ebook  History of Watertown, Wisconsin


Washington Cutlery Co


Village Blacksmith





New location for Fisher Barton


Fisher Barton Technology Center


201 Frederick


700 S. Water Street


click to enlarge




W. C. Co. stands for "Washington Cutlery Co.," which became Village Blacksmith, a firm that made cutlery, farm knives and tools from the early 1900s through the 1960s in Watertown. 




Monday, representatives of the Washington Cutlery Company were here and a conference held with the executive committee of the advancement association consisting of Mayor Wertheimer, Fred Keck, Eugene Meyer, Henry Mulberger, W. H. Woodard, S. A. Hoffman and Ferd. Schmutzler.


The committee agreed that in case the company moved its factory from Milwaukee to this city to raise as a bonus the sum of $3000 which was satisfactory, and work will be begun at an early day. On Milwaukee street, will be erected a building, 50 x 150 feet, part of which will be one story high and part two stories high.


The company at the present time employs 30 men and will increase its force when its new building is ready for occupancy. Twenty of the employees are expert workmen who will move to this city with their families who will need homes in which to live and every available home will be taken.



Work is progressing rapidly on the construction of the plant for the Washington Cutlery company on South River Street.  Although work was started only a week ago on the superstructure, the frame work is well under way and the work is being pushed by Contractor L. J. Larson of Milwaukee, who is on the ground giving the work his personal supervision.  The plans for the new factory building were drawn up by O. C. Uehling of Milwaukee.  The building is to be 60x144 feet, the front end and main portion, 60x36 feet to be two stories.  Contractor Larson stated yesterday that according to the terms of his contracts the building is to be completed by Oct. 1st, but he assured a representative of the Leader that his labors would end before that time . . . The factory, it is expected, will begin operations at least by the 15th of October and will give steady employment at the start of about sixty employees, which number will be augmented from time to time, as the demands of the business will warrant.




The news comes from Milwaukee that the gentlemen behind the Washington-Cutlery Company, which is soon to be removed to Watertown, are actively engaged in drawing plans for their new factory building on Water Street.  The members of the firm are expected here in a few days to start building operations.




The wheels of another industry in Watertown will begin their activity today and contribute to the industrial progress that has been the slogan in this city for the past few years.


Reference is made to the new plant of the Washington Cutlery company, the building for which was recently completed and which is now equipped with the necessary machinery for carrying on the manufacturing business.  A representative of the Leader paid a visit to the plant yesterday and was agreeably surprised as a result of his observations and believes that there is a great future in store for the concern ... a trial run of the machinery will be made today and the factory will start in a small way, increasing throughout the week and it is expected that by the first of [next] week, everything will be running full blast.  By tonight five of the ten grinding stones will be ready for action and . . . four trip-hammers ready to pound away . . .




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09 15       1908, U.S. Patent, Villiage Blacksmith, Hugo Volkmann


















03 28       THE TWO ANVIL METHOD manufacturing process

Before we made calculations, we were astounded to have it told us that it would take the Washington Cutlery Company of this city about 50 years to make one of their High-Grade, Hand-Wrought, VILLAGE BLACKSMITH Butcher Knives for each family in the United States.


The company, on account of the home sound of their trade mark-throughout the United States, are familiarly known as the VILLAGE BLACKSMITH FOLKS.


Their shop is not remarkable for its large size, these people in fact taking pride in their limited production of about 150 dozen per day, preferring, as they say, to make goods for the exacting public, and wanting to retain the feeling that they had in the starting of their business, with two anvils, that the goods would always be so good that they could sell them to some particular friend, whom they didn't want to disappoint.


The TWO ANVIL METHOD, as it is referred to, is still followed out in its essential processes.  In the beginning a workman took out a bar of steel and returned the finished knives, but now with its half a hundred workmen, the business has been systematized so that the work is passed on from one workman to another, each one, who has become proficient in one special operation, thereby enabling the company to have a much more uniform product as to style and finish, than was formerly the case, and has also enabled them to manufacture their goods so as to be able to sell them within the reach of more people.


We were very much surprised to see their nicely finished Hand Wrought Knives that had been ground on the old time sandstone, tempered by the old oven method, and whetted to a keen useable edge, that could be sold as low as 50 cents for a nice house knife.


Having visited large automatic producing eastern knife factories, we were very much struck by the thoroughness and the care given the goods, going through the VILLAGE BLACSMITH shop.


We were shown through the various rooms by Mr. Hugo Volekmann, one of the founders of the business, and by the way, this family has lived here since 1850, and we are pleased to note from his conversation, that the company's customers were scattered throughout the United States, and that letters from interested customers, addressed to "The VILLAGE BLACKSMITH" promised the necessity of larger output soon.      WGazette







Last week Tuesday thirty-five employees of the Cutlery Co. enjoyed a smoker and luncheon in the new power building at the plant.  Speeches were made by J. B. Radford and Otto Steinagel, and quartette singing was rendered by Emil Rehbaum, Bert Hadley, Henry Lueck and Abe McKinney.   WG



03 31       1914, U.S. Patent, Villiage Blacksmith, Hugo Volkmann




While driving a Ford car on the Plank Road about three miles west of this city last Thursday afternoon Hugo Volkmann, secretary and treasurer of the   ., had one of his legs badly torn by his machine turning turtle.  Edward Maldaner was in the machine with him at the time, but escaped injury.  The machine turned a complete somersault, the four wheels thereof pointing heavenward, as the two men crawled from under the machine.  They certainly had a miraculous escape.  Farmers who witnessed the accident rushed to the scene and were greatly surprised that a more serious accident was not the result of the tipover.  A passing autoist brought Messrs. Volkmann and Maldaner to the city, and employees of a local garage brought the Ford to the city.  It was not very badly damaged.       WG



   Jefferson County WI and its People


Prominent among the industrial concerns of Watertown is the Washington Cutlery Company, which was incorporated in 1906 with a capital of thirteen thousand.


The company manufactures the "Village Blacksmith" brand of butcher knives, cleavers, tools, corn knives, sickles, cold chisels, screw drivers, punches, etc., and their products are sold principally in the United States.


They furnish employment to from fifty to sixty hands, fifty per cent of whom are skilled workmen. Their plant has a floor space of sixteen thousand square feet and is supplied with the latest equipment, being remodeled, enlarged and new machinery being installed in 1917.


The equipment now includes automatic grinding machines, forges burning fuel oil, oil tempering machines, punch presses and trip hammers, all of the latest design and the best to be found in the market.


The business has grown rapidly and the plant is now behind in its orders.


The officers of the company are Gustave H. Lehrkind, president and sales manager; Charles Richenbaum, vice president; and Hugo E. Volckmann, secretary, treasurer and manager. They are all men of long experience in metal manufacturing and their plant is one of Watertown's prized assets.




   Watertown High School Orbit



Noon Hour at Village Blacksmith

click to enlarge


The Village Blacksmith Folks have been established over twenty-five years and up to twelve years ago were located at Milwaukee. The shops were removed to Watertown because of the superior advantages of this city, and the energetic solicitation of the Watertown Advancement Association.  From time to time additions have been built, and it is planned to develop the plant still farther, when normal and stabilized business conditions warrant it.


Since its establishment, no changes have taken place in the ownership or officers of this company, who are: G. H. Lehrkind, President; H. E. Volkmann, Secretary and Treasurer, and Charles Reichenbaum, Vice-President.


In the early years, only a limited line of Household Knives was made. The output at this time was only ten to fifteen dozen per day. The knives were sold to the retail stores in Wisconsin.


The product now consists of Knives, Cleavers, Grass Hooks, Corn and Hedge Knives, Screw Drivers, Chisels, Punches, Draw Shaves, and other tools. All of these are high quality goods, and the production reaches some 700,000 pieces annually, which are sold in more than 3,000 hardware stores, as well as in Restaurant and Butcher Supply, Auto Supply, and in Seed and Implement Houses throughout the United States.


Jobbers take care of the major portion of the distribution under the trademark: “The Village Blacksmith Folks.”


The goods which are listed and illustrated in a large number of catalogues are estimated as follows:


120,000 in Hardware Lines.

  10,000 in Butcher and Restaurant Supply Lines.

  25,000 in Auto Supply Lines.

200,000 in Seed and Implement Supply Lines.


The company maintains a western selling and distributing branch at 731 Market Street, San Francisco, as well as a local agent at Chicago.



Envelope ad cover    

Envelope ad cover  




A knife made in Watertown was recently picked up on a battlefield in France.  It went the rounds of the State Capitol at Madison on Thursday when Superintendent of Public Property, M. F. Blumenfeld exhibited it.  The knife was sent to Mr. Blumenfeld with a section of a German airplane wing which was found on the same field and the mark on the knife read, "Made by the Village Blacksmith, Watertown, Wisconsin."





Uncertain date





           WDTimes profile of the company

For centuries past, Toledo, Spain, and Damascus, Syria have been noted for the excellent quality of their steel implements and the careful workmanship which went into the swords and blades turned out in their shops.


Watertown, too, has a concern that has achieved similar renown.  It is the cutlery plant which for many years was known as the Village Blacksmith Folks, but which now goes by the name of Village Blacksmith Co.  It is housed in a rambling plant which sprawls on the west shores of Rock river.


The Village Blacksmith Co. has operated in Watertown since 1907.  At that time the old Watertown Advancement Association induced the concern to move from Milwaukee to Watertown.  The firm had been operating in Milwaukee from the time of its founding in 1894.  The firm then was known as Lehrkind, Davil Co., but two years after the organization was launched it became the Washington Cutlery Co., using the brand, “Village Blacksmith” on its products.  The company makes cutlery of all kinds, including garden tools.


Hand-Wrought Products


The term “Village Blacksmith” was selected because it was felt to be a fitting description of the forged, hand-wrought products of the concern.  From 1907 to 1920 the factory operated under the title Washington Cutlery; then the corporate name was changed to Village Blacksmith Folks, retaining the blacksmith brand.


The factory is unique in that newer methods of manufacture have been introduced only when the quality of the product was not impaired thereby.  The company never has gone in for hurried or stepped up production, but has maintained a policy of careful work down to the most minute detail.


Today its products are sold all over America.  They include professional and household cutlery and cleavers.  Thousands of the latter were manufactured during the war for the quartermaster corps of the Army.


Officers:  Roy M. Henry, president; Henry Winogrond, vice president and treasurer; and Joseph N. Grinnell, secretary.



Village Blacksmith Co. to rebuild

after fire rakes plant on 07 25 1952


07 26       FIRE RAKES PLANT

Officials of the Village Blacksmith Company, manufacturers of cutlery and garden tools, announced here today they plan to rebuild as soon as possible the forge unit of their plant which was swept by a $50,000 fire last night.  They said 90 men are employed at the plant.  They hope to be in full operation at the earliest possible time.


The fire, which broke out sometime before 9:30 p.m., was reported by telephone to the City Hall by Mrs. Joseph Stacy, 615 South Washington Street who told the Police Department that the building was on fire, that there was a lot of noise in the place and she could “hear” the fire.  The message was relayed to the Fire Department immediately and all available equipment was sent to the plant on Frederick Street, near the banks of Rock River.  Firemen fought the blaze until 2:30 a.m.  It was the worst fire in the city since the $50,000 Savoy theatre building blaze on June 6, 1950.


Blast Suspected


The fire is believed to have started in a minor heating unit of some of the equipment in the forge shop.  The blaze set off the automatic sprinkler system.  The forge shop is located in the newest part of the plant, erected some years ago directly to the rear of the company offices.  A blast of some kind is suspected.


Fire Chief Al Linde put in a call for help to Oconomowoc, Ixonia and Lebanon Fire Department, all of which responded with one truck each.


The fire reddened the sky and it could be seen for miles.  The smell of smoke filled the air over the city and it was noticeable as far as three miles away near the northeastern limits of the city.


The fire attracted one of the largest crowds at any here in years.  Not only did Watertown residents rush to the spot, but people from surrounding farm areas and nearby localities were attracted by the blaze.  There were many people from Oconomowoc in the crowds that milled about.


Chief Linde said he wanted to commend the Police Department for the way it handled the crowd.  The crowds were kept pretty well back on the whole so as not to interfere too much with the fire fighters.  All available police helpers were called out and all volunteer firemen also were on hand to augment the regular department members.


Fireman Injured


On fire fighter, Francis Pirkel, 38, was injured.  He suffered severe hand lacerations.  He lives at 602 Lafayette Street.


The estimate of damage was made by Chief Linde who said it was entirely unofficial.  Officers of the company would place no definite estimate on the possible loss, but said it will be heavy.  However, they announced that several large presses used in the forge department appeared undamaged and Fire Department officials said they believed the ovens also escaped major damage.


Damage to much of the plant is great.  There was much damage by water and smoke, in addition to the actual blaze damage.  Firemen said that the fire would have been a major disaster if the blaze had reached the paint and chemical supplies used in the plant.


No One on Duty


There was no one working in the place at the time of the fire.  It has no regular night watchman but is served by the Merchant Police.  Everything appeared in order when the last check was made. The fire -probably started suddenly, if it was a blast of any kind that set it off, as appears likely.


The company was founded in Milwaukee in the 1890’s and operated there for some 12 or 15 years before it relocated, moving to Watertown about 1908.  It was brought here largely through the efforts of the Watertown Advancement Association, which was then active in the city’s industrial development.


In its early years the company made a product known as Household Knives.  The output in the early years was only ten to 15 dozen per day.  The knives were sold to retail stores in Wisconsin.


The company, as it expanded, added knives of all kinds to its products.  Clevers, grass hooks, corn and hedge knives, screw drivers, chisels, punches, shaves and other tools were among products that were manufactured at various times.


In recent years the company has turned out a widely known line of fine cutlery and garden tools.


By 1921 the company was turning out between 700,000 and 1,000,000 individual pieces annually.  Its products were sold by more than 3,000 hardware stores as well as in restaurant and butcher supply stores throughout the United States.


In addition to its present products, the company also does some small contract order work and it has also been doing some work under defense contracts.


During its years in Watertown two of the men here who played a large part in developing the concern were the late G. H. Lehrkind, who was for many years its president, and the late H. E. Volkmann, its secretary and treasurer.  The late Charles Reichenbaum of Milwaukee was for many years its vice president.


Current officers of the company are R. M. Henry, president; Joseph Roti, vice president; Joseph Calderini, secretary.


For many years the concern was known as the Village Blacksmith Folks, but in recent years the name was changed to the Village Blacksmith Company.




Demolition and salvage work at the fire-swept plant of the Village Blacksmith Company will begin tomorrow or Wednesday, C. M. Towne of the company told the Times this morning.  He said an insurance check is still being made and when that is completed work on clearing away the debris and paving the way for rebuilding and repairs will be undertaken.  Mr. Towne said the plant carried full insurance.




Officers and delegates were elected this week in Watertown by Machinists Local No. 1367 of the International Association of Machinists, AFL, it was announced today. The local represents the Parts Engineering Co., the Village Blacksmith Co., the Otto Biefeld Co., the Syncromatic Corp., the Kusel Dairy Equipment Co., and the Brandt Automatic Cashier Co., all of this city. The following officers were re-elected: Kurt Rex, president; Eric Loeffler, vice president; George Havlicek, treasurer; Fred Harder, financial secretary; Roland Schauer, recording secretary; and Melvin Gruenewald, sentinel.   WDT



03 17       50th ANNIVERSARY

The Village Blacksmith Company this year is observing the 50th anniversary of operation in Watertown, Henry Winogrond, head of the firm, told the Rotary Club at its noonday luncheon. The firm actually was established 62 years ago, he said. It was founded in Milwaukee as the Washington Cutlery Company. The plant moved its operations to Watertown 50 years ago. Mr. Winogrond commented on the changes in buying habits and living standards of the American people which has resulted in changes in items manufactured by the firm since World War II. Professional cutlery has become an important item at the plant. This line of knives and other cutting equipment is sold to meat packing houses, hotels and restaurants, and in recent years this phase of the business has become more and more important. More people eating out, he said, is to a large extent responsible for the growth of this phase of the business.




A Watertown merchant and a Watertown manufacturer have combined talents to provide the community with an example of products “Made in Watertown - Sold in Watertown.”  The result is currently on display at 220 South First Street, the Hutson-Braun Lumber Co.  It is here that the Hutson-Braun Lumber Co. has designed a complete display window for the showing of Village Blacksmith's new line of “Galaxy Letter Boxes.”  Local residents had a preview of these residential mail boxes last spring at the Jaycee Industrial Fair at the National Guard Armory.  Since that time they have been acclaimed as the most beautiful line of home mail boxes produced anywhere in the nation.   WDT




Henry Winogrond, vice president and general manager of the Village Blacksmith Corporation, gave a report and some observations on a recent business trip to Japan and other countries in Asia at this week’s meeting of the Watertown Rotary Club, held at the Green Bowl.  Japan, he said, is moving ahead extremely rapidly.  “The are working hard and are way past the copying stage,” he stated.  He said he commented to people in Japan on the rapid changes, and the great progress.  They answered by saying that for 20 years progress had not been slow because the United States had held an umbrella over them.




Plans to transfer the operations of the Village Blacksmith Division of McGraw-Edison Company from Watertown to Jefferson City, Mo., were announced by company officials in Elgin, IL., home of the parent firm.


The Watertown plant, which employs approximately 150 persons, is located at 201 Frederick Street and has a plant located at 1012 South Third Street.


McGraw-Edison officials said the move was dictated by the changing character of the lawn and garden tool market where the emphasis is now on electrical products.

Jefferson City, Mo., is McGraw Company’s major manufacturing facility for electrical power tools of all kinds. The company also has five other electrical products plants in close proximity to Jefferson City.


The transfer of the Village Blacksmith operations will take place during the late summer and early autumn, officials said. Some of the present personnel will be offered positions with the firm in

its new location.


Henry Winogrond, an official with the firm said the firm, which is nearly 70 years old, has seen a gradual change in its product lines over the years. He said much more of the equipment in its lines are being made to operate with electricity and the number of tools operating without electricity is becoming less and as a result the local business will be moved to Jefferson City, Mo., where the electrical units are manufactured.




Dick Davis, a Los Angeles businessman who has resurrected the Village Blacksmith name, owns a firm called SMS Industries.  Some years ago Village Blacksmith was sold to McGraw Edison and later it was sold to Shopsmith, an Ohio firm.  Then about five years ago, Davis and his associates purchased the Village Blacksmith name and began manufacturing and marketing some of the original Village products under the Village name.


The firm has been marketing basically in the west coast area, making hedge shears and basic garden tools. More recently the firm expanded into the agricultural field, specializing in tools for vineyards and orchards.


Davis said business has been good, but has really taken off with the firm’s newest product.  Originally it was called a “landscaper’s blade” which was designed to cut off tap roots from bushes and shrubs.  The bad news is that almost no one uses it for that purpose, but the good news is that it’s used for everything else imaginable.  “The response has been incredible.  Some people say it’s the best ice scraper on the market.  Others use it as a paint scraper, and some use it to remove asphalt.”


WDTimes of 03 24 1990.  “In Times Square / Village Blacksmith Recalled.”  In Village Blacksmith collection



08 08       PHILIP A. PARMLEY

Although Philip A. Parmley will take over as president of Fisher-Barton Inc. this month, succeeding Richard Wilkey in that position, no major changes in leadership are expected.  Parmley, currently vice president of manufacturing functions, has been with Fisher-Barton since its beginnings in 1973, so his role with the firm has been a continuous one.  And Wilkey will continue his ownership role, although he will phase out his day-to-day involvement.  Given the firm’s success, a shake-up certainly isn’t warranted.  Parmley said business at the company is as good as it ever has been during his 17 years at Fisher-Barton.  “I can’t recall a time when we’ve ever been caught up,” he said.  “We have a half-million pounds (of metal) to do this month and we’ll have to push to do it.”   WDT




Local homeowners sweating behind their lawn mowers should feel a sense of civic pride when cutting the lush lawns produced by recent rains.  Chances are the grass is being cut by a lawn mower blade made in Watertown.  Forging ahead with new ideas has kept Fisher-Barton Inc. of Watertown heading up the sales charts to become the largest manufacturer of carbon steel lawn mower blades in the world.  The recent addition of a new press and a new plant will help the company keep its lofty status on top of two other companies which are its only other major competitors.  Fisher-Barton makes too many blades to count by number -- output is measured in pounds.  The company has orders for a record 600,000 pounds of steel blades to make in July which is usually a slow month.  Business used to be so slow in July that the company shut down for two weeks.  Now it must push to keep up with orders.  Most of the thousands of pounds of residential and commercial blades ranging 10 to 33 inches in size have already left the plant in time for the summer grass-growing season.  The company has outgrown its 35,000-square-foot plant at 201 Frederick St. and added a new plant on eight acres off South Twelfth Street which houses a new punch press capable of 1,000 tons of pressure.  A large part of the company's growth over the last 20 years is credited to Philip A. Parmley, 63, who was recently promoted from president to chairman.  Parmley has seen the company grow from a small, rented shop with used equipment to one with two plants and 170 employees.   WDT




   Fire at Fisher-Barton, portion of the former Village Blacksmith building.



Fisher Barton Blades, part of The Fisher Barton Group, announces the relocation of their Watertown, Wisconsin lawn mower blade operation and global headquarters, into a larger modern 90,000 square foot facility located adjacent to the Watertown airport.


The new facility doubles manufacturing space to accommodating the company’s continued growth and allows Fisher Barton Blades to provide even more value to the turf care and lawn & garden equipment OEMs it serves, with expanded product packaging and direct order fulfillment services.


“The former Fisher Barton Blades manufacturing plant had some areas that were more than 90 years old,” said Shane Bonner, Fisher Barton Blades president. “The plant grew with the company over the years, requiring multiple additions that resulted in a disjointed and inefficient floor plan. The facility just did not lend itself to modern manufacturing methodologies such as cellular manufacturing and in-line flow. These challenges, coupled with our OEM customer’s requests to assist with order fulfillment and distribution, motivated us to consider other locations. We were very pleased to find an existing building located in Watertown, just two miles from the former facility.”


The decision to remain in Watertown reaffirms Fisher Barton Blades’ four-decade commitment to the community and retains 65 family-sustaining jobs.


Fisher Barton Blades, the world’s largest producer of lawn mower blades and part of The Fisher Barton Group, has been producing high quality blades and wear components for the turf care and lawn & garden equipment industry’s leading OEMs for over 40 years.  In addition to this manufacturing facility and global headquarters in Watertown, they also have a second 94,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Fountain Inn, South Carolina.





click to enlarge


Fisher Barton has renovated its facility at 201 Frederick St. for its new state of the arts technology center to focus on innovation and process development.


Having once housed the Village Blacksmith, Fisher Barton has taken many precautions to preserve the history of the building while adding the center adjacent to the shipping and receiving areas.  It blends old with new.  Trying to preserve as much as possible of the old character of the building created a lot of challenges for construction and design.  The time and effort in preserving the building is evident, with the building’s original bricks aligning rooms and old massive beams supporting the very spacious office and meeting rooms.   One of the beams from the middle of the building was moved but saved and counter tops were made out of it.    WDTimes article 


The center is Fisher Barton's third location in Watertown.  For more than four decades, Fisher Barton has operated in Wisconsin, beginning with a 2,400-square-foot rented building in Oconomowoc in 1973.  The company outgrew that building a year later, and relocated to the former Village Blacksmith location on Frederick Street in Watertown.  It was from this location that Fisher Barton Blades operated for the next 40 years.  In 2013, Fisher Barton Blades moved from Frederick Street to Air Park Drive, and in doing so, doubled its manufacturing space.  Then, late last year, the company began renovations for the new technology center.  The center currently has 12 employees.



Fisher Barton and Richard and Susan Wilkey, founders, were awarded the Watertown Economic Development Corporation Community Impact Award for the company's work in revitalizing its facility on South Water Street into a state of the art Technology Center and their commitment to Watertown.   WDTimes article  




Fisher Barton announced Wednesday the appointment of Igor Zelenovskiy to the role of group president as of Sept. 6.  As group president, Zelenovskiy will have responsibility for all of the company’s operating units worldwide.  He will build on the solid foundation and momentum achieved by the Fisher Barton team under former Group President Greg Wilkey’s leadership and will be responsible for driving Fisher Barton’s future growth initiatives.  Zelenovskiy joined Fisher Barton in 2014 as president of the Fisher Barton Technology Center here in Watertown.  During his tenure with the company, he successfully helped establish the state-of-the-art technology center — a long-term vision for the Fisher Barton Group. Under his leadership, the company engaged in the development of new products and processes to accelerate Fisher Barton’s growth.


An accomplished leader, Zelenovskiy has a track record of working with high-growth companies.  Prior to joining Fisher Barton, he served in various leadership positions with Rexnord Corp., Joy Global and Rockwell Automation.  In addition to his technical experience, Zelenovskiy has extensive experience in product marketing and sales.


Zelenovskiy earned a Master of Science degree in manufacturing engineering management from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a Bachelor of Science degree in electromechanical engineering from Donetsk State Polytechnic University, Ukraine.




Milwaukee Journal Sentinel online article  




Fisher Barton awards bonus payment Fisher Barton, a leading metallurgical science company that develops high wear and cutting components, announced a bonus award payment for all US-based employees.


The bonus payment of $1,250 will be distributed in mid March and represents the company’s gratitude for the employee support and commitment to serving customers during the recent pandemic and time of disruptive business conditions.


Fisher Barton based in Watertown, is a metallurgical science innovation partner for high wear and cutting components.  Its expertise stems from its employees who understand the behavior of material and the application of proprietary heat treating and thermal spray solutions that reimagine a component’s lifespan beyond the core manufacturing capabilities of stamping, bending, forming, cutting, welding, machining and casting.  The company has eight locations in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Vietnam that manufacture innovate blades and turf care components, bronze motion control products, industrial knives and various other wear components.



WATERTOWN, WI <> Fisher Barton a metallurgical science innovation company, releases its Multi-Disc Tension Brake System at the 2021 Utility Expo in Louisville, Kentucky.  Designed specifically for utility construction applications, the next-generation brake system is engineered to provide smooth, consistent braking with higher torque and cooler operating temperatures.  The three-point design provides consistent braking tension-reducing pulses and surges on the line.  The aluminum-bronze composite rotor radiates heat away from the braking surface better than solid bronze rotors improving thermal conductivity, creating longer pad life, and decreased maintenance downtime. The Fisher Barton Multi-Disc Tension Brake Systems easily mounts to trailer systems and reel stands.



The city’s Town Square recently received a financial boost to help construct its main stage and lawn seating area, which will be named the Fisher Barton Performance Plaza.  The amount of the donation was not released. The area encompasses an expansive green space skirted by a naturally landscaped area with boulder seating.  Audiences of 250 or more can enjoy a solo musician, a multi-piece band or dance/theatrical groups performing on an open air, elevated wood platform. “


Earlier this year, Fisher Barton sponsored a memorial bench on the Town Square to commemorate the production of its 300 millionth lawn mower blade and to recognize founder Richard L. Wilke.


Fisher Barton started as Washington Co. Cutlery, relocating from Milwaukee to Watertown in 1906.  By 1910, it employed between 50 and 60 people.  In 1974, Fisher Barton started manufacturing lawn mower blades at its original 1910 location.  In its 111-year history, Fisher Barton has led the industry by establishing the first metallurgical lab for research, patenting steel technology and production of more than 300 million lawn mower blades.  Fisher Barton employs 144 people at its Watertown locations.






Watertown, WI –  – Fisher Barton, the world’s leading manufacturer of lawn mower  blades, is thrilled to announce that its innovative LaserEdge Lawn Mower Blade has been selected as  one of the Top 16 contenders in the prestigious 2023 Coolest Things Made In Wisconsin contest [link to press release] 






Prior to the 1940s the Village Blacksmith name was incised or stamped directly into the blades of cleavers.

      Afterwards it was stamped on the handles.


Architecture and History Inventory report  








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History of Watertown, Wisconsin