West Foundry - 1966

    The photos above, probably taken in early 1966, were in the Draper Corporation annual report for
    1965. The foundry was named for Thomas H. West, who had been president of the company,
    and had retired on April 1, 1965.. The foundry had numerous problems and never worked out as
    well as had been expected. The 1973 oil crisis, during which oil prices rose dramatically, and as
    a result, the cost of electricity went up significantly, could have been a factor in leading to the end
    of the all-electric foundry. In 1967, Draper Corporation was absorbed by Rockwell International.

                                                        
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    In 1964 Draper Corporation continued to place heavy emphasis on modernization and expansion
    of manufacturing facilities. A new 70,000 square foot foundry, now under construction in Hopedale,
    is expected to be in full production in 1965.*

    This foundry installation featuring automatic high pressure molding and electric furnaces will
    enable Draper to increase production of high quality castings. Machine shop facilities have been
    up-dated by the installation of general, single purpose and tape controlled machinery.

    In addition, a cost-reducing program has resulted in the design of new machines and the
    modification of existing equipment. New techniques, the result of our dynamic technological age,
    will continue to be incorporated in all Draper manufacturing processes. Draper Corporation 1964
    Annual Report.

    * The 1965  annual report stated , "This unit will be in limited operation in the second quarter of
    1966."

    I don't know the reason for the 1886 on this casting. That, of course, was the year
    Hopedale left Milford and became an independent town, but that would have
    nothing to do with the foundry. Also, the Draper companies had a foundry well
    before that date. At any rate, I think it's accurate to say that for all practical
    purposes, the closing of the foundry marked the end of Drapers in Hopedale. It
    wouldn't be until August 1980 that a Milford News headline read,  "Last Worker
    Leaves,"  but I think most of the final years mainly amounted to removing
    machinery and sending it to the Draper plant in Spartanburg, SC, or otherwise
    disposing of it.
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