The Empire Foundry Company was originally founded in 1903 as the Aetna Foundry, and in 1904 the company changed its name to Empire Foundry and moved to a leased site at Third and Washington Streets. 1 After selling its leasehold interest in that site to the Western Pacific Railroad for the Western Pacific Depot in 1908, the company moved to a new site at 429 3rd Street. 1,2 In 1955, the company relocated to the former site of California Foundries, Inc. on 19th Avenue (now 1950 Embarcadero). 3 The company went bankrupt  in 1972. 4


The company is most known for its manhole covers. When the company went bankrupt, the list of assets for auction included "approximately 1500 manhole covers." 3

Links and References

  1. Oakland Tribune ad celebrating Oakland's centennial, May 1, 1952
  2. W.P. Depot Site is Bought Oakland Tribune October 12, 1908
  3. Legal Notice approving lease between Port of Oakland and Empire Foundry Company Oakland Tribune June 24, 1955
  4. Public Auction Notice Oakland Tribune November 19, 1972