In 1856 at the age of just 22
John Seaton, with two dollars
and fifty cents to his name,
started a foundry business in
Alton, Illinois in the United States.
In 1872 Seaton moved his 50
employees to Atchison, Kansas
on the offering of a $10,000
grant and free land from the city
to anyone who would open an
iron foundry in the area.
In its early years, the John Seaton
Foundry and Manufacturing
Company made its mark on the
industry manufacturing railroad
parts, architectural work, iron
and brass fittings, steam engines,
boilers, jali screens (ornamental
patterned screens) and sheet
iron work.
In the early 1900’s Seaton
collaborated with two young
railroad engineers to
manufacture finished railroad
parts, building a machine shop,
the Locomotive Finished Material
Co, next to the foundry. The two
businesses continued in
partnership until the time of
Seaton’s death in 1912 when a
reorganisation saw them joined
as a single entity called The
Locomotive Finished Material
Company (LFM).
From 1914 to 1930 LFM suffered
through a number of depression
periods. While others folded,
LFM was able to endure on the
back of sales of their patented
sectional steam locomotive
piston ring which became the
standard for many of the major
In 1924 LFM began
experimenting with steel castings
installing the Company’s first
electric arc melting furnace.
In the years that followed LFM
thrived taking on work for the
Electro-Motive Division of
General Motors (cast steel
locomotive truck frames) and
producing machine tooling and
railroad equipment used in the
World War II war effort.
In 1956 LFM was purchased by
the Rockwell Manufacturing
Company and became known as
their steel casting division.
Rockwell was a major American
manufacturing company involved
in aircraft, the space industry,
defense and commercial
electronics, automotive and truck
components, printing presses,
valves and meters, and industrial
As a subsidiary of Rockwell, the
Atchison foundry became a
leading producer of large carbon
and low alloy steel castings. In
the 1990’s however Rockwell
began to sell off a number of its
subsidiaries, including the
Atchison foundry and St. Joseph
machine shop.
In 1991 an investment group
formed a company, the Atchison
Casting Corporation (ACC), with
the aim of combining a number of
small independent foundries
under a single corporate banner.
In June of the same year the
Atchison foundry became the
first such foundry to be
purchased by the ACC.
The ACC was disbanded in 2003
and five of the Company’s twenty
facilities were sold to the newly
formed Americast Technologies
Inc. (Americast).
After a number of changes of
ownership in the early 2000’s,
Bradken acquired a 20% stake in
AmeriCast in 2006.
After Bradken acquired the
remaining share of Americast in
2008 the Atchison foundry and
St. Joseph machine shop
became a major part of the
Company’s Engineered Products
Today, as part of Bradken’s
Industrial Products Business, the
Atchison foundry produces some
of the largest and most complex
steel castings for customers all
over the world.
The facility manufactures low
alloy steels, high alloy steels and
stainless grades ranging from
200 lbs to over 55,000 lbs (9 kg
to over 25,000 kg).
As a Bradken facility the Atchison
foundry continues to support the
locomotive and rail sector as it
did in its founding days, while
also manufacturing Bradken
original products.
• Aggregate
• Compressor
• Construction
• Structural Steel
• Freight
• Marine
• Locomotive
• Mining
• Military (Army)
• Material Handling
• Oil & Gas Field
• OEM Off Highway
• Process
• Oil Tool
• Pulp & Paper
• Pump
• Rock Crusher
• Turbine
• Transit
• Crusher
• Steel
• Valve
• Crawler Systems
globaleyes / edition 12
Atchison from above (2012).
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