of Baldt Anchor and Chain 1901-1975
Helps Make History
Inc. Corporate History (1901-1975)
Baldt's other company affiliations
History of Anchor Chain
History and Development of the Marine Anchor
Baldt Anchor Main
Anchor from the U.S.S. Arizona
This history of Baldt was written by Mr. Fred C. Perry and its Preface was prepared by Mr. Glenn S. Suplee, President, in September of 1993.
In September of 2002, Mr. Suplee made a copy of the history available for publishing on the Internet and sent a copy to Mrs. Betty-Jane Bennett Smith grandaughter of
Richard Jaque Bennett who had been Vice President of Baldt beginning in 1901.
She and her husband Robert P. Smith transcribed it digitally for this CD ROM in November of 2002. For further
information, send to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
HISTORY OF BALDT ANCHOR AND CHAIN
The history of Baldt, 1901-1975, by Fred C. Perry, in retrospect was written during one of the high points of the company's history. No one could have foreseen the collapse of the offshore oil industry, the U.S. Navy's decision to abandon DiLok chain and for elements within the Navy to seek worldwide competition for its mooring equipment needs--not to mention the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end to the Cold War.
Moreover, no one could have foreseen the company being purchased and sold three times in the intervening years between 1975 and 1992, and the turmoil associated with those transactions. Baldt, is at present writing it's history one day at a time.
I am reminded of a story told by Benjamin Franklin after the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787. Franklin spoke of a chair in the convention hall that had a picture of the sun carved into its back. He told friends that when he looked at the carving during the course of the convention he was unsure as to whether the sun was rising or setting. When the convention had satisfactorily concluded. Franklin reported that the sun was indeed rising! For those of us who are presently striving to make Baldt a success, our task is like that of Benjamin Franklin, to see to it that the sun rises on Baldt.
The history of Baldt, Inc. is in the process of being updated. Nonetheless I wanted to share Mr. Perry's work with you and to express our thanks and appreciation for his diligent efforts. I would also like to take this opportunity to encourage everyone to read appendix A
"The History of Anchor Chain", and appendix B
"The History of The Marine Anchor".
September, 27, 1993
A history of any company is founded in the roots of the man who conceived an idea. This man was Frederick Baldt, inventor of the Baldt Stockless Anchor. To know the story of Baldt Anchor & Chain Division of Baldt Corporation you must know about this man and his achievements for his idea resulted in the company we know today.
In 1976 Baldt will celebrate its 75th year both as a company and as a Chester Industry. Since its inception Baldt has been in the business of designing, manufacturing and marketing anchors and chain for the commercial shipping industry and the U.S. Navy.
During World War II, the company grew rapidly to meet the demands of the war. Following the Korean conflict, Baldt reverted to the status of a small domestically oriented producer of chain, anchors and related hardware. The demand for its products declined sharply in the fifties and sixties with the eventual result that Baldt alone survived as the sole United States source for its product line. In the early 1970's, offshore oil drilling emerged as a new industry. With it came the demand for massive mooring systems to hold various types of floating drill rigs in place throughout the world. Baldt responded to this new demand. Over the past four years, the company has grown rapidly. Today Baldt services customers world wide. Our years of expertise and technology have placed Baldt in the forefront as a world supplier of anchoring and mooring systems.
I have found my research into this historical compilation of man and company fascinating and I am pleased to share it with the reader. Care has been exerted to assure accuracy of statements and detailed facts. Errors, if any, are deeply regretted and I request only that the reader keep in mind the difficulties of the task which was set in attempting to recapture the story of the past seventy five years.
Fred C. Perry
Baldt Chain Helps Make History
"Working in steel and iron has always been held to be one of the noblest of crafts. Even the ancient Gods held it in honor. Thor, of the Norsemen, and Vulcan, of the Romans, to name only two, were blacksmiths, forgers. And so on down the ages, through the craftsmen that made the famed Toledo blades of the Middle Ages down to the present Age of Steel. And always romance has gone hand in hand with steel. Far ports, battles, forays, experiences of the adventurers who carried with them the products of the workers in iron and steel. And so it is in these days with our own chain. Think of the stories that one of our shots of chain could tell if it could talk. Tales of far ports...Tahiti, Zamboango, Rangoon, Hawaii, and many others---the names of which make the wanderer's feet itch. Tales of bloody battles, bitterly fought beachheads, cargoes delivered to unheard of harbors for the use of our far-flung troops. Yes, there's romance and adventure in our chain, as well as, long hours of sweat and toil--honest, painstaking labor and teamwork--all of which goes to make our chain the best in the world."
[Baldt DiLok Flashings, March, 1945]
BALDT, INC. CORPORATE HISTORY
The Frederick Baldt interests and trade name were acquired by the Baldt Anchor Company, which was chartered under the laws of New Jersey on February 2. 1901. Location of the principal office was at 138 South Broad Street, Woodbury, New Jersey. The mailing address was: Cambridge Building, Fifth and Market Streets, Chester, Pa. Incorporators were: William L. Gelston,
Chester, Pa. (999 shares); Walter S. Bickley, Chester, Pa., (999 shares); and David
O. Watkins, Woodbury, New Jersey (2 shares). Total authorized capital stock of the Corporation was one hundred thousand dollars, divided into two thousand shares of a par value of fifty dollars each. The first Board of Directors meeting, was held in Woodbury, New Jersey, February 9, 1901. Company officers were: Walter S. Bickley, President;
Richard J. Bennett, Vice President; Milton H. Bickley, Treasurer [an associate of Frederick Baldt at Penn Steel Castings Co.], and Norris D. Powell, Secretary.
The Company was formed to "manufacture, buy, sell, deal in and deal with steel or iron or both and all like or kindred products". Their first product was the "Baldt Patent Stockless Anchor" patented by Frederick Baldt, October 27, 1896. Anchors were produced by the Penn Steel Castings Company.
As of this writing, the plant is located on a two and one half acre site consisting of approximately 69,000 square feet of shelter space and approximately 42,00 square feet of unsheltered space.
Most of the real estate, land and buildings, then existing, were acquired by Norris D. Powell from Joseph H. Hinkson, attorney for Johnston Railroad Frog & Switch Company. The deed is dated April 14, 1913 for a sale price of $32,500. Walter S. Bickley sold out his interest and the following purchased stock: Edward A. Hall, John D. Roney, Morris Schapiro, Fred M. Smith and Booz Brothers. These stockholders owned stock equally in Baldt Anchor Co. and Boston Iron & Metal Co. of Baltimore, Maryland. The Company officers were: Norris D. Powell, President; Richard J. Bennett, Vice President; Milton H. Bickley, Treasurer and Edward A. Hall, Secretary.
The Die Room and Machine Shop are the oldest buildings on the property. It is said a contractor, with offices in the Union Hall, used the Die Room as a horse stable and the Machine Shop for a wagon and repair house. The ramp between the shops was used to transport horses to the wagon house. Windows, on the storeroom side of the Machine Shop, overlooked a large field.
Johnston Railroad Frog & Switch Company built the Anchor Shop [used as a foundry], Old Forge Shop [used to finish castings] and the Boiler Room [coal fired]. The pattern house was in the new Forge Shop area with the main gate to the plant next to the compressor. It is thought that the corner office building was also constructed in this era.
In 1917 Messrs. Roney, Schapiro, Smith and Booz Brothers sold out to the remaining four: namely, Messrs. Powell, Bennett, Bickley and Hall. During these years, fire welded wrought iron anchor chain was universally standard and was manufactured at the plant. There is no positive record when Baldt Anchor Company started to make chain. It is believed, however, that World War I brought on a heavy demand for anchor chain. The Company proceeded to acquire equipment, personnel and know-how, but before making any large quantities of chain the war ended and the demand for chain declined.
1920-1940 Austere Times
The Company's name was changed to Baldt Anchor and Chain Company on October 21, 1920. On May 1, 1921, it was incorporated and a $300,000 eight percent gold bond issue was promoted. These bonds soon defaulted for interest due resulting in receivership and bankruptcy on June 15, 1922. The Receiver, Richard Wetherill, continued to operate the plant in a very small way. Eventually, on November 12, 1924, the land, buildings, machinery and inventory were offered for sale at public auction.
Details of this sale are not available, however, it is known that Messrs. Roney and Schapiro of Baltimore, Maryland, bought the inventory from the Receiver at private sale and later acquired the remainder of the property in the same manner.
Under the ownership of Roney and Schapiro, with J. Hillard Powell as General Manager, the plant continued to operate making anchors and fire welded wrought iron chain. During this period an agreement was consummated on March 14, 1925, with Messrs. Reid, Lutts & Leahy, owner of the DiLok chain patent. This gave the Company sole commercial license to manufacture and sell DiLok chain and detachable chain connecting links on a royalty basis.
In 1926, the Company name was changed again to Baldt Anchor, Chain and Forge Corporation. DiLok chain was no panacea for the company, for it took several years to develop the process and tooling to make the product. Baldt employees, Gilbert Statts (Marine Engineer) and Joe Fedland (Die Room & Forge Shop Foreman) were two of the men responsible for developing the manufacturing techniques with C. G. Lutts (U. S. N. Retired) acting in an advisory capacity. In 1928, the U.S. Navy, convinced of Dilok superiority, accepted it as their standard and the company made DiLok chain on a limited experimental basis in sizes of 5/8 to I". Fire welded chain continued as the plant's major chain product.
In the November 1928 issue of "Marine Engineering & Shipping Age", Baldt Anchor, Chain & Forge Corp. announced a new product; a detachable link for stud link chain. The advertisement stated: "After years of experimenting we are offering to the Trade, a detachable link with a strength more than double that required for ordinary chain. It is made of steel, drop forged, and will pull 125,000 pounds per square inch". The first announcement of DiLok chain was made a year later in the same magazine.
The crash of 1929 did affect the Company, but they continued with 48 to 50 employees, to make anchors, chain and forgings. Typical wages, in this era, were: Laborer, 30 cents per hour; Drill Press Operator, 45 cents per hour; and Tool Maker, 60 cents per hour. Generally speaking business was good, but it was not uncommon for employees to work a 3 or 4 day week with salaried employees acting as plant watchmen during the off days and weekends.
During the early 1930's the company made quantities of specialized forgings, i.e., rings, valve bodies, pipe crosses, pipe flanges, etc. A March 1933 brochure advertised heat and corrosion resisting forgings by Baldt for process and power uses. "If it can be forged, Baldt makes it".
Around 1934 DiLok chain orders increased with contract awards from the Navy. DiLok chain making crews worked by contract. When a chain order was received steel was ordered. The crew was called in to unload material when it arrived at the plant. After unloading they proceeded to cut the material and make the chain for approximately 40 cents per hour! When the chain order was completed the crew was laid off until the next order was received.
On April 9, 1935, Edgar J., McGuiness came from Baltimore, Maryland, to become Secretary-Director of Baldt Anchor, Chain & Forge Corporation.
In 1938 Baldt manufactured, on the old 2500 hammer [Joe Boyd, Chainmaker], one continuous 4200 ft. length of l" DiLok chain used by the vessel "Lord Kelvin" to lay the international cable between Ireland and the United States. When the chain arrived at the Irish coast to begin laying the cable, it was discovered that an additional 1800 ft. of chain was required which Baldt supplied. It was necessary for the Kelvin to plow a furrow on the ocean floor for a distance east of the Irish coast to prevent fishing trawlers dragging the bottom from fouling the cable. Baldt's DiLok chain with the plow attached was fed from the stern of the "Lord Kelvin" and plowed a furrow with Western Union Company's international cable played out simultaneously.
On November 29, 1940, E. J. McGuiness became General Manager of the Company and on December 31, 1940, Mr. Roney disposed of his interest to Mr. Schapiro. Simultaneously Mr. Schapiro assigned his interest to his wife and four children equally. He surrendered the corporate charter and operated as a partnership as Baldt Anchor, Chain & Forge Company under Fictitious Name Act, April 5, 1941.
1940-1945---World War II
Manufacture of Chain, Anchors & Forgings continued at a modest rate until, in 1940, the United States Government entered into an agreement with the United Kingdom to acquire U.S. bases in the Bermuda and Caribbean areas. The United States made fifty destroyers available to the United Kingdom in exchange for the bases and Baldt acquired the contract to manufacture DiLok chain for the four stack destroyers. From then on and especially with our nation's entrance into World War II, in December, 1941, manufacturing activity increased tremendously. Significantly, Local 48, Industrial Union of Marine and Shipbuilding Workers of America was chartered August 22, 1941 to represent Baldt's hourly workers.
World War II required great amounts of ground tackle for use on fighting ships of all sizes. The requirements for anchors, chain and connections reached an all time volume in the history of the United States. It was not uncommon for Baldt Anchor to be awarded government supply contracts, both by the Navy and U.S. Maritime Commission, covering as many as 3000 anchors in a single contract. Demands for landing crafts [(LST's] anchors and chain was
tremendous... likewise the Maritime Commission with the construction of Liberty, Victory ships and T-2 tankers.
What did this do with Baldt's employment level? The plant worked 24 hour 1 day schedules and reached a peak male and female employment of 752 during the war.
During 1942 and early 1943, the Government assisted in the expansion of Baldt's physical property and manufacturing facilities. The New Forge Shop was constructed and new facilities installed included the 4000 and 6000 Chambersburg hammers, 8000 Erie hammer, 8000 Combination hammer, [the name was derived from the combination of Baldt engineered and spare hammer parts used to construct it], 3000 DiLok assembly hammer, 1000 hammer, and several 2500 pound hammers. Related upsetters [forging machines] were acquired along with Bliss trimming presses, overhead bridge cranes, Marvel stock saws, etc. This expansion also affected the office building. Space was at a premium, so the company leased the third floor of the Delaware County National Bank Building at 4th and Market Streets, Chester, to house the complete Accounting Department.
It is interesting to note that in 1944, Chester's industrial output ranked third of all Pennsylvania cities, exceeded only by Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, with a yearly output conservatively estimated at $400,000,000. Baldt certainly was a major contributor to this effort.
Excerpts from the monthly company paper "Baldt DiLok Flashings" [first issued July 1944] will inform the reader of the employees' effort.
June 1945 Workers of the Month
"Congratulations are in order to the boys on Unit No. 18 [New 1500 lb. hammer]. They have established a record for efficient production of 1-1/4" to Males that will be hard to beat. On April 4th, a new die was started and by May 12th the impressions were "washed out" necessitating its removal after a total of 60,173 male links had been made. This is an average per working day of 2507 links.
This is an example of what can be done when ability is coupled with team work. An observer of any of the three gages on Unit No. 18 will witness a smooth working combination, with no lost motion and maximum efficiency that really "goes to town." Efficiency in the Forge Shop is of no value without good tools and the Die Room boys should take a bow for this excellent
set of dies. And, in turn, Horace Howarth, Perry Ranalli and Henry Stewart, et al, should get credit for the condition in which they maintained the dies throughout this record run.
It is important to note that the finest set of dies can be ruined in a few minutes by careless or reckless operation of a hammer. Careful and correct setup and continual observation and maintenance of match tip and key tightness while in operation are absolutely necessary to establish a record production or even to maintain average production.
The operation of the hammer and-die is primarily the responsibility of the forger, but not the least in importance is the heating of the raw steel. A soft, mellow heat is a deciding factor in prolonging the life of a die and in the quality of the finished chain and the three heaters; Alfred Logan, Talmage Brawer and Dillwyn Moor are to be commended.
July 1945 Workers of the Month
The 8000 lb. Morgan Assembly Unit crews are deserving of special attention for their production efforts during the month of May. In 27 working days they produced a total of 201 shots of 2 5/16" DiLok chain for an average of 7.4 fifteen fathom shots per day. The month's production was equivalent to 18,090 ft. or nearly 31/2 miles of chain. The weight of the finished chain 946,710 Ibs. or 473 1/2 tons
Production records for May indicate a very consistent job. On only two days did production drop below 4 1/2 shots; the 8th, V-E Day, and the 14th when two chain makers reported off sick. It is interesting to note that these same crews established an additional fine mark during May; one that contributed immeasurably toward their fine job of production, a low rate of absenteeism. Their rate of unexcused absenteeism was but 30 of the rate for the Forge Shop as a whole.
Certainly, without this record, production could not have been maintained at a high level. During the month, thirteen members of the three crews of twenty four were on hand every day and seven were absent but one day.
The 2 5/16 " DiLok chain produced during May was shipped to the Sun Shipbuilding and Dry Dock
Co. for installation aboard the T-2 Tankers under construction there. The complement of chain for each tanker includes 18 fifteen fathom shots, 26 Detachable Links to connect the chain, 4 Oval Links for inboard connections, 2 five link pieces of chain and 3 swivels. The five link pieces are used between the swivels and the Pear Shaped Links attached to the anchor shackles. The chain, before shipment, was proof tested to 425,000
lbs. and is capable of standing a minimum break strain of 643,000 lbs. For this month "Baldt DiLok Flashings" salutes the men of the Morgan unit. The workers were also proud of the ships that carried Baldt products. Note the story of the "Patrick Henry":
FIRST LIBERTY SHIP STILL IN WAR SERVICE - "The "Patrick Henry", the first liberty ship built and the forerunner of a great fleet of liberty ships is still carrying war cargoes despite enemy action. The "Patrick Henry" is rounding out four years of continuous service, its keel having been laid April 30, 1941 and hull launched September 27, 1941.
Delivered shortly after Pearl Harbor Day, the "Patrick Henry" has been in continuous operation, traversing 90,000 miles of blue water and carrying 110,000 tons of war cargo. She has travelled to all war theatres except the Asiatic. During the last year her war service has taken her to Takorado, West Africa, Freetown, Dakar, Gibraltar, Leghorn, Naples and Oran. Not long ago, she completed her eighth voyage home.
Numerous attempts have been made from the air and undersea to sink the "Patrick Henry", but all have failed. While on the convoy run to Murmansk, Russia, she was the target of sustained attach by bombers and U-boats, but escaped. Later, off North Africa, she suffered minor damage from bomb explosions-and machine gun bullets.
The "Patrick Henry" is equipped with Baldt Stockless Anchors and DiLok Forged Steel Anchor Chain. The anchors were shipped from the plant on August 12, 1941, and the chain shipped on September 3, 1941. Sixteen 15 fathom shots or 1440 ft. of 2-1/16" DiLok chain and two anchors of 8400 Ibs. each one anchor of 3185 Ibs. make up the Baldt equipment on the "Patrick Henry."
During the war approximately 40 of the work force was female. They worked in the Forge, Machine and Die Shops with classifications of Crane Operator, Hammer Operator, Machine Operator, Die Finishers, etc. Females were necessary to provide replacements for male members inducted into military service. So, Baldt was heavily involved in the war effort from a manufacturing and service standpoint. Manufacturing level in 1945 started to drop off with 550 employed in March. Following the cessation of war with Japan on August 15, 1945, [the plant took a holiday!] contracts were cancelled and in late September the employment level dropped to 206.
On September 1, 1945, Mr. Schapiro dissolved his family partnership and the entire business, with facilities, became Baldt Anchor, Chain & Forge Division of Boston Metals Company after acquisition by that company. E. J. McGuiness was appointed Vice President Director of the Division.
When the war ended, Baldt and the Federal Government entered into a National Security Covenant Agreement, which required Baldt to maintain government owned facilities [primarily the new Forge Shop] in an operable condition should a National Emergency develop. Not all the facilities installed with Government cooperation in 1942-43 were covered by this agreement and the government did remove overhead cranes and saws at the conclusion of the war. The hammers, presses and upsetters were retained because of the great expense required to unearth the anvils and foundations of that machinery. The agreement covered two five year periods and equipment condition was substantiated by quarterly inspections by uniformed Naval officers. At the end of the ten year period the company purchased these remaining facilities.
On December 10, 1945, the company was awarded the United States Navy Certificate of Achievement, "In Recognition of Exceptional Accomplishment in Behalf of the United States Navy and of Meritorious Contribution to the National War Effort".
1945-1950--Post War Era
In the rush to complete Liberty ships and T-2 Tankers, for the war effort, only half a complement of chain, attachments and anchors was made for some ships and the company received government orders to complete those ship sets. After this work was completed in 1948, manufacturing activity steadily declined to a point in 1950 when only 92 were
employed. During this period, buying and selling of war surplus chain, anchors, etc. became an integral part of the company's business
and continues to a limited extent today.
1950-1955--Korean War Era
On June 25, 1950, tank led troops of the North Korean regime began an invasion of South Korea. The U.N. Security Council called upon U.N. members to assist the Republic of Korea in repelling the attack and the U.S. Air and Naval units and later, Ground Forces entered the battle in July. Again, Baldt was called upon to supply ship sets for all types of Naval and Merchant ships to support the Korean war effort.
Employment increased, to 247 and then to 298 in 1954. The Korean Armistice was signed July 26, 1953, but with new ship construction remaining at a heavy pace, the demand for Baldt products continued to keep our manufacturing activity at a stable level.
The office building was enlarged in June 1951 with the addition of several large rooms both south and west of the original structure.
Perhaps the most significant and influential order the company received was from Humble Oil Company for more than 25 miles of 2" DiLok chain produced during 1954 through 1956. This was indeed the forerunner of the offshore drilling program we know today.
In May 1955, the Company acquired the business and physical assets of Johnson-Farmer Chain Co., in Lebanon, Pa. from
Mrs. Marie Johnson, Vera Farmer and Arthur Farmer. It was operated as a Baldt subsidiary under the direction of Arthur Farmer. Their main product was fire welded wrought iron chain and under Baldt's ownership they produced flash butt welded bouy chain on Myer, Roth and Pastor equipment. Johnson-Farmer Chain Co. was sold October 16, 1973 to Roger L. Gower of Canadian Chains, Inc., Skowhogan, Maine.
When J. Hillard Powell completed his tenure at Baldt, he purchased the Continental Chain Co. in Fieldsboro, New Jersey and operated the business as American Anchor and Chain Co. In 1955, the business was purchased by the Boston Metals Co. at Sheriff Sale and today is known as Baldt Anchor and Chain Division of Baldt Corp. Fieldsboro Plant. Fieldsboro, as it is commonly known, was first operated under the direction of works manager Harry Landaur and produce forgings [hammers, horseshoes], submerged arc welded chain [the Unionmelt process] and aluminum bronze marine hardware castings for the Navy minesweeper program. Today, most of the machinery is gone (hammers, presses and furnaces) and the facility is used for testing and storage of new and used surplus anchors and chain. Fieldsboro is located along the Delaware River south of Bordentown, N. J.
1955-1970--Era of Corporate Change
Two chain making machines were purchased from Esab, Goteborg, Sweden in 1956. These chain making plants, now known as #6 and #8 Asea machines, gave the company capability for making flash butt-welded stud link chain. The #6 unit, chain size 3/4" to 2", started production in February 1958. The #8 Unit, chain size 2" to 4-1/4", started production in August 1958. These machines enabled the company to establish a new, competitive product line for dependable moorings and ship anchorages, offering our customers chain that can be manufactured from fine grained alloy steel under a rigorous quality control system to meet requirements of applicable testing societies.
To give the United States Merchant Fleet status as a world leader, tremendous new ship construction activity took place between 1955 and 1970. Baldt produced the majority of anchors, chain, hardware, and replacement materials required for the hundreds of new ship hulls under construction. This activity stabilized our employment level at an average of 290. Business was not without incidence however; there were five wildcat walkouts and five strikes in this period. Probably the most damaging lasted 8 weeks and 1 year from December 14, 1959 thru February 8, 1960.
On February 7, 1966, the company was sold by Boston Metals Co. to Universal Marion Corp. of Jacksonville, Florida and became Baldt Anchor, Chain and Forge Division of Universal Marion Corp. Universal Marion President, James Mullaney said the purchase was part of the Corporation's program of acquiring new companies in diversified fields of operations. Edgar J. McGuiness, who was Boston Metals Vice President and Baldt Anchor Operating Manager, was named Universal Marion Vice President and continued in his post with Baldt. C.D. Linnenbank, who was Boston Metals Assistant Secretary and Baldt Anchor General Manager was elected Assistant Secretary of Universal Marion and continued in his Baldt Anchor position. The Board of Directors of the Boston Metals Co. unanimously adopted a resolution expressing its sincere appreciation for the efforts of all Baldt employees during the period of association: "Resolved: That the Board of Directors of the Boston Metals Co. express in its records its sincere and grateful appreciation for the work, effort, devotion and loyalty of all the employees of its Baldt Division during all the years of its ownership by the Boston Metals Co. which contributed so greatly to the success of the operation of the Baldt Division during that period."
/Signed/ Morris Schapiro
Chairman of the Board
Typical headlines, in 1967 and 1968 from the "Chester Times" declared:
"Local Firm Gets Contract"
"Baldt Gets $84,413 job"
"Baldt Awarded $77,860 job"
"Contract Awarded to Local Firm"
These contracts and awards came from Defense Supply, Center (DISC), Philadelphia, an arm of the Department of Defense. Many government contracts were obtained by the company in this
period, for the U.S. was involved in the early stages of the Vietnam War. Naturally, these procurements were for anchors, chain and hardware.
Decorated Metal Manufacturing Co., Inc. [The Company] was organized as a Delaware Corporation on May 21, 1965 and until October 1968, it had no active business operations. Since that time it acquired the separate businesses and assets of two established companies which are presently operated as divisions of the company. John A. Moran was Chairman and Mark J. O'Friel, President of the Company.
On October 2, 1968, the Company acquired all the assets of the Decorated Metal division by transfer from Dyson-Kissner, then the Company's sole stockholder, as a contribution to capital and retained earnings. Upon the merger described below, Dyson-Kissner received 431,200 shares of the Common Stock of the Company. That division, which through its predecessors has been in continuous operation since 1907, was acquired by Dyson-Kissner in 1965 from an unrelated party.
On February 5, 1969, a company then known as Baldt Corporation ["Old Baldt"] was merged into the Company and the Company's name was changed to Baldt Corporation. Old Baldt was organized on November 6, 1968 as a Delaware corporation and, on December 19, 1968, acquired substantially all of the assets of the Baldt Anchor, Chain & Forge Division of Universal Marion Corp. for $10,731,654 in cash. E. J. McGuiness became Managing Director and C. D. Linnenbank, General Manager of Baldt Anchor & Chain Division of Baldt Corporation, which is our identity today.
Edgar J. McGuiness retired December 30, 1969 after 35 years service and C. D. Linnenbank became President of the Division.
With the Vietnam War winding down, new ship construction and government contracts came to a virtual stand still and Baldt found itself with a business recession On the last day of December, 1970, the work force was reduced to 189 employees.
1970 to 1975- -- Offshore Drilling Era
Since 1954, Baldt has been supplying anchors, chain and hardware to the Offshore Oil Drilling industry, but in mid-1971, the Company received its largest order from Sedco, Inc., Dallas, Texas for forty miles of 3" oil rig quality stud link chain. The Company expended $100,000 for new machinery and rearrangements to make this product, and chain production started, on the first 500 foot length, in March 1972 on the #8 Asea machine.
The Sedco order was for five of their 700 series semi-submersible oil drilling rigs destined for the North Sea. A typical complement of Baldt products for one rig consisted of:
8- 30,000 Ib. lightweight anchors
64- 500 ft. lengths of 3" chain
8- 30 foot lengths of 3" chain
115- 3" detachable kenter links
16- End link for 3" chain
9- 3-1/2" D. Type anchor shackles
9- 3" safety shackles
9- Jaw and jaw swivel shackles
With this order and subsequent orders, the trend of business changed from predominately Government, ship Construction contracts to the Offshore Drilling Industry.
On August 1, 1974, C. Donald Linnenbank retired after 37 year's service and A. Stephen Marzo, who started with the Company, November 10, 1972 as Chairman, replaced Linnenbank as President of the Division.
FREDERICK BALDT'S OTHER COMPANY AFFILIATIONS
CHESTER STEEL CASTINGS COMPANY CO., Chester, Pa. Founded 1872
The McHaffie Direct Steel Castings Co. was reincorporated into the Chester Steel Castings Company in 1872 and a new industry was born in Chester, Pa. The Company started to produce in September 1871 and it became very successful under Frederick Baldt who was placed in charge in January 1871.
The new organization was owned by Mr. Edmund P. Dwight and others. The management was under the direction of Mr. John. J. Deemer until about 1900 when he was succeeded by a number other managers, who generally left after a few years to become managing operators or owners of other steel foundries in Chester and other parts of the State. At one time, Chester had seven steel foundries, more or less a direct outgrowth of the Chester Steel Castings Company. Many changes in management took place until 1912, when Mr. William T. Dunning, who had been with the company since 1898, was placed in charge. He carried on through the first World War and under his supervision many steel castings were made for the Government. The company also did considerable work for railroads during this period. The McHaffie Foundry continued to operate and it was very successful, but because of the time required for delivery by this process, a great deal of business was lost to various crucible and converter plants that had been put into operation.
With this condition facing the new owner, Mr. Edmund Waterman Dwight, son of Edmund P. Dwight decided to discontinue operations in 1921. So after 52 years or more of continuous and successful operation, the Chester Steel Castings Company, which had been a school and a base of experience for a number of managing operators executives and owners of various other plants closed its gates.
In the History of Delaware County (1894) the editor Henry Graham Ashmead says of the Chester Steel Castings Company: "This company was organized in 1870, and in 1871 erected at Sixth and Norris Streets a foundry two hundred feet in length by fifty feet in width and other buildings covering an area of two hundred and fifty square feet. The machinery consists of two engines and three boilers, a heating furnace and several annealing furnaces. The works were at first under the charge of Samuel Archibald, President of the company, assisted by Mr. McHaffie, a native of Glasgow, who was the patentee of a process of making steel, which this company was using. In 1894 one hundred hands were employed under the charge of John J. Deemer."
In 1871 the company produced a maximum of 600 net tons of castings annually. Thirty years later, in 1901 this production was increased to 15,000 gross tons.
EUREKA CAST STEEL COMPANY, Chester, Pa. Founded 1877
The works of this company are located on the corner of Broomall and Sixth Streets, South Ward, and were erected in 1877 and commenced operations in September of that year. The area of the works is embraced in the limits of two hundred and two feet on Broomall Street, and two hundred and eighty five feet on the line of the railroad. The building is of L shape, has a frontage on Broomall of one hundred, and thirty two feet, and the same extent is parallel with the Philadelphia Wilmington and Baltimore Railroads and in the narrowest part fifty feet wide. As it is divided, we may specify the main building as one storied, forty one feet over all in height; the machine shop, eighty feet long and twenty-five feet wide comprising the pattern safe. In the main building there are five furnaces, four for annealing purposes and one for heating. These are, on an average, eleven by eleven feet in dimensions. The cupola, where the metal is heated, is forty three feet in height, five feet in diameter, with a melting capacity of sixteen tons of iron. The planing machine, use in the finishing of the casts, is the best adapted for the purpose yet invented. The vertical engine that supplies the power needed was built by Jacob Naylor, of Philadelphia, is of twenty five horse power and is perfect and noiseless in its operations. It supplies the blastworks, the planing machine, drill press, rumblers, emery wheels, grindstones, elevator, etc. The smokestack, connected with the annealing and heating furnaces, is eighty five feet in height, five feet in diameter, and on the north side of the building. Steel castings are manufactured and one hundred persons are employed. The officers of the company are John A. Euirick, president; W. H. Dickson, secretary and treasurer; Frederick Baldt, superintendent, .
"History of Delaware County Pennsylvania" by H. G. Ashmead. Incorporation records from the Department of State, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, reveals the following:
That a Pennsylvania corporation entitled "Eureka Cast Steel Company of Chester" was incorporated February 28, 1877 with principal office at Chester, Pennsylvania for a term of one hundred years by the following incorporators:
W.B. Rearry, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
William W. Dukson, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
H. B. Fance, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
John A. Emenck, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Fred Baldt., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
That no proceedings in merger, sale or dissolution have subsequently been filed.
THURLOW WORKS OF THE AMERICAN STEEL, FOUNDERS, Granite City, Illinois, Founded 1882
Situated in the center of a region rich in historic lore, where the landmarks, buildings and streams are so intimatly connected with our country's fight for freedom and the early days of the Republic, the employees of the Thurlow Works of the American Steel Foundries, located in the city of Chester, Pennsylvania are as proud of the history of the plant as they are of the locality's contribution to American history.
Within a mile of the plant, William Penn, the founder of the great state of Pennsylvania, first set foot on America's shores. Within a radius of twenty miles the first steel castings made in this country, which were of value commercially, were poured in the plant of the Wm. Butcher Steel Works, later taken over and now a part of the Nicetown plant of the Midvale Steel & Ordnance Corporation.
It is the proud claim, however, of the Thurlow Works that they produced the first acid open hearth steel castings manufactured in this country on a commercial scale. Built about 1882 for manufacturing castings from steel by the crucible process, the Thurlow Works, at that time called the Standard Steel Castings Company, was purchased in
1884 by Robert Wetherill and Associates. Robert Wetherill became president and general manager and Fred Baldt became superintendent. The most intricate work attempted in steel castings at that time was the making of small driving boxes and crossheads for locomotives. These were poured, as at present, in dry sand molds, but the plant was not equipped with such modern machinery as traveling cranes and, therefore, the molds were moved into and out of the drying ovens by hand. No flasks at that time were over four feet square. In order to pour the molds these were arranged in a circle around a jib crane and poured from the ladle held by the jib crane.
There was cast in 1888 a six inch breech-loading rifle weighing approximately 11,000
lbs, this being the largest steel casting so far made in this country. The manufacture of this casting had been authorized by an Act of Congress during the preceding year. This cast steel rifle withstood a test of ten rounds under service charge, but with a slight increase in the diameter of the barrel.
The size and intricacy of different castings made at Thurlow grew rapidly from that time on so that it can be truthfully said the Thurlow Works has been the pioneer producer of almost everything made of cast steel. Side frames, bolsters crossheads, rocker-arms and driving boxes all were made in quantity at Thurlow in the early days of their use.
It was at Thurlow that the first cast steel locomotive frames were poured about 1893. The order for these frames, was taken by S. A. Watson, General Sales Agent, of the Standard Steel Castings Company, and the castings consisted of after frames for some Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad Switching Engines. The first complete frames for a locomotive were made at Thurlow for an engine being built at the
Baldwin Locomotive Works in Philadelphia for the Delaware and Hudson Railroad. Thurlow is the home of the Dunn Stockless Anchor, this anchor being the invention of Admiral Dunn of the U.S. Navy.
The output of Thurlow consisted of locomotive and mine castings, together with the larger industrial castings, namely, housing, cylinders, etc. In fact, when no other plant could make a casting, it was sent to Thurlow.
In the early nineties, the Standard Steel Casting Company [Thurlow Works] became one of the plants of the American Steel Castings Co., the other plants of this concern being located in Alliance, Ohio; Pittsburgh, Franklin, Sharon and Norristown, Pennsylvania. Thurlow Works became the headquarters of this, the first combination of steel foundries in this country. In 1901, the American Steel Foundries was organized and Thurlow Works, with the other plants of the American Steel Castings Company was absorbed into present organization.
The successive Managers of the Thurlow Works have been: Robert Wetherill, Daniel Eagan, Frederick Baldt, Samuel Wallace, J. Turner Moore, S. A. Watson, A.S. Blagden, John I. Reid, F. C. Henke, R. S. Munson.
THE PENN STEEL CASTINGS COMPANY - Chester, Pa. Founded 1892
William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania, first touched the soil of his new domain at a spot now designated as Front and Penn Streets in Chester, A stone monument marks the spot. It was fitting and proper that a steel casting company located at Front and Penn Streets should adopt the name of Penn Steel Castings Company.
The Company was incorporated on January 26, 1892. The original organizers were Samuel A. Crozer, George K. Crozer, Hugh Shaw, M. H. Bickley, H. B. Black, Fred K. Baldt, I. E. Cochran, Jr., P. P. Derrickson , Sarah C. Morion and W. B. Broomall. In 1908, the Company operated three 30 gross ton open hearth steel furnaces, two 2 ton Tropenas converters and one cupola. In that year, M. H. Bickley was President and George M. Booth was Secretary and Treasurer.
The type of castings made were for use in shipbuilding, crusher and cement mills, presses, dredges, railways and miscellaneous castings. A small percentage of the production was for the use of the company in its own plant; the greater number were sold commercially. Castings made at Penn Steel ranged from l to 85,000 pounds. Three hundred and seventy five persons were employed and the foundry could produce 869 net tons per month.
THE BALDT STEEL COMPANY - New Castle Common, New Castle. Delaware. Founded 1896
A weighty factor in attracting new industries to New Castle, Delaware, grew out of the standing offer of a community organization in that city which is still known as New Castle Common. This corporate body offered land and immunity from local taxes for a ten-year period to approved new industries that established their plants in New Castle. In some cases they offered a premium of $10,000 if the enterprises agreed, by contract, to employ a minimum of a fixed number of residents of New Castle.
The Baldt Steel Co. works, dismantled in 1942, were established in Balton, Delaware, a suburb of New Castle. A brochure from the company states that "They were the sole manufacturer of the "admiral" improved stockless anchor manufactured under Frederick Baldt's latest patent". They also made castings for ships and locomotives. In 1906-1907 Baldt made many castings to rebuild structures which had been destroyed in the San Francisco earthquake. During World War 1, Baldt made 200,000 shells for Great Britain, 9.2 size.
Frederick Baldt founded this company and gave each of his children 1000 shares of stock. Frederick, Jr. was President, John was Secretary and Treasurer. Mr. Baldt's son-in-law, Samuel S. Tomkins [married to Flora Baldt] was Manager. Mr. Baldt lost heavily on this enterprise. His son in law pilfered large sums of money and burned the books to cover the theft. He was jailed, but under great pressure from the family, Mr. Baldt had him released with the stipulation that he would leave Chester and never return.
FREDERICK BALDT [1841-1916]
Frederick Baldt, a prominent man of affairs of Chester, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, comes of German stock, being descended through both his parents from ancestors who emigrated from the fatherland during the latter part of the eighteenth century. Frederick Baldt, grandfather of the subject of this sketch, was born in Germany and there receved his education, coming to America while yet a young man. He settled in Philadelphia, where he followed the occupation of a market gardener, in which he was remarkably successful becoming the owner of a
considerable amount of property. He gave to the country of his adoption a devoted allegiance, serving in the army during the war of 1812. He married Christiana Wolfe and was the father of nine children. His death took place in his home in Philadelphia, about the year 1857, when he was eighty eight years of age.
William Baldt, son of Frederick and Christiana (Wolfe) Baldt, was born in Philadelphia where he learned the trade of house carpenter, which he followed with great success during the most of his life. He married Elizabeth, daughter of Peter Painter of Philadelphia. Mr. Painter was a native of Germany, whose arrival in the United States had been contemporaneous with that of Frederick Baldt, with whose career his own had possessed points of he having also engaged in market gardening, and served as a soldier during the war of 1812. Mr. and Mrs. Baldt were the parents of seven children: Christian, William, Henry, Mary, Anna, John and Frederick, the subject of this biography. Mrs. Baldt died in 1866 of cholera at the age of seventy one; and Mr. Baldt in 1883 at the age of eighty two, both expiring in their native city of Philadelphia.
Frederick Baldt, son of William and Elizabeth [Painter] Baldt, was born June 17, 1841, in Philadelphia, and received his education in the public schools of that city where, on leaving school, he was apprenticed to the trade of molder in the Penn Works of Reaney, Neafie & Levy. Hr. Baldt acquired his trade with thoroughness and rapidity, bringing to it, as he did, previous preference and natural aptitude, enforced by intelligence and application.
His knowledge of the business, which was theoretical as well as practical, was that in 1864, at age 23, he was entrusted with the management of the foundry which had then been recently established in Chester by Reaney. He remained in this position until 1870, when the foundry was sold to the late John Roach, the famous shipbuilder, for whom he acted for a brief period as manager, returning to Philadelphia in October 1870, for the purpose of taking charge of the People's Foundry. There he remained until January 1871, when he became resident of Chester being placed in charge of the Chester Steel Casting Company.
These works had hitherto been unsuccessful in manufacturing steel castings but Mr. Baldt, was speedily successful in developing their possibilities in this direction, causing them to produce standard steel, and rendering then financially flourishing.
In 1875 Mr. Baldt organized the Eureka Cast Steel Company of Chester, of which he was elected general manager, in which position he remained until March 1886, during which time the company became one of the most prosperous and scientifically conducted establishments of the kind in the state. By this time Mr. Baldt's abilities in his chosen calling were so well known and so universally recognized that when Standard Steel Company of Thurlow, Delaware County, failed in the manufacture of steel castings, he was solicited by the president of the company, Mr. Robert Wetherill, to take charge of its plant. This position he assumed in March 1886, and it was not long before the works had earned a national reputation by reason of the high class character of their manufactures.
During his connection with this company Mr. Baldt made for the United States Government, the first 6" high pressure rifled cannon which had ever stood the required test, and these works also manufactured Baldt Steel for the government cruisers, including the hull and engine castings for the steamships, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Newark, Petrel, Vesuvius, Maine, Texas, Birmingham and Concord, as well as part of the castings of the New York. The superiority of these castings to anything of the kind hitherto manufactured was universally acknowledged both in this country and in Europe.
In January 1891, Mr. Baldt resigned his position and passed a year in Westover, Maryland, on a farm which he possessed where he raised harness racing horses. In 1892, he returned to Chester where he was instrumental in organizing the Penn Steel Castings and Machine Co. of which he was made General Manager. The company was in possession of one of the largest works of this kind in Pennsylvania, having bought the plant of the old Chester Foundry & Machine Company, which they have so enlarged and improved that in its accommodations and equipment, it is without a rival, possessing a capacity for producing the largest steel castings ever made or used in the world, the superiority of its manufactures being admitted on both continents, in his business career, Mr. Baldt has achieved a series of triumphs, and had earned for himself a place in the very highest rank of his profession, wherever, the world over, the possibilities of steel machinery are recognized
Mr. Baldt was married January 29, 1860 to Susan MacKinley, daughter of Archibald MacKinley. They had seven children, Anna, George, Elizabeth, Frederick Jr., Kate, John, and Flora. Mrs. Susan Baldt died in 1901, and in 1903 Mr. Baldt married Louise Graham. They had two sons, Carl and Frederick III. Frederick Baldt, Sr. died December 1, 1916 in his 76th year and is interred in Coatesville, Pa. He was a Mason of long standing, affiliated with
Chester Lodge No. 236 F&AM [Historic Homes & Institutions and Genealogical and Personal Memoirs
of Chester and Delaware Counties, Penna. Lewis Publishing Co. 1904].
REFLECTIONS OF FREDERICK BALDT
TELL TALE SHOES
Ted Birtwell, General Steel Castings Co. remembers Fred Baldt as a Thick set, broad shouldered man of genial countenance and a confident air. He was approximately five foot, seven inches tall. One item of memory records that the workers in the foundry watched the condition of the shoes worn by Baldt...if there was sand on the soles and instep it was a sign that a new heat was about to be poured.
PRIOR ART VERSUS PATENT
In his, chatty volume the Idyls of Old South Ward (1932), John E. McDonough relates many interesting tales drawn from the history of Chester, Pennsylvania and its surroundings. One of these accounts is entitled "Vulcan Baldt, referring to the great foundryman Frederick Baldt, Inventor of the Baldt Anchor and discoverer of many processes which improved the quality of steel castings.
In 1895 a Pittsburgh steel casting concern warned the St. Louis Iron and Steel Foundry Company that it would be an infringement upon a patent which the Pittsburgh firm owned if the St. Louis people filled orders for a certain type of castings.
In some way the Pittsburgh people had secured a patent for a process which was common knowledge and practice throughout the trade for several years prior to the granting of the patent. The St. Louis people, supported by many other companies which felt that they might be restricted in their operations if the patent were supported by the courts, claimed that they had the right of "prior art."
General Benjamin Franklin Tracy, who had served as Secretary of the Navy in President Benjamin Harrison's cabinet, was one of the agents fighting for the rights of "prior art." Tracy and his associates set put to collect evidence that the practice in question had been in use before the Pittsburgh patent was granted. They met with no success until they interviewed Hugh McGettigan and Frederick Baldt, both of Chester.
McGettigan revealed how he, as Baldt's assistant, had cast gun carriages and trunnions for the United States Navy and gave precise dates. He had employed the casting method in question and Tracy was quick to realize that these dates antedated the Pittsburgh patent by several years.
Then Frederick Baldt clinched the case by telling the General that Baldt's own firm had sold castings to a Pittsburgh Company which were made by the process for which that company's successor now held a patent. The shipment of those castings was ten years before the patent letters were granted. Tracy declared that if Baldt had the foresight to patent his process by which he made steel castings he might have had the wealth of Croesus. Baldt replied, "Enough is enough." The Pittsburgh company lost the suit.
MEMOIRS OF HONORABLE ALBERT DUTTON MACDADE Past President Judge, Common Pleas Court., Delaware Co. Pennsylvania.
"When as a boy living in the old south ward, immortalized in a book written by the late president judge of the Orphans' Court of Delaware County, John E. McDonough entitled, Idyls of the Old South Ward, I used to play marbles in front of the frame office and in the rear thereof swam in old Lamokin Run, the dividing line between the city of Chester and the then borough of South Chester, and in which Run the water was clear as crystal, and came from ample springs adjacent thereto, and coursed its way through Lamokin Woods, the mecca of people who came miles about to conduct principally camp meetings. These woods contained nut trees, such as, hickory, chestnut and walnut, which, in the usual fashion of the old days, with an "iron" nut on a broom handle for a club, were the cynosure of youthful eyes to tackle and purloin to store up for winter use. One of my companions was a boy who subsequently became a governor (Sproul), who also liked to tackle a ripe [?] persimmon tree close by. While this narrative is more of a "steal" affair than the "steel" subject we started out to discuss yet it is interesting when one indulges in memories of the long, long ago when the enthusiasm of Youth was "on high."
On many occasions I, have watched the molders [your outstanding Chesterites] work at their vocation at the above place and marvelled at their skill and efficiency. The flash of molten metal and the attendant sparks intrigued me, as naturally it does to most boys who enjoy a Fourth of July display of fireworks. I recall distinctly a broken emery wheel killing one of the employees. It knocked him brainless.
I recall very vividly such persons as the Deemers, who later went to New Castle, Delaware, and President Dickson, the father of John T. Dickson, who recently died in Chester, and he was the old school gentleman, who wore, as most gentlemen in business and in the professions did in those halcyon days, when management and labor dwelled and worked together as brothers, a silk hat, tapering whiskers on the chin, and beneath the latter, their manly chests were adorned with a frock coat, a high collar and black scarf or tie. They always presented a manly, dignified and distinguished appearance.
Just such a man as above described was John Roach, without whiskers however, the local shipbuilder, at whose
plant the first "steel" vessels of the United States Navy were constructed under the administration of President Rutherford B. Hayes, of Ohio, and Secretary of the Navy, William E. Chandler, of New Hampshire, both of whom were "landlubbers", called such because they were not of the states bordering on the several seas. The vessels were called the "white squadron of the Navy" and were named Dolphin, Chicago, Atlanta and Boston. Some of the materials entering into their construction came from the Chester Steel Casting Company, but a greater portion came from the "Roach" foundry, as a part of the general plant, as I have personally visualized when visiting the yard as a boy [being the son of the Marine Superintendent, Captain Joseph W. MacDade].
I would consider the foundry at the shipyard as being contemporaneously in existence with the Chester Steel Castings Company, the first such company I can remember. The latter was approximately a part of or adjoining the "Doctor Young Estate" in that locality, which became traversed by iron rails at grade at the northern end by P. B. & W. Railroad, which serviced this company and most of the Chester industries and its people as passengers, followed by the opening of Howell and Broomall Streets, both of which ran through the Young property to reach Lamokin station, which was then the freight outlet
Broomall Street became used for the purposes of the company, as well as Seventh Street. Surrounding it were car shops, building and repairing coaches, the roundhouse and turntable, and adjoining the tracks of the Chester Creek branch of the railroad above referred to, which ran to Wawa and West Chester and which railroad was used to get to court at Media on what was commonly called the Cannonball Express on a serpentine railroad, and formed locally a "Y" whereby trains from Philadelphia were turned about on regular schedules.
Later Wilson and Company built street cars in former car repair shop and finally the same became winter headquarters of "Pawnee Bill [Colonel Lillie] Wild West Show." The colonel marked Annie Oakley, the great rifle shooter and knew many people in our hometown, including former county commissioner, James M. Hamilton, who built their homes for them in Indian Territory, now Oklahoma, and while Hamilton was superintending the job a bull on the range (rage) took a fancy to him and gored him, but not seriously. Eventually the Chester Steel Casting Company became defunct, and for years it was a mass of deterioration that reminded one of better days. Before it passed into oblivion, great rivalries arose in the steel castings business as I well remember in growing to manhood.
The Dr. Young estate later became the scene for several steel casting companies, other than the Chester Steel Castings Company, to be constructed and operated, the first of which was the Eurika Steel Casting Company, managed by that steel master, Frederick Baldt, whom I grew up to know quite well, and second its successor the Solid Steel Casting Company, under the direction of the debonair gentleman, Richard Peters, Jr., with his neat appearance, florid complexion and red carnation always in the lapel of his coat in morning dress. His family was one of the early settlers and into which the late General Smedley Butler had married.
Do you remember the Chester Foundry and Machine Company at the foot of Penn Street, adjacent to Penn's Landing Spot, under the management of a man by the name of Theodore Stone, and on which site too arose the celebrated steel casting company named after the same Penn, the founder of our Commonwealth, and where Mortimer H. Bickley, a rich druggist of Chester, persuaded Frederick Baldt to abandon his first love (Eureka Steel Casting Company] to join his fortunes with him, the former furnishing the money and the latter the brains?
The fame of Baldt as a steel master grew in leaps and bounds and he performed marvelously. He was the toast of the local industrial world and had a hotel named after him conducted by that genial and famous Irish host, John H. Leary, who gained notoriety in conducting beer garden concerts, a menagerie and cockfights. If you remember, Baldt, made big money, but it left his fingers as water passes through a sieve. For example, he, feeling like living in an aristocratic manner and neighborhood, erected as an example of getting rid of his surplus cash, an $80,000 house. For Chester it looked like a castle. It was not built by contract but day's work and completed throughout in hardwood. Brigadier General William G. Price, Jr. subsequently occupied it and he knows its proportions."
An April 1, 1901. newspaper clipping stated: "Frederick Baldt has moved into his magnificent new home at Ninth and Kerlin Streets and Concord Ave. This is one of the finest dwellings in the county, and has been a year in building. Mr. and Mrs. Mirabeau Sims, [the former Kate Baldt] and family will move from West 7th Street to Mr. Baldt's former residence, 2508 W. Third St. near Wilson." (Courtesy Delaware County Historical Society].
Delaware County Times--August 2, 1907
75 years ago - The Penn Steel Casting Co. has again broken the world's record in the manufacture of a large and difficult steel casting. This time it is a sixteen foot, four bladed propeller wheel for Roaches shipyard. The casting will weigh about 17,000 pounds. It was poured on Wednesday night and has been stripped of the sand and fins and will be ready for shipment early next week.
The casting of this wheel will revolutionize the making of propeller wheels which have heretofore been made of cast iron or brass. The new metal will give the wheel greater strength and make it almost impossible to break a blade off the wheel. The officers of the Penn works give great credit to superintendent Fred Baldt for the successful casting of the wheel. The casting is equal in looks to the finest loam casting made from gray iron.
From these accounts the reader has an insight into a remarkable man that Frederick Baldt was. The man who had an idea that eventually resulted in the Company we know today, Baldt Anchor & Chain Division of Baldt Corp.
HISTORY AND DEVELOPMENT OF ANCHOR CHAIN
Ancient historians make reference to the use of metal chains as jewelry, prison fetters and in building construction but refer to "anchor chains" very rarely and then as curiosities. Thus, for thousands of years, prior to the 18th Century, man was not sufficiently astute to utilize the potential advantages displayed by metal chains as a means of mooring vessels
As is often the case, the Chinese were many steps ahead of the rest of the world, for history records that "under the great Emperor Yu 2200 B.C. came also the iron chains, two fore and two aft, which were thrown overboard to steady and stop the vessel." No reference has been found to indicate that the remaining world knew about or was even interested in this innovation until we read in Hebrew legend that Hiram of Tyre furnished chains for the ships of King Solomon 950 B.C. There is little doubt that Hiram fabricated his chains of brass, as the Bible tells us, in First Kings, Seventh Chapter, that "Hiram was cunning to work all works in brass." Possibly the very wise King Solomon conceived the idea of metal anchor chains after Hiram "cast wreaths of chain work" to ornament the Temple of Solomon.
According to Aristophanes 400 B.C. "the cables of the Athenian Navy were sometimes made of iron." About 322 B.C. Alexander the Great equipped vessels with chain cables "so that the besieged in Tyre could no longer swim out and cut his vessels
adrift in the darkness." Caesar relates that 56 B.C., "he could not cut the vessels of the Veneti tribes adrift because their cables were made of iron."
From the time of Caesar until the 13th Century we find little or no mention of the use of anchor chains. Between 1200 and 1700 A.D. we read that "iron cables are sometimes used." The statutes of Genoa of 1444 make brief mention of "iron anchor chains." An engraving of 1512 shows a ship with hawse holes and anchor chains clearly depicted.
Again a lapse until in 1634 Philip White patented in England "A WAY FOR THE MEARING OF SHIPPS WITH IRON CHAYNES BY FINDING OUT THE TRUE HEATING PPAREING AND TEMPING OF IYRON FOR THAT PPOSE AND THAT HE HATH NOW ATTAYNED TO THE TRUE USE OF THE SAID CHAYNES AND THAT THE SAME WILBE FOR THE GREAT SAVEING OF CORDAGE AND SAFETY OF SHIPPES AND WILL REDOUND TO THE GOOD OF OUR COMMON WEALTH."
In the ensuing half century a few far sighted shipowners and ship captains had sufficient faith to experiment with iron chain, for in 1771 the French explorer Brouganville complained that "he had lost six anchors in nine days and narrowly escaped shipwreck, which would not have happened had his ship been fitted with iron chains."
In 1778, General George Washington conceived the idea of a buoyed barrier chain across the Hudson River, at West Point, N.Y.as a means of impeding the invading British fleet. In six weeks seventeen American blacksmiths forged a 1700 ft. long link chain of 3-1/2" square stock weighing 275 pounds per link. This chain is still preserved at the U. S. Military Academy, West Point, N. Y.
In 1783 George Matthews, of England, 150 years ahead of his time made cast malleable chains for ships. It was not until World War I that cast steel chains were fully developed.
The year 1808 is the most notable date in chain making history, for in that year an Englishman Robert Flinn of Bell St. North Shields became the first man to make improved iron anchor chains which won wide recognition as an outstanding success.
Justly known as "The Father of Anchor Chain Industry", Flinn made and constructed his own weight and lever proofing machine for his chain.
In the same year Samuel Brown, a British Naval Officer, took out Patents for twisted open chain links, joining shackles and swivels. The twisted link patent was soon abandoned but Brown's shackle and swivel designs were scarcely improved on for the next 100 years. The conversion from hemp to chain now proceeded quickly.
Studs to stiffen the links and to keep the chains from tangling first appeared in 1812, and in 1813 Thomas Brunton of London patented the broad inserted stud popular for more than a hundred years to follow. By then links of anchor chains had assumed modern form, as shown from a deteriorated Brunton-type link recovered from a privateer sunk in 1815 in the Bay of Honduras.
In 1816 Samuel Brown's 2 1/4" iron stud link chains were installed on the U.S.S. Constitution and the U.S.S. Guerriere and were considered a great success. In the same year the Royal Navy standardized on iron chain instead of hemp for all new vessels of war. Also in 1816 Walker, of Philadelphia, wrought the first American-made stud link anchor chains for the U.S. Navy.
The United States Navy organized a chain making plant in the Washington Navy Yard in 1817. In five months sufficient 2 1/8" and 2 3/8" of studded and twisted chain was welded to equip two vessels. By 1824 the 50th shot of anchor chain for the U.S. Navy had been completed. In 1830 the Navy yard began to stamp chains indicating the proof test applied.
Also in 1830 the Royal Navy decided to equip all vessels, old and new, with iron chains. The Hingley works in England developed hydraulic cylinders for proof testing, although Lloyds did not yet require chains to be proof tested. By 1835 most of the larger vessels demanded iron chains and a private chain works was established at Boston. About 1865 the Carr Chain Works was incorporated at Troy, N.Y. The A. Hewitt and Co. was established at Trenton, N.J. and the Hayden Chain Works at Columbus, Ohio. Although a great many chain plants sprung up all over the British Isles and competition was keen, the new American plants successfully weaned the American chain business from English manufacturers.
In 1836 the use of iron chains had become so general in the English Merchant Service and their superiority so well recognized that the underwriters ceased to charge a higher insurance rate for vessels using iron chain.
In 1840 side welding of chain was introduced in England and from that time English chains of l 7/8" and larger have been side welded. It has been the practice of the American chain maker to weld links at the end and what little wrought iron chain is made in the United States today is still made with end welds.
Lloyds Register of Shipping augmented their rules in 1846 so that thereafter all chains for classed vessels were proof tested and stamped on each end to indicate load applied. In 1853 Lloyds' Rules made it mandatory that, before a vessel could be classed, a certificate should be produced as to the test of the chain cable, and in 1858 issued rules as to length and size of chain cable. Lloyds progressively stiffened their rules regarding method of nanufacture and testing, resulting in the "Anchors and Chain Cables Act of 1899"; which with few amendments is still the basis of present day testing procedure.
The proportions of our present day chain link were agreed upon after years of experimentation. Likewise our present standard fifteen  fathom [90 foot] length, known as a "shot" was adopted after chain was made in almost any length to suit the handling facilities of the individual chain maker.
In 1902 rolled Anchor chain was experimentally made in England. A 60 to 70 foot bar of cruciform section is heated and passed through vertical and horizontal rollers which cut the bar into a continuous chain with links shorter and wider than standard and which are subsequently trimmed and pressed to size.
In 1905 a spirally welded chain was patented. The patent covers successive chain links formed by coiling long iron or steel bars at welding heat to form a square sectioned ring with a spiral weld. The ring is rounded, trimmed and flattened onto the stud.
In the course of years the Boston Navy Yard emerged as the authority and main producer of anchor chain for the U.S. Navy. In 1905 the largest chain made at Boston was 2 1/2" and five men laboriously hand welded ten links per day. Continual experimentation resulted in a power-forging method of chain welding successfully developed in 1914 under the master ship-smith at Boston, Mr. William Paul. By a series of forging operations in upsetter ender and drop hammer, wrought iron links were successfully welded up to 4" diameter. Mr. Paul ultimately was employed by the Baldt Anchor Co. and installed the same method in their plant at Chester, Pa. Production was increased by the simple expedient of drop forging a solid chain link through which an open iron link was "laced" and thus every alternate link in the chain was a solid forged link.
During World War I there was a definite shortage of chain principally due to inadequate supply of chain iron. Experiments were made in an attempt to fire weld chain links of mild steel but success was limited to inferior welds in small sizes. Some time later, however, both fire welding and electric welding processes of making mild steel chain were developed and approved. In this emergency impetus was added to the development of cast steel chain in several steel foundries. By this method single links are pre-cast and inserted in molds. Molten metal is then poured through feeding heads to cast the alternate links, forming a continuous length of chain. It was immediately realized that this cast steel chain, with higher tensile strength, if properly and carefully manufactured was superior to wrought iron chain especially in that the studs were integral with the link and could not work loose. Care had to be taken however to insure sufficient "head" for the castings as there is a tendency toward gas pockets and shrinkage holes not always visible from the outside of the link.
By 1924 the U.S. Navy had accepted cast steel chain as superior to wrought iron, and the center of Navy chain making activity shifted to the foundry at Norfolk Navy Yard until the use of cast steel chain was virtually abandoned by the Navy in 1928.
After Boston Navy Yard lost the bulk of the chain making business to the Norfolk Yard they persisted in their endeavors to perfect a chain better than cast steel. Their efforts were rewarded in 1926 when Mr. James Reid, Mr. Albert M. Leahy, and Mr. C. G. Lutts perfected a forged alloy chain formed under dies in drop hammers, and given the name of "DiLok". Being a forged product of alloy steel its great strength and dependability were quickly realized. After exhaustive comparative tests it was proven that the DiLok process produced chain that could be proof tested at the breaking load of cast steel chain and had a minimum breaking capacity 50 greater than the best cast steel chain. At the same time the tremendous forging impact assured a solid link not subject to porosity, and the mechanical joint construction developed shock tension and compressive impact values far greater than any previously known chain. Since 1928 the U. S. Navy, convinced of DiLok's superiority, accepted it as their standard and abandoned the use of cast steel chain. Through the years DiLok has successfully withstood continual tests against all competitors and today is the "STRONGEST ANCHOR CHAIN KNOWN."
Lightships anchored off our coasts must maintain their position regardless of weather and the mooring of such vessels is probably the most exacting service to which a chain can be subjected. The U. S. Coast Guard quickly realized the superiority of DiLok and now uses 1 5/8" DiLok in place of the 2" cast steel chain formerly used.
The commercial manufacture of DiLok anchor chain was first undertaken by the Rogers Drop Forging Company, Worcester, Mass., and was later continued by the Baldt Anchor Company at Chester., Pa., under patent license.
Following the successful Coast Guard experiments, DiLok anchor chain was first used commercially for marine railway installations. After exhaustive tests by American Bureau of Shipping and Lloyd's Register of Shipping, DiLok received their highest approval. Sample 15 fathom lengths of DiLok were experimentally installed on several vessels and proved more than adequate in every test. The first full complement of DiLok chain installed on n newly constructed merchant vessel was at the
Sun Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co. upon the emphatic recommendation of Mr. John W. Hudson., Naval Architect.
A method of manufacturing electrically welded high tensile steel anchor chain, considerably stronger than iron chain, was developed in England and approved in 1931.
In 1932, high tensile Steel Chains [DILOK, CAST STEEL AND STEEL WELDED CHAIN OF APPROVED DESIGN] were accepted by the testing societies in place of larger wrought iron chains. For instance, the S.S. America, would, prior to 1932, have required 3-7/16" iron chain, but actually is equipped with 3" DiLok chain and a weight saving of approximately 27 tons is effected.
In the ensuing years, particularly during World War II, various methods of electric welding anchor chain have been invented.
Baldt entered the electric welded chain business in 1958 with the acquisition of two ASEA chain making machines. These machines will make flash butt welded stud link chain in sizes from 3/4" to 4-1/4" and in continuous lengths to suit customer requirements.
History and Development of the Marine anchor
It is a matter of conjecture as to who first had need of and utilized some ready instrument for mooring his vessel, but much of the early evolution has been traced by learned men through ancient sculpture, coins, paintings, etc. Earliest records of moorings come from Egyptian tomb furniture 2000 B.C. where ship models were equipped with conical stakes and papyrus ropes for mooring the vessels to the shore. Later tombs 1600 B.C. yielded ship models with grooved or perforated anchor-stones. When the 1400 B.C. tomb of King "Tut" was opened anchor stones shaped in a T were found. Four hundred years later, about 1000 B.C., Homeric poems still specify "anchors of stone."
Crooked sticks or wooden frames weighted with stone [Killicks] are known to have been in use in ancient times; and are still used in remote regions. Some of these crude anchors show the equivalent of rudimentary stocks.
In 800 B.C., Two-armed hooks, without stocks, were cast in bronze on the island of Malta. A Sardinian scarab, 650 B.C., shows a stockless two-armed anchor, which was probably the first anchor made of iron.
Greek writers, 500 B.C., mention "stone anchors with iron hooks." Herodotus relates that stone anchors were towed astern to steady ships coming down the Nile.
A coin of 400 B.C. shows a two-armed stocked anchor apparently filled with lead. Its form begins to approximate the "Admiralty" pattern of recent times.
An anchor shown on a Greek coin of about 375 B.C., includes the essentials of an Admiralty anchor, except palms. The anchor shown on a Syrian coin of about 312 B.C., is even more modern in appearance.
By 300 B.C. vessels of the Athenian navy were equipped with iron anchors weighing up to 440 pounds. Greek coins of 280 B.C. show anchors with rudimentary palms.
An English anchor shaped from the fork of a yew-tree is ascribed to 100 B.C. A Cyrene iron anchor without palms, and inscribed with the ship's name, is attributed to about 50
B.C. Depictions of iron anchors of the time of King Herod, about 35 B.C., show curious enlargements on the shanks believed to be carryovers from the times when cylindrical perforated stones were strung on wooden anchor-shanks, and also show palms on the arms. Sculptures on the Arch of Tiberius, about 20 A.D., show similar enlargements on the shank, but no palms.
About 40 A.D. the ship of Emperor Caligua was equipped with a 16 foot iron tipped oaken anchor with a heavy leaden stock. This was discovered intact when Lake Nemi, near Rome was drained in 1929. At the same time there was discovered, after 1800 years submersion, a wood-sheathed iron anchor weighing about 1000 pounds, and distinguished by the fact that it had a portable stock, which was an invaluable convenience lost to the world until "invented" again some 1700 years later and finally adopted by the Admiralty in 1854.
In 88-97 A.D. St. Clement., the fourth Pope, is said to have been thrown into the sea, tied to an anchor... a method of execution not uncommon in those days. From ancient times St. Clement has been the Patron Saint of Anchorsmiths, who formerly observed his Feast Day on the 23rd of November.
Iron anchors are said to have been first forged in England [East Anglia] in 573 A.D. The Danish "Oseburg Anchor," about 800 A.D., had very small palms, and was constructed for use with a wooden stock. The medieval anchor of 1066 A.D. as depicted in a Bayeau tapestry looks almost modern.
The Statutes of Genoa of 1441 A.D. required a 1500 ton ship to carry 12 iron anchors of from 1600 to 1800 pounds each. A Florentine engraving of 1450 A.D. shows a two-piece wooden stock of the style popular for the following 400 years.
The "Sovereign of the Seas," 1600 tons, in 1637 carried 12 anchors of 4000 pounds each. In 1690 Sir Wm. Phipps in his attack on Quebec lost a thirteen-foot anchor, [recovered in modern times]. Anchors of about 1700 had long shanks, straight arms at 50 degrees, sharp points at the crown, large diameter rings, and wooden stocks the length of the shank or longer. An anchor of this style marked "1703" was reclaimed from the wreck of a 100-gun ship sunk at Sheerness, England.
In 1723 Reaumur issued in France the first notable public exposition of the science and art of anchor construction. In 1780 iron stocks began to emerge from the experimental stage, but the popular anchors of the period still had wooden stocks and relatively long shanks and straight arms. In 1801 and succeeding years Richard Poring of England greatly improved the quality of
welds in anchors, shortened the shanks and put more curvature into the arms.
In 1804 Captain Hawke of the Royal Navy applied for an iron-stocked Anchor for his ship arid was derided, but by 1807 the use of iron stocks in anchors of not over 1500 pounds was permitted.In 1818 Lieutenant Belcher of the Royal Navy introduced the tumbling fluke, later improved by Honibal and Porter. With cant-palms added by Trotman, the anchor became quite popular. From 1820 onward some hundred different types of "improved" anchors were patented in rapid succession practically all regarded today as "freaks."
In 1822 and 1823 Lowen and Lawkins experimented with tripping anchor-palms and stockless shanks, some 40 years before these features won general acceptance.
In 1830 Poring adapted steam power to the operation of the heavy falling weights used in the welding of anchors. Rodgers introduced his "Patent Small-Palm Anchor and won considerable public favor. The Royal Navy now began to concede the superiority of iron stocks. By 1840 the Hawkins patent tumbling fluke stockless anchor and developed to a form approximating that of most stockless anchors of today.
By 1846 the Royal Navy completely surrendered to the iron stock and gave full sanction to the type of anchors now known as the "Admiralty" anchor. This type of anchor, also known as "Old Style" or "Kedge" is no longer used for large ships but continues in use for small boats and for moorings. Although it has great holding power in a penetrable bottom it is extremely awkward and the long stock is vulnerable to mechanical damage. When in position the upstanding arm may foul a chain or pierce the hull of a vessel. The "one" arm version is popular for moorings and is equipped with a second shackle for easier placement.
In 1852 a British Commission declared the Trotman anchor "Best." By 1859 the Mushroom type of anchor appeared as an instrument especially suited for permanent moorings. With the removal of the stock, from Mertom's anchor of 1861 and the advent of Lathem's anchor 1886 the use of stockless tumbling-fluke anchors increased rapidly. In 1866 the ball-and-socket type of
stockless anchor first appeared in England.
In 1870 A. F. White stowed the stocks of "old style" anchors by sliding them down a shank designed with a quarter-twist. In 1873 C. F. Herreshoff constructed a four-piece de mountable old style anchor for a time widely acclaimed by yachtsmen. "Freak" anchors continuously appeared; for example the Tyzack single-fluke anchor of 1877.
In 1885 Baxter was stowing his Stockless Anchors in a hawse pipe. This innovation proved of utmost importance, for from that day forward, the Stockless Anchor increased in popularity until today it is practically the only type of anchor used on ships of real size. American styles incline to be chunky, with comparatively broad and blunt flukes. The U.S. Navy-version has flukes somewhat longer and of greater area. European anchors, in general, tend to more curvature and to smaller and sharper flukes. The stockless anchor used today, on ships of size that are likely to encounter any and all types of sea bottom, reflect the experience of mariners for the past twenty five hundred years in compromising between pure dead weight for very hard bottoms and on the other hand ability to bite and to hold well in soft bottoms. The stockless anchor is ruggedly built, will handle and stow easily and readily disengage from sea-bottoms and submerged wreckage.
In the attempt to successfully stow stocked anchors in hawse-pipe, in 1885 Tyzack revived and ancient practice of placing a stock through or near the head of the anchor, instead of at the shackle end, as in Western custom. Examples of this type are: the Tyzack anchor, the Hartness anchor 1886, the Brown anchor 1894, the Hein anchor 1916, the Croseck anchor 1935 and the
Danforth anchor 1943. This particular type of anchor is somewhat modified by Mr. H. P. Shipley of the U.S. Navy.
These "head stocked" anchors have the advantage of high holding power, in proportion to weight, in soft bottoms of suitable penetrability; but are difficult to "break out" if fouled in rocks or wreckage. Like the "old style" anchor, the protruding stocks are exceedingly vulnerable. About the time of the first World War, the Eels Stockless Anchor was developed and has been used extensively for salvage and mooring purposes.
Recognizing the fundamental superiority of the stockless tumbling fluke anchor, that first appeared in England in 1866, Frederick Baldt developed and improved it in 1897. This wrought iron anchor had the head and shank connected with a ball and socket joint, the shank being round and revolvable to act as a built-in swivel. Baldt strengthened the shank by making it rectangular in lieu of round and produced it in cast steel. He took out patents for further modifications and his patent of 1901 was of such superior design and quality that the words "Baldt" and "Stockless Anchor" have become practically synonymous.
In 1949 Baldt Anchor, Chain & Forge announced the development of the "Baldt Lightweight Stockless Anchor", a modification of the stockless principle. This anchor develops the greatest holding power known today and is the choice of experienced offshore drilling companies to moor oil drilling rigs in oceans throughout the world.
The "Snug Stowing Stockless Anchor" was patented August 24, 1954 by Messrs. Linnenbank, Money, and Noel. This anchor was developed to house freely on shipboard with minimum protrusion and maximum bearing on shell of ship. It facilitates fabrication of simplified hawse pipes and its design helps prevent the rush of water inboard through the hawse pipe during high seas.
Persons interested in Maritime History will find one of the most extensive collections of maritime artifacts in the world at the Mariners Museum in Newport News, Virginia. Baldt has donated many exhibits. Also, The Navy Museum, located at the Washington Navy Yard, Washington, D.C. has many fine exhibits.