Key Boiler

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Key Boiler Company


The Key Boiler Company on 2700 McCasland Avenue (Alta Sita) played a prominent role in providing the American public with its supply of gasoline. Though the company had no process of its own, and was in no way connected with the oil refining business, it played an important part in making gasoline available.

The Key Company provided specially designed fittings for the furnaces used in the refining of crude oil into gasoline. The Key Company provided equipment that withstood the tremendous heat and pressure needed in the manufacturing process. Employing some 400 workers, the company was incorporated in 1916 as the Key Boiler Equipment Company, for the production of certain specialties in the power plant field. However, it was soon found that certain of its patented products were applicable to the process of oil refining then en vogue, and thus, since 1921, its major activities were in the latter field.

250-keyboiler.tif (60863 bytes) Practically all equipment for such use was made to meet the specific needs of the individual refineries. Nearly all refinery equipment was assembled at the destination site.

(Left - The Key Boiler Company)

In addition to the chemical and physical labs, the company had drafting and engineering rooms, a steel foundry, and a machine shop. The steel foundry, though not extremely large, was one of the world's finest. It was designed for the express purpose of producing castings which could endure the tremendous pressure and heat requirements of refineries. Eighteen different kinds of steel were produced to meet the various needs of the individual refiners.

Key Company equipment was in use in every country of the globe where gasoline was made. Included among these were Russia, Persia, Japan, Germany, Rumania, the United States and others. The company once shipped equipment to France for the purpose of making gasoline from coal.

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Fred Key was the Vice President and General Manager in 1930. In 1935 the company maintained seven branch offices, and its officers were R- L. Dutton, President; G. A. Miller and I. I. Krabbe, Vice Presidents; R. A. Scober, Secretary-Treasurer and W. G. Wilkins, Works Manager. In 1940 the general manager was Fred Riggan who resided at 35 Kingston Drive.




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