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Henry Vogt Machine Company records

Identifier: 2011_007-UA

Records of the Vogt Machine Company. Founded in 1902 in Louisville, Kentucky, the Henry Vogt Machine Company produced ice machines (including "Tube-Ice" makers), boilers, and valves. Included are files related to union negotiations, patents for products invented by the company owners Vogt and Heuser, files related to personnel management, tax returns from most of the 20th century, product catalogs dating back to the 19th century, blueprints, memorabilia, photographs and negatives, index card files of purchases from Vogt, VHS training videos, advertising budgets, boxes of photographs and correspondence related to product types, 12" vinyl records that provide sound for the accompanying slide shows, corporate minute books (1880-2003), company valuation reports, 3-dimensional models of products.


  • 1880s-2000s


Conditions Governing Access

The bulk of the collection is unprocessed and closed to researchers. However, the Human Resources, Union, and Turbo Manufacturing series of records are processed and open to researchers. Please contact Archives and Special Collections in advance of your visit for more information.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright has been transferred to the University of Louisville Archives and Records Center; please consult a reference archivist for more information.


172 linear feet (79 bankers boxes and 2 oversized items foldered together )

Biographical / Historical

The son of poor German immigrants, Henry Vogt (b. 1856, Louisville) partnered with Henry H. Sulzer in 1880 to form Sulzer-Vogt, a small machine shop on Main Street near Preston which was incoporated in 1890 as the Henry Vogt Machine Co. In 1885, a new line of products used to make "artificial" ice--the Absorption Refrigeration and Ice Making Machine--was introduced. In the late 1890s, the company pioneered the early development of ammonia absorption refrigeration systems that made artificial ice. By the beginning of the 20th century, Vogt had outgrown its Main Street location and purchased what was then farmland on 10th and Ormsby Streets with expansions built in 1922, 1927, 1929, and 1956. During World War I, Vogt produced miltary materials and manufacturing goods for industries directly engaged in wartime production. During the 1937 flood, Vogt had the only electrical generator in the city that was above the flood waters and could operate. It supplied emergency electrical power to critical operations in the Louisville area. The famous Vogt Tube-Ice Machine was introduced in 1938 and during World War II, it produced 105mm shells, heat exchangers, chillers, and piping; it also produced boilers for ships and valves for the Manhattan Project. Vogt introduced its Model 2000 Tube-Ice machine in 1948, allowing restaurants and hotels to produce ice on their own premises for the first time. The machine supplied ice to national accounts such as the Walt Disney Co. and the Hyatt and Marriott Hotels.

Henry Vogt Machine Company records
In Progress
Heather Fox and Lauren Bickel
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

Repository Details

Part of the University of Louisville Archives and Special Collections Repository

Ekstrom Library, Lower Level Room 17
Louisville KY 40292
502 852-6752