Home > Businesses > Manufacturing Plants > Belmont Iron Works

Old Chester, PA: Belmont Iron Works

Belmont Iron Works, Eddystone, PA; Photo courtesy of Jim Brown, Chester, PA
Photo courtesy of Jim Brown, Chester, PA

Eddystone, PA

Presidents | Other Employees | Company History | Recollections

Presidents: Joseph Grundy Shryock (1942) [Picture]
Other Employees Click here for our listing of known employees of Belmont Iron.

Lanning, John G.

"I have only an iota of info regarding the iron works. I am fairly certain that my great grandfather, John G. Lanning, worked there in 1891. His son, John G. Lanning, jr. was born there in that year.

JGL, Sr. was quite big in the iron industry, superintending at plants in Chester, PA (1891); Fort Payne, AL (1893); Cleveland, OH; Clairton, PA; and Buffalo, NY.

He was gone from Chester by July 1893 when his next child was born in Fort Payne, Alabama.

If you have resources regarding those years 1890-1893 that might be of interest to me in my own context, I'd appreciate hearing about them. At this point I have nothing more on JGL's association with Chester."

Steve in MA

Company History: The following Historical Sketch, courtesy of Jim Brown, Chester, PA, is taken from the company's souvenir publication on the occasion of their Open House on June 25, 1947:


Seventy-seven years ago at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, The Belmont Iron Works started as a partnership, which established an ornamental and light Iron shop along Parkside Avenue at Forty-second Street, in the year 1870.

In the year 1877, following the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition, this partnership took over part of the Machinery Exhibit Building, continuing there, until the year 1886, when the partnership of Manly and Cooper Manufacturing Company, was taken over by a newly formed firm, Belmont Iran Company, Inc., which operated, at the above site, until 1888, when the plant was destroyed by fire and the company liquidated.

Belmont Iron Works Limited was then organized and resumed business on Washington Avenue at Twenty-fourth Street near the present home office and works, on Washington Avenue from Twenty-second to Twenty-third Streets, and established a sales and business office In Now York City.

The Company operated under the above name, until the year 1897, when the name was again changed to the Belmont Iron Works, Inc., and operated as such under a fifty year charter, issued by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

From year to year the Company expanded its field as Engineers, Contractors, Erectors and Exporters of structural steel work for buildings, bridges and all types of steel structures.

Then in 1946, secured a perpetual charter from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, covering the diversified activities as cited above.

The growth of the now Company, incorporated in 1897, expanded year after year, as follows: The whole block on Washington Avenue, between Twenty-second and Twenty-third Streets, was progressively purchased in 1897, 1900 and 1916. The Plant has two sidings, connecting to the Pennsylvania Railroad an Washington Avenue.

The business continued to expand and set up a sales and business office in New York City - the management purchased in 1904 a ten and one-half acre plot on Essington Avenue, in the Borough of Eddystone, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, adjoining the southwest property of the Tindall Morris Company, now the Baldwin Locomotive Works. In 1905 the Company erected a modern bridge shop on this site.

Progressive expansion of the Eddystone facilities were made from year to year which included 2500 feet of overhead crane runways, a fireproof template shop in 1908, a modern power plant in 1910, and a beam shop in 1912. Today over five acres of floor space are under roof.

In World War I, the Company purchased an additional four and one-half acre plot adjoining the original plant, extending the site to fifteen acres.

In World War I, the Company received a citation for distinguished service. In World War II, the Company received a Certificate of Achievement from the U.S. Navy, and during both World Wars, made important contributions to the shipbuilding chemical and oil industries.

The Company's continued expanding business taxed the facilities of both the Philadelphia and Eddystone plants, so that the plant of the Keystone Structural Steel Company, in Royersford, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, leased in 1926, was purchased in 1928. The site covered approximately ten acres, to which another acre and a half was added in 1938.

The Company's peace time activities normally gives employment to approximately five hundred to six hundred people, and endeavors to keep this typical American small industry actively engaged in this competitive business under the American System of free enterprise.

The plants located along the Pennsylvania Railroad and the Reading Railroad, highway and nearby ocean transportation facilities, enables the Company to serve the Atlantic Seaboard and the Pacific Area, via the Panama Canal, and Gulf Ports. In addition the Company has done in the past and is doing today, extensive export business to the Caribbean, Latin America, Canada, Newfoundland, Bermuda, the Near East, and the Far East.

The stability of the Company and the continued efforts of our combined trained, technical, engineering, drafting and sales forces, together with the skilled producing forces, and harmonious labor-management relations, coupled with the ability and equipment to carry ample materials in stock, will enable the Company's Organization to carry on successfully this service business in the future.


1 - Thanks to



If you have any information and or pictures that you would like to contribute about Belmont Iron Works in Eddystone, please forward it to john@oldchesterpa.com

2001, 2002, 2006 John A. Bullock III.

GDPub2.JPG (7902 bytes)

This page last updated 03/19/06