Buffalo Forge


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Photos courtesy: Buffalo History Museum, BuffaloAH, Buffalo Rising, David Torke fixBuffalo


490 Broadway, Buffalo NY 14204
Covered the full-block of Broadway, Sycamore, Spring and Mortimer streets
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Ellicott Council District
SBL: 111.41-6-1.1
Erie County Property Info
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Across from: Sattler Theater, 459 Broadway , Public School 41


NYS Corporation and Business Entity Database

Physical Description

Multi-building manufacturing complex, including a 6 story building on Broadway.

Current Condition

Demolished in 2006. Vacant 14-acre lot spanning an entire city block.


  • 1878 - The Buffalo Forge Company was formed as a manufacturer of blacksmith’s forges
  • 1883 - The product line expanded to drilling machines
  • 1889 - The product line expanded into steam engines and pumps
    • They also produced heaters, blowers, air exhaust systems, dust collectors, and a range of metal cutting and forming equipment
  • 1900 - Buffalo Forge was incorporated with a capitalization of $500,000
  • 1902 - Buffalo Forge engineer Willis Carrier invented air conditioning at this location
  • 1902 - Geo. L. Squier Manufacturing Company of Buffalo was purchased, opening the company up to a South and Central America market.
  • 1915 - Carrier leaves to form the Carrier Engineering Corporation
  • 1941 - Control over the business changed from the Wendt family to a public stock offering.
    • A reorganization was made at that time so that The Squier Corporation, Buffalo Pumps, Inc., and the Canadian Companies became wholly owned subsidiaries of Buffalo Forge Company.
  • 1993 - Acquired by South-Carolina based Howden Group
  • 1994 - Closed and abandoned plant
  • 1997 - Buffalo Machine Tools of Lockport, New York was created from the machine tool division of Buffalo Forge.
  • 1999 - The firm changed its name to Howden Buffalo and maintains a small office on Wehrle Drive in Williamsville.

Recent Events and Actions Taken

  • 2006 - Howden demolished the plant for a vacant lot.

Other Pertinent Facts

  • "Willis (Carrier, inventor of air conditioning) and six other engineers formed the Carrier Engineering Corporation in 1915 that moved to Syracuse in the 1930's. Carrier today is headquartered in Farmington, Connecticut, USA, with approximately 45,000 employees in 172 countries." (Buffalo Rising)
  • Buffalo Forge was one of the "big three" that made blacksmith equipment in the United States. Champion and Canedy-Otto companies were the other domestic competition.


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Added 2013-04-29 • Last changed 2017-03-21