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In 1942 the Pittsburgh-based United Engineering & Foundry Company built a $22 million plant along Moravia Street in New Castle that was paid for and owned by the federal government. The well-known company was a leader in making heavy castings to support the steel-making industry. The plant closed in December 1954 as United Engineering and the U.S. government could not work out a new lease agreement. In April 1956 the plant was auctioned off and purchased by the Mesta Machine Company of Pittsburgh. Mesta Machine, which also made heavy equipment for steel-making plants, operated the facility until it closed due to financial hardships in 1982. The Ellwood City Forge Company and the Swedish steelmaker Uddeholm Tooling jointly purchased portions of the former United/Mesta plant and opened a new steel ingot-making plant, now known as Ellwood Quality Steels, at the location in late 1985. (c1946) Full Size
New Castle plant initially made war industry items – such as large-caliber artillery shells – but soon realigned to begin making heavy duty castings (such as those shown above) used in steel plants and steel equipment manufacturing facilities around the world. (c1946) Full Size
This massive casting, made for the Ajax Manufacturing Company in Cleveland in late 1946, weighed 472,000 pounds and at that time was the largest metal casting the world had ever seen. Just making the pattern took 2,500 man-hours and the casting itself took over three months to complete. It was destined to be the frame as part of a massive forge press at the Ajax plant. (Jan 1947) Full Size
Proud company executives inspect the casting as it prepares to leave the New Castle plant bound for Cleveland. (Jan 1947)
I believe this nineteen-foot-tall casting, which weighed 320,000 pounds, was made for the National Tube Company plant in Lorain, Ohio, in late 1947. (Dec 1947)
Another view of the 320,000-pound casting completed in late 1947. (Dec 1947)