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         otal moments during a war involving
         many countries globally.
           Our famous chain was on landing craft
         during the Second World War, probably
         that which landed on Omaha Beach.”
           The original facility – five miles from
         this  location  –  is  long  gone  from  the
         world of manufacturing. As with other
         such  re-tooled structures  around the
         country, that original 30-acre site has
         now found use as a condo residence.
           The  horseshoe  sector  of  their  busi-
         ness was once simply a fill-in business,
         starting back in the 1930s. Then found-
         er Henry St. Pierre, recalling a favor-
         ite Vermont sport of pitching horse-
         shoes,  decided  to  make  drop  forged
         horseshoes of standard size, shape and
         weight. His company became the larg-
         est producer of pitching horseshoes in
         the world, and standardized the game
         with official horseshoes.
           Now  many  of  the  horseshoes  in  the   Forge shop in the 1940’s.
         country originate in the work area at
         the back of the building. Wal-Mart used   The forging procedure used for their   crafting three inch diameter slings, all
         to buy from them. “But since they now   horseshoes  is the same as used for   the way down to one and three-quarter
         buy goods from China, we no longer   shackles and hooks, etc. “This is a me-  inch slings handling some 1,500 tons.
         have their business,” adds St. Pierre.   chanical  press,”  explains St.  Pierre.   The test bed, tucked in the other build-
           “Our  main  customer  these  days  is   “The mechanism is not a hammer, such   ing can test chains and slings up to
         Dick’s Sporting Goods. And though   as a steam hammer, or board hammer.   100,000  pounds.  Seventy-five  feet  in
         this is a bit unusual for a rigging shop,   This is very unusual in that it is a me-  length and 10 years old, their test bed
         our custom shoes are done for a num-  chanical forging press.”        is now used virtually on a daily basis.
         ber of different brand names, includ-  The  equipment  mentioned  above   “We don’t do a lot of destructive test-
         ing John Deere, Harley Davidson,   consists  of  a  knuckle,  flywheel  –  and   ing,” says St. Pierre.  “But we  do per-
         Rolling Rock, and LL Bean. Such cus-  up to 1,300 tons of force. Their are   form quite a number of proof tests.
         tom sets are available by calling for a   three such machines, one of which   Richard’s father, Henry St. Pierre
         custom quote. Our bocce balls, unlike   is in operation at this moment. This   was raised on a Vermont farm and
         those  from  China  that  contain  filler,   equipment is solid, huge, and bulky by   went  in  business  for  himself  all be-
         are solid phenolic plastic.”       2017 standards. As St. Pierre points   cause he got stuck in the mud. Driving
                                                      out, one of these three ma-  his father’s car to and from the village,
                                                      chines is circa 1942 and   Henry would spend hours pushing and
                                                      the  other  two  are  circa   hauling through the thick mud. He
                                                      1970.  The  only discern-  found an answer to this problem by in-
                                                      ible difference, from my   venting an improved gripping chain for
                                                      point  of view,  is  that  one   tires. Searching for a location to start
                                                      is quite a bit bigger than   his  business,  St. Pierre  decided that
                                                      the  others.  “As  you  can   Worcester was the place and as World
                                                      see, the technology didn’t   War I brought him to Massachusetts as
                                                      change much in those thir-  a captain in the Field Artillery. With its
                                                      ty years,” adds St. Pierre.   forge  shops  and stamping companies,
                                                        “And when  something   Worcester would provide the diversity
                                                      happens to the equipment,   of industry needed for his business.
                                                      we  have  to  fix  that  our-  Founded in  1920 as the St.  Pierre
                                                      selves  as  they,  of  course   Chain Corporation, the company began
                                                      don’t make  these  any-  as a tire chain making facility. In 1928,
                                                      more. All you can do is to   St. Pierre purchased a plant owned by
                                                      rebuild them. This press   Rogers Drop Forging Company and put
                                                      was making camshafts for   the drop forge hammers to work forg-
                                                      the Buick Motor Company   ing and added lines of automotive tools,
                                                      in World War II, actually   such  as pliers,  grease bars and tire
                                                      the  Buick  Motor  Division   irons. During World War II, production
                                                      in the southern U.S.”    was devoted to aircraft parts and an-
                                                        As  we  move around  the   chor chain for  which they received the
         Newly forged horseshoes.                     plant we near some equip-  United States Navy “E” for Excellence.
                                                      ment, a hydraulic press, for              continued on page 28

         26     Wire Rope News & Sling Technology   August 2017
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