AMSCO history from 1915 to the present


In part 1 of the history of AMSCO®, we explored the company’s very beginnings, dating all the way back to 1795. That all led up to the American Manganese Steel Company, AMSCO®, being formed in 1915.

Now we want to see how the company has evolved and changed since it got its name back in 1915.

1917: AMSCO® begins making crawler shoes for U.S. Army tanks

AMSCO® started making crawler shoes for United States Army tanks.

A tank with those crawler shoes is still on display at the U.S. Military Academy Museum in West Point, New York.

U.S. Army tank with AMSCO® crawler shoes at U.S. Military Academy Museum

1919: A new foundry is built in Oakland, CA

AMSCO® opened up a new foundry in Oakland, California.

The foundry did its first pour in August of that year. The foundry continued to operate all the way up until 1978.

1923: AMSCO® acquires two more foundries

The American Manganese Steel Company acquired foundries in St. Louis, Missouri and Denver, Colorado. The St. Louis Frog and Switch foundry and the Queen City Foundry Company became part of AMSCO®.

The St. Louis foundry operated until 1982. The Denver facility closed its doors in 1984.

This same year AMSCO®‘s parent company, The American Brake Shoe and Foundry Company, acquired the National Car Wheel Company, including a foundry in Rochester, New York. A few years later, the foundry was consolidated with the Southern Wheel Division.  The Rochester foundry was closed in 1956.

1925: A new foundry is built in Los Angeles, CA

AMSCO® continued its movement out west by building a foundry in Los Angeles, California. The foundry made its first pour in May of 1925.

The foundry would continue to operate until 1963.

1929: Givens named president of The American Brake Shoe and Foundry Company

The American Brake Shoe and Foundry Company, the parent company of AMSCO®, named William B. Givens, Jr. as its president. Givens would serve in that role until 1961.

1933: Research center built in Mahwah, NJ

The American Brake Shoe and Foundry Company built a new research center in Mahwah, New Jersey.

They made expansions to the center in both 1936 and 1939.

Mahwah Research Facility (Courtesy:
Mahwah Research Facility (Courtesy:

An experimental foundry was opened at the Mahwah, New Jersey facility in 1944. It was an extension to the existing research facilities. During the war, research activities at the foundry were entirely defense-related.

1943: Name shortened to American Brake Shoe Company

The name of the company was shortened to the American Brake Shoe Company.

That same year, American Brake Shoe purchased the Electro-Alloys Company.

Electro-Alloys made oil burner combustion chambers and was founded in 1919.

American Brake Shoe Company (Courtesy: Logopedia)

1946: Electro-Alloys division builds new foundry

The Electro-Alloys division of the American Brake Shoe Company built a new foundry in Elyria, Ohio.  The foundry produced heat and corrosion-resistant castings.

Also in 1946, the American Brake Shoe Company acquired Joliette Steel Limited in Canada. It became part of AMSCO®.

Electro-Alloys plant in Elyria, Ohio

1954: New steel wheel foundry opens in Alabama

The American Brake Shoe Company opens a new steel wheel foundry in Calera, Alabama.

1957: American Brake Shoe acquires Manitoba Foundries

In August of 1957, American Brake Shoe acquired Manitoba Foundries and Steel, Ltd. It became part of the AMSCO® division at The American Brake Shoe Company.

1962: AMSCO® acquires a foundry in Mexico

AMSCO® acquired the Siderugica Modelo, S.A. foundry in Tlalnepantla, Mexico. The foundry was established just outside of Mexico City in the early 1950s.

The plant’s name was changed to AMSCO® Mexicana after the acquisition.

1966: AMSCO® acquires railroad car repair shop

AMSCO® acquired a railroad car repair shop in Two Harbors, Minnesota.  The repair shop was converted into a n AMSCO® foundry.

The first heat was poured in February of 1967. The foundry shut its doors in 1973.

1966: Name changed to Abex Corporation

In April of 1966, the American Brake Shoe Company changed its name to Abex Corporation.

Abex Corporation foundry in Medina, NY

1968: Abex acquired by Illinois Central Industries

The Illinois Central Industries acquired Abex in 1968. Illinois Central Industries, known as IC Industries, was a holding company formed by the Illinois Central Railroad.

1975: AMSCO® acquires a former aluminum rolling mill in Indiana

AMSCO® acquired the former aluminum rolling mill in Anderson, Indiana.

It was converted into a foundry to produce railroad trackwork castings.

The foundry was included in the purchase by ABC Rail Corporation in 1987. It closed in 2000.

1984: Mahwah iron foundry closed

The iron foundry in Mahwah, New Jersey, next to the research facility, was closed.  Since its closure, the building has been converted into a self-storage warehouse facility. It also houses the pharmaceutical packaging facility.

Also in 1984, IC Industries acquired Pneumo Corporation.

American Brake Shoe foundry in Mahwah, NJ-1960s (Courtesy: Mahwah Museum Society, Inc.)

1985: Welding products line sold by AMSCO

AMSCO® sold its welding products line to the Stoody Company in California.

The sale included a small AMSCO® plant in Wauseon, Ohio.

1986: Pneumo merges with Abex

The Pneumo Corporation and Abex were merged.

They formed the new company, Pneumo Abex Corporation.

1987: Abex and Norton Company enter into joint venture

Abex and the Norton Company established a joint venture which created Norton Abex Defense Systems. This joint effort took over the Abex Research Center in Mahwah, New Jersey.

That is where Abex was developing composite body armor for tanks and other defense-related products.

Norton-Abex ceremanic/metal composite body armor (Courtesy: Gooch)

1988: A busy year for sales, acquisitions and more

March, 1988: Amalloy Corp buys assets of AMSCO® division

Amalloy Corp. bought assets of the AMSCO® division from Abex. This purchase included Abex foundries in Elyria, Joliette, Selkirk, AMSCO® Mexicana and the “Trading Company” which was renamed AMSCO® US.

August, 1988: IC Industries sells Pneumo Abex Corporation

IC Industries sold the Pneumo Abex Corp. or $1.2 billion. The Henley Group in New Hampshire purchased it.

October, 1988: Amalloy sells the Elyria plant

Amalloy sold the Elyria, Ohio foundry to Manoir Industries of France. Manoir in turn sold the foundry in the late 90s to Duraloy of Scottdale, Pennsylvania.

The Elyria facility was closed in 1999.

December, 1988: IC Industries changes its name

IC (Illinois Central) Industries changed its name to the Whitman Corporation. Later on, Whitman Corp. spun off the Illinois Central Railroad and Pet Incorporated divisions to shareholders.

1989: Amalloy sold the AMSCO® pump product line

Amalloy Corporation sold off the AMSCO® pump product line to Mobile Pulley Company, which was based in Mobile, Alabama.

1994: Norton Abex Defense Systems closes research center

The research center in Mahwah, NJ ran by Norton Abex Defense Systems was closed. The buildings were later converted into the Mahwah Business Park which houses offices and small businesses.

Mahwah Business Park (Courtesy: LoopNet)

The Mahwah automotive dynamometer facilities continue to operate today. It was owned by the Federal Mogul Corporation, but in 2022, they were acquired by Apollo Global Management.

1994: Amalloy sells assets of AMSCO® US and more

1994 was a busy year for Amalloy and AMSCO®. Amalloy sold the AMSCO dipper product line to ESCO Corporation of Portland, Oregon.

Amalloy also sold assets of AMSCO® US to AMSCO® Wear Products Inc.

And the foundry in Selkirk, Canada was sold and renamed AMSCO Cast Products (Canada) Inc. The owner, Black Cat Blades, operated it for a few years before shutting it down.

2008: Warehouse moves to Wilmington, Delaware

AMSCO® moved its warehouse to Wilmington, Delaware in January of 2008.

The original warehouse was in New Castle, Delaware. It was a foundry that was part of the 1994 purchase of AMSCO US to AMSCO. It later became inactive and was converted into a warehouse.


Wilmington, DE location

2022: AMSCO® expands to Nevada, closes sales office in Goshen, NY

In February of 2022, AMSCO® started using the 3PL facility in Sparks, Nevada.

In September of 2022, AMSCO® closed its sales office in Goshen, New York. That is when the Wilmington, Delaware location became the main address for AMSCO®

2023: AMSCO® joins the Lawton Standard family of companies

In July of 2023, AMSCO® was acquired by the Lawton Standard Company.

Lawton Standard operates 5 iron foundries, 1 steel foundry and several distribution centers, including AMSCO®.

For more information or to get a quote on our products, contact AMSCO® at 1-800-628-7884.

Sources and References:

LoopNet listing for Mahwah Business Park 

Frank J. Allston, Conglomerate, A Case Study of IC Industries under William B. Johnson, Illumina Concepts, Naperville, IL, 1992

American Brake Shoe and Foundry Company Annual Reports, 1920 to 1945.

AMSCO Bulletins, 1928 to 1969

Numerous historic documents on file at AMSCO Wear Products in Goshen, NY.