South Pittsburg company set to expand

Reported by: Megan Wise
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Updated: 5/10/2013 7:19 pm
Lodge Manufacturing has been manufacturing cast iron products for more than a century now. The company recently recognized their employees and are set to expand.

Carolyn Millhiser, Secretary of the South Pittsburg Historic Society said, "Its fun to watch the new sand system being erected, and it looks like a big lego set that somebody is putting together down there at the plant. It's going to be very exciting when they run the first pour there." Millhiser brings a personal connection from Lodge Manufacturing. She explained how the company put in the third disamatic molding machine in the United States in the 1960's. Millhiser said, "We still have disamatics. We have replaced them at least one time. And this new disamatic will expand the capacity of the plant which we are struggling to keep up with the orders."

Millhiser said that the company made waffle irons, muffin pans, dutch ovens and irons for ironing. She stated that every house had at least two irons. One to be heated on the stove and another to iron clothes. The South Pittsburg Museum has a display of some of these items manufactured by Lodge. Millhiser explained that during the depression in the 1930's, most people didn't have the extra money to buy skillets, and they would buy a decorative piece such as a door stop that was a dog, cat or an owl. 

Millhiser said, "Lodge Manufacturing is very fortunate that there is a great deal of interest in home cooking and foods. And in 2002, they developed the process of pre season all of the casting." That's a process that Vicki Dickerson from South Pittsburg really enjoys about the skillets. Dickerson said, "I own several. My parents own several skillets. My parents still have theirs. They have been married for over 60 years. I haven't handed them down, but I purchase them."

South Pittsburg Mayor Jane Dawkins said that the company is an outstanding icon in the town. Dawkins said, "Lodge is a major employer and contributor certainly to our community. I think this expansion in modern recession has proved that they have a commitment to the future of that company, and to our community and the people here."

The estimated completion date for expansion is mid 2014.
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