Nestled alongside the Cumberland Plateau of the Appalachian Mountains is the town of South Pittsburg, Tennessee in the U.S.A (population 3,300). It was here that Joseph Lodge and his wife settled and, in 1896 opened his first foundry.
Originally named The Blacklock Foundry after Joseph Lodge’s friend and minister, the company gained success until May of 1910 when it burned down. Just three months later and a few blocks south, the company was reborn as Lodge Manufacturing Company.
Joseph Lodge created a legacy of quality that has thrived through two World Wars and the Great Depression and is still carried on by his family today. Both the CEO and Chairman are Joseph Lodge’s great-grandsons who continue to evolve the product line and improve manufacturing methods. While many worthy competitors have fallen by the wayside, Lodge’s dedication to quality, technology, and employees have helped it not only survive but flourish.
Even during the hard times of the 1930s, the Lodge family found ways to keep employees above water. Novelty items such as cast iron garden gnomes and animals were produced and sold to keep the furnaces burning and the paychecks issued.
As the economy bounced back, Lodge responded to growing demand, and in 1950 converted its foundry from a hand-pour operation to an automated molding process in order to keep up with demand. This led to safer and more efficient manufacturing that at the time was very rare.
Continuing a dedication to technology and conservation, Lodge once again updated its foundry in 1992. The replacement of coal-fired cupola furnaces with an electro-magnetic induction melting system earned a Tennessee Governor’s Award for Excellence in Hazardous Waste Reduction.
Well into the second century in business, Lodge continued to innovate. In 2002, pre-seasoned cookware was introduced, eliminating the hassle of its unseasoned counterparts. It was an industry first that has since become an industry standard.
Toward the end of 2017, operations began in a newly built, 127,000 square foot foundry, nicknamed 3rd Street Foundry. This foundry increased Lodge's manufacturing capacity by 75%.
In more ways than he could have ever imagined, Joseph Lodge would not recognise the business he started over a century ago. Lodge continues to be family owned and it produces over 120 different foundry seasoned cast iron items for worldwide gourmet, outdoor and restaurant markets.