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DURIRON Corporation Records

Identifier: MS-251

Scope and Contents

The DURIRON Corporation Records consist of meeting minutes, general correspondence, newsletters, annual reports, advertising literature, and photographs of one of the Miami Valley’s oldest and most successful industrial companies. The bulk of the records document company operations from the late 1940s to the 1970s. The collection is arranged into three series.

Series I, Administrative Records, consists of a variety of information organized according to major subject area. General Information contains legal documents, by-laws, reports to stockholders, correspondence, and proxy statements. Annual Reports includes company reports from 1943 to 1996. The Board of Directors area contains meeting minutes 1955-1981, several reports, and general information about chairmen of the board. The Finance and Compensation area contains information on finance and compensation committees from 1947 to 1981. General Memorandum includes memoranda sent out to the company and to clients. The Newsletter area contains newsletters from 1923 to 1980 and contains interesting information about company operations. Tours and Anniversaries is a small area containing information about anniversary celebrations, open houses, and company parties. The Newspaper and Magazines area includes clippings and press releases about company events from 1942 to 1984. Finally, the last area includes Engineering Information, which includes a limited number of reports and engineering design drawings from 1923 to 1959.

Series II, Sales Records, is a large series that is organized into major subject areas. The first subject area, Advertising Literature, is probably the most interesting area of the series. It contains bound and unbound bulletins and advertising literature from 1914 to 1994. This area thoroughly documents the products produced and sold by the company. The second major area is Application Manuals. This area, which encompasses material from 1947 to 1980, contains information on the DURIRON products used in industry. The next major area, Price Lists, contains the cost of DURIRON products from 1948 to 1975. The fourth major area, Sales Meetings, contains information on sales meetings from 1947 to 1970. The next areas, which are small, contain information on Radio and TV Advertising from the 1970s, Sales Inquiries from the 1950s and early 1960s, Other Applications of DURIRON products in the 1960s, information on Associated DURIRON Divisions, such as Enzinger and Pressure Products, and information on Magazine and Direct Mail requests from the 1980s. Another large area of this series is Advertising Reprints, which contains copies of advertising that appeared in various newspapers and magazines from 1915 to 1974. The last two areas of the series includes Working Files from the 1950s and Advertising Reprint Scrapbooks from 1917 to 1951.

Series III, Photographs and Negatives, the largest of the three series in the collection, is a collection of photographs and negatives documenting company, buildings, products, and people. The photographs document the history of the company from its beginning to the 1970s. Unfortunately, many of the photographs are undated and people unidentified. However, there are many photographs of the products and parts produced by the company. Of particular note is an old catalog from 1918.


  • Creation: 1912-1996


Restrictions on Access

There are no donor-imposed restrictions on accessing material in this collection; however, due to preservation concerns, only reference copies of original audio and video materials can be accessed in the reading room. Items without reference copies can be digitized at the request of a patron for the cost of creating a digital copy. Please provide us at least two weeks advance notice if you would like to request an audio or video reference copy. Call (937) 775-2092 or email us at Use of digitized content is subject to conditions governing use.

This collection (or parts of this collection) is stored off site. Please provide us at least two days advance notice if you would like to research this collection. Call (937) 775-2092 or e-mail us at

Restrictions on Use

Copyright restrictions may apply. Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.

Historical Note

The DURIRON Company was founded in 1912 by a Dayton foundry man, Pierce D. Schenk, and two associates, J. Richman Pitman, a DuPont explosives production engineer and William F. Hall, a New York Financier. The company derives its name from a high silicon cast iron alloy, DURIRON, which rapidly became an industry standard for handling extremely corrosive materials. DURIRON “denitrating towers” were in high demand during the First World War for safe handling of hot mixtures of Nitric and Sulfuric acids during the manufacturing of explosives. As a result of the war the company expanded tenfold, increasing its work force from 150 to 1500.

During the 1920s and 30s, DURIRON faced a major readjustment period since “denitrating towers” used in the war effort were no longer in demand. The readjustment included the development of a line of more “off the shelf” DURIRON pumps and valves for use in the broad chemical process industries. The breadth of alloys in which pumps and valves were offered was also greatly expanded to include a variety of nickel based alloys, one of which, Durimet-20 (a joint development and patent of Ohio State and DURIRON), was to become a world standard for handling certain difficult chemicals. The redirection of the company would begin to reap great returns in the 1940s as DURIRON’s products became more widely accepted. During World War II, two thirds of DURIRON’s production was devoted to providing pumps and valves for production of Plutonium and Uranium for the Manhattan Project which developed the atomic bomb. The company won the prestigious Army/Navy “E” award for these efforts. DURIRON became a publicly traded company in 1946.

Subsequent to World War II, DURIRON grew consistently in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, through product innovation and technical sales force expansion to serve the fast growing chemical process industries throughout the U.S., Canada and, in the later of those years, in Europe as well. New products included the first use of Teflon® as a sealing substance in a patented special alloy non-lubricated plug valve that quickly acquired a dominant position in the chemical valve business. A new heavy duty chemical pump with a patented reverse vane impeller did the same in the chemical pump business. The first all-Teflon lined valve and pump were also successfully introduced. As a result, revenues grew from $5 million in 1950 to $125 million in 1979.

In spite of a decline in revenues in the first years of the 1980s, the company grew from $125 million in 1970 to $605 million in 1996, largely through a number of strategic acquisitions that expanded the line of complimentary products available for sale to the chemical process industries. The larger of these acquisitions included Valtek in Springville, Utah, a provider of flow control valves for heavy duty services, and Durametallic Corporation in Kalamazoo, Michigan, which offers mechanical seals for pumps and other rotating equipment. By 1997 the company employed a total of 6,000 people in locations throughout the world and was a worldwide leader in engineered valves, pumps, control valves, and mechanical seals for the broad chemical process industries.

The 85 year old DURIRON Corporation lost its name and identity as a Dayton company in July 1997 when Flowserve Corporation was formed by the merger of the $605 million revenue DURIRON and the $540 million revenue BW/IP of Long Beach, California, a producer of pumps and mechanical seals for the petroleum, power, and water industries. The new corporation headquarters is in Dallas, Texas and is now (mid-2002) a $2.5 billion revenue company. The only remaining Dayton activities include the Findlay Street foundry (which was the original operation in 1912), a plastics operation in Springboro, and the worldwide pump engineering staff headquarters office on Monument Avenue.


77.5 linear feet

6.98 Gigabytes (4 digital audio *.wav files)

Language of Materials



The DURIRON Corporation was founded in 1912 by Dayton foundry man, Pierce D. Schenk, and two associates, J. Richman Pitman, a DuPont explosives production engineer, and William F. Hall, a New York Financier. The company derives its name from a high silicon cast iron alloy, DURIRON, which rapidly became an industry standard for handling extremely corrosive materials. Their records consist of administrative records, sales records, manuals, newsletters, photographs, negatives, and multimedia.


The collection is arranged in three series:

Series I:
Administrative Records, 1912-1996
Series II:
Sales Records, 1914-1990
Series III:
Photographs and Negatives, 1918-1987

Other Finding Aid

The finding aid is available on the Special Collections & Archives, Wright State University Libraries website at It is also available in the OhioLINK Finding Aid Repository at

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The DURIRON Corporation Records were donated to Special Collections and Archives by the DURIRON Corporation in March 1994.

Existence and Location of Copies

Microfilm copies of the bound copies of the advertising literature found in Boxes 11 through 13 are available for viewing.

Related Materials

MS-148, Dayton Malleable Iron Company Records MS-149, O.S. Kelly Company Records MS-150, James Leffel and Company Records MS-199, Dayco Corporation Historical Collection MS-202, Dayton Manufacturing Company Records MS-255, Reynolds and Reynolds Company Records MS-447, Ermal C. Fraze, Dayton Reliable Tool Company Records

Separated Materials

Beringer, S. M. History of Dayton Industries. 1955. Call No. F499.D2 B36


Nitrate negatives found in the collection were scanned and destroyed. Print copies of the nitrate negatives can be found in Boxes 31 and 31A.

Processing Information

The collection was originally processed by Allen Rowland and Scott A. Sanders in 1994. In 2012, Jeremy Katz integrated additions into the collection and revised the finding aid according to DACS. In 2015, Leigh McCormick integrated further additions and reorganized parts of the collection. John Armstrong revised the organization in 2016 and updated the Finding Aid format in 2016.

Guide to the DURIRON Corporation Records (MS-251)
Allen Rowland & Scott A. Sanders (1994). Jeremy Katz (2012). Leigh McCormick (2015). John Armstrong (2016)
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Revision Statements

  • 2012: Jeremy Katz integrated additions into the collection and revised the finding aid according to DACS
  • 2015: Leigh McCormick integrated further additions and reorganized parts of the collection.
  • 2016: John Armstrong revised the organization and updated the Finding Aid.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

Special Collections and Archives
3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy
Dayton OH 45435-0001 USA