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South Bend "self-tour" #2: The Foundry

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  • South Bend "self-tour" #2: The Foundry

    My Friday morning South Bend walking tour took place at the home of The Underground Pipe & Valve Company; the current owner of Studebaker's foundry. Many thanks to Devon, son of the owner of the company for giving Mark Frost and myself an excellent tour of the facility!

    We checked at the Gatehouse, but no one was home!!



    The Studebaker 'S'es are still on the outside of the building.



    The Underground Pipe & Valve Company only occupies a fraction of the space inside.



    Going by this photo from the 1946 Life magazine photo essay of Studebaker, the foundry didn't appear to be the most glamorous places to work!!







    This area appears to have been the sand pit for casting engine blocks, etc. There's lots of sand still here!!













    Break time! To the lunchroom!



    If it gets too hot, you can hang up your coats here.



    At the end of the day, many of the workers went here to get changed before going home. (Boxes belong to Underground Pipe & Valve, the lockers are Studebaker originals)



    End of "tour" Next: Proving Grounds Club House

  • #2
    Thanks a lot Craig, I love to see good 'ol American History the way it was. It appears not a lot has changed except all the "good stuff": Studebaker engine parts and all types of castings and tons and tons of big heavy tooling and machines are long gone!

    That was a great tour! I may not be long before that building joins it's brothers in being leveled, too bad that's what they call progress![xx(]

    StudeRich
    Studebakers Northwest
    Ferndale, WA
    StudeRich
    Second Generation Stude Driver,
    Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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    • #3
      Thanks Craig. Looking forward to the Club House tour. I looked for it when I was on the test track, but I didn't know where it was.

      Leonard Shepherd
      http://leonardshepherd.com/

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      • #4
        Thanks for posting the pix. I am amazed at the general decrepitude of the facilities; amazing to think that a working business actually occupies a building that far gone! With all the peeling lead paint, crumbling brickwork and cast-off bits of stuff laying around, that's got to be an heckuva hazardous place to work.


        [img=left]http://members.cox.net/clarknovak/lark.gif[/img=left]

        Clark in San Diego
        '63 F2/Lark Standard
        http://studeblogger.blogspot.com

        Clark in San Diego | '63 Standard (F2) "Barney" | http://studeblogger.blogspot.com

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        • #5
          Great "tours", Craig. Thanks.




          Dick Steinkamp
          Bellingham, WA

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          • #6
            The words "EPA Superfund Site" somehow just kept running through my head. Thanks for posting the pictures.


            Join me in removing narcissists, trolls, self annoited "experts" and general idiots via the Ignore button.

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            • #7
              Thanks for sharing.[8D]

              63 Twin Supercharged Avanti
              64 Avanti R3w/NOS
              88LSC Avanti 350 Supercharged w/NOS

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              • #8
                Does anybody know when this building is scheduled to be demolished?[xx(]

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                • #9
                  Cool, Craig. Two notes:

                  1. The bunker of sand is the pile from which I secured the sand for the little tubs of Foundry Sand distributed to all who attended the 2002 Co-Operator Tech Session.

                  2. The 5-gallon pails of paint all over the place in the sixth photo; did you look at them? If you had looked carefully, you would have seen that at least several of them are Studebaker paint left over from 1964 (seriously). The labels are hard to read, but when I was in there within the last five years (several times, as a matter of fact!), the label on one pail distinctly said Horizon Green!

                  It will be sad to see this structure come down. Few buildings speak INDUSTRY like an operating foundry. [] Imagine: That facility produced at least 300,000 engine blocks and as many cylinder heads during the 1950 model year for production and field service requirments. [:0] BP
                  We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

                  Ayn Rand:
                  "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

                  G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

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                  • #10
                    quote:Originally posted by BobPalma

                    Cool, Craig. Two notes:

                    1. The bunker of sand is the pile from which I secured the sand for the little tubs of Foundry Sand distributed to all who attended the 2002 Co-Operator Tech Session.

                    2. The 5-gallon pails of paint all over the place in the sixth photo; did you look at them? If you had looked carefully, you would have seen that at least several of them are Studebaker paint left over from 1964 (seriously). The labels are hard to read, but when I was in there within the last five years (several times, as a matter of fact!), the label on one pail distinctly said Horizon Green!

                    It will be sad to see this structure come down. Few buildings speak INDUSTRY like an operating foundry. [] Imagine: That facility produced roughly 400,000 engine blocks and as many cylinder heads during the 1950 model year for production and field service requirments. [:0] BP
                    Yes indeed, very good photography Craig!!! May I ask what type of equipment and what setting you used to get such good results under such poor conditions? I was in the Foundry (just the front office areas) 2 weeks ago securing permission from the current owner to set up a camera on their property to photo-document the demolition of the Studebaker's Machine Shop next door.

                    BTW...maybe it is not a widely know fact, but Cummins Engine did use the old Studebaker Foundry for a number of years following Studebaker's closure.

                    I took some pictures a few weeks back of Studebaker Plant #8 (where the NOS parts SASCO now has were originally stored) as they were completing the final phases of demolition. Being computer illiterate,[:I] I've yet to figure out exactly how to get them sized properly, uploaded and posted on here to share.


                    <h4>Last Man Standing in Studebaker Indiana</h4>

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                    • #11
                      would someone inform me how to look at the pictures on these threads and marked with a red x thanks

                      HAYWARD/60 LARK
                      PIKEVILLE,KY.
                      US COAL CAPITAL

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                      • #12
                        quote:Originally posted by A1956GoldenHawk


                        Yes indeed, very good photography Craig!!! May I ask what type of equipment and what setting you used to get such good results under such poor conditions?
                        I invested in a Nikon D200 digital SLR with an 18-35mm lens to replace my trusty old FM film camera. I used the 'auto' setting for now and using the camera's built-in flash as necessary, as I'm still figuring out all the manual settings!!. I used the 'raw' setting so I could do some lighting and focusing adjustments while uploading them onto the computer (which explains why it took me so long to post these).
                        My recommendation is to buy an external flash for interior shots such as these; especially when ambient lighting is almost non-existent.

                        Craig

                        Craig

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                        • #13
                          quote: would someone inform me how to look at the pictures on these threads and marked with a red x thanks

                          HAYWARD/60 LARK
                          Your computer may not have the power to open the pictures, or if you are on dial up it might take too long.

                          Leonard Shepherd
                          http://leonardshepherd.com/

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                          • #14
                            When I was at the 2002 International, I stopped at McDonalds one morning and met a gentleman that worked for Studebaker, in the casting room. This was in the early '60s so I had him autograph my Larks production order. This man loved working for Studebaker. He was still a teenager when the company stopped production but said he would still be working there, if it hadn't. He said the community treated you like a king,if you worked for Studebaker. One could get credit, for example at a furniture store, just by producing a pay stub. I found this especially moving, for this man is African-American. Yep, Studebaker and South Bend are great. Peace, Huck

                            Gary Hildebrandt

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                            • #15
                              I wonder what would be going on there if Studebaker was still in bussiness. Is Underground Pipe planning anything? Hopefully not demolition. It looks too far gone to be used for safely manufacturing anything.

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