In 1921, Rudolph Valentino became a movie star, the first baseball game was broadcast on the radio and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was dedicated in Washington, D.C. At the same time, Arvid Peterson, Carl Swan, Elif Anderson, and Nels Pierson were starting the Batavia Foundry and Machine Company in Batavia, Illinois.
In the 1920s, Swan and Peterson bought out Anderson and Pierson, and by 1933 the company was established in Batavia and casting sculptures as well as parts for radios and windmills. In 1956, Swan retired, and his share of the business was bought out by Arvid's sons, Harold and Robert Peterson. Now the business in run by Harold's son, Scott, and Robert's son, Joel.
In July, 1985, disaster struck. At 1:45 a.m. July 17, the business burned down in the worst fire Batavia had seen in 32 years. A total of 80 firefighters from six departments fought the three-alarm blaze. It took 100,000 gallons of water to extinguish it.
Now the company makes items ranging from molds for the auto parts industry and clutch plates to aluminum speaker houses and bronze plaques for historic buildings.