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The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture

Interior of Robberson Steel's fabrication building, 1950
(22055.4012, Ray Jacoby Collection, OHS).


In 1909 Jacob Bernard Klein founded the J. B. Klein Iron and Foundry Company in Oklahoma City. The company advertised foundry work of all types, including ornamental iron, brass work, wire, stairs, railings, fire escapes, and construction products. By the time Klein died in 1925, the company had begun to specialize in steel works for bridges, buildings, and roads. Klein's company constructed a significant number of Oklahoma's early bridges. After 1925 the firm's general manager, Richard W. Robberson, continued the work and eventually bought the company. During World War II Klein Iron and Foundry Company received a $1.2 million federal contract to furnish steel for the industrial buildings to be constructed at the Midwest City Douglas Aircraft Company plant. In 1942 the firm's name was changed to Robberson Steel and Bridge Company. Originally located at 1535 Northwest Fifth Street, the establishment was later moved to 1401 Northwest Third Street and eventually to 1000–1024 Northwest Second Street. The company continued to operate as a steel fabrication firm until it was dissolved on December 15, 1988, after a lengthy bankruptcy process. In 1988 Robberson Steel employed approximately one hundred fifty individuals.

Bobby D. Weaver

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Daily Oklahoman (Oklahoma City), 25 September 1941, 2 July 1942, and 15 December 1988.

Odie B. Faulk et al., Oklahoma City: A Centennial Portrait (Northridge, Calif.: Windsor Publications, 1988).


The following (as per The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition) is the preferred citation for articles:
Bobby D. Weaver, “Klein Iron and Foundry Company,” The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, https://www.okhistory.org/publications/enc/entry?entry=KL001.

Published January 15, 2010
Last updated March 12, 2020

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