Forging metal is the heart of our industry. At Anderson Shumaker, our skilled team knows their metals inside and out. We’re masters at forging all metal grades – alloys, carbon, nickel, stainless steel, tool steel, and many more. We’re also located in Chicago, a city rich in forging history. But, not many people know the important role Chicago played on the world steel industry stage.
Great Lakes Forging History
Did you know that steel mills have ranked among the largest industries in the Great Lakes cities since before the Civil War (1861)? By the close of the nineteenth century, Chicago was a leading center for steel production in the world. The emergence of this industry was part entrepreneurial and part geographic. Because America’s iron ores were mined in Minnesota and Michigan, Illinois’s mills could quickly and cheaply obtain raw materials. For instance, shipping iron ore across Lakes Superior, Huron, and Michigan meant boats would dock in Chicago’s ports. Once the boats docked, the ore could be quickly moved to foundries, and then turned into raw materials for forging. Quick and cheap access to iron ore gave Chicago and its steel and forging facilities a major advantage over competitors. As a result, Chicago became home to a number of steel forgers.
Swedish forge master Carl Anderson knew this in 1902, so he founded Anderson Shumaker. At the turn of the century, Chicago was also a booming center for railroads and skyscrapers. The rail and building industry was in great need for vast quantities of steel and forgings. As Chicago grew, so did Anderson Shumaker. Our company played a vital role in the growth and success of hundreds of industries across North American and Canada. We’re proud of our 100+ year history of success and innovation and honored to be part of the fabric that made Chicago the world-class city it remains today.
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