Company History

A Legacy is Cast

On November 8th 2023, we’re celebrating our 140th company anniversary! From our beginnings in 1883 to where we are now, EJ remains a family-owned business committed to safety. In honour of this, we hold an annual global Safety Day at each of our locations on our anniversary. The focus of this year's Safety Day is safety in our products, processes, and people. Thank you to everyone who helped us reach this incredible milestone!

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.

Cascading the Culture

Historical Timeline

1883 East Jordan Iron Works, Inc. Established in East Jordan, Michigan

Business established as a foundry by William E. Malpass and Richard W. Round. Originally called Round and Malpass Foundry, it was renamed East Jordan Iron Works in 1886.

1968 Acquired Madison Foundry in Cleveland, Ohio

Established in Cleveland in 1893, Madison Foundry specialized in manufacturing municipal casting designs for area cities and the Ohio Department of Transportation. This acquisition allowed EJ to enter the greater Cleveland market and expand sales throughout Ohio.

1993 Acquired B&C Utility in Baltimore, Maryland

Charlie Burrier and Dick Cramer formed B&C Utility Supply in 1973 and developed it into the leading distributor of castings in Maryland, Delaware, Washington DC, Northern Virginia and Southern Pennsylvania. As a result of this acquisition, EJ was able to expand into these markets.

1995 Acquired Vulcan Foundry in Denham Springs, Louisiana

Founded in 1965, Vulcan Foundry was one of the first semi-automated construction casting producers in the south. Originally built to serve the Louisiana market, the company rapidly expanded its product line to meet local specifications used across the southern United States. This acquisition allowed EJ to expand into the southern market.

1996 Acquired Dewey Brothers in Goldsboro, North Carolina

Dewey Brothers, Inc. was a gray iron foundry founded in 1885. It was a major manufacturer of constructions and utility castings for the North and South Carolina markets. When the foundry ceased operation in 1996, EJ acquired its name, patterns and production tooling.

1997 Acquired Higgins Foundry and Supply Company in Atlanta, Georgia

Higgins Foundry was the primary supplier of drainage and construction castings for the greater Atlanta marketplace from 1919 to 1982. When the foundry closed in 1982, it began purchasing construction castings for resale from Vulcan Foundry. With this acquisition, EJ established a branch office in the Atlanta area.

1998 Acquired Western Iron Works, Inc. in San Angelo, Texas

Western Iron Works, Inc. was founded in 1923 in San Angelo, Texas. It became the principal supplier of construction castings in Texas and the southwestern United States. In September 1998, EJ purchased the inventories, catalog, customer lists, orders, trademarks, and patterns, allowing expansion into this market.

1998 Hydrant and Valve operation moved to new facility in East Jordan, Michigan

Since the 1920s, EJ has manufactured fire hydrants and valves for municipal water systems. In 1998, the Water Products operation moved to a new facility in East Jordan, Michigan. This facility features modern machine tools, special coating facilities, and an automated assembly and testing area for fire hydrants and valves.

1999 Acquired Litchfield Welding in Pasadena, Maryland

Litchfield Welding was a fabricator of junction boxes in Pasadena, Maryland. EJ added this product line to its offerings with this acquisition.

2000 Acquired Southern Foundry Company in Apex, North Carolina

Southern Foundry Company was located in Apex, North Carolina (outside of Raleigh) and operated from 1925 until 1984, when a fire destroyed the plant and equipment. It continued to be the primary supplier of castings in the Raleigh market by purchasing and distributing castings from other foundries. EJ continues to operate a branch office in Apex, supplying the North Carolina market.

2000 Acquired Cavanagh Foundry, Birr, Ireland

Cavanagh Foundry Ltd. operated an iron foundry in Birr, Ireland, for over 200 years. It was a leading manufacturer and supplier of high quality manhole covers, gratings, and frames to the construction, water, civil engineering, telecommunications, cable TV, and energy industries of Ireland. This was the first expansion for EJ outside of the United States. EJ continues to service the Irish market with sales, distribution, and fabrication located in Birr.

2001 Acquired C & C Supply in Denver, Colorado

Located in Commerce City, Colorado, C & C began operations in 1985. They sold castings and serviced the Denver and Colorado markets. Specialty items were built in their steel fabrication shop. EJ continues to operate a branch office in the Denver area and supply the Colorado market.

2001 Built New Foundry and Distribution Center, Ardmore, Oklahoma

Located in Ardmore, Oklahoma, a world-class production facility opened for operation in 2001. Ardmore Foundry utilizes a horizontal parted molding line for the manufacturing of street castings and features state-of-the-art environmental control technology.

2002 Acquired Sather Manufacturing, Seattle, Washington

Sather produced and sold construction castings to the western Washington area and Oregon. EJ purchased the inventories, patterns, customer list, and outstanding orders. EJ continues to operate a branch office in Marysville, Washington.

2002 Acquired Andrews Metal Products, Youngstown, Ohio

Andrews Metal Products in Youngstown, Ohio, had been fabricating steel manhole risers, catch basin risers, and valve box risers since 1988. These products were added to the EJ product line with this acquisition.

2003 Acquired Allegheny, Pittsburgh, PA

Allegheny Foundry Company sold municipal and utility castings in Western Pennsylvania. This acquisition allowed EJ to expand into this market. Castings formerly produced by Allegheny are now made at existing EJ facilities. A branch office in the Pittsburgh area continues to serve customers in that area.

2004 Acquired Inland Foundry Sales, Spokane, Washington

EJ acquired the assets of Inland Foundry Sales, Inc. which sold gray and ductile iron municipal castings in Washington, Oregon, Montana, Idaho, and Alaska. This acquisition improved access to these markets for EJ in the western United States.

2004 Acquired Norinco, France

Norinco was a world leader in the design, manufacture, and distribution of ductile iron access covers and frames for all types of underground networks. Norinco had sales and distribution facilities in France, Spain, Italy, England and Germany, and offered important growth opportunities and long-term stability for EJ.

2006 Acquired the municipal casting business of Archie McCoy (HAMILTON) LIMITED, Canada

EJ acquired the municipal casting business of Archie McCoy (HAMILTON) LIMITED, who provided products designed to meet Ontario Provincial Standards, and renamed it McCoy Construction Castings. This provided EJ with an opportunity to enter the Canadian market.

2007 Purchased GNR INFRA-RISER Product Line, Canada

EJ purchased the INFRA-RISER® multipurpose rubber composite adjustment riser product line from GNR Technologies. Production of the EJ INFRA-RISER® was moved from Canada to our United States operations in Ohio.

2008 Acquired LeBaron Foundry, Brockton, Massachusetts

LeBaron Foundry, Inc. was the largest manufacturer of municipal and utility castings in the New England area and traced its roots back to 1855. This acquisition opened up new markets for EJ infrastructure solutions in the New England area and further enhanced our diverse product offerings.

2009 Expansion: New Mold Line, East Jordan, Michigan

East Jordan Foundry installed a new green sand molding line. The line has helped better utilize the melting and manufacturing capability at the East Jordan facility. It was built to produce larger products with flask sizes up to 76" long by 60" wide.

2010 Acquired HaveStock in Queensland, Australia

HaveStock was the leading supplier of high quality access covers and grates in their market. With more than 25 years of design, production and sales experience, HaveStock serviced the civil, commercial plumbing, council, electrical, and landscaping industries nationwide. This acquisition broadened the EJ product reach to Australia, New Zealand and Southeast Asia.

2012 Global Rebranding

In 2012, East Jordan Iron Works, Cavanagh, Norinco, McCoy and Havestock were united under one global 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 our valued customers. EJ supplies products to infrastructure projects around the world with 50 sales offices, 10 manufacturing facilities, and multiple research and development centers.

2012 Acquired Bernard Cassart & Cie, Brussels, Belgium

Cassart had been the sole distributor for EJ in the Belgian market. Mr. Bernard Cassart started the business in 1980 and began his relationship with Norinco, now known as EJ, in 1981. With this acquisition, EJ expanded into the Belgian market with the goal of extending sales to neighboring countries in the region

2012 Acquired assets of Syracuse Castings Sales Corporation and Syracuse Castings West Corporation, Syracuse, New York

EJ acquired select assets of Syracuse Castings Sales Corporation and Syracuse Castings West Corporation, which designed and manufactured fabricated access products for the construction and utility industries. Syracuse Castings Sales Corporation was based in Cicero, New York; Syracuse Castings West Corporation operated from Tooele, Utah, located near Salt Lake City. The acquired companies, now EJ, sell municipal castings in central New York state and Utah; as well as fabricated steel products and aluminum hatches.

2012 Acquired Etheridge Foundry & Machine Company, Portland, Maine

EJ acquired selected assets of Etheridge Foundry & Machine Company in August 2012. With the assistance of Freeman Etheridge, the former owner, existing customers were transitioned from Etheridge Foundry to EJ gaining access to our broad spectrum of infrastructure access solutions.

2013 Acquired E.A. Quirin Machine, St. Clair, Pennsylvania

E.A. Quirin Machine Shop, Inc. had been a long-time supplier of specialty stormwater products to EJ. The company was historically associated with Leed Foundry, which was established in approximately 1886. 

2014 Acquired municipal casting distribution business of Mueller Canada Ltd., Canada

EJ expanded its participation in the Quebec municipal casting market through the purchase of the assets associated with the municipal casting distribution business of Mueller Canada Ltd. EJ had been involved in the Province for nearly 20 years via its INFRA-RISER® adjustment risers.

2014 Acquired GMI Composites in Muskegon, Michigan

Founded in 1923, GMI Composites was a family-owned company that produced structural composites since the 1960s. The acquisition added composite access solutions to the EJ product offering, broadening the range of innovative products for specialized applications.

2015 Acquired GAV GmbH in Boppard, Germany

GAV GmbH is a fabrication and distribution company in Boppard, Germany. Their fabricated access products are considered high value access solutions, specializing in ergonomics, safety and security. The GAV team has been a key EJ distributor in Germany for the past 30 years, and has established and maintains high quality standards with a reputation for innovation and excellence. 

2015 Acquired Peter Savage Ltd and Integrated Ducting Systems (IDS) Ltd in the United Kingdom

The United Kingdom based Peter Savage Ltd and its sister company Integrated Ducting Systems (IDS) specialized in the design, manufacture and distribution of manhole covers, gully gratings, channel drainage and associated drainage products such as surface boxes and geotextiles. IDS specialized in the design and distribution of polyethylene and polypropylene access chambers and pole boxes, as well as integral frames and covers. Together these companies, now known as EJ, have established a market-leading position in the UK with a reputation for innovation and excellent customer service.

2016 Acquired Schacht und Bautechnik Vertriebs GmbH (SBV) in Austria

SBV has been selling and distributing GAV and EJ products to the Austrian market for more than 20 years. SBV maintains close relationships with its customers in the Austrian market.

2018 Built New Foundry in Northern Michigan

After nearly 135 years in its original location, EJ broke ground on a new state-of-the-art, greenfield foundry in 2017 and began production in the fall of 2018. The new foundry, complete with state of the art production equipment, confirms our commitment to growing the business. With the goal to keep the foundry in Northern Michigan, the property is just 14 miles from the original East Jordan Foundry. EJ is proud to continue manufacturing in Northern Michigan and retain its talented employees.

2018 Expansion of Composite Manufacturing, Birr, Ireland

In 2018, EJ began production of composite covers in Birr, Ireland. The expansion of composite manufacturing in Europe compliments our current infrastructure solutions, thus providing customers with the best product for their application. Our composite covers meet the European product standard, EN124, which was published in 2015.

2019 Built New Fabrication Facility in Syracuse, New York

Located in Schroeppel, New York, a new fabrication facility opened for operation in 2019. The new operation, which manufactures, assembles and distributes fabricated products to New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania, allows EJ to better serve its customer base and, given the short distance from the previous operation, allowed for the retention of its skilled trades workforce. The facility also houses the New York Sales Branch and stocking yard.

2022 Acquired municipal casting distribution business of Alhambra Foundry Company Ltd., Alhambra California

EJ expanded its position in the California municipal casting market through the purchase of certain assets associated with Alhambra Foundry Company, Ltd. Alhambra was founded in 1923 and was a metalwork-castings and fabrications facility that produced custom and standard products for the construction industry. In addition, EJ opened a new California sales and distribution facility located in San Bernardino, CA to better serve our customers.

Email us Today