Cool Stuff Being Made: The Iron Shop

This week we head to Broomall, Pennsylvania to climb the spiral staircases of “The Iron Shop,” an 80-year-old family business and the leading manufacturer of spiral staircase kits. The New York Post did a nice feature on the company this year, so allow to excerpt.

Spiral staircases don’t only look good, they also save space — and can even make you money.

So says Allen Cohen, President of The Iron Shop, which sells do-it-yourself spiral staircase kits online.

Cohen also runs M. Cohen and Sons, which creates glamorous staircases for companies, residences and shops like Gucci’s new 56th Street and Fifth Avenue location — a grand concoction of bronze, steel and glass that debuted this month.

For an average Manhattan loft, a spiral staircase can cost as little as $2,000 and take up 32 square feet.

That’s a lot less than the average 80 square feet that a regular straight, boring staircase takes up.

By saving 48 square feet, Cohen calculates, you’ve just increased the value of your apartment by $48,000 — since the average Manhattan apartment runs $1,000 a square foot.

We see part of the Gucci stairway in today’s video. Allen also gives us a tour of the facilities,  showing us the incredible power of compressed water (and garnets) to cut through metal, as well as the high-quality efficiency of robotic welders. The Iron Shop also builds its own custom machinery to make the metal products to the customer’s demands. But still, forging and old-style riveting are used, so you get a mixture of Old World practices and modern technology.

To the Pennsylvania Cable Network, we say THANK YOU for shooting and sharing the video.

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