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2.02.2016

Wendell August Forge, Grove City, PA Mercer County

Today we visit the Wendell August Forge in Grove City, PA, the last remaining operating forge within the state. This facility was opened in 2013 after the company's famed headquarters succumbed to fire in 2010. The Grove City Works is home to the company's main outlet, factory, historical museum, and main offices. Wendell August runs free tours, Monday through Saturday, from 9:00AM to 4:00PM, and it is located in a very scenic area of the state.
The exterior of the Wendell August facilities
Some of the beautiful work available within the Wendell August Store

Brit was wearing a bright fleece sweater, and you can see just how reflective these beautiful pieces of art are.

Grove City National Bank commissioned Wendell August for renovations to their bank. The work was considered to be so excellent and successful the bank convinced Wendell August to relocate their main forge within the city after their founding in Brockway, PA, near DuBois. This bank table was from that renovation. They opened up their new Grove City main forge in 1933. In the midst of the devastation of the Great Depression, the company weathered the storm through selling their goods, different mementos and trinkets, within department stores. Their business, catering to the high end of the businesses during this time period, continued to grow.

The company was originally founded in 1923 after Wendell August, then a coal mine operator, requested some custom shed door hinges from a blacksmith named Ottone "Tony" Pisoni. The high quality and low prices offered by Mr. Pisoni inspired August Wilson to create a forge business, one that has operated continuously since that point. Candlestick holders, door knockers, railings, and more, made up a good portion of the company's work during this time period. In 1930, The Aluminum Company of America (ALCOA) commission Wendell August to create decorative elevator doors and gates. From this point forward, the business grew through the creation of decorative gifts and custom work, including commemorative plates for the first passengers on the doomed Hindenburg. This has continued to be a primary business for the company, forging using metals such as aluminum, sterling silver, bronze, and pewter.
Some historical examples of decorative Wendell August work, seen within the company's history museum. 
Here is a baptismal font that was used at St. Peter's Catholic Church in Slippery Rock, PA
Now that is an awesome lamp!
Now we check out the floor of the workshop.

Some examples of work within the stock area.
The storage area for plate metal that will soon become art.
Different metal stamping forms

In this machine shop area, they do cuts on the metal work and stamp in different impressions and designs. 
The workers making cuts to form the shape of the product they are working on..
Now here is Brit getting to one of her favorite activities, shopping back in the store area.
Wendell August Forge is a world class company that deserves a visit to uncover the history and craftsmanship of this Pennsylvania institution. It is located within an hour of Pittsburgh and Erie, and a half mile from the Grove City Factory Outlets and Springfield Falls. Seven Sisters Bed and Breakfast, Kidds Mill Covered Bridge, and more, are all located within a close range of the facility. 

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