Goldens’ Foundry and Machine Company, a Columbus business that began in 1882 and is still run by the family that started it, announced Friday it has filed a petition under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in the Middle District of Georgia.
It will continue to operate its facilities here and in Cordele, Ga.
“We have already done some restructuring and are not planning any layoffs,” President and CEO George Boyd Sr. said
Boyd said Goldens’ employs 154 workers, including 116 in Columbus. According to the company’s Web site, it recently employed 250 and at one time in the 1980s employed about 400.
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“We believe that restructuring is the best course of action faced with the current economic realities and that it will allow us to continue to meet our customers’ casting needs,” Boyd said.
He said that Goldens’ filing ensures the company can continue to pay its employees and suppliers while maintaining uninterrupted delivery of its service to its customers.
Goldens’ provides gray and ductile iron castings to the transportation, construction, agriculture and energy markets.
“We do not sell to automobile companies,” Boyd said.
Boyd, whose sons represent the fifth generation involved in directing the firm, said his company and others like it have been hit especially hard by the sour economy. The foundry’s health depends on the health of other companies.
“For manufacturing, this has been much deeper than a normal recession,” Boyd said, adding that his business volume had been cut in half.
The company was begun by John Golden and his brother Theodore Golden. The initial plant was on the corner of 13th Street and Sixth Avenue. The plant was moved to its current site at 600 12th St. in 1890.
Goldens’ first served as a textile support house to supply battings, line shafting, hangers, ball bearings and other metal goods to the textile mills that had come to Columbus for the inexpensive water power.
Later, the company added sugar cane mills. Machinery was used to turn the liquid in sugar cane stalks into juice, which was then cooked into syrup.
During World War II, Goldens’ became a defense plant to make steering engines for Liberty ships, a mass produced transport freighter.