Badger Iron Works was originally started in 1898 by Herman Forster and was called the Dunn County Iron Works. This establishment was located on South Broadway in Menomonie, Wisconsin. At that time, the company produced castings for the local sawmills and brickyards (the main industries in Menomonie in the late 1800’s). At the turn of the century the company became the Aetna Engine Works, which produced small gasoline power plants for sawmills. In the mid-1910’s, the engine production was abandoned and the name changed to the Forster Foundry Company.
In 1928, the company was re-tooled to produce a patented floor drain, which should have been a profitable venture, but the unforeseen 1929 stock market crash damaged the company and a year later went into bankruptcy. As a means of survival during the depression, Herman’s sons George and Sam Forster continued to produce castings in a small home made foundry using the company name S. F. Iron Works.
In 1946, George’s oldest son Lavern joined the company. At this time the company produced mostly municipal castings (manhole and curb drain castings).
In 1952 George’s other son Bill joined the company. From that time to the present day, the company has been known as Badger Iron Works.
In 1973, Badger Iron Works moved from its site in downtown Menomonie and became the first business to operate in the newly formed Menomonie industrial park east of town.
In 1977 Bill’s son Mark joined the company. At that time production began moving away from municipal castings and into cored machine castings. Machine castings remain the emphasis today.
In 1992 Mark’s wife Liz joined us.
In 2000 Mark and Liz purchased the foundry from Lavern and Bill.
We are still operating as a family business, Mark and Liz’s son Chris joined the company full time after completing his degree in Engineering Technology/Production Operations at U.W Stout.
Badger Iron Works continues to emphasize in house re-use and recycling. We continually work to improve our quality and manufacturing processes to reduce our costs for our Gray, Ductile, and Austempered Ductile Iron castings.
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