The Oliver Chilled Cast-Iron Plow - 2008
Dedication Year: 2008
Location: Oliver Plow Works, 918 Oliver Plow
Court, South Bend, IN
Plaque Wording: On
June 30, 1857, James Oliver filed a patent application for chilling
the wear face of cast-iron moldboard plows. While pouring
molten cast iron in sand molds he circulated hot water through
chillers to regulate the rate of cooling. Oliver's control of raw
material content and cooling produced moldboards with a very hard
surface and a softer, tough inner core for strength.
Their fine textured wearing faces of uniform hardness maintained a
mirror polish and resisted rust. Sticky soils scoured freely on
Oliver's plows, improving farmers' productivity. By 1878,
more than 170,000 Oliver chilled moldboard plows were being used
around the world. The Oliver Chilled Plow Works was
constructed on this site in South Bend, IN, in January 1876.
It became one of the world's largest plow manufacturing plants,
housing foundry, forge shop, engineering, woodworking, assembly,
warehousing, and shipping facilities. Plows and tillage
implements were manufactured from 1876 to 1985.