Castings in Washington D.C.

Here is a guest post from our VP of Sales; Steve Metz.  He recently vacationed in Washington D.C; while there he discovered historical landmarks which also happen to be castings!

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My wife and I recently had the opportunity to be ‘tourists in our own country’ and spent a long weekend in Washington D.C.  Some of you may know that my wife is an interior designer, but I am a Materials Engineer who has spent my entire career in the foundry and heat treatment worlds so we use different halves of our minds.  I noticed that after 10 years of marriage, everything I look at is evaluated for the way it is manufactured and my wife is always looking at the way materials, colors and design come together.

Day one of our trip found us at Arlington National Cemetery where we were humbled and appreciative of the sacrifice so many have made in defense of our freedom and beliefs.  The signs reminding attendees of the decorum required were made of die cast aluminum.  The signs showing the way to different areas of the cemetery are cast from brass.  As we solemnly stood at the tomb of the unknown soldier awaiting the changing of the guard I thought about the rifle he was carrying and the number of investment cast steel components it contains.

Day two of our journey took us to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum where I stumbled across a gem of a display that talked about the advent of gasoline powered tractors in the 1920’s.  The number of castings (steel or gray iron) on this 1920’s vintage Fordson tractor was staggering and I lost count when trying to capture the extent.

While we were at the Air and Space Museum there was an honor flight of WWII, Korean and Vietnam War veterans who arrived from their journey.  The museum has several exhibits including planes that were used by the military over the years and the eyes of these veterans, many in their 90’s, grew wide as they saw the planes that were so integral to our victory.

We closed out our trip with a visit to the WWII Memorial where we saw several other examples of castings on display.  From the copper/bronze wreath that adorns the pillar for each state, to the stars that each represents 100 of our soldiers lost or missing.

In the end I was humbled by the beauty that resides in these places of remembrance and history.  The fact that castings are foundational in so many of the things we see and use each and every day is inspirational.

~ Steve Metz

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