AB&I Foundry of Oakland, CA, celebrated its 100th anniversary on August 18, 2006, with a gala reception at the Oakland Zoo, attended by more than 800 people.
Founded in the wake of the great San Francisco Earthquake and fire of 1906, AB&I began as a small foundry located in the backyard of the company patriarch, Joseph Boscacci, on D Street in Oakland. (See illustration.) First producing small sash weights for windows and brass statues for the rebuilt Market Street in San Francisco, AB&I grew into a major force in the cast iron foundry business, culminating in its current status as a major producer of cast iron soil pipe and fittings and custom gray iron castings.
Newcomers to AB&I are struck by several features of the company that take them by surprise. Time clocks for the foundry workers were eliminated years ago and replaced with an honor system that focuses more on personal responsibility. Additionally, most team members participate in the foundry's profit-sharing program, one of the few in the foundry business. The company also emphasizes cleanliness. AB&I has gained local, statewide and national recognition for its environmental responsibility and programs for cleaning the air and water.
The Oakland Zoo was chosen as the site for the anniversary celebration because it, like AB&I, is a landmark member of the Oakland business community.