From GSMW to GSM
South Bend, Indiana 1922. H. P. Axelberg, the son
of a Norwegian immigrant, saw opportunity with the growth of the Studebaker Corporation and the University of Notre Dame. With the goal of serving the industrial sheet metal needs of the thriving community, he opened General Sheet Metal Works on South Main Street, designing and building paint booths, dust collectors, and air handling systems for the Studebaker automotive plants. Soon, GSMW was building ventilation systems and metal roofing for the University of Notre Dame. Responsiveness to customer needs for metal fabrications led to the company replacing the gold leaf on the University’s iconic Golden Dome.
Municipal construction projects sustained the company through the Great Depression. By the 1940’s and with the United States’ entry into World War II, GSM took on numerous projects for Studebaker, as assembly lines were reconfigured to produce equipment for the war effort.
After the war, residential construction and products boomed, creating new metal fabrication opportunities. In response, a separate five-man manufacturing division provided metal component parts for manufacturers of finished products. Opportunities increased, while demand for sheet metal contracting declined. Soon, metal fabrication became GSM’s primary focus. As the principal supplier to Wheel Horse Products, a South Bend company enjoying tremendous success with its line of garden tractors, GSM added to its fabricating capabilities, resulting in new customers and enabling GSM to enter new markets while continuously diversifying its fabrication skills and offerings.
Demand from The Toro Company led to the construction of a new, dedicated facility in Tomah, Wisconsin in 2006. By 2010, the company’s rapid response in producing mounting infrastructure for the utility-scale solar industry led to a significant expansion of its stamping, welding and assembly capacities to help its customers scale their operations.
Today, as General Stamping & Metalworks, our 248,000 square foot factory and leading-edge fabrication equipment are just the next step in our evolution, one based on over a century of experience and a reputation for delivering on time, and at the right price, exactly what our customers want.
General Stamping & Metalworks has evolved to become one of North America’s leading providers of stampings and fabricated metal parts to progressive OEMs worldwide. GSM is considered a strategic partner and trusted provider by leading manufacturers in a wide range of industries.