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Fred S. Gichner Iron Works

Fred S. Gichner Iron Works (Washington, D.C.)

Fred S. Gichner was born in Bielitz, Austria, now Bielsko-Biała, Poland. He trained in ornamental ironwork in Vienna before immigrating to Washington, D.C. in the late 1880s. In Washington, D.C., Gichner established a metalworking contracting business, Fred S. Gichner Iron Works, Inc., specializing in iron, wire, bronze, and steel work. From humble beginnings as a one-person shop, Fred S. Gichner Ironworks expanded to seventy employees in 1929. In 1930, the company incorporated. In the 1950s, Gichner Ironworks provided estimates on projects in the Dumbarton Oaks Gardens, Washington, D.C By the 1960s, Gichner Ironworks had expanded from a focus on ornamental metalwork to construction, steel manufacture, and metal fabricating.

In addition to his thriving ironwork business, Fred S. Gichner was known for his efforts to extricate Jewish friends and family members from Europe in the late 1930s and early 1940s. Fred S. Gichner died on September 15, 1956. His son, Henry became president of Gichner Ironworks and moved the operations to Beltsville, MD in 1965. Henry sold the company in 1982 to Jack Benson and Lennie Umbaugh of J.M. Benson and JMB Corp. and the company remained an active business until at least 1989. Henry Gichner died on December 29, 1994.

 

References:

“F.S. Gichner Iron Works, Inc., Washington, D.C. 1941. Iron and steel work [graphic].” Finding aid at the Library of Congress—Research and Reference Services. Archivegrid. Accessed August 18, 2014. http://beta.worldcat.org/archivegrid/collection/data/55077922

“Fred S. Gichner correspondence, 1938-1949.” Finding aid at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Archivegrid. Accessed August 18, 2014. http://beta.worldcat.org/archivegrid/collection/data/833436447

“Fred S. Gichner Iron Works collection, ca. 1900-1981.” Finding aid at the Historical Society of Washington, D.C. Archivegrid. Accessed August 18, 2014. http://beta.worldcat.org/archivegrid/collection/data/70977284

Garden Archives Correspondence.