The Kalmbach Legacy
Kalmbach Memorial Park is a distinct community center established by the late industrialist, Frederick Kalmbach Sr., founder of Electric Furnace Man, in Emmaus, PA. Although born in Germany in 1879, Mr. Kalmbach felt deeply privileged to experience the freedoms and cultural diversity of America. Therefore, he bequeathed his twenty-acre homestead as a place for others to gather and appreciate the freedoms and profound wonders of our God-given American heritage.
Frederick Kalmbach Sr. was a man with a vision who wanted to share his ideals of patriotism and his love of nature with the citizens of Macungie and the surrounding community.
He was born in Altensteig, Germany on August 10, 1879. Early in life, he developed a talent as a tool and instrument maker working for various firms in Germany, Switzerland, and France. This technical ability, and a meticulous attention to detail, would later be his passport to success.
Then in 1922, a major breakthrough occurred when the company contracted to produce an automatic anthracite coal stoker marketed under the name of Electric Furnace Man (EFM).
These stokers revolutionized the coal heating industry because of their self feeding automatic ash removal system. The idea worked so well that subsequent research and increasing orders necessitated almost complete curtailment of the company's other activities. Soon EFM was producing almost half of all automatic coal stokers produced in this country and was becoming too large for it's operation in New York City. By 1940, the company needed to own and operate its own foundry and after a short search for a new location, the business was moved to the vacant Zollinger-Schroth Silk Mill in Emmaus, PA.
On July 29, 1941, Fred Kalmbach Sr. bought a twenty-acre tract in Macungie, part of the John Singmaster farm along Cotton Alley, where he resided until his death on July 31, 1953. As a businessman, he was direct and practical, keeping detailed records of even the slightest expenditure; but in his personal life, Fred's benevolence overflowed with purchases and gifts made for the enjoyment of others. In Macungie, Fred was able to relax amidst the pleasant natural surroundings at his home of which he wrote "reveal the omnipotence of our Creator."