California Iron Works - San Diego, CA
National Iron Works - San Diego, CA


The predecessor to this hydrant maker started business as a machine shop in in San Diego in 1905. At some point the company became known as California Iron Works. They subsequently went out of business in 1922, and U.S. National Bank, the holder of the note, kept the operations going, renaming the company National Iron Works. Between 1944-45 the foundry and machine shop were moved to the San Diego waterfront to build ships for the military. In 1949, the company became NASSCO (National Steel and Shipbuilding Company). NASSCO was acquired by Henry J Kaiser and Morrison-Knutson in 1959. Morrison-Knutson bought out their partner and became sole owner in 1979. In 1989, NASSCO was purchased through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) to become an employee-owned company. In 1998, General Dynamics purchased the company and is the current owner of NASSCO. The company today serves both the commercial and military sectors, building and converting ships in their San Diego yards.

All photos © Ken Patton.


  Model (unknown)
  • Embossed "Cal Iron Works"
  • 2489
    Nozzles: 1x 2", 1x4"

    Location: San Diego, CA
    2489b

      Model (unknown)
  • Embossed "National Iron Works"
  • 2494
    Nozzles: 1x 2", 1x4"

    Location: San Diego, CA
    2494b

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