The EJ legacy dates back to 1883 when William E. Malpass and his father-in-law Richard W. Round established a foundry on the shores of Lake Charlevoix, in the town of East Jordan, Michigan, USA. This foundry was called Round and Malpass Foundry and originally produced cast parts for the lumber industry, machinery, ships, agricultural equipment, and railroads. In 1886, William’s brother, James, joined the business and the company was renamed East Jordan Iron Works.
In the 1920s, when the lumbering era came to a close, the company welcomed the second generation to the business and expanded into new markets allowing continued success in changing times. Production shifted to street castings, water works valves, fire hydrants, and various industrial castings. Through World War II, the foundry produced castings for the war effort. In the 1950s, semi-automation was introduced into the foundry.
During the 1960s, the third generation automated the foundry with the addition of a high-pressure molding line. By integrating automatic sand processing and mechanized casting handling systems, the company was operating the largest automated molding line in the United States and maximized production capabilities.
Since the late 1980s, the business has been led by the fourth generation descendants of the Malpass family. They have transformed the Midwest business into an international leader of providing access solutions to infrastructure systems.
Beginning in the 1990s, acquisitions throughout the United States allowed the company to expand product lines, sales offices, distribution capabilities, and customer services across North America. In 2001, a new foundry was built in Oklahoma providing additional capacity to service growing markets in the United States, as well as Central and South America. The fifth generation of the Malpass family began joining the company in the late 1990s, continuing the strong family commitment to the company’s success.
In the early 2000s, East Jordan Iron Works began turning its attention to expansion in other parts of the world, with the acquisition of Cavanagh Foundry in Ireland (2000), Norinco in France (2004), McCoy Construction Castings in Canada (2006), and HaveStock in Australia (2010).
In 2012, East Jordan Iron Works and its affiliated companies began doing business using the same name and brand, EJ. One global name and brand, supported by a single mission, vision, and set of values has unified the company. This action leverages all company resources to improve internal operations, as well as provide superior product offerings and services to its valued customers.
Increasing its global footprint, EJ continues to grow through acquisition and reinvestment with the addition of Bernard Cassart & Cie in Belgium (2012), Syracuse Castings Sales Corporation and Syracuse Castings West Corporation in the USA (2012), Etheridge Foundry & Machine Company in the USA (2012), E.A. Quirin Machine in the USA (2013), GMI Composites in the USA (2014), the municipal casting distribution of Mueller Canada Ltd., in Canada (2014), GAV GmbH in Germany (2015), Peter Savage Ltd. and Integrated Ducting Systems in the United Kingdom (2015), Schacht und Bautechnik Vertriebs GmbH (SBV) in Austria (2016), as well as the expansion of composite manufacturing in Birr, Ireland in (2018), the construction of a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Northern Michigan, USA (2018) and the construction of a new fabrication facility in New York, USA (2019).
Today, the company provides a full line of access solutions for the infrastructure systems of municipalities, utility companies, airport and port authorities, and private companies. Products include manhole covers and frames, catch basin and curb inlet grates and frames, trench grates, and tree grates. In addition to traditional materials of gray or ductile cast iron, a continuously expanding array of innovative solutions are offered in composites, fabricated steel, and fabricated aluminum. EJ also provides products for water supply systems including fire hydrants and valves, valve and service boxes, and various other water supply products. EJ supplies products to infrastructure projects in 6 of the 7 continents.
EJ continues to be 100% owned by descendants of William E. Malpass, and members of the family continue to be active in managing the business. The fourth and fifth generation remain dedicated to maintaining the company’s long-established culture and values, setting strategies and priorities. This has allowed EJ to remain one of the most stable, progressive, and well-tooled manufacturing companies in the world. The corporate headquarters continues to remain in East Jordan, Michigan, USA.