“Back to the foundry”, the history of the foundry in black and white spanning 90 years.

We created the “Back to the foundry” project to travel back to when Zanardi Fonderie was barely more than a village workshop in the centre of Legnago (Verona) by imagining ourselves getting into a time machine like Marty Mcfly in the famous film “Back to the future”. Since that distant year of 1931, our endless enthusiasm for entrepreneurship, research and evolution in step with current technology linked to the highly competitive material of cast iron, has never waned.
During 2021, the year marking our 90th anniversary, we decided to post a series of photos on LinkedIn to look back at stories and anecdotes about the foundry inspired by the company’s photographic archives.
We have presented them on this page to ensure that this project constitutes another small piece of our history.

‘50s Style Moulding

This iconic black and white image shows a worker employed in the moulding department of the old foundry, which in the 1950s was located in via Corta, in Legnago (Verona). The worker, nicknamed “Barone”, is posing next to the mould for the bottom of a tank for “Bario e Derivati”, a chemical company based in Castelmassa, which manufactured plants for whitening sugar. In fact, at the time, the leading sugar factories were located throughout the lower Verona area, including the one in Legnago.

No age elasticity

This is how quality control was carried out before the advent of technology! Getting two, then four, then seven men to climb onto a cast iron pipe was a very reliable test to verify the ductility of the material!

Castings and Rowers

In the 1950s, cast iron was poured by hand, “rowing” it to retain the slag on the surface of the liquid! These images were taken in Legnago in the shed, the site of Zanardi Fonderie’s operations, before the current production facility was built in Minerbe (Verona).

Old style deburring

This black and white photo takes us back to Legnago to the village workshop where the history of the foundry began. It’s the 1950s and this worker is deburring the so-called “Casinghini finned tube” by hand to ensure the fins are intact and smooth, thus avoiding any turbulence and pressure drops in the fumes.

Metamorphosis of a foundry

And lastly, here is the “metamorphosis” of the foundry which was transformed into the current Minerbe facility from a small village workshop, founded in Legnago (Verona) in 1931. The industrial site was designed in the 1960s for the production of spheroidal graphite irons, at the height of the economic boom and the growing interest in this competitive material. The 1980s heralded an important period for experimentation in #austempered ductile iron (ADI) technology, which is still our strong point.