Perry Industries  
Key Employers - Progressive Foundry
Three Thousand High Quality Castings – Progressive Foundry

The present Progressive Foundry has roots in Perry dating as far back as 1907 when it made parts for the At Last Washing Machine Co. located in Perry. The washing machine industry is a long but remarkable story. It all began when A.S. Kibby landed in Perry with his washing machine invention. He called at the Miller Bros. Hardware store and they were so impressed that they put the machine in their window. H.C. Modlin, who was then head of the Commercial Club, got the businessmen interested, and at that time Mr. Kibby said, “Within 24 hours after I struck Perry, 20 Perry men had put up to $250 each to start making washing machines.” This was the day before Christmas in 1906. “Allen Harvey was running the Chief then, and he published a cartoon on the front page of the Christmas edition, showing a washing machine hanging in a Christmas tree marked as a gift to Perry.”

Pete VanKirk managed Progressive Foundry from 1964 to 1983. During 1983 he purchased the Foundry from Safetran Systems. He has been joined by his two sons, Kirk and Darek, and one daughter, DeLynn, who have become contributors to the ongoing industry.

In the 88 years since then the Foundry has become a major manufacturer of Grey Iron castings in the Midwest. At the present time they employ 75 employees. In its 90,000 sq. feet of manufacturing area it produces 3000 different castings for over 120 various manufacturers throughout the United States. We once made parts for the B-29 bombers in the 2nd World War and now make parts that are used for electric motors, municipal castings, and castings for agriculture that make up 30% of our work.

The Foundry has continuously made improvements through-out the years. In 1998 it upgraded the sand systems and added a sand building addition. In 2000 installed 2 five metric ton electric furnaces, with the melting capacity of 60 to 65 tons per day. In addition to grey iron, we now produce ductile iron, making up 20% of our business. In January 2002 we experienced a fire in our maintenance and core department but were able to rebuild and revised those areas by the summer of the same year. Since 1998 we have upgraded 4 Hunter automatic mold machines and added a shuttle and board return on each system. Upgrading the exterior building and adding landscaping has allowed us to continue to be a good neighbor in our location on First Street in Perry.

Progressive Foundry wants to remain consistent in producing a high quality casting, and distinct services which make them unique, and provide a safe and respectable workplace for our most prized asset, the people who are employed here.
Workforce Overview

Key Employers/Suppliers
Dallas County Hospital
Mark Seed
Osmundson Mfg.
Percival Scientific, Inc.
Progressive Foundry
Tyson Foods, Inc.
Wiese Industries