|Pittsburgh directory 1863-64|
|George F. Konold & son, 1920|
William H. Hays (1847-1926), a Pittsburgh bookkeeper, managed the business beginning in 1881. He was chairman from 1887, or earlier, to 1926, and his son William H. Hays, Jr. (1877-1966) was treasurer in 1903. Son John Crossan Hays (1891-1968) followed his brother as treasurer. Nothing else about Mr. Hays's business background or his financial stake in Iron City is known. The house Mr. Hays built in the late 1880s at 5200 Westminster Place suggests that he was already wealthy or that Iron City Tool Works was very profitable for him.
|Pittsburgh, 1882 map by G.M. Hopkins|
The original tool works was on Butler St. (renamed Railroad St.) between Smith (30th St.) and Morton (28th St.), then at Butler St. and Wilson St. (32nd St.). In 1869 they were still at 32nd Street and Railroad St. This building expanded over the next 30 years until it occupied almost the whole block from 32nd to 33rd. By 1890 there was a second building at 32nd St. and Smallman St. Iron City suffered a fire in 1903 and rebuilt on the same spot, remaining there until 1958.
Apparently Iron City sold to wholesalers and did little advertising, and surviving catalogs are rare. I have located their 1891 product line in their New York agent's catalog, and extracted those pages for you. The Pittsburgh Commodity Index of 1913 lists Iron City's products:
bars (17 styles)
chisels (17 styles), including brick, splitting, and stone cutters’ chisels
hammers (18 styles), including bush, hand drilling, macadam, napping, paving, spalling, stone, and other hammers
hoes (6 styles)
mattocks (9 styles)
|Iron City 6-lb. spalling hammer|
mining machine bits
picks (19 styles)
punches (5 styles)
sledges (8 styles), including limestone, pein and flat face stone, stone
stone workers’ axes
swages (4 styles)
tongs (3 styles)
vises (6 styles)
wedges (10 styles), including stone wedges
Warren Tool Corp., founded in 1911 by George F. Konold, took over Iron City in 1958. Warren made many of the tools that Iron City did. In 1994 Warren Tool was sold to Wilton Corp. of Palatine, IL, and continued to operate as Warren Tool Group until Walter Meier Holding Company AG bought Wilton in 2002. Iron City's former building at 3201 Smallman St. still stands.
|Iron City Tool products, 1953|
|Iron City Tool advertisement, 1908|