Granite City, Illinois

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Granite City is a city in Madison County, Illinois, United States, part of the Greater St. Louis metropolitan area. At the 2000 census, the population was 31,301, with a total of about 67,000 in the immediate area. Officially founded in 1896, Granite City was named by the Niedringhaus brothers who established it as a steel making company town for the manufacture of kitchen utensils made to resemble granite.

Contents

History

Six Mile

The area was settled much earlier than Granite City's official founding. In the early 19th century, settlers began to farm the rich fertile grounds to the east of St. Louis. The 1830s saw the establishment of Six Mile, a farming area that occupied the area of present-day Granite City, six miles (10 km) from St. Louis. Soon after, the national road was constructed through the area and by 1865, the first railroad was built.[citation needed]

Granite ware

Granite City was founded in 1896 to be a planned company city similar to Pullman, Illinois, by German immigrant brothers Frederick G. and William Niedringhaus for their Granite ware kitchen supplies factory.

Since 1866, the brothers had been operating the St. Louis Stamping Company, an iron works company, that made kitchen utensils in St. Louis, Missouri. In the 1870s, William discovered an enamelware process in Europe whereby metal utensils could be coated with enamel to make them lighter and more resistant to oxidation. At the time most enamelware was usually just one color as the additions of any colors to the process was inefficient. On June 1, 1878, William applied for Patent 207543 to improve the efficiency whereby a pattern could be applied to enamelware while the enamel was still wet simply by placing a thin piece of paper with an oxidized pattern on top of it. The paper would fall off in the drying process and the pattern was embedded. The brothers' pattern made the utensils resemble granite. [1] The resulting product was enormously popular.

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