Global Fastener News

1981 FIN – Charter Manufacturing Acquiring California Steel

March 20
00:00 2011


January 15, 1981 FIN – Charter Manufacturing Co., Mequon, Wisconsin, one of the country’s largest producers of lock washers, is moving into the ranks of the integrated steel producers with the purchase of hot metal facilities.
On January 20, Charter will finalize the purchase of the California Steel Co.’s bankrupt mini-steelworks in Chicago from Continental Illinois Bank, which holds a lien on the property. California Steel filed for Chapter Eleven of the Federal Bankruptcy Act in April 1980 and has been idle since May of last year.

Charter’s interest in the mini-steel mill is primarily centered around the 40-ton electric furnace and the continuous billet caster. There is also a 14-stand bar mill at the facilities but there are no definite plans for this equipment at present. The caster will be revamped to allow it to cast 31 billets from the present 12 ft. lengths which are not suitable for Charter’s purposes.

John Mellowes, president of Charter Mfg., told FIN that the name California Steel will be changed to Charter Electric Melting Inc., and it will be a wholly owned subsidiary of Charter Mfg.

Gene Wisniewski, who was formerly general manager of California Steel will be in charge of the operations.

Billets from Charter Electric Melting Inc. will be shipped to Charter’s 150,000 tons/year Charter Rolling rod and bar mill in Saukville, Wisconsin.

Output from Charter Electric, about 100,000 tons of billet, will not be sufficient to supply all of Charter Rolling’s present billet needs but in the future a new transformer might be added to Charter Electric to up its capacity. At Charter Rolling, Harry Nikutta, who was formerly general manager of Charter Wire, is now general manager succeeding Paul Gladston who has left the company.

Charter Rolling manufactures rod for both its own use and for outside customers in the wore and fastener fields. Late last year the company introduced its 5mm rod which is said to enable users to eliminate some drawing and heat-treating operations.

Charter Manufacturing was founded in 1936 as Charter Wire by A.W. Mellowes and C.N. Mellowes (the current chairman). The company was started as a shaped wire producing plant with lock washer wire the principal product. The company entered the lock washer business in the early 50’s.

The company has five divisions: Charter Wire, Milwaukee (cold rolled shapes and drawn wire); Milwaukee Wire Products, Milwaukee (special wire forms); Mellowes Co., Milwaukee (lock washers, cotton pins); National Lock Washer Co., North Branch, N.J. (lock washers. railroad track washers); and Charter Rolling, Saukville, Wisconsin. (hot rolled rod and bars). ©1981/2011 Fastener Industry News



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