Louisville Foundry-Question for Jim Becker, Paul Bell or....

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tobaccoman
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Louisville Foundry-Question for Jim Becker, Paul Bell or....

Postby tobaccoman » Thu Feb 15, 2007 7:31 am

Can any of you all provide information on a small casting with the following words on it: "Last Pour" "Louisville Foundry" (and then the IH emblem)"1983" "March" It shows a man with a ladle pouring into a mold. It is about 6" wide by 7" tall and shaped like a bookend. A friend of mine called me for info and I wasn't much help, so here I am asking. He is pretty sure it is original having obtained it from the estate of a former employee of the Louisville Foundry.
He is interested in the numbers produced, collectability, etc.
Any assistance provided will be welcome.
Thanks.
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Postby Cub-Bud » Thu Feb 15, 2007 8:12 am

What your friend may have is a small casting or statue of the "Iron Man", or as some call it, "The Six Million Dollar Man". The original "Iron Man" was designed and built by Bobby Jones, an employee at the Louisville Foundry. The Iron Man statue weighs 2000 pounds, stands 6 feet tall, and took about a year to complete. The statue commemorates the first iron poured at the Louisville Foundry in 1949 and is the largest peice ever cast at the foundry. The Iron Man is now located in Des Plaines, IL in front of the American Foundry Society building. The last year the foundry was in operation, and before the plant closed, Bobby Jones made about 2000 pairs of Iron Man bookends for everone in the plant and included their names on them. The casting your friend has is probably one of the bookends. IHCC members can refer to their October, 2005 issue of Harvester Highlights for an article written about this subject. This information came from that issue. Paul Bell may have more information to share with us. 8)
Last edited by Cub-Bud on Thu Feb 15, 2007 11:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Brandon Webb
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Postby Brandon Webb » Thu Feb 15, 2007 9:15 am

I believe they are doorstops. They too have been reproduced. :D Brandon.

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Postby Paul B » Thu Feb 15, 2007 9:54 am

Brandon is correct, they were made as door stops, or book ends, as some people call them, and the man with the ladle is similar to the Iron Man statue Cub-Bud spoke of. They were made to commemorate the last pour at Louisville before the foundry closed. There are actually two different dates of the "last Pour" pieces, the other is dated in 1984 I believe, and will have a persons name on it. When the plant closed in 83, a small number of people continued to work in the foundry to complete a parts contract that IH had with someone else (they made castings and forgings for other companies, one being American Motors), and it is the name of one of thoses individuals that is found on the "real' last pour door stop/book ends. They were cast, in cast iron, for each of those individuals. You can also find the same thing with the Memphis Plant name on them. They were painted gold, like the 9-14-74 Cadet statue

Yes they are collectable, and yes there are many reproductions of them. Real ones sold in the $100 to $150 (each) range in this area a couple of years ago, not sure about now because I haven't looked for any. I had the measurements for a real one at one time but can no longer locate them. There are a number of reproductions, but I doubt if anyone knows how many of either one of the originals were made.

The Iron Man Cub-Bud spoke of was given the name "Six Million Dollar Man" by the employee's, because they joked about that is probably how much IH had invested in it, and the TV show of the same name probably had a little to do with it. That and the fact that Mr.Jones (a pattern maker) started with a store mannequin, and added to it when making the pattern for the mold.

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Postby Cub-Bud » Fri Feb 16, 2007 10:09 pm

"Never forget where it is you come from, or you may find yourself someplace you don't want to be"

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