Carley Foundry (Blaine)

The Carley Foundry is a relatively small and family owned business run out of Blaine, Minnesota. The business produces customized metal components and offers casting, milling, design, and prototyping services. The company is fairly small and is capable of creating orders for those looking for custom work, as well as larger, mass-produced work.

Created by Frank Carley, along with his wife and three children, the business was formed in 1955 out of the family’s basement. While working at the foundry, Carley had become interested in creating patterns. In 1963, the business purchased the Cheney Foundry from its owner, who was retiring. The small foundry specialized in pouring brass and aluminum.  In 1967, they grew the business yet again by building a new location in New Brighton, and relocating.

The 1970s were a prosperous decade for the company, and by 1984 they had to open up yet another location in Blaine. In 1994, the New Brighton location was shut down, and all work was moved to the Blaine location.  Currently, the company outputs 80,000 pounds annually. Unlike many other businesses in the industry, the company offers “value added” services which include engineering, pattern shop, cutting, heat treatments, welding, and design.

Unfortunately, before 1980, the use of asbestos by the steel industry, which required protective insulation for its machinery and fireproof clothing for its workers, was widespread. Before this time, the health hazards of asbestos were not widely publicized and many employees remained uninformed of the risks involved with asbestos exposure.  Asbestos is a natural mineral that forms in crystalline fibers. When the fibers are bound up in other materials, they may not necessarily become a threat. If they become free, however, they easily become airborne and inhaled into the lungs.

Once the fibers find their way into the lungs, they become lodged inside of the lining of the chest cavity. The body is incapable of removing these fibers, and they can eventually affect cell division in a way that leads to the formation of cancerous cells. The occurrence of mesothelioma is almost exclusively tied to asbestos exposure, with very few exceptions. While there is some evidence to suggest that mesothelioma might be cured if discovered early, it is rarely discovered before its advanced stages. Once symptoms of the disease become noticeable, on average victims only enjoy an eight to 14-month life expectancy.