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The Watt Car and Wheel Company was founded in 1862 as the Joseph Watt and Son foundry. The business progressed from the molding of small cast irons and heat stoves to inventing the self-oiling coal car wheel. The company grew from a staff of the four Watt brothers to more than 135 employees by 1901. In addition to adding employees, new foundries and office buildings were erected to fit the needs of increasing trade demands.

In February 1966, the company was sold to Alfred and Arno Pass of Westphalia, Germany. The company began fabricating equipment used in the longwall mining process. In 1996, the company moved to Washington, Pa., and closed its doors in Barnesville. The village of Barnesville later bought the buildings and acres of land for one dollar.

The Watt Car and Wheel Company is one of many sites around the state receiving Historical Markers from the Ohio Bicentennial Commission’s Longaberger Legacy Initiative and the Ohio Historical Society. The Ohio Historical Marker program began in 1953 for the state’s sesquicentennial.

Tours are arranged by appointment.

Call Jean Davies: 425-1497 or Mary Sidwell: 425-2655 ext. 204.

The Watt Center for History and the Arts is a contributor to the Ohio Memory Project.

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