Farrel Corp. World War Memorials, Derby

Memorial plaques honoring Farrel Corp. employees who served in the World Wars were spared when the company’s Derby factories were demolished in 2000.

The plaques now stand as part of a Main Street monument (near the corner of Water Street) built when the former Farrel site was replaced by a Home Depot.

The western plaque lists the names of 25 employees who were lost in World War II. The plaque bears the dedication “In memory of Farrel-Birmingham employees who gave their lives for their country in World War II.”

The eastern honor roll plaque honors “Employees of Birmingham Iron Foundry who served their country in the World War 1917-1919,” and lists the names of  39 employees who served. The bottom section highlights four additional employees who were killed in the conflict.

When the former Farrel manufacturing facilities were developed into the Home Depot site in 2000, the plaques were mounted on a brick monument that also features a flagpole.

Farrel Corp., in nearby Ansonia, traces its roots to the 1830s, when two brothers moved a business that cast clock weights from the Westville section of West Haven to Birmingham, a boro on the westerns side of the Naugatuck River that now comprises Derby’s downtown area.

The Birmingham Iron Foundry was founded in 1850, and, across the river, the Farrel Foundry began making components for processing equipment used in the production of rubber tires, cereal and paper.

During the Civil War, both foundries produced cannon barrels and bayonet rolling machines.

In 1927, the companies merged to form the Farrel-Birmingham Company, which adopted the Farrel Corp. name in 1963. In the years since, the company has changed ownership several times, most recently being acquired by the HF Machinery Group division of the German company L. Possehl & Co. in 2009.

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