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Tom Fehring

Tom Fehring is an engineer by training and practice, having worked for thirty-five years at Keeping the Lights On at Wisconsin Energy Corporation and its various subsidiaries. Early in his career, he also worked for a time at Falk Corporation, Briggs & Stratton and Ford Motor Company. He was born and grew up in Milwaukee in the shadows of the A.O. Smith factory. Tom attended Marquette University and attained bachelor and masters degrees in mechanical engineering. He is married, and he and his wife Suzan raised three children. Tom considers himself an accidental historian. Early in his career he volunteered to fill a position as chair of ASME-Milwaukee’s history and heritage committee. He found the assignment to be very rewarding. Forty years later, industrial archeology continues to be an important part of his life. Tom’s foray into history continued after retirement when he was appointed to ASME’s international history and heritage committee. He has also been involved with community history, serving on the Whitefish Bay Historic Preservation Commission. Tom has published three books on the Village’s history. He first published a book on Milwaukee’s industrial heritage in 1980. It was a modest effort but was surprisingly well received. Since then he has continued to gather information and materials about the early companies of Milwaukee and the incredible machines that were built here over the years. His hope was to publish a more thorough book on the subject. In 2017 he published “The Magnificent Machines of Milwaukee” to fulfill this aspiration. This follow-up publication has allowed him to dig deeper into Milwaukee’s industrial history during World War II.


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