WEST, THOMAS DYSON (31 Aug. 1851-18 June 1915), pioneer in factory safety and authority on foundry practice, was born in Manchester, England, the son of William H. and Sara (Faraday) West who came to America when he was an infant. After receiving a grammar school education, he began work in a foundry at age 12. By 1872 he and his family resided in Cleveland where Thomas worked as a molder for the Eclipse Foundry. Later he served as foreman at the CUYAHOGA STEAM FURNACE COMPANY. In 1887 West, Samuel Landsdown, and Charles Neracher organized the Thomas West Foundry. Five years later the company moved to Sharpesville, Pa. After the turn of the century West divided his time between Cleveland and Sharpesville until he returned to Cleveland permanently in 1909. In 1906 he incorporated the West Steel Casting Co. in Cleveland with himself as chairman and his son Ralph H. as president and general manager. West wrote American Foundry Practice (1882) which became a standard in the field. He originated the use of "direct metal" to make ingot molds for steel works and patented processes for hardening and obtaining an even depth of chill in railroad car wheels. From 1907 until his death he was active in factory safety, publishing Accidents, Their Cause and Remedies in 1908. He also originated Cleveland's "Sane Fourth" celebrations to prevent accidents from the use of fireworks.
West was married to Emma Robison and they had 3 children, sons Thomas J., Ralph H., and daughter, Mrs. William E. Ward. He married his second wife Clara G. Gerblick 7 March 1900. West is buried at LAKE VIEW CEMETERY.