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The Morton & Cox Foundry, established on the river front about 1825 by two enterprising partners from Cincinnati, was the first and for many years was probably the only one.But later, as steamboat building grew in importance, the foundry business expanded.
New Albany’s preeminence as a boat building center in the early years of its history gave rise to its later reputation as a city of iron works, for boats needed boilers and engines, and foundries soon sprang up to meet the need.
The rolling mill also turned out large quantities of sheet iron. The New Albany Foundry, dating back before the Civil War, was in business as Webster & Pitt.
Zier & Co., founded during the war years, turned out boilers.
The Western Axe & Edge Tool Works started business in 1869.
The axe handles, ironically, were provided by Hill & Co., which in earlier times had built the hulls for some of the most famous river steamers.