hammers, Closed and Open. An overview of the most popular type of hammer Vulcan produced after the single-acting hammers, the differential-acting hammers
- The Warrington Family: Broadened Horizons
- Vulcan at War
- Vulcan’s Centennial Celebration (31 January 1952)
- DGH Series Hammers
- Vulcan Onshore Tips–helpful suggestions on maintaining a Vulcan hammer
- After the Celebration
We also have an entire section which details the company’s greatest adventure after this era, namely Vulcan: The Offshore Experience.
About our Sources
The information in this section goes back more than a century and a half, and has been rescued from the various “downsizings” that Vulcan Iron Works and Vulcan Foundation Equipment have experienced. These sources include the photo library of Vulcan Iron Works, literature, and files from the company’s records. The largest rescues took place in 1999 when Vulcan Iron Works (Cari) sold the 2909 Riverside Drive Chattanooga facility and in 2004 when Vulcan Foundation Equipment relocated the 2501 Riverside Drive warehouse and office. Some of the information was also found in the Warrington family archives as well.
4 thoughts on “Vulcan Iron Works: The First Century”