Iron City Tool Works

Pittsburgh, PA (The Railroad, Telegraph, Electric and Steamship Builders' Buyers' Guide, 1897)

Here is an excellent history of the company by The Trowel and Masonry Tool Collector Resource.

Quoting the Trowel and Masonry Tool Collector Resource:

According to Pittsburgh city directories and, the business began about 1862 as Kloman & Co. iron mill in Millvale at the northeast edge of Pittsburgh. Brothers Anthony (originally Antonius) Kloman (1826-1897) and Andrew (Andreas) Kloman* had learned forging as boys in Prussia. After a year, they separated the business into 2 firms. Andrew started an iron and steel rolling mill and went on to an association with Thomas and Andrew Carnegie. Anthony began making tools using the name Kloman & Co., Iron City Forge. The tool works had a succession of partners through 1878. From 1864-66 it was Kloman & Phipps, from 1866-67 it was Kloman & Voelker, in 1867 it changed to Kloman, Buerkle & Co, and in 1872 it was Kloman, Park & Co. The first use of the secondary name Iron City Tool Works is in the 1868-69 directory.

In 1879, Anthony Kloman gave up control of Iron City Tool Works, and the business became Park, Long & Co., with steel men David E. Park and Joseph D. Long. This lasted about 2 years, and the firm reorganized about 1881 as Iron City Tool Works, Limited. Christian Konold (1833-1888) became superintendent, and his family would eventually own the company. Christian had been hired in 1868 at Kloman, Buerkle & Co. as a hammerman, and later his 2 sons joined as forgers.  After Christian's death in 1888, his son George F. Konold (1864-1924) was superintendent for 23 years. George's brother William F. Konold (1866-1933) followed in the position, and at his death had worked for Iron City for 57 years.

William H. Hays (1847-1926), a Pittsburgh bookkeeper, managed the business beginning in 1881. He was chairman from 1887, or earlier, to 1926, and his son William H. Hays, Jr. (1877-1966) was treasurer in 1903. Son John Crossan Hays (1891-1968) followed his brother as treasurer. Nothing else about Mr. Hays's business background or his financial stake in Iron City is known. The house Mr. Hays built in the late 1880s at 5200 Westminster Place suggests that he was already wealthy or that Iron City Tool Works was very profitable for him.

The original tool works was on Butler St. (renamed Railroad St.) between Smith (30th St.) and Morton (28th St.), then at Butler St. and Wilson St. (32nd St.). In 1869 they were still at 32nd Street and Railroad St. This building expanded over the next 30 years until it occupied almost the whole block from 32nd to 33rd. By 1890 there was a second building at 32nd St. and Smallman St. Iron City suffered a fire in 1903 and rebuilt on the same spot, remaining there until 1958.

Warren Tool Corp., founded in 1911 by George F. Konold, took over Iron City in 1958. Warren made many of the tools that Iron City did. In 1994 Warren Tool was sold to Wilton Corp. of Palatine, IL, and continued to operate as Warren Tool Group until Walter Meier Holding Company AG bought Wilton in 2002. Iron City's former building at 3201 Smallman St. still stands.

The 9/10/1863 edition of the Pittsburgh Daily Post reports the dissolution of the Kloman & Co. as of 9/1/1863 as Anthony Kloman retires.  His interests have been assumed by Mr. Thomas N. Miller.

In the book Six Tycoons: The lives of John Jacob Astor, Cornelius Vanderbilt, Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, Henry Ford and Joseph P. Kennedy, the Kloman & Co. story is addressed.  According to this book, the business was established in 1859 by Andrew and Anton Kloman.  Due to the war, they received many orders and had to expand, organize Kloman & Co., and construct an iron mill which they called the Iron City Forge.  In 1862, Anton sold his interest to Thomas Miller.  Paraphrasing: In the early 1860's, Andrew Carnegie stepped in to mediate disagreements between vested parties.  The firm changed their name to Kloman and Phipps as Thomas Miller was forced out.  Shortly thereafter, Miller and Carnegie founded Cyclops Iron Works.  In May of 1865, the two companies were merged into a new company called Union Iron Mills with Carnegie as President and his brother Tom VP.

This story is much further elaborated in the book The Inside history of the Carnegie Steel Company; A romance of Millions

Listed under Vises in the 1902 Pittsburgh City Directory

Christian Konold Patent #104,165 - Improvement in Dies for Forging Box Vises

Christian Konold Patent #337,339 - Die for Making Vise Jaws

Christian Konold Patent #337,340 - Machine for Making Vise Jaws

Some Google Patents assigned to Iron City