Michiel 2005

Michiel 2005

Posted on 10/06/2008

Photo taken on October  1, 2008

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kon. ned. grofsmederij
nederlandse grofsmederij
drain cover
koninklijke nederlandse grofsmederij

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Drain cover of the Koninklijke Nederlandse Grofsmederij

Drain cover of the Koninklijke Nederlandse Grofsmederij
I found these ones very near my office in front of the old Anatomy lab.

For most people the subject of drain covers might be boring, but it gives me something to do when walking on the streets. The most-interesting ones are the ones of companies that went down the drain themselves: remnants of the old days.

The Nederlandse Grofsmederij was an iron works company, located in Leiden, which didn't survive the big shake-out of the manufacturing industry in the 1970s. It was founded in 1836 by a Dutch-Frenchman William Archibald Bake who (amongst other things) fought in the Russian campaign of Napoleon.
In its heyday it employed around 700 men.

Here is a picture of the workshop of the Grofsmederij:
www.flickr.com/photos/95306653@N00/2212827614 /

Grofsmederij is a composite noun consisting of "grof" meaning coarse or rough, opposite of fine, and "smederij" meaning smithy or foundry. So the company made the big stuff, not fine ironwork. "Kon." is an abbreviation of "Koninklijk" meaning royal. Dutch companies which exist over 100 years can be bestowed with this title. It does not bring direct benefits, but it may help in marketing, exporting stuff etc.