Rochester Iron Works was a pioneering industry
Everything a machine could need was fabricated at the downtown business.
In the early days of the Industrial Revolution, a broken part on a machine could have meant weeks or even months of lost production while waiting for a replacement. Luckily, Rochester Iron Works, with its complete foundry, was capable of reproducing anything a machine might need.
Founded in 1862, everything from boiler tanks for steam tractors to lamp posts for the gas streetlights of Rochester’s downtown were produced at the iron works.
In 1902, proprietor Fred Livermore sold the Iron Works to George Marquardt, a machinist at the business, and his partner Howard Lull. The new owners built a new shop and foundry at 220 North Broadway and went into production building fire escapes and bridge parts as well as doing lathe and machine work.
The Iron Works shut down its foundry in 1927 and after the end of World War II was focusing on ornamental iron railings for homes.
"Lens on History” is a weekly photo feature by Lee Hilgendorf, a volunteer at the History Center of Olmsted County.