Our History – From The Beginning


history1Three years after the turn of the century, Mr. Felice Maldari founded the nucleus of the Macaroni Die Makers in the United States. In a dark and dingy basement at 371 Broome Street, New York City, the firm bearing the name of Felice Maldari was born. With crude tools and a hand-driven drill press, Mr. Felice Maldari struggled with the problems presented in the manufacture of copper dies.






In 1905, Mr. Donato Maldari arrived in the United States and joined his brother. Together they arduously made copper dies using what we consider today to be primitive methods. Two years later they were able to move to larger quarters, which were quickly incorporated with a motor-driven drill press and lathe.





Retrospective_2With hand work, thus supplemented with machinery, the Maldari Brothers heeded the cries of economy-minded Macaroni Manufacturers and turned their efforts towards finding a material which would out-wear copper. Up to that time production output was not of prime importance, for the industry was in its infancy, and competition was negligible. With more and more macaroni plants springing into existence, the spirit of competition was fanned- naturally resulting in increased production. With this advent of increased production, copper dies wore rapidly, and repairs and replacements became increasingly necessary. Thus, a determined search for a material to outlast copper subsequently ended with the use of a bronze alloy.





Expansion again became necessary in 1909, when two basements and a small store were required. In 1910, Mr. Dominick Maldari joined the firm, and under the guiding hand of the eldest brother, advancement was steady and certain. In the year 1913, with great pride and dignity, the name of Maldari stood bold and clear over large new quarters at 127 Baxter Street, New York City. The three brothers and their colleagues thus busied themselves making Macaroni Dies – both copper and bronze, for the popularity of copper had not died.






After an absence of some twenty years from his native country, Mr. Felice Maldari longed to return to this boyhood surroundings – and thus the man who really started from the bottom, arduously building the foundations for a time-honored name, sailed to his cherished land and retired from the Macaroni Industry. In the year 1924, the new name of F. Maldari & Brothers was incorporated, and two years later the plant was moved to 178 – 180 Grand Street, New York City. That very same year, Mr. Dominick Maldari was forced to retire from the business because of poor health, and the heavy burden of all responsibilities fell squarely upon the shoulders of the last remaining brother, Mr. Donato Maldari. Realizing the futility of carrying the firm under an incorporated name, the following year, at a meeting of the Board of Directors, F. Maldari & Bros., Inc. was sold to Donato Maldari.





The war years were truly trying ones for Donato Maldari. With his innate desire to serve the Macaroni Industry, as he had been doing throughout the years, war work was repeatedly refused because it was his sincere belief that he was in the very midst of war work making and repairing macaroni dies. As Government priorities clamped down, it became increasingly difficult to obtain necessary materials – and every issue was bitterly contested with proper authorities. With his entire production facilities being used solely for the Macaroni Industry, Mr. Maldari took his fight to Washington, D.C., where he enlisted the aid of Dr. B. Jacobs. The Priority Board subsequently classed the business as “essential”, with the ensuing result that top priorities were designated for material procurement. Thus, Mr. Maldari won his fight, and he continued through the war years to utilize his production facilities solely for macaroni die work.





In 1939, Mr. Ralph Maldari joined the firm, but was forced to take a leave of absence to serve with the Armed Forces. During his affiliation with the United States Army Air Corps, he was stationed at various points in the United States and subsequently in England with the Eighth Air Force. He acted as an envoy of good will, visiting different Macaroni Manufacturers whenever the opportunity presented itself. Ralph returned in November, 1945 to again take up his duties with the firm, and acquire the fundamental knowledge of the production of macaroni dies.






In February, 1946, C. Daniel Maldari became affiliated with the firm -thus making the family union complete. Dan graduated from the College of Engineering at New York University as an Industrial Engineer, and was working on his Master’s Degree when the world conflict broke. During the period of hostilities, he left school and accepted an appointment by the United States Army Ordinance Department as a production engineer – with the specific task of bolstering production output, trouble shooting, and setting up inspection lines at industrial plants within the jurisdiction of the New York Ordinance District. He subsequently became affiliated with the United States Army Air Corps as an Engineering Officer- and was instrumental in setting up a Production Control System within the First Air Force while stationed at the Richmond Army Air Base.





After his separation from the Army, Dan joined his father and brother to learn the business. In keeping with the modern trend, plans were drawn up to modernize the plant and production facilities in 1947. It was a time when the Macaroni Industry was in the midst of an unprecedented boom and the manufacturing of pasta dies was of great demand. Shutting down the plant was impossible. Production output took precedence, and although modernization of the plant was secondary, daily improvements were made and the transition to modern equipment was accomplished without interruption. Through the unfaltering efforts of Mr. Donato Maldari, Ralph, and Dan, the firm acquired an enviable distinctive name in the Macaroni Industry and was built solidly on honor, integrity and good will.




Three Innovative Generations of Extrusion Die Making


Three years after the turn of the century, Mr. Felice Maldari founded the nucleus of the Macaroni Die Makers in the United States.

In a dark and dingy basement at 371 Broome Street, New York City, the firm bearing the name of Felice Maldari was born. With crude tools and a hand-driven drill press, Mr. Felice Maldari struggled with the problems presented in the manufacture of copper dies.
When Felice and Donato Maldari came to Little Italy, New York City in 1903 from Southern Italy and started the first pasta die making plant in the United States, pasta dies were made the old-fashioned way — by laboriously punching holes in thick copper discs, and by chiseling and filing the excess metal of the outside diameter. After three generations, the Maldari’s, while maintaining their facilities in Brooklyn, are still making dies for the pasta industry, but they are no longer relying on the power of strong arms. Modern technology, creative thinking and business savvy are key elements to their continued success. A few decades ago, there were about seven or eight pasta die makers in the United States. Today, D. Maldari & Sons, Inc. is the only one left. Dan and Chris respectively the president and vice president and grandsons of the founder have maintained the success through constant innovation.
Maldari’s survival from the very beginning has been driven through constant innovation. The hand-punching methods were replaced by hand-driven drill presses in 1905. Two years later, power-driven drill presses and lathes were drafted into service. As copper, with its property of malleability was unable to withstand the greater pressures of the rapidly improving pasta extruders, the problem was to find a material which was not too difficult to machine, yet strong enough to withstand the factors brought on by increased production. This was solved by the selection of a bronz alloy, still widely used today.
Pasta makers, however, demanded a better material with a higher yield point to prevent bowing under the higher pressures, and stainless steel was selected subsequently followed by aluminum bronze. While stainless steel was more wear-resistant than bronze, its low coefficient of thermal conductivity retained heat, generated during operation, extruding a product with poor texture, and a whitish appearance. To overcome this characteristic, in 1955, Maldari started to make inserts of bronze alloy for the dies, a milestone in the industry. That same year, Maldari introduced the use of a Teflon lining in the inserts, as a way of producing a smoother texture more pleasing to the eye of the consumer. Incidentally, Maldari first started using Teflon in 1953 when it developed a die for a Kellogg’s dog food in the form of a steak. It was not a very auspicious beginning because the course product took a heavy toll on the Teflon, and it was discontinued. For pasta, however, Teflon turned out to be almost perfect. This innovation was copied shortly by the Italians, and became universal.

In an effort to reduce production costs and improve quality, the company acquired three automated and fully computerized pantograph machines.

Today, D. Maldari & Sons is flexible enough to cope with any contingencies. State of the Art equipment stand ready to operate around the clock to meet any emergency which may arise. Should any problem require personal attention at its source, Maldari personnel stand by ready to meet with all concerned individuals.

Supported by continuing advanced technology and three dimensional CAD CAM stations, computer programmers have the capability of designing varying configurations and immediately draw up required programs which are transmitted directly to the NC (numerical control) equipment Simulated tool path generation assures both accuracy and quality with the finished products.

For almost a century, Maldari has made it a policy to keep pace with the most modern developments in automated equipment, machinery and design processes, providing customers with prompt dependable service and products precisely machined to extremely close tolerances.