Established by William Oldman in 1863, Oldman Boiler Works was a fixture on Buffalo’s waterfront for more than a century. Oldman manufactured and repaired boilers and other equipment installed on numerous Great Lakes freighters that docked at the Buffalo Harbor. Oldman Boiler Works also manufactured various pieces of industrial equipment for companies, such as Bethlehem SteelMobil Oil and Niagara Mohawk. Oldman Boiler Works occupied an entire block on Illinois Street between South Park Avenue and Mary Street. At its peak in the 1950s, over ninety employees, mostly union boilermakers, worked for Oldman. In 1995, the buildings on the site were demolished in order to make way for a new sports arena now known as the KeyBank Center. Oldman Boiler Works ceased operation shortly afterward.

Prior to federal regulations placed on asbestos in the late 1970s, asbestos was incorporated into insulating materials utilized on board Great Lakes freighters. Asbestos-containing insulation was typically applied to steam boilers and pipes throughout Great Lakes freighters in order to maintain a constant temperature within the steam system. During repair procedures, Oldman employees removed asbestos block insulation covering the boiler. Removing asbestos-containing insulation caused asbestos dust and fibers to become airborne. Inhaling dust and particles from the application of asbestos-containing materials placed workers at risk for developing mesothelioma or lung cancer.

Oldman Boiler Works employees occasionally worked at industrial locations, such as Bethlehem Steel. There were numerous sources of asbestos exposure at these job sites, including pipe covering, block insulation, insulating cement and hot top refractory mortar. Due to normal wear and tear, these materials were removed and reapplied and, in the process, emitted dangerous levels of asbestos dust and fibers that nearby workers inhaled.

Our clients understand the importance of securing legal representation as soon as possible after a diagnosis of mesothelioma or lung cancer. If you or a loved one were once employed at Oldman Boiler Works in Buffalo, New York, and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or lung cancer, please contact us regarding your legal rights.

* Image above provided by: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Historic American Engineering Record, Reproduction Number HAER NY,15-BUF,41–1