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

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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.

The Construction of the West Foundry            The Foundry in 1950
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