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Charles Fassinger & Sons Manufacturing Co. - New Castle PA

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German-born Charles W. Fassinger Sr. (1879-1960) came to the United States as a young boy and settled in Pittsburgh with his family. At the age of twelve he started working with Oliver Iron & Steel and became an expert machinist. He spent the next forty-five years working with the firm, eventually becoming Vice President. (c1935)


In early 1939, at the age of sixty, Fassinger resigned to start his own company in New Castle. Along with his four sons he founded Charles Fassinger & Sons, which made specialized “hub bolts” for the automobile industry. The firm became internationally renowned for its bolt technology. (c1957)


Charles Fassinger Sr. served as President while his four sons – Chuck, Walt, Jack, and Jim – operated the business. Oldest son Charles “Chuck” Fassinger Jr. (on right), who headed up production and maintenance efforts, is shown here with his own son Richard “Dick” Fassinger. It was truly a family affair. (c1957)


Walter “Walt” Fassinger, who along with his brother Jack was a skilled dentist, was in charge of quality control for the company. The Fassingers had a longtime partnership to supply hub bolts to General Motors (Chevy, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, etc…). The Fassinger firm remained in business for over four decades and ceased operations in the mid-1990’s. (c1957)

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Comment

  1. Hi Jeff,

    Thanks again for another interesting story!

    I have several questions about Fassinger & Sons that I hope someone can answer:

    1. You note that Fassinger & Sons ceased operations in the mid-1990’s, yet “findthecompany.com” lists it today with an address of 539 South Cascade Street, which, frankly, looks deserted. It says it has six employees and generates $600,000 in annual revenue. Did the family reconstitute the company at its old location?

    2. The building at 539 South Cascade Street appears on the 1937 postcard of the Lehigh Portland Cement Company, but Fassinger wasn’t founded until 1939. Did Fassinger buy the building from Lehigh or some other previous owner, perhaps another machinist? Was it a shop for maintaining Lehigh’s extensive machinery that they decided was no longer necessary by 1939?

    3. Everyone in my Cascade Street neighborhood referred to Fassinger’s red brick building as the “nail factory”, but it doesn’t appear Fassinger ever made nails there. Did a previous company use it to make nails?

    4. It appears Fassinger has a thriving contracting business per local-construction.net, which cites the company’s location as simply “Cascade Street”. Did Fassinger subsequently acquire more land in this vicinity from Lehigh or the City besides its 539 S Cascade property? Is the contracting business located in that large hodgepodge of connected buildings on Frew Mill Road, just north of Fassinger’s old Cascade Street building?

    Thank you.

    Richard Kovacs · 11/10/2017 02:30 PM · #

  2. (EDITOR’S NOTE) Richard, great questions you have posed! Let’s see… 1) I’m not sure the exact year Fassinger ceased operations but I believe it was about 1994-1995. At some point the property was sold to attorney and real estate investor Paul Lynch and possibly continued in operation for a while. Not sure about that though. It’s been “abandoned” for some time… 2) In the 1920’s an earlier building at the site was associated with the cement industry (Slagstone Products Company). In 1928 it became the home of a battery manufacturing plant known as the Hawk Electric Manufacturing Company (aka Hawk Battery) and later as Simplex Battery. It was lost to a fire in March 1933 and the battery folks started rebuilding at the same location. It seems they never finished their new plant and in 1937 it was acquired – and completed – by the Crowl Equipment Company (aka Crowl Tank), which made steel tanks for use in the chemical industry and for septic systems. Charles Fassinger purchased the building in the spring of 1939… 3) The “nail factory” reference is odd, as Fassinger & Sons was renowned for one thing: bolts. They were experts on specialty bolts and catered to the automobile industry… 4) That’s likely the internet being the internet. It’s my belief that the Fassinger’s completely closed up their business interests on South Cascade Street in the mid-1990’s. I hope this helps you out. Jeff

    Jeff Bales (Editor) · 04/01/2018 03:14 PM · #