Boland & Gschwind was established in 1866 by Joseph K Boland. It was initially a chain manufacturing facility that serviced the agricultural industry with sugar cane handling and irrigation equipment. The company did business accross the South, Midwest, Puerto Rico and Cuba. Owners Joseph K Boland and Edward Gschwind, along with their General Manager Harry Ivens, were also inventors, designers, and manufacturers of steam driven pump systems. The company thrived into the early 1900’s. In approximately 1906 Joseph K Boland bought out his partners and renamed the company Boland Machine and Manufacturing Co.
In 1923, the company’s 26 year old accountant J. Edgar Monroe, bought the company from JK Boland. The company continued to serve the agricultural industry, but with the sugar industry in a slump and the Great Depression, it fell on hard times. With a significant machine shop and New Orleans being one of the nation’s largest ports of the era, in the mid 1920’s, J. Edgar Monroe redirected the company’s interests towards ship repair.
After WWI, the Mississippi River became one of the locations for the Navy’s laid up fleet. During the 1930’s with fear of a looming war in Europe, the United States Government started refurbishing these vessels, with Boland Machine and Manufacturing Co. being one of the major contractors. Leading up to and during WWII Boland Machine and Manufacturing’s, marine operations were ramped up to employ as many as 1500 men. Boland Machine and Manufacturing converted upgraded and armored US Navy and commercial ships for wartime demands. Boland Machine and Manufacturing also facilitated quick repair turnaround for vessels servicing the war efforts. Boland Machine and Manufacturing Co. operated until 1971.
In 1971, J. Edgar Monroe sold the company to an employee group lead by Joseph Ruppel. Joseph Ruppel started with Boland Machine as a machinist in 1942 and had been its President since 1969. The new company was named Boland “Marine” and Manufacturing Co. (BMM) BMM’s growth continued through the late 1970’s with employment swelling at one point to approximately 1800 men. In the early 1980’s, with the repeal of Government shipping subsidies causing the demise of American shipping, BMM’s work load declined at a drastic pace. In 1984, the company reorganized and consolidated ownership primarily to Joseph Ruppel. The company continued to do maritime and industrial machinery repairs under “Mr. Joe’s” ownership until 2006.
In 2004, Boland Marine and Industrial LLC was formed by new investors who started to purchase BMM’s assets, a process which was finally completed in 2008.
Since 2008 the new owners and Boland Marine and Industrial LLC have reinvested in infrastructure and machinery to better service the maritime and industrial needs of our customers. We hope to honor our past history and with help of our valued employees and customers, write some of our own.