A Tradition Of Innovation
Century Electric Company was one of the “big three” electrical manufacturers based in St. Louis along with Wagner and Emerson. Electrical manufacturing was a major industry in the local economy from the advent of electricity, and St. Louis was the site of early innovation in the electric motor industry.
Century Electric carried on that local tradition of innovation by selling custom hand built motors beginning in 1900. They expanded rapidly producing a variety of electric motors and generators sold internationally. The company consistently pioneered new technologies to improve their products and were renowned for their high quality. Century's motor innovations made the development of early household appliances possible.
To facilitate ever increasing product orders, plans were drawn in the late 1920s for a dedicated foundry on the City Foundry STL site at Spring and Forest Park Avenue.
Century Foundry became one of the largest job-shop operations in the Midwest, specializing in custom made parts produced to the constantly evolving specifications of Century products and equipment. The foundry facilitated getting increasing numbers of the latest Century products out to market quickly at the high quality they were known for.
The foundry complex was recently added to the National Register of Historic Places for its significance to local Industry.
It is fitting that this complex, with a past ingrained in St. Louis innovation, will be re-imagined and build on St. Louis’ growing contemporary reputation as an innovation hub.