Lunkenheimer Valve Company has had a long journey from a young immigrant leaving Germany to the company it is today. It is one of the oldest continuously operated foundries in the US, and has been operating since 1862 making valves for a variety of industries. Originally making valves for steamboats, railroad, and military equipment, the company expanded over the decades into fossil fuels, chemical industries, mining, automobiles, and aerospace.
Once Upon a Time
Frederick Lunkenheimer immigrated to the United states in 1845 at the age of nineteen. Already a trained metal worker, he found himself working in New York for a time making telegraph parts, and then to the booming Mississippi River trade, which had a need for skilled machinists to keep the riverboats running. It was New Orleans and a case of yellow fever than changed his mind about remaining in the south, and he was set on returning to New York before a robbery detoured him to Evansville, and then Cincinnati. He found work as a foreman in foundry, and then after eight years in the job, he opened his own brass foundry, The Cincinnati Brass Works, which was renamed in 1889 to Lunkenheimer Brass Mfg. Co. upon its incorporation.
Happily Ever After
The firm withstood depressions, recessions, wars, and retooled after each, even making the control panel for Charles Lindbergh’s “Spirit of St. Louis,” but was bought out by Condec in 1968, then sold again in 1984. Finally in 1994 the company was sold again to Cincinnati Valve Company, which retains the Lunkenheimer Valve Company brand, the foundry, and inventory of bronze, steel, and iron valves, as well as the company’s considerable specialty catalog. The company has a worldwide presence and a well-founded reputation for delivering a high-quality, precision engineered product, while still keeping Cincinnatians working.