AFS: Keystone Chapter

Serving the foundry industry
since 1891




What started out as the Philadelphia Foundrymen's Association in 1891 and covered territory from Main to South Carolina has evolved but continues to be a resource and advocate for the metal casting industry. The history of what is presently the Keystone Chapter of the American Foundry Society spans the Spanish American War, two World Wars, Korean Conflict, Vietnam War and Gulf Wars. The casting industry and organization has weathered numerous recessions and The Great Depression.

After forming in 1891 it was a prominent participant in the first National Casting Congress and Exposition in 1896 held in Philadelphia, PA. In 1935 it formally joined with the American Foundrymen Association and became the third chapter after Chicago and Detroit. Its name changed to the Metropolitan Philadelphia Chapter. In 1990 it merged with the Reading Foundrmen's Association which began in 1927 and was simply named then as the Foundrymen's Association. The Philadelphia Chapter changed its name upon the merger to its present name of Keystone Chapter.

Contained here are approximately 10,000 pages of documents and photographs. It is a reasonably comprehensive picture of the organizations but is not an exacting complete picture. The older documents were showing degradation by time. In many cases the surviving copies were only on thin onion paper with the content being carbon paper copies. Paper clips and staples were rusting and presented their own challenges to be removed. We should be thankful for the time that was spent by the secretaries of the chapter to bring us what has survived to date.

The organization used here follows a type of document and then chronological progression. A coding was used to identify files:

  • AFA = American Foundrymen's Association
  • AFS = American Foundry Society or American Foundrymen's Society
  • ECR = East Coast Regional Conference
  • Key = Keystone Chapter
  • PFA = Philadelphia Foundrymen's Association
  • Rdg = Reading Foundrymen's Association

The number coding on the files are the dates. Some are a year's information; some are an individual month's organization. When a specific date is referenced then it is in the format of YYMMDD. When a file is opened it should become evident what the date is.

It is hoped that a review of the contents here will be informative to not only the casual reviewer but also to give an understanding of who we are and how we got where we are today.