Duluth Iron & Metal (through 1922)

During a period of nearly a quarter of a century the Duluth Iron & Metal Company has maintained its integrity as one of the thriving and strictly substantial business industries of this city. Founded in 1887 upon a policy of sound principles, it has grown and developed in scope, prosperity and usefulness, and today occupies a recognized position among the necessary industrial adjuncts of the city.

The founder of this business was Max Zalk, who in 1887 recognized the opportunity for the establishment of an enterprise for the handling of scrap iron. Gradually the business grew and developed, and during the early ’90s H. Y. Josephs was admitted to the partnership. In 1904 Louis Zalk, son of Max Zalk, became a member of the firm. The business has continued to grow steadily and has lived through several alarming financial crises, including that of 1893, maintaining its honorable name and at all times discharging its responsibilities. From a business devoted purely for the handling of scrap iron, it has developed into an enterprise which takes in almost every class of steel products both newland secondhand, and serves a territory as far west as Washington and Oregon.

It makes: a specialty of buying complete railroads that are through serving their territory and distributing their equipment all over the country. During the war the company was a valuable feeder for the Minnesota Steel Company, and helped materially in swelling the output of the munition steel of that plant.


  • Van Brunt, Walter, ed. Duluth and St. Louis County, Minnesota Vols. 1 – 3. The American Historical Society. Chicago: 1922.
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