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Full text of "The civil, political, professional and ecclesiastical history, and commercial and industrial record of the County of Kings and the City of Brooklyn, N. Y. from 1683 to 1884"

Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2008 with funding from 

IVIicrosoft Corporation 



http://www.archive.org/details/civilpoliticalpr21stil 



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THE 

Civil Political Professional and Ecclu^iaslica 



HISTORY 



AND 



COMMERCIAL AND INDUSTRIAL RECORD 



OF THK 



COUNTY OF KINGS 



AND 



THE- CITY OF BROOKLYN. N- Y. 

FROM 1683 TO 1884. 



BY 



HENRY R. STILES, A.M., M.D., Editor-in-Chief, 

Formerly Librarian of the Long Lsland Historical Sncieli/ ; Member of the N. V. Oenealogical and Biorjrapliieal Socielf/, 

the American Etiinoloyical Society, etc., etc.: Author of the ^'History of Brooklyn." ''The Wallnlnynl I'riiton 

Ship Series," the "History and Genealogies of Ancient Windsor, Conn.," and other Historical Workt. 

ASSISTED BY 

L. B. PROCTOR, Esq., and L. P. BROCKETT, A.M.. M.D., 

Auihiir (if "Hench ami liar nf the State of- N. Y.." "Lives of the Author of •ftur M'eiitern Em()irc," "Our f>>iiiifri/'« ii 
State ChanceWirn nf New York." "Lawiier atid Client." "Life ence.' "ficngraphietil JliKinrunf N. Y.," nml (If-: 

and Times of Thomas Addi.i Emmeit," "Lives of Statistical Kdilnr of "AVir American" and •■.;..,.„-.. 

Eminent American Statesmen," CyclojxciUti," and tlie ".lmi-riV<iii .Sii/i/Wrmem Id 

etc., etc. Enciiclnixedia liritannica," etc.. etc. 



WITH rORTR.AITS. BIOGR.APIIIES .AND ILLISTK ATI<»NS. 



.«ii 



/ 



VOLUME II. 



NEW YORK.: 
VV. W. M UN SELL c^ CO. 

PUBLISHERS. 



Copyright, 1884. 
W. W. MUNSELL & CO. 



BOUND BY 

A. S. BARNES & COMPANY 

New YORK AND BROOKLYN. 



TABLE OF CONTENTS. 



TiiE Commerce of Brooklyn, . . . Ry x. P. Brockat. .»/. 1). 033 

The Manufacturing Interests of Brooklyn and Kings Co., F3y L. P. Brockett, M. J). 668 

The Architects, Builders and Real Estate Agents in Brooklyn, By L. P. Brockett, J/. D. 829 
United States Interests in Kings County: Post-Office, Navy Yard, Forts, Internal Revenue, 

ETC., etc., . My The Editiyr. 806 

The Medical Profession of the City of Brooklyn, 1822 to 1884, (Old School.) By I-\-ai>k li. 

Greene, M. D. 886 

Rise and Progress of Homceopathic Medicine in Kings County, . By R. C. Moffat, M. D. 90.') 

History of the Eclectic School of Medicine in Brooklyn, . . . . hit 
Hospitals, Dispensaries, Etc., . . . Compiled under the direction of the .fi/iVor. 

The Profession of Dentistry in Kings County and Brooklyn, Compiled under the <lirection of 

the JSclilor. 941 

The History of Higher Education, Private Schools, Etc., in Brooklyn, Compiled under the 

direction of the Editor. 950 

Fish Culture on Long Island, ..... By Eugene G. Blackford, Enq. 06.3 

Brooklyn Markets, ......... By the Editor. 971 

The Charitable Institutions of Kings County and Brooklyn, Compiled under the direction of 

the Elitor. 973 

The Ecclesiastical Organizations of the City of Brooklyn, Compiled under the direction of 

the Editor. 993 

History of the Sunday-School Work in Brooklyn, ...... 1090 

Missionary, Bible, Tract and other Organizations for Christian Work, Compiled under the 

direction of the Editor. 1 1 00 

The Progress of the Drama, Opera, Music and Art in Brooklyn, By Gabriel Hitrrigon, Es/j. 1105 

The Fine Arts in Brooklyn, ...... By Gabriel Harrison, Eiiq. 1137 

The Amateur Dramatic Associations of Brooklyn, Compiled under the direction of the Elitor. 1162 

Photography in Brookly.v, .... Compiled under the direction of the jE</iVor. 1166 

The History ok the Press of Brooklyn and Kings County, By Hon. W. E. Robinson. 

(Supplemented by the Editor.) 1169 

History ok the Military Organizations ok Kings County, Compiled under direction of the Elitor. 1194 

The Bench and Bar of Brooklyn, . . . . . By Z. B. Proctor, Exq. 1213 

Notes on Literature and Science in Brooklyn, . . • ^Y tlic Editor. 1301 

The Sporting and Athletic Cluhs of Kings County, Compiled under direction of the Editor. 1336 
The Beneficent and Social Organizations of Brooklyn and Kings County, Compiled under 

direction of the EUtor, 1346 

Hotels and Bathing Establishments in Kings County, ...... 1358 

General Trade and Merchandise in Brooklyn and Kings County . 1362 



LIST OF PORTRAITS. 



.. l^imbeer. 

. Pinto 

11 

. M n ... . 



PAGE. 

Facing 639 

" 038 

" 042 

" 047 

" 048 

" 051 

" 052 

" 054 

" 050 

" 058 

« " 660 

1 " 001 

" 602 

I -r, Jr.. " 003 

J ..;... O'Uonohuc " 004 

'riin.itliy II<><,'an 007 

William Dick Facing 672 

WiUuin R Taylor 080 

William Taylor Facing 085 

Jim. » A. Taylor " 686 

I •iniil V. Saltan 08" 

William O. CrfanuT 092 

William ('ablilc- (deceased) Facing 695 

Klijuh fat.lilf '' 090 

I I .ir» .y W. Peace . . " 700 

Kti.- h K<tcliani " 702 

l.a'utiar-1 iiii-lianlMdn " 713 

I! " 719 

' ,.i.sud) " 720 

.Michael W. Wall " 721 

.' ' I " 723 

II. .Main " 727 

Martin Worn 732 

Til- I- Brotbent (Patrick J., Ikiiry W., 

»" ■ Facing 733 

J"'"' - 737 

■^ •*'■ '• Facing 741 

ll>M<-a <). I'l'arcv " 745 

H. iiry a 747 

'• ■'-••'■ 1 Facing 757 

' Smith 700 

' ' "ning« 709 

773 

••"''"" Facing 774 

'- " 785 

" 7H8 

Facing 789 

• ■• - " 792 

••^''.v 70r, 

Facing 798 

"' " 801 

" 802 

' 805 

" 805 

••*') " 807 

"K" " 8011 



I 



PAGE. 

M. J. Seelig 810 

John S. Turner S18 

James Binns (decM) Facing 820 

Nathan Barney 825" 

Hon. Eben Moody Boynton Facing 825 

Charles Feltman (Biog. 199) " 827'' 

Lsaac A. Ketcliain 828" 

William Irvine Preston Facing 82 9» 

Robert Speir 832" 

II. S. Christian 834 

Horace F. Burroughs 836 

John Morton 837 

Elbert Snedeker Facing 838 

Bernard Gallagher " 838 

John D. Anderson " 839 

George W. Brown " 839 

John Lee " 840 

George AV. Brandt " 841 

James Rodwell " 841 

J. W. Campbell 842 

Patrick F. O'Brien Facing 842 

Thomas B. Rutan " 843 

Edward Freel " 843 

John S. Frost 844 

John Rome 845 

James Weaver Facing 846 

John H. O'Rourke 847 

Frederick Ilcrr 848 

John Doherty Facing 848 

Dauiel McCabe 849 

Robert Thomas 850 

Benjamin T. Lynch 851 

Benjamin C. Miller Facing 855 

Chester Bedell " 855 

Edwin II. Burnett 856 

Lindsay James Wells 857 

J.acob Rapelye (deceased) Facing 859 

Leonard Moody, (Biog. 860) " 860° 

James C. Eadie " 800 

William O. Sumner " 801 

Nicholas Cooper " 861 

Julius Davenport 802 

Chester D. Burrows, Jr ... Facing 864 

Col. James McLeer 808 

Hon. William H. Lyon Facing 874 

Augustus C. Tale 877 

Gen. Alfred C. Barnes Facing 878 

Edwin Bulkley " 880 

Henry C. Ilulbert " 881 

.\aron D. Farmer " 883 

Daniel C. Robbins " 884 

Jeremiah J. Rapi)elyea (deceased) " 880 

Jo.seph C. Hutchison, ]\[. D " 894 

Samuel Fleet S])eir, M. D " 895 

I lomer L. Bartlett, M. D " 890 

I Ferd. W. Ostrander, M. D " 897 



LIST OF PORTRAITS— VontiuuuL 



Corntliiis Olcolt, M. D Facing 697 

Thomas P. Noiris, M. D !)00 

George Wackorhagon, JI. D Facing 001 

George K. Fowler, M. D " 902 

Edward C. Mann, M. D " 90:5» 

Edward S. Bunker, 3[. D " 903 

Thomas L. Smith, M. D " 904 

Wm. M. L. Fiske, M. D " Old 

David A. Gorton, M. D " 915 

S. T. Birdsall, M. D " 910 

Dennis E. Smith, M. D " 918 

Wm. TI. Bowlst)y, M. D 910 

William Henry Dudley, M. D Facing 932 

Chauncey L. Mitchell, M. D " 9;J3 

John Byrne, M. D " 934 

George VV. Fraim " 940 

Salmon Skinner (deceased) 947 

David Salmon Skinner 949 

Charles Claghorn Facing 960 

Charles II. Rivers 962 

Eugene G. Blackford Facing 967 

Benjamin W. West 909 

Samuel L. Storer Facing 970 

Samuel B. Miller " 97o 

Rev. Samuel M. Haskins, I). D 1008 

Rt. Rev. Abram N. Littlejohn, D. D Facing 1012 

Rev. Ricliard S. Storrs, D. D " 1010 

Rev. Henry Ward Beecher " 1020 

Very Rev. William Keegan " 1047 

Rev. Sylvester Malone " 1050 

Rev. Thomas DeWitt Talmage, D. D 1003 

Albert Woodruff Facing 1091 

Eli Robbins " 1102 

Amos Robbins " 1103 

Frederick Loeser " 1104 

Gabriel Harrison " 1152 

Charles Storrs " 1158 

Augustus Young 1160 

G. Frank E. Pearsall Facing 1 167 

Hon. Deraas Barnes " 1172 

Col. Henry E. Roelir Facing 1175 

Bernard Peters " 1177 

Isaac Van Anden (deceased) 1183 



Hon. Tliomas KiuHellu (deceased) Facing 

Col. William Hester " 

Hon. Wm. Krigena Robinson " 

John T. Runcie (H'og. 008) " 

Maj.-Gen. Thoma.s S. Dakin (deceased).. " 

Gen. Quincy Adams Giiimorc " 

Hon. Benjamin F. Tracy " 

Hon. Benjamin D. Silliman " 

Samuel Bowne Duryea " 

Gen. Ilarmanus B. Duryea " 

Samuel D. Morris " 

Thomas G. Shearman, Esq " 

Hon. Jasper W. Gilbert " 

Judge Calvin E. Pratt 

Lueicn Birdseyc Facing 

Winchester Britton " 

E. II. Ilobbs " 

Tunis G. Bergen, Esq " 

Hon. George L. Thompson 

Walter L. Livingston, Esq 

Timothy Perry Facing 

Rufus L. Scott " 

Edmund Terry " 

Hon. William II. Wanug 

Andrew J. Perry Facing 

John M. Stearns 

Brewster Kissam Facing 

A. Oreille Millard " 

Robert Van Buren, C. E. (Biog. 594) 

Nelson Sizer 

Julius E. Meyer 

Hon. Albert Daggett Facing 

John A. Voorhees 

James Schenck . 

Charles N. Peed 

William Harkncss Facine 

George W. Coger 

Louis Bossert 

William II. Marston 

Ezra B. Tuttle Facing 

Charles II. Reynolds 

John J. Hardy Facing 



PAOB. 

1185 

11H7 

1100 
1102 
12O0 
I'.'O- 

vrii 

1230 

12M2 
12.) 3 
1236 
1240 
1275 
1278 
1281 
1283 
1286 

I--'.' 

IJ'.'H 

1201 
1202 
1 •-".•» 
1203' 

lert.i 
I-."."; 

1207 
1326 
1.130 
1333 
1334 
1343 
1345 
1360 
1370 



1384 
1385 
1386 
1304 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 



PAGB. 

The N. Y. and Brooklyn Bridge — Frontispiece. 

Atlantic Docks and Basin 636 

The Niagara Direct-Acting Pump 684 

Columbian Iron Works 685 

E. W. Bliss' Machine Shop and Foundries 689 

E. W. Bliss' Residence, " Owl's Head "... Facing 688 

The William Cabbie Excelsior Wire Works 696 

The H. W. Peace Co.'s Vulcan Saw Works 699 



PAGE. 



Schwalbach & Obrig's Factory "'^^ 

E. G. Webster & Bro.'s Silver-Plating Work.-* ... 
Wm. Wall & Son's Rope and Cordage Works.. 
John Good's Roperaaking Machinery EsUblishm't 
Wm. H. Mairs & Co.'s Paper Han-j' " 'fy. 

Martin Worn & Sons' Furniture ^^ 

J. S. Loomis' Moulding and Planing Mill 736 

D. Applet on & Co.'s Book Bindery "39 



o: 

718 
723 
724 
731 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATION'S— Continued. 



PAGE. 

IVarce &, IlallV Hat Factory "*« 

I ' n Porcelain Works and Wares 763 

I . Ducker'8 Cracker Manufactory 770 

C ii;»ri' » A. Schiertn it Co.'s Manufactory 781 

Gcorf^e M. Eddy ifc Co. '8 Manufactory 793 

0. F. Hawley's Manufactory 797 

F. W. Wuniter's Factory 800 

John J. Green's Monumental Workei 804 

Brooklyn Clay Retort and Fire Brick Works. . . 806 

A. G. Jennings «fc Sons' Lace Works 808 

Charles S. Higgins' Soap Manufactory 811 

Ch.irle!i W. Held's Piano Warerooms 812 

F. Kocliow's Patent Compound Steam Engine.. 822 

August Moll's Manufactory 823 

E. M. Boynton's Saw and File Co 823 

Downing & Lawrence's Marine Railway 824 

Barney's Automatic Dumping-Boat 826" 

K'tcliam's Submarine Torpedo-Boat 828' 

Arms of the United States 

" Sea-Breeze," — Residence of S. F. Speir, M. D. 

Facing 895 
"Fenimore" — Residence of IL L. Bartlett, M. D. 

Facing 896 

St. Catharine's Hospital 928 

Long Island College Hospital 929 

St. Mary's General Hospital 934 

Dr. Skinner's Residence 948 

Packer Collegiate Institute 951 

Adelphi Academy 954 

S. John's (R. C.) College 955 

Academy of the Visitation (R. C.) 957 

Brooklyn Orphan Asylum 973 

First Building of the Association for Improving 

the Condition of the Poor 975 

Pre.fent Buihling of same 975 

The Graham Institution 970 

The Brooklyn Nursery 977 

The Baptist Home 978 

Orphan House of the Church Charity Foundation. 979 

S' ' ' Hospital, Church Charity Foundation, 979 

-N . - Home 980 

Home for Friendless Women and Children .... 9S.'J 

Helirew Orphan Asylum 984 

Brooklyn Industrial Home 985 

Brooklyn Industrial School and Home (E. D.). . 985 

Inebriates' Home 989 

St. John's (R. C; Male Orphan Asylum 991 

I rnicd Church 993 

' ' , ■'- Reformed Church 990 

IvfO Avenue Reformed Church 997 

<'"tt.i til,- I.«e Ave. Reformed Church 

•" ' 997 

The Second St. Ann's (P. E.) Church 999 

The Present St. Ann's (P. E.) Church looo 

rimreh of Holy Trinitv (P. E.) . io02 

< ;rr.,-.. (P. E.) Church . ." . . ^ ' . . ! ! 1004 

< luirch of the Pilgrims (Cong.) IO15 



PAGE. 

Plymouth Church (Cong.) • 1018 

Plymouth Church Bethel (Cong.) 1021 

Central Congregational Church 1025 

Puritan (Cong.) Church 1026 

Sands Street (M. E.) Church 1030 

Simpson (M. E.) Church 1033 

First Place (M. E.) Church 1035 

St. John's (M. E.) Church 1035 

Fleet Street (M. E.) Church 1036 

Willoughby Avenue (M. E.) Church 1038 

Nostrand Avenue (M. E.) Church 1039 

Grace (M. E.) Church 1040 

Central (M. E.) Church 1041 

Park Avenue (P. M.) Church 1043 

The Art Association Building 1136 

Organ in Tabernacle Pres. Church 1061 

South Third Street Pres. Church 1065 

The Old Franklin Avenue Pres. Church 1066 

Lafayette Avenue Pres. Church 1068 

Ross Street Pres. Church 1069 

Throop Avenue Pres. Church 1070 

Memorial Pres. Church 1071 

Noble Street Pres. Church 1072 

First Baptist Church 1075 

Pierrepont Street Baptist Church 1075 

Central Baptist Church 1077 

Washington Avenue Baptist Church 1078 

Greenwood Baptist Church 1079 

Centennial Baptist Chirch 1079 

Sixth Avenue Baptist Church 1080 

Greenpoint Baptist Church lOSl 

First Baptist Church (E. D.) 1082 

St. Matthew's Eng. Lutheran Church 1084 

Church of the Savior (L^nitarian) 1086 

The Old Suydam House 1099 

Mr. G. Frank E. Pearsall's Photograph Studio.. . 1168 

The Eagle Office 1181 

The Garfield Building 1300 

The Brooklyn Institute 1303 

The Long Island Historical Society's Building... 1305 

The Pierrepont House 1359 

Wechsler & Abraham's New Stores 1363 

James Weir's Conservatories and Green-Houses . 1364 

Richard Shannon's Green-Houses 1365 

James Dean's Green-Houses 1365 

Johnston Bros.' Stores (4 cuts) . 1308 

John Harrison's Grocer}' Establishment 13C9 

A. & S. Ilaviland & Co.'s Stores 1370 

Henry Schade's Silver-Plating Factory 1372 

Cowperthwait Co.'s Furniture Warehouses 1373 

Jesse A. Crandall's Manufactory 13 73 

M. Webster & Sons' Warerooms 1374 

Joseph J. Byers' Shoe Store 1376 

William Ilarkness' Stores 1379 

Louis Bossort's Manufactory 1382 

S. Tuttle's Son & Co.'s Coal Yards 1385 

C. IT. Reynolds' Coal and Wood Yards 1387 



THE 



COMMERCE OF BROOKLYN 



Bv ^ (F.^f%^'-ii^-e.<^9:^^^ 



UXTJKE any oiIrt groat seaport of our country, 
or the world, Brooklyn and the uounty of 
Kings has no separate existence as a port of 
entry; but, while possessing an unrivaled water 
front, with the most magnificent docks and piers in the 
world, and an unlimited capacity for expansion, till it 
may be able to receive and store the entire products of 
a continent, it suffers the humiliation of knowing that 
all this vast commerce is credited to New York City; 
ami that there does not exist either in the New York 
Custom House, the reports of the Produce Exchange, 
or the New York Chamber of Commerce, or, indeed, 
in the records of any government or mercantile office, 
the data for giving to Brooklyn its quota of credit for 
her share in this immense traffic, which has no rival on 
this side of the globe. 

Yet our statistics of the Brooklyn commerce as com- 
pared with that of New York — statistics collected with 
infinite labor and pains, and the comparison of the 
business of the largest shipping houses with the returns 
of the commerce of the port of New York, officially 
rendered, show the following facts, viz.: 

1. That the arrivals and departures of shipping, 
both sail and steam, at the wharves, piers and docks of 
Brooklyn, are to New York arrivals .and departures as 
9 to 7. 

2. That the (jrahi receipts and shipments at Brook- 
lyn warehouses, and by ships loading and unloading at 
Brooklyn piers, docks and wharves, are in proportion 
of 76 to 24 of those of New York. 

3. That the proportion of receipts and shiijnierifs of 
provisions is very nearly 80 for Brooklyn to - 
New York. 

4. That the receipts of raw suyars and molasxes, 
from all quarters, go to the Brooklyn warehouses for 
transfer to the Brooklyn sugar refineries, almost wholly; 
hardly ten per cent, being received in New York. 

5. That the receipts and shipments of cotton are 
nearly one-half at and from Brooklyn warehouses. 

6. That the greater part of i\w petroleum oils, all ex- 
cept those for the refineries on the Jersey side, come 



tiirough the Standard Oil Company's pipes to the refin- 
eries in Williamsburg and Long Lsland City, and the 
shipments to foreign and to other American portu, go 
from the refineries direct on ship-boanl, without touch- 
ing New York city, either in receipt or shipment. 'I'he 
whole, or nearly the whole, of the petroleum traffic be- 
longs to Brooklyn. 

7. The proportion of the receipts and shipments of 
general mercha7idise are the most difficult to ascertain. 
There are many large warehouses in New York which 
have, for a long term of years, received the bulk of 
certain articles known under this general denomina- 
tion; but it is doubtful if there are not more in Brook- 
lyn. In general, it may be said, that the greater j>art 
of the imported dress goods and dry goods come to 
New York warehouses; that, of imported metals — iron, 
steel, copper, lead, zinc and tin — about two-thirds come 
to Brooklyn; that teas and raw silk come generally to 
New York; but coffee, spices, cocoa, chocolate, flax, 
hemp, jute, cordage and the materials of which it is 
made, argols, medicinal barks, crude camphor, chemi- 
cals, bleaching powder, medicinal gumSjdyewoods, dried 
and salted fish, guano, gypsum and fertilizers gener- 
ally, India rubber, indigo, madder, oils, sulphur, bread- 
stuffs, bristles, dried fruits, glass, leather and manufac- 
tures of leather, paints, potatoes, salt, provisions, salt- 
petre, seeds, soda an<l salts of soda, manufactures of 
tin, tobacco, and perhaps of spirituous liquors, watches, 
wool and woolen rags, belong more properly to the 
Brooklyn warehouses: while books, paintings, jewelry 
perfumery, i)aper, cabinet furniture and woods, musi- 
•al instruments, etc., etc., are more generally sent to 
the New York warehouses. In general mer. ' 
while the bulk is very largely on the side of i ■ . 

as nearly as can be estimated, taking the average of 
the past three years. New York city has about 44 per 
cent, of the values, and Brooklyn about 56 per cent. 
This covers the whole imports, and much of the ex- 
ports. We may remark, however, that the limited ex- 
tent and moderate storage room of the New "i ork 
warehouses, which are contiguous to the docks and 



634 



nrSTORT or KINGS COUNTY. 



|.r viJed with elevaton*, and other means of rapid 
' - .1 ...I . i:. . causes all of our exports which 

, to be brought to the Brooklyn 
irc of immense and constantly in- 

:. I lying directly at the edge of the 

: piers, and can transfer entire cargoes to ves- 

:i single truck. Thus, one of 
-rs occupy 52 large warehouses, 
all on the Brooklyn side, besides extensive covered 
|.i»-n!, titil! iivonient for loading and unloading. 

Au'^tht-r i. - !i warehouses. Tiiis is particularly 

true of the loading and unloading of grain for export. 
We have stated the amount of grain handled in Brook- 
lyn and put on board vessels at Brooklyn docks, as 76 
per cent, of the whole; but we do not mean to be under- 
stood that the remaining 24 per cent, goes into Now 
Vork warehouses. Not at all. We have serious 
doubts whether, as matters are now arranged, 1,000,000 
buHheU of grain go into New York warehouses in a 
year; that from the Erie, Pennsylvania, and Delaware, 
I^ckawaiina A- Western R. R.'s conies to Hoboken, or 
Jersey City, and is taken up by elevators there in the 
warehouses on the Jei-sey side, and from thence trans- 
ferretl to the ships. That from the Erie, Delaware and 
lludsun, Morris and Karitan canals, and from Albany 
barges, sailing vessels and steamers, goes mostly to 
Brooklyn direct, or is picked up by the floating ele- 
vators, and loaded on vessels either at Brooklyn or New 
Vork wharves and docks. The New York Central and 
Hudson River R. 11. has one or more elevators of its 
own, but very much of the grain brought on its cars is 
lightered or lirought by floating elevators direct to the 
Brooklyn warehouses. 

In regard to the grain receipts and shipments, 
lir'.oklyn has virtual control of the trade. All of the 
regular grain warehouses recognized by the New York 
Produce Exchange are in Brooklyn All of the float- 
ing elevator companies are ofticered by Brooklyn 
men, and all of these elevators — thirty-four in num- 
ber — start from Brooklyn and bring grain for the 
Brooklyn warehouses, or load it upon vessels at the 
Brooklyn wharves. The president of the largest of 
these companies (the International), Mr. Annan, who 
controls 22 of these floating elevators, two of double 
capacity, is also a partner in the great grain house of 
Ha/.ellinc A Co., the occupants of |)o\vk', the Colum- 
bia, and the Kelsey stores. 

The interests of Mr. George D. Pufl'er, President of 
the New York Floating Elevator Company, who run 
five floating elevators, are also wholly identified with 
Brooklyn, 'i'he same is true of Messrs. Ileuberer, 
Knapp Sc. McCord, W. D. Mangam's Son, Marsh, 
Whilf A Co., and S. M. Curncll, who own, together, 
•even floating elevators. The entire storage capacity 
of nil the Hlalioiiary elevators in New ^ork city, in- 
cluding those of tho New Vork Central and Hudson 
River H. R. Co., is only :),:i»0,000 bushels, of which 



the New York Central is 2,300,000 bushels. Those of 
Jersey have a capacity of 3,000,000 bushels. Neither 
of them is ever full. The Brooklyn stationary eleva- 
tors have a capacity of 20,000,000 bushels, and, as the 
' Produce E.\change reports show, handled over 150,000,- 
I 000 bushels of grain in 1882, and more than 200,000,- 
000 bushels in 1881. But the grain trade, large as it 
is, is only one item of Brooklyn's commerce. Below 
Fulton Ferry, and between that and Fortieth street, 
South Brooklyn, are nearly twenty firms, many of 
them controlling large blocks of warehouses and pier 
sheds, who do a general merchandise business, some of 
them handling mainly imported goods, others both 
imports and exports. One of these houses already re- 
ferred to, Messrs. G. C. and J. P. Robinson, in 1882, 
in their 52 warehouses, received and shipped merchan- 
dise valued at $105,000,000. Another, F. Woodruff 
& Co., as the average of three years in their 28 ware- 
houses, handled .i;5:i,000,000. The receipts and ship- 
ments of the whole twenty firms can hardly be less 
than $325,000,000, and may exceed that amount. 

But, aside from these, there are two large oil refiner- 
ies belonging to Bush and Denslow; five or six large 
lumber yards at the Gowanus Canal and Erie Basin ; 
two coal yards of great ext"nt; two rosin yards; eight 
ship yards, four of them with dry docks, those of 
Messrs. William Camp ifc Son being the largest in the 
world, and one with an immense marine railway, suffi- 
cient to accommodate the largest ocean steamships; six 
piers for steamship lines landing their passengers and 
freight in Brooklyn; three inspection yards, one for 
tobacco, and two for pork, etc. ; five large ferry slips 
for the Hamilton, South, Wall street, and the two An- 
nex ferries, to which should be added the Fulton ferry 
slip and the Bridge pier ; the two great flouring mill 
piers of F. E. Smith and Jewell Brothers, and one of 
the Knickerbocker Ice Company's piers. There are, 
moreover, extensive foundries, iron works, and pump- 
ing engine works, which ship their products from these 
wharves and |)iers. There is no separate record of the 
number of vessels which discharge or receive their car- 
goes at these piers and wharves, for the arrivals and 
clearances are all made at the Naval Office in New 
York, but there must be several thousands every year. 
We cannot obtain any definite statistics of the business 
transacted or the moneys received in these various 
commercial houses, but in some of them we know that 
it amounts to many millions. 

. If we go back one or two streets from the water 
front, we shall find, for nearly the whole distance, great 
manufactories, machine shops, iron foundries, etc., etc., 
whose products are all shipped from these wharves and 
piers. 

Northward and north-eastward from Fulton Ferry 
to Hunter's Point, the piers and wharves loaded with 
merchandise, and the numberless vessels loading and 
unloading indicate that the commerce is very nearly as 



THE COMMI'IK'E r>r i: i:<K) l< I.V X. 



extensive as below that forry, though (if a somewhat 
(lifffi-i'iit cliaractcr. In the region we liave already 
(lescrihcd, there were three artificial and one natural 
water eourses and basins, stream and bay, to increase 
the water-front, viz. : the Eric and Atlantic I'.asins, 
Gowanus Bay and Creek, and Gowanus Canal. In the 
northern division (north of Fulton ferry), there are 
the Wallal>out Bay, Basin and Canal, Bushwick Creek, 
anil Newtown Creek and Canal. Of these, the first 
three and the last two add greatly to tlie water front 
of this portion of the (uty. 

There are si-x ferries to New York on this portion of 
the water front, some of them having two or three 
termini in that city. It is noteworthy, also, that in 
this part of the water front, numerous and important 
as are the conmiercial houses directly fronting the 
water, the great manufactories, for two or three streets 
back from the shore, contribute an equal, or nearly 
equal, amount of their products to the commerce of 
the city. 

Above the Fulton ferry and the Bridge pier, we 
have, first, two extensive coal-yards, and then long 
lilocks of warehouses, kirewn as the Fulton and Em- 
pire Stores. On the next street east are Tobacco In- 
spection Stores, the Fulton Sugar Refinery, Iron 
Works, Artificial Ice Machine Works, an extensive 
Brewery, etc. Next on the river front arc cooperage 
and stave yards, Arbuckle's immense coffee and s])ice 
warehouses, and behind them, Taylor's foundry and 
engine works. Bliss' immense press and die works, 
llardick's steam pump factory ; next on the river are 
Benton's steam and gas pipe works, Nathan's coal 
yards, the Jay street stores, the offices of the Delaware 
and Hudson Canal Co., Crabb and Wilson's sugar 
refinery, Poillon's ship yard, and above these, the At- 
lantic white lead works, and the Brooklyn Gas Com- 
pany. On Plymouth and Water Streets, immediately 
behind these establishments, are a host of great manu- 
factories, all of them sending immense amounts of 
their products abroad, from the wharves below and the 
other piers and wharves of Brooklyn. Among these, 
are the great color house of Sondheim, Alsburg cfc Co., 
the paint, color and varnish works of J. W. Masury &, 
Son, the Averill Paint Co., C. T. Reynolds & Co., In- 
gersoll & Co., etc., etc., the Somers decorated tin 
works, the Paris white, whiting and cork works of 
Truslow & Co., Rochow's stationary engine works, 
one or two large breweries, Clayton's steam pumps, 
<fec., &c. 

Beyond Gold street, the Navy Yard occupies an ex- 
tensive tract fronting on Wallabout Bay, but the Wal- 
l.ibout basin and canal redeems a considerable district 
for commerce and manufactures. The Navy Yard in- 
directly makes a considerable a<ldition to our com- 
merce, in the extent of supplies of all sorts required, 
and brought thither from various quarters, in the 
arrival and departure of vessels belonging to the fleet. 



and of Hclioolship.s, and in llie coming of sliips from 
the navies of oilier nations, either on friendly visitH or 
for repairs. 

But aside from these, the Wallabout ba«in and canal 
have two very large gas-works, ii st.ilionary elevator 
and mill, a large coal yard, and an oil workn, a di*- 
tillery, the sugar relineries of iMoller, Sicrc-k !c Co., 
and of DeCastro and Donner, the largesl retail lumber 
yard in the I'nited States, that of Cross, Austin A Co., 
the Knickerbocker Ice Co. 'a largest depot, and a very 
large lath and brick yard. Back of these again are 
numerous large manufactories, the great book factory 
of Messrs. Ap|)leton & Co., steam punij> works, several 
stone and marble works of great extent, particularly 
that of Gill Si, Baird; the Royal Baking Powder Co., 
an immense establishment, the New York Tartar Co., 
etc., etc. 

The extensive ferry-house of the Roosevelt and 
South Seventh street ferries occupy a considerable 
space, but are succeeded immediately by the great 
sugar refineries of Havemeyer & Elder, the Brooklyn, 
the Long Island, another of Havemeyer it Folder's, and 
Dick ifc Meyer's refinery. Sugar refining is the largest 
manufacturing industry of Brooklyn, its annual |)ro- 
duct exceeiling ^100,000,000, and most of it is concen- 
trated in this district. The sugar refineries are also 
important in this commercial aspect, as more than 
nineteen-twentieths of the sugar which they refine is 
imported direct for them, and a large proportion of 
their products are exported or transported by our ship- 
ping to other Atlantic ports. Here are also two or 
three large lumber yards, one shipping yard, one large 
cooperage, four stave yards, the Philadelphia and Read- 
ing Coal and Iron Co.'s yard, a gas-light company, 
and the immense oil works of Charles Pratt tt Co. 
The ferry-house of the Grand street ferry is also in 
this district, and at the northern limit of the district, 
Bushwick creek enters the East river. At its junction, 
the Quay street Continental iron works are situated, an 
immense establishment for building and fitting steam- 
ships, supplying boilers, engines, shafts, <fec. Here, 
also, is .John H. Engles it Son's gre.at ship yard, and 
the Manhattan Compress and Pipe Factory. The tJreen- 
point ferry, having two termini in New York, comes 
next. From this to Newtown creek, are mostly lumber 
yards, spar and box yards ami factories, and Hara- 
way's extensive dye works. Along the Brooklyn side 
of Newtown creek are the Devoe Manuf.acturing Co., 
and Empire oil works, the Greenpoint glass works, very 
extensive, and Charles F. Haveraeyer's sugar ro6nery, 
as well as some other lumber yards, a Bohemian glasn 
manufactory, the vast chemical works of ^(artin Kalb- 
fleisch's Sons, and the L. Waterbury & Co. ropewalk. 
said to be the largest in the world. 

The warehouses and great mannfactories along the 
East river and Newtown creek, above Fulton ferry, 
have an annual business of more than $250,000,000. 



636 



HISTORY OF KINGS COUNTY. 



1 -,.,..„ .,f the basins, canals, and 

«i> >n. which give the city so great 

York for commercial piir- 

j. , , _ ..- and marine railway, which 

draw hither the largest ocean Htearaers needing repairs. 

T four or five basins, all of large size, on 

lh«- 1 water-front, viz.: the Erie and Brooklyn 

Basin*, spoken of, collectively, as the Erie Basin ; 
thi- '■' Docks and Biisin ; the Wallabout Basin 

ail' .lid adjacent to it, and generally considered 

a pan ot it, the Eent Avt'nue Basin. Aside from 
the«e, there are the Improvements of the Brooklyn Im- 
provement Co., and others around Gowanus bay, creek, 
and canal, and branches ; the, as yet nut fully corn- 



rendered a second application to the Legislature neces- 
sary, and work was commenced in June, 1841. At the 
time Col. Richards conceived this idea, forty-four 
years ago, the whole tract southwest of Hamilton 
avenue, and much of that between Third avenue and 
Gowanus bay, was a swaiujiy marsh, without sufficient 
water on its surface to be navigable anywhere for any- 
thing more than very small boats, and much of it was 
uncovered at low water, and often sent up the odors of 
decaying vegetation. A few squatters occupied the 
more elevated hummocks, but it was valueless for 
building or commercial ])urposes. Col. Richards de- 
voted himself to the work with great energy and amid 
many discouragements for five years, when be turned 







.\'rL.\NTIC DOCKS A.ND ll.v^-LN. 



pleted improvement, Bushwick inlet; and the extensive 
wharvi-H, dockH, and canai-s, on the Brooklyn side of 
Newtown creek. 

Our liiniu do not permit so full a description of 
tliiMM- great works as we would like to insert, but we 
will i-ndeavor t» give a brief account of each of them, 
preiiiiiiing that the most advanced of them are but just 
eoniplft«-d, while i.lhers are yet in progress. 

Atlantic Docks.— Treat ing the subject chronologi- 
cally, we liiid liiat the Atlanti.- Jjucks and Basin were 
the fiml of these iiii|iroveinents projected, and were 
the fintt to be coinpleteil. Col. Daniel Richards was 
the originator of the plan, and his surveys, sound- 
ing*, itc, were made in iHiiH, and the Atlantic Dock 
Company was incorporated, in May, Im40, with a capi- 
tal of ||,(»(mi,i»oo ; but a (.light change in their plans 



his attention to other enterprises; and Mr. James S. T. 
Stranahan became interested in the Atlantic Docks, of 
which, by subsequent purchases from the other stock- 
holders, he became the princijial proprietor. 

For several years the company met with many dis- 
couragements and disappointments; and it was not till 
1847, si.v years after its commencement, that its suc- 
cess began to be assured. The corner-stone of the 
first warehouse was laid in 1844, but it was not until 
1847 that the first steam grain elevator was erected for 
a warehouse on the north pier. There are now eight 
elevators, having a total storage capacity of 7,500,000 
bushels in the warehouses on those docks. The basin 
has an area of forty acres water surface, and the ware- 
houses surrounding and enclosing it cover more than 
twenty acres. It is entered by a passage-way two 



THE COMMERCE OF BROOKLYN. 



ear 



hundred feet wide, and has wharf room for one hun- 
dred and fifty vessels. It lias a d('])th of more than 
twenty feet of water at low tide, so that very largo 
ocean steamers can be loaded or unloaded there. The 
first cost and present value of this property exhibits 
very clearly the jirogress of Brooklyn in commercial 
greatness within forty years. ''The land and water 
rights for this great property " (which included land ex- 
tending to or beyond Ifamilton avenue), were pun-Iiased 
for $158,000, payable in stock, and the circumference 
was apportioned into 540 lots, valued at from $400, for 
the front lots, to $'250 for those in the rear, the whole 
aggregating $040,000, which was the contemplated 
cost of the docks. 

As we have said, there are now more than twenty 
acres of warehouses and eight elevators on these docks, 
but independent of the value of these, or any buildinfs 
on this property, the present value of the land and 
water rights exceeds twelve million dollars. 

The Erie and Brooklyn Basins were next in 
oriler of time. These, also, originated in the fertile 
and enterprising brain of Col. Richards, though their 
actual designing and building were the work of Jere- 
miah P. Robinson; and the construction of both the 
basins and their warehouses has been under the super- 
intendcncy of William Beard. The owners of the 
Erie Basins and the land bordering on it are J. P. & 
G. C. Robinson and William Beard, and they and 
Fianklin Woodruff, and one or two other parties, also 
own the Brooklyn Basin and the lands adjacent. 

The two companies own, or did own, at the beginning 
of their enterprise in 1856 or 1857, with the exception 
of some small tracts nearest to Hamilton avenue, the 
entire territory bounded by Van Brunt street, Hamil- 
ton avenue, Gowanus Creek, south of Hamilton avenue, 
and the water rights now bounded by the piers and 
wharves of the Erie Basin. Much of this territory was 
under water at high tide, and most of the remainder 
was inhabited by squatters, even as late as 1864, when 
the immense excavations having been completed, the 
foundations of the docks were commenced by the driv- 
ing of piles, 25 feet in length, close to each other, driven 
even with the surface, and bedded with concrete. On 
this foundation were reared massive superstructures of 
solid stone, faced at the water fronts with granite. The 
first of the dry-docks was completed in October, 1866, 
and a vessel admitted to it. There are now three of 
these dry-docks, capable of receiving the largest steam- 
ships and merchant vessels afloat, even when loaded. 
Large warehouses have been erected upon both sides 
of these docks for the reception of the cargoes of laden 
vessels seeking the use of the docks, and for general 
storage. There are now 52 of these warehouses around 
the Erie Basin, most of them four stories or more in 
height, 1.32 feet in depth, and 29 feet in breadth, which 
are occupied by Messrs. J. P. & G. C. Robinson alone 
for their extensive warehouse and storage business. 



Many 111 hers arc occupied by other firms engagetl in 
the same business. The whole water area of tlie two 
Basins (the Brooklyn and Erie) is 100 acreii, of which 
60 are included in the Erie and »o in the Brooklyn 
Basin. The owners secured in the beginning l.ooo.ooo 
square feet of submerged territory, beside all the land 
which they purchased, and most of which was filled up 
from excavations made for the B:isins. 



Jkremiaii p. Rodinsojj.— The cnreor of IIiIh wicL-Iy-known 
gentleman is another illustration, lis well of the U-nciitn 
which our free institutions ami unliniited privilpgefl to law- 
abiding citizens vouchsafe to the diligent. Bcti%-e. faithful 
and honest workers in the land, as it is to the fact that with- 
out earnest labor and unceasing toil no great <:redit or nuc- 
cess can te attained. , 

Mr. Robinson coranicnced his business life a [loor \tny , and 
lias gained an enviable reputation and an abundant fortune; 
and is now entitled to si>end the remainder of his il;iv» in 
peace and quietude, if he so desires, without further slnig- 
gles with the problems of life than those which will come to 
him in his works of kindness and charity to his fellows. 

True, he had the advantage of a long line of ancestors, 
both paternal and maternal, noted for honorable and praise- 
worthy conduct; and this alone always endows the youth 
about entering upon the career of nianhooil with an inde- 
pendent and fearless spirit. He now looks Isick to the his- 
tory of liis ancestors, so far as he is able to trace it, and ran 
find no smell of fire upon their garments and no blot upon 
the family escutcheon. Among the first .settlers of Rho<le 
Island, those ancestors were contemporaneous with Roger 
Williams, who settled in Providence in 10:<6 ; since which 
time their descendants have lieen known in all parts of the 
land, in the pulpit, in the forum, on the bench, and in al- 
most every branch of business. 

On the Robinson side, William Robinson, six generations 
removed from the subject of our sketcli. was a prominent 
man in Rhode Island. Sturdy and indu.strious. he V)«>came 
well known in the province as one of its most thrifty and 
valued citizens, and was frequently called to positions of 
high otiicial responsibility. It is not important for the pur- 
poses of this sketch to trace fully the characters of all hia 
progenitors. It is sufficient here to say that Governor Wil- 
liam Robinson was the great-grandfather of Chri-dopher 
Robinson, a prominent and wealthy man of his time in 
Rhode Island. Christopher was the father of George 
C. Robinson, the father of the subject of this sketch. 

George C. Robinson was a young man of great energy, 
courage and commercial enterprise. As many of the most 
promising of the youths of that period in that locality chose 
to follow the sea as a profession, George cast his lot in that 
direction. So marked were his ability, integrity .ind manly 
qualities (for none could attain the position without all of 
these recommendations in those days) that he soon bec&mc 
captain of a ship in the East India trade, and pushed his prow 
to the shores of countries a-s remote from his native land as 
any who sailed the then almost unknown seas. II i 

the daughter of Jeremiah Niles Potter whil<> <i': 
and was suddenly stricken down, while at C 
the age of thirty-two, leaving five small chn 
and without direct parental means of support, 
children, Jeremiah P. Robinson was the eldest. 

Having briefly alluded to his progenitors on the mo- 
side, it seems proper to state that the American p'-^ - 
of the faniili« s of Niles and Potter were among t i 



Of these live 



oa- 



nrsronv op ktn^gi^ county. 



\Xtn of Hhode Island, and were of the liighest respectability 
'iiiK. Jeremiah Niles was a man of large posses- 
ABM fur many yearn Judge of the Superior Court, 
from both kings, George II. and III., 
II pxtant and in the possession of Jere- 
son. He also held other important 
Alio came after him have ever been 
prou.l \e> trac-e to him the lineage of the families to which 
they txdonged. John Potter, whose fa'mily was also among 
the original nettlcrs of Rhode Island, w,-us a man of consider- 
able wealth and high character. One of his sons married 
into the Xiles family, and had a son named Jeremiah Niles 
Potter, who was the father of Mary Niles Potter, the wife of 
( 'aptiiin George C. Robinson and the mother of Jeremiah 
I'.iil.T Robinson. It will thus be seen thai Mr. Robinson 
tnir.-i his lineage on both his father's and his mother's side 
back through many generations of honorable men and 
women: and his Christian names are taken from the two di.s- 
tinguishe<l families on his mother's side. 

As before stated, upon the death of his father the mother 
and children were left in straitened circumstances; but the 
mother's father, Jeremiah Ndes Potter, quite a large landed 
proprietor, took his daughter, with her five helpless children, 
under protecting care at his home in South Kingstown, near 
the present village of Wakelield, Rhode Island, and gave his 
grandchildren such limited advantages for education as at 
that time were afforded in tliat locality, until they were pre- 
pared to undertake the struggle of life for themselves, the 
mother remaining at the old homestead until her death. 

Jekemiaii Potter Robinson was born on the 18th day of 
August, 1><19. in South Kingstown, Rhode Island, and is now 
(t88:j) sixty-four years of age. It would seem that he early 
developed an independent and fearless spirit. When about 
twelve years of age, having been used to the labor and toil 
to which farmers' boys of that period were subjected, and 
having liad but limited opportunities for obtaining an educa- 
tion, he went to Newport and entered the grocery store of 
his uncle, Stephen A. Robinson, where he attained the posi- 
tion of accountant. Here he remained about two and one- 
half years, when he returned to his grandfather's farm for a 
short time. In 1M30, at the age of si.xteen, he went to New 
York. Parental affection and an.\iety interposed objections 
to his undertaking, at that early age, to " paddle his own 
canoe," but the boy was mildly persistent, and finally ob- 
tained |>ermiHsion to go. 

New York was then a comparatively small city, but to the 
adventurous boy it was his ideal of an opportunity to make 
himiK-lf a man, and his fondest hopes have been more than 
realizf'd. He applied to various business houses for einjiloy- 
ment. visiting nearly all parts of the city, but failed to dis- 
cover anything which met his idea of properly starting upon 
bin buhiness career; until, after long and weary search, he 
W.U4 employe.1 by the firm of K. P. & A. WoodnilT, jobbers 
in HhIi, salt ami provisions. Under this engagement he was 
to U- boardeil In the family of his employers, for which -he 
wan to give hi.i later for two years, he clothing himself. He 
entered ui>on the jierformance of his duties with a will, and 
•oon oxhlliiteil the possession of those sterling qualities 
whirh, OM Hl.'p by Htej, he has advanced through life, have 
borne him evi-r on to success. His pay was steadily in- 
creiuM-il. He was prudent, economl(;al and painstaking. His 
Hlrict attention to business, steady habits and pleasing de- 
meanor drew the attention of many leading business men to 
him, an<l Haltering olTers wer(i made to him to leave his old 
employers; but he htemlfastly stood by them, attending to 
their ulTairs so faithfully that, at the end of his fourth year's 
Borvico, hu was offered and accepted a partnership in the 



firm of the Messrs. Woodruff. From this time on he has 
held a high place in the business world. He immediately 
took charge of some of the most important business interests 
of the concern. After a few years, Mr. E. P. Woodruff died, 
and the style of the firm was changed to A. Woodruff & 
Robinson. This firm soon added the warehousing and stor- 
age departments to their other business, thus becoming the 
pioneers in this line, and prosperity marked their course un- 
til, a few years later, Mr. Woodruff retired from the firm, 
and the business was continued under the firm name of J. P. 
& G. C. Robinson. Thus, in a comparatively short time, Mr. 
Robinson rose from the boy working for his board to the 
head of one of the oldest, largest and most prosperous busi- 
ness concerns of its kind in the metropolis. G. C. Robinson 
of this firm is a younger brother of his. 

It is a fact worthy of note, that, with the exception of 
two years, wlien the oflfices of the concern were in Front 
street, his business desk has stood within seventy-five feet of 
where it now stands for fort3-five years: and he has, nearly 
all his life, done business on what is almost literally the site 
of the old house of the Messrs. Woodruff, when he entered 
their service as a poor boy. Sometime about the year 1843 
he began to look with much interest across the East river, 
from his then home in New York, upon the growing city of 
Brooklyn, and soon began to purchase large blocks of real 
estate on the Brooklyn river front, and to improve the same 
by building warehouses and piers at the foot of Congress and 
Warren streets. He was among the early pioneers of the great 
warehouse business of Brooklyn, which exists to-day to the 
benefit of the city. A few years later, in company with AVlL- 
LIAM Beard, lie became interested in water front in South 
Brooklyn, and they began the work of planning and con- 
structing the great Erie Basin and the adjoining basins, 
building piers and warehouses until at this time there is a 
wharfage and dockage of several miles, where vessels may 
be laden and unladen at this vast receptacle. It is the 
largest and most comprehensive dock system in the world 
under one management, and is one of the most important 
improvements made for the city, and it is predicted that in 
the near future it is destined to play an important part in the 
commercial interests of both Brooklyn and New York. Mr. 
William Beard, with whom Mr. Robinson has been so long 
associated, is still largely interested in these land and harbor 
improvements, and the firm of Beard & Robinson are still 
carrying on gigantic improvements which must inure to the 
public benefit: and both patrons deserve great credit for their 
energy, courage and sagacity, in bringing into use the waste 
lands and sand beaches of Brooklyn's water front. 

In this connection it is proper to say that Mr. Robinson 
has ever taken great pains in looking after the rights and 
interests of laboring men. Wlienever he has had opjjor- 
tunity to ameliorate their condition, either by counsel with 
those who had control of works where labor was employed, 
or in his o\yn business, which in many directions necessi- 
tates the employment of many laborers, he has shown, in . 
theory and practice, his desire and willingness to elevate 
and assist the honest laborer. In the great warehouse busi- 
ness, both at Mr. Robinson's Congress street stores and at 
the Erie Basin, where Mr. Beard and lie are together inter- 
ested, great care is taktui to pay each laliorer and employe 
Iil)erally' for any extra service ; the result of which is that 
the lalioier is pleased willi his employers, and the eiiiplojers 
are able to retain for many years faithful men who have 
their interests at heart. Thus should it be with capital and 
labor everywhere. 

Mr. Robinson was one of the prominent supporters of the 
great East River Bridge enterprise, now so succesfully estab- 



^^(<^^ WP^ 





^y^^^7^Z'^ t- A-^^i^ '^^^^'^ 




Tim COMMERCE or l: UnoK I. YS: 



il.'tO 



lished. As a bridge trustee, he ever gave faithful and intel- 
ligent attention to all the details of its progress and manage- 
ment, and honorably tilled the responsible office of President 
of the Board of Trustees through the most trying and 
difficult portion of rlie work. 

We have thus spoken of .Mr. Robinson in his general rela- 
tions as connected with New York and Brooklyn ; l)ut during 
all the time alluded to, he has e.xteudeil his aeiiuaintance and 
business connections not only over the Middle States and all 
New England, but largely into the British Provinces. Ue 
was for many years claimed to belong exclusively to New 
York city as a citizen ; but, since about 1843, when he 
removed his family to Brooklyn, Kings county has claimed 
him as her own. 

One of the most interesting and important events in his 
life Ikh thus far been allowed to remain unnoticed in this 
sketch, and that is his marriage, at the age of twenty-four 
years, with a most estimable and charming lady. Miss 
Elizabeth DeW'itt, of Cranberry, New Jersey. Space does 
not permit lis in this article to adequately estimate this 
lady's strong character and many virtues, and hence it will 
not be attempted. It is enough to say in this con- 
nection that she bore him live children, two sons and three 
daughters. 

One of the sons, Jlr. Isaac Rich Robinson, resides on the 
old homestead. This estate, together with six hundred and 
fifty acres adjoining, is now owned by his father, who 
keeps the old place, as sacred to the memory of Orrinil- 

father Potter and the fond recollections of his child 1 1^ 

days. 

His son, Mr. Jeremiah P. Robinson, Jr., is largely con- 
nected in active business with his father. He is widely 
known in business circles already, and it is acknowledged 
that he is most capable and far-reaching in his transactions. 
It may be well for the father to look well to his own laurels 
lest his son and namesake should overshadow them. It is 
thought, however, that the father would regard such an 
occurrence with complacency. 

Mr. Robinson and his family are attendants at the Church 
of the Pilgrims, of which the Rev. Richard S. Storrs is 
pastor, and he has contributed liberally towards its support, 
and all charitable objects in wliich it is engaged. It may be 
stated as an interesting f.act in this connection, that for a 
period of one hundred and fifty years, the old Congrega- 
tional church of Braintree, Mass., was presided over by 
only three pastors, each for about half a century. Rev. 
Samuel Niles, brother of Jeremiah Niles, who was a relative 
of Mr. Robinson, was the first, and the father of the Rev. 
Dr. Richard S. Storrs. was the last. 

Personally, Mr. Robinson is an unusually popular and lib- 
eral-minded gentleman. In his social relations, he is 
courtly, but unostentatious. He is not fond of glare and 
glitter, pomp and parade, but rather of that modest comfort 
and real social entertainment, which may be had among 
men and women of brains and heart. He is not a patron of 
the halls of fashion and show, but may be found among 
people of sterling worth and good sense. 

In politics, he is accredited to the democratic party; but, 
we think it may aafel}- be said of liim, as it may of many 
others of his class, that political garments, in a partisan 
sense, sit so loosely upon his shoulders, that he finds no 
difficulty in throwing them otf, when his party goes astray, 
either in men or measures. He has often been importuned 
to run for offices of high trust and honor, but has always 
persisted in declining even to have his name used as a candi- [ 
date before nominating conventions. Good men think that, j 
should he have consented to allow the use of his name as a 



Candid.ili' ...i.,i. ;.,• |i,-..,.i.-, I'-ni* mit-^ \vt>iu<i niwi* 
been almndoned and ho elit^ted, regardleiut uf iHirty uflUi- 
ations. 

Of such a man Kings County has a right to bo proud. TIo 

commented at the bottom of the ladder and huii lutcfixb ■! 

higher than most men ever get. He has Iwfn Hurctiwriil fur 

himself and family, and kind, helpful anil geneniux t<i the 

jioor. He haseievateil the standard of l«l>or, ami <'unlriljul4.Hl 

' largely to the public good in nunierouii wayH. lie liaa been 

I a builder, not a destroyer; a producer, not a coiuiumiT, 

except where to consume was to reproduce mure. He ha« 

j builded ;is the builders build, 

*' StuAtJlly, BteaiJII)'. ttlop by Mtop, 
Up tlio veiitiiroiin bulldoni Ku, 
Carefully plarlnir ntone on Mtnne, 
'Tin thus tbo loftlent tomplim (trow." 

His temple is near complete, and long may he live to 
enjoy its occupanc.v, and remain, as he ever has been, tho 
welcoming host of his many friends. 

Broad-shouldered, deei)-chested, large-hearte<i, fair-minded, 
kind and genial, firm and strong, Jeremiah Potter Robinson 
stands with commandmg presence to-day in the zenith of 
his manhood, admired by all those who know hitn well, and 
the peer of all honorable business men throughout the land. 



William Beard was born in the town of Foxhall, County 
Westmeath, Ireland, in 1804. He lost his mother before he 
was two years old, and his father at the age of seven years. 
After the death of his father he lived with his uncle till he 
arrived at the age of fourteen; leaving at that age to work at 
the stonemason's trade, at which he was employed in Ireland 
until he reached the age of seventeen, when he emigratefi to 
England, arriving there in M.ay, 1821. He was first employed 
in England by a small contractor at ditching, har\-esting, 
general labor, and afterward worked in a quarry a short 
time, and more or less at his trade as a stonemason. In May, 
182o, he sailed from Liverpool for New York in the sailing 
ship Edwards, Captain Edwards. On account of adverse 
winds the vessel did not arrive in New York till .\ugust. it 
having taken three months to make the passage now made 
in seven days. Having with him a traveling compimion 
named John liankin. whose passage he had paid, he found 
upon his arrival that, although when he concluded to start 
he had been possessed of one hundred poumls sterling, he 
did not then have more than two hundred dollars. Ue found 
the chances of obtaining employment here poorer than in 
England. The year 1825 being one of the hardest years 
financially that this country had yet seen, employment was 
very difficult to obtain, and wages were very low. 

His first employment in the New World was in n silk fsw- 
tory at West Farms, N. Y.. at twelve dollars and ' 
month. The proprietor Of the factory failed five w 
Mr. Beard entered his service, and did not pay him a c ■ ■ ■ 
the wages due, and when he had paid his boani hisci] "ii 
was nearly exhausted. His next employment was with a 
stonemason at or about the site of the present large reservoir 
in New York at twelve dollars per month and board. He 
remained with him for four or five weeks, but beonme sus- 
picious of his employer, as he had been informed that the 
latter had paid a man who lately worked for him in counter- 
feit money, and when the poor fellow went to purcha!>e 
something he was arrested and sent to prison for passing 
counterfeit money, and left without asking for his pay. His 
next work was for Francis Bretane. who had at that time a 
beautiful residence at about where the comer of Eighth 
avenue and Eighty-sixth street is now located, and employed 



01'.' 



nr STORY OF KTN-QS COUNTY. 



him tu I 

tu 



Itl- 

iir 



ol liij* place tluring tlio fall ami winter of 
lio WM to receive only twelve dolliiM per 
aIu'U lie eame to leave in May, 1821!, much 
' isli, for the reason that he could no 
r any one by the month, Mr. Bretaue 
uinter'i) work that he gave him 
:ir waRes. This money was the 
Liiing to the United States. Mr. 
iiL'ud. jusjuring him when he left 
thai If ho ever waiit.-»i any favor he had only to call on him, 
•od he would ever lind him ready to aid him. Soon after- 
ward Mr. Beard was building a stone wall, ditching and 
Knibbiug by coutnict for Mr. Thoiuas Mulliuer, who had a 
rmiileuce ou the site of the present Deer Park in Central 
I'ark, New York. This was the first contract he ever took, 
and the proceeds of it was the first considerable amount of 
money that he had made. He also dug a well for the same 
lurty, at the sjime place, for which he received forty dollars, 
he and another man doing all the work in one day, and he 
began to thmk this was not such a bad country after all, and 
to believe there was good luck in store for him. 

He was married to Mary Johnston in New York on January 
1st, 1*W. He then located in Y'orkville, and took a contract 
from IsaiC Adriance to grade some lots located at different 
points about Harlem. He also graded a number of lots, built 
stone walls, and did other work for Alderman Hall of the 
Twelfth Ward, New Y'ork. At that time the Twelfth Ward 
ejttendetl from Fourteenth street to Harlem River. The first 
work he did for the City of New Y'ork was accomplished at 
this time. He built a stone wall to protect the Third avenue, 
at or alxiut One Hundredth street. He was recommended to 
the authorities by Alderman Hall, and as he offered to do the 
work for one-half what another contractor offered to do it 
for, they awarded the contract to him. He remembers well 
the price he received— fiOO. It cost him just .tSSO to do the 
work, leaving him a profit of $250, which he considered at 
that time a very large sum of money. He then took a con- 
tract from the City to grade Third avenue from Sixtieth street 
to Eighty-sixth street, cutting through the rocks, filling the 
low land, and building walls to protect the embankment. He 
also graded Hlcximingdale Koad at several points, widening 
the drive and filling the old deep hollows. In the year 1831 
the Corjwration of New York concluded not to let any more 
work by contract, but to hire the contractors with their men 
and t«5am« to do the work of the City by the d.ay. Mr. Beard 
and his men, horses and wagons were thus employed by tlie 
day during that whole year, and he was paid a commission 
01 his profit. The next contnict was for constructing the 
llurlein Itailroad from Center street toward the Harlem Hi ver, 
hi! doing all the grading from Fourteenth street to Si.xlieth 
street, cutting through the rocks at Murray Hill, etc., opera- 
tions which had liecu begun the previous year by another con- 
tractor, who had failed. The engineer, knowing Mr. Beard, 
Situt for him, and insisted on his taking the work. During 
the last four iiiuiilhs of his engagomout on this contract he 
worked uigbt and day with double gangs. His next work 
was on the ol I New ,Iersey Railroad and Transportation 
(.'omjwny'K Lino, now the l'enn.sylvania Railroad, between 
Rubway and New Brunswick, N. J. At the same time he 
built a dock for Captain Gibbons at Elizabethporl. Old Com- 
niixlore Vaiiderbilt was then in Captain Ciibbons' employ as 
captain of the Iwat that ran from New York to Kli/.abelhport, 
and cluriiig this time Mr. Buird and Mi'. Vandorbill wore on 
friendly terms, iiu'etiiig often and taking jileasure in each 
other's itiM-icly. Mr. Beard soon afterward came to Brooklyn, 
and built the Brooklyn and Jamaica Railroad from .South 
Kerry to Bedford: after which he took a contract to build two 



sections of the conduit for the New Y''ork "Water Works, one 
section near Y'onkers, and the other near Bloomingdale. At 
this time (1835 and 1836) he was also engaged in grading and 
paving a number of streets in the city of Brooklyn, among 
them Myrtle avenue, from the City Hall to Bedford avenue ; 
Atlantic street, from South Ferry to Bedford avenue ; Union 
street and Strong Place. A few years later he graded and 
paved Montague, Pierrepoint and Joralemon streets, and 
Ewen street, Brooklyn, E. D. During 1854 and 18.55 he graded 
and paved Broad street and several other streets in Newark, 
N. J. In 183!) he constructed a section of the Albany and 
Boston I{;iilroad near Worcester, and another near Pittsfield, 
Mass. He also built another section near Chatham Four 
Corners, N. Y. Next he built twenty miles of the lower end 
of the Long Island liailroad, and in 184(i a section of the 
New Jersey Central Railroad at Somerville, N. J. In the 
spring of 1844 he started the great excavation for the tunnel 
for the Long Island Railroad in Atlantic street, com- 
pleting the work in 1845. At about this time he built a sec- 
tion of the Morris Canal at Dover. He was engaged, too, in 
the construction of the viaduct bridge on the Erie Railway 
at Lainsbprough. In the years 1856 and 1857 he constructed 
water works at Carleton, St. Jolins, N. B. This was a very 
large contract. In 1857 and 1858 he was engaged in perform- 
ing a Government contract to improve the navigation of the 
Mascougan River at Grand Rapids, Mich., which was also an 
extensive contract. 

Since his arrival in New York, he had watched the rapid 
growth, both of that city and of Brooklyn. After his per- 
manent settlement in Brooklyn, in 1840, he looked around 
for profitable investments, knowing that there could be 
scarcely a limit to the extension of the city toward the east. 
He also saw that still there was a limit to available water 
front on our shore; and that, as the county grew, and both 
cities increased, an investment in water front lots must, in 
time, become profitable. Looking around for any opportu- 
nity to invest, in 1843, he bought one-half interest in what is 
now known as the Erie Basin, extending from the foot of 
Conover street to the foot of Columbia street, from George 
Hall, who was the first Maj'or of Brooklyn. For a few years 
after the first purchase there was very little done to improve 
the property. A year after, Mr. Beard bought another quarter 
of the interest held by Mr. Hall, and then commenced to make 
improvements. At the time of the first purchase, Red Hook 
Point was a barren waste, a great sand hill cutting it off from 
Brooklyn proper. There was hardly a building to be seen south 
of Atlantic street, and not a single one south of Hamilton 
avenue; in fact, Hamilton avenue was not paved at that time. 
Beyond the sand hill there was a long stretch of sand beacli, 
extending from what was at that time known as Red Hook 
Point, to Boiupties Hook. In the rear of the sand beach or sand 
strip, a low Hat marsh extended nearly to Hamilton avenue, 
that is east of the sand hill first referred to. The sand liill 
e.xt(Mi(led toward Buttermilk Channel, and the marsh from 
the base of the sand hill to Oowanus Creek. Shortl}- after 
Mr. Beard's last purcliase from Mr. Hall, Mr. Jeremiali P. 
Robinson purcliasod from Mr. Hall his remaining quarter. 
The improvements then began in earnest at Erie Basin, Mr. 
Beard having retired from active contracting, concluded to 
devote his whole time to the work and pride of his life (the 
completion of Erie Basin). The construction of the Break- 
water, 300 feet wide, which surrounds the Erie Basin, was 
commenced, extending from foot of Van Brunt street out in 
the Bay, nearly 1,000 feet, and from that point east, about 
4,000 feet to Columbia street, thence north, about 2,000 feet 
to the original beach. When the fact is taken into consid- 
eration that the water was of no great depth outside of the 



THE COMMERCE OF IHlonKI.YX 



04 1 



original beach, the magnitude of the worlj can be conceived. 
When we consider also the fact that ships and steamers can 
come alongside of the docks, drawing 25 feet of water and 
discharge their cargo, where but a few years ago there was 
less than eight feet of water, it is easy to imagine the great 
expense incurred by Messrs. Beard and Robinson in ilredging 
the bottom of the Bay so as to olitain sufficient water to 
accommodate the vessels desiring to use these docks. During 
the construction, and after the completion of the Breakwater, 
they commenced erecting warehouses for the accommodation 
of merchandise. But few persons, besides themselves, be- 
lieved that it would be possible to get merchandise to store so 
far from what was then the center of warehouse business. 
But time has proven the truth of Mr. Beard's first idea, viz.: 
that the port of New York would need all its shore facilities ; 
and now what a few years ago was but a sand beach, has 
been turned into one of the busiest and most important com- 
mercial warehousing depots in this port — with its docks lined 
with warehouses and grain elevators, ships arriving from all 
parts of the world with their cargoes of merchandise, and 
canal boats from the West with cargoes of grain, to be placed 
in store on the sea board, ready for transhipment to any part 
of the world. 

The great Anglo-American Dry Docks are also located at 
Erie Basin. They, like the Erie Basin, .are gigantic in extent, 
being the largest dry docks on this continent; and the largest 
ship that floats, excepting perhaps the " Great Eastern," can 
be placed i;i these docks and in an hour will be sitting on 
high and dry keel blocks, when repairs may be done as con- 
veniently as before they were launched. 

Messrs. Beard & Robinson, in order to carry out their plans 
in full and utilize the water front to the best advantage, 
found it necessary to extend their purchases of shore front 
lots whenever offered in the market, till now their posses- 
sions not only extend to the line of Columbia street, but to the 
Gowanus Canal, including all that property that was known 
and described in the old maps of Brooklyn as Bompties Hook 
and Bushnell Biisin. They are not only continuing their im- 
provements in the Erie Basin, but are fast reclaiming the 
waste flats, soudiof Hamilton avenue; grading the streets and 
filling the low lots, so that Rip Van Winkle, if he were to 
arise from his sleep, would not recognize that jiortion of the 
Twelfth Ward. 

It must be admitted tliat the conception and construction 
of Erie Basin in all its details, was the work of master 
minds and hands. AVhen we look back at what it wjis but a 
few years ago and see what it is now, it goes without saying 
that Messrs. Beard & Robinson deserve the thanks of their 
felluw-citizens for the work they have accomplished unaided 
and alone. They have added to the port of New York that 
which is of lasting value to its commerce, and to the City of 
Brooklyn, thousands of dollars worth of valuable property 
which, but for their sagacity and enterprise, would no doubt 
to-day be in the same crude state that it was forty years ago. 

They foresaw the future, as year after year they stuck to 
their enterprise, planning and executing, each year burying 
thousands of dollars under the water where it could not be 
seen; but they kept steadily on during peace-and war, during 
commercial prosperity- and adversity, with only one object in 
view, viz , to make the Erie Basin the most convenient com- 
mercial depot on this continent. 

Future generations may reap the reward of their skill and 
labors. It is not possilile for them during their short lives to 
obtain from their investment that return which they de- 
serve. William Beard and Jeremiah P. Robinson will both 
pass away ; but, while the city of Brooklyn and tlie port of 
New York exists, their names and labors will not be forgotten. 



The Erie Basin. — TIh' «har\es and piern ot 
the Erie Basin are of enornioim area, the |irini'i|inl 
one, which extendK from Klizabeth strcel to the fool 
of Columbia Htrei-l, :in<l thence on the Hoiith and 
south-wcHt walls of the Uasin to it.s entrance on the 
west side, being .'>Oo feet wide and 2,700 feet in 
length. This is all l)uilt on piled, with crihwork above 
the whole width, filled in witii the excavated earth, and 
faced, for the whole 2,700 feet of iliu exterior wall, with 
granite. On the north side of the Raxin arc ten iilipH 
of large size, three of which are occupied by the dry 
docks before mentioned, which belong now to the Anylo- 
Americun Dock Coinpamj, ami the others by ship- 
yards, iron works, &c. 

Adjoining this Uasin on the west are three other 
protccleil slip.s, which are also used, we believe, nit 
shipyards. In addition to the Dry Dock Company's 
docks, Messrs. William Camp & Son.s have two others 
in the liasin, which are .said to be the largest in thi.n 
country, if not the largest in the, world. In one of 
these (Xo. 2) the City of Berlin and, we believe, also 
the Alaska, were docked for repair of injuries. These 
docks were built by J. E. Simpson &, Co., of New York. 
We subjoin a description of them from the limnkli/n 
Eagle of March 24th, 188.3: 

"The docks are built upon spruce pile foundations through- 
out, the floor foundation piles being driven in rows spared 
three feet from the centre, transverfiely, and al>out four feet 
eight inches longitudinally, upon which are fitted and secured 
heavy transverse floor timbers of yellow pme. covered with 
spruce planking to form the floor, and carrying the keel- 
blocks, the latter being additionally supported by four rows 
of piles, firmly driven under the floor timlwrs, and capped 
with heavy yellow pine timbers along the axis of the dock. 

The heads of these piles along the keelway are also enclosed 
in a continuous bed of Portland cement. Open l>ox chains 
are provided on each side of the keelway, beneath the floor 
timbers, leading to the chainage culverts at the head of each 
dock. The sides and heads of the docks are built with a slope 
of about 46 degrees; the altars to high water level are of yel- 
low pine timber, nine inches rise and ten inches tread, and 
bolted to side brace timbers, which are supported by piles 
and put upon the ends of the floor timbers. The altars are 
carefully filled in behind with clay puddle, as the sides are 
built up, and from the level of high water to the top of the 
coping the sides are built of concrete en moMf, f!w-«l with 
artificial stone, the altars lieing continue<l of tti- fe- 

rial to the coping level. Lines of close sheet pilii "d 

piling inclose the floor of the dock, and also ex- \y 

around the dock outside of the coping and »■ ■ ■ n- 

trance of the outer end of the apron and at each abutment. 
forming cut-offs to exclude the tide wafer, <Stc. An iron 
caisson or floating gate is used to close the dock, and it i* 
made with sloping ends, corresponding subst.'uitially with 
the shape of the side walls in the body of the dork, which 
bears against the sill and solid timber abutments the whrle 
length of its keel and st. m. no grooves being used. 

"Each dock has two gate sills and abutments, the outer 
one being provided chiefly to facilitate examination of and 
repairs to the inner or main one generally used. The joint 
is made rubber tight by means of a rubber gasket secured to 
the face of the sills and abutments. The principal adTantages 



6i: 



HIHTORY OF KINGS COUNTY. 



which tbmo ilocki) podg«i« over stone docks, as usually con- 
-ibility. increased facilities for 
-tributiun of light and drainage. 
it In »jid, and tlie gentle sloping sides, 
iiT means of egress at every point, and 
fun ply of light and air, and the shoring is 

luw- 1, all of which materially aid in the dis- 

patch and uoouomy with which the work of repairs can be 
|ir(M«)CUt«d. The cost and the manner of operating does not 
appear to differ materially from those of excavated docks. 
T*o of Andrew*' centrifugal cataract pumps, each driven by 
a %'ertical engine, wliich are ordmarily run at fifty revolu- 
tions per minute, and by spur gearing between the engines 
and the pump, the revolutions of the latter are double those 
of the former. The effective capacity of each pump is 23,000 
gallons [K-r minute. Uock No. 1 is in length over all 540 feet, 
and the length inside the caisson is 510 feet. Dock No. 3 i.s 
the one the City of Berlin occupied, and is much larger than 
No. 1. This dock can accommodate the largest vessel. It is 
6J0 feet long: the length inside the caisson is 600 feet." 

With the e-YCeptioii of the great Bermuda Dock, 
these are the largest in the world. 

The Brooklyn Basin, which lies east of the Colum- 
hia street pier, is of vcrv different sliape from the Erie. 
The New York & Astoria R. R. Co. have btiilt a pier 
from the foot of 37th street, on the south side of Gow- 
anus bay, which extends out to the deep water-line of 
the Bay Ridge water front, a length of nearly 2,000 feet, 
and near a steam ferry, thence to Pier No. 6, New 
York city. This pier serves as a breakwater, on the 
south, to Gowanus bay, making it a safe harbor, the 
Erie Basin breakwater ])erforming the same office on 
the northern side. From this safe harbor there is a 
ready entrance into the wide Hicks street and Henry 
street .slips, the iiilraiice to Govvanus creek, the docks 
at the foot of Court and Smith streets, the Ambrose 
Dry Dock and piers at the foot of 2Cth and 27th streets, 
and the wide slijts on the east side, between 21st and 
24tb streets, at the foot of 20th street, and between 
Prospect avenue and 19th street. 

This Basin has wide piers, with large warehouses 
and extensive sheds for the storage of goods, and for 
dry dock and ship building purposes. It is now con- 
trolled by different parties, and from its different en- 
trances has lost, in a measure, its distinctive character 
lis a basiii. 



KttANKl.lN WooDKCFP.— It is probable that tliere are few 
nion in Brooklyn who have been better known or more favor- 
ably regiinU'd for many years than Mr. Franklin Woodruff. 
A son of Sylve.itcr and Nancy (Andrus) Woodruff, both of 
whom are deceased, he was born in Farmington, Conn., 
April autli, lH;i.', and his earlier years were passed on his 
falher'H farm. 

At the age of 18 he became a clerk iu the house of Messrs. 
A. Woixlriiff & Robin.son, of New York, one of the oldest 
wiir.-bn.iHing and Halt-IUh houses in the United Slates. His 
n Ko marked that, three years later, lie was given 
I ill the business. January Ist, 1858, Mr. Albert 
Wo<jdruir, one of the founders of the liouse, retired, and Mr. 
Kniiiklin Woodmff Injcame a partner in the firm. Tlience- 
furward ho wui one of the most active monibers of the firm, 



often suggesting measures and taking the initial steps in 
operations of importance. In 1875 tlie firm of Woodruff & 
Robinson terminated its existence by dissolution. 

Mr. Woodruff continued in the same line of business, and 
is now one of the mo.st extensive dealers in foreign and 
domestic salt and salt fisli in the United States, and one of the 
heaviest importers of salt as well, frequently liaving under 
charter, from the Mediterraneau and other foreign ports, 
from twenty-five to thirty vessels at a time. He is also the 
owner of the large block of warehouses at the foot of Jorale- 
mon street, known as "Woodruff's stores," and of extensive 
warehoutes at the Atlantic Docks, doing one of the largest 
storage businesses done in the city. He has spent several 
hundred thousands of dollars in building stores and covered 
piers, and otherwise improving the Brooklyn water front, 
and has been one of the most active in bringing thither a 
large portion of the business of the port of New York. At 
his several warehouses skilled and unskilled labor finds em- 
ployment to the aggregate of more than a quarter of a mil- 
lion of dollars per annum. His interests in this department, 
are so extensive as to constitute liim one of the largest ware- 
house owners in the country. 

Not alone with respect to his great business interests and 
Ids extensive employment of labor, nor in consequence of 
the many public improvements he has made, is Mr. Wood- 
ruff" regarded as one of the benefactors of Brooklyn. Deeply 
interested in all matters of public moment, he has long been 
conspicuously identified with the most prominent efforts put 
forth on behalf of the causes of education, Christianity and 
the dissemination of useful knowledge. A more than liberal 
contributor toward the foundation of the Brooklyn Library, 
he was for five years president of the association controll- 
ing its interests. It was during this period that the present 
elegant and costly edifice of the Library, on Montague street, 
was built, and toward its building fund he, with cliaracter- 
istic liberality, gave several thousands of dollars. He is a 
member of the present Board of Managers of the Library, 
and is connected with, or a frequent aud generous contrib- 
utor to, many otlier benevolent purposes in the city. He has 
been long a member of the Congregational church, and a 
liberal supporter of its charitable and missionary interests. 

Mr. Woodruff has been a republican since the organization 
of the republican party, and on all questions of National im- 
portance has sustained its men and measures. In the muni- 
cipal affairs of Brooklyn he has long taken a deep interest, 
and for several years was one of the most active of the better 
class of city politicians. At the organization of the Commit- 
tee of Seventy-five, he was identified with it, and was chosen 
its president. He was one of the first Commissioners of 
Election under the new charter, serving as such until his 
resignation. In 1879 he was the candidate of his party for 
the mayoralty. It was a year when the city went largely 
democratic on tlie state ticket, and he was consequently 
defeate<l. 

Mr. AVoodruff has been twice married, and has four children 
living. Three have died. Mr. Woodruff is now in the prime 
of life, the embodiment of health, aud full of energy aud the 
enterprise which have made liis name so well and widely 
known, with apparent promise of being vouchsafed many 
more years of usefulness. In all of the relations of life he 
has always enjoyed, in a marked degree, the respect and 
confidence of all with wliom he has associated. It is such 
men as he who build up substantially for the good of the 
public with which theyare identified, and he is one of those 
citizens of whom Brooklyn has a right to be proud, in view 
of his successes, and their influence on the commerce and 
other important interests of the city. 




^i\CeoEPerine.mii^ 




"i^^^c/,^ /^>^. 




Ttll: COMMERCE OF BROOKLYN. 



643 



Gowanus Bay and Canal. — We have Rpok.n ..i 
the iiii|iri>vtiiuiits wliidi have inade Gowanus bay a , 
perfectly safe, land-loeketl harbor for vessels of inotl- | 
erate draught, not exceeding 15 feet at low water. The 
Gowanus Citnal Lnprovemeut Commissioners* and the 
Brooklyn Improvement Compan>j\ have extended Gow- 
anus creek as a canal, 100 feet in width, and varying 
in depth from 12 feet at low water to 16 feet at high 
water. The main canal extends from Hamilton avenue 
to Baltic street, a distance of a mile, and there are live 
branches of the same width and depth with the main 
canal, and which have an aggregate length of about 
two-thirds of a mile more. Wharves and docks have 
been built along the whole course of these canals, and 
the entire water front along them is about three and a 
third miles. Immense lumber yards, coal yards and 
flouring, plaster and other mills, and brick and stone 
yards, occui>y the whole available space. 

At the entrance of Gowanus creek, on the. east side, 
are the extensive piers and the small basin, or slip, 
where Messrs. Downing &, Lawrence's shipyard and 
marine railways are situated. The object of these rail- 
ways is to draw the ships which need repairs upon ways, 
where they will be entirely out of water, and can be 
coppered anew, or their hulls painted, or receive other 
repairs. The dry docks accomplish the same purpose 
by floating vessels into the dock, closing the gates and 
pumping out the water; and the sectional or floating 
docks, of which there are several in this vicinity (though 
none of the largest size), lift the vessel up as it lies in 

♦GowANCS Canal Improvement Commissiosers.— An Act was 
passed, April 19, 1866, to improve Gowanus canal. W. M. Harris, S. D. 
Voorhces, W. G. Libby, C. Dever, J. H. Watson, W. M. Thonia-s J. \,. 
Spader, J. Booth, and C. J. Sprague, together with the Mayor ot 
Brooklyn, and County Treasurer ot Kings County, were appointed 
Commissioners for improving Gowanus canal, and the channel in 
Gowanus bay, from the north of said canal to and beyond the bar at, 
or near, Percival street. The Commissioners were authorized to cause 
the sides of Gowanus canal, and the channel of Gowanus bay, to be 
doclfed, and to deepen the canal by dredging, to 7 feet at low water, at 
Douglass street, and V^ feet at low water, at its end, with gradual 
depths from head to such point. To pay for this improvement bonds of 
the city to the amount of $1T.'),000, at 7 per cent, interest were to be 
issued, jS to be paid each year; assessment district, 200 feet back from 
canal. 

Act amended May 10, 1867, making issue of bonds $3.')0,000, and In- 
creasing powers of Commissioners in constructing and rei>airing docks 
on line of canal, and to take charge of bridges. 

Act amended May 6, 1868, authorizing Commissioners to rebuild and 
raise bridges. 

Act amended May 6, 1869, authorizing Commissioners to expend 
$100,000 additional, making a total of $4.50,000. 

Act passed May 10, 186y. Commissioners directed and required to 
complete Improvement without delay, and report on or before the 
llrat .Monday in .lune, 1870, to the Common Council, the total cost of, 
and amount necessarj', to complete same, and detailed statement of all 
monies received and expended, and to file in the oflice of the Street 
Commissioners, maps, profiles, &c ; also discharging Commissioners 
from charge of said improvement. All further work to devolve on the 
Common Council. 

Act of April 10, 1873. Owners authorized to build branch canal .tO 
feet wide and 6 feet deep, at low water, on 1st street, from main canal 
to Third avenue. 

t Brooklyn Improvement Company.— January 18, 1847, Major D. 
B. Douglass made a report to the Common Council on the drainage 
and gravitation ot that part of Brooklyn which lies over and adjacent 
to the Gowanus canal. He proposed two methods : first, by eicava- 
tlDK one or more basins near the head of the meadows inearthe Inter 



the harbor; and the simImui- iniim unitid uml the i 
•lepressed, they arc able to bring it into a p<>-. 
where repairs are possible, and by Heparating tlie wc- 
tions after it is lowered into the water, to Hel it at lib- 
erty. For vessels of moderate size, the marine railway 
or the ordinary sectional dock is preferable; but for the 
largest ve.ssel.s, the dry dock has the advantage, tliougli 
it 18 very expensive. The only dry dock in ihiH coun- 
try wiiich appro.iches in si/.e to those of Messni. Camp 
& Sons, which we have already described, and to those 
of the Anglo-American Dry Dock Co , is the great 
graving dock of the Uronklyn Navy Yard, whicli, how- 
ever, is only about two-thirds of tin- capacity of 
Camp's Na 2 Dock. 

To Brooklyn, therefore, belongs the suprem.icy over 
all other cities on this continent, in this important ad- 
junct of a great commerce. 

The aggregate cost of these basins, canals, and ware- 
houses of the South Brooklyn water front has been very 
great. Fourteen years ago it was estimated at more 
than four millions of dollars in the section below Ham- 
ilton avenue and Third avenue. Since that time the 
improvements in docks and warehouses which have 
been added have more than doubled that amount, while 
the warehouses, canals and docks between that avenue 
and Fulton ferry have cost not less than five millions 
more; and the more than a mile and a half square of 
land filled in from the grading and excavations of these 
last forty years, and now covered by v.-ust manufactor- 
ies, machine works, and many thousands of dwellings, 
has added to the first cost over ten millions at least, or 
twenty-five millions of cost for property which seventy- 
five millions could not now purchase. 

But, though the South Brooklyn improvements have 
attained such magnitude, they constitute by no means 
all of the commercial facilities which the enterprise and 
energy of Brooklyn citizens have fashioned to attract 
hither the comineree of the world. 

The United States Navy Yard.— The United 
States Navy Yard, while owned and controlled by the 



section of Butler and Nevlns streetsi, and conncctlDK them with 
Gowanus bay by a straight channel, sluice-gate* to be placed at the 
outlets of the basins. To prevent deposits, he proposed. In lien of 
basins, to construct a double canal, with Its two branche* parallel, 
united by a semi-circle at the head of the meadows, one of the 
liranches to have an influent gate, opening Inward, and the other with 
an effluent gate, opening outwards. The flood tide would oi>en the 
influent gate and cio.ie the effluent, and. In the piogress of the flood, 
the whole canal would be filled with water. The tide turning to the 
ebb, the order of the gates would be rever-ed, the InflucDt clnalnK aod 
the affluent opeiing, and the whole canal would be emptied. Ho prr>- 
posed to have the canal 45 feet wide at bottom, 81 feet at surface of 
water, and 12 feet deep. 

The second plan was to open a canal from Wallaboiil ^. 

anus bay, llnding, from obsen attona of the tides In the t \t 

a sufficient current would pass through to keep '•' ' 
Both plans ciintemplaled navigable canals for roi ^■ 

Plans and estimates accompanied the report, but II ■ - ""^n 

by the city authorities. 

An .\ct was passed, April 1.1. 18*6. creating the flroofclvn Imprm*- 
mcnl Componi/. with a capital of ♦l.000,00t>-objecl to ron»tnict. build, 
and maintain docks, ic, along Gowanus canal and land adjacent 
thereto. The branch of Gowanua canal to Fourth avenue, near Fifth 
street, was built bj this company. lEniToB.) 



trrsTORY OF KTN'OS rnUKT^. 



Govcrnmi-nt, aii.l ho not in all respecU a Brooklyn in- 

^. icwbat to our noinmerce. 

1, . CivinVar, the numerous 

war vciwoIk built and commissioned from that Yard re- 
,. ■ -oinmiTfe to furnish them with the 

I,. I" material and stores. The great 

dry dock there, at that time the largest in the country, 
w , ' ■ • the service of the war ships of foreign 

f, ~ which needed repairs. That unique 

conHtructioii, the V. S. Cob Dock, whose "true inward- 
new" in still a matter of speculation, at least furnished 
employment for hundreds of men while it was building, 
even if its Rubse(|uent usefulness has not been evident. 
But across the channel from this mysterious construc- 
tion is a distinctly useful and valuable Brooklyn im- 
proveini-tit, known as 

Wallabout Basin and Canal. — An area of about 
seventy acres of unproductive salt marsh, adjoining the 
Navy Yard, has been transformed into an e.vtensive 
and valuable basin, fronting on the East River. The 
ba«in has a depth of fifteen feet at low water (and in- 
cluding the Kent avenue basin, which is a part of it), 
three piers and seven lines of wharf or water front, ag- 
gregating 4,!tOO feet of wharfage, beside the Kent ave- 
nue, or Wallabout Canal, extending from Washington 
avenue to Ilewes street, Ij-'BOO feet farther, of the same 
depth and a hundred feet wide. This gives 2, GOO feet 
more of wharfage, making, in all, 7,500 feet, or nearly 
one and a half miles of water front, which has been of 
the greatest possible value to the enterprising business 
men of that section. The marshy land which has been 
filled in from the excavations and draining required in 
this improvement, is now covered with large ware- 
houses, factories, and dwellings, among which are the 
immense lumber yards of Cross, Austin & Co., said to 
be the largest retail lumber yards in the United Slates, 
and several others less extensive; several great iron 
foundries, and other manufactures of note, ana many 
hundred dwellings; while the Appleton book factory, 
Gill it Baird"s, and other stone works, the Royal Bak- 
ing I'owiler Co., and the numerous factories on the 
Blreeis adjacent, have here the best of facilities for 
shipping their i)ro<lucts. This improvement has also 
afT"inli-i| fa<-ilities for a shorter and swifter connection 
bi-tween (he eastern and western districts of Brooklyn. 
WaHliington avenue, a fine thoroughfare of Brooklyn, 
beginning at the Eastern parkway, where it leaves 
I'r.ispect Park, has been extended across these new 
m,ide Wallabout lands, and united, at Broadway, E. D., 
with Franklin street, and forms an almost straight line 
of a wiile avenue from Pros]iect park to Hunter's Point. 
From Myrtle avenue tr. Hunter's Point a street rail- 
way extends along the thoroughfare. By this route 
the distance between the two districts is shortened 
about three-fifths of a mile. Property all around this 
basin has been enhanced in value from ten to twenty 
fold. 



Another improvement has been attempted and made 
some progress at Bushwick Inlet, but the extensive 
piers there, five or six in number, are all required 
by the sugar and petroleum interests. 

Newtown Creek* and Canals. — The Brooklyn 
shore of Xewtown Creek has also been made the sub- 
ject of extensive improvements. Nearly the whole riglit 
bank, from the foot of Clay street to Mill street, in the 
Eighteenth Ward, a distance of two and three-fourth 
miles, has good and substantial wharves; and two 
canals, one known as the Whale Creek Canal, half a 
mile in length; the other above Maspeth avenue, ami 
called the Newtown Creek Canal, a little more than a 
mile in length, to Randolph street, have been built. 
These furnish transportation facilities to the centre of 
the Eighteenth Ward, and are of great advantage to 
the increasing manufacturing interests of that rapidly 
growing Ward. Some day this canal, enlarged to the 
dimensions of a ship canal, will be extended through 
East New York to Canarsie bay, and a new water 
front of about seven miles length, and having wharf- 
age to the extent of perhaps twenty-five miles, will 
increase and nearly double our present magnificent 
commercial facilities, and make Brooklyn, which will 



• The Newtown Creek, from want of a flushiog-tide through it. Is, 
at present, a nuisance, and rapidly filling up. The open or under- 
ground canal through Wallabout avenue, from the head of the Walla- 
bout canal, would, if cut into the creek near the rope-walks, across 
Bushwick avenue, entirely remove the stagnant waters, and carry off 
the sludge thrown off by the glue and petroleum factories on its banks. 

The eminent Gov. DeWitt Clinton, who once lived on the shores 
of Newtown creek, at Maspeth, has placed on record the plans of 
three llde-water canals converging into Newtown creek. The first 
from the Wallabout to Bushwick; the second, from Maspeth dock, 
through Winlield valley, into Flushing creek; the third, from Dutch 
Kills, through Woodside and Train's meadows, into Flushing bay, at 
Jackson's mill, while the further idea of a connection with Sanswick 
creek, at Astoria, was entertained. Gov. Clinton, from his actual ex- 
ploration over the large area above named, became satisfied that such 
a network of canals would, in future time, become a necessity for 
drainage, each through its own region, which could be converted into 
a useful boat navigation. But, above all, he was impressed with the 
value of the Wallabovit canal, both from its construction, its short- 
ness, and its capability of tiushing the main channel of Newtown 
creek with a strong current of tide-water. He anticipated that 
gradual silting up of its bed, which is now apparent even to the point 
of ol)struction, with the grave interrogatory attached that, "if such 
be the deposit of the last fifteen years' accumulation, what will be the 
result in the year 19O0? " — a date not far off. 

The late Mr. Wm. Cooper, years since, was impressed with the value of 
a tidal communication between the Wallabout and Bushwick, but, with 
other capitalists, was deterred from the scheme by the report of some 
engineer who opposed it, on the grounds of the inequality of the tide 
level between the two extreme points; a theory found to be incorrect 
with respect to the Suez Canal, although urged by the English engin- 
eers with much pertinacity until finally exploded by Lessepsand by an 
odicer of the British navy, who ran a lino of levels from the Mediter- 
ranean to the Rod Sea. 

Newtown creek possesses, by its own natural configuration, and that 
of the intervening space of low ground between it and Wallabout 
canal, the most favorable aspect for a tide-water canal. The grand 
design of preserving the creek by flooding out all impurities and 
deposits by a thorough pa.ssage of tide-water through the Wallabout 
canal, presents a strong claim from the absence of any difficulty to be 
encountered in Its short route, easy levels, and soft material to be ex- 
cavated. 

It Is worthy of note, in this connection, that a ship canal through 
Train's meadows was, at one time, considered the most feasible plan 
to escape the rocks of Hell Gate, by a passage from Flushing bay into 
Newtown creek. [Eihtor.I 



THE C OMMER CE OF BR OKL YN. 



then embrace the whole of Kings county, the entrepot 
of tlie largo'it coinmorce ainl ]iiirt in tho world. 

The Government Inspection of Brooklyn 
Commerce. — Wliile the National Government refuses 
to keep a separate account of that part of the com- 
merce of the port of New York, or of the vessels 
which load and unload their cargoes at Brooklyn 
wharves and docks, it is not to be supposed tiiat they 
neglect to inspect such cargoes, or to take note of the 
vi'sscls which arrive or depart from these wharves and 
docks; although, on the Custom House books, the arri- 
vals and clearances are all credited to the Port of New 
York only.* 

As a matter of fact, the water front on the Brooklyn 
side is divided into nineteen inspection districts, each 
havintj its inspector and gangers, weighers, foremen, 
clerks and workmen ; and these inspectors are required 
to keep an account of all vessels discharging cargoes 
in their respective districts, and also a complete and 
faithful record of all the goods discharged. Every 
article of commerce must be examined, tested and 
weiijhed by the different inspectors and weighers ap- 
pointed for that puri)ose, before it can be put in storage 
or allowed to leave the dock \ and the results of the 
work of the inspectors are made known in reports 
daily to the Barge office, at tho Battery, the head- 
quarters of the Deputy Surveyors of the Port, and also 
to the Surveyor's office, in the Custom House, over 
which Col. Kibbe presides. 

The busy season in the Brooklyn inspection districts 
is during the months of March and August, at which 
time the greatest number of cargoes of sugar, mo- 
lasses and tobacco are received, and a large extra force 
of workmen are employed, and the river front presents 
its most busy phase. But the long line of water front 
is never devoid of business, or without active working- 
men, on a week day. The most familiar articles of 
commerce to be found on the docks the year round are 
sugar, molasses, coffee, tobacco, hides, wool, cotton, 
hemp, grain, jute, sisal grass, bones, log and dye 
woods, coal, iron, brick, stone, lumber, oil, saltpetre, 
plumbago, guano, soda, chalk, lime, dry goods, porce- 
lain and china ware, green and dried fruits, etc., so that 
it is doubtful whether there is an article known to 
commerce which may not be found at some time in the 
year packed away in the storehouses of the third city 
of the Union. There are eight or ten ocean steamship 
lines now making regular tri])S from Brooklyn piers to 
various foreign ports. These steamships also carry 
saloon and steerage passengers as well as cargoes, and 
formerly had their landing places on the New York 
side of the East River. 

One of the conspicuous advantages which Brooklyn 
has over the great metropolis, as to commercial facili- 

• For maoy of these fact"* and statistics, we are indebted to a very 
able and carefully-prepared article In the Bnt'ikliin KmiU of October 
27, 1883, entitled, " Brooklyn's Commercial Growth and Progress." 



ties, is the fact of its wurchouHcs being built up plumb 
to the water line and immrcliately adj»ci-nt to the 
wharves. The cirrying of grfods to and fmni the Htore* 
is thus made more convenient, and at a oonnideralflo 
saving to nierchant.H, tlian on the other Hide, whi-re tho 
extra expense of cartage across the street to thu ware- 
house, and the annoying interrupliohH by the Hleady 
traffic along those thoroiighfareH are de<-i(|ed draw- 
backs. From the natural situation and eonflgnration 
of Long Island, Brooklyn's opportunities for advanee- 
ment as a commercial centre are almost infinite, and 
such as few cities in the world possess. 

The water front is diviiled by the Government into 
nineteen insiiection districts, which, together with the 
names of the inspectors for each district, are as follows: 

First District — All south of Ilumilton avenue bridge, a 
distance of five miles. Considerable quantities of Rugar, 
clialk, Spiegel iron and wire arrive here. C. F. Wager is the 
inspector. 

Second District — From Hamilton avenue bridge to foot of 
Columbia street, including all the canal above the bridge. 
Vast quantities of lumber, brick, iron, lime, etc., are to lie 
seen here. A. D. Bennett inspects them. 

Third £)is/cicf— Columbia street to all between Marine 
Railway, near the foot of Conover street. The New York 
Warehousing Company, at Erie Basin, is within this di.strict. 
Immense quantities of cotton, saltpetre, grain, soila and 
cement are received at this point. B. S. Steen and R 
Britten supervise this section. 

Fourth District— Ma.T'me Railway to foot of Walcott street, 
which includes the Jlerchants' Stores. This is the great salt 
district. P. Barquet looks after it. 

Fifth District— \Va\cott street to Summit. WoodrufTs 
Stores and some of the finest piers in this country are com- 
prised within these limits. Rye, peas, malt and b.irley 
arrive here in large quantities from Canada. The inspectors 
are J. S. Young and G. Voges. 

Sixth District— Summit street to Hamilton ferry. Several 
thousand canal lx>ats are often laying up here at one time. 
In other respects it is a duplicate of the preceding distrirl. 
E. Van Zandt and E. O'Shea have a vigilant eye to it. 

Seventh District— Hikmilto-\ aveime to Baltic street, includ- 
ing the Baltic, Union and Bartlett & Co.'s .Stores. A very 
busy locality. C. F. Kane and P. F. Hagan inspect it. 

Eighth District— Baltic street to South ferry, compri.sing 
the Robinson's, t'ongress street and Columbia Stores. Dow"s 
grain elevators are here, the largest, without exception, in 
the known world. Messrs. Peebles and Johnston look after 

it. 

Ninth District—South ferry to Joralemon street. W.x)d- 
rutfs other stores are in this district, in which considerable 
sugar is handled. The insiiector is W. R. Babson. 

Tenth District— Joraiemoa street to Wall. Prentice's 
Stores. All sugar trade. William Stewart supervi.oes it. 

Eleventh District— Pieirepont's Wall street Stores. A busy 
section. J. Forster diligently cares for it. 

Twelfth District— Holierts'. Harlieck's and Watsons Stores. 
One of the most important and busiest on the front. The 
Bra/.ilian line of steamers landing at this place bring largp 
quantities of coffee. It is essentially a colTea district. A. 
D. Douglas and A. Limburger actively su|)orinti'nd it. 

Thirteenth /)i',s<ric/— Martins Storp« t" Fnlt'^n F.»rry. A 
considerable quantity of hides an ' I here. 

A. B. Catlin and H. Walch indu.-;; 



644 



HISTORY OF KINGS COUNTY. 



I Kulton to Catharine Ferry. The Em- 

p,. .1 warehouBe are incluiled in the sec- 

I, Niiiiiy p»-r cent, of tlie tobacco trade on the 

fr. in the latter establiBhment. Mr. Van Nostrand 

if • .etor. 

/ k/— Catharine Ferry to the Navy Yard 

wall. Always \>a*y J. L. Hodge is the inspector, and 
being a clergyman, takes more tluin an official interest in 
the district 

SirUenth District— 'S&vy Yard to Broadway, and from 
Broadway to North Fourth street. This includes the largest 
(agar refineries in the country. The inspector is W, H. 
Madden. 

Serenteeiith District— 'Sorth Fourth street to Bushwick 
creek. A great number of canal boats are always to be 
Men here. A. H. Palmer is the inspector. 

Eighteenth District — Bushwick Creek to and all east of 
Newtown Creek Bridge. Great quantities of lumber, bricks 
and oil may be seen here. J. Conkling and R. H. Clark 
make their daily tours of inspection in a boat. 

.S'iiieteenth District— Hunter's Point, all west and north of 
Newtown Creek Bridge. This is essentially a lumber and 
oil diatrict. The inspectors, H. T. Clock and R. H. Clark 
also enjoy a quiet sail in performing their respective duties 
a« inspectors. 

Arrivals of Vessels for 1880, '81 and '82. 
The following is a statement, by districts, of the number 

of arrivals along the river front for the years 1880, '81 and 
'82 respectively: 

First 379 314 307 

Second 494 293 371 

Tliird 742 701 355 

Fourth 206 117 319 

Fifth 548 447 286 

Sixth 1,030 487 530 

Seventh 635 437 404 

Eighth 1,114 887 227 

Ninth 303 206 454 

Tenth 419 379 391 

Eleventh 262 237 252 

Twelfth 397 306 292 

Thirtwnth 229 204 185 

Fourteenth 367 346 310 

Fifteenth 341 338 331 

Sixteenth 268 309 214 

Seventeenth 429 447 410 

Eighu«nth 414 822 554 

Nineteenth 695 898 650 

Total 9,272 8,125 7,042 

It will be observed in these totals that there is a successive 
decrease. But this is not owing to any special disadvantages 
or drawlmcks connected with t)ie harbor facilities, but to 
other and irrwponsible causes. This is shown from the ap- 
pended Hlatcment of the sum total of arrivals in the port of 
New York during the same period: 

1880 7,819 I 1881 6,929 | 1882 6,476 

1883. The district inspectors for the Brooklyn side of the 
river re|)ort the following as the number of arrivals in their 
rotipoc-tive districtH for the .urrent year up to October 1 , 1883: 
First, H34; Secon.i, 216; Third, 407; Fourth, 16H; Fifth, 430; 
Sixth. -ilV) ; Stivonth, '.m ; Kiglith, 543 ; Ninth, 358 ; Tenth, 
21»5; Eleventh, 203 ; Twelfth, 200 ; Thirteenth, 125 ; Four- 
Uwnth. 170; Fifteenth, IHl; Sixteenth, li)8; Seventeenth, 270: 
KiKhlei.nth, 8«»; Nineteenth, 681. Total, 5,824, 



The different classes of sailing vessels, such as steamships, 
packet ships, schooners, etc., are only included in the above 
figures, barges and canal boats being excluded. These latter 
would swell the figures by many thousands. Another promi- 
nent feature in this connection is that hundreds of sailing 
craft avail themselves yearly of Brooklyn's excellent harbor 
accommodations, especially in the Atlantic Dock and Erie 
Basin, after having received their cargoes at other points, 
and while awaiting fair weather, or from other causes, be- 
fore leaving this port. Vessels coming in empty or in bal- 
last, seeking cargoes, or awaiting orders from their owners, 
and which are not included in the figures just given, also 
take advantage of the city's commercial facilities. This is 
particularly true of the vessels intending to load with grain. 

It would appear from the foregoing statistics that Brook- 
lyn had a larger commerce than New York City, as she re- 
ports a larger number of vessels. This is true, so far as the 
number of vessels, the export trade, especially in grain and 
provisions, and the bulk or weight of goods imported is con- 
cerned. 

As we have shown elsewhere, of all heavy goods imported, 
and of most of the exports, Brooklyn receives and ships 
from 66 to 70 per cent, of the whole amount which enters or 
leaves the port; but of dry goods, and other goods of com- 
paratively small bulk. New York receives about 56 per cent., 
and Brooklyn about 44 per cent. These goods are mostly, 
and perhaps altogether, brought by steamships, and the in- 
creasing number of ocean steamship Imes which are now 
landing at Brooklyn piers, will soon give our city the larger 
moiety of these goods also. 

Ill addition to those mentioned in the preceding ar- 
ticle, and its accompanying biographies, we may men- 
tion, among shipping merchants, William D. Clyde, 
F. M. Lawrence and Ambrose Snow; John H. Ford 
and L. H. Leonard, Elevators ; William H. Leay- 
cRAiT, Port Warden; John A. Nichols, Quarantine 
Commissioner. 

James McMahon, Shipping and Transportation, es- 
tablished in New York, 1861, during the war of the 
civil rebellion (in conjunction with his partner, James 
T. Easton) ran a fleet of 300 barges between New York 
and Baltimore, Md. 



Abiel Abbott Low. — The city of New York, the 
great mercantile metropolis of these United States, is 
justly proud of that class of her population which has 
given her that distinction. No seaport or maritime 
city of any country can boast of better names on its 
mercantile roll than she. Merchant 2}rinces have they 
been called, and well they may; not for the princely 
wealth which many of them have accumulated, but 
from a far higher point of view; for the patient indus- 
try and far-seeing intelligence with which they entered 
upon and pursued their life-work; for their sterling 
principle and honesty in the conduct of their affairs; 
for their high aims in the struggle for success and 
wealth; for their estimate of wealth itself, sought and 
secured, not as a selfish end, but a means; not merely 
as a boon or a profession, but a sacred trust; and, con- 
sequently, for their generous and noble use of that 
wealth in behalf of religion, education and benevo- 




"^."T'^'f-'-r''" '-^ 



~^''^yOQo K Penn 




^. r ^ < 



THE COMMERCE OF UROOKLYN. 



«47 



lence; of advanced science; of the useful and the fine 
arts; of good government and tlie integrity and purity 
of the State, and the elevation of the whole people; in 
a word, of whatever bears upon and tends to increase 
the puhlic welfare. For all these, have the nverciiants 
of New York furnished illustrious examples. 

Among them all, none is more deserving of respect- 
ful and admiring notice than Abiel Abbott Low. He 
was born in Salem, Essex county, Massachusetts, on the 
7th of February, 1811 — the oldest son among twelve 
children of Seth and Mary P. Low. His early educa- 
tion was in the public schools of his native city, and 
there he began his mercantile life as clerk in the 
house of Joseph Howard & Co., largely engaged in the 
trade with South America. 

Li 18:^9, he left Salem, and followed his father to 
Brooklyn, remaining with him some three years. Hav- 
ing attained his majority, he sailed, in 183.'), for Canton, 
China, and, on arriving there, became a clerk in the 
house of Russell & Co., the largest American house in 
that city, and of which an uncle, the late Wm. H. Low, 
was a partner. In 1837, he was taken into the firm; 
and, after three years successful pursuit of the tea 
trade abroad, returned home in 18-tO, to prosecute the 
same business here. Hardly thirty years of age, he 
set about it at once, and soon established himself in 
Fletcher street. New York, and there laid the founda- 
tions of that which was destined to become the leading 
house of America in the China trade. 

The business of the house was of rapid growth, and 
at length assumed grand proportions, requiring a 
fleet for its work. Ship after ship of the finest and 
most beautiful model and careful construction, with a 
view to the highest speed under canvass, kept pace with 
its demands ; and for years the house carried on its 
traftic between China and New York, without the loss 
of any of its ships, previous to the "War of the Rebel- 
lion; in the progress of which, two — the Jitcob Bdl 
and the Contest — were captured by rebel cruisers, and 
burned at sea. In 1845, Mr. Low had removed to 
South street, and taken his brother, Josiah O. Low, 
into partnership; and, in 1850, he finally removed to 
31 Burling slip, and took possession of the capacious 
warehouse and offices which he had built for the per- 
manent home of the house. In 1852, his brother-in-law, 
Edward H. R. Lyman, was added to the firm, whose 
style thenceforth became "A. A. Low & Brothers," 
and so remains to this day. For, while the old part- 
ners have retired from active participation in the busi- 
ness, it has passed, in the natural order of things, into 
the hands of their children, and the oldest son of the 
subject of this sketch bears his father's initials. 

Mr. Low's whole business career, while distinguished 
by great success, is equally so by the high estimate 
very early put upon his business talents by the most 
experienced of his cotemporaries in the China trade, 
and their yielding to him the foremost place. His in- 



fluence in the New Vnik t li.iriiher ol Commerce li.-u 
always been wholcsotne and valuable, ai4 well am largo 
and conspicuous. He entered it in 1840, waa (dectfil 
its President in 1863, ami, on the expiration of the 
stated term of three years, was re-elected in 1800. In 
1867, however, he resigned the otVice for the piir|M>M< of 
a voyage round the worhl; and, soon after, left home 
with his family, and was absent over ten tnonthii. 

In great crises — commercial, fiiinneial or political — in 
periods of panic or actual di.saster, he ha« the ronra>;e 
of his convictions, and his o]>inions arc eagerly »ou;;ht 
and freely given. In the Civil War, on all im|x>rtanl 
questions of national policy or duty, his voice and his 
action were alike ready and sagacious, clear, patriotic 
and determined. Holding no ])olitical or ]iublic office, 
from which he has resolutely kept himself, but out- 
spoken and earnestly loyal to the L'nion, he was often 
at Washington during the war, on committees of the 
Chamber of Commerce, for consultation with the (Jov- 
ernment regarding matters of the highest import con- 
nected with the war or the great commercial interests 
of the nation. 

In Brooklyn, the city of his adoption and residence, 
he is one of her most public-spirited and useful citi- 
zens. Ever since his return from China to the United 
States, Mr. Low has taken a lively ami hearty interest 
in her welfare. As his means have increased, he has 
kept a constant eye upon her growth and prosperity; 
and wisely and generously contributed to the estab- 
lishment and support of all institutions which tended 
to make that growth attractive and healthy, and that 
prosperity ennobling. Thoroughly imbued with the 
spirit of a firm and enlightened Christian faith, the 
Church has found in him a true, devoted, exemplary 
friend. Fully appreciating the value and importance 
of good education to every community, and especially 
essential in a Republic, the public and private schools 
of the city for both sexes are to him of highest con- 
cern. Of the Packer Collegiate Institute, th.it noble 
school for female education, munificently endowed by 
a cultivated and widowed lady of Brooklyn as a mem- 
orial to her late husband, whose name it bears, >fr. I/ow 
has been for many years, and still is, President of its 
Board of Trustees, giving to its affairs not only large 
and intelligent oversight, but liberally providing for 
its library and scientific apparatu.s. At its Coramence- 
ments, in official addresses to the successive graduating 
classes, he has been accustomed to add to wise connsel, 
eloquently and touchingly expressed, a fan 'o 

each member of an elegant copy of some st.. . il- 

erary work as a memento of personal regard. The 
Brooklyn Library, and the Long Island Hi- ^•>. 

ciety, have found in him from the start •■! ir 

most appreciative, active and munificent patrona. The 
City Hospital, the Society for Improvin ' ' -n 

of the Poor, the Union for Christian > • r 

other benevolent institntions, attest his readinew to aid 



rn STORY OF KINGS COUNTY. 



in the iupport of all well-designed and M-ell-managed 
rifg. In our great Civil War, his loyalty 

ai . . cumbined with his earnest desire that 

Brooklyn should pro\p herself second to no other city 
I' ■ .iition to the Union, were most jironounced 

a' .lit. He was among the most energetic, liberal, 

useful meinbens of the " War Kund Committee" (see 
[>agu 503) of the city and county, whicli was organized 
in ISO'.', and which admirably and efficiently seconded 
and hel[H;d the United States Sanitary Commission. 
He wan President of the General Committee of Citizens 
which, in co-o|>eratiou with that of the Woman's Relief 
.Vri<i»cialiun, managed and carried out its grand result 
of over ^4ut>,oOO at the Brooklyn and Long Island San- 
itary Fair of February, 1864. In the preparation for-, and 
progress of the Fair, Mr. Low look an active and j)rom- 
inent part; presiding at and earnestly and eloquently 
addressing an immense and enthusiastic public meeting 
at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, as well as rcjieated 
meetings of the General Committee ; and acbliiiu; most 
generous contributions of personal attention and ad- 
vice, of time and money. 

It is wholly unnecessary to dilate upon the character 
of Mr. Low as a man and a citizen. High-minded, 
high-principled, and of broad, comprehensive, care- 
fully formed views of commerce, of finance, of the 
legitiin.-ite functions of government itself, and its true 
aim and jiolicy; as a citizen of a great republic, ready 
to meet and discharge to the best of his ability every 
duty of a citizen; as the Christian head of a Christian 
family, so living among and before lliem as to make it 
sure that his memory and his example will be their 
richest treasure, and a constant motive and itnpidse to 
their own high endeavor, Mr. Low stands pre-eminent. 
Such a man, such a merchant, might, indeed, honor 
office, but office could not honor him. In his private 
walk he is the courteouH and cultivated gentleman, of 
refined, cordial and unassuming manners. With a 
well-selected and ample library, and access to the newest 
and best books, he is a large and discriminating reader. 
His extended knowledge shows itself, without pretence 
or ambitious elTort, in numerous si)eeehes before the 
Chamber of Commerce, and other assemblies. At the ban- 
«|uel lenilered him by the members of the Chamber, on 
hii return from his voyage round the world in 180U-7, 
after givingadelightful ;-ewmeof his experiences on the 
voyiig.., aii.l full proof of his keen observation in the 
various countries lie visited, ho dosed with statesmanlike 
»u({KeHiio„H iin.l relleeiions worthy the attention of the 
diMlnguished company before him, .-unl of Congress 
and the nation as well. 

Mr. Low was first mani.^l in .Mareh, 1841, to Ellen 
Almira, youngcHt daughter of the late Josiah Dow, of 
llrooklyn. by whom he had four (children, two sons and 
two dangbters, all of whom survive their mother, of 
ble«M:d men.ory, who died after a short illness on the 
i.'6lh of January, 1850. On the 25th of February, 1851 



he was again married to Mrs. Ann B., widow of his 
brother, the late Wni. II. Low, and daughter of the 
late Mott Bedell, of Brooklyn. Mr. Low's oldest son, 
Abiel Augustus, married the only daughter of S. Cabot 
Ward, a ])rominent merchant of New York City; his 
youngest daughter is the wife of Henry E. Pierrepont, 
Jr., of Brooklyn Heights; and his youngest son, Mayor 
of Brooklyn for a second term, married a daughter of 
the late Hon. Benj. R. Curtis, a distinguished lawyer of 
Boston, Mass., and Judge of the U. S. Supreme Court. 
As an ornament to the city, the elegant and costly 
edifice which Mr. Low erected in 1882, and known as 
The Gakfiei.d, on the corner of Court and Remsen 
streets, deserves mention as an illustration of his pub- 
lic spirit; admirably contrived for banking, insurance, 
law and other offices, and of the most thorough finish 
and construction within and without. 



Alexander Ector Orr is a member of a Protestant Irish 
family of Scottish extraction, claiming kindred with the 
clan Mac Gregor, who came to Ireland in the 16th century 
and settled in the north, acquiring real estate in the coun- 
ties of Donegal, Londonderry and Tyrone. His ancestors 
were present, on the defensive side, at the siege of London- 
derry, in 1688-9, then the most prominent city in the province 
of Ulster and the only one which successfully adhered to the 
standard of William the Third against his father-in-law, the 
dethroned James the Second of England, who, up to tliat 
period, had been successful in his operations in Ireland. His 
fatlier, William Orr, was a gentleman of private fortune, re- 
siding at Strabane, in tlie County Tyrone, who died in 1834, 
three years after the birth of Alexander E. His motlier, who 
was the daughter of David Moore, Esq., of Sheephill, in the 
county of Londonderry, soon after the death of her husband, 
removed from Strabane to Londonderry with her nine 
children, of whom Alexander was the seventh in order. 

It was originally intended that a commission in the judicial 
or military departments of the East India Company's ser- 
vice should be his vocation in life, and a presentation to the 
company's college at Addiscombe was procured, where he 
was to go as soon as he had readied the adequate age : but a 
severe injury to his foot when a lad of between thirteen or 
fourteen disabled him for several years, and rendered the 
fulfillment of that design impracticable. 

During convalescence from this accident, and when he 
was permitted to resume his studies, he went to reside in the 
family of the Rev. John Hayden, Archdeacon of the Diocese 
of Dorry and Raphoe, at Killaloo Glebe, a short distance 
from the city of Londonderry, who superintended his educa- 
tion; and, as it was necessary that he should be as much as pos- 
sible in the opc.^n air Ins lessons were generally recited on horse- 
liack when ri<ling about the parish with his reverend preceptor. 

When he was able to lay aside tlie crutches wliicli lie had 
used for n(>arly four years, and had gained comparative 
strength, lie visited the United States, in the year 1850, for 
the expected benefits of the sea voyage out and home, in a 
sailing vessel, owned by a relative of the family. The out- 
ward voyage was a tedious one (between two and three 
months), but it produced the most beneficial results, and he 
landed in Wilmington, North Carolina, a strong and healthy- 
looking young man. During a short tour of a month (while 
the unloading and re-loading of the vessel was taking place), 
wliicli he made northward, visiting Richmond, Washington, 
Baltimore and I'hiladelphia (but failing for lack of time to 




} 







THE COMMEUCK OF /IROOK'LyV. 



reach New York), he became so iinprcsscd with the luagni- 
ficent future that was in store for the United States, that he 
returned to Ireland fully determined to make that country 
his future home, if the controlling authority (ho being under 
age) would grant consent. At first, this was withheld ; but 
subsequently a compromise was elTected, the terms being 
that if young Orr continued of the same mind till the sum- 
mer of the following year the objection would be withdrawn. 
There wsis no wavering on his part from the impressions pre- 
viously formed; time had only served to confirm them; and, 
in the autumn of 1851, he came to the United States in the 
steamship City of Glasgow, arriving at Philadelphia, and 
immediately proceeded to New York. This vessel was soon 
after lost at sea and all on board perished; she was never heard 
of after leaving Philadelphia on a subsequent return voyage. 

Among many letters of introduction which Mr. Orr 
brought to the United States, was one to the banking firm of 
J. & J. Stuart, and another to that of Abraham Hell & Son, of 
Park Row. The senior member of the former firm tried to 
dissuade him from remaining in the United States, as, in his 
opinion, success here was very uncertain and England, if it 
did not offer better opportunities, had fewer temptations for 
young men. Mr. Abraham Bell, a genial warm-hearted 
Quaker gentleman, on the other hand, urged him to remain 
in New York, took a deep interest in his welfare, and pro- 
cured for him a situation in the oflice of his friend, Sir. 
Ralph Post, a shipping and commission merchant of South 
street. In later years, Mr. Orr has often referred to the kind 
and encouraging reception he received from Mr. Bell, whose 
warm friendship and advice influenced his career, in com- 
parison to that accorded him by Mr. Stuart, who, although 
an Irishman, seemed to have little confidence in either the per- 
severence or staying powers of his more youthful country- 
man. It is a coincidence that may be mentioned in this con- 
nection, that many years afterwards Mr. Orr was elected to 
fill the vacancy in the Board of Trustees of a large foreign 
financial institution (having a branch office in New York), 
caused by the death of Mr. Stuart. 

Another letter of introduction which he presented was to 
the Scotch firm of Ritchie, Bane & Co., who have long since 
passed away. At his request, and prior to obtaining the 
situation referred to from Mr. Post, Mr. Ritchie kindly 
permitted him to come to his office for a short period and 
assist in forwarding some work that had fallen behind hand, 
thereby enabling him to obtain a knowledge of United States 
currency and the modus operandi of an American merchant's 
counting-room. His instructor was the book-keeper of the 
establishment, who, after courteously initiating him into 
the mysteries of his profession, confided to him the secret 
that he was studying for the ministry of the Protestant 
Episcopal Church. At the end of ten days, the tuition ter- 
minated, but twenty-two years afterwards Mr. Orr united 
with his colleagues in the vestry of Christ Church, Brooklyn, 
in e.xtending a call to a reverend gentleman, as assistant 
minister of that parish (to have the special supervision of its 
most important mission), who proved to be none other than 
his American preceptor ; each having, in the intervening 
years, entirely lost sight of the other. 

In 1856, the firm of Wallace & Wickes, whose office was 
then in Front street, tendered Mr. Orr the position of cashier 
and confidential clerk, which was accepted with the greatest 
pleasure on his part, where he remained for nearly two years. 
For the members of this firm he entertained the warmest 
friendship and only severed the relationship, with their con- 
sent and advice, to accept a similar position in the office of 
David iJows & Co., in the summer of 1858, where a wider 
field was presented to him. 



On May Ist, 1861, Mr. Orr b«>camo a partner In ttiia flnn. 
and has l>een actively conc«rne<l in itii inanuKfrni'iit uvtrr 
since. The founder of the Arm of David Dowv &. Co. waa 
John DowH, of Charlton, Saratoga Co., Ni-w York, and it 
dates back to IHan, when thi- pphIuc)' traili- of th« I'nltaxl 
States was In its infancy and niercli ' '.• 

transported in large volume from tin ,o 

and I'lVe re/na, via the Mohawk and MuUnon rivi-ni ; t-anoJn, 
or railroads U'ing then unknown .lolin Down dird in 1'M4, 
and the business was continued by David Down anil Ira B. 
Cary, his surviving partners, iindi-r the firm namu of Dowa 
& Cary. 

In 1854 Mr. Cary died, and David Down awtorlated with 
himself his nephew, John D. Malrti, and und<T th>- nnm<> of 
David Dows & Co., the business waa rontinuwl without in- 
terruption. This firm confines its opt'nitionH to a utridly 
commission Ijusiness in the major farm priMluctit of Ihw 
United States. Grain, ttourand iirovisions are the principal 
factors, while cotton, wool, tobacco, and many other com- 
modities are also shipped to its care. 

The breaking out of the reliellion gave an immense im- 
petus to the volume of its transoctiona, and as the war pro- 
gressed, this not only increased, but the Commimary Deport- 
ment of the United States Government found it advan- 
tageous and profitable to procure ita services in purcho-iing a 
large part of the subsistence stores neede<l for the armien 
east of the Alleghany Mountains, up to the end of the war. 
As Mr. Orr had direct supervision of the financial and pro- 
vision departments of the firm, and was continually con- 
sulted by the Commissary General, reference to the follow- 
ing letter from General Eaton, the head of that Department 
of the Armies of the United States, may not be out of 
place : 

Office of 1 

New York, Sept. 27th. 18W. ) 



Ass'T Com. -General of Scbsi-stesce, ; 
Nev 
Mes,sr.s. David Dows & Co. : 



Gentlemen— With much pleasure I semi you the following 
extract from a letter, yesterday received from General Katon, 
Commissary-General of Subsistence, U. S. Army: 

OKFICK COM-MI9SARY-Cir..N«RALOp9DB»IST«S<-«. I. 

WaSiiinoto.s Citv. D. C , Sept. 34tb, I.'<«4. ( 
Col. H. F. Cr.AKK. A. D. C. & A. C. O. S.. New Tobk: 

Sir— Your letter of yeatorday. rcportlnd the result r.t •• - "-x't 

of provisions, made under your authiirity. by Hailcl 1' «• 

been received. Tliesi' purLhasi"* have been made with .» 

mercantile skill, and with the evident desir.- to nerve th" • ■ ..i,. ..,,..»! 
Interests of the country. The thanks of thL^i depmrtmeiit mn due 
Messrs. David Dowa \- Co. for this service. 

Very respectfully, your obedient servant. 
(Signed) A. B. EATON. C. O. S. 

I am, gentlemen, very respectfully, your obedient gw-vant. 

H. F. CLARKE. 
Cor. A D. C. & A. C. « i. S. 

The transaction here referred to covered several million* 
of dollars in value. It not only embraced the purrhas<< of 
provisions, but also the negotiation of government certifi- 
cates of indebtedness (with which in Jarge mea^^ur* the 
Treasury Department of the United States was. from neces- 
sity, forced to pay its debts), upon a plan suggested by Mr. 
Orr, and which proved much more favorable to the Gorern- 
ment than that which was practiced prior to David Dow» * 
Co's management. It was in some re~' 
worked so well that it was continu' 
close of the war. 

The policy and aim of David Dows & Co. has .ilwavn V»pn 
to encourage the agricultural and commercial it 

of the United States; and, as a means, it has .» n 

identified with those enterprises which assisted in oponing 
up and utilizing the products of new terr • - - ind hae 
ever been among the first to follow the pi 



h 

ae 



.\ilroad 



650 



HISTORY OF KINGS COUNTY. 



into the wilderaees. Nor has it forgotten its obligations to 
the city of New York, or its great dormitory, Brooklyn, 
where, on the water front of the latter, it has built some of 
thi- linent grain warehouses and elevators on the Atlantic sea- 
board. It has done much to make the harbor of New York the 
granary for the old world, and tlie city of New York the great 
grain center of the United States. In all these matters Mr. 
Orr has actively seconded the indomitable energy and enter- 
prise of his senior partner, Mr. Dows, and has ever found in 
hun a friend from whom he could accept counsel, and whose 
example it was his aim to emulate. Hence we find him 
asserting, when opportunity offers, the commercial su- 
premacy of New York, and advocating and supporting every 
influence that will tend to insure that end. Year after 
year, since 1871, he appeared before committees of the Leg- 
islature, urging the reduction of tolls on the state canals; 
until in 1882, as chairman of the New York Produce Ex- 
change Committee of Fifty, he presented the unanswerable 
argument of the Exchange in favor of " free canals," and 
made the demand "that every toll bar erected against the 
internal commerce of the state, and the interests of the cities 
of New York and Brooklyn, must now be taken down." 

In IS.'o Mr. Orr was appointed by Governor Tilden a mem- 
ber of the commission charged with the duty of investigat- 
ing the affairs and management of the canals of this state. 
His colleagues were John Bigelow, Daniel Magone, Jr., and 
John D. Van Buren. This commission faithfully fulfilled 
the mission entrusted to its care. It was organized in April, 
and did not terminate its labors till the spring of the fol- 
lowmg year. Through it a system of frauds was discovered 
and developed, which had been in operation for many years, 
and was sapping the moral condition of the governing 
bodies of the state. 

Very many of the guilty persons were brought to justice, 
and made to refund their ill-gotten gains. Prominent state 
officials, who had either connived at, or profited by, these 
wrong-doings, were forced to resign, in order to avoid judi- 
cial removal; and others who could not be proved legally 
guilty, but whom the moral sense of the community deemed 
responsible, withdrew into private life as soon as their terms 
of office expired, and in a politi<;al sense, were heard of no 
more. 

This commission was clothed witli extraordinary powers. 
It was authorized to send for persons and papers, and arrest 
all refractory witnesses. Its expenses were of necessity 
large ; some |35,000 ; and yet it may be said to have paid 
more than its own expenditures, as it collected from persons 
wrongfully and fraudulently receiving, and returned to 
the .state, eitlier in cash or state certificates of indebtedness, 
:j;43,000; collected proofs which enabled the state to sue for 
hundreds of thousands of dollars, which had been wrong- 
fully or fraudulently paid to dishonest contractors, and 
caused contracts to be cancelled, and useless constructions to 
be stopped, wj.ich would have involved the useless expendi- 
ture of millions of dollars more. As a result, the recom- 
mendations of the commission were adopted by the 
T./egl8lature; the pernicious elective offices of canal commis- 
sioners were abolished, divided responsibility was entirely 
eliminated from canal management; the office of superin- 
tendent of public works, with a direct responsibility, was 
created, and the expense of canal maintenance was reduced 
more than one-half. 

Mr. Orr hjis been identified with the New York Produce 
Exchange since \Hm. He was one of those active, earnest 
men who, after many defeats, succeeded in establishing in 
1871-2 the organization that now prevails, and which since 
then has grown into such grand proportions, and promises 



such splendid results. His constant aim has been to make 
the Exchange self -appreciative and self -asserting, and claim 
to be what it has the right to be, the great central commer- 
cial association of the United States. To insure this, it 
needed a building worthy of that aim and claim, and in 
1879 it was finally decided to erect one at a cost not "exceed- 
ing one million and a half of dollars. 

A building committee was created, consisting of eight 
gentlemen, with full power as to location and character of 
construction within prescribed limits, of -which Mr. Orr was 
one, and he was at once elected its secretary. The commit- 
tee immediately took the position that the sum named was 
much too small, and after many meetings and controversies 
with the board of managers and members of the Exchange, 
procured its increase to three millions of dollars, which, in 
the opinion of the committee, was more appropriate for the 
jiurpose. The wisdom of this action is now apparent. A 
building, creditable to the Exchange and the city of New 
York, is now being completed, which combines arcliitectural 
effect with all present and prospective Exchange needs; 
and which will yield at the same time a yearly revenue, to 
be expended in the interests of American commerce for all 
time, of nearly two hundred thousand dollars. To the 
courage and earnest advocacy of Mr. Orr, in large measure, 
is due these praisewortliy results. 

Other Exchange interest, only second to that mentioned 
above, has received his careful attention. In all large com- 
mercial bodies differences of opinion and misunderstandings 
must, of necessity, be frequent. To settle such by recourse 
to legal tribunals is expensive and tedious, and owing to the 
admissibleness of technicalities when so adjudicated, very 
often the equities of the case are entirely lost sight of. Mr. 
Orr has always advocated settlement of such differences by 
arbitration, and has devoted much time to the development 
of this system of mercantile justice. For the past three 
years he has been the chairman of the arbitration commit- 
tee of exchange, and so successful has that committee been 
in obtaining the confidence of the members, that in its late 
reports to the board of managers, the following statements 
are found : 

" It is the experience of this committee that settlement of 
differences between members of this Exchange by arbitra- 
tion, without intervention of law, is rapidly becoming the 
general rule. Indeed, the prediction is ventured that, fol- 
lowing the lead of intelligent business men, and guided by 
the influences which they cannot fail to exert, the large cor- 
porations and associations throughout tlie land that are de- 
pendent upon commerce, either directly or indirectly, for 
patronage and support, will ultimately adopt the same sys- 
tem for adjusting controversies and solving problems that 
are now the foundations of tedious and expensive law suits. 
* * * In this association of three thousand merchants, 
the committee lias not learned of a single instance during 
the past two years where the law has been called upon to ad- 
judicate between members." 

In matters of finance, Mr. Orr's opinions are much re- 
spected and his services sought. He is vice-president of the 
Mechanics' National Bank of New York, and was tendered 
the office of president after the resignation of Benj. B. Sher- 
man, in 1883, but declined it because of more pressing 
obligations. He is also a director of the New York Produce 
Exchange Bank, and a director and member of the finance 
committees of the Continental and American Fire Insurance 
companies, and of several other kindred institutions; also a 
director of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway Company. 

On his arrival in tlie United States, in 1851, Mr. Orr came 
to reside in Brooklyn, and has continued to dwell there ever 
since. He thoroughly believes that that city will ultimately 
become the first in population, in manufactures, and in solid, 




-"j 'lyAKRicc'iia 



^=^:/<;^:^^o^^^^.^^ 




THE COMMERCE OF BROOKT.yy. 



CM 



home-like comforts, if the people will take advantage of op- 
portunities as they are presented, and are appreciative of the 
possibilities of the future, which, in almost all things Ameri- 
can, may be made to far surpass the expectations of the 
most sanguine. In his opinion, from its advantageous loca- 
tion and other favorable conditioiiH. Brooklyn cannot bo 
held back from continuous growth and prominence; but 
with moderate taxation, ample water supply, a thorough 
system of rapid transit, and a continuation of such upright 
municipal government as has been enjoyed since the begin- 
ning of 1882, together with its close identification with the 
financial and commercial interests of New York, it could be 
wonderfully helped forward; and, if it does not in all re- 
spects rank first, it will only be second to the great metropo- 
lis, to which it will always add lustre, and of which it really 
forms a part. For these reasons, he has always lent a will- 
ing and helpful hand to found, sustain, or direct those in- 
stitutions of a philanthropic, educational, or refining char- 
acter, which are so essential to the healthful development of 
all large cities. He is a trustee of the Cldldrcn's Aid Society, 
the Eye and Ear Ho.yntal, St. John's Hospital, the Packer 
Collegiate Institute, the Brooklyn City Mission and Tract 
Society, the Long Island Historical Society, the Art A,isocia- 
tion, the Brooklyn Library and the South Brooklyn Savings 
In.ititution, in which latter, with its twenty-one thousand 
depositors, owning over nine million dollars of deposits, he 
takes the deepest interest. He holds that the savings banks 
furnish the means of teaching, in the most direct and practi- 
cal manner, the science of political economy to the masses 
of the people. He believes that every one who is prospect- 
ively dependent upon his or her exertions should be encour- 
aged to avail themselves of this means of making future 
provision against " the rainy day;" and he makes it a condi- 
tion with those whom he employs, that they shall have an 
active savings bank account; holding that the best evidence 
one person can give another of intended faithful service, is 
that evidence of self-appreciation, that first duty which looks 
beyond the needs of to-day, and makes provision for the un- 
known wants of to-morrow. 

In politics, Mr. Orr may be termed an independent, al- 
though all through the War he had very decided republican 
affiliations. He advocates absolute freedom of action, irre- 
spective of party domination, in the great national questions 
of the day, beheving that a man's conscience is his best 
guide; and he is strongly opposed to the introduction of na- 
tional politics into systems of municipal governments. Al- 
though he is not a "protectionist," as that term is generally 
understood, he is equally opposed to "free trade" in the 
United States, his views being that there should be a tariff 
that will produce the needed revenue, and insure, at the 
same time, the fair remuneration and elevation of American 
labor. He also holds that raw material and foreign built 
ships, except when the latter are to be used in the coasting 
trade of the United States, should be placed on the free list. 

He has never held political office, except once, when he 
was elected a member of the Electoral College that cast the 
Presidential vote of the State of New York for Hon. Samuel 
J. Tilden in 18T6. Although of republican affinities, Mr. Orr 
was elected to till a vacancy in this college, because of his 
known friendship and confidence in the democratic candi- 
date, believing that if he should be inaugurated, as he be- 
lieved he had been elected, Mr. Tilden would carry with him 
to Washington the same sj'Stem of reform that he had intro- 
duced into Albany, wlien he was the honored and respected 
Governor of this State, in 1875-6. 

In 1882, Mr. Orr was tendered the nomination of Comp- 
troller of the city of Brooklyn by both the Republican and 



Democratic parties, and the year rollowing ho wu oflTi-rrtl 
the Comptrollership of the city of New York, by iin Mayur. 
Hon. Krankliii Edson, both of which (IntterinK oIT.tii h.- J... 
dined bt'causo of his many buHint-HH ri-H|>oni«ililli(ii>«. 

Mr. Orr is a member of the I'rot<-Htant Kpitw 'o|>nl nmrrh, 
and one of the cor[M)riiti)rH of the Ciitlicitral iit i 
which Mrx. A. T. Stewart prewnti-d to the ili<- ■ ,. 

Island. He is al.so u menilM-r of the HtandinK coniniiitcc of 
the diocese, and a trustee of several of the diorcMin •hnrillc*. 
In 18r)(5, ho married Juliet Duckiiighnm. eldeiit dauKhtrr of 
Ammi Dows, Esq. (then senior member of the (Irm of Itowi, 
Guiteau & Co., of New York), who died in 1H72. Ho iuta«- 
quently married Margaret Shippen, daughlor of tho Ul« 
Nicholas Luquer, Esq., of Brooklyn, a KmnddauKlit<>r of the 
late Dominick Lynch, Esq., of New York, and a it 

granddaughter of Chief Justice Edward Ship|M!ii. . |. 

vania. He has three daughters, Jane Down, Mnry M«orp 
and Juliet Ector. 

In person, Mr. Orr stands alwut six feet in height, but U 
rather slight in build for a man of that stature. In hin ni»n- 
ner he is active and quick, and hig constitulion i* ncnrou* 
and vigorous. He is now fifty-two years of age, but time 
has not laid its hand heavily upon him. Me attribule* thia 
in great measure to a principle laid down early m life, and 
which, under all circumstances, lie faithfully follown out. 
viz., that when he leaves his office he also leaven hi* buiii- 
iiess there, and never allows its cares and anxieties to inva^U 
the happiness of his home. He believes that the toiU ithould 
be largely intermingled with the pleasures of life, and ban 
ever regretted that the American merchant ami profewional 
man differs so much in this respect from the habits of life 
almost universally observed in the older countries of Great 
Britain and Europe. It is indeed a very true adage that "all 
work and no play makes Jack a dull Ixiy," and. it may alsn 
be added, a prematurely old man — a condition which could 
easily be avoided by all our business men. If Mr. Orr's prin- 
ciple was not the exception but the general rule. 



Harrisons. Vininq — a resident of Brooklyn for the last 
thirty years, and widely kpown in New York as an authority 
in maritime affairs, and as the organizer .ind head of the 
"H. S. Vining's Bureau of Inspection" for grain-loading 
vessels; also. Marine Surv'eyer and Appraiser — was bom io 
Lisbon, Me , Nov. 4, 1824. 

His early childhood was passed in "S. W. Bond." a rillagv 
of Durham, in that State, so called from a sh.irp turn in the 
Androscoggin River, at that picturesque portion of the town. 
When he was nine years old. his parents removed to Port- 
land, Me., in which city and the .Seminary in the mburbe, he 
received his education, and from which port he sailed for 
many years. He went to sea. in his thirteenth year, with his 
father, who was captain of the vessel in which he tailed. 
From tliat time, for three years, he made wint»r mrngm 
only, spending the intervening summers at \' 1- 

emy, and at a private school in the city, for ii- 

ematics. 

The only books which he took with him to gf^. !■ 1- kUile 
his leisure hours, were McCulloch's Commercia' v. 

and works upon Navigation and Astronomy, thu. , re- 
paring himself for a career, both as a merchant and a Mulor, 
At school he studied lx>okkeeping, surveying, etc. 

The whole science of Navigation he mastered perfectly. 
when very young, by self-study. He coram 
at the age of twenty-four. 5very inch n "-< 
successful in his voyages, winning the • « 

of those under him bv the masterly m;> ■'' 



052 



HISTORY 01 KINGS COUNTY. 



every poesible advantage, and by his quickness to foresee 
and avert threatened danger and disaster. His judgment of 
the weather at sea was remarkable. 

In 18r>3, Mr. Vining settled in Brooklyn, retiring from the 
sea, after seventeen years' experience of its dangers and vi- 
cissitudes. In his early voyages he acquired the Spanish 
language and various dialects, in foreign ports, whicli proved 
of great service to him in transacting mercantile business 
with people of many nationalities, during the sixteen years 
in which he was engaged in the shipping and commission 
business in New York; and later, in the great enterprise 
which has made him known, not only in the metropolis and 
the principal ports of the United States, but in Great Britain 
and the Contment. We refer to his connection with the 
grain trade, in which he has achieved a wide popularity. In 
1873, he organized the "H. S. Vining's Bureau of Inspec- 
tion " for the grain trade with Europe, which has systema- 
tized and greatly facilitated business for the sliip, the mer- 
chant and the underwriter in this vast commercial interest. 
Up to the present time, this Bureau has inspected and given 
certificates to over twelve tliousand vessels of all classes. It 
is the largest institution of the kind in the world. 

The facilities of this Bureau for promptness and dispatch 
are remarkable. In 1880, the number of vessels, including 
steamships and sailing vessels, that came under this inspec- 
tion was 2,1 M; 316 vessels of all kinds receiving certificates 
in a single month during that year. 

An important feature of this organization is the establish- 
lisliment of a perfect system, regulating lay-days, and the 
draft of water to which the ship should load, thereby saving 
disputes and litigation. 

lo all cases of arbitration in this country and in Europe, 
Mr. Vining's opinion has always been sustained. 

In 1875, he received the written approval of fifty-four in- 
surance companies on the Continent, from Russia to the 
Mediterranean. 

In the Grain Act of the British Parliament for 1880, " H. 
S. Vining's Bureau of Inspection " was incorporated. 

The Nautical Gazette, published in New York, in its is- 
sue of September 13, 1879, has the following: "When it is 
considered that Mr. Vining's inspection is the growth of in- 
dividual aliility and integrity, and has at times to combat 
with large and wealthy corporations, it will be seen that it is 
managed with the most thorough intelligence and rectitude, 
and has thus commanded the confidence and secured the 
patronage of the largest grain shippers in America, as well 
as many underwriting companies." 

Mr. Vining has written a work, which is soon to be pub- 
lished, entitled, "The Nautical Handbook," containing a 
complete dictionary of nautical words and phrases, alphabet- 
ically arranged, together with a large amount of information 
in regard to ship-building, dimensions of spars, stowage, etc., 
and a table of comparison for finding the capacity of ships 
for various cargoes. 

In 1852, Mr. Vining joined Uie Masonic body in the "An- 
cient Landmark Lodge," of Portland, Me., of which Lodge 
he is now a life member. In Brooklyn, he took the higher 
degrees, and was Eminent Commander of the Clinton Com- 
mandcry for two years, devoting to it a lively, energetic in- 
terest. Of the second year in which he held this office, the 
following record appears in the published proceedings of the 
Grand (Jommandery, New York, 1882: "During tliis year, 
the mc^etings were regularly attended, and more work done 
than in all the previous existence of the body." This cov- 
ered a period of thirty-seven years, from the time of its or- 
ganization. Mr. Vining has also taken all of the "Ancient 
and Accepted Rite " degrees, to the 33d and last degree, and 



is an honorary member of the Supreme Council for the North- 
ern Jurisdiction of the United States of America, being, for 
1882, the thirteenth on the list of living members, in the or- 
der of admittance. 

Mr. Vining's activity in business is unabated. Thorough- 
ness, steadiness of purpose, and breadth of aim, still charac- 
terize all his undertakings, in a notable degree. Genial and 
versatile, he finds many ways to be helpful to others, and has 
many friends among all classes. Eminently useful in his 
day and generation, may " his days be long in the land." 



Richard Harper Laimbeer was born June 23d, 1825, and 
has lived most of his life in New York and Brooklyn, having 
removed to the Sixth Ward of the last mentioned city from 
New York in 1849, and since resided there. His parents were 
William and Thomazine (Harper) Laimbeer. 

William Laimbeer, who died at the age of sixty-nine, De- 
cember 13, 1861, was one of the most enterprising business 
men of his time, and it may be of interest to the reader of 
the history of Brooklyn to know that he was one of the num- 
ber who, in order to secure better communication between 
Brooklyn and New York, signed a bond to indemnify the 
Ferry Company against possible loss, as an inducement to 
run a ferry boat from Whitehall street, New York, to Ham- 
ilton avenue, Brooklyn. He was one of the pioneers in busi- 
ness at the Atlantic Dock, and built the first stores on the 
North Pier there, and subsequently others, which, with other 
improvements, constituted a valuable property. About 1853 
he retired from active business, and passed the remainder of 
his days on his farm at Amsterdam, Montgomery countv, 
N. Y. 

In 1845, Mr. R. H. Laimbeer engaged in the storage busi- 
ness, occupying the block of property and privileges tlien be- 
longing to his father, at the foot of Congress and Warren 
streets. In 1848, he removed to the Atlantic Dock, and from 
that time until 1863, carried on his business on the North 
Pier. 

In 1863, he removed to Clinton wharf, where, until 1868, 
he was the active man<ager of the business of the firm of R. 
H. Laimbeer & Co., consisting of R. H. Laimbeer, A. E. Mas- 
ters and L. B. Shaw. In 1872, The Grain Warehouse Com- 
pany was organized, and assumed control of the stores, for- 
merly of R. H. Laimbeer & Co. , L. B. Shaw and A. E. Mas- 
ters, and David Dows & Co.'s Columbia stores, at the foot of 
Pacific street. Of this company, A. E. Masters was presi- 
dent, and Mr. Laimbeer was treasurer. Two years later. The 
Grain Warehousing Company was organized^ with L. B. 
.Sliaw as president, and R. H. Laimbeer as treasurer. All of 
its warehouses and elevators are located on the Atlantic 
Dock, and its New York office is at No. 5 Moore street. It is 
probable that this company has to-day the largest capacity 
for, and is doing a more extensive business than any other 
single warehousing firm in the world; and it is due in no 
small degree to the wise foretliought and admirable manage- 
ment of Mr. Laimbeer that it has assumed its present status. 

The connection of Mr. Laimbeer with other prominent en- 
terprises is well known. He lias been, since its organization, 
a member of the New York Produce Exchange, and was 
formerly a member of its board of managers. He is vice-presi- 
dent and director of the New York Produce Exchange Bank, 
and trustee of the South Brooklyn Savings Bank. For some 
years past he has been identified with mining enterprises, 
and he is a director in the Standard Mining Company of Cali- 
fornia, and some other similar corporations. 

May 2Ist, 1848, Mr. Laimbeer married Kate J. Radcliffe. 
daughter of John and Susan Radcliffe, of Port Jackson, Mont- 



n 



%l> 








THE COMMERCE OF nnoOKLYX. 



gomery cimnty, N. Y. They have a son ami two ihiughtcrN. 
The son. Richard II. Lainihoer, Jr., is a lawyer, with liis 
office at 132 Nas.sau street. New York. 

Mr. Laimheer, from his youth up. has taken a deep interest 
in religious matters, and early in life became a professor of 
reliRion. At the age of eighteen, he was a trustee with his 
fatlur in the Hammond Street Presbyterian Church of New 
York, and at the same time occupied the position of its 
treasurer. After taking up his residence in Brooklyn, he was 
for many years identified with the South Presbyterian 
Church, at the corner of Amity and Clinton streets, and he 
was one of sixty of its members who witlxhew to constitute 
aud organize the Westminster Presbyterian Church, at the 
corner of First place aud Clinton street. To the establish- 
ment and success of Westminster Church, Mr. Laimbeer has 
been a generous contrilmtor, as well as a faithful worker ; 
and his official connection with it has continued from the 
first. To all of its interests, he stands in the relation of a 
willing and liberal helper, and it is not saying too much to 
state that be is. and has been, one of the strong pillars of the 
organization which h.ave been necess,ary to its U])holding. 
Upon all its me.ans of grace he is a faithful attendant. 

Politically, Mr. Laimbeer is an ardent Republican, but he 
has long since withdrawn from active participation in political 
affairs; the demands of his business interests, and the quieter 
claims of church and home, I'equiring his whole time and 
devotion. He is. and has long been, a great employer of la- 
bor, and is in every sense the friend of the workingman. 
His life has been, and is still, a very busy one; and if he h,as 
prospered beyond many of his acquaintances, it is conceded 
that his prosperity i.s only the legitimate reward of enter- 
prise and earnest and lionest endeavor. He is such a citizen 
as Brooklyn may well be proud of, and one of a number 
whose improvetnents along the Brooklyn water front have 
contributed not a little toward bringing to the Brooklyn 
shore much of the business of the port of New York, and 
which will reni.-iin as valuable adjuncts to the city's develop- 
ment long after the men who have made them shall have 
passed away. 



Ge>'ERal Francis E. Pinto.— The oldest brick house in 
New Haven. Conn., is the old Pinto house, which was erected 
in the year 1745, of bricks imported from England. In that 
house, in the year 1755, was born William Pinto, of Spanish 
descent, who became the father of General Francis pj. Pinto. 
At the early age of thirteen, William Pinto entered Yale 
College, and at his death was referred to as having been the 
oldest graduati^ of that institution. At the time of the invasion 
of New Haven by the British, during the Revolution, he was 
one of a number of students at Yale who armed themselves, 
as well as time and circumstances wouUI permit, to assist in 
the defense of the town. Two of his brothers, also, were 
numbered in this party. One of them was made a prisoner 
by the British; the other was wounded and carried to a place 
of safety by William Pinto, who took him up l)efore him on 
a horse upon which he was mounted. Later, W'illiam Pinto 
was a member of the garrison of the fort at New Ixtndon, 
Conn., and owed the salv.ation of his life to the fact that on 
the very morning of the massacre of his comrades by the 
British, he had been sent with despatches under orders from 
Colonel Ledyard. After the Revolution he became one of the 
first New Haven traders with the West Intlies, and in time 
assumed considerable importance as a vessel owner. During 
the war of 1812-14 — the day liefore the historical engagement 
between the Constitution and Gtierriere — while returning 
from the island of Trinidad with one of liis vessels laden 



with rnoluHseH ami rum, ho wmi rnpture<l with hu crpw and 
cargo by ihe BritiHh ship Onrrrirrt. Al-ui -mi ■■f ttii, 
Americans were placed on Umrd Mr. I'l )■• 

sent to the United Stat<'!» for o-xcliange fur i.., . n 

of war hold there. The lirilonx Htovi* in all I in. 

casks of moliLvseH stowed on the Vnnkc*- trader m .|..ki>. re- 
taining the one cnnk, an lliey alleged, "to tn-nl thn Yai<ko«w 
with." In the engagemt'iit, a inisMJli' friirp ,,n 

burst the nioliL>(.sr'M citsk, llic lontt-nlt "f ,,i,| 

overspread a port ion of the deck of III. . n 

so slippery tliiit the Knglinligiiiinfrh « . ,.|r 

pieces effectively. It wilh stnted by high i-onti-iii|Kirary au- 
thority that this remarkable accident contributed in no Bniall 
dpgree to the victory of the Connlitnlion. After mnnr years 
of mercantile life, Mr. Pinto retired from huiiinewi, and tr- 
sided in New Haven until hia death, in 1H.|T, wIiIIk on n riail 
to New Orleans. 

Descended from a naticm of wnrrioni noted for rnnc|uni( 
and exploration, the son of a father who took imrt in two 
wars in which his country was invrdved. it in littli- wondpr 
that General Francis E. Pinto inheriti'<l a liking for niilitarr 
adventure as well a.s those srjldierly qualiticM whirli have en- 
abled him to render service to his country in two latt-r iitrufc 
gles ; service which has won for him the recognition of hi* 
superiors, and placed him, at this time, among thrwe veteranii 
whose names ,are known and honored by a Inrt'. ' the 

American people. Born in New Haven, .Iiine he 

gained the rudiments of an education in the ronnuKii .-„ IkwiU 
of that town, andas early a-s 18:t."i was placed ana l>oy in a dry 
goods store in New York. He pas,s«'d most of the time inter- 
vening imtil 1846 in the employment of ditTiTent New York 
dry goods merchants, rising to positions of consiilerahle im- 
portance ; ill health once compelling him to spend bftween 
two and three years on a farm in Connecticut and the mimmer 
of 1844 in the then extremely wild and picturesque Adiron- 
dack region. 

At the outbreak of the Mexican war. in lft4fi. Mr Pinto 
volunteered in his country's service. ,ind on the flth of June, 
that year, was commissioned as second lieutenant. He par- 
ticipated in the capture of Vera Cruz, the storming of Corro 
Gordo, the taking of Pueblo, the battle of C«ntr>Ta.i. tlM« 
.assault upon Chapultepec. and the taking of tli.' . irv of Mex- 
ico, besides taking a worthy part in minor ntji, Aa 
interesting incidents of his experience duri... w,,- i->'riod, it 
may be stated that, after General Sweeney waa wounded at 
Cherubusco, Lieutenant Pinto 9up|>orted his fonn while lh« 
operation of amputating the General's arm vrns Iwmc per- 
formed; and that he saw and conversed with ■ <\y 
deceased Captain Mayne Reid upon hii hpin? to 
the castle,after having been won I a- 
pultepec. Before and at the till 1 nC 
Mexico, Lieutenant Pinto rendered som> M-rrice. 
which can be only briefly referred to in ll. , ._ .j. The 
night following the bomlMvrdment of Chapultepec. he bad 

command of a working party to move the ' -ins 

nearer the castle. At the storming of Cb.i; vt 

day, he placed the first scaling ladder ' le 

wall of the Castle. A second ladder >> lO 

caught the end on the point of his sa' -il 

it w-as shoved on the main wall, th-: h. 

Then, assisting the color aargeant of <•- 

cended the ladder together with the r lo 

city of New York, which was the first Am le 

the Castle walls. On the afternoon of the ■ i» 

detailed with a hundred men at the gate d' ce 

the location of the sand-hags, so as to ; 
gunners in using the gims of the .Mex 



654 



HISTORY OF KINGS COUNTY. 



gate. This was a most difficult and dangerous task, and, 
upon tlie Kuccessful completion of the work, he was lionor- 
ably mt-ntioned iu general orders. 

Lii-utenant Pinto was a member of the first military Court 
of Commission, which met in the Mexican capital, after its 
capitulation, and took an active part in its delihorations. He 
waa promoted to a first lieutenancy and breveted captain, 
at the close of the war, and mustered out of service witli his 
regiment, in July, 1S48, after a little more than two years' 
service. 

Returning to private life, Jlr. Pinto decided to go to Cali- 
fornia, then holdiuK out golden promise to those who were 
venturesome and self-reliant enough to seek its shores; and, 
on Christmas day, 1848, he embarked at New York on board 
the steamer Isthmus, owned by George Law, for California, 
via Panama. Passing safely through dangers by fire and 
storm off Cape Uatteras, the Isthmus reached Havana witli 
its supply of coal about exhausted. On account of a report 
that she had cholera aboard, it was only with the utmost 
difficulty that the steamer was enabled to secure a little fuel 
of most inferior quality; but, putting in at I'ort Royal, this 
deficiency was supplied. The crossing of the Isthmus of 
Panama was effected, and then Mr. Pinto and his compan- 
ions embarked for San Francisco on the California, tlie first 
steamer that made the voyage up the Pacific coast. She put 
in at Acapulco. and the natives lied from the town, under 
the impre.*iion that she was a piratical craft. At Monterey 
the discovery was made that the vessel was witliout coal. 
A landing was etfected on the timbered coast, and the 
able-bodied passengers formed themselves into a body of in- 
dustrious woodchoppers. After mucli arduous labor liad 
been performed iu this cause, a large number of sacks, wliich 
had been erroneously thought to contain some kind of mer- 
chandise, were found to be filled with coal; and after this 
unnecessary, though not an altogether unpleasant delay, the 
California steamed into San Francisco B.-iy on the 28th of 
February, 1849, twenty-seven days out from Panama, and a 
little more than two months after Mr. Pinto's departure from 
New York. San Francisco then consisted of but a few adobe 
houses, but the spirit of progress had already taken root 
there, and it was the point of supply to a goodly number of 
overlanders who were working in the gold-fields beyond. 
The arrival of the California was an important event. Bon- 
fires were lighted in honor of the vessel and her passengers 
and the latter were welcomed to the hospitalities of the 
town. 

The destination of every Californian emigrant was "to the 
digging.^," and Mr. Pinto at once joineil a party of five or six 
of his fellow-voyagers and went, via Stoekton. to the South- 
ern mines. The party combined mining with trading, and 
soon opened a store of which they were joint owners, and of 
which, after some little e.xperience in the mines, Mr. Pinto 
was placed in charge. This business was closed out in the 
spring of 18.'J0, and Mr. Pinto returned to San Francisco, 
where he met an old New York acquaintance, named Martin 
Waterman, who, in company with Uodolph Jordan, was the 
proprietor of a general mercantile business, in which the two 
induced Mr. Pinto to become a partner, and the firm became 
Waterman, Jordan & Co. The same gentlemen, under the 
style of Pinto, Jordan & Co., opened a store in .Stockton two 
weeks later. Both houses were very successful, and in the 
winter of 1851, Mr. Pinto went to San Francisco to attend to 
their interests there. In May, 18.51, in the fire which de- 
stroyed most of the important portions of San Francisco, 
their stores there were swept away, and the conflagration 
which ruined Stockton three days later burned their other 
establishment at that place. Up to that time, it had not been 



possible to effect any insurance on property in California, 
and had it not been for the precaution the firm had taken to 
build warehouses on the outskirts of Stockton, in which con- 
siderable merchandise was stored, and the presence in San 
Frau(;isco bay of a cargo of sugar which they owned, they 
would have been utterly without recourse ; but, thus aided, 
they were enabled to rebuild and continue business at both 
San Francisco and Stockton. In December, 1851, Mr. Pinto 
came to New York, and, on tlie 6th of the following January, 
he married Miss Jessie Laimlieer, to whom he had been be- 
trothed prior to his departure fpr California in 1848. Return- 
ing to California with his bride in the following March, Mr. 
Pinto dissolved partnership with Messrs. Waterman and Jor- 
dan, and, becoming a partner with James Baxter, Ira P. 
Rankin and Henry Tay, of Boston, opened a mercantile 
house in San Francisco and another iu Stockton. About a 
year afterward this alliance was terminated bj' dissolution, 
and a new firm was formed by Francis E. Pinto, Henry Tay 
and Wilson G. Flint, who continued the same business at 
the same places, but so unsuccessfully that a separation of 
the partners soon took place, and the firm of Pinto, Tay & 
Flint was succeeded by that of Pinto & Waterman, his old 
partner joining him in the enterprise. In the meantime, 
Mrs. Pinto had returned to New York with her daughter, 
and she remained east until rejoined by her husband. The 
enterprise of Messrs. Pinto & Waterman was successful, and 
they soon entered so largely into the grain trade that, during 
the year 1855, they handled more grain than any other house 
in .San Francisco. In the spring of 18.50 the firm of Pinto & 
Waterman termin.ated its existence, and Mr. Pinto began to 
settle up all his California business, with a view to returning 
to New York, but still with the idea that he might possibly 
again make his home in San Francisco. 

At this time occurred an ejjisode in tlie life of Mr. Pinto 
which at once evidenced his soldierly and daring spirit, and 
his readiness to serve the public, even at the risk of life itself. 
Causes which have become historical, and any satisfactory 
reference to which is manifestly out of place iu this brief 
sketch, rendered necessary the organization of what was 
known as the Vigilance Committee of California. It was 
formed early in 185G, and was, in reality, the first formal and 
well organized body for the protection of life and property in 
the Golden State, and was officially designated as the " Mili- 
tary Department, Committee of Vigilance." The civil Law 
was ineffectual to secure citizens in the rights of life and 
property, and, without any design other than the advance- 
ment of the public good, the Vigilance Committee, by the 
action of the civil authorities, was brought into antagonism 
with the courts, and thus occupied a dangerous position, 
menaced on the one hand by the lawless class so numerous 
there at that time, and on the other by the civil government, 
which in every manner impeded its action and cripi>led its 
efficiency. Of this body Mr. Pinto became a member, and 
was placed in command of a company of 100 men. He was 
soon afterward made major of a battalion, and later a colo- 
nel of a regiment of this semi-military, semi-secret organiza- 
tion, of which he became Deputy Grand Marshal. When 
Colonel Pinto announced his intention of leaving California, 
and tendered his resignation of these offices, he received a 
flattering response from Charles Doane, Grand Marshal and 
Commander-in-chief of the forces of the Committee of Vigil- 
ance, from which the following extract is made. 

..* * * You will permit me to say that I deeply regi-et 
that any circumstances should render such a step on your 
part necessary, and to .add that it affords me much gratifica- 
tion to be.ar testimony to the energy, the zeal, and the ability 
wliich has characterized your every effort in behalf of the 
good cause in wliich we are all engaged." 




A^: 




"^^ 




TME COMMERCE OF linODKI. VS. 



Aboutjthis time, Colonel Pinto was tendered the office of 
Sheritr of San Krancispo, but refused to accept the charge, 
thoujih tliis evidence of the confidence of many leading? citi- 
zens nuist have been very gratifying. He returned to New 
York, i-ejoining his family in July, 1H.")0, and lived in partial 
retirement from business till the outbreak of the Rebellion in 
18C1. When asked' by an old friend if he intended to go into 
the war, he replied, ■' I can't keep out of it." The intelli- 
gence that Fort Sumter had fallen into traitorous hands 
aroused old memories of the scenes of war; and he at once met 
several kindred spirits, mostly old Californian acquaintances, 
among them. Ira P. Rankin, who had lieen appointed collec- 
tor of the port of San Francisco, tlie postmaster of San Fran- 
cisco, the Superintendent of the Mint there, and Col. Edward 
D. Baker, who was killed early in the war at Ball's Bluff, 
and the formation of a regiment to represent California was 
proposed, discussed, and determined upon. It was agreed 
that Colonel Baker should command this regiment, and that 
Colonel Pinto should be its Lieutenant-Colonel. Mr. Roder- 
ick Mattheson was also interested in the proposed organiza- 
tion. Dissensions soon arose, which resulted in the form- 
ation of the regiment, with Mr. Mattheson as Colonel and 
Mr. Pinto as Lieut.-Colonel. It was known as the 'A'iA. N. Y. 
V. I., and its field officers and several others of subordinate 
rank were all men who had been identified with the wonder- 
ful early development of California. It went into camp at 
New Dorp, Staten Island, early in May, and left for Wash- 
ington in June, via Harrisburg and Baltimore, being one of 
the first regiments to pass through the latter city after the 
disgraceful mob attack there on the Massachusetts Sixth. 

At the first battle of Bull Run, the 32d was in reserve on 
Centreville Heights, and was engaged until midnight in 
barricadmg the roads leading to Bull Run Creek with rails 
and other obstructions. They were greatly surprised to 
learn that the Unionists had been defeated and were fleeing 
toward Washington. Upon reaching the road to Alexandria 
the regiment met the wreck of the Federal commissary and 
ammunition wagon.s. The .32d was, doubtless, the last regi- 
ment to leave that fatal field. Going into camp at P^iirfax 
Court-H m.'se until daylight, it continued the retreat to Alex- 
andria the following morning, every man accounted for, 
conveying all of its disabled men in an ambulance which 
was found tongueless by the wayside, and propelled by wdl- 
ing hands by means of a rope attached to it, and which Gen. 
Franklin said should thenceforward belong to the regiment. 
At "West Point, Va., where, May 7th, 1863, the Unionists, un- 
der Franklin and Sedgwick, defeated a considerable force of 
Confederates under Whiting, the 32d took a prominent part, 
losing two captains killed and several lieutenants and a num- 
ber of men killed and wounded, and was complimented for 
its bravery in a speech by General Newton. The regiment 
was more or less actively engaged in the seven days' fight 
on the Peninsula, at Gaines' Mills, at White Oak Swamp, at 
Malvern Hill, and at the second battle of Bull Run. While 
lying at Harrison's Landing, Lieutenant-Colonel Pinto had 
been detailed to command the 31st New York, and was in 
the discharge of that duty at the time of the last great battle 
named, protecting the Orange and Alexandria Railroad from 
Alexandria to Fairfax Court-House. Early in the morning, it 
was found that the enemj- had burned a bridge near there. 
Soon afterward. Colonel Pinto discovered the telegraph oper- 
ator hidden in the woods, where he had fled from his post, 
and telegraphed General Slocum that his force was too weak 
to extend his lines any further and properly protect the road. 
About noon. General Shaler's old regiment came to reinforce 
him, and the following night the regiment withdrew to 
Alexandria. 



On the llthof September, nt thi« itl<>rmln<; of r'miiip'fin"* 
Pass, t:olonel Pinto coiniiiamled the ' 

of the aist N. Y. and the O.'ith P.nii. |. 

ed by Georgia troops under coininniid or II u. 

Col. Pinto's command on thin ixrcojil .i.in ,^| 

more prisoners than ho \vm\ men. I)u ..i. 

Colonel Matthe.Hon ami Major I^mon, ■., i,,. .... .,. , . „, nt 

both Fnortally wounded. On the inurninK of Uw l7Ui. Iho 
division wa-s onlered to join M'Cji-lliin liefi.t ' . )n 

the march, the 32d l)eing witliutit n ticlil rn 

re(iuested of General Newton that Li- to 

be ordered to assume commnnd of iha' la 

soon at its head; and about noon ttiii' ar- 

rived on the field of Anlietam, and, «, >r,)< 

division, was ordered to Hiipgiort tlie batterien on thi> ri»(ht of 
the Union line, which at this time were unxupiMirted oo ac- 
count of tlie severe fighting during the morning. 8cam<lr 
had Colonel Pinto placed his regiment in position, when hi* 
horse was wounded by a ball from the rille of a reUl Khorp- 
shooter. A contemplated attack on thiopomt u> ■•<l 

by the Confederates, when it was seen that ' •■• 

were now protected. The regiment remnint',! ir- 

misli line all night and during the next clay, in i .if 

which a flag of truce appeared in front of the :fJd. It wan 
met by the Adjutant, who brought to Colonel Pinto a pcn- 
cded note atldressed to the Commander of the Federal out- 
posts, requesting the remains of a certain South Carolinian 
Colonel who had fallen within the Union lines. Col. Pinto 
conferred with Generals Franklin, Slf>cnm and Newton, 
who recommended his compliance with the request Tlie 
body was found and passed through the picket line to the 
enemy. 

Not long after this. Colonel Pinto decline<l a comniiwiion att 
Colonel of the 31st, in order to accept the coloneley of his 
old regiment, the 32d. This regiment, with Colonel Pinto io 
command, participated in the battle of Fredericksliurg the 
following December, crossing the Rappahannock at the 
lower crossing and advancing in a dense fog. deploy e<l as 
skirmishers, till the enemy were found in the hills. At the 
second crossing of the Rappahannock, and the ■ nt 

which ensued on the almost impregnable "I :ul 

Fredericksburg, where Sedgwick's grand d: ig 

of the Sixth Corps and a division of ii -o 

valiantly drove the Confederates from the ei ■ -.ta 

covering the rear of Lee (then fighting Joe Ho- ,ii- 

cellorsville), the 32d formed a part of the br h 

crossed at night in boats and surprised the ent'i :«, 

and participated with great credit in the f!ii. it 

Salem Heights which immediately followed. ■ 'n in- Mh 
of the following month, the regiment, which had enlisitetl 
for two years, was mustered out of service. I -d 

order issued from the headquarters of the Sixth ,-'. 

Maj- 23il. 18(i3, General Sedgwick thus referred tw Uii* re- 
doubtable organization : 

" The loss of this gallant reg^ a 

cause of ujuch regret to the M z. 

The32d New York Volunteers 1. jp 

Sixth Army Corps from its first y 

Iwine its part on all occasions. • "s 

down to the last memorable sfm :n 

Maryland and Virginia. u|m'! -s 

of fallen but unfor,,'otten cii n 

of the regiment to the uati ■» 

of great deeds of trying mar >t 

should make each soldier pr 
command and the army of whuli it was » | 
commanding the Corps congrj»tulate«< th- 
upon their honorable retirement fron 
sures them that they have bravely .i 
the country and the army." 



050 



HISTORY OF KINGS COUNTY. 



ColoQel Pinto was bre^-etted Brigadier-General as a further 
evidence of the high esteem in which his services were lield 
by his superiors in command. He retired to private life, and. 
in October, lH(i3. entered into business at the Atlantic Docks, 
Brooklyn, in the general storage business. He is a Republi- 
can in jHjlitics, a member of the Holy Trinity Episcopal 
Church of Brooklyn, and a liberal supporter of religious and 
general charities. As a business man he ranks high, carry- 
ing on extensive operations in his line, and is a member of 
the New York Produce Exchange. He will long have a place 
in the memory of the loyal citizens of Brooklyn as one of 
•those Brooklynites who aided in upholding the starry flag in 
two memorable wars, and it may be of interest to future 
generations to know that he was chosen as a member of the 
staff of the Grand Marshal on the occasion of the centennial 
celebration, in 1883, of the evacution of New York by the 
British. 



James William Elwell, a prominent shipping merchant 
of New Y'ork City, was born in Bath, Maine, August 27 
1820, and is a son of the late John Elwell and Mary Spiague, 
his wife. Mr. Elwell may be said to have iuherited his 
marked business ability and numerous virtues from a long 
line of sturdy New England ancestors. Paternally he is 
descended from the Elwells who landed at Boston in 1636, 
and moved to the neighborhood of Gloucester, Mass., whence 
they have scattered to different parts of the country, notably 
to Maine, Broome county. New York, and Southern New 
Jersey. The parent stem is still vigorous in Massachusetts 
and Maine, and there is a branch in Pennsylvania, to which 
Judge Elwell of the Supreme Court of that state belongs. 
On his mother's side he comes of even more ancient stock, 
the Spragues dating from 1628, in which year the ancestors 
of the family landed at Plymouth, Mass., and settled in the 
neighborhood of Duxbury and Marshfipld, in the same state, 
whence their progeny subsequently scattered to Rhode Island, 
Maine, and other parts of the country. Mr. Elwell's great- 
grandfather, Payn Elwell, born in Gloucester, Mass., April 
8. 1744, was a worthy citizen of that town, and at the age of 
twenty years married Rebecca Webber, bj- whom he had 
issue nine children, five of them boys. Payn Elwell sur- 
vived his wife a little over five years, and died March 20, 
1820. His second son, Payn Elwell, Jr., born in New Glouces- 
ter, Maine, August 7, 1767, and grandfather of the subject of 
this sketch, began life as a clerk in his father's store, in North 
Yarmouth. Maine, and at the age of twenty-two was ad- 
mitted to partnership. April 16, 1789, he married a Miss 
Lucy Staples, of North Y^armouth, who bore him a son. John, 
and a daughter, Rebecca, who became the wife of the Rev. 
David M. Mitchell, of Waldoboro, Maine. In 1807 he re- 
moved to Waldoboro, Maine, and established himself inde- 
pendently in business. He was the founder of the Congre- 
gational church in that place, and throughout life one of its 
most worthy and active members, as well as principal sup- 
porters, and held the office of deacon from 1808 until his 
death, August 21, 1840. .John Elwell, his .son, born in North 
Yarmouth, Maine, May 17, 1790, received a good common 
school ed^ication, and then entered his father's store as clerk, 
carefully saving his earnings and making judicious invest- 
ments, and, with some assistance from his father, he was 
enabled to engage in business on his own account, which he 
did in Bath. Maine, in 181.5, and, April 22, 1816, married the 
daughter of Captain Joseph Sprague, of Topsham, Maine. 
His business, originally confined to general merchandise, 
gradually broadened, until it caused him to become interested 
in shipping, and largely engaged in fitting and equipping 



vessels employed in the fisheries, and in shipping their pro- 
ducts as well as lumber to the West Indies, bartering the 
outward for return cargoes of salt, sugar, molasses, coffee, 
and other West India commodities. In 1831, desiring a larger 
field and greater facilities for his enterprise, he came to New 
York with a view of establishing himself permanently in the 
shipping and commission business, judiciously leaving his 
family behind him until he had gained a secure footing. 
Owing to the prevalence of Asiatic cholera in the city in 1832 
he did not bring his family hither until a year later, at which 
time he secured a suitable residence in the village of Brook- 
lyn, Long Island. 

James W. Elwell, the subject of this sketch, and son of the 
foregoing, was put to school in his native place at the tender 
age of three years, and when nine years old entered the Bath 
High School or Academy. In these days of exhaustive edu- 
cation, it may surprise the reader to learn that the charges for 
tuition at this latter institution, $4 a quarter, were considered 
quite high; and that, in consequence, the young pupil was 
duly impressed with the necessity for applying himself dili- 
gently to his studies. In 1833, when the family removed to 
New York, James was in his thirteenth year. The sailing 
vessel that transferred the family and its household effects to 
Brooklyn was fourteen days in making the voyage thither 
from Bath. The wonderful changes in Brooklyn since Mr. 
Elwell became a resident therein may be inferred from the 
following particulars regarding the place at the time of his 
arrival. The house into which the family moved was situ- 
ated between Fulton and Henry streets, in Pierrepont street, 
which was then the last street opened south of Fulton ferry, 
and there were very few houses south of it. On the east side 
of Fulton street, Johnson street was the last street opened. 
Nearly opposite the Elwells' house were the Pierrepont corn- 
fields, and where the Court-house now stands a Frenchman 
named Duflon kept a public house, with which he had con- 
nected a garden, known as " Military Garden."' This house 
was the first stopping place for travelers leaving the settled 
part of the village. The site of the present City Hall was a 
pasture, surrounded by a post and rail fence. In the rear of 
the Elwells' house in Pierrepont street was Love lane, in 
which was the residence of Hon. George Hall, president of 
the village. At this time there were only three watchmen in 
Brooklyn, and no ferry south of Fulton street had then been 
established. 

In 1833 the elder Elwell formed a partnership with James 
B. Taylor, under the style of Elwell & Taylor, at 84 Coffee 
House Slip, New York City: and in the same year his son 
James entered the house as junior clerk, a part of his duty 
being to open the office at six o'clock in the morning, a task 
at which he was punctual and reliable. In the fall of the 
year he obtained a situation with James R. Gibson, then a 
dealer in special produce, including lard, cheese, barley, oat- 
meal, lime juice and palm oil, at 143 Front street. By the 
terms of the agreement young Elwell was to receive no sal- 
ary the first year, and but $50 the second, as wag then the 
custom; but he impressed his worthy employer so favorably 
that, at the expiration of six months, Mr. Gibson handed 
him a check for |2.5, saying, " James, your salary will be $.50 
the /?r.s< year. Nor was this all; for when the year expired 
no account was taken of this payment, nor of presents equal- 
ing $50 in value, and a check of |50 was paid as the year's 
salary. 

This liberal treatment was continued while he remained in 
Mr. Gibson's employment; and, while it reflected the highest 
honor upon the kindness of heart of the employer, it was 
none the less richly des<<rved by the boy. who proved worthy 
of every confldeace. The duties of the latter obliged him to 




ii-ah.3--,i. Cj }i£ 




THE (JOMMERCK OF lii;<>(>K l.V \ 



rise before claybreak, and aftor liroakfast, liy candle-liKht. to 
hasten through the village streets, dimly lighted by oil lamps 
few and far between, to Fulton Ferry, where he crossed the 
j.j,.-r on the old "double boats'" then in use, reaching New 
lork ius early risers were giving signs of awaki'uing. At tlie 
age of fifteen be was in full cOiarge of his employi'r's busi- 
ness. In those days the salaries of clerks were small in com- 
parison with those now paid, ani scarcely half the runnberof 
clerks now deemed necessary were employed. Copying 
presses were not generally in use, and duplirate letters, in- 
voices, and accounts were consei|uently copied Ijy hand. The 
oflices and stores were generally kept open evenings, when 
the letters were written and the business of the day entere<l 
and posted in the books. Association, even in a subordinate 
position, with a man of Mr. Gibson's kinilly nature and high 
regard for principle, could not but leave its li;gitimate im 
pression upon a pure niiiwled youth, and doubtless this asso- 
ciation had a great deal to do with the formation of young 
Elwell's character. In the spring of ls;38 Mr. (Jibson retired 
from active business, and soon after James, then a youth of 
eighteen, was taken into partnership with his father, the style 
of the firm being John Elwell & Co., and its place of business 
.57 South street. 

Together, John and James W. Elwell, established lines of 
sailing vessels for the ports of Savannah, Charleston, Mobile, 
and New Orleans, and, receiving consignments of vessels 
and merchandise, extended their business of freighting to 
the West Indies, South America, Euro])e and the East 
Indies. The linn of John Elwell & Co. continued until 
August, 1847, when it was dis.solved by the death of the 
senior i)artner, Mr. Elwell's father. After carrying on the 
business in his own name for five years, Mr. Elwell asso- 
ciated with him his brother, Charles Frederick Elwell. until 
then a clerk in his employ, and also his bookkeeper, Thomas 
Besant, the firm opening in January, I8.")3, as James W. El- 
well & Co. In V^~^\, Mr. Besant retired, and since then the 
business has been carried on by the two brothers, who still 
remain in the premises, No. 57 South street, which have 
been occupied by the Elwells, father and son, for nearly half 
a century. 

In July, 1814, Mr. Elwell man-ied Miss Olivia P. Robinson, 
daughter of Benjamin Robinson, of Bath, Me., who died 
February, 1851. Three children were the issue of this mar- 
riage. In May, 185i, he was again married to Lucy E. K. 
Stinson, of Hath, Me., daughter of David Stinson. One son, 
who died in infancy-, and two daughters, Lucy S. and Jane 
Reed, both living, were the issue of this marriage. Mr. El- 
well's mother died in Brooklyn, September, 1857. His 
youngest sister, Frances, married the Hon. Henry A. Moore, 
County Judge of Kings County, New York, an office he is 
now holding for the fourth term. Mr. Elwell's career in life 
has been no less active than exemplary, and he has been 
honored by bis brother merchants with a very large number 
of responsible positions ami trusts in mercantile corporations 
and associations. He became connected with the old Mer- 
chants' Exchange, in 1838, and is still an active member of 
its successor, the yew York Produce Exchange, and one of its 
Arbitration Committee — a court of equity with the powers 
of the Supreme Court of the State. On this important com- 
mittee he has serve*! live consecutive terms. I le was elected a 
meml)er of the Chamber of Commerce in 1855, and has served 
on several of its important committees, among them that on 
Foreign Commerce and Revenue Laws, of which lie has 
been chairman upwards of ten years. lie is one of the 
oldest, and, it need scarcely be said, most esteemeil members 
of this rejiresentative body of merchants. He was one of 
the original incorporators of the Ship Oirncrs' Associiifi'in. 



and also of the Marine liaiik, and in now the oldoat diraclor 

of the latter. lie ha« likewinc Uvn \ ,- 

ganization and direction of ii large niii' , 

ance coiiipanitra, sjiviiigs Imiikn, 

panics, many of the lu>;t nuini'd I .,i 

avenues of commerce in ihe ' 

So far from finding hiiiisa-ii tlnv niimrrnuii 

and ini|Kirtnnt Irusls. .Mr. KIweli conto , 

closest attention, anil withal tlmlH amp! 

interest and Hdvancement of ninny ii • 

works of religion ami benevolence. IV.i ,., j 

years he was a trustee of tliu Amerirai tl 

Union, and is now one of its vice-preMideiUv . :iii.i t.t iiif 
same period he has l)een a trustee of the Sruman't Frinul 
Society, of Now York, ami of the I'ily Mixsinn ami Tnirl 
Sociely, of the City of Brooklyn, and pn-Mid.'nt '-f (In- 
Board of Trustees of the Clinton .liviii/- ( ■., ,l 

Clmrch„ . Hejvas a trustee in the AVir Vurk I'm ^r 

years, and org.ani/ed the Helpinij llanii Sin-ii ty.' u, 

of which he has ever since been prer-iileut. Me ul : I, 

with several others, the Home for Frirndlt** ll'onim anil 
Cliitdren, in Brooklyn. In the progrutis and advanccuicnt of 
the Brooklyn Orphan Asylum he has taken a faltHTly 
interest, and is a nuMiiber of its Advisory Board of Mann' 
gers. Of the Fresh Air Funil, one of the iiuxit worthy 
charities of the city, which had for its objc<-t ti if 

poor, delicate, and sickly woiiicD and children • \- 

elusions to the country and seaside for flie re^lomlioii of 
health and strength, he was. for a long time, president, and 
has always been a lil>eral contributor. He is .ilso a life mem- 
ber and a member of the Boards of Ailviaors of i" '"^ ■■' 'be 
other leading public charitable and benevolent in 

New York and Brooklyn, including the Marimn^ i nmily 
Asylum, Stati-n Island, and an oHicer in sevt-ral of tliein. 
He is also a trustee of the Chililmi's Aid 'iie 

Brooklyn Dispensary, and on the Advis<ir_\ >l 

I'rospect Industrial School Society !ini\ Brooklyn li^inM for 
Insane Females. 

.Space does not permit a more complete en'' 'f 

the various charitable works with which he has i ly 

and responsibly connected ; for a volume would be rcquirvtl 
to give anything liKe a full account of the good work ho liaa 
inaugurated, organized and furthered. From his ptinie. 
which is as open as bis heart, mon. than thr ' '--d 
churches, missions. Sabbath-schools, asyluras, li. -- 

pensaries and homes, have, for many years, f. >• 

stantial aid. In Brooklyn alone, he has contrr >• 

erection and support of more than fifty • n 

enterprises, and charitable institutions: . im- 

ports of the different organizations a.-wi^te-l. and witli his 
private acts of benevolence which are well knowo. it 
apjiears that his charitable benefactions most already exceed 
half a million of dollars. 

Mr. Elwell was always an old line Whig, and voted with 
that party until the Kepui>lican party " .. ' 
which time he h.as not allied himself with 
tion, but has voted indei>endently. en I 
best men, in his judgment, to till the <■! 
they were nominated : and, in I'M-al 
has, at times, refrained from voting ( 
not knowing them personally, .-ind f 
their qualifications. During our In' 
he rendered marked service to tl 
pecuniary .issislance and i- 
equipping of se^'.nil reginn! 
for five sulisi i' 
lies during lb.' 



658 



HISTORY 01 KINGS COUNTY. 



Ill till' ciiv III UpKiklvii, N. Y., during the war, he was 
pniiiiiiiciit in organizing a (k'partment of it failed the New 
Kiil^hiiui Kitchen, wliicli proved a fjreat success financially. 
lie ilfvnted his entire time to it for more than two weeks. 

Mr. KIwell was brought ii|> and baptized in the Congrega- 
liiiiiul faith, of which chuich deuomination his parents were 
nieinliers, but when the family renmved to Hmoklyn, N, Y., 
there being no church i>f that dcnominaticiu there, his 
parents united with the First Presbyterian church, tlien 
located in Cranberry street, and there they remained atten- 
dant-i until their decea.se. In 1854, Mr. Elwell connected 
himself with the Clinton Avenue Congregational Church 
Society, the late Rev. W. I. Buddington, D.D.. pastor, but 
did not liecome a member until .January 3, I8G4, and at this 
church he still worships, lie has, for nearly thirty years, 
.seated the strangers who attended service, and welcomed all 
who came to the House of Ciod to worsliij). During the 
siime i)eriod he lias been on tlie pew committee, attending 
to their rental. One rule has been carried out by the trus- 
tees of that cburch, which is, that no member of the 
church, who was unable to pay his rent, should be obliged to 
vacate his pew or sitting, but should be permitted to retain 
it until able to pay. He ha.s seen a large number of men, 
women and children, who came to worship, gone, he 
trusts, to worship in the Temple of God, in Heaven. 

Three of the characteristics of this philanthropic citizen 
and upright business man reveal at once the manliness, 
purity and simplicity of his natiue; these are, his respect 
for the aged, his love for children, and his passion for 
llowers. Of unpretending manners, yet dignified appear- 
ance, he impresses one above aU with the kindliness and 
charity of his heart; and even in conmiercial affairs, he 
allows the freest and most Christian latitude to his generous 
impulses, and seems a living refutation of the oft repeated 
but sordid maxim that there is no friendship in business. 



DANIEL AMBROSE, M. D. 
This gentleman was born November 14, 1843, in the county 
of Limerick, Ireland; and, on the paternal side, belongs to a 
family in which the healing art seems to be hereditary, no 
less than ten of his family name and kinship being, during 
the past fifty years, in the medical profession, among whom 
is his brother, Dr. J. K. Andjrose, Coroner (1883) of Rich- 
mond county, N. Y. His fatlier, Stephen Ambrose, died 
when he was about three years of age. Stephen was the son 
of John Ambrose, who, was a man noted for his upright 
character. He died some fifteen years ago at a very advanced 
age. He was the owner in fee of liis native place at Dungan- 
ville. On the maternal side. Dr. Ambrose is descended from 
a family who were, for centuries, Chieftains of Ormond. 
They suffered during the various wars and confiscations 
of the country, and were finally entirely dispossessed of their 
patrimony by Cromwell, the fanati(;al zeal of whose fol- 
lowers caused them to frequently discard the usages of 
civilized warfare in their treatment of tliose whom the for- 
tunes of war placed at their mercy. The tragic fate of the 
last who held out with the confederated forces against the 
C-romwi-llian invaders, is thus told by Morisoii, a contem- 
porary histoiian and cyi-witness, whose work "The Thro- 
nodia," was published at Inspru(-k in 1G5'J. 

"The illustrious Colonel John O'Kennedv, a man of the 
utmost .'ntegrity, was slain by the swords of' the enemy after 
their faith had been pledg,d to him in battle. Il,s head was 

A ?.''\'^.r'. '""' ''"'t«"ed on a spike in the town of Nenagli 
A. u. 10.51. ° ' 

"James O'Kennedy, son of the aforesaid illustrious 
gentleman, a youth of great hopes, being deluded with 



similar pledges of good faith, was executed also at Nenagh 
A. D. 16.51." ^ 

A young son with two other children escaped from the 
general massacre, settled and prospered in the neighboring 
county, and from him James O'Kennedy, or Kennedy, as 
some spelled the name, the maternal grandfather of Dr. Am- 
brose, was fourth in descent. He died in 18111, and was buried 
in the cemetery of Anhid with many generations of his 
kindred; among others his fatlier, and uncle Mark Kennedy. 
Among the children of the latter was a son of the same 
name. Lieutenant in the 66lh Infantry, who died young, and 
a daughter who married Mr. John White, of Ennis. Their 
only child surviving at their death, was a young lady of 
rare virtues, who, dying at an early age at the commence- 
ment of this century, left upwards of £30,000 to works 
of charity and benevolei.ee. In Lenihan's Histori/ of 
Limerick are extended particulars of the benevolence of 
various members of the family, including an account of Miss 
White's endowment of the College of Park, near the city; 
and of her conversion of a former theatre into the Church of 
St. Augustine, which she presented to the Fathers of that 
Order, and which, located on George street, has since been 
their house of worship. There is a very handsome monument 
erected to her memory in the family burying-ground above 
mentioned. The father of James O'Kennedy married one of 
the McMahous of Court, who also suffered severely in the 
Penal days. His grandfather married a member of the 
Cantillon family, then, and still, large landed proprietors in 
the county. Another iiieniber of this family, a daughter of 
Robert Cantillon, married Maurice O'Conuell, of Derrynane 
Abliey, whose younger brother was the father of Daniel 
O'Conuell, styled the " Liberator." 

Daniel Ambrose, the subject of this sketch received a pre- 
paratory education at the best classical schools in Ireland, 
and, in his seventeenth year, took up the study of medicine 
in the medical schools and hospitals of Dublin. In 1804 he 
received the diploma of a licentiate of the Royal College of 
Surgeons in Ireland, and in 1865 was made a Doctor in Medi- 
cine of the Queen's University, and received the diploma of 
licentiate of the King and Queen's College of Physicians in 
Ireland. Before the close of the last mentioned year, he 
came to the United States, and located in Brooklyn, where 
he has since resided, during the last fifteen years, at his 
present residence. No. 97 Second Place. His success in his 
profession was rapid, and he soon obtained a large and lucra- 
tive practice. In 1806, he joined the Kings County Medical 
Society, of which he is still a member. He was connected 
with St. Mary's Hospital, Brooklyn, at its inception, and in 
1875 was appointed by the Commissioners of Charities of 
Kings county, physician to their Department. The Brooklyn 
P)-ess, of June 29, 1873, speaking of him, says: 

'■ Dr. Ambrose is building up a splendid practice in Brook- 
lyn. His thorough European education and experience, 
emphatic though brief, because the Doctor is still a young 
man, lias its proper weight, and it is safe to affirm that no 
physician in tliis city has finer pros|iects, and none has de- 
served tliem more." 

In 1867, Dr. Ambrose married Miss Anna Parker, only child 
of James Parker, at whose death, which occurred when she 
was but one year old, she became the ward of the Lord 
Chancellor of Ireland, and so continued until she attained 
her majority ; her mother being a daughter of John 
O'Conuell, of a very old and respectable family. James 
Parker was the son of Richard, whose father in the olden 
times was a very prosperous merchant and owner of vessels 
l>lyiiig on the river Shannon. The inotlier of James Parker 
was Anna, daughter of Thomas Jaevpies, who was descendiMl 
from a Huguenot family, which emigrated from France in 
the seventeenth century, and .settled in Ireland. Thomas 





^ V_^,^2^ 




'^^<L 



■^ 



THE COMMERCE OF BnoOKT.YX 



saw extensive service in the British navy, uiul r(iii>;ht with 
Nelson in all tin' naval battles of tho Mediterranean ami 
the Nile, and was engaged in the famous naval fight at 
Trafalgar in 1805. in which the great admiral lost his life. 
He was the son of Luke, the son of Ismic .lacque-s, who was 
mayor of the city of Limerick over one hundred years ago, 
and whose monument still exists in St. John's Protestant 
Church in that city, of which church he and his family were 
meml)ers. 

While at the zenith of success, in 1879, Dr. Ambrose was 
obliged to suspend the active practice of his profession on 
account of his suffering from catarrh, with which so many 
persons are afflicted along the Atlantic seaboard, and especi- 
ally physicians, owing to their frequent exposure m all kinds 
of weather. Being of an active temperament, he could not 
remain idle, and he associated himself with his cousin, Mr. 
John W. Ambrose, of New York, whose firm of Mills & 
Ambrose had just then completed the contract for the con- 
struction of the Second Avenue Elevated Itailroad in the 
city of New York. 

John W. Ambrose is a gentleman of rare energy, abil- 
ity and executive qualities, and his indomitable persever- 
ance, together with the magnitude of his works, have placed 
him in the foremost ranks of the contractors of this country, 
his operations having necessitated the employment of G.OOO 
men at one time. Together they purchased, in December, 
1879. the large tract of water front between Twenty-sixth 
and Twenty-eighth streets, Brooklyn, and from the vicinity 
of Third avenue to the channel line of Gowanus bay, con- 
taining about twenty-seven acres. They immediately com- 
menced operations, in which they were joined about six 
months subsequently by Mr. Robert J. Mills, of New York 
city. The general plan or scheme of these gentlemen em- 
braced the establishment of dry docks, piers, a series of 
warehouses, and, indeed, such other improvements as the 
enterprise would from time to time develop. They built 
large and powerful steam dredges and scows of the largest 
capacity, for the purpose of dredging, so as to make deep 
water, and carrying the excavated material to sea, for which 
object they had steam tugs of great towing capacity. April 
23d, 1882, the Brooklyn Eagle devoted much space to a re- 
view of this enterprise, saying, among other things: 

" In short, it was the practical rescue by capital of what 
had liitherto been only a vast expanse of water and swamp, 
and its subordination to the spirit of progress. Since that 
time one-half of the property, including that part between 
Twenty-sixth and Twenty-seventh streets, or a little over 
two hundred lots, by making deep water, sinking cribs and 
building land beliind them, ha.s been improved. There is 
sufficient water to allow vessels to come in and out, and the 
cribs have been sunk to a distance or depth suiruient to flout 
the largest vessels that come to this port, thus anticipating 
by a year or two the dredging of the channel by the United 
States Government. ***** Continuing 
the march of improvement the company built from the bulk- 
head line to the external or pier line, a distance of about 
700 feet, two pile piers, between which were placed two im- 
mense sectional dry docks. These docks are capable of 
lifting the heaviest ships, and have all the appliances known 
to modern sliip-buildiug. Since their construction they have 
been in constant use. The advantages accruing from the 
situation of the docks are : their central location, abundant 
space, immunity from the depredations of river thieves, 
freedom from the commercial annoyances of low tides, and 
their constant employment of large numbers of men who 
have came from New York and other cities to reside per- 
manently in Brooklyn, and thus contribute to the bone and 
the sinew of its working community. From ti-ustworthy 
sources it is estimated that, owing to the influx of popula- 
tion by reason of this great commercial improvement of the 
city, over half a million dollars is distributed annually, 
while small houses in the vicinity of the ship yards are in 
the greatest demand by the families of mechanics who have 



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come to Htuy, uiid who t^uiiiiliiuUi n IuiIh uMiUi-nixnt nf lh<^r 

own. One of tin ' u 
with the improviMi 

ular wells, hx-atvil ,., li 

furnish a supply of fi' y 

the capacity of tlie pi; O 

gallons of water imt hour iiri' •iIiIiiiiiim), bi< >n 

bo increased alinust iiidi-lliiit>'lv. It t* •! \. 

inch pipes ov(T a great pat' . Ii 

these are numerous laps aipl i«t 

brought into re<iiii«ilioii, eitii-i i.ii >;.ii. i.u i,,..- ..i m inx- uf 
fire or other einergencii«." 

The water has been analyzed and found to ' 
any substances deleterious i-lther for dnnkinx 
boiler use. and it is worthy of not<' in thm coin 
the system so successfully intro<lucocl by Dr. A 
his associates was, not long afterward, a<loptod i 
Brooklyn in furnishing a water supply to it« i.i,'i'i,. ., 
menting population. The writer in the Kaglr. continuca : 

"On the piers and slips running n« 
water and inviting, as it were, the mercli i 
shores to come into a sjift- and convi i 
village of storo-houscs. blacksiuitli ?i 
buildings. Probably the ni'-' ■"■ ■■ 
gant ofliceoccupieil as tbe I 
which is built on pile fouml; 
stantial in construction as piiK.-.ililf. In itiiiljii 
gated iron, and both finished and fumi"ln'd in 
it marks a happy combination of coin' 
the balcony of the second story a bit 
tive, busy scene t)elow anil the sup' 
sented, while a perfect forest of nin.-' 
sky, emblematical in its upward t' ; 
commercial future. Along the 4,000 feet of rn 
be seen the winter quarters of numerous yn'i 
boats and steamers. Only a short distam . 
number of vessels used in the North river ' 
of the Old Dominion line of steam, i 
which have eitlier been on the dry u 
turn for repairing to be done. Ov. 
river front the Iron Steamboat Com) 
years about 700 feet of the dock, wb: 
a depot for its boats in winter, as a si 
summer, owing to the inadefpiacy 
New York for that purpose, as a con; 
in water for the boilers from the 
already described. The superinten 
» » * * * has I 

thus bringing to this city, in fart :ii 
tributed. owing to the employ i 
to representatives of many faiii 
The seven great boats of the line, iiaiunl . 
tions by Kufus Uatch, of New York, nii 
Taurus. "The Bull," a gent I 

are supposed to frequent ^^ 

eye of the visitor by the gi..- - 

portions. Looking in another 

dredging machines busily at w. 

up huge buckets full of mud 

which will enable the largest 1 

avail themselves of Brooklyn's cuinu 

bay is being dredged to a depth of 

24 feet at high water, the ■ * 

J. W. Ambrose & Corapai 

It will cost alwit ^I.IO.IMX) « .. 

The intention is to erect wareh. 

cotton, tobacco and such otb 

brought to this post, and the ni.. 

fidently look forward to a day 

— whenth.it i>art of the city win i..' •" 

buildings similiar in character to the Pi 

Harbeck and Robinson stores. * * 

tion with the improvements stated, noli 

of the telephonic communication with > 

electric light, which is pl.-iced at the end 

piers, thus making the neighborhood .i 

bright as day." 
On the first day of May. 1882. a stock o>n,r-sr,v 

formed and incorporated umler the nwne of 

Water Front. WarehottM, and Dry Dodc L~- ■■ ■ .,■ 



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660 



FTTSTORY 01 ElUfQS COUNTY. 



8ueh was the favor \vith which the enterprise was regarded 
that the stock was quickly and eagerly sought for by such 
gentlemen as Messrs. Radcliffe Baldwin, the New York 
agent of the State Line of Steamers; John WilUams, presi- 
dent of tno Fulton Bank, of Brooklyn; H. P. De Graaf, 
president of the Bowery National Bank, of New York; John 
W. UuDter, ex-Mayor, and James Weir, Jr., president of the 
Board of Aldermen, of Brooklyn; David S. Arnott; Richard 
Poillon, the eminent ship builder of New York, and many 
other prominent capitalists of Brooklyn and New York. 
On the organization of the company, Dr. Ambrose was 
elected one of its directors, and such was the confidence re- 
posed in him by his associates that he was chosen to be the 
treasurer and executive officer of the corporation. This 
great interest has been a complete success, and will iden- 
tify the name of Dr. Ambrose with Brooklyn as long as 
the city shall e.xist. From present appearances it may be 
regarded as the precursor of a more gigantic enterprise of 
the same character, which promises to dwarf, at no far dis- 
tant da}', the water front improvements of Brooklyn exist- 
ing at this time, the large body of land lying immediately 
south of the property of this corporation, wliicli has hereto- 
fore laid dormant and absolutely unproductive, having re- 
cently been purchased by New York capitalists, some of 
whom have had their attention called to the possibilities 
contingent upon the development of the property refeiTed to 
by the success of the improvements of Dr. Ambrose and his 
associates. 

Political!}', Dr. Ambrose has long been allied to the dem- 
ocratic party, and on all questions of national importance 
has thought and voted with tliat organization; but in 
municipal allairshis politics may be summed up in the state- 
ment that he has the best interests of tlie city at heart, and 
conscientiously supports such men and measures as he be- 
lieves promise most on behalf of the public good. The 
demands of his profession and of his business interests have 
been so great upon his time and energies that he has never 
had an opportunity to drift into political life ; and, even had 
such an opportunity presented itself, his inclinations would 
not have allowed him to become involved therein. Of pro- 
nounced literary tastes, he has devoted muc'h attention to 
historical and general reading, and traveled mucli, both in the 
United States and throughout Europe. As a gentleman 
of education and a wide range of information, socially, 
professionally, and in business circles, he takes rank among 
the best of the Brooklynites of this day and generation. 



Charles Dennis. — Charles Dennis was born in New Lon- 
don, Conn., January 2Gth, 1831, the seventli child of Henry 
and Sarah Dennis. His ancestors on the paternal side were 
Henry Dennis, his father, who was born in Norwich, Conn., 
October 9th, 178(i, and married Sarah Briggs June 21st, 1807; 
Samuel Dennis, his grandfather, who was born in Norwich, 
Conn., May '1th, 1736, and married Eunice Gallup, October 
Cth, 1783; Benjamin Dennis, his great-grandfather, who was 
born in Norwich, Conn., in 1722, and married Thankful Bliss, 
November 11th, 1740; Ebenezer Dennis, his great-great-grand- 
father, who was born in New London, Conn., October 23d, 
1682, and married Deborah Ely, of Lynn, Conn., for his 
second wife; and George Dennis, his great-great-great-grand- 
father, wlio married Elizabeth, rehct of Joshua Kayinond, 
and who removed from Long Island to New London, Conn., 
in 1680. 

Following is a statement of Mr. Dennis's ancestry on the 
maternal side: S.-irah I3riggs, his mother, was born in New 
London, Conn., April 19th, 1790; Fiances Smith, his grand- 
mother, was born in New London, Conn., July 31st, 



1705, and was married February 14th, 1782, to William 
Briggs, who was born in Dighton, Mass., December 22d, 1757; 
and Maroy Bill, his great-grandmother, who was born in New 
London, Conn., in 1724, and married May 11th, 1746, to 
Dayton Smith, also a native of New London, who was born 
in 1725. 

Mr. Dennis was educated in the best schools of his native 
State; and, in November, 1838, came to New York and en- 
tered tlie employment of Charles H. Russell & Co., importers 
of British dry goods, as a junior clerk. Here he remained 
until the autumn of 1839, when, not liking the business, he 
accepted a position with the house of E. D. Hurlbut & 
Co., shipping merchants, with whom he remained until the 
summer of 1842. He was then appointed captain's clerk 
by Captain S. H. Stringham, then about to take the com- 
mand of the United States razee Independence, the 
flagship of Commodore Charles Stewart, commanding 
the home squadron. Mr. Dennis made one cruise in 
this vessel, over the north and south Atlantic Oceans, the 
Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico. Captain Stringham was de- 
tached from the command of the Independence in the Summer 
of 1843, and was ordered to the command of the Navy Yard 
at Brooklyn. He took Mr. Dennis with him, and appointed 
him to the clerkship of the commandant of the yard. Mr. 
Dennis remained in that service until February, 1846, when 
he resigned his appointment to take a confidential po- 
sition in the house of Goodhue & Co., which he retained un- 
til January, 1850. Then he was appointed to the pursership 
of the steamship Baltic, of the Collins line of steamers, which 
vessel was being at the time fitted for sea; but, before she 
was ready to take her place in the line, at the request of 
Messrs. Walter R. Jones, President, and Josiah L. Hale, Vice- 
President of the Atlantic Mutual Insurance Company, in 
February, 1850, he resigned this position to become a clerk 
in the office of the corporation named. 

In this clerkship Mr. Dennis started with a number of 
clerks in more advanced position, and a lesson to the young 
men of this day can with profit be drawn from his conduct. 
He did not rest content with merely doing the work falling 
to his position, but he voluntarily assisted others of his fel- 
low clerks who were often overburdened with their tasks, 
thus making him popular with them and rendering him 
familiar vi^ith their duties, and informing him of the details 
of other deparments of the business than the one to which he 
was assigned. He contributed greatly to relieve the pressure 
on the President, Walter R. Jones, which was then peculiarly 
l)urdensome from his failing health, by marking on many of 
tlie applications the rates of premium made familiar to him 
by the routine work of his own duties. This was deeply 
appreciated by the President, and as soon as opportunity 
came, from the resignation of one officer and the promotion of 
another, the good President took care that he received his 
reward by causing him to be elected third Vice-President 
of the company. 

The same spirit of willingness to work, and, in fact, an 
anxiety to do all that he possibly could, quite irrespective of 
demand upon him, was continued, and promotion followed 
as a matter of course, so that in February, 1855, he was 
elected Second Vice-President, and one year later (February, 
1856) First Vice-President. 

It might be deemed invidious to have inferred that the 
great success of the Atlantic Mutual is due to Mr. 
Dennis alone. Not so. The company has, ever since 
its first organization, had a number of remarkable men 
as officers, and still has. Its financial management, the 
great discretion shown in producing such even average re- 
sults of profits year after year, in despite of disastrous seasons 



f 



^--^^ 




a 




THE COMMERCE 01 BROOKLYN. 



««1 



and tlie total destruction of other companies, is largely due to 
its President, Mr. J. D. Jones, who, with his Secretary, han- 
dles the enormous assets of the company — some $15, 000,000 — 
investiiij; and reinvesting as (juietly as if they were but a 
one-luiudre<lth part of the sum. Any bank would require !iO 
to 40 clerks to do the same work; but it is because Mr. Jones 
can throw off the more laborious detail of underwriting, with 
a certainty that it is being well cared for by Mr. Dennis and 
his aids, wliicli enables him to give much of his care to the 
other branch. It is by the combination of such men that 
such results become possible, and each in his own sphere is a 
king. Mr. Dennis's reputation as an underwriter has ex- 
tended abro.ad, and at one time, a few years ago, propositions 
were made him by a great London company to undertake 
its underwriting. an<l a salary of £10,000 per annum was of- 
fered. Similar proposals have also been made b}' local com- 
panies seeking to rival their great competitor, but Mr. Den- 
nis's allegiance has been faithful to the Atlantic, and that 
company will probably retain his services and affections un- 
til he closes his duties in life. 

In September, 1877, Mr. Dennis was unanimously eli'l'l 
Secretary of the Board of Underwriters of New York, 
which position he still holds. As an authority on all 
matters pertaining to insurance, Mr. Dennis takes the 
highest rank, and his opinion is often sought upon questions 
requiring the utmost nicety of discrimination, coupled with 
the most thorough knowledge of underwriting. He is known 
as an industrious man in the strongest sense of the term, and 
he has worked long, untiringly and with signal success for 
the advancement of the company with which he is so prom- 
inently identified, and in the m.anagement of which he is one 
of the most active and most implicitly trusted, and which 
has attained the proud position of being the largest and most 
important institution of the kind in the world. Underwriting, 
more than any other profession, demands a peculiarly diver- 
sified talent. The underwriter must be more than a good geog- 
rapher, for even the peculiarities of the harbors must be famil- 
iar to him. He must be acquainted with the character of the 
lighters and small craft plying therein. He must know not 
only the goods which usually come from a foreign port, but 
must know their exact nature, their susceptibility to damage, 
and even how they are packed and secured. He must be 
able to draw inferences from the slightest facts as to the 
character of ma-sters and merchants, and equally of the con- 
struction and soaworthioess of vessels. He must be familiar 
with marine law and the closest use of language, which must 
be in no instance doubtful or uncertain when employed in 
the policy of insurance; and his mind to admit claims must 
be always ready to yield its prejudices, and must have no 
idiosyncracies. All this Mr. Dennis realizes very fully, and 
his good health and strong constitution alone enables him to 
stand the enormous pressure which constant application to 
the office requires. 

Mr. Dennis came to Brooklyn in 1838, and has been a resi- 
dent of the city ever since, taking a helpful interest in its 
municipal, religious, educational and charitable institutions. 
For many 3'ear3 he has been a pew-owner in Plymouth 
Church, and is regarded by the friends of that celebrated or- 
ganization as one of its most steadfast and liberal supporters. 
His charities have had the recommendation of being timely 
and bountiful; and it is said of him by one of Brooklyn's 
most prominent divines that " no man ever responds more 
promptly or more liberally, according to his means, to any 
call ou behalf of charity than he. To him the charitable in- 
stitutions and many of the people of Brooklyn owe much as 
their ' friend in need,' for his ready generosity has made him 
truly their ' friend indeed.' " 



January Ist, 1843, Mr, Dennla morrird FrancM Clark, 

daughter of the lalo George riark. .'•■■• ■ ,„,|_ ^y^ 

died ou the nth day of Sfpta-mlxT. m.. him 

seven children, five of whuni- i '.-n 

— are living. On the i:Uh day ". ,,nl 

Sarah Esther, eldest daughter of Iho iato Hon. Lic«rK« It 
Cholwell, of Norwalk, Conn. 



wni a ihlp- 
■< of liin- 

•licr w»» 



Isaac F. Chapma.v.— The name of Chapman ("■- i- i nic 

known in England. Three brotheni of tho nn- •.«! 

to America about IfiS.'!, and were the prog.-imori m thx 
Chapmans of the United States, especially niinicrnuii in N»w 
England and Pennsylvania, with a ronniiliTal : ■ i». 

tion in New York. The father of N.-m<' Y < vu 

Robert Chapman, who lived in Dnf 
boro), JIaine, early in the present c- 
builder, luml>erman, and farmer, owning 
her land, a shipyard, and a sawmill, anil 
also a ship-builder and f.armer. Robert Chapman mairird 
T,ui inda Flint, of the family of that name (ma»v ■ ' 'i- -nulo 
iiiriiilurs of which have become celebrated a.s md 

a daughter of Dr. Thomas Flint, who was a sur.;. .n in the 
American service during the Revolution, nerving on hoard 
privateersmen, and once being captured and carried a pris- 
oner to England. 

Isaac F. Chapman was born in Daniariscotta. Maine, April 
8th, \%Vi. He was reared on the farm. assUling in the farm- 
work and in the labors at his father's mill, and attending the 
common schools of the day and place, more or lean irrega- 
larly, until he was sixteen, when he entered the .shipyard with 
Ilia father, to learn the trade of ship-builder, and wan employed 
there constantly for about eight years. In WXi, he opened a 
store in his native town, in the ownership and management 
of which Mr. Benjamin Flint became his partner not long 
afterward. They soon built a iMirk of two hundred and 
eighty tons, which they employed in small trailing opera- 
tions. In 1843, they removed to Thomaston, Maine, where 
they established a shipj'ard, and entered more largely into 
trade, extending their operations by means of the bark Milti- 
ades, which they built three years later. Their business in- 
creased rapidly from that time on, requiring other veiaels. 
which were built from time to time. Since thot date, Mr. 
Chapman, in company with others, has built and managed 
the following named vessels, in most of which 1 - ' ' n a 
half or i)rincipal owner: — The barks Marmion a- ne, 

1847; the ship Ionian, in 1849; the ship Willi.-i: in 

1851; tho ship Oracle, in 1853; the ship I-.m-- K in 

1855; the ship St. James, in 18.5t5; tl in 

1857; the ship St. Mark, in 18.">9-60; tl , > le. 

in 1862 (the tirst having lieen sold in England); the ship Pacto- 
lus, in 1804; the ship St. Charles, in 18*16; the ship St, Lucie. 
in 1868; the ship St. Nicholas, in 18C9; the ship St. John, in 
1870; the schooner C. R. Flint, in 1871; the ship William R. 
Grace, in 1873; the ship St. Paul, in 18;4; the ships M. P. 
Grace and Santa Clara, in 1876; the ship St. Sti'i^ -77; 

the ship Manuel Llaguno. in 1879; the ship T,. '^ ..ht 

and finished), in 1879; the ship E. B. ^ .ip 

I. F. Chapman, in ISSi, and the ship .'^ -3. 

In 1858, Mr. Chapman removed to Br>- •ly 

increased business of his firm demandm • n- 

tion in New Y'ork. He is at this ti; m 

nearly all of fifteen vessels (with an a^t 1.1, • l.i -i). 

which he controls, and which are engaged in It .n 

to and from the principal ports of ti 
nearly all civilized nations. The ah;; 
man & Flint was removed from Tho; 
in 1868. In October, 1880, this fiim . >• 



082 



HISTORY OF KINGS COUNTY. 



flrm of L F. Chapman & Co. was formed, in 1883, by the ad- 
mission of Mr. Albert G. Ropes to an interest in the business. 
In ISW-O."), Mes-srs. Chapman & Flint built all of tlie houses 
on the east side of Montasue Terrace, in one of which Mr. 
Chapman resides. At that time only two residences had 
been erected on the opposite side of the street. In many 
other ways Mr. Chapman has contributed to the prosperity 
and advancement of the city of Brooklyn, with whose general 
and benevolent interests he has, from time to time, been 
identified. Ilis family have been Baptists for generations, 
and ho is an active and liberal member of tlie First Baptist 
Church in Pierrepont street. He married Martini P. Hitch- 
cock, a native of Damariscotta, Maine, who died Sunday, 
November 4, 1883. Mr. Chapman lias had born to liini three 
children, a son and two daughters, the former having died, 
and the daughters surviving. 

The career of Mr. Chapman has been that of a self-made 
man. Beginning at the bottom of the ladder, he learned 
thoroughly all of the various details of his business, becom- 
ing familiar with the successive processes of converting 
growing timber into seaworthy vessels; and his excellence as 
a ship-builder is attested by the fact that no vessel he has 
built has been destroyed except by fire. His success has 
been remarkable; but he lias tlie satisfaction of feeling that 
it has been deserved, and is the legitimate reward of worthy 
exertion. 



James McChesney, son of Nathaniel and Mary McChesney, 
was born in the city of New York, October 20th, 1817. His 
paternal ancestors were Norman subjects of King James of 
Great Britain, Scotland, France and Ireland, called Chesne, 
who emigrated to the Scottish Highlands. There the first- 
born male child originated the Mac (son of) Chesne, changed 
to MacChesney, and became a cliieftain with his clansmen, 
under Sir William Wallace. Upon the capture and death of 
the latter, McChesney went to County Tyrone, Ireland; and 
thence his descendants emigrated to New Jersey, America, 
about the end of the 17th or beginning of the 18lh century. 
The family were represented on the battle field of Mon- 
mouth. His grandfather, Robert, was a Justice, afterwards 
member of the Council (Senate) of New Jersey, also member 
of Congress. 

Nathaniel McChesney, father of .James McChesney, of 
Brooklyn, was born on the Monmouth hattle ground, June 
29th, 1783. He attended school Imt little, on account of the 
fact that early in life he entered the sliop of his uncle, in 
Cranbury, N. J., to learn the trade of wagonmaker, and was 
thus shut oil from educational advantages which he other- 
wise might have enjoyed. He apjiears, however, to have had 
an insatiable thirst for knowledge, and spent all of the time 
he could spare from his work in reading. The bent of his 
mind was toward theology and the natural sciences, while 
history, mechanics and other useful branches of knowledge 
claimed his earnest attention. 

In 1804 he came to New York and was installed as foreman 
in the once famous carriage shop of John Lawrence. About 
1806, he married M;iry l,awren<(;, the daugliter, not of his 
employer, but of Cajitain William Lawrence, the first cap- 
tain of the watch and of the troop in New York after the 
close of the Revolutionary War. About 1810 he began busi- 
ness for himself on Franklin street, whence he removed to 
Broadway, opposite Lispenard street. He became noted as a 
carriage builder, and built fine and costly vehicles for the 
Astors and others of the leading families of New York at 
that time. Later, he opened a carriage repository at No. 
440 Broadway, and sold carriages and other light vehicles for 
about twenty years. It is estimated that he w as for forty 



years engaged in manufacturing and selling carriages in 
New York. Mr. JlcChesney was a volunteer during the war 
of 1812, and served on Staten Island, opposite the site of Fort 
Hamilton. He died after a very busy and useful life, July 
4th, 1847, in New York, where he had passed most of the 
years of his manhood. The issue of his marriage with Mary 
Lawrence was eleven children, of whom James McChesney 
was the si.xth. 

James McChesney was an invalid from biitli, and has never 
been well a day since; having been a constant sufferer from 
inherited neuralgia and dyspepsia, and at times the victim 
of accidents, which have disabled him physically for months 
and years. Yet, though for nearly all his life under the care 
of physicians, he has been remarkably active in business. 
Most men of his peculiar physical composition would never 
have become known to the business world; for it is so well 
known that nothing so surely saps the foundations of enter- 
prise as continued ill health that the trite fact does not re- 
quire reiteration here. But it seems that when Nature de- 
nied him the boon of good health, she took away the sting 
of the deprivation by endowing him with unusual enterprise 
and perseverance, coupled with a natural aptitude for busi- 
ness and a veritable talent for financiering. This placed him 
in the race for fortune far in advance of some of his more 
robust competitors, and the career that lay before him was 
that of a projector of important enterprises and a successful 
manager of large financial and commercial interests. 

Mr. McChesney began to attend school at the age of seven, 
and, about eight years later, was graduated with honors from 
the once famous high school of Sheppard Johnston, on 
Broadvfay. At the age of fifteen he entered the dry goods 
store of Messrs. Arnold, Hearn & Co., on Canal street (the 
present firm of Arnold, Constable & Co. ), from whose employ- 
ment he went to that of Messrs. Ubdell, Pierson & Co., an- 
other firm of once well-known dry goods merchants, also 
located on Canal street. Octolier 28th, 1838, he married his 
cousin, Sarah Maria Lawrence, of New York, who is still 
living, and to whom he gives all praise for his length of life 
and successes. He was for a time associated with his father at 
his carriage repository on Broadway; and then returning to 
mercantile business, entered the store of James Beck, at No. 
3,57 Broadway, as a salesman. Soon his talent for accounts 
and a remarkable capacity for detecting counterfeit money 
(of wliich large quantities were in circulation, owing to the 
pernicious banking system tlien in vogue), became apparent 
to his employers, and he was promoted to a desirable posi- 
tion in their office. In the meantime, his father had retired 
from the carriage business, and was about to remove to a 
farm he had purchased on Long Island, and Mr. McChesney 
accompanied him, removing to Long Island and remaining 
there seven years. But it was not as a farmer that Mr. 
McChesney was designed to make his mark, and his father, 
not less active than he, abandoned farming at the expiration 
of six years and estalilished a banking, exchange and com- 
mission house in Wall street. This, at his death, passed into 
the possession of James McChesney, who continued the en- 
terprise until 18.57, when the concern became involved in 
the fate that year so common to commercial and financial 
enterprises in all parts of the Union. It is but just to Mr. 
McChesney to state that, despite the demoralizing tendency 
of the time, he liquidated every dollar of indebtedness, dis- 
daining to take advantage of such opportunities for com- 
promise as were open to him. It was the experience of his 
business career thus far, with the " wild cat" money then in 
universal use, that led Mr. McChesney (as is believed, before 
the measure was proposed by any one else), to advocate the 
adoption of notes printed by the government and of uniform 



^ 



•^ 




C!^o^7HJ^-C.^U^a^. 



y 




Or/X^ 



r r ^^r^? 




THE co^^^^ERCE of nnoofcr vv 



Ml 



design, except for tlie names of tlie difforcnt banka and the bir- 
natures of their olUcers, by wlioin they shuuhl bo issued. 
The wisdom of this plan is now practically demonstrated in 
the use of the national bank notes. 

Prior to this time, in 1850, Mr. MoChesney. in partnership 
witli Captain Sinitli Fancher, had engaged in the vessel and 
lightering business. Shortly afterward, in 18.")9, was or- 
ganized the firm of Shaw, Fancher & Co., consisting of 
L. B. Shaw. Smith Fancher, John II. Hehert. Andrew 
Luke and James McCliesncy. Mr. Ilebert withdrew in 
18G0, Mr. Luke in 1804 and Mr. Fancher in 18G"). The firm 
then became Shaw & Co., the partners being L. B. Shaw 
and James McChesney. Mr. Sliaw succeeded Shaw & Co., 
in May, 1871, since when Mr. McChesney has lived in com- 
parative retirement, lie was one of the projectors and first 
Treasurer of the New York Floating Elet'ator Compaiii/, of 
whose stock he is now one-trtelftli owner; and one of the 
originators of the Excelsior grain stores at the Atlantic Dock, 
and of floating elevators. He was also one of the promoters 
of the Xew York Produce Excliange. in the operations of 
which he takes a very lively interest; and the leading enter- 
prises of his day have always found in him a friend ready to 
aid with wise counsel and substantial encouragement. His 
business acquaintance is very e.xtensive, and his reputation 
for all those qualities which go to compose that rare product 
of this age, the honest business man, is unchallenged. Quietly 
and unostentatiously, Mr. McChesney has aided his brethren 
in timfs of trouble, and no man in Brooklyn has given more 
according to his means to religious and charitable objects 
than he. His hand has been ever open to the relief of suffer- 
ing, and his leisure time larg.'ly employed in helping the 
sick. The Homoeopathic Hospital of Brooklyn owes its pres- 
ent standing to his donation to educate female nurses. The 
present agricultural and industrial state of the Truants' Home 
was Ills suggestion and met with his aid. In IStiS, during a 
severe illness, he willed liberally to many churches and char- 
itable institutions; and, on recovering, executed at once the 
provisions of his will es to such object in person. Any state- 
ment of his benefactions is unobtainable, for he shi inks froTu 
talking of his good deeds, and is ever reticent about himself; 
but it is well known that, in generations to come, those inter- 
ested in many of the churches, educational institutions and 
hospitals of Brooklyn and New York, when they consider by 
what means they were established and, in a measure, sup- 
ported during troublous times, will have cause to remember 
Mr. McChesney, whose chief failing seems to have been his 
inability to say the one short word " no," that at times 
would have saved him from imposition by men and institu- 
tions seeking his aid. Ue has been a member of the Masonic 
and Odd Fellows orders, of the Druids and of other organi- 
zations, with which he has many times been connected offi- 
cially. He has often been solicited for public office, but has 
persistently refused all such honors. Responsible and lucra- 
tive positions have bi^en proffered him by many important 
corporations, which he has been obliged to refuse on account 
of ill health and various business connections. Always un- 
assuming and self-sacrificing, he has been a life-long, unob- 
trusive, non-oftice-seeking democrat, .and has done as much 
for "his kind" as any man of his time and opportunity. 



Emiu Spicer, Jr. — This gentlem.an, who is familiarly 
known as Captain Spicer, is a son of Elihu and Jemima (Fish) 
Spicer, both of English descent, and was born in Groton, 
Connecticut, April Kith, 183."). It is a fact curious enough to 
be worthy of note that Groton was the native place of five 
generations of the ancestors, both on his father's side and 



rum 
: «n 



his mother"*. His father, who warn tnrmerly a ihip captain. 
is 8till living there in bin ciglity-cighlh year. 

Attending the pubhc nchoolH of Groton durinir hi> ho». 
hood. Captain SpiciT went to wn at t 
aboard the .ship John Mintuni, ('n| ' 
wa-M subsc(pii'ntly lost on the .S'l-w .1 
board, incluiling the captain rind I 

one member, who is now the wif.> of .Mr l». I). Mnllrr. Hu 
advancement was such that ho liocnmo lh<« w-cond male of 
the John Minliirn. and in hiH twentr-ffMinh y«fir he took 
command of the bark Fanny, owned by Charlm Mallory and 
others, and employed in tlie Mobile lino of pnrkrtu of R. D. 
Hurlbert & Co. In IRIO, thi.t vesw-l. with c 
still in command, was load<-d for .Son Krnni : 
A. A. Low & Co.. and sailed thence to Chi:. 
New York. Captain Spicer continued in the 
China and East India trade till IHfV't, when I 
active connection with sailing vessel.H, thoii;;i 
interest in some. 

At the time last mentioned. Captain Spir.-r. in companjr 
with Mr. C. H. Mallory. engaged in the trannportation buri- 
ness, and so successful were they that two yearn Int«T th« 
since well-known house of C. II. Mallory * Co. wan catab- 
lished. the firm consisting then of Messrs. C. II. >[.i"' ! 

Ehhu Spicer. Jr., and now of those genthmen and • 
of Mr. Mallory-, who have since acquired an intcru>l ia Um 
business. 

Immediately after the close of the rel>elIion, Meimrn. C 11. 
Mallory & Co. embarked in business vtry extensively, and 
have since added largely to their facilities. In 18<56 Ihey r»- 
tablished a line of vessels to Galveston. Texn.s: m 1S67. a lina 
to New Orleans, Louisiana; in 1870. a line to Florida; in 187V, 
lines to Brazil and to Nas,sau and Cuba. Tlie New Orleanii 
line was abandoned in 1870: the Bniz lian line in 1W»?. and 
the Nassau and Cuban lines in 188.1. leaving the Galvenlon 
and Florida lines still in operation. Both of th«>«o lino^ are 
well equipped and of extensive carrying en; I the 

firm of C. H. Mallory & Co. is one of the mo;.i . and 

widely known in New York, having long had. Iieside* the 
steamships employed upon the above-named lines, a lari;eT 
or smaller number of sail vessels plying to the different port* 
of the world, though, during recent years, most of this rlaoi 
of craft have been disposed of. the firm owning at this time 
ten steamers running on the lines above inentione*!. Their 
ofTice is on Pier 21. East River, where Captain Spicer first 
began his seafaring life. 

Captain Spicer was married in 18.">3 to Mi« Mnrr PndW, 
of Mystic. Connecticut, who died in 1^7' him 

three children, all of whom are dead, li ' ". D. 

Spicer, who was widely known and belovetl in Brooklyn. 
died at the age of twenty-three, in October, 1877. 

Captain Spicer has been a resident of this city iincc 1864. 
and takes a deep interest in its growth and prosperitT. A 
democrat prior to the late war. he has been a republican 
since, though not by any me.ins active ns ■ ' "a 

connected with various commercl.Tl int. 
the Xew York Chamber of Co- 
Exchange, and the Xcw Yorl: 
liberal in relisiious belief, beloi 
tion, but sympathizing with w! ^ 

owner and attendant at Plymouth Church. 



Joseph J, O'DoxonuE.— Few r.imes are i 
known or highly respected in Brooklyn and ' 
that which heads this sketch. Mr. OT 
No. 40 Peck sUp. New York, January 8;. 



U64 



HISTORY OF KINGS COUNTY. 



waa Johu O'Uunohui-. an Irish p-ntlernan, wlio had re- 
ceived a libera] education at Dublin and had established 
hiniHcIf in New York as the proprietor of a grocery and 
8hip store. He subsequently became a prominent mer- 
cliant in that city; reputable for all that makes a man 
honorable and trustworthy, and beloved for a generous 
charily that has caused his name to be remembered most 
gratefully by many a poor man whose necessities he 
relieved, or whom he assisted to obtain a home — and 
such might be counted by hundreds. Mrs. John 0"Don- 
ohue was a lady of rare attainments and such commendable 
Christian virtues a.s rendered her a fit wife fur such a man. 
Her benefactions were many and imostcntatious, and she is 
remembered by many of the residents of the Eastern District 
of Brooklyn, and by numerous others who wore so fortunate 
as to know her, as a musician of wonderful talent and pro- 
ficiency. This excellent and, in every way, admirable couple 
ivere the parents of five sons, all of whom lived to be honored 
and respected by their fellow-men, and to attain prominence 
among the merchants of New York. 

At the early age of ten years, Joseph J. 0"Donoliue entered 
his father's store, the business of the latter having, before 
this time, advanced to the dignity of a wholesale trade, to 
learn the business and make himself generally useful. His 
brother, James, was similarly employed; and, in order that 
they might not be kept from obtaining the rudiments of an 
education, the two brothers were allowed to attend school on 
alternate days, each of them receiving thus three days of 
business training and three days of schooling each week. 
That the policy of the elder O'Donolme in thus early famil- 
iarizing his sons with the every-day routine of business life, 
and teaching them the paramount value of time, both in 
work and study, was not a mistaken one, is evidenced by the 
subsequent successful career of each of them. That the boy 
turned his opportunities to advantage during the ensuing 
five years is proven by the fact that, at the age of fifteen, 
at a period when most boys have not taken even the initial 
steps in business ways, he had entire charge of his 
father's stores; and, with his brother James, he was a part- 
ner in the firm of John O'Donohue & Sons, wholesale 
dealers in tea and coffee, before lie had attained to his ma- 
jority. 

To the firm of John O'Donohue & Sons, which originally 
consisted of John and James and Joseph J, O'Donohue, 
Peter O'Donohue, another son of John O'Donohue, was ad- 
mitted in IWJl, and John and Tliomas O'Donohue, two 
younger sons, in 1868. Late in the year last mentioned, the 
senior member of tlie firm died, and the house has since 
been known as that of John O'Douohue's Sons. John 
O'Donohue had removed his stores from Peck Slip to No. 334 
Front street, and thence to 239 Front street. In 180.5, the 
stores of the firm were removed to No. 88 Front street. 
.James O'Donohue retired from the business in 1872, and 
Joseph J. O'Donoliue, in 1880, the firm now consisting of 
Peter and John O'Donohue .and two sons of Peter. Novem- 
ber 1, 1880, Joseph J. O'Donohue and Atherton Foster estab- 
lished themselves as importers of coffee and tea, at No. 101 
Front street. On account of ill-health, Mr. Foster found 
himself obliged to retire from active business life, and the 
partnership was terminated by mutual consent January 1, 
1882. One year later, Mr. Joseph J. O'Donohue. Jr., beca.iie 
a partner with his father, and the house has since been known 
as that of Joseph J. O'Donohue & Son. The firm takes high 
rank among houses of its class in New York, and is doing a 
large and rapidly increasing trade, which Mr. O'Donohue 
has seen advance from $40,000 per annum, to $0,000,000 per 
annum, with a yearly average of fully %^:,W)pm for some 



time past; the firm having numerous branch houses and a 
very extensive foreign correspondence. 

For many years the name of O'Donohue has been closely 
and conspicuously interwoven with the history of Williams- 
burg, which was, until his death, the residence of John 
O'Donohue, Sr., and, until 1867, that of Joseph J. O'Dono- 
hue, and, to the present time, the abiding i>lace of others of 
John O'Donohue's sons. In connection with plans for 
public improvement and the advancement of the general 
interest of that locality, the name has been represented dur- 
ing a protracted period by father and sons, and in such a 
manner as to lp<ave its impress on the prosperity and present 
status of the entire Eastern District. It is doubtful if a more 
popular young man than Joseph J. O'Donohue was ever 
reared in Williamsburg, where, from early in life to the 
present time, he has been honored and trusted as very few of 
his fellows have been. His name is a favorite one there, as 
it is one of prominence in the commercial circles of New 
York; and there are few, indeed, of the middle-aged or 
elderly men of that section of Brooklyn who do not regard 
him as an old friend, tried and staunch, enterprising in aU 
that promises to serve the public welfare, generous to a 
fault; a man in whom are combined all those admirable 
qualities which characterize the faithful friend, the good 
citizen, and the ready, liberal and efficient helper of all de- 
serving causes. 

It would be almost superfluous to remind any resident of 
Brooklyn of the former suicidal mismanagement of the 
ferry interests connecting New York and Brooklyn, E. D., 
which was long a fruitful theme of discussion, both ver- 
bally and by the press of both cities. Elsewhere in these 
pages may be found sketches of the history of the several 
ferry companies wnich hive from time to [ime been organ- 
ized to afford means of communication between Brooklyn 
and New York; though, for reasons which must be obvious to 
every fair-minded reader, little of the acrimony and ill-feel- 
ing of the past, engendered by the mismanagement of 
these great public interests could be depicted in this 
work. That the citizens of Williamsburg had just griev- 
ances under the old regime no one will deny at this time. 
That they were practically at the mercy of men who placed 
their own ends above the interest of the public is conceded 
by all who are informed upon this subject. The dawning of 
a new era in ferry management occurred in 1858, when 
Joseph J. O'Donohue and his father, together with other 
well-known gentlemen and citizens of Williamsburg, organ- 
ized the Long Island Ferry Company, and instituted a for- 
midable rivalry against the Brooklyn Ferry Company, of 
which the late George Law was the head and controlling 
spirit. The projectors of the new company had at heart the 
interests of Williamsburg, which had been prevented from 
obtaining a growth and prominence to which its location and 
numerous manifest advantages unquestionably entitled it, by 
a polic}' on the part of those who had dictated in ferry mat- 
ters, which has since been proven to have been as antag- 
onistic to their own interest as it was detrimental to 
the interest of the public. In 1864 a compromise was 
effected by which the two rival companies were merged 
into one, which was called the New York and Brooklyn 
Ferry Company. Upon Mr. O'Donohue's accession to the 
l)residency of this corporation, he at once inaugurated certain 
improvements in ferry accommodation, which did more than 
any other interest has ever done to enhance the prosperity 
of Williamsburg. Boats were rebuilt; ferry-houses were 
enlarge<l and made more attractive, e.xternally and internally, 
.and vastly more comfortable; faros were reduced; and, in a 
word, everything was done that was dictated by a liberal 



THE COMMERCE OF BnoOKT.YX 



ASA 



spirit of enterprise to improve tlie communication between 

tlie E:istern Uistrict of Brooklyn iiiul the city of Now York. 
The honelits that have accrued to WillianisliurK from Mr. 
O'Donohtie's policy are practically Incalculable. All that 
large portion of lirooklyn within the borders of the i;!th, 
lilth, Mth, ir)th, Kith, ISth, 20th. 21st, 22d. i'3d and 
2r)th wards, has been built up rapidly since the period of 
equitable and far-seeing ferry management began, and has 
assumed an importance to which it would never have at- 
tained under other conditions. Indeed, it is to Mr. O'Don- 
ohue, whoso name is a veritable household word among 
them, that the citizens of the Eastern Uistrict give much of 
the credit for the many improvements around them. The 
value of real estate has greatly advanced as a direct result 
of Mr. O'Donohue's wise policy, and to the same Inlluence is 
ascribed the great increase in the number of costly and 
elegant residences within the territory described and the 
growtli of local commerce and manufactures. That the 
ferry accommodations of the Eastern District may be still 
further Improved, Mr. 0"Donohue admits, and in doing so is 
resolved to be one of the first to supply any want for furtlier 
ferriage that may be seen to exist, and it is bis intention at 
an early day to add to the accommodations provided by 
the Grand street, the Houston street, the Roosevelt street, 
and the Division avenue ferries, such as may be afforded by 
a new ferry from Broadway, Williamsburg, to 23d street, 
New York, of which he is the chief projector. Ground has 
been purchased for the purposes of this proposed improve- 
ment, and it is confidently predicted that the ferry will be in 
operation within a year. 

It was not alone in connection with ferry affairs that Mr. 
O'Donobue was prominent in Brooklyn during his residence 
there. With Its social, political, commercial and beneficial 
institutions he was closely identified. While yet a young 
man, he was a member of the old Fire Department of Wil- 
liamsburg. He was a constant and liberal contributor 
toward the maintenance of the causes of education and 
Christianity, and even to this day continues his benefactions 
to churches without regard to creed or denomination, though 
he has. perhaps, given more largely to St. Peter and Paul's 
church, of which Rev, Father Malone is pastor, than to anj- 
other religious organization in Brooklyn. With this church 
his family have been identified for two generations; and, 
speaking of him on a certain memorable occasion, almost 
twelve years ago. Father Malone said: " I have kiiown Mr. 
O'Donohue for thirty years, and he is one of five sons, whose 
honored parents before them I also knew. He is a full-blood 
American, but half Irish, and liberal enough to love all his 
fellow-citizens, irrespective of religious or (lolitical differ- ! 
ences." Until his removal to New York, Mr. O'Donohue 
was a conspicuous member and, a portion of the time, chair- 
man of the Democratic General Committee of Kings county, 
and for a number of years he was a delegate from Kin > 
county to the democratic state convention. He was, on one 
occasion, tendered the nomination for Alderman for the 13th 
Ward; and, later, was offered the nomination for Mayor of 
Brooklyn, but declined to allow his name to be used in that 
manner. Though a democrat from his youth up, Mr. O'Don- 
ohue was an outspoken siipi)orter of the war for the sup- 
pression of the Rebellion from the time of its outbreak until 
its close; later advocating such measures as he believed would 
most speedily bring to both North and ^S()Uth the benefits of 
established peace and mutual commerce. In this connection 
it is remembered of him that he was secretary of the first 
"War Meeaag"held in Wdliamsburgh, in 1861, to devise 
maaas to provide for the maintenance of soldiers' widows 
and orphans and the wives and children of men who had 



gone to the front, leaving them but KaoUly prorldtMl fof. 
At various tunes ho was identilled with imp*irLiui( intcrraO 
of Brooklyn of such a nature n.i to render thi-m to a di-ifra* 
tlie concern of the public. (»nc nucli may b«< n-frrnj lo— 
the Cemetery of the Evcrgreenii— of which, with Mr. S)lvt»- 
ter M. Baird and othent. Iiu niMume<l tho owni'Pihip at • lioM 
when the project languished, nnd toward tin- Intrr i«Uliliab- 
ment of which ho was in no Blight degree inlluential. 

Since his removal to New York in IKflT, I.' ' ii a resi- 
dent of the lllth Ward of that city, nnd Im . or lew 
prominent in local and national |)<>liticM. Hi; wa« for nocne 
timo a member ami vice-i-huirMinn of the Tammany ilaU 
General Committee. At the munii'i|ml elwtion of IS.l b* 
was tendererl the nomination for Mayor. In IH74 he waa 
appointed Park Commissioner by }(nyor Wickhaiu aad 
served as such until 1870. when he re«ign»<l oo ac<x>uot of 
having become a presidential elector on tho democrrmUc 
ticket. Upon his appointment as Park Commimionrr, t)i« 
leading newspapers of New York conimente<l favomblr. la 
this connection, one prominent journal wiiil: " Proliably do 
appointment made by the Mayor will lie more arrrpiable to 
democrats and republicans alike than that of .\lr. <>'I)ono- 
hue. He is universally esteemed n» n man of high rhanictar 
and one who will have but one object in view in the d«»- 
charge of his duties as a public otiicini — that of the public 
good." He was a prominent meml>er of the celebrated Com- 
mittee of Seventy, organized during the Tweed rr'j/im<, and 
it is worthy of note that he was the only Tammaoyile se- 
lected as a member of that body. Beyond hii eameitt drair« 
for the public good, and more conspicuous than any other 
principle advocated, Mr. O'Donohue has ever held the ad- 
vancement of the workingm.an: ami it will not l»e soon for- 
gotten that in a speech made during his incumbency of the 
office of Park Commissioner, which was referred to by the 
A'ew York Herald as "the sensation of tho occasion." when 
the reduction of the wages of the laborers was being dia- 
cussed, he said that he would "resign the position nUber 
than consent to the reduction." 

Mr. O'Donohue is a trustee of the Kew York Coffet Ex- 
change and a member of the Xcw York Chambtr of Com- 
merce and the Xew York Board of Trade and TransjmrialioH. 
At different times he has l>een chosen director of banking. 
Insurance, railway and other corporations, and nmonp hia 
important connections at this time it may be nu ■ U 

he is a director in the Eighth and Ninth Avei -.-d 

Railroads of New York. The important enterpri.»«i with 
which he is constantly solicited, but firmly refuses, to con- 
nect himself, are so numerous that a mention of them would 
more than anything else, demonstrate the high degree of 
confidence of the general public in Mr. O'Donohue's integ- 
rity and sagacity. In 1880. with other gentlemen, he bought 
the stock of Daniel Drew in the Peoples Line of steamera. 
|i|\iug between New York and Alliany, in wl n» 

-iiue been a director and large owner. For year - id 

a membership in many of the leading clube of NV» York. 
and as a "club-man " he is widely known and very popular. 
At this time he is a member of the AVir York Club, the Mam- 
hattan Club and other similar organizations. 

September 7, 1858, Mr. O'Donohue married Miss TerMS M. 
J. Riley, of New York. They have two eona and two 
daughters living, and death has deprived them of two aooa 
and one daughter. Mr. O'Donohue's eldest son. Joseph J. 
O'Donohue. Jr., is now a partner in his f.nther's exteosiT« 
business, to which it is likely he will " : 

for his business capacity and the rapi'i -* 

with which he ha-s acquired a knowlci 
to give promise that the tjame of Jost) 



■11 
..J 



666 



HISTORY OF KINGS COUNTY. 



continue to be prominently identified with the coffee trade of 
New York long after tlie subject of this sketch shall have 
terminated his connection with it. Mr. O'Donohue has twice 
retired from business, but his life has been so busy a one that 
he found it impossible to remain long inactive. His first re- 
tirement was in 1872, when he went to Europe, making a 
somewhat protracted stay. On the evening of May 7, 
shortly before his departure, he wa.s tendered a complimen- 
tary banquet at Delmonico's, at which were present a hun- 
dred well-known citizens, including senators, judges, jour- 
nalists, physicians and divines. Numerous witty and 
brilliant speeches were made; and a poem, full of good 
wishes and breathing the spirit of fricndsliip, written by tlie 
late Hugh J. Hastings, of the New York Commercial Adver- 
tiser, who was unwillingly absent, was read ; and the oc- 
caticn was, in all respects, one to be long and pleasantly 
remembered by all who participated in the pleasures of the 
evening. Mr. O'Donohue's retirement at the severence of 
his connection with the firm of John O'Donohue's Sons, 
January 1, 1880, was intended to be final, and it was only to 
establish his son in the coffee trade, for which he had ex- 
pressed a preference, that he sometime afterward re-entered 
the trade with which his name has been so long and favora- 
bly identified. 

It may not be too much to say, in conclusion, that Mr. 
O'Donohue has been, in everything he has undertaken, as 
uniformly and signally successful as any man in Slie circle in 
which he moves. It would be idle to suppose that his suc- 
cess has been vouchsafed to him by "luck," or by fortuitous 
accidents, for in this practical age we look elsewhere for the 
source of all worthy achievements. Sagacity, foresiglit, 
libenility. an extraordinary judgement of men, and the de- 
served confidence of all with whom he had relations, have 
together combined to aid him in his well-directed efforts. 
In commerce, he has been amply rewarded. In politics, his 
honors have been limited only by his will to accept them. In 
society, he is the peer of the most distinguished in all walks 
of life. His management of a great Fair, by which nearly 
$7.'). 000 was raised, for the benefit of the New York Found- 
ling Asylum, and his success in establishing various charita- 
ble and religious institutions, or freeing them from the 
incubus of debt, are simply examples of the success which 
has attended him through life. 



TiMoTtiV Hoa.4.N.— There is probably no other citizen of 
Brooklyn who has been so long and so prominenlly identified 
with the shipping and steamship iutere.sts of the port of New 
York as the gentleman whose name heads this article. His 
father was Michael Hogan, a man well known among the 
warehousemen of his time in Liverpool, England, where Mr. 
Hogan was born February 17tli, 183.'). Early in life he de- 
veloped a love for the sea, and an uncon(|ur'riible desire for 
the peril and excitement of a seafaring life; and in 1848, at 
the age of thirteen, we find him employed as an ordinary 
seaman on the ship St. George, owned by David Ogden, a 
merchant of New York, and plying between English ports 
and the metropolis of the New Woi-ld. Later, he was em- 
ployed on board the Margaret Evans, belonging to Messrs. 
N. L. and 0. Greenwald, and commanded by Captain E. G. 
Tinker, who was, a few years ago, Captain of the port of 
New York, and is now one of that city's wealthy and hon- 
ored citizens. After this, he served on the John R. Sldddy 
and ConsleUalion, of the " Red Line," owned by Robert Ker- 
mit. holding the position of Chief Officer for aanw time i)rior 
to his abandoning a seafaring career in 18-)4. 

In the year last mentioned, Mr. Hogan went to New Or- 
leans to become foreman for Messrs, Gale & Brown, a lead- 



ing firm of stevedores. In 18.58, this firm was succeeded by 
the firm of Brown & Hogan, Mr. Hogan acquiring the inter- 
est of the retiring partner, Mr. Gale, and becoming the junior 
member of the firm. A prosperous business was done for 
some years prior to the outbreak of the rebellion, which, in 
common with nearly every other branch of enterprise there, 
was suddenly terminated by the city's being declared under 
blockade June 10th, 1861. That was a memorable time in 
New Orleans. Men with thousands at stake were looking 
anxiously aljout for some means to bolster up or retrieve 
their failing fortunes. To many there who, like Mr. Hogan, 
had no sympathy with the Southern cause, discretion wisely 
persisted in proved of much service in the strait in which 
they were placed. He was not one to rc-maiu long inactive, 
and, seizing the first promising oppoitunity for business that 
offered, he was in July actively engaged, under contract with 
the Confederate government, fortifying New Orleans by 
throwing up earthworks at Chalmette, Pass Manshoe and the 
Rigolettes on Lake Ponchartrain. This work was yet un- 
completed when Farragut took New Orleans on the 20th of 
April. 18G2. Butler assuming the government of the city 
about ten days later. Again, through the vicissitudes of 
war, Mr. Hogan found himself without occupation, and this 
time with a claim amounting to many thousands of dollars 
against the Southern Confederacy; which, with accumulated 
interest, he would doubtless find it hard to give away at this 
time, though, had he chosen to remain in the South, he might 
at that time have realized considerable from it. 

Returning to Now York in the summer of 1862, he formed 
a co|)artneiship with Mr. James Pinder, under the firm name 
of Pinder & Hogan, stevedores, which was dissolved in 1869. 
This Northern venture was very prosperous, principally on 
account of the business of New Orleans ship owners, which 
Mr. Hogan held and transTerred to the firm of which he was 
a member. Many of these he had previously transacted busi- 
ness for in New Orleans, disposing of their wooden vessels 
and entering keenly into the East India and Calcutta trades 
to New York and employing iron ships instead. Iron ships 
superseded the wooden ones rapidly, and for a number of years 
the firm had a monopoly of the iron ships in the port of New 
York. When the Suez Canal had been proven a success. Mr. 
Hogan, in company with some of his English business friends, 
entered largely in the building of the kind of iron freight 
steamers with compound engines known as " tramps," and 
consuming a comparatively small quantity of coal. At that 
time, and for a number of years afterward, these steamers 
were a very profitable investment: for their utility was as 
yet conceded by only a few men of trained judgment and 
keen foresight, like Mr. Hogan and his companions, and 
ship-owners were ordinarily shy to invest in them; this fact 
insuring tliem a practical monopoly in that department of 
maritime property. The prevailing opinion, which has since 
been thoroughly exploded, was, that such vessels could not 
cross the Atlantic in the winter months. So thorough!}' has 
this fallacious idea been removed, that at this time seventy- 
five per cent, of the exports of the United States to Europe 
is transported in this class of vessels. Mr. Hogan was one of 
the promoters of the Monarch Line of steamers from London, 
which was organized in 1880; and is connected with six lines 
of steamers altogether, being an extensive owner in a major- 
ity of them. Some years since he organized the firm of T. 
Hogan & Sons, the partners in which are Timothy Hogan 
and his sons, Charles W. and Jefferson Hogan. The firm is 
heavily interested in floating ])roperty, such as elevators, 
tugboats, barges and other transportation facilities for har- 
bor use. Each member of the firm owns a membership of 
the New York Produce and Maritime Exchanges, advantages 



THE COMMERCE OF liROOh'LYX. 



fla? 




'^=% 




which are possessed by but comparatively few housea. 
Messrs. T. Hogau & Sons are well known in the New York 
trade as the consignees of several ships from foreign ports, 
and stand high in the commercial world, both as to capital 
and integrity. 

In 1857, Mr. Hogan married Mary Nichols Millvvard, a na- 
tive of Liverpool, who bore him eight children, five of whom 
ar3 deail. Arthur F. Hogan, a younger sou, not yet identi- 
fied witli his father's business, and consequently not men- 
tioned above, is yet in school, but bids fair to develop all of 
those sterling business qualities which characterize hisfather 
and brothers. Mrs. Hogan died in August, 188i, mourned 
beyond measure by her immediate family and deeply re- 
gretted by a wide circle of friends. Especially has her help- 
ful presence been missed by those actively interested in the 
charitable institutions of the city, who ever found her ready 
to aid, by gifts of monej'. by her counsel and by loving labors, 
all de.serving ol)jects. In the Sheltering Arms Nursery she 
was especially interested, and was officially connected there- 



with. All the charitable institutions in Brooklyn wprt> n^ 
membered at the time she made her will, and h<>r be<|ue*U 
to the Sheltering Arms Nursery, St. John's Hospital and 
Children's Aid Society were generous in the extrem*. Id 
some of these, and in other ins-titutions of a similar character, 
Mr. Hogan has l^enand is al.so interested, continaiog, as well 
as he may, his de■cea^ed wife's lieneficence to the 8h»'lt«Ting 
Arms Nursery, of which he is one of the tnistees. His fam- 
ily have long been communicants of St. Peter's Protrstant 
Episcopal Church. State street, townni which Mr. Hogmn haa 
for years sustained the relation i>f vestryman. 

Politically, Mr. Hogan is a republican, and a firm bcliorer 
in the principles and an ardent admirer of the record of that 
party in all questions of national significance. t"'-i" o-....«.r»l 
issues he gives it hi.t liest and strongest sui in 

local affairs he lx?lieves in honestand eronoinr ai »;">'ti»- 
ment, and invariably sup]x>rts such men and mcaourrs 
as promise to secure it, regardless of party lines or potiUcal 
afliliations. 



THE 



MANUFACTURING INDUSTRIES 



OF 



BROOKLYN AND KINGS COUNTY. 



Hy 




SECTION I.— Introductory. 

GROWTH OF MANUFACTURING IN- 
DUSTRIES in Brooklyn and Kings County 
in tlie lust lil'ty j-ears." — Notwithstanding the 
stale and of t-repeated jest that "Kings County, 
and Brooklyn especially, was only New York's bed- 
room," the dcfamers of the county have been com- 
pelled to acknowledge, for the last twenty-five or thirty 
years, that the county made a verj^ respectable show- 
ing in its manufactures. In 1850, when the popula- 
tion of the county was 138,882, its manufactures, as 
reported by the seventh census, were yielding an an- 
nual product of 814,681,09:3; in 1800 its population had 
doubled, being 279,122, and its manufactures had more 
than doubled, the annual product being reported in the 
eighth census as 834,241,520. In 1870 the population 
had increased less rapidly, owing partly, perhaps, to 
the war; it was 419,921, an increase of fifty per cent.; 
and the report of the manufactures of the county in 
the ninth census showed an increase of about eighty 
per cent., being |!60,848,673. It is worthy of notice, 
however, as indicating cither the worthlessness of the 
method of collecting these statistics, or the careless- 
ness of those who were appointed to collect them, that 
the largest industry of the county — sugar refining — 
which ten years before had a reported annual product 
of $3,794,000, was not reported as having any exist- 
ence in 1870. In 1880 the annual product of the eleven 
sugar refineries of Brooklyn alone was 859,711,108, 
almost equal to the entire reporte<l product of all man- 
ufactories in the county in 1870. 

Imperfection of the Census Returns. The 
probable aggregate in 1883. — The census of I88O 
(the tenth) did not report the manufactures of the 
States by counties until the summer of 1883; though 
it had made two previous attempts upon those of 
twenty leading cities, of which Brooklyn was one; but 
this report was, after all, of but little consequence, as 
the omission of petroleum refining, breweries and dis- 



tilleries, ship building and repairing, illuminating gas, 
etc., make its footings of no great value. The total 
production of the county, accoiding to the latest revi- 
sion of this census, was 8179,188,685, and, fortunately, 
we have the data to supply these omissions from oflicial 
sources. They amount in the aggregate to 824,:J05,106, 
making the entire census report of our manufactures 
8203,533,791. The faults of the census methods, never 
more obvious than in this enumeration, the omissions, 
not often willful, but sometimes clerical errors and at 
othersthe results of gross carelessness, would increase 
this amount to at least 8210,000,000; while the vast in- 
crease in every department of manufactures since 1880 
renders it absolutely certain that the present annual 
product exceeds $250,000,000. 

It is to be remarked, while giving all honor and 
jiraise to the SjJecial Agent of the Census Bureau for 
Brooklyn manufacturers, Mr. James H. Frothingham, 
whose efforts to perfect these returns were unwearied, 
and were crowned with remarkable success, that he 
was greatly hampered and obstructed, not only by the 
faulty methods of the census oflice blanks and instruc- 
tions, to which we have already alluded, but by the 
most unwarrantable and absurd assumptions of uni- 
versal knowledge on the part of the Washington 
officials, which often led them into grievous blunders. 
Evidently the compilation of the census is not yet one 
of the exact sciences. As a rule, no industry was 
counted which did not give an annual product of over 
81,000. When we consider how many of these small 
industries there are, which, though making no display, 
yet give a moderate income to those who conduct them, 
we shall be likely to coincide with the opinion of Mr. 
Lorin Blodgett, who estimates the total product of 
these unnoted industries, in Philadelphia, in 1880, as 
not less than $15,000,000. 

When we add to these, as we must, the other great 
errors of the census, we shall see that Brooklyn and 
Kings County have far more cause than Philadelphia 
to question its accuracy. 



THE MANUFACTURING INDUSTRIES. 



A«9 



The Comparative Extent of the Manufactures 
of Brooklyn and Kings County. — The statistics of 
Brooklyn inunuractuifs, according to tlic census of 
1880, omittinji; the breweries and distilleries, were 5,281 
nianufacturiuLf establishments, using $62,719,:!99 of 
capital, and having in tlieir employ an average number 
of 37,878 males above 16 years of age, 7,299 females 
above 15 years of age, and 3,021 children and youth, 
a total average number of employees of 48,898, while 
the greatest number employed at any time in the year 
considerably exceeded 70,000. Achling to these the 
persons employed in the minor industries not enumer- 
ated, those in the breweries and distilleries, and those 
in manufactories in the county towns, and we have an 
acr(Trei''ate of nearly 80,000 emi)lo3'e('s, and including 
those dependent on them, a population of more than 
250,000, directly and indirectly relying on manufactur- 
ing interests for a living. The total amount paid in 
wages during the year 1879-80 was stated to have 
been $22,867,176; the v.alue of the raw material used, 
$130,108,417; and the annual jtroduct (excc|)t the in- 
dustries specified above, and minor industries), $179,- 
188,685.* These figures show an apparent increase of 
233 per cent, in manufactures, in the decade 1870-1880, 
while the increase of population had been only about 
46 per cent., from 419,921 to 599,495. 

There is every reason to believe that the increase 
since June, 1880, both of population and manufactures, 
has been in a still more rapid ratio. New branches of 
manufacture have been introduced, and those already 
established have been greatly enlarged, some of the 
largest having been more than doubled. Brooklyn 
now ranks as the fourth city on the continent 
in the amount of its manufactures, only New York, 
Philadelphia and Chicago surpassing her in this 
respect; and from the best attainable data, in 1883, 
she probably surpassed Chicago, thus making her 
rank that of the third city in the Union in manu- 
factures as well as population. Kings County has a 
larger annual product from her manufactures than any 
State in the Union, except New York, Pennsylvania, 
Massachusetts, Illinois and Ohio. Connecticut, that 
busy hive of industry, follows her very closely in man- 



•Tlila i3 the latest result of the cal(MiIatioiia made at the Census 
Office, up to the present writing (Deoembor 20th, ISSX, being taken 
from the compendium of the tenth census. Vol. II., papo flOS. Three 
ofBclal statements from the same office, which have preceded It. dif- 
fered from it as follows, the substantial accuracy of each belngvouched 
for: 



f>ttnt»«i [Hnnds. H'dsJlI'ds.I WaRes 
uapiuL. Ijijie, Fmlc.Vths 1 paid. 



1 511>1 $6S.SiS.T09l 36,9^ 

2 5089 S6.S31.390 gl,»20 

3 5201 6I.W6.749 T,.\K, 

4 52811 62.719,399 37.878 

5 5101 79,72l.:49| 41,931 

AddlnE nml»-l 
Blons from oUl- 
ci&l flgures. I I 



6.8911 S.528 «2a,«K.6S3 
6.8S3i 3,4'i3| 21.072.051 



i.020 3.162 
7.299; 3,621 
7,5«« 3,795 



22,187.45' 
22.867,176 
23,I07.««K 



Miiterlal 
used. 



Anniinl 
product. 



»iaS,99l.4S9 »I»),573.CI5« 

124.M1.203 169.757.590 

129.ns5.091 177.223.142 

13II.I(».417 IT9.188.6S5 

147.2«7.6M 203.55.'!,78I 



We await with some impatience the issue of the quarto volume of 
the Census on Manufactures, as these will undoubtedly give us still 
UDotber version. 



ufacturcs as well a.s in popuUtion. What »ro the mor« 
prominent induHtricH whicli make up thiii va»t total ? 

SECTION 11. 
The Sugar Refining Industry. 

Vast Extent of the Business.— A ivr 

alre:idy intiiiiatcrl, the production i,f r- tr, 

molasaeg <i>itl ni/ru/i is miicii tin. largcNt of thcM- indu*- 
tries, and, according to the cennuo rcportu, nmoiiiita to 
almost one-third of the whole. A* we ahall »r«', pres- 
ently, there is reason to beiiove that it conntitutc* 
about two-fifths of the whoU? of the niaiiufacturM 
of the County. It employed, in 1880, according to 
the census, almost 2,500 persons, nearly nil nion, and 
paid out *954,929 annually, as wages. The rr|H>rt<><l 
capital of the eleven companies wnx $10,849,000, tb« 
material used was $50,423,868, and the annual pro- 
duct, $59,711,168. 

While these figures, though obtained with great 
care, and as accurately as possible by the a^ '' Jicd 

agent of the census office, are liable to - .-.•€- 

tion, the census methods being, in many re»pe<-tii, mi*- 
leading, yet the value of the annual production doea 
not differ very largely from that of 1881, 1882, and 
1883, for these reasons : the duty on ifnportc<l raw 
sugar was materially reduced in 1881, and there was a 
corresponding reduction in the value of the refined 
product ; there has been a great increase in the 
production of adulterated sugars, within three years 
past; a glucose sugar, that is, one containing 25 to 30 
per cent, of glucose, being made to resemble very 
closely in color, ajipearance and weight, the purr 
sugar, though containing only f the sweetening power; 
this sugar could be made for 5 cents a pound, and wan 
sold at 71 cents, while the pure sugar cost 7^ cent* to 
make. A reduction in price followed the putting of 
these fraudulent sugars on the market. There wa* 
also a great falling off in production, in consequence 
of the destruction, by fire, in 1881, of the immenae 
refineries of Messrs. Havemeyer «.fe Elder, which turned 
out a million pounds of refined sugar a day. It waa 
highly creditable to the Brooklyn refineries of pure 
sugar, that, notwithstanding these difficulties and ob- 
stacles, they actually increased their production by at 
least thirty per cent., and maintained an annual ralae 
of their product of about $60,000,000. 

This condition of affairs is now chantred, in many 
respects. The great refinery and fi'' - of 

the Havemeyers are rebuilt on a larg' l>e- 

fore, and are turning out 1,200.000 pounds of sugar 
every day, with a cap.acity, if 
that production. The other sug 

driven to their utmost cap!»city, and, taken together, 
thev can, and do, produce five-eighths of all the refined 
sugar made in the United States. 

The glucose fraud has been so thoroughly exposed 
that the demand for gincose sugars is not on the in- 



6V0 



HISTOR Y OF KINGS CO UNTY. 



crease, and the tendencies of both the raw and refined 
sugars are upward rather than downward. Tliere is, 
also, a large and constantly increasing demand for 
sugars for the export trade. Whether the Sorghum 
culture will soon, or ever, become so large as to dimin- 
ish our imports, is uncertain as yet, but everything 
seems to indicate a prosperous future for the sugar 
trade. 

One of the errors in the census methods was the 
great variety of items it included under the head of 
raw material. All the boxes, bales, mats and bags in 
which raw sugar was brought to the refineries, and all 
the ban-els used in packing the refined sugar, were 
counted as a part of the cost of raw material in the 
manufacture. The raw sugar and molasses consumed 
could not have approached the amount named in the 
census report, 150,423,868 ; for the production of re- 
fined sugar in Brooklyn, according to the census, was 
only 39 per cent, of the whole production of the coun- 
try, and 39 per cent, of the entire amount of sugar 
imported into, and produced in, the United States in 
1879-80 (making no account of that which entered 
into consumption without passing through the re- 
fineries), was only §43,330,373.58, and yet, that year 
was one of extraordinary production and importation. 
The amount of capital invested, and the number of 
hands employed, were both very uncertain quantities. 
Larger sums than those specified in the census were 
invested in the very costly plant of these establish- 
ments, but the working capital cannot be estimated 
even by the parties themselves. The number of hands 
employed varies constantly. Automatic machinery is 
constantly being introduced, and, while the capacity 
of the refineries is increasing, the number of hands is 
stationary, or decreasing. 

There are now thirteen establishments which claim 
to be sugar refineries, in Brooklyn and Kings county. 
Of these, eight are engaged in the manufacture of 
pure sugars, and most of them, incidentally, in the 
production of syrups. One or two of them make 
syrups a specialty. The daily production of these, at 
the present time, is about 2,600 tons of sugar of the 
different grades, or 768,000 tons annually. Their ca- 
pacity for the production of a much larger quantity is 
certain, but how great that capacity may be, depends 
on several particulars : the quality of sugar most in 
demand at a given time, as hard or soft, of high or 
low grade; the soft sugars and those of low grade ad- 
mitting of a much larger production than the hard 
and finer sugars; the active demand at an advancing 
price, and the facility for obtaining the raw sugars in 
the quantities needed. It may be said with safety, 
that, if all the circumstances were favorable, the 
present facilities would permit of the annual produc- 
tion of not less than 1,250,000 tons of refined sugar, 
and a large quantity of syrup. This means a produc- 
tion of over $100,000,000, 



Aside from these, there are one, and possibly two, 
houses which manufacture sugars and syrups, largely 
adulterated with glucose, and perhaps, also, with some 
chemicals to improve the color. We know the pro- 
duction of these sugars and syrups to be of very con- 
siderable amount, but have been unable, of course, to 
obtain any figures. There are also three or four 
houses which make a pure, but low grade sugar, by 
boiling down molasses, filtering and crystallizing. 
Their products find a ready market in some of the 
Southern and Southwestern States. It may be safely 
estimated, then, that the present actual production of 
sugars and syrups of all sorts (including the glucose 
and the molasses sugars), is between 75 and 80 million 
dollars, and the possible production, under the most 
favorable circumstances with the present facilities, is 
not less than $112,000,000. Mr. T. A. Havemeyer is 
our authority for the statement, which be had care- 
fully verified, that Brooklyn produces five-eighths of 
the entire production of sugars and syrups in the 
United States. 

The refiners who produce honest sugars, not adul- 
terated with glucose, white clay or any other substance, 
are justly indignant at the frauds of the adulterators. 
They claim that their sugars, when refined, contain the 
hard sugars, one hundred per cent, of pure sucrose or 
cane-sugar, and the soft sugars, from which the entire 
moisture has not been evaporated, ninety-nine per cent, 
of pure sugar, the one per cent, being water in com- 
bination. 

The raw sugars brought hither for refinery, come 
from many countries, and are the product of many dif- 
ferent plants, fruits, stalks and tubers. That which 
largely predominates is produced from the different 
species of the sugar-cane. We receive raw sugars from 
Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas ; and a somewhat 
richer article from the sugar-canes of Mexico and Cen- 
tral America, Cuba, Jamaica and other West India 
Islands, and from Demerara, Venezuela, Guiana and 
Brazil ; the excellent raw sugars of the Hawaiian isl- 
ands; the luscious sweets of the canes of Java, Sumatra, 
Borneo, the Malayan peninsula, the Philippine Islands, 
India and China; date sugar and some sugar cane from 
African ports; beet sugar from central and southern 
Europe; sorghum and imphee sugars from the west, 
and from China and farther India; the product of the 
sugar yam from Africa, and in small quantities, sugar 
from cornstalks, from the sap of the maple, and even 
the watermelon. These all produce sucrose or cane- 
sugar, while the glucose is made by treating starch 
from maize, acorns, the cereals and potatoes with sul- 
phuric acid. 

We cannot go into the details of the processes, by 
which these crude and often very dirty masses of sugar 
are changed into the pure snowy white masses, sent 
forth daily, in quantities of many hundreds of tons, 
from the wharves and docks of Brooklyn. 



THE MANUFAVTUBING INDUSTRIES. 



6:i 



Suffice it to say tli:it llie raw sugar is dumped into 
iniiiioiise mixing vats on the lowt-r floor of the refinery, 
mixed with water at the temperature of 110°, being 
stirred thoroughly the while, by steam power, and 
after a time i>umped liy steam directly to enormous 
tanks at the t()|) of the building, the acidity corrected 
by lime, heati'd to 200° F, and run down tiirough the 
double bag-filters to the floor below, where the strained 
liijuor passes into the bone-black filters, from which it 
issues a pure, colorless liquid, wliicii has parted with its 
impurities to the bone-black, which now has to be washed 
and re-burned. This liquid is now drawn into the res- 
ervoirs connected with the immense vacuum pans, 
holding each 200 barrels or more, and once conducted 
to them they are closed, a vacuum produced, and they 
are boiled by steam heat at a temperature of about 
100° F. Having been grained, it is drawn and packed 
into iron moulds in the shape of an inverted cone, 
which holds about 64 pounds of sugar. In these they 
crystallize and harden for a week, and are then hoisted 
aloft, the plugs withdrawn, and they drip and drain for 
24 hours, and after a solution of pure white sugar and 
water has percolated through them for another 24 
hours, they are taken to the ovens or stoves where they 
are baked for another week till all moisture is expelled. 
The " titlars," as they are called, then go to the mill 



*The (ollowlDg description of the new refinery, filtering house, 
machine shop, cooperage and railroad depot, and other buildings con- 
nected with the ITaveraeyer & Elder establishment, we condense from 

the Brodklyn Daily Eaule, July 30, 1883. 

The building;, or buildingrs rather, for there are two of them— a redn- 
ery pn>per and a filtering house— are the largest of tiio kind on the 
face of tlie glol)e, and, when supplied with ail the machinery, and In 
full operation, will have by far tlie largest capacity of any refinery on 
eitlier continent. 

The present monster structure furnishes an idea of the enormous 
business done by Mr. Haveineyer. His immense establisliments, whlt;li 
cover so much (»f tiie Eastern Olstrict river front, are comi)ieted In all 
their appointments, with the addition of a new machine shop, whi<;h 
Is now llnished. The establishments of Mr. Havemeyer, connected 
with the new refinery, are bour.ded by South Secf>nd and .south Sixtli 
streets. First street and the Fast Kiver. On liie east side of First 
street, running midway in tiio block between South Third and South 
Fourth streets, is a great structure which was used as a tjoller house 
and for filtering purposes, before the great fire a year and a half 
or more ago. The building is eleven stories high above ground, and 
had been connected by an iron bridge across First street at the third 
story with tlie burned buildings. 

The buildings <in the water front may be classed in this wi.se: On 
the block bounded by South Second and South Third streets. First 
stieet and the river. Is the new refinery and filtering house, ten and 
thirteen stories in iieiglit respectively ; on the i>lock bounded by South 
Third and South Fourth streets. First street un<l tlie river, a six-story 
structure ha.s Just been erected on the ruins of the old building. This 
structure will be iised as a warehouse. 

Beside his great retltilng aiui st'>rage establishments, Mr. Havemeyer 
controls the vast cooperage interests covering the large scpiare bound- 
ed by First ami Second streets, and North Fourth and .North Fifth 
streets, which is familfarly known as Palmer's cooper shop. On the 
north side of Xorth Fifth street, and bounded by First and Second 
streets, and runniiu; midway in the block between North Fifth and 
North Sixth streets, is Mr. Havemeyer's freight depot, wiilch lie placed 
at the exclusive use of the Erie Itaiiroad. The other sugar refiners In 
that section of the city, and business men getierally, siilp and receive 
freight at this very Important station of the Erie road. It is said 
that It ranks fourth in a business point of view among the freight 
depots of the road. The depot has become such an Important one 
that It Is now altogether too small. f)ut no douiit .\Ir. Havemeyer 
will extend it and run the road a block further east. The trains are 
taken to and brougiit from .Jersey City on barge floats several times 
during the day. 

On the block bounded by .South Fourth and South Fifth streets Is a 
seven-story relinery, formerly used as a storage house, and on the 
block south of tills structure is a one-story lirlck buildinf; used for 
storage purposes also. It is not in any way connected with the build- 
ing north of it. .Ml the buildings are supposed to be fireproof, only 
Iron and brick being used In their construction. Tliree of the build- 
ings will be connecte<l at one of the upper stories bv bridges. 

In addition to tiiese great buildings natneii. Mr. ifavemeyer controls 
the refinery yei bearing the name of DcCastro & Dormer, at the foot of 
South Ninth street and the establishment at the foot of North Third 
street. The latter building covers a large block, and the South Ninth 
street structure Is also of giant proportions. 



room, and are miuslied, .sawed, ground liku a| 

or powdered like flour. There are five gradcii in alL 
This is the hard sugar. 

The "soft" sugars, when grained in llio vacuum 
pan, arc discharged directly inio the "•took lioppcra" 
or receptacles over the c«iitrifugal tnacliinoi. Tliew 
machines, 64 feet in diameter, have iipiii.Ih-ii Kiiit]MMide<l 
from the top, the lower end being left free to OKcilUtc 
They run noiselessly, thougii at the rate of 1,200 n«vo- 
lutions a minute, and through the ix-rforated |NTiphery 
of the great brass box, the moisture and nyriip in tlirown 
out into the outer receptacle as completely in a few 
minutes as it could be removed by draining in a month. 
By the centrifugal process, raw n bo trans- 

formed into refined sugar in from to twentr- 

four hours. When removed from the centrifngal, it ia 
separated into seven grades and sent to market. 

Of the manufacturers engaged in this biLiine.**, the 
great house of jBavemei/ers aiul Elder, dating from 
1857, though not the oldest, is very much the largest, 
having with its new refinery and filtering hoii.se junt 
completed,* a capacity for the production of 1,250,000 
pounds of sugar daily ; while the house of DcCaalro 
and Donner, in which it ha.s a controlling interest, can 
produce in its extensive and well arran<jccl refineries, 
1,200,000 pounds more, daily; an aggregate of 2,450,000 



The new refinery stands upon a plot orgriiuml. nviiiv f<<.i. 
slsts of the refinery pri>per, which Is 2^"-' '■•• 
deep, and tlie filtering house, which 1- 
stories in height, or aluMit 110 feel alx.'. ■ -■ 
20 feet, and tile only materials used in it..* 
brick and iron. The walls are four feet In 1 1 
two fset at the top. The floors are "f i.r 
topped arches of .'i feet sweep, and llw 
cast Iron columns, and wrought Iror 
braced to sixty-six cast iron i-oiumns. ■ 
of 400 tons. 'I'he courses and trimmir.. 
and the mansard roof is faced wltti f'l ■ 
building as afisoiuteiy flre-i»r«iof as p"- - 
mable nature wa.s eliminated In lis roij.-tru> tl >:i. 1 ':.■ 
ways are secured with double iron lio.irs, and the hundr 
are supplied wltli doors of the same iii.i'fri il 

The whole premises are lighted by f- 
other light or Are of any kind Is perm 
naces are some distance back of ti^.f '. 
are hose pipes on each tif>or. arn! 
escapes, it is claimed that the 
degrees In warm weather, on a' ■ 
by so many windows 

Back of the refinery, and separated from It by ■ Bre - 
thick, is tlie llltering hou.se, the l:illcit (■nil. line n ;h. 
.structure Is .'*nxMO feet, and ris>-- ■ 
thirteen stories. In architectur i 
the materials used being I't* 
stories are of black brick i' 
side of the filtering hous. 
and 20Ofeet high. .MIdw.i 
luile. exttmding to the ro-'f 

This shaft gives botli li- 
open into It from the sevc: - 
closed easily In the event of are so a^ I'j it- 
from one building to another. 

In the rear of the filtering hnu-o t» thr 
structure at the river. Itlsbnil' 
the waves and tides, which inl- 
and cause a caving In. Back nf ' 
buildings are constructed 
chinery. with which they l 
feet iilgh by feet interbr 
and emptied, and there arc -i\ 
twenty-four centrifugal machit • 
double decked, and similar to th 
New Vork, and the elevating will I- 
l)ollers are of l.nm horse i)ower. 

The capacity of the r.dii.'n la ih ■• 
The estimated cost <■' 
buildings will be coi 
bridges crossing the 

On the ruins of th' 
six story, fire proof 
material Isrolieil .■ - 

Back of tlie --^ 
machine siiop, 
plied with the '■■ 
amount of machinery u.-ed in tiie retiti»^rT. 



in<l eon- 



:.f 

>ro 
>in 

■ttn 

I'n- 

b- 



N'o 



h* 
lo 
"•T. 



if. 

''T 

(. 
h» 



672 



HISTORY OF KINGS COXTNTT. 



poands of sugar a Jay=l,225 tons, or about 10,000 bar- 
rels, and with the existing demand for refined sugars, 
both for export and for home consumption, both re- 
fineries are running nearly up to their capacity. The 
Havem^yers and Elder refinery is said to bo the largest 
in the world, and the two turn out about one-half of 
the refined sugar made in this country. 

The Other Brooklyn Refiaeries. — Next in ex- 
tent to these two great refineries, is that of the Brook- 
lyn Sugar Refining Company, an incorporated com- 
pany, which has, for many years, produced excellent 
sugars and syrups. Its capacity is about 000,000 
pounds of sugar per day. Moller, Sierck and Co., an 
excellent house, whose sugars are of the very highest 
quality, and command from J to ^ a cent per pound 
more than any others, follow, with a capacity of about 
450,000 pounds a day. Dick & Meyer, 450,000 pounds, 
and Thomas Oxnard, the Ftdton Sugar Refinery, and 
Charles IIanemeyer''s, in Greenpoint, are, perhaps, next 
in order. All these houses make syrups, rather as an 
incidental product, than as a specialty. John Mollen- 
hauer, on the contrary, makes syrups his specialty, but 
produces a considerable quantity of sugars, mostly, we 
believe, by the centrifugal process. The Atlantic 
Sugar House, Crab cfc Wilson, and James Burns, are 
engaged in the manufacture of good, low-grade sugars 
from molasses, and also prepare the residuum for a 
variety of uses. Of Burger, llurlbut & Livhigslon, 
or the Livingston Siigar Refinery, we have little defi- 
nite information. They arc reputed to manufacture 
the so-called "grape sugars," and are doing a large 
business. 



William Dick.— A great portion of the manufacturing in- 
terests of Brooklyn are located north and east of the Walla- 
bout, while the immense sugar refineries, tlie largest in the 
country, all centre in that part of tlie city along the river. 

Among these vast e.stabhsliments, who.se buildings rise to 
lofty heiglits, cover large areas, and furnisli employment to 
hundreds of workmen, is tlie refinery of Dick & Meyer, situ- 
ated on the river front, at tlie foot of North Seventh street. 
The senior partner, Mr. William Dick, was born in Hanover, 
Germany, in 1823. Ho received the thorough education 
afforded by the schools of that country. He remained with 
his parents as long as they lived, but, after their death, came 
to America in 1845, wliither a brotlier h.ad i)n'ccded him. He 
landed in New York without wealth, witli health, intelligence, 
energy and habits of industry and frugality. The first busi- 
ness into wliich he entered was keeping u small grocery, in 
connection witli his brotlier; afterwards, with a brother-in- 
law, he opened a flour and feed store, m which they remained 
for several years. Having by this time accumulated some 
capital, for which he sought a more lucrative investment, he 
decided, after consideration, to engage in sugar retiniug with 
a partner who had had some experience. They began in 18.58, 
at the corner of Pike and Cherry streets, in New York, but as 
their business grew, they felt the need of more room. Accord- 
ingly, they erected a large brick building in 1803, at the foot 
of Division avenue, and abutting on the East river, thus se- 
curing the best facilities for water transportation. The busi- 
ness of the firm, now Dick & Meyer, has made a wonderful 



growth: the capital invested has reached $1,1500,000, while 
the annual product of the refinery reaches 3.55,000 barrels— 
about 100,000,000 lbs. refined sugar. The management of this 
vast interest is almost wholly in the hands of Mr. Dick, a 
position for which he is especially well fitted, by reason of 
his intelligence, business sagacity and capacity for work. 

But Mr. Dick is not merely the man of business; he is also 
the scholar and the public-minded citizen. He has been a 
close reader of history and literature, as well as a careful 
observer of the events of the day. The man whose ability, 
integrity and force have revealed themselves to his fellow- 
citizens, through a long business career in their midst, is 
always sought by them to fill positions of trust and responsi- 
bility. Mr. Dick is no exception. He is connected as trustee 
with the Manufacturers' National Bank, the Charitable 
Hospital, the Third Street Dispensary, and, as treasurer, with 
the Oerman Lutlieran Hospital of East New York. When the 
prospects of ihe Oerman Savings Bank were dark, an appeal 
was made to him to lend his assistance and assume its man- 
agement. Accepting the Presidency, he restored credit and 
confidence, placed the institution on a firm footing, and, at 
the end of the second year, left it prosperous, resigning his 
office only on account of the fast increasing demands of his 
own business upon him A handsomely engrossed testi- 
monial from the Savings Bank authorities attest the esteem 
in which Mr. Dick is held by them. Kind and philanthropic 
by nature, his interest in worthy charities is active, and his 
contributions numerous; while be is a warm supporter of the 
Lutheran Church and its institutions. 

Retired and domestic in his tastes and habits, he shrinks 
from, rather than seeks, publicity. With this disposition, he 
is content to discharge the citizen's duty at the ballot-box, 
without seeking political preferment ; thougli his modesty 
cannot conceal the fact that he is one of the leading influen- 
tial men in the Eastern District, and so recognized every- 
where. He is respected for his intrinsic worth as a man, 
and beloved by those who liave received his benefactions. 
He enjoys the comforts of an elegant home with the wife of 
his youth. They do their part in society, and their house is 
frequently opened to their large circle of friends. 

Mr. Dick has already attained to a great degree of useful- 
ness: but with every year his business relations, his charities 
and his influence expand, so that the future alone can reveal 
to what he may yet come. 



SECTION III. 

Relative Importance of Different Manufactures. 

Tlie importance of each industry is not to be judged 
by the aggregate production of all the establish- 
ments, but by the individual product. In review- 
ing the different classes of manufactures conducted 
in the county, we cannot be guided entirely by 
the magnitude of the annual product. This may 
be the result of the aggregation of the products of a 
very Large number of producers, or it may be, as in 
the sugar refining industry, the result of the immense 
])roduction of a very few manufacturers of large capi- 
tal and am])le appliances. In the sugar refining busi- 
ness, the jiroduct averagi's, according to the cen.su8 re- 
turns, $5,430,000 to each refining company, and the 
material used is reported as $5,130,000. On the other 
hand, the bread, crackers, and other bakery products, 
which amount in the aggregate to $5,594,975, are pro- 




'/^ /■'. 



/ . '■'•> 



t.-- 



rr m^ ^- 



THE MANUFM'Tnnya ryr>r-<TnrF< 



duced in 532 establishments, so that the average to 
each establishment is only 110,510. Still smaller is 
the average prodiiet in the ease of the boot and shoe 
manufactures, where, though the aggregate annual 
product is ^1,819,993, it is divided among 540 eslab- 
lisluneiits, giving an average product of only §3,333 to 
eacli manufacturer. There are instances, indeed, 
where the average annual i>roduct is less than ^2,000, 
but these are rather mecluuiical employments, like 
watch and clock repairing, mechanical dentistry, etc., 
etc., than manufacturing in the ordinary sense. 



SECTION IV. 
Petroleum Refining. 

The vast business of refining petroleum oils, though 
conducted and owned mainly by Brooklyn men, is 
carried on on both sides of Newtown Creek, the bound- 
ary line between Kings and Queens counties. That 
part of it usually regardeil as belonging to Kings 
county, reported in the census of 1880, 18 refineries, 
employing $2, 67.'). 000 of capital, and 2,302 hands; pay- 
ing $974,036 in wages; using $12,643,724 of raw ma- 
terials, and yielding an annual product of $15,115,293. 
Since 1880, the consumption of petroleum oils for pur- 
poses of illumination, lubrication, heating, and as a 
fuel for marine, locomotive, and stationary engines, 
has vastly increased, and the export demand for the 
refined products of petroleum is growing at a rapid 
rate. 

Before petroleum oil, as the product of oil wells, 
was known in this country, " coal " or " rock oil " was 
distilled from some of the fatty coals and bituminous 
shales of Kentucky, Ohio and Illinois, and perhaps 
quite as extensively, from a shale, rich in bitumen, 
l)rought to New York from Nova Scotia. Mr. J. M. 
Stearns states that the late Dr. Abraham Gessner, who 
was, some twenty-five or thirty years ago, an eminent 
practi<-al chemist here, had, from 1855 to 1860, a dis- 
tillery, for producing this oil from the Nova Scotia 
shales, located near Dutch Kills, on the north bank of 
Newtown Creek. The price of the coal oil was high, 
and the business was j)rofitable for several years, 
though the processes adopted were not economical. 

The gases generated in the distillation, were con- 
ducted into a large iron tube, and instead of being 
utilized, were burned at the point of contact with the 
atmospheric air, that they might not contaminate the 
air, in the neighborhood. This immense fiame at night 
illumined the creek and the surrounding landscape. 
The discovery of petroleum, and its rapid develop- 
ment in 1859-62, made the distillation of coal or rock 
oil unprofitable, and Dr. Gessner was finally reduced 
to bankruptcy, and eventually died in poverty. 

"There were, just before the change from coal oil 
to petroleum, two camphene distilleries in the Eastern 
District, EngeVs at the foot of South Second street, 



and Jirundage's at the foot of South Fourth itrci'l. 

After the change, camphene wait dihti'' to. 

leum, and one of these tirm.s hud u ^t : ^ on 

the block between North Third utid North Fourth 

streets and the East River, in wliieli w ' '00 

barrels of crude jictroleum. In unlo.i'. .,t, 

laden with this intlamniablu subiitancc, a barrel bunt 

and took fire, and very soon communicated with the 

storage sheds. Tlie whole l.'>,000 barreU were net on 

fire and their contents flowed into the East Uiver, and 

for a mile in extent, tlie river, half way acromi, waa iu 

flames. Tlie shipping moored ahmg the iih«iri' of the 

Eastern District, was in great peril, but won towed out 

of danger; but the pier, where tlie fire originated, waa 

burned. In about an hour and a half the fiery river had 

burned itself out, and there were only thi' 

remains of the petroleum barrels and »h' ■; . 

what might easily have become one of the jn'Otcat 

conflagrations of the century. This exi iiaa 

been repeated several times since on both i i md 

North Rivers, notably, during the present year (1889). 

One beneficial result of this fire wa.>>, that very little 

petroleum has since been stored in barrels. It i.i now 

mostly stored in iron tanks, and conveyed by pipe* 

underground from the oil regions to the refineries." 

The Standard Oil Company, which h.aa refineries 
and storage tanks on both sides of Newtown Creek, 
in Kings and Queens counties, and also at Bavonne, N. 
J., Buffalo, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Titusville, Oil City, 
etc., etc., is by far the largest holder of petroleum oil* 
iind products in the country. Most of the other re- 
fining companies purchase their crude or partially re- 
fined oils of this company, which, by its v.ist capital 
and extensive operations, controls the entire petroleum 
trade. 

There are in Brooklyn about 21 cnnip.i: _'cd 

in the production of petroleum jiroducts; _ . ■ '•"• 

eluding the very smallest, 25 companies. Several of 
these buy the partially refined oils, and \< 
or more stills, still further refine then. 
uses. While the Standanl Oil Company is the largest 
seller of both crude and partly refined petroleum; 
Charles Pratt <fc Co., the Dtcoe Miiniifacturing Co., 
the Empire Refining Co., and some others, also iell 
partly refined oils to the smaller manufacturers. 

In general, it may be said that all the companii-s 
purchase their crude oil of the Standard Oil Com- 
jiany; perhaps not always willingly, but because its 
extraordinary facilities for bringing the oils to market, 
and its control over the whole production of t 
try, enable it to supply them at better t<r: 
they can obtain elsewhere. During the past season, 
the single company which had -' 
whose production enabled it to i- 
able rival, for several years— the Tide Water Pipt 
Line, — found its advantage, in - - '= re- 

ceipts, as to become an ally, if i 



:he 



674 



HISIORY OP KINGS COUNTY. 



Stamlard Oil Company, and the smaller companies 
which had received their supplies from it, are, one af- 
ter another, falling into line. 

It is very common, when a great manufacturing or 
commercial house, by dint of energy, enterprise, and 
the judicious investment of its means, has attained to 
a superiority over other houses in the same line of bus- 
iness, to such an extent as to make them, willingly or 
unwillingly, tributary to its further success, to raise 
the cry of " monopoly " against it, and thus seek to 
rouse the opposition of the interested and the un- 
thinking. While mankind are constituted as they 
are, this cry will be almost invariably raised against 
successful business men. Sometimes, it is true, the 
tyranny and grasping disposition of these business 
kings, may justify a part of what is said against 
them ; but oftener, the foulest and meanest charges 
which are made originate entirely in the envious 
brains of those who have failed in the strife of busi- 
ness, and who, if they had been successful, would have 
been far greater tyrants and oppressors than those 
whom they condemn. 

The Standard Oil Company needs no defence at our 
hands; but a very small proportion of its vast business 
is conducted within the bounds of Kings county; its 
immense reservoirs, tanks and refineries elsewhere are 
out of our limits; but we may be permitted to say, 
that so far as we have been able to observe, its superi- 
ority is due to the wonderful energy, enterprise, and 
business ability of its managers. Commencing at a 
time when the petroleum production and market were 
at their lowest ebb, they had the sagacity and courage 
to foresee for it an eventual and wonderful success. 
While hundreds were failing, they held on and held 
out, and when the tide changed, and the export demand 
became large, they were ready for it. The}' saw their 
great opportunity, and embraced it; and to-day it is 
almost wholly due to their exertions that our petroleum 
exports have risen in about fifteen years from nothing 
to more than forty million dollars a year, and that re- 
fined petroleum of the best quality is sold at a price 
which is within the reach of even the poorest. Of 
cour.se this has not been accoraplislied without exciting 
the envy and hostility of many; and unthinking parties, 
ready to believe the worst of their fellow men, have 
aided to spread the most malicious and unfounded re- 
ports, when they neither knew its business nor its man- 
agers. It may have committed some errors, possibly 
some minor wrongs; most great corporations do; but 
that the noble-hearted and high-minded Christian gen- 
tlemen who are at the head of that great company 
have, knowingly or wilfully, attempted to oppress or 
crush others, because they had the power to do so, we 
do not believe. 

Among the companies which are most largely en- 
gaged in refining petroleum in Brooklyn, two, Charles 
Pratt & Co. and the Dcvoe Manufacturiiuj Co., are 



much the largest. Mr. Pratt and Mr. Devoe were both 
originally members of the great firm of Reynolds, De- 
voe & Pratt, manufacturers of and dealers in paints, 
etc., but left it in 18G7 to engage in the refining of pe- 
troleum. At that time most of the " kerosene " on the 
market was highly inflammable and dangerous. Fires 
and deaths from its use were constantly occurring. So 
late as 1869, out of 636 samples obtained in New York 
and Brooklyn, from respectable dealers, there were only 
21, not quite one in 30, whose flashing point was above 
100° F. Both Mr. Pratt and Mr. Devoe determined to 
produce an article which should be free from danger, 
and while the Legislature had fixed the minimum fire 
test of 100° F., below which it should be a misde- 
meanor to sell kerosene, Mr. Pratt, and, we believe, 
Mr. Devoe also, fixed a fire test about forty degrees 
higher as the lowest point consistent with complete 
safety. Mr. Pratt affixed to his product the name of 
"Pratt's Astral Oil," while Mr. Devoe gave his the 
name of " Devoe's Brilliant Oil." By great exertions 
in making the merits of their respective oils known, 
both built up an immense business. " Pratt's Astral 
Oil " has become a household word, throughout our own 
country, and is very largely sold in foreign countries. 
After some years Mr. Devoe sold his interest to the 
Devoe Manufacturing Company, and returned to his 
former business as a manufacturer and dealer in paints 
and oils. Mr. Pratt constantly enlarged his business, 
adding to it manufactories of tools, cans, petroleum 
barrels and tanks, etc., and taking in partners, as his 
extended trade required. He also formed a company 
called the Pratt Manufacturing Company, to manufac- 
ture the sulphuric acids and other chemicals used in 
refining petroleum, both for his own company and for 
the Standard Oil Company, of which he is a director. 
Of late years, the demand for his "Astral Oil " abroad 
has compelled him to engage largely in the export 
trade. Most of the oil shipped to foreign ports is sent 
in what are called cases, each wooden case containing 
two five-gallon tin cans, so packed as to be fire and 
water proof, and also secured against leakage, and at 
the same time, when the case is opened, the cans can 
be used or emptied by the retailer without inconveni- 
ence. For the home trade, it is sold either in petro- 
leum barrels, so prepared as to be proof against leakage, 
or in one and two-gallon cans, provided with a spout 
and cap, which are largely used by families. Some- 
times, for stores, etc., the five-gallon cans are used. 

The firm of Charles Pratt (& Co. are deserving of 
high commendation for their solicitous care to send 
out no oil which was not above the point of perfect 
safety, and for the precautions they have always in- 
sisted upon in the use of the Astral Oil. They are now 
refining it to a yet higher test, and it is a well ascer- 
tained fact that their Astral Oil will not explode. They 
manufacture, for gas machines, gasoline; a naphtha of 
special grade and quality for street lighting in small 



THE MANUFACTURING INDUSTRTFf^. 



cities and towns; a benzine, of 62° quality, for manu- 
facturers' use; a naptha of 70° gravity, and a deodor- 
ized naptha of 76° gravity, for vapor stoves, lamps. 
Sec. All these are put up so carefully, and with such 
precautions, as to insure them against accident. 

The Devoe Manufacturing Compan;/ have l)een less 
active in supplying the home market, though their oil 
is of excellent quality, but have tunied their attention 
mainly, of late years, to the export trade, in which they 
are, we believe, the largest exporters of refined petro- 
leum in the United States, their out-put, in a single 
day, in the busy season, amounting to 60,000 five-gal- 
lon cans, or 30,000 cases. The annual amount, of 
course, depends upon the price of refined oils and the 
foreign demand, which last, however, is constantly in- 
creasing, in spite of the great discoveries of oil recently 
made in Germany, Russia and the Caucasus. 

The other oil refineries in Brooklyn and Kings county 
are : Bufih it Dcnslow Mf<j Co., the Greenpoint Oil 
Work-g, the BrooMyn Refinerij, the Eafile Oil Works, 
Franklin Oil Work.% the Cliesebrowjh Mfg Company, 
(vaseline and petroleum jellies), James Donald <b Co., 
G. F. Gregory, Jenney & Son, Wilson cfc Anderson, 
McGoey & King, the Empire Refining Company, Sone 
cfc Fleming, the Hudson Oil Works, the Kings County 
Oil Works, the New York Kerosene Gas-Light Company, 
the Vesla Oil Works and the Washington Oil Works, 
and perhaps four or five individual refiners. A few of 
these do not report, but we have lull returns from 
twelve of the largest, and those not heard from can 
hardly increase the' following returns (which are for 
1883) by more than 10 or 12 per cent. The capital in- 
vested in the business by these twelve companies is 
about §7,200,000. 

The greatest number of hands employed at any one 
time during the year was about 3,000. 

Average day's wages for a skilled workman, by day, 
12.50; by night, $2.66; for an ordinary laborer, by 
day, $1.55; by night, $1.70; for a cooper, $2.50; for a 
tinsmith, $2.10. Total amount of wages paid during 
the year, about $1,500,000. 

Gallons of crude petroleum used during the year, 
about 210,000,000. Value, from $7,200,000 to $9,600,- 
000 (at average prices of 1883, the latter sum would 
be nearest the truth.) 

Tons of anthracite coal used during the year, includ- 
ing pea and dust coal, about 84,000; value, about 
$210,000. Number of tons of sulphuric acid used dur- 
ing the year, about 18,000. Number of tons of caustic 
soda, about 360. Number of barrels used, about 
2,400,000; value, about $3,000,000. Number of tin 
cans made, about 19,200,000; value, about $1,800,000. 
Gallons of total product of kerosene exported to 
foreign countries in cans, about 15,000,000. Number 
of boilers, for steam, about 54. Number of boilers, not 
for steam, about 48. Ilorse-power used, about 4,200. 
Annual out-put can only be roughly estimated from 



the fluctuating price of the oil, but can hardly fall hf- 
low $21,000,000. 

Adding to this 10 per cent, for the non-rc|Kirting 
companies, and we have a grand ag$;rcgat« of •23,000,. 

000. 

Srn-SECTION I. — Illuminating Gas. 

The production of illuminating gan in a large indu*- 
try in Kings county. There were, in 18K0, eight gaa- 
works in the county, reporting .•» capital (partly nomi- 
nal) of $0,190,000, and employing in all 257 men, pay' 
ing wages to the amount of $103,010, UHini; ll^'.flOS 
of raw material, and producing annu.iliy illiimin.-iting 
gas to the amount of $1,835,088. The introduction of 
the so-called "Water (ias" (which owch itn illumina- 
ting properties in part to its combination with naphtha 
and other petroleum products) within the pa«t two 
years has jirobaVjIy somewhat diminished tin- amount 
of the production of the other illuminating g:v« rom- 
panics. Their business has also been somewhat dimin- 
ished by the increasing use of kerosene at a mean* of 
illumination, and by the introduction into largi- store* 
and pul)lic buildings, halls, <kc., of the electric light. 
The probable substitution of a cheaper gas for heating 
and culinary purposes, where less illumination is re- 
quired, will, in the course of two or three years, ixr- 
haps, supply present deficiencies. 

Since the spring of 1883, the eight gas companies 
of Brooklyn have been reduced by consolidation or 
the purchase of a controlling portion of their slock by 
the Fulton Municipal Gas Company, which produce 
the so-called water gas. The independent companies 
are the Fulton Municipal, the Nassau and the Brook- 
lyn gas companies. It is said that the Brooklyn has 
made some arrangement with the Fulton Municipal, by 
which they are no longer in opposition. It is generally 
believed that the Standard Oil Company backs the 
Fulton Municipal. It is certain that it furnishes it 
with naphtha. The production of the gas companies 
is certainly less than in 1880, but does not, we judge, 
fall below $1,550,000. They .ire making strcnnoos 
efforts to supply gas for heating purposes, but, as they 
have not reduced the price per thousand feet, for this 
use, and heating by steam pipes laid in the streets is 
pending, they have not as yet met with quite the snc- 
cess they anticipated. 

Gas-Light Companies.— Mr. Joseph Sprague has 
left in his manuscript autobiography the following ac- 
count of the inception of 

The Brooklyn Gas-Light Company.— " In ' 
den Spoonerand niystlf, for amusement, infer 
the Long Island Star of an application to !• 
Legislature for an act of incorporation for n 
a capital of $150,000, for the puri 
dwellings and manufactories with ^ 
only to create a little sensation. It was recer 
and the demand persisted in that I should go 
a charter, which I did. and the bill was p^^ 
1825, that is now giving light ' 



in 



-'m. Ti. 






676 



HISTORY 01 KINGS COUNTY. 



m9aopolized by the directors at ten per coot, advance, and it 
was amusing to witness tlie infatuated dignity over a worth- 
less charter, which was to them a rich placer of gold. Com- 
mittees were put in motion, lots bought for gas-works, plans 
and estimates examined. I then moved that the money paid 
in be refunded, and all operations be discontinuud until the 
increase of Brooklyn should afford a reasonable prospect of 
supporting a gas company, which suggestion was adopted, 
and the money returned with interest." 

The directors named in the act were Robert Carter, Adrian 
H. Van Bokkelen, Joseph Sprague, William Furinan, .Jehiel 
Jagger, Joseph G. Swift, Alden Spooner, Fanning C. Tucker, 
and Richard V. W. Thorn. Twelve years later, the company 
was revived, and February 1, 1817, elected the following 
directors : Alden Spooner, Joseph Sprague, John Dikeman, 
Ralph Malbone, Tunis Barkeloo, Losee Van Nostrand, Fan- 
ning C. Tucker. Jehiel Jagger, William Kumbel. Their acts 
were legalized in 1850, and March 26. 1835, the company was 
authorized to increase its capital to |1, 000,000. 

The gas-works were located at the foot of Hudson avenue, 
which location the company still retuins. Tlip 1st. M and 5th 
wards were first supplied with mains and pipes for con- 
sumers. The company now owns 80 miles of mains. 

In June, 1823, Fanning C. Tucker was elected president ; 
James B. Clark was the first secretary. The succeedmg 
presidents have been Aldon Spooner, Feb. 11, 1847, till his 
death, December, 18-18 ; Robert Nichols, December, 1848, to 
January, 1802; Arthur W. Benson, January, 1862, to January, 
1883; James H. Armington, January, 1882-4 ; E. Storer, Sec- 
retary, January, 1881-4. 

The Citizens' Gas-Light Company (office, 130 Atlantic 
avenue), was incorporated Octoberi26th, 1858, with a capital 
of $1,000,000, which was afterward increased to $1,200,000. 
Permission to lay mains was granted by tlie city in March, 
1859. The company's works were erected at the corner of 
Smith and Fifth streets. The presidents of the company have 
been: John 11. .Smith, H. P. Libby, J. H. Stebbins, and the 
present president, Samuel E. Howard. 

The other officers for 1833-4 are: Jacob I. Bergen, treasurer; 
Samuel F. Tudor, secretary. 

The People's Gas-Light Company (offices, 419 Myrtle 
avenue, and 51 First street, E. D.). was organized, under the 
general law, in October, 1864, with Abraham Meserole, 
President, and a board of nine directors : Alex. McCue, 
Chas. J. Lovvry, D. M Talmagc, Wm. Peet, H. J. Alden, Jr., 
Abm. Meserole, O. M. Beach, J. B. Craig, and Augustus 
Ivins. The capital stock at first was $100,000. During six 
years no active operations were prosecuted. 

In January, 1870, the company was reorganized, the capi- 
tal stock increased to $1,000,000, and William L. Husted be- 
came President; succeeded, in 1871, by Frederic Cromwell, 
and he, in 1873, by the present president, Edwin Ludlam. 
The company's works were commenced in 1807, and com- 
pleted in 1870. They are located at the corner of First and 
South 11th streets. There are two gas-holders, and the ca- 
pacity of the works is .500,000 feet daily. The present pro- 
duction is 400,000 feet per day. Forty men are employed at 
the works, and fifteen elsewhere. 

This company has 43 miles of mains, and supplies the ter- 
ritory in the city east from Washington avenue, between 
DeKalb avenue, Broadway, and Kent avenue. The present 
directors are Edwin Ludlam, Wm. H. Husted, Wm. Mar- 
shall, Wm. Peet, U. H. Rogers, Wm. Rockefeller, Benj. 
Brewster, Geo. N. Curtis, TI. R, Bishop. The officers for 
1883-4 are Edwin Ludlam, President; Wm. Peet, Vice Presi- 
dent; S. J. Edwards, Secretary. 



The Nassau Gas-Light Company (office 939 Fulton street), 
wasorgauized, under the general manufacturing law, Novem- 
ber 1, 1870, with a paid-up capital of §1,000,000. Tlie first di- 
rectors were Henry P. Morgan, Edward D. White, John J. 
Studwell, Edwin Beers, Charles J. Lowry. At present, as 
above, adding S. Warren Sneden. Henry B. Morgan, the 
present President, was chosen to that position at the organi- 
zation of the company. 

The works, near Washington avenue bridge, on Wallabout 
bay, were completed in 1873. There are two gas-holders, and 
the works have a daily capacity of 1,000,000 feet. The yearly 
consumption of gas from these works is 135,000,000 feet, and 
the amount of coal used is 13,000 tons. The district supplied 
by this company is bounded by Washington avenue on the 
west, DeKalb avenue and Broadway on the north, and the 
city boundary on the south. Fifty men are employed at the 
works, and about the same number elsewhere. The company 
has 67 miles of street mains. The number of consumers is 
about 0,000. The officers of the company, 1883-4, are: H. P. 
Morgan, President : S. T. White, Secretary ; Frederick S. 
Benson, Engineer. 

The Metropolitan Gas-Light Company (office, 563 Atlantic 
avenue), was organized Februar}', 1871, under the General 
Manufacturing Act, with a capital of $1,000,000. It com- 
menced business in January, 1872, and its works, on Gowauus 
canal, at the foot of Twelfth street, were erected in 1873. 
They have a capacity of 500,000 feet daily. Coal gas is man- 
ufactured, and in the manufacture, distribution, etc., of this 
gas, 58 men are employed. The company has 47 miles of 
street mains. 

Hon. Alexander McCue was the first president of the com- 
pany. The second and present president is John Williams. 
The other officers for 18S3-4 are H. H. Rogers, vice-president; 
C. H. Stoddard, secretary and treasurer. The first board of 
directors were William C. Kingsley, A. McCue, Edward 
Harvey, A. F. Campbell, S. L. Keeney, Edgar M. Cullen and 
A. Aranierniau. The names of the present board are: H. R. 
Bishop, H. Beam, J. C. Bergen, Benjamin Brewster, A. F. 
Campbell, A. C. Keeney, John P. Kennedy, Wm. C. Kings- 
ley, A. McCue, Wm. Rockefeller, H. H. Rogers, John Wil- 
liams and Chas. H. Stoddard. 

The company owns 47 miles of mains, laid in the district 
bounded by Gowanus canal and Nevins street, Atlantic 
avenue and Flatbush avenue, to city line, to and inclusive of 
New Utrecht. 

Fulton Municipal Gas Company (office, 342 Fulton street), 
was organized, under the general law, in 1879, with a capital 
of $1,500,000, which, in 1881, was reduced to $1,317,700. The 
company consisted of seven corporators. Henry M. Bene- 
dict has been president since its organization, and Gen. Jas. 
Jourdan is the vice-president. Walter K. Rossiter is secre- 
tary and treasurer. 

The works of the company were erected in 1879, on the 
corner of Nevins and DeGraw streets. There are three gas 
holders, and the works have a capacity of 1,000,000 feet per 
day. Twenty-five men are employed at the works, and about 
the same number elsewhere. What is known as water gas, 
of a high illuminating power, is manufactured at this estab- 
lishment. 

The first board of directors of this company were James 
N. Smith, Wm. Foster, Jr., Wm. Schwaizwaelder, Geo. H. 
Roberts, Frank F. Jones, P. P. Dickinson and Henry S. Ben- 
nett. The present board are Wm. Rockefeller, Benjamin 
Brewster, Henry H. Rogers, Heber R. Bishop, James Jourdan, 
Henry M. Benedict and E. C. Benedict. 

The company owns about GO miles of mains, supplj'ing gas 
to the secHon of the city west of Broadway, 



THE MANUFACTURING INDUSTRIES. 



<i7" 



SECTION V. 
Meat Slaughtering. 

This industry, thoujjh not, as in Ciiifago, the load- 
ing manufacture, ranks about fifth in our industries, 
and only New York and Jersey City, among our 
Eastern cities, give a larger annual jiroduct. The 
census of 1880 reports 28 establishments, not in- 
cluding the retail butcher establishments, having an 
ajrgregate capital of ij!l,r25,000; employing 200 hands; 
paying out $194,508 in wages annually ; using $7,340,- 
450 of materials, and producing annually $8,010,492. 
There is reason to believe that these statistics, with 
some abatement for the amount of material used, and 
a little advance in tlie value of the annual product, 
represent, pretty nearly, the present condition of this 
industry at the present time. The considerable ad- 
vance in the price of all meat products since 1880, 
would, perhaps, make the value of the annual product 
in 1883 not less than nine million dollars; but, on the 
other hand, slaughtering, except for home consumption, 
is not on the increase here, and the jiacking of meats, 
except for our local markets, is falling off. This is due 
to several causes; not only are beeves, hogs, sheep and 
calves reared much more cheaply, and fattened at a 
lower price, in the Mississippi valley and on the West- 
ern ])lains, than they can possibly be here, but the ex- 
tensive and complete facilities for slaughtering and 
meat-packing at Chicago, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Mil- 
waukie, Louisville, Burlington, Davenport, Kansas 
City, Omaha, and Denver, are so greatly superior to 
those of any of our Eastern cities, as to discourage en- 
terprise for the export trade. More than nine-tenths 
of all the hogs, and now full one-half of the beeves, 
and two-fifths of the mutton and lambs, which come to 
the New York and Brooklyn markets, are slaughtered 
at the West and brought here in the carcass ; and of 
the animals slaughtered here, the greater part come 
from the West. 

By the use of refrigerator cars and steamships, beef 
in sides, and even in quarters, and pork and mutton as 
cut meats, can be and are brought here very largely 
from Chicago and other western cities, and retailed at 
prices which leave our home slaughterers no margin 
of profit. The provision trade is in even a worse posi- 
tion. The great packing houses of the western cities, 
buying their cattle, sheep and hogs at first hands, and, 
by their admirable arrangements and economies utili- 
ing every portion of the animal, can furnish these 
packed meats for export at prices which leave no mar- 
gin to our packing houses, and even, in many cases, 
compel them to manufacture at a positive loss. Their 
only chance for profit, excejit where reckless specula- 
tion has made a corner in any of these products, and 
forced up the price beyond its natural average, is to 
put up their packed moats of so excellent quality as to 
obtain for them a local reputation which will command 



an advanced price. Thu BbipmentM of drvM«d be«f 

and latterly of mutton from Texan, in rcf i ' 
steamships, tends al.so to dt-preciatf priru« '.. 
thouj^jh the quality is generally inferior to that of Ihr 
best beef and mutton itlaughtc>re<l here, thu pricw i« 
also materially les.M. 

From these and other oauseH, while the 

amount of slaughtering and meal-packing I - 

creased materially, it has largely eliftti(»ed hand*. Tl»e 
slaughtering business in Kin^s county i», to a very 
great extent (almost wholly in the caHc- of iiheep ami 
lambs), in the hands of Ilebrewii. The leading 
slaughterers are Moses Ma;/, Leiu/ <t Mny, ftninr 
Isaacs, I. it J. Levy, Leopold Iltorli, and //. «l*. J, 
Bernstein, for beeves, calves and hogrt, and Aaron 
Levy, for sheep ami lambs. Other bouHeit do a mod- 
erate business. 

In the meat-packing and provision trade, the ba«i- 
ness, which a few years ago was conducted by enter- 
prising American packers, has passed into the handii of 
equally enter])rising Germans; and the American houses 
have either withdrawn from the business, or have suf- 
fered themselves to be outdone by their competitors. 
The meat-packing trade here includes mess beef and 
pork, corned beef and pork, beef, pork and mutton ; 
hams, pickled, smoked and dried, or otherwise cured ; 
bacon, shoulders, sides, or middlini,'s of j)ork ; tongue* 
of beeves, sheep and lambs, fresh, pickled, or smoked ; 
lard (elsewhere a separate branch of the trade), 
sausages (Bologna and other), head-chee-ne, tenderloin* 
of pork, pigs' feet, calves' feet, livers, tripe, itc., itc. 

In some of these packed meats, the Kings county 
packers liave no superiors; this is especially true of the 
beef and pork hams, the bacon, smoked and pickled 
tongues, Bologna sausages, head-cheese, lard, Ac, Ac. 

The leading meat-packers ancl provi-' -c 

Figge tt Brother, Ilermfin Grahlfs, Fri ', 

HI Klumpf, Jacob Harman, George \V. WiUiamton, 
D. J. Lavery, and J. Lockitt tb Co. Other houses do 
a less extensive but fair business. Conrad Sc/tertr is 
the largest purchaser of beef fat, both for the oleo- 
margarine and the soap and candle trades. 



SECTION VI. 
Foundry and Machine-Shop Products. 

Under this very general and n 
census office, in its "Compendium oi 
has collected a great number of industries which are 
deserving of separate notice. Th - '• 

glomerating — which is nearly a- 7 

had refused to particularize any of the indnslnes of 
Brooklyn, but had put them all down a- "- ' '-t, 
Manufacturers — $177,223, 14J, or wh.itever :i 

they chose to put down — is obviously an atter^ 
thought. In ^Ir. Frofhingham's first report published 
in the Brooklyn Daily L\i-jk of July, 1881, these in- 



678 



HISTORY OF KINGS COUNTY. 



dustrits were- placcil umler the following titles : Brass 
castings ami fini.shing; iron castings and finishing; 
iron castings — stoves, heaters and hollow ware; ma- 
cliiiKTy; machinery — engines and boilers; machinery — 
jiresscs; machinery — steam pumps. Of these seven in- 
dustries, the number of establishments were in the 
above order, 25, 32, 13, 65, 12, 4, 9 — 160 in all; and the 
total product, #8,057,838. 

In the manufacturing census of twenty cities, wliicli 
was published in 1882, the items had been cut down as 
follows : Brass castings, 18; iron castings, 30; ma- 
chinery, 91; in all 139 establishments, and with a total 
product of $7,349,707, a reduction of annual product 
of $708,131. But even this statement did not quite 
satisfy the census office, and in the Compendium of the 
Tenth Census, publislied in 1883, they made further 
changes. "Brass castings " were retained — 18 es- 
tablishments, and with the same ])roduct as before, but 
the two items of iron castings and machinery were 
both thrown out, and instead of them was inserted 
foundry and machine shop products; 121 establish- 
ments, with -«i4,079,250 capital; 3,890 hands; |;2,283,934 
of wages paid during the year; $3,146,992 of mate- 
rials, and $6,984,832 annual product. Including the 
brass castings, the whole product had shrunk $708,431, 
and the numlier of establishments 21. What further 
changes may be made in the quarto volumes, we know 
not, but the changes we have shown indicate, clearly 
enough, the unreliableness of the manufacturing statis- 
tics of the tenth census. 

But the point we wish to make here, is not so much 
the variations in the number of establishments, or in 
the amount of products, as the great defect in a proper 
classification of these manufactures. Here, included 
at last, under the head of Foundry and Machine 
Shop Products, are nearly a dozen different industries, 
wholly diverse from each other, most of them using as 
a material, either iron, cast or wrought, steel, copper 
or brass, but having hardly anything else in common. 
Here arc houses which manufacture steam engines of 
1200 or 1500 horse power; others which make $25,000 
vacuum pans; others which make steam puiiijiing en- 
gines valued at $150,000 or $250,000 each, or refriger- 
ating machines worth $130,000 to $175,000 each, and 
side by side with them are little shoj)s doing a jobbino- 
and repairing business, whose entire annual product 
did not exceed $5,000 or $8,000. Yet all are classed 
as Foundry and Machine Shop Products. While we 
retain this general heading, though rejecting its statis- 
tics, as wholly incorrect, we deem it altogether neces- 
sary to any adequate understanding of the subject to 
divide it into at least nine subsections, as follows : 

I. — Stkam Esgi.vks. 
n. — Boilers, Tanks and Gasomkters. 
I"- — Steam Pumping Engines, Steam Pumps and 
Am Compressors. 



IV. — Large Castings, as Vacuum Pans, Centrifu- 
CAi, MachiSks, Refrigerating Machines, Architect- 
ural Castings, &c. 

V. — Presses and Dies, including Drawing and 
Stamping, Baling, Printing and other Presses. 

VI. — Brass Foundries and Brass Castings. 

VII. — Wood-Working Machines, and Small Ma- 
chines OF all sorts; Nuts, Bolts and Rivets. 

VIII. — Ordixary Machine Shop Products and 
Repairing. 

IX. — Wrought and Cast Iron Railing and 
Fences, and Wire Work. 

In connection with this last subsection, it may be 
said that nearly all the larger manufactories, such as 
the sugar refineries, the great rope- walks, the petroleum 
refineries, the paper-hangings manufactories, the porce- 
lain works, etc., etc., have each a large machine shop 
attached to their works, where all their machinery is 
repaired and many new machines made. Some of these 
shops employ a large force, and turn out one, two, or 
three hundred thousand dollars worth of work. This 
is reckoned in the general expenditures of the manufac- 
tories, and not, as it should be, to give a full idea of 
this branch of Kings county industries, with the ma- 
chine .shop products. 

Subsection I. — Steam Engines. 

There are no locomotive engine works in Brooklyn or 
Kings county, though the Long Island Railroad ma- 
chine shops repair their engines, and perhaps have built 
one or two. The Coney Island roads have also repair- 
ing shops for their engines, but, we believe, have never 
attempted to construct any. 

Stationary engines are built here, and of great excel- 
lence. From 1863 to 1867, many marine engines were 
constructed, notably those for several of the monitors, 
and for ocean steamers. The Continental Iron Works, 
the Atlantic Steam Engine Co., and the South Brook- 
lyn Steam Engine Co., were all largely engaged in this 
business, employing from 1,000 to 1,500 men each. We 
believe no marine engines are now built in Kin^s 
county, unless there may be one, occasionally, for a 
freight propeller oi- a tug. It should be said, however, 
that Messrs. White & Price advertise marine engines 
as their specialty. The stationary steam engines now 
built here are not generally of the largest class, but are 
of very great merit. The Atlantic Steam Engine Co., 
Messrs. William .Irt/iur cb Co., Ferdinand Rochoxo 
The South Brookhpi Steam Engine Co., Messrs. White 
& Price, of Hamilton avenue, and one or two smaller 
houses, are now the principal steam engine builders. 
The Sherrill- Roper Air Engine Co. is building caloric 
engines, an improvement on the Ericsson engine, for 
use where a moderate power and at moderate cost is 
required. One establishment (105 Court street) makes 
a specialty of toy engines for children, which are capa- 
ble of doing good work in their limited capacity, 



THE MANUIACTURING INDUHTRIEH. 



679 



The best, as well as the most economical and efficient 
steam engines made in Kings county are those of Mk. 
Ferdin'axd RoiMiow. Tlie severe competition of the 
Corliss, Wriglit, Harris, and other large steam engiiu-s, 
manufactured elsewhere, with our Kings county engine 
builders, has led most of them to turn their attention to 
other machinery, where the rivalry was not so great ; 
but Mr. Rochow, beginning, in 1870, with a very small 
shop, has steadily increased his business till he is now 
the leading builder of stationary and reversible engines 
in the county, lie manufactures a patent compound 
engine, which is capable of ready adaptation to all 
forms of stationary engines, for hoisting, for elevators, 
for upright and wall engines, for driving the machinery 
of great manufactories, and also to reversible engines 
for yachts, j)ropellers, etc. The utility of the double 
and triple compound principle in economizing the con- 
sumption of steam, by using it expansively, has been 
long recognized in the large engines, and has been very 
generally adopted by the users of larcie amounts of steam 
power. The great merit of Mr. Rochow's invention 
is that, by an ingenious adaptation of the principle, and 
a new and simpler arrangement of all the parts of the 
engine, he not only renders this economy of steam pos 
sible to the smallest users of steam, but has so far sim- 
plified the construction and operation of the engine, 
that any person of common intelligence can operate it, 
thus relieving the manufacturer from the heavy expense 
of employing a professed engineer. These engines can 
be started in any position whatever by the simple 
movement of the reversing valve, by giving live steam 
into each cylinder, and may be made to act on the com- 
pound principle by another simple movement of the 
same valve, or stopped by another slight movement of 
it; and by simple movements of this valve it can be 
started, stopped, reversed, and used alternately, at will, 
as a compound or non-compound engine. The engine 
is almost absolutely noiseless, does not easily get out 
of order, and does the same work accomplished by 
a non-expansive engine, while it uses only two-fifths 
of the steam. The present annual production of steam 
engines is about 8350,000, and the number of men 
employed about 2 To. 

SuBSECTioK II. — Boilers, Tanks and Gasometers, 
Brewers'' and Distillers' Machinery. 

For every steam engine there must be at least one 
steam boiler; for every large engine there are usually 
from two to five. These boilers are of very varied 
forms and modes of construction. It is not necessary, 
nor have we the space to go into a particular de- 
scription of the cylinder, the cylinder flue, the return 
flue, the cylinder-tubular, the return-tubular, the 
marine, the upright, the locomotive, the fire-engine, 
the Root, and other sectional boilers. We believe 
there is no variety which is not produced by one or 
other of our skillful boiler makers. Some are better 



for one purpose and some for another; but lucb houn* 
as the South Brooklyn Steam Boiler Works, Donald 
McytiCs, Peter J. Donohue tt Sont, WiHi.nn /{. 
Taylor, Chrintopher Citnniufjhiiin, f'hrrtl I.oij 
Charles Collins, Smith lirothcrs, Thomas I. 
and Tliomae J. ReynoUh, are capable of | 
anything in the shape of a boiler which is calU-U fur. 



WiLUAM U. Taylor.— "Truth is vtranKcr lh*n flrtirin." 
The Uvea of many of our l)U.sincs.i tiK'ti. with llii-ir 
erty, their labors, tlieir struKRlos, ami their triui: 
like the inventiooB of faucy. If any man can be ' 
made, Mr. William R. Taylor has a right to the i...i..- ...... 

ing earned his own living since he was eight yean of agr, 
and, by sheer force of will, raised himiivlf from penury to 
affluence, entirely through his own excrtionH. 

His parents were residents of New York lity at i 
his birth, in 1830. When he wa« five yearn uM 
died, leaving a wife and family of young children in fajor 
circumstances. 

Mrs. Taylor was a noble woman; one who poiuo 
than ordinary intelligence and strength of mind, s 
ed the care of her little ones as a sacred tni.<«t, tea' i 

the principles of morality and religion, together »n.i 
of industry and economy. 

As soon as her son, William R , was able to t.iV 
himself, he did so, finding employment of variou 
New York until he was eighteen, when he f:\- 
to work in a machine shop. His chances for i ' 

had been small, comprising less than a year 
this disadvantage only spurred him on to m i 
ficiency in other ways, by devoting all his odd moments to 
study. He speaks humorously of his struggles alone with 
fractions and the multiplication table in his early year*. 
Though he commenced at the very bottom of the ladder in 
his trade, his ambition led him upward. He inherited too 
much of his mother's energy and strength of character to 
tamely remain in the lower ranks, and he determin««1 fn l>» 
something in the world, if strong e-xerlions would . 
industrious and keenly observant, he pa.*sed up, ti 
various grades of work in the shop, into the countmgr 
until his courage and perseverance brought him the r.-.v ir i 
of a good trade, and an invaluable experience. It wa» not 
without days and years of hard labor, sometimes of di'- -■'"•- 
agement, that this result was accomplished: but he h.. i 
resolution and the tenacity of purpose to win. The effor 
the discipline developed the Iwy into a man, with a i 
strength, a man's brain, and a man's ambition. After hulJ- 
ing for some time the position of Kxik-keeixr for » Un:" 
manufacturing firm, he resolved to start in !• 
self, and, in 1806, with a capital of *TS. he nn 
His business was small at first, of couree: but it was w. 
gun. Perfectly familiar with every detail of the man ; 
lure of boilers, tanks, &c., he entered into the work with >.: 
the energy of his nature, and the fixed deten: ' 

ceed. To such an one success is certain, 
was able to employ more men. and to in : 
his manufactures. At the present time, 
a large establishment, with, at times, 
employ, and an annual product valued 
lars, all together comprising one of tin 
that, combined, form so great a prop-r 
wealth. 

Mr. Taylor remarks that the main factor in bu-- 

cess is good credit and keeping up ones good niwne. Hif 



680 



HISTORY 01 KINGS COUNTY. 





^1\. 



7p<2>. s^^ 



77, 



habits have never been such as to cause his creditors uneasi- 
ness, while liis promptness in financial matters has been 
noteworthy. 

Mr. Taylor is rather tall and strongly built; a fine specimen 
of manhood; his keen eye and alert manner indicate his 
characteristic quickness and energy. Though social in his 
tastes, he prefers home life to general society, and his favor- 
ite place in leisure hours is his own home, in the conipauion- 
Bliip of his wife and family. Thoy are attendants upon the 
Church of the Christian Evangel, of which organization he 
ha-s been a trustee for a number of years. Charitable or re- 
ligious institutions have a cheerful supporter in Mr. Taylor. 
For about twenty-four years lie has been a member of the 
Order of Odd Fellows, a Mason also for nearly twenty years, 
and a Knight of Honor for four or five. His first votes were 
cast with the Whig party; subsequent ones with the Eepub- 
licans. Tliough mindful of his duties as a citizen, he has 
been too much absorbed in business to interest himself great- 
ly in politics or to seek office. His favorite recreation is 
fishing, in which he delights. He indulges in the sport every 
summer, usually spending his vacation on Long Island. 

Mr. Taylor had the assistance of a partner Imt a short 
time in his business, and has since managed all its depart- 
ments for himself. He has an honest pride in the excellence 
of his manufactures and their high reputation. 

Now, just in the prime of life, he enjoys the satisfaction of 
success, honestly earned, the comforts and luxuries that 
wealth gives, a refined home, the confidence of the business 



world, and the good opinion of all, with promise of still 
greater achievements and usefulness and honor in time to 
come. 



liiit it is not alone for steam engines that boilers 
,ire wanted ; the steam and the water heating apparatus 
both must have boilers, and tubular boilers at that, 
for their eflfective use. The hatters especially, in 
their new machinery for felting, shrinking and dye- 
ing hats, require boilers and vats in which water is 
raised to and above the boiling point; the petroleum 
refineries require boilers of a peculiar construction, 
as well as tanks for their oil. Then the breweries 
and distilleries need many and immense vats, which 
the boiler-makers must manufacture; and, in a some- 
what similar line, there are the iiuge gasometers 
towering up heavenward, like the walls of some great 
Babel. For the steam and water heating, Annin <b 
Co., AUsop tO Ilugill, and Bates ib Johnson, furnish 
the boilers ; for the hatters, Bernard F. Piel j for the 
petroleum refineries, ITenri/ Vogt ik Brothers, and we 
believe also (J/iristopher Cunningham ; for the brew- 
eries and distilleries, the Puritan Iron Worhs, James 
Cornelius, Bernard F. Piel, etc., etc. ; for the gasome- 



THE MANUFACTURING INDUSTRIES. 



«S1 



tera, the Abendroth & Root Mamifactwrlng Co. It 
is hardly possible to ascertain exactly the amount of 
production of this subsection. It cannot be less than 
$1,500,000, and takintj the avi'raife of the last three 
years, would probaMy considerably exceed that amount. 

Subsection III.— Steam I'uiiip.'i, Water Works, Engines 
and Mining Pumps, 

is one of the largest of tliese industries. There are 
but seven of these manufacturers, but some of them 
have works of great extent, and turn out an immense 
product every year. 

Among these steam pumps ami pumping engines 
works, by far the largest and most complete in all their 
api)ointments are the Ilenrij R. Worthington Ilydraulic 
M\rrks in South Brooklyn. 

Established nearly forty years ago, and now occupy- 
ing with its buildings a doul>lo block, 250x400 feet in 
extent, and several stories in height, with a plant more 
complete and costly than any other jnimp works in the 
United States; carrying at all times an immense stock, 
ranging from the smallest steam i)ump for hotel or 
factory use to the large steam pumping engines for 
mining or water works use, and a great variety of 
water meters, these vast works form a very important 
item in the great and manifold industries of Brooklyn. 

The success of these works has been so great that an 
inquiry into the special characteristics of their pumps 
and pumping engines is in order. Mr. Worthington's 
pumps owe much of their superiority to two causes: 
the application to steam pumping machines of a modi- 
fication of the duplex system which had been previ- 
ously adopted in steam engines, in which, by the use of 
two cylinders, tlie capacity and power of the engine 
was doubled, and the consumption of fuel or steam 
diminished nearly or quite one-half. This adaptation 
of the duplex steam cylinders to the pumping of water 
required great ingenuity and skill, and yet was accom- 
plished by Mr. Worthington in a way so simple and 
effective that there has never been any necessity for 
material change in the application of the principle, and 
but little in the details. 

As applied by him, the duplex steam pump doubles 
(in some of his pumjiing engines it quadruples), the 
capacity of the pump, while it diminishes the size of 
the pumping engines, and entirely avoids the shock 
and noise which make direct-acting single engines so 
objectionable and short-lived, and which liave led to 
the prohibition of their use by the Legislature in build- 
ings which were occupied, wholly or in part, as dwell- 
ings. This good result was greatly aided by his pecu- 
liar steam valve motion, by which two steam pumps 
and steam cylinders are combined in one, and act re- 
ciprocally upon each other in opening and closing the 
steam valves, thus producing a complete exemption from 
noise or concussive action, dividing the wear and doub- 
ling the life-time of the machine. 



.Vn'itherimproveinent of great value, intr<><|u<-c<I bv -Mr. 
Wortliinglon in hydraulic elevated punipH, tank puiupM, 
fire pumps, pressure punipM, mine pumpH, and viifniicii dc- 
signed for the water supply of mnall citicM ai' " 
is found in his compound "steam pump," wj ■> 

the steam expansively. The steam having exerted iu 
force, through one stroke, upon the Ninallor ii(c>«in 
piston, expands upon the larger during the retuni 
stroke, and operates to drive the pioton in the other 
direction. It is, in effect, the same ihinn w using .-» 
cut-off on a crank engine, only with tlie great adv.in- 
lagr iif uniform and steady action upon the wnter. It 
cannot be used with advantage where the Hteani pres- 
sure is much below fifty pounds; but, where it can \w 
used, it is economical, requiring from 30 to 33 percent. 
less coal than any high pressure engine to do the name 
work. Where the water or other fluid to be pumpol 
is gritty, at a slight advance of cost, j>lungeni are fur- 
nished, having external adjustable packing. 

Another of Mr. Worthington's applications of the 
du|)lex principle is found in his " low service" pump«, 
where the plungers or water piston.s are nearly, or 
quite, the diameter of their steam pistons. These can- 
not feed their own boilers, but are furni.shed with a 
side feed or plunger, driven by an arm on one piston 
rod for this purpose. The largest regular size of these 
will deliver from 1,145 to 2,005 gallons of water or oil 
per minute ; and for railroad water stations, oil tanks 
and other places where fluid is to be raised to a mod- 
erate height, with ordinary steam pressure, it proves 
greatly superior to any of the single cylinder pumps, 
requiring plungers of only two-thirds the size of the 
single cylinders, and consuming much less fuel, while 
they can, in an emergency, be worked at a higher rate 
of speed than is possible with the single cylinder, with- 
out great noise and destructive wear. 

The Worthington " Pressure" pump is another ap- 
plic'ation of the duplex system, where great water i 
sures are to be worked against. The diameter •• 
water plungers is only about one-third that of its steam 
cylinders, and it delivers a smaller amount of fluid per 
minute than the preceding pump, but raises it to any 
required height. A modification of this, the "Compound 
Condensing Pressure Pump," delivers large quantities 
of fluid per minute while working iinder very heavy 
pressure. Both pumps are in great demand for mine 
pumping, and, in the oil pipe lines, for delivering at 
very considerable heights, and under heavy pressures, 
large quantities of oil. 

A number of these compound engines of from 250 to 
500 horse-power, are in constant use on the Oil Pipe 
lines, some of them being required to deliver from 
15,000 to 25,000 barrels of oil per day again.^t pressures 
varying from 1,000 to 1,500 pounds to the square inch. 
Those employed in mines are soin- • 
do their work under water, andofti ! 
high temperature, but they never fail. Their quiet- 



683 



HISTORY OF KINGS COUNTY. 



ness of action and freedom from concussion specially 
commend tbem to the Oil Pipe Companies, who have 
found the concussion of the single cylinder pumps very 
destructive to their lines, causing constant leakage. 

The same principle is also developed with applica- 
tions, varying according to the service they are to ren- 
der, in the Worthington Fire Pump, the iSrewery 
Pump, the Power Pump and the Steam Puiiiii and 
Boiler for general service. 

But there are three other of their pumping engines 
which demand a somewhat more particular notice. 
These are, Ist, the Worthington "Mine" Pump, pat- 
ented in 1883, which embodies the results of nearly 
forty years' experience, and the best methods and prin- 
ciples of construction of all parts to accomplish the 
desired purpose, together with some important im- 
provements recently i)atented. The plungers of this 
machine work through central, e.xterior stuffing boxes, 
into four separate and distinct water cylinders. These 
cylinders are all precisely alike, subdivided as much as 
possible, and having each part or attachment of the one an 
exact duplicate of the corresponding part or attachment 
of the other three. This duplication and subdivision 
greatly facilitates renewals or repairs, and renders it pos- 
sible for only partially skilled engineers and firemen, to 
replace a broken part by sending to the hydraulic works, 
and meantime to maintain a half or three-quarter 
service of the pumpmg engine. The valve areas and 
water passages are unusually large, so as to decrease 
the velocity and consequent destructive action of the 
currents of the sulphurous water, often encountered in 
this service. 

The plungers, piston rods, stuffing boxes, and the en- 
tire suction and force valve plates, are made of a metal 
composition, that has been found best adapted to 
resist this action ; wherever natural wear after a time 
takes place, the part so worn can be readily and 
quickly replaced, without disturbing any adjacent part. 
The pumps will safely withstand a working pressure of 
200 pounds to the square inch, and all their attach- 
ments are especially strengthened with a view of meet- 
ing the rough usage and hard work, to which, in this 
service, they are liable to be subjected. 

A second pump is the only single cylimler pump 
regularly manufactured by the Worthington hydraulic 
works. It was one of Mr. Worthington's earliest 
pumps, and is known as the " Worthington Steam 
Pump for Wrecking, Drainage, and Irrigating." It 
has proved itself admirably adapted for the work for 
which it was designed. On account of its short stroke 
and large diameter, it is extremely efficient, running on 
comparatively low pressure of steam, and with a very 
small jiercentage of loss from friction or leakage. It 
is also, in the highest degree, simple and durable, with 
few parts, and scarcely any liability to derangement or 
breakage. It makes more noise in consequence of con- 
cussion, than the duplex pumps, but for a single cylin- 



der pump, is not specially objectionable on this ground, 
and is used mostly when the noise is not an annoyance. 
The largest regular 8ize,19^x:33xl5, will discharge 
3,200 to 3, COO gallons per minute. 

3. But we hasten to consider Mi-. Worthington's 
chef d'ceuvre, his great Water Works Pumping En- 
gine. Of these, up to September, 1883, he had built 
more than 200, of a total contract pumping capacity 
of nearly 800,000,000 gallons in 24 hours. The smallest 
of these had a pumping capacity of 333,000 in 24 
hours, and from this capacity they rose to single en- 
gines of 11,000,000 in 1871, of 10,000,000 in 1873, of 
15,000,000 in 1874, and of 15,000,000 in 1876, 1879, 
and 1880. In 1880, also, their largest engines, of 
25,000,000 of gallons capacity in 24 hours each, were 
made for the city of Boston. In 1883, they have 
made two of 10,000,000 gallons each, and three for 
Philadelphia, of a combined capacity of 37,500,000 
gallons. Over twenty engines, of 10,000,000 of gal- 
lons capacity, or more, have been manufactured, .and 
the remainder have averaged about 4,000,000 of gal- 
lons in each 24 hours. When it is considered that 
some of these engines cost from $100,000 to $150,000 
each, the magnitude of the operations of this great 
manufactory will be manifest. 

These engines carry out, on a large scale, all the im- 
provements which years of experience had suggested 
in the smaller pumps, and have many special improve- 
ments which render them equal, if not superior to, any 
pumping engine yet built. The ablest civil engineers 
in the country would hardly continue to recommend 
their introduction, if there was any radical defect in them. 

Of all classes of the smaller duplex pumps which we 
have described, and there are from fifteen to thirty 
sizes of each, the Worthington Hydraulic Works have 
turned out many thousands, and they have given such 
general satisfaction, that they are compelled to keep 
up a full line of them to supply the constantly increas- 
ing demand. 

They are also manufacturers of the Worthington 
Water Meter, which twenty-five years of experience 
h.as proved the most accurate and best adapted to its 
])iirpose of any in the market ; while the sale of more 
than 30,000, at an average price of about $35, sufficiently 
<Iemonstrates its superiority. They also manufacture 
oil meters. 

The statistics of this great establishment are as fol- 
lows : 

Founded in 1845. Occupying at first a small shed. 

Present area covered by Hydraulic Works : two 
blocks; over 100,000 square feet. 

Amount of capital invested, in round numbers, 
$1,000,000. 

Number of hands employed: greatest number at one 
time, 700. 

Amount of wages paid annually, in round numbers, 
average of 1880, 1881, and 1882, $450,000. 



THE MANUFACTURTKC, TKDVFiTnTF^ 



ro?! 



Annual product, in round numbers, say for either 
year endiuff July, 1R80, 1881, 1882, 1883, $1,500,000. 

Order is tlii' first law in the Worthington Hydraulic 
Works. In the tool room, each of the myriad tools 
has its appropriate place ; and if absent, a check with 
the workman's number, tells who is responsible for it. 
In the draughting room, every drawing, of any eleva- 
tion, plan, or separate portion of a machine or engine, 
is duplicated by a simple photographic process which 
a boy can manage. A ]\Iutu:il Honefit Association, ob- 
taining its funds by a deduction of ten cents a week 
from ev«ry man's wages, and the payment by the firm 
of a sum equal to the whole amount collected from the 
men, provides for the sick, the injured, or the families 
of those deceased, and being managed by the men 
themselves, prevents all strikes. 

The Ddvklson Strain Pump Compani/, the only 
other house in Kings county, which manufactures steam 
pumping engines, is a comparatively young comiiany, 
having been in existence, in its present form, only three 
or four years. They manufacture also many kinds of 
steam pumps, such as boiler feed pumps, tank pumps, 
marine pumps, wrecking pumps, fire pumps, brewery 
pumps, mining pumps, sugar-house pumps, railroad 
jiumps, vacuum pumps, air pumps, circulating pumps, 
tannery pumps, and hydraulic pumps. Of most of 
these there are from 13 to 38 regular sizes, though not 
many of them are kept constantly in stock. Most of 
these are direct-acting single cylinder pumps, at the 
steam end, but differ from other direct-acting steam 
pumps, in having only one valve — a compound slide- 
valve with cylindrical face — in the steam chest. This 
valve is said to be very simple in construction, not lia- 
ble to get out of order, become deranged, or wear out 
before the rest of the pump. It is oscillated by an ob- 
lique cam, and does not depend entirely upon the steam 
admitted to the end of the valve-piston for its action, 
the cam carrying the valve mechanically when the 
pump is under a high rate of speed. It is claimed 
that this valve arrangement admits of its being run at 
higher speed than any other direct-acting pump, and 
renders it perfectly noiseless. The water end of these 
steam pumps is also claimed to be a new and simpler 
design than that of any other steam pump yet con- 
structed, and not to be liable to blow out or leak, and 
to be readily taken apart and put together again. The 
mining pumps are made with a double plunger, hori- 
zontal, and the two plungers reciprocating in the same 
cylinder. The company claim for these a superiority 
over all other mining pumps. 

The water works pumping engines are made on sub- 
stantially the same patterns, though some of them have 
duplex cylinders, both steam and water — but not with 
reciprocating valves. As yet, their largest pumping 
engine, in actual use, has a capacity of but three mil- 
lion gallons a day, and the greater jiart of them range 
from two to two and a half million gallons; but, with 



enlarged facilities, they can probably tncrciMo the ca- 
pacity to any ihsircrl extent, if the it: 
]irove, after thorough trial, to posHCHS ti; 
now claimed for them. 

T/ie Nini/nra Steitm Piinif Worlii, which ; 
ture the steam pum]>H under the patentM r,f ( 
and John Harrlick, are, with a single exreption (Worth- 
ington's), the oldest steam jininp manufacturerain K-- • 
county, and among the oldest in the I'mted St . 
They acquired a high rejiutation, many yearn ago, for 
their Niagara Direct-Acting Pump, the firitt miccfiuful 
direct-acting steam pump in the I'tiited Slal4'f<, and 
have since increased it by their patent double actint; 
steam pump, steam fire engines, crank pump and entwine, 
direct-acting agitator and steam pump, their improved 
Niagara vacuum |)ump, and their direct and donlile act- 
ing plunger |pum[). All their pumps and pumping en- 
gines are distinguished for the simplicity of their con- 
struction, which permits their being run by a man of 
fair intelligence, though he may not have been oil ucatod 
as an engineer; by the perfection of all their parts; the 
efficiency and steadiness of their action; their ability to 
be run underwater; their economy of fuel, and their 
moderate price. They have manufactured engines cap- 
able of pumping more than 2,000,000 gallons of water 
in 24 hours; but they have generally preferred to make 
steam pumps for clearing wrecks of water, for railroad 
tanks, breweries, distilleries, tanneries, purposes of irri- 
gation, for pumping oil through pipes to long distances 
in the oil regions, for fire and wrecking ste.imers, and 
for ])lantation duty on sugar and cotton plantations. 
The firm commenced business in 1862, at 23 Adamn 
street, as Ilardick Bros. John Ilardiek died in I-'-. 
and Charles B. Hardick was sole ]iropriefor till l-^i, 
when he also died; and the business has since been con- 
ducted, with great energy and success, as the estate of 
Charles B. Hardick, W. S. Ilardick, another brother, 
being manager. In 1 880, desiring a larger amount of 
room for their works, they purchased and removed to 
their present locality, 118-122 Plymouth street. The 
Niagara steam pumps have been exhibited, and thor- 
oughly tested, at many Expositions in all parts of the 
world, and have never failed to receive the highest 
medals and other awards. They have now 22 nieda^ 
and twice that number of diploma.s. tine medal and 
four diplomas of superiority were awarded at the Cen- 
tennial, and a medal at the Sydney, New South Wales. 
E.vposition of 1880. (See cut on page C8t). 

There are four or five other manufacturers of steam 
pumjis, but none of them, we believe, confine tli-m- 
selves to this manufacture exclusively. Xonnan Jf"' 
hard makes some pumps, but his works are to a con- 
sider.able extent devoted to repairing pumps and steam 
engines. 

Messrs. Guild d- Garrison make a specialty of brew- 
ers and beer pumps, aa also pumps for the nse of the 
sugar refineries. 



684 



HISTORY OF KINGS COUNTY. 



William Foster 
makes a variety of steam 
pumps, as well as some 
machinery for hatters, 
but his specialty is the 
Excelsior Patent Rotary 
Pump, for which he has 
createtl a considerable 
market. 

James Clayton also 
makes steam pumps of a 
verj- good pattern, but 
his specialty is " Air 
Compressors ;"machines 
for compressing air for 
use as a motor in driving 
rock drills and water 
pumps in mines and 
tunnels. 

Mr. Clayton also man- 
ufactures coal cutting 
machines, hauling and 
hoisting engines, mine 
and other portable loco- 
motives, etc., etc. His 
" Compressors " have a 
very high reputation 
in all parts of the 
country. 

This subsection (steam 
pumps, etc.) represents 
in round numbers the 
employment of not less 
than 1,200 hands, the 
payment of annual 
wages to the amount 




seldom holds less than from two hundred to four hun- 
dred barrels of sugar, is so constructed that the steam 
which heats the covered pan works an air pump, which 
exhausts the air to such an extent that the liquor (the 
purified sugar solution) boils at about 100° F. The 
centrifugal machines (Havemeyer & Elder have some 
sixty-four feet in diameter) by rapid revolution of a 
brass perforated cylinder inside its periphery, throw 
out the molasses and syrup, and leave the sugar clean, 
white, and very nearly dry. The filters are immense 
flattened iron tubular vessels, so constructed as to filter 



THE NIAGARA DIRECT-ACTING PUMP. (See page 683). 



of about $850,000, and an annn.al product of about 
$2,750,000. 

SiTBSECTioN IV. — Large Gasthujs and Finishing, both 
in Brass and Iron — as Yacuum Pans, Centrifugal 
and other Sugar House Machines, Refrigerating 
Machines, Architectural Castings, etc. 

This subsection is very large, and embraces a con- 
siderable number of our most extensive foundries and 
machine shops. The manufacture of vacuum pans, 
centrifugal machines, and other machines for making 
and refining sugar, is itself a very large business. 
A single sugar refinery in Brooklyn has invested 
more than %C00,000 in vacuum pans alone, and 
the investment in centrifugal machines, filters, moulds, 
etc., etc., is probably twice that amount. The de- 
mand for much of this sugar-making and refining 
machinery from Louisiana and South America and 
the West Indies is constant, though the vacuum pans, 
etc., are not of such immense sizes as those used in the 
great refineries here. The vacuum pan, which here 



the dissolved raw sugars through bone-black to purify 
them. 

The Pioneer Iron Works in South Brooklyn has the 
highest reputation and does the largest busmess in 
sugar machinery. They employ in times of active 
business from 800 to 1,200 men, and turn out more than 
$2,000,000 worth of castings. 

The South Brooklyn Steam Engine Works also do a 
considerable business in this line; and, we believe, one 
of the Williamsburgh foundries. 

In the construction of Hydraulic Presses of all sorts, 
and especially for the expression of the oil from cotton 
seed and linseed, as well as in the building of refrige- 
rating machines, the Columbian Iron Works, Messrs. 
William Taylor & Sons, of whose establishment we 
give an illustration, are easily foremost, and in the 
latter industry are, we believe, the only manufacturers 
in the county. Their extensive works, extending on 
both sides of Adams street, from No. 25 to No. 39, and 
occupying thirteen full city lots, were started in 1844 
by the present senior member of the firm in Gold 



jzr~^^s^. 




>^V,\NO^^- 




C7-- 



^C^^^f.^^t^-^l-Z^ \_^ ^t, 4f^^C^ 



THE MANUFACTURING INDUSTRIES. 



to, 



street, near York, in a very small shop. In 1845 Mr. 
Taylor purchased a single lot on his present site, and 
crcctt'd a small foundry, to which, in the years that 
followed, one lot after aiiother, and one huilding aftiT 
another, was added, until the great foundry assumed 
its present proportions. There are in all seven or eiglit 
large buildings, the principal ones being three or four 
Stories in height, and having the following dimension.^, 
respectively: 75x52 feet, 25x52, 50x26, and 25x44. 
The foundry an<l erecting shop are in the rear, and the 
cleaning and storage shops on the other side of Adams 
street. Mr. Taylor commenced business as a founder, 
by easting stoop railings, fences, columns, and orna- 
mental work for house use, but very soon began the 
production of fine machinery fitted and adjusted with 
great care. Cii'eumstances related in his biographj'. 



breweries, are very expensive; om, 

largest, erected id a. Hrooklyn brewery, co«t $i:i 
but it saved tlie l)rewer $20,000 on (he cunt of ice, auA 
an amount of space suflicient to ni-.irly iloubic ihc 
capacity of his brewery. These machine*, so far m 
Brooklyn i.s concerned, are all made " "' V, 

T.aylor and Sons. The firm wa.sW) 
from 1844 to 1856; Taylor, Campbell &. Co., from 18«6 
to 1801, the Co. being his eldest iM»n, ifr. Jann - A 
Taylor; Mr. Camj)bell went out in IftOl, and Mr. I >. 
lor's second and third sons, Edwin S. and William J. 
Taylor, were sub.sefpiently admitted as partnern. AIkiuI 
250 men are employed in the different shops, and ihi- 
out-put averages about ♦1,200,000. We introdu<-e \\eTv 
j)ortraits and biographical sketches of MesMrs. William 
i Taylor and James A. Taylor. 




COLUMBIAN lUOX WORKS. 



which we append to this article, led him to go largely ' 
into the construction of cotton-seed oil hydraulic presses, 
and he now supplies these to the numerous oil mills of 
the South, as well as to the linseed oil mills in the North 
and West. The strength, precision in working, and admi- 
rable finish of these presses, leave nothing to be desired. 
Within a few years past a demand has si)rung up 
among brewers, distillers, meat-packers and hotel pro- 
prietors for refrifjerdtbuj machbics, which, by what is 
known as the " American process," produce and main- 
tain a very low degree of cold, and on a large scale, at 
less than one-fonrtli of the average cost of ice, while 
their compact form enables them to save the great 
space heretofore occupied by the ice, and the labor con- 
nected with the handling of that commodity. These 
refrigerating machines, when constructed for the large 



William Taylor.— The oldest existing iron ro.i- s 

firm in Brooklyn is the house of WiMi.im T.iy lor a - 'f 

the foot of Adams street; they are also the largest makers at 
hydraulic and refrigerating machinery in the city. The 
present magnitude of their business interests is due to the 
ability and efforts of the senior member. Mr. William Tky- 

lor. . , 

It is interesting to trace the career of n i- "■ 

ning with no capital save a stout heart '' 

knowledge of his trade, by dint of his own '•• 

up a small business into a great indn.'^try tli 

mentanda livelihood to hundreds, and n » 

the country's material wealth. Such a mar 

efactor. his life a lesson, and his example ar 
Mr. Taylor is a n.ative of England, bora ; ' 

in 1812. In that manufacturing di-itrict the boT 

urally inclined to the mechanic.il trades, ra'' " 

cultural or commercial pursuits. Acconi 

prenticed at an early age to an iron founder. 



686 



HISTORY OF KINGS COUNTY. 



About six months lat«r, when he was only fourteen, his 
parents removed to America, leaving him behind in the 
hands of a master wlio was harsh at times. For two years 
the lad worked steadily on, under hard treatment, longing 
for his kindred across tlie sea ; then made a bold push for 
freedom and traversed the Atlantic. After a short visit with 
his parents at their home in New Jersey, he went to finish 
his trade as iron moulder, finding employment in Brooklyn, 
New York and Connecticut. His proficiency as an appren- 
tice brought liim into favorable notice, and soon after he be- 
came master of his time he was appointed foreman in Birk- 
beck's foundry in Brooklyn. It is worthy of mention that 
he worked in New York upon the car wlieels for the first 
locomotive engine that was brouglit from England to Amer- 
ica, and used in hauling coal from the mines in Pennsylva- 
nia. Mr. Taylor ne.\t liad charge of a foundry in Connecti- 
cut for a time. But he possessed innate qualities that fitted 
him to be master as well as man, wliile ambition spurred 
him on to establish himself in business independently. 

Accordingly, in March, 1844, he started in a small way, 
locating his foundry in the rear of a dwelling house on Gold 
street. His venture proved successful; his work, carefully 
and thorouglily done, was its own recommendation, and 
brought numerous ordere. In the year following, he bought 
one lot on Adams street, where he now occupies thirteen, and 
built there a small foundry, which has since grown into a 
large, complete establisliment, with moulding and machine 
shops attaclied. His earliest work consisted largely of liouse- 
castings, pillars, railings and similar work; but, in its enor- 
mous growth, has changed character, and he now makes ma- 
chinery of all kinds, especially hydraulic presses for the 
manufacture of cotton-seed oil, in which the firm has a large 
and lucrative trade at the South. Some of their heaviest 
work was done on the Sectional Dock in 1866, and on large 
castings for the Navy Yard. 

Increase of business brought added cares, so that Mr. Tay- 
lor in after years availed himself of the help of three sons, 
James A., Edwin _S. and William J., admitting them into 
partnership witli himself, under the firm name, as it now 
stands, of William Taylor & Sons. He also established the 
Magnolia Oil Works at Vicksburg, Miss., for the manufac- 
ture of cotton-seed oil, with his two sons, Hubert G. and 
Frank W. , but the whole establishment, with machinery and 
stock, was burned in 1873, entailing a loss of over one hun- 
dred thousand dollars. This misfortune was the means, 
however, of building up a large Southern trade in oil presses 
and macliincry, so that their losses have been more than 
made good. 

Mr. Taylor has always been devoted to his, business, giving 
it his whole energies and labor ; how much of both is seen 
by comparing the firm's immense establishment with the 
small foundry from which it sprung, and the local trade of 
years ago.with the widely extended business of to-day. His 
integrity has been unquestioned through a long and active 
business life, and his commercial honor is untarnished. He 
has met every dollar of his obligations, principal and inter- 
est, under all circumstances; which redounds the more to his 
credit, and produces well-merited confidence, because assign- 
ments and compromises are so common among business men 
of the present day. One so strictly faithful to every engage- 
ment cannot fail to win, as Mr. Taylor has won, the perfect 
confidence and utmost esteem of his fellow men. He is to- 
day one of our most infiuential and public-spirited citizens, 
active in all public improvements. His sagacity and experi- 
ence are sought in imjwrtant positions of trust. He has been 
for some years a director of the Liifayeltc Insurance Com- 
pany; in June, 1879, he was appointed a trustee of the Brook- 



lyn Bridge, and served on the Finance Committee during his 
term of office. He has never desired or taken, when solicited, 
an active part in politics, although upholding the principles 
of the party of his choice, which was formerly the Whig, 
latterly the Republican. His church preferences are for tlie 
Church of England; he is a communicant and vestryman of 
Christ Church. Mr. Taylor has always been a close observer 
of men, and a careful reader of the current affairs of the day. 
This advantage, coupled with excellent business capacity, 
has made him very successful in his undertakings. The 
fortune that his enterprise has won is wisely used for the 
comfort of his family and the happiness of others. 

Mr. Taylor has been blessed iu his family; of twelve chil- 
dren born to him, eleven reached maturity, though three 
have since died. In an elegant home he enjoys, with his 
family, the reward of his persevering industry. In his 
social relations he is genial, kind and agreeable, with a large 
circle of friends sincerely attached to him, on account of his 
worth as a man and a citizen. He was privileged in April, 
1883, to celebrate his golden wedding amid the rejoicings of 
children and many friends. Mrs. Taylor is one of the Stod- 
dart family, who are old residents, and well known in 
Brooklyn. 

Many men of fewer years than Mr. Taylor, and smaller 
fortune, have retired from active business; but his energetic 
disposition keeps him still in his counting-room, where he 
bids fair to remain for many years to come. 



James A. Taylor. — This well-known gentleman— a mem- 
ber of the firm of William Taylor & Sons, proprietors of the 
Columbian Iron Works, located on Adams street — is a son of 
Mr. William Taylor, and the eldest of twelve children. He 
was born in Hicks street, Brooklyn, March 9, 1834, and edu- 
cated at the Columbia Institute, long and favorably known 
in this city. 

At the boyish age of sixteen, Mr. Taylor began to assist 
his father iu the office of the works, and so grew into the 
confidence of his father, that in July, 185G, he was admitted 
as junior partner into the then newly-formed firm of Taylor, 
Campbell & Co. 

In July, 1861, Mr. Campbell withdrew from the enterprise, 
and the firm of William Taylor & Sons was formed by the 
admission of Mr. Edwin S. Taylor ; and later, Mr. William 
J. Taylor became a partner with his father and lirother, the 
firm at this date consisting of Mr. William Taylor, and 
Messrs. James A., Edwin S., and William J. Taylor. 

Mr. Taylor was married, December 8, 1857, to Isabel, 
second daughter of the late Hon. John A. Cross, of Brook- 
lyn, a lady of liigh musical and artistic attainments, and a 
devout Christian, well-known for her unostentatious chari- 
ties. Their married life has been one of the pleasantest, 
marred only by the death of a young daughter and an only 
son, a bright and promising boy of fourteen years, in whom, 
and for whom, they hoped much that Providence had de- 
creed was never to be realized. Two daughters remain to 
them, by their presence adding to the comfort and happiness 
of their home. Mr. and Mrs. Taylor celebrated their 
" Silver Wedding," December 8, 1883. It was very largely 
attended by the vlite of Brooklyn and New York, and every- 
thing conspired to render the occasion an unusually brilliant 
one. and long to be remembered by the many who were 
jjarticipants in it. Among the elegant floral decorations, 
which were so profuse and so costly as to excite more than a 
common amount of praise, a new and glistening wedding- 
cake stood side by side with the original wedding-cake which 
had been made, and one-half of it eaten, a quarter of a cen- 
tury before, and which was an object of much pleasant 



THE MANUFACTURING INDUSTJilES. 



687 




interest to every one present. All except the first two years 
of their married life Mr. and Mrs. Taylor have passed in 
their present residence, No. 106 Wilson street, which Mr. 
Taylor erected in 1859. 

Mr. Taylor's interest in matters of national and municipal 
concern is such as every true and intelligent citizen must 
take in the public weal; but though he is an earnest Repub- 
lican, politically, he is not, in the usual acceptation of the 
term, a politician, and has never been a seeker of any office 
at the hands of his fellow citizens. A few years ago he was 
chosen a member of the Ward Association of the 19th Ward, 
and, while so serving, was made chairman of the finance 
committee of that body. Socially, his position is an enviable 
one, and he is very popular with the many who have the 
pleasure of bis acijuaintance. He was one of tha select few 
who constituted the "Windsor" Club of Hrooklyn, at its 
organization, and is, at the [iresent time, its President. 

In his religious attiliations, Mr. Taylor is an Episcopalian. 
At one time lie was prominent in the vestry of St. Paul's 
Chui'ch in the Eastern District ; and for all its various inter- 
ests his solicitude is deep and abiding. 

If Mr. Taylor possesses a distinguishing characteristic, it is 
I)robit}\ In business, and in all the relations of life his con- 
duct is dictated by a profound regard for his own word and 
the rights of his fellow men, and he is honored and respected 
alike by those with whom he mingles, socially and com- 
mercially. 



Hydraulic Presses are made also by tlic Worth- 



ington Hydraulic Works, by Jamco Cornelius, of the 
Puritan Iron Works, and by Samuel Jaques. 

Architectural castimjs occupy many of the larger 
foundries. The first successful builder of iron build- 
ings was and is a Brooklyn man — Mr. H. D. Badger ; 
and although well stricken in years, he yet ha« hit 
office with Messrs. Howell & Saxtan. Among his ear- 
liest large contracts was the rebuilding, in 1M3, of 
Messrs. Harpers' grand establishment on Franklin 
square and Cliff street. New York. 

The term architectural castinijn includes not only 
iron columns, pillars and pilasters, girders, sills and 
lintels, but fire-escapes, sky-lights, posts and oa*t-iron 
fences, etc., etc. The leading firms in this business arc 
Cheney & Heidett, the North Brooklyn iron foundry 
of Messrs. J. S. and F. Sinij>son ; the Layk Iron 
Works of Jacob May; Frances S. Ha**; Hmf<U A 
Saxtan (the senior of this firm was our late Mayor); 
Daniel Sullivan, of 230 iil:iXt ..... .^^ 

at 78 Smith street; A'/iiV/A/ 7>' . •* 

or three more ; Brown d Patterson, comer of Hope 
and 8th streets, E. D., are the ' ' '— -^ 

Ritchie, who established the b 
They manufacture piano plates, grates, fender*, comer 
pieces and orn.imcntal c.-wtings. They employ a capital 



6RS 



HISTORY OF KINGS COUNTY 



ui «7o,uOO, and an annual proJuct of $120,000. The 
number of hands employed in a busy and prosperous 
seaBon in this branch of the business ranges from 
1,000 to 1,200, and the annual out-put varies from 
$1,200,000. 

We aj)pend biographical sketch and portrait of Mr. 
D. Y. Saxtan, as belonging to this branch of the foundry 
and machine shop industry. (See portrait on page 687). 

Daniel Y. Saxtan is a son of Richard and Rosannah 
(Young) Sa.xtan, and was born December 13th, 1834, at Farm- 
ingdale. Lonp Island. In 1825 his parents, with their family, 
removed to Brooklyn, wliere he was educated in the public 
schools, as boys of his time were educated; and at the age of 
fourteen he was apprenticed to learu the trade of blacksmith 
with Rev. Timothy C. Young, who had a shop at the foot of 
Pearl street. After acciuiring the trade, lie was, for several 
years, a journeyman blacksmith. About 1851 he formed a 
partnership with Jacob Outwater for the manufacture of 
iron railings,, and their works were located in Adams street. 
near Jlyrtle avenue. 

In ISfiG the firm of Howell & Sa.xtan was formed, the part- 
ners being ex-Mayor James Howell and Daniel Y. Saxtan, 
and these gentlemen established the Central Iron Works, at 
the corner of Hudson and Park avenues, with offices in 
Adams street This firm is celebrated for the manufacture 
of all kinds of architectural iron work, making specialties of 
fronts, roofs, bridges, domes, capitals, arches, railings, stoops, 
door and window guards, lamp and awning i>osts, sky and 
area lights, rolling and folding shutters, and many other 
kinds of iron work similar in character. The reputation of 
this concern for fine and reliable work is well established, 
and the proprietors have a reputation second to that of no 
other (irm in the city. As wire-workers, they may be con- 
sidered a.s among those in the foremost rank, and as evidence 
of their facilities and ability to cope with any undertaking 
they assume, we may mention a few of the most prominent 
of the many structures for which tliey have erected or fur- 
nished the iron jiarts: Tlie retort houses of Havemeyer & Co., 
in Williamsburgh; the Hanover buildings and the Wheeler 
buildings (now owned by Wechsler & Abrahams), in Fulton 
avenue; the new Municipal Building of the city of Brooklyn, 
the Armories of the 13th, 14th and 23d Regiments, and of that 
of the 47th Regiment, now in course of construction; and ex. 
Mayor Schroeder's building, and the Young Men's Christian 
Association building, in Fulton avenue. 

Mr. Saxtan is a republican, Ijut not active as a politician. 
In religious faith he is a Mt-thodist, and he is a member of 
the Simpson Methodist-Ei)isco])al Church. He was married 
September l.^ith, WVi, to Phebo JI., daughter of Henry and 
Mai'tha Watts, of .Springfield, Long Island. Ho is most highly 
esteemed both in and out of business circles, and deservedly 
80, in view of his excellent standing in the community; and 
it is due, in no small degree, to his enterprise and thorough 
knowledge of thereijuirements of tlie trade and the processes 
of manufacture, that his firm takes its well-known high rank 
in the city. As a large employer of skilled and unsliilled 
lalxir, Mr. Saxtan lias long been regarded as, in all import- 
ant ways, the friend of the workingman. As a self-made 
man he stands b<-fore the youth of Brooklyn in the light of 
an example of those who rise to prominence through their 
own exertions; and it is doing him but the barest justice to 
state that his success has been honestly earned. 



Let us now sum up as far as possible the number 
of h.ands employed, and tlie total out-put of this sec- 



tion. "We cannot estimate either very closely, because 
we have been unable to obtain the exact statistics of 
all the smaller houses, but we prefer that our estimate 
should be below rather than above the truth. There 
are certainly not less than 4,500 men employed in these 
foundries, and the out-put is not less in average years 
than $4,700,000. 



Subsection V. — Pre.tsen and Dies, mcluditn/ Draioing 
and Stumping, Baling, Printing and other Presses. 

On the opposite page we present a view of the 
present residence of Mr. E. W. Bliss at Bay Ridge, 
overlooking the Bay of New York. This elegant 
country seat was formerly occupied by the late Hon. 
Henry C. Murphy, and was by him named " Owl's 
Head," from the old Indian name of that locality. 

Mr. Buss has built up in a few years an im- 
mense business in machinery for drawing and stamping 
cold, plates of tin, sheet iron, brass or copper, in all the 
required forms for household or manufacturing use. It 
is well known to most housekeepers that the tin pans, 
kettles and pails, which were formerly cut by hand, 
and laboriously pieced and joined, are now stamped or 
drawn into shape from a single sheet of metal, at a 
much lower price; but it is not so generally known, ex- 
cept to the parties concerned, that our millions of tin cans 
for oils, fruit, vegetables, meat, oysters, fish, and every- 
thing else which can be sealed up, are made by machines 
which will turn out many thousands each in a day. 

Mr. Bliss's establishment is the largest of its class 
in the world; the main building, 200x50 feet, four 
stories in height, occupies an area of 27,000 square 
feet. The buildings and plant are all owned by 
Mr. Bliss, who has also invested in the business 
a working capital of $350,000, employs from 300 
to 350 men, nearly all skilled workmen, pays an 
aggregate of $240,000 for wages, and produces an- 
nually more than $500,000 in value of machinery, the 
greater part of it from patterns invented in his own 
works. His specialties are the production of presses 
and dies for working sheet metal cold, as well as paper, 
wood veneers, etc., etc., and the furnishing of tools 
and automatic machinery for the manufacture of 
household wares, brass goods, lanterns, lamps, trade 
packages, such as fruit, meat, vegetables, fish, provis- 
ions, game and otlier cans; lard, butter, syrup, and 
other cans and pails, and beyond all the rest, the cans 
for petroleum oils, which are in such great demand. 
One item will demonstrate the extent of this branch 
of his business; he supplied the Devoe Manufacturing 
Co. with machines capable of turning out 60,000 five- 
gallon cans in a day. 

The number and variety of these presses and dies is 
very great. His catalogues give illustrations of more 
than 200, and he is con.slantly producing more, either 
from his own designs or those of other manufacturers, 
which he makes to order. Some of these presses 



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ffl 





I 



IB ;'«:ci ,«M3 ^IJB 









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WPf, 



-^ 



600 



HISTORY OF KINGS COUNTY. 



weigh 25 tons or more, and are the perfection of me- 
chanism for their purpose. 

An industry which has so thoroughly revolutionized 
the vast trade in tin-wares, and in other goods pro- 
duced from sheet metal and kindred substances, de- 
serves to have a record of its history made. Under 
the heading of tin-ware manufactures, we have de- 
scribed, in part, the eflfect of the new processes of 
drawing and stamping the sheets of tin iiito a great 
variety of forms upon other productive industries. 
In speaking of Mr. Bliss's establishment, our inquiries 
must be confined to the history and progress of the 
construction of machinery for accomplishing these 
purposes. 

The whole foundation of the discovery of the mode 
of manufacturing deep stamped or pressed ware, had 
for its basis the ductility of cold wrought iron, under 
slow and continuous j)ressure. This quality of the 
wrought or sheet iron, whether coated with tin or not, 
had not been fully discovered till about 1843. It was 
known, indeed, that, by the use of the drop press, it 
was possible to make shallow dishes of tin or sheet 
iron by repeated stampings, but the corners of the arti- 
cles so made wore very prone to crack, and the articles 
had a rough appearance. The first inventor of machin- 
ery to accomplish this, who was successful in manufac- 
turing it on a large scale, was a Frenchman named Mix, 
of Metz, then in France, but now in Germany. He ac- 
complished his purpose by slow pressure with a power 
press, but he annealed his sheet iron before stamping 
it, and did not coat his plates with tin till he had 
stamped and otherwise prepared them. This afterward 
proved to be unnecessary. His process was a strict 
monopoly and secret, and, while chargmg enormous 
prices for his wares, he reaped a great fortune from 
their manufacture. The secret, however, finally trans- 
pired; and, in 1856, the firm of Lalance & Grosjeau 
started a factory for deep stamped tin-ware, near Paris. 
They had large capital and were enterprising, and, in 
1862, established a branch house in New York, which 
they removed the next year to Woodhaven, Long Isl- 
and. Their processes were substantially the same as 
those of Mix. They met at first with very strong op- 
position from the trade, but finally overcame it, and 
for three or four years had the monopoly of the pro- 
duction in this country. Then a rival house sprang 
up, but was finally bought up by Lalance & Grosjean. 
This house had, however, made several machines which 
they sold to others before they were bought out. The 
processes had been improved, and sheet tin was now 
used, and with satisfactory results. But monopolies 
do not flourish well on our soil, and, before 1870, there 
were eight machines sold to as many diiVerent firms for 
the manufacture of the deep stamped tin- ware. New 
inventions had been patented, which r("nd(>red the pro- 
cesses cheaper and more satisfactory. The time had come 
for the development of the business of producing these 



machines and selling them to the tin-ware manufactur- 
ers. One improvement made about this time gave a 
new impetus to this enterprise. This was an adjust- 
ment, by screws and guides, of the " blank-holder." The 
sheet of tin had hitherto been laid across the mould, 
and the die or stamp had descended upon it with com- 
paratively slow, but irresistible, force, and the plain 
sheet became, under this force, a deep dish or pan. A 
rough disk of metal, even then known, perhaps, as 
a blank-holder, had been laid over the plate by Mix 
and his successors, but the pressure was uneven and 
not carefully adjusted ; and, as a consequence, the 
edges of the pan or dish were wrinkled or corrugated a 
little, and the pan was not so smooth and seemly as those 
made by the old process, and was composed of several 
pieces riveted and soldered together. The new adjust- 
able blank-holder was an annular disk or ring of metal 
which was held in place by screws and bolts, which 
could be so perfectly adjusted as to make the pressure 
perfectly uniform over the whole plate and prevent the 
slightest wrinkling or corrugation. 

The spinning lathe, another early invention, was so 
modified and improved that it facilitated the rapid and 
perfect finishing of these goods. In 1867, Mr. Bliss, 
who had served as apprentice, journeyman, contractor, 
foreman and superintendent in machine shops for six- 
teen or seventeen years, formed a partnership with 
John Mays, of Brooklyn, to manufacture presses and 
dies, in a little shop in Adams street, employing six 
workmen. The time was auspicious, and the partners 
were enterprising and ambitious. They had increased 
their business and had made improvements on these 
presses, when, in 1871, Mr. James H. Williams bought 
out Mr. Mays, and the business was moved to larger 
and better quarters. They removed again in 1874, and 
greatly enlarged their business. They had alreadj- in- 
vented machines for applying this drawing process and 
other processes to the manufacture of cans for fruit, 
meats, fish, etc., and to the rapidly developing demand 
for petroleum oil cans. In 1879, Mr. Bliss purchased 
the site of the present factory, and erected their build- 
ings, and the business was removed thither the same 
year. Four times, since 1879, the buildings have been 
enlarged, and the business extended by the purchase of 
other buildings. In 1881, he bought out Mr. Williams' 
interest, and has since conducted the business alone ; 
and, at the age of 47, is at the head of one of the larg- 
est machine shojis in the world, with a business which 
is increasing with a raplditj^ unparalleled in that line of 
industries, and all this has been accomplished in six- 
teen years, by pluck, energy, and perseverance. 

Mr. Bliss, in his extensive machine shops and foun- 
dry, sometimes turns his attention to other branches of 
the business, as the construction of steam pumps, sugar- 
house machinery, etc.; but, in general, his large force 
are fully employed in tilling his orders, whigh come 
from every part of the globe. 



THE MANUFACTURING INDUSTRIES. 



091 



There are other machinists emjuged in a moderate 
way in supplying this demand for drawing and stamping 
presses and dies. Among tliem we may name Robert 
Urass, of Seholes street, K. I). ; Oramel C. CurpoUcr, 
of Lorimer street, E. D., and Messrs. Kennedy & iJiss, 
of Adams street. Bernard F. Piel also advertises 
presses among his various maohines. The total ainuial 
product of drawing and stamping presses and dies does 
not probably greatly exceed $600,000, and employs, 
possibly, 425 men. 

We can find no trace of but one manufacturer of 
cotton presses in Kings county, viz., Balston & Son, of 
35 Quay street, Greenpoint. "VVe have been unable to 
learn any particulars of tiie extent of their manufac- 
ture. 

There were formerly two manufactories of printing 
presses in Brooklyn, the JNIontague and the Campbell; 
the former have now removed to another city, and 
the Campbell press manufacturers have formed a joint 
stock company, under the title of the Campbell I'ress 
Wbrfcs. The Campbell press is one of the best and 
most popular of the modern printing presses, as dis- 
tinguished from the great printing machines on which 
the mammoth dailies are printed, and there is a good 
and constantly increasing demand for a press of this 
descri})tion. The Campbell Press Works emj)loy 30 or 
40 men and turn out something over $100,000 worth 
of presses annually. The entire annual out-put of this 
subsection may bo safely estimated at not less than 
$800,000, and about 525 men are employed in all its 
shops. 

Among other manufacturers and dealers in engines, 
machinery, <fcc., we may mention James Pendlbtijton, 
88 Elizabeth street, shipsmith, steam forging and 
screw-bolt manufacturing, established 1869 (since 
his decease, in 1882, the business has been managed by 
his step-son, John A. Knowles). Reuben Riley, 508 
Clinton street, builder of steam-engines and machinery; 
came to Brooklyn in 1854; established 1866, on Sum- 
mitt street; now located corner of Richard and Bowen 
streets. Daniel Sanders & Son, Shepard avenue, near 
Baltic avenue, engineers and machinists; established 
1881, East New York ; make a specialty of manufac- 
turing experimental machinery. 

Subsection VI. — Brass Foundries and Brass 
Castings and FinisJwig. 

It is somewhat difficult to ascertain who, and how 
many of our manufacturers, should be included under 
the title of brass founders. Most of the large engine 
and steam pump manufacturers manufacture, cast and 
roll the brass for the trimmings and bearings of their 
pum])s and engines; some of them, like the Worthing- 
ton Pump Works, manufacture the brass from the zinc, 
copper, etc., in order to have it of the requisite and 
uniform hardness which they want. The jobbing and 
repairing machine shops, which use a good deal of 



brass, ptircliase it in sheets or ingots of the great man- 
ufacturers at Watorlmry, Ansonia, or elxewhcre, and 
work it U|) for themselves. Thew last are eerlaiidy 
not brass /o«n(/cr», as the Worlhington and some of 
the others are, but they are to some extent bra«» fin- 
ishers. 

Yet aside from these there are twenty brasH found- 
ers and manufa<!lurers, and six br.iHs finishers in Kingn 
County, besides one iron founder, whrwe work is mueli 
more in l>rasM, bron/.e ami zinc than in iron, and 
two or more machinists who make brass work a spe- 
cialty. 

In Mr. Frothingham's report the number of estab- 
lishments of brass castings and tinishing was 2.'); the 
capital invested, $227,750; largest number of hands 
employed, 381; amount of wages paid, $144,213; raw 
material, $773,125; annual product, $l,05!i,823. This 
probably represented, as far as could be ascertained by 
the census processes, the business of brass castings and 
tinishing in 1880. It does not fairly represent them in 
1884. 

Of the brass founders and manufacturers, some do a 
generaj busincs.s, making, casting and rolling bra.ss for 
all the purposes required, and finding a market for 
their goods mainly among other manufacturers, who 
work up the brass into such forms as they require. 
These are but few, however; the great brass foundries 
at Waterbury and Ansonia, and their warehouses in 
New York, supplying much of this demand. Others 
make a specialty of bronze and phosphor bronze, and 
the great demand which has sprung up for these for 
door knobs, hinges, window fastenings, sashes, etc., 
etc., as well as for statuettes and ornaments, makes 
this manufacture specially important at the present 
time. Others make a specialty of plumbers' brass 
goods, and steam engine and steam pump trimmings, 
faucets, brass and copper boilers, valves, stop-cocks, 
etc., etc. Others still manufacture registers, screens, 
grate trimmings, fenders, oftice railings and gates, 
stamped brass, railroad baggage checks, etc. Still an- 
other class devote themselves to die sinking, seal en- 
graving, book-binders' stamps, and to the manufacture 
of printers' rule, and the strip brass used in the cylin- 
ders for printing wall papers. 

Blakeman tb Kcrner, of Dunham Place, and ./. O. 
L. BiiMcher of First street, E. D., are brass founders, 
pure and simple, and so perhaps are two or three 
more smaller houses. John Bowie of the Columbian 
Brass Foundry, and his neighbors, the Brooklyn 
Brass and Copper Co., both on Front street, near Pearl, 
make special castings of brass, composition, zinc and 
lead to order, tine ornamental castings of zinc, lead 
or brass for cemeteries, and make a specialty of phos- 
phor bronze. F. A. Renton, of the Greenpoint Brass 
Foundry, and five or six others, manufacture pluinben' 
brass ffoods and brass for engineer work, and Renton 
makes a specially of a patent ejector faucet. 



692 



HISTORY or KINGS COUNTY. 




WILLIAM G. CKEAMER. 



Messrs. James Bailey & Co., of Clymor street, E. D., 
and several others, are die sinkers, makers of book- 
binders' and other stamps, seal presses, brass tools, 
etc., etc., while the Brass Goods Mamifufttiring Co. 
and tlie Long Island Brass Co., manufacture a general 
assortment of brass goods. 

Mr. William G. Creamer of the " Brooklyn City 
Foundry," whose portrait and biography adorn our 
jiages, though down in the directory as an iron founder, 
lias more to do with brass and bronze than with iron. 
His establishment on Griniiell street, e.\tendiiig from 
Smith to Court, was erected in 186!). Its extent is 
100x300 feet, an area of .30,000 square feet, and it in- 
cludes several large buildings. He manufactures 
everything in the way of hardware or metal trimmings 
used in the interior of railroad cars, the lamps, seat 
frames, ventilators, sash trimmings, bell-cord li.xtures, 
locks, saloon fixtures, etc., etc. 

He manufactures, also, every description of registers 
and ventilators used in private dwellings, schools, pub- 
lic buildings, etc. He has furnished these for the Cap- 
itol at Albany, and the Capitols at Atlanta, Ga., and 
Des Moines, Iowa, as well as for many of the public 
schools of this city, and other cities, the Middletown 
Asylum, etc. But his finest goods are in the line of 
choice hammered brass and repousse work, mirrors, 
sconces, tables, candlesticks, table tea-kettles, etc.. 



etc. He also makes fine brass, iron and bronze cast- 
ings and general brass work, such as railings, vaults, 
doors, etc., etc. 

He has a capital of $100,000 invested in the busi- 
ness, employs about 80 hands, and turns out nearly 
$250,000 worth of goods annually. 



William G. Creamer, the subject of this sketch and the 
proprietor of the Brooklyn City Foundry, has been a resident 
of this city since 1800. He was born in New Jersey, Novem- 
her 26tli, 1821. His ancestors on his fatlier's side emigrated 
to this country from Lower Saxony about the middle of the 
last century, and settled in Middletown, Connecticut. His 
grandfather married an English lady, Lydia Simmons. His 
father, the Rev. John Creamer, was bom in 1794, and mar- 
ried, in 1820, Nancy B. Snyder, of New Brunswick, N. J. She 
was of Holland descent. The marriage of the young Meth- 
odist clergyman was something of a romance, and is per- 
haps worthy of a place in this sketch. 

Miss Snyder was on a visit to her uncle, Archibald Taylor, 
Esq., a wealthy land owner of Hunterdon county, N. J. 
"While there, she and her cousin heard of the eloquence of 
the young Methodist preacher, who was to preach in a bam 
a few miles from her uncle's residence. The young ladies 
thought it would be worth while to go and hear him, and, 
with the consent of Mr. Taylor, the family carriage and col- 
ored coachman took them to the meeting-house, where, of 
course, their appearance attracted some attention among 
the audience. The young ladies were much interested with 
the eloquence of the young itinerant, who gave notice that 
he would iircach again at the same place three weeks later. 



THE MANUFAOTUIUNG INDUSTRIES. 



003 



The second time they went, the young minister, attracted by 
tlieir appearance, took pains to (ind out who his distin^uislicd 
visitors were, and a year or two afterward was married to 
Mi^^s Snyder, wlio died in April, 188ii, full of years and honors, 
in the 84th year of her ago, at the house of her son-in- 
law, W. A. Bray, Es(i., of Oakland, Cal. The Rev. .lohn 
Creamer died in 1826, while attending Conference in Phila- 
delphia. 

Mr. Creamer was married at New Hrunswick, N. J., Dec. 
29th, 1842, to Miss Hattie MoUeson. From this marriage 
there were two sons and one daughter. The daughter, 
Hattie, only survives. She was married in 18(57 to Colonel 
L. L. Langdon, of the U. S. A. In 18C9, his oldest son, Ho- 
ratio, was married to Miss Chicas, of this city, and died 
March Gth, 1882. Two children survive him. The youngest 
son of Mr. Creamer, Robert, died in infancy in 18.50. 

At the commencement of the late war for the Union, Mr. 
Creamer was tlie tirst resident of the Si.xth Ward to display 
the old flag from the top of his house in Second place, and 
there it remained uutil the close of the war. 

He has never been specially active in local politics, or even 
nation.ll affairs, so far as immediate participation is con- 
cernml; but, at the same time, he has always been a close 
reader and earnest thinker in the history and politics of his 
own country, as well as the world at large, and has per- 
formed every duty devolving upon a citizen. 

The most important sphere of Mr. Creamer's active life 
has been connected with his inventions and improvements, 
and he is widely known throughout the Union by his nume- 
rous inventions connected with railroad car building. 

His first and, perhaps, most important invention was 
known as the Creamer safety-brake. This was the first prac- 
tical and successful invention that gave the engineer com- 
plete control of every brake of all the cars comprising the 
train. This invention was largely used on the Hudson River 
railroad. New York Central, Lake Shore and many others, 
and was onlj^ lately superseded by the air-brake. Mr. 
Creamer himself made the invention of an air-brake in 18.")o, 
and filed a caveat of the same in the Patent Office. This 
invention was shown at the time to a number of railroad 
men, but its use was discouraged, the safety-brake being 
then considered preferable. Tiie gold medal of the Ameri- 
can Institute was awarded for his safety-lirake. His 
connection with railroad affairs, through the invention of 
his brake, brought to his attention many suggestions of im- 
provement in the construction of passenger cars; and, in the 
latter part of 18fi3, he hired a small room witli steam power 
in John street, New York, and commenced, in a small way, 
the manufacture of car fittings, and from this small begin- 
ning has grown the business now conducted at the Brooklyn 
City Foundry. 

Space would hardly allow in detail a description of all the 
inventions made and patents issued to Mr. Creamer. Next 
to his safety-brake, his system of ventilation of railroad cars 
is best known. More than a hundred thousand of his venti- 
lators have been sold, and are being constantly made. Mr. 
Creamer is in the enjoyment of excellent health, and is ac- 
tively engaged in his business in Brooklyn and New York, 
and often tells his friends that he does not intend to give up 
work as long as his life is useful to the world, or until he is 
called to Greenwood. 



Messrs. White & Price macliinists, the South Brook- 
lyn Steam Eiujine Co., and several other large machine 
and engine shops, do a considerable business iu brass 
casting and finishing. 



The statistics of the brass foundries an<l f acttiries arc, 
as nearly as can he a.scerlained, as follows: Number of 
ostablisiiments, 27; or, including Mr. Creamer and the 
two machine shops, 30; number of liands employed, 
about 000; wages paid annually, about |10.'>,OOU; an- 
nual product, |l,(J9:t,OOU. 

Subsection VII. — Woodworking Machinery, and 
small machines of all kinds; iron bolts, nuts, 
washers, screws and riveCs; stoves, heaters, and 
cast-iron hollow ware. 

The various industries included in this subsection 
occupy many shops, antl employ, in tlie aggrejiatc, a 
large number of hands; but the amount of capital in- 
vested is not so large, nor the out-put of so great a value 
as some of the other classes of machine shop work. The 
manufacture of woodworking machinery — which was for 
many years confined to a few simple machines, such aa 
lathes, mortising machines, gang, circular, key and 
jig saws, and l^oring machines — has of late a-nsumed a 
new and larger activity. The band saw and the scroll 
saw both work wonders; the veneers from the choicest 
woods arc now taken off spirally, and so thin and per- 
fect as to save the manufacturer one-half the former 
outlay for veneers. The new mortising machines, the 
dove-taihng machine, and the lathes for irregular form.i, 
are among the most remarkable evidences of human 
skill and ingenuity of modern times. Still more won- 
derful are the machines for working in ivory, bone, and 
the softer metals. The machines for making the iron 
and steel work of sewing machines have reduced the 
construction of these useful machines to the finest pos- 
sible point. The Singer Manufacturing Company can 
calculate the cost of its sewing machines to a fraction of 
a cent; and any proposed process which would reduce 
that cost to the amount of three cents, would be adopted 
at oncp, though it might involve an outlay of ten thou- 
sand dollars, for three cents on the cost of a sewing ma- 
chine is more than S15,000 on their annual sales. This 
is true also of many other small machines, of which 
such great numbers are now put upon the market. The 
manufacturers of household hardware use very many of 
these machines, in the manufacture of their articles; and 
fluting, pinking, plaiting, braiding and crimping ma- 
chines, jewelers' rolls, macaroni machinery, etc., are 
specialties of several machinists. 

The business directory for 1883 puts down seven 
firms as metal workers or manufacturers of meul 
goods. Some of these are, we believe, put down else- 
where among the machinists, but they themselves make 
the distinction. They are probably not all exactly in 
the same line, but this is perhaps the best place in 
which to group them. So far as our information goes, 
the largest of these houses is that of Willinm Lang, 
of South Gth and 1st streets. Mr. Lang commenced 
business in 1^69. He has invested a capital of tJo.OOO 
in his business; employs an average of 100 hands; p.iys 



694 



HISTORY OF JTII^GS COUNTY. 



out $40,000 annually for wages, and produces annually 
about ^110,000. At the commencement of Lis busi- 
ness Albert Hondiett was associated with liiin. Otlier 
houses, reported as metal workers, are: the Brothers 
Aston, at 230 Java street, and 133 Manhattan avenue; 
the Cumpbell JUhiing and Eeducing Co., 175 North 
10th street (we are not certain about their claim to a 
jdace here); William J. Flick, i\ Atlantic avenue; 
C/i'irle.i J. JTiissock & Son, 36 Stagg street; James 
Sniit/i, G5 Java street. 

When we come to the manufacture of bolts, nuts, 
washers, screws and rivets, we are lost in admiration of 
the ingenuity of the machines that produce these in 
such perfection and in such vast quantities. Some of 
these screws — those for the watch manufacturers' use — 
are so minute that they look like grains of sand, and 
from four hundred to five hundred of them only weigh 
an ounce. Olhers, like the jackscrew-s are so large that 
it requires the strength of several men to turn them in 
their sockets. There are five or six manufacturers of 
screws in Brooklyn, the leading houses being WiUiatn 
C. Boone tfc Son, James W. Lyon, and John Fellows. 
Some of the machinists also give special attention to 
the manufacture of screws for a particular service. Of 
the manufacturers of woodworking machinery there are 
several. Among them are Stone <& Mount, Leonard 
Tilton, and others. Most of these work for two or 
three of the great furniture manufacturers, and are so 
fully cm])l()yed as not to make their vocation very pub- 
lic. Among the manufacturers of small machines are 
Robert Brass, Kennedrj & Diss, Fraiik E. Stevens, J. 
J. Patton & Co., Oakley & Keating, etc., etc. 

It is very difficult to estimate the total production of 
the classes coming under this subsection, yet we can 
approximate it. The screws, bolts, rivets, etc,, include 
not less than sixteen establishments, and an annual pro- 
duct of not far from |i'250,000; the woodworking ma- 
chinery, five or six, with a total product of perhaps 
$125,000; the metal workers, about 200 hand.s, with 
a product of not less than $350,000 ; the small ma- 
chines, sewing machines, etc., etc., about twenlj-, with 
a total product of at least 1300,000. If we add to this 
the fifteen establishments for the manufactture of 
stoves, heaters, and cast-iron hollow ware, which form 
a distinct branch of the business, we have a further 
product of about 1475,000, making a grand total of 
fifty-six or iifty-seven establishments, emi)loyiiig, per- 
liaps, 850 hands, and producing about $1,500,000. 

Subsection VIII. — Minor Machine Sho}) Products, 
and Repairing. 

There are very many of these shops, and the num- 
ber is constantly increasing, and as constantly being 
diminished — increasing from the enterprising young 
men who have learned their business, set up for them- 
selves in a small way, seeking for employment for the 
few tools they have purchased or made, and perhaps 



also for some brother journeyman who has cast in his 
fortunes with them, doing at first small jobs in the way 
of making and repairing, and as they win the confi- 
dence of manufacturers or the public, increasing their 
facilities till they have a large shop, a dozen or more 
hands, and constant business. The ranks of these en- 
terprising young machinists are also constantly dimin- 
ished, as one after another, having proved his skill and 
executive ability, passes to the higher position of fore- 
man or su])erintendcnt of some great foundry or ma- 
chine shop ; or, in rare cases, builds up a large 
business in some specialty of his own. There are not 
less than fiftv of these jobbing and repairing shops in 
Kings county, and their annual production ranges all 
the way from $3,000 to $30,000. They employ at least 
175 workmen in all, and their total out-put is not far 
from 8275,000, or, counting in the most prosperous of 
their number, may reach $300,000. 

SuBSECTiox IX. — Iron Fences; Railings, of Wrought 
Iron, Wire, etc., and Wire Work of all kinds. 

Tliis is a large subsection, including a great variety 
of products. The cast-iron fences and posts for the 
steps and areas of our city houses, the graceful or un- 
graceful wrought-iron fences of greater length and 
extent, the wire fences, window guards and railings of 
all sorts, often elegantly wrought or woven, and, be- 
yond these, the thousand uses to which woven wire net- 
work is put for sieves, screens, doors, filters, nets, bas- 
kets, gratings, meat safes, flower stands, etc., etc. And 
still beyond these come the multifarious uses of iron 
and steel wire, of some of which we have had such ex- 
emplifications in the construction of our beautiful 
Bridge. The use of it, plain and barbed, for a fencing 
material encompasses several hundreds of thousands 
of miles in the West, and is very large in the East 
also. Wire rope is not only used in bridge-build- 
ing and in the traction of cars, but it is largely in de- 
mand for the standing rigging of ships, especially of 
steamships; is greatly preferred for elevators for mines 
and mining shafts, and for all kinds of traction where 
great strength and the minimum wear from friction 
is required. In all these directions, our Kings County 
manufacturers are equal to any in the United States. 
In cast-iron and wrought-iron fences and railings, ceme- 
tery iron-work, area gates, window guards and gratings, 
awning irons, sheet-iron doors and shutters, etc., are 
the houses of Iloinell <& Saxtan, Knight Brothers, 
Smith & Rhind, the Eagle Iron Works of Jacob May, 
Howard & Morse, Philip II. Dugro and James Forman, 
whose establishment, the Brooklyn Wire Works, in 
Court street, though small, does excellent work, turning 
out, with a very few men, the best of wire and orna- 
mental iron work. The Kortli American Iron Works, 
the Atlas Iron Works, Thomas I. Roteland, Richard 
Knitdsen, and many others, are largely engaged, and 
in the excellence of their work they have no superiors. 








aJ-'^:^tcS) 



THE MANUFACTURING INDUSTRIES. 



995 



Annin db Co. have a high reputation for the excellence 
of their iron pipes and tubes. 

The manufacture of wire cloth of all descriptions, 
and of fine wires, is a large industry in Kings county. 
There are nearly twenty firms, large and small, of all 
descriptions, engaged in it; but so great is the variety 
of purposes to which it is applied, that there is very 
little rivalry among them. Some confine themselves to 
the weaving of iron wire cloth, for which there is a 
large demand for window screens and doors, meal safes, 
and the coarser wire screens for coal, sand, etc., etc. 
Others make and weave fine steel wires for various 
uses. Some, instead of weaving llic wires which they 
have drawn, twist them into ropes and cords of varying 
size, from the great wire rojjcs or cables of the Brook- 
lyn Bridge to the rigging of a steamship, or tiic more 
delicate ropes of a pleasure yacht. 

Others, again, draw and weave almost exclusively 
brass and copper wires for sieves and delicate screens; 
and one house makes a specialty of ])roducing from 
these metals the Fourdrinier wires and the Fourdrinier 
wire cloth, so largely in demand for the use of paper- 
makers. 

This house, the William Cabhle Excelsior Wire 
Manufacturing Co., whose extensive works in Ainslie 
street and Union avenue are depicted on the following 
page, has had an interesting liistory, which will be 
found in detail in the following biography of 

The Brothers Gabble. — The Cabbie family are of ancient 
and good blood. For several hundred years they had been 
among the honorable and esteemed citizens of Frome, an old 
and pleasant manufacturing town of Somersetshire. England; 
and three hundred and seventy-five years ago their ancestor, 
John Cabbie, was granted a charter hy Henry VIII. to budd 
and endew a chantry in the parish church of tlie town, 
which he dedicated to St. Nicholas. On the large and beau- 
tiful stained-glass window of the chantry were depicted, ac- 
cording to the custom of the lime, the Cabbie coat of arms. 
Beside the usual armorial bearings, the principal figure was 
a sea-horse rampant, impaling a text K and a bell, the 
whole enclosed by a rope or cable, a double play upon the 
family name ; this window is still in existence. The family 
had continued to be respectable and prosperous, and about the 
beginning of the present century they had become dissenters, 
enrolling themselves among the Independents, of which 
several members of the family were prominent and active 
communicants. 

It was not far from the year 1800, that Ed%vard Cabbie went 
into the employ of Mr. Joseph Whiting, a wire manufacturer 
of Frome, and after a time married Mr. Whiting's daughter, 
and at his death succeeded to his business. He was an able, 
intelligent and enterprising man, conscientious and upright 
in his dealings, and brought up his family with great care, 
giving his children good opportunities of education, and 
training them thoroughly to business habits. He died in 
1844, leaving four sons, the eldest of whom, William Cabbie, 
then a young man about twenty-six years of age, inherited his 
business, and was thenceforward to be the head of the family 
and the protector and father of the younger members of it. 
William Cabbie, whose portrait graces our pnges. was no or- 
dinary man. He had been well educated in the city of Bath, 



I 



and had obtained a complete nuiMtery of the wirt- nianufac- 
ture. He wiis enterprising and anibitioUN, but not niNh or 
impulsive. He saw very clearly that Fromo offereii no clmnce 
for such extension of his buMine.H8 as lio deemed dminiblu for 
himself and his brothen*, and he dr*cide(l to omigmte to th« 
United Slates, taking them with liirii. The next year, \XiTi, 
he sailed for Ne»v York with his fninily ami briithers. nnd nt 
once began to look aUiut for bu.iiness. I'oHsoiuing a fair 
amount of pro|MTty, and a large share of w)iind common hooro, 
he was not dis|)Osed to risk everything ujxjn an imm>Mliat« 
start in busine.ss, among a p<'ople whoso ways and mi-tlio<la 
were in many respects strange to him. He was already mar- 
ried to the noble woman who survives him, and he t<xik bin 
brothers into his family and sought employment for hinmoir 
and his brother Joseph in the wire manufactory of Sir. R<>l>ert 
Cocker. He remained with Mr. Cocker for two yeurs, and 
then resolved to start in business for himself, at Koxhury, 
Connecticut. His first venture was unfortunate. It whk too 
far from a goo 1 market for his gooils ; and as the mill wna 
run by water power, a great and continued drought drie<l up 
the stream which supplied it, and compelled him to flrw<? it 
for six months. Disposing of this property, he returne<l to 
New York, and soon after established a mill at Ilelleville, 
New Jersey. Here he remained for three years, and then 
returned to New York, and located his works in Gold street. 
Soon after this he became ac(|Uiinted with Mr. David W<M>ds, 
of Hester and Elizabeth streets, who was then at the head of 
one of the oldest wire-weaving establishments in the country. 
In 18")4 Mr. Woods made overturas to Mr. Cabbie to l)ecome 
his partner. Not long after, Mr. Woods sold out his interest in 
the business to Mr. Cabbie, who thus became the head of a 
large and flourishing manufactory, located in Centre, Hester 
and Elizabeth streets, and with a warehouse at 43 Fulton 
street. He had taken his three brothers into the factory, not 
as partners, but as workmen, that they might become thor- 
oughlj- familiar with all the details of the business; and 
while they were all skilled workmen, the youngest, Elijah, 
who was only a boy of fifteen when he came to this country, 
had developed much of his brother's enterprise and executive 
ability. In 1857 Mr. Cabbie removed his works to the Eastern 
District of Brooklyn, hiring a factory at Tenth and Ainslie 
streets. Two j-ears after, this factory was burned down. He 
purchased the sile and rebuilt it, and a few years later, de- 
siring larger quarters, he bought the site of the present 
works on Union avenue and Ainslie street. In 1860, finding 
that there was a large demand for hoop-skirts, he built a new 
factory, and employed five hundred hands in the drawing, 
rolling and tempering <if steel wire, used in their manufac- 
ture. Wlieu, a few years later, these garments went out of 
fashion, he sold the machinery and replaced it with iron 
looms for wire-weaving. His business prospered, notwith- 
standing several disasters by fire. 

In 1870, this good, wise and judicious business man, es- 
teemed and beloved in all the relations of life, was laid on 
his death-bed, smitten by that terrible malady, Bright's din- 
ease of the kidneys. But death had no terrors for him. 
With a calm and humble faith, he prepared to surrender hi» 
spirit to the keeping of the God who gave it. He was mind- 
ful of the trust which his father had left to him, and made 
provision in his will for all those, in any sense, dependent 
upon him. He provided that a joint stock company should 
be formed, to carry on the business, for which he al.^o left 
the necessary capital ; that his wife and daughter, and his 
three brothers, should constitute the company, and that his 
youngest brother, Elijah, should be the President, his brother 
Josejili, Secretary, and E. Cabbie, Treasurer. Elijah Cabbie 
was also to be his executor. 



eo6 



RISTOR Y OF KINGS CO UNTT. 



The re:<ult proved the soundness of his judgment and the 
wisdom of his choice. Mr. Elijah Cabbie, whose portrait 
graces tlie opposite page, assumed the position to which he 
was called with the hearty co-operation and good will of all 
the members of the family, and a more united and happy 
family it wouM be hard to find. He has devoted his whole 
powers to building up the business, with a persistent earnest- 
ness and an untiring fidelity to the interests of the family, 
which is as rare as it is beautiful, impairing his health by 
his devotion to the business. The second brother. Joseph, 
died in 1879, a man of rare gifts and talents, with whom 
music was a passion, and art a delight. His son, Joseph, took 
his place in the company as Secretary, and several of the 
younger generation h.avebeen admitted, after tlioroughtrain- 
ing. as shareholders in the company. Mr. Edward Cabbie, 
th« third brother, is now Superintendent. 



their original length. After drawing, they are an- 
nealed, cleaned, and if necessary drawn again till 
they have reached the proper degree of fineness. They 
are next tested, examined and classified as to strength, 
temper and fineness. When ready for use, the wire is 
wound oflf on spools by the spooling machine, for the 
warp and shuttles, and reeled for special purposes on 
liand wheels. These spools are now taken by the weavers, 
and the wire from them wound upon the back beam of 
large, ponderous, iron looms, varying in width from four 
to ten feet, and weighing from three to seven tons each; 
then, one by one, the threads are taken through the bad- 
dies or harness, then through the reed, which form the 




THE WILLIAM CAEHLE EXCELSIOP WIRE 1W0RK3. 



Meanwhile, in these thirteen years, the business has trebled 
in amount, and new buildings have been erected, until they 
cover nearly half of a large city-block ; the manufacture of 
Fourdrinier wire, and Fourdrinier wire-cloth, for the use of 
the paper-makers, is constantly extending, and the demand, 
stimulated by the excellence of their goods, more than keeps 
pace with the supply. Their other lines of wire goods are 
also popular, and find a ready sale. 

The Fourdrinier wire cloth, the making of which is 
the specialty of these works, is woven from very fine 
and perfect brass wire, and all the processes, except the 
manufacture of the brass, are conducted here. In the 
wire-drawing rooms, the large brass rings of coarse 
wire are arranged ready for the successive dies through 
which they are to bo drawn, till they have attained two 
hundred thousand or three hundred thousand times 



mesh of the cloth, sixty or seventy threads (as the case 
may be) to an inch, these are tied to a bar, this is fas- 
tened to a canvas, which is attached to the loom, and 
the operation of weaving then commences by throwing 
the shuttle back and forth. The weaving is performed, 
as usual on hand looms, the shuttles being provided with 
the bobbins of fine wire. The wire cloth which is thus 
woven at the rate of four or five yards a day by 
each weaver, is carefully inspected by the Super- 
intendent; and, if found perfect, the pieces are sewed 
together, very deftly, to form an endless sheet, then 
drawn out, stretched, squared and made true, and rolled 
and boxed, ready for shipment. 

Nearly all paper, of whatever material, is now made 
on the Fourdrinier machine, and as the wire cloth under 




1^ 





TUE MANUIACTUIiING INBUSTJilES 



607 



its necessary hard usage requires frequent renewals, the 
demand for it is constant and rai)idly increasing. Tlie 
wire cloth made by llie Cabbie works, is of sucii uni- 
formly superior quality, that it is regarded as the best 
in the market. 

As Mr. Cabbie says: " Our aim is not the alniighty 
dollar; we are proud of our work and of our name. 
Our father's boys were all brouijht up in the same 
business. AVu inherited it fi'om father and maternal 
grandfather, and our aim is to make goods that can- 
not be surpassed." 

Besides tlie Fourdrinier wire cloth, and Fourdrinier 
wires, dandy rolls and cylinder wires, the Cabbie works 
also manufacture iron-wire cloth for coal-burning loco- 
motives, iron-wire bolting cloth, and other grades of 
iron-wire cloth; galvanized wire netting, fencing, fen- 
ders and guards, sieves and bolters, traps, screens, 
flower-stands, ropes, railings, chains and settees. 

Their buildings, on Union avenue and Ainslie street, 
Brooklyn, E. D., are very extensive. They consist of 
four buildings, erected around an open court. The 
loom factory (one story, brick, 100 feet by 36 feet, with 
slate roof and lantern skylight) has just been completed. 
The front on Union avenue is 150 feet, with a depth 
of 100 feet, and on Ainslie street, the front is 92 feet, 
with a depth of 100 feet. The main building, on Union 
avenue, is 75 feet by 40 feet, four stories, and a base- 
ment occupied as an engine-house. The engine, a 40- 
horse power, and built by Weisbeckcr & Ray, of 
Brooklyn, is named " James A. Garfield." Here is the 
driving and heating force of the whole establishment ; 
for the whole is heated by steam. 

The office is in the two-story building, on Ainslie 
street, a fine building, with mansard roof, giving a 
third story, with an ornamental paling in the ceuire, 
from which rises an imposing flag-staff. 

The directors' room is the parlor of the house ; it is 
handsomely furnished, and its walls are hung with 
paintings. Adjoining the main building, on Union 
avenue, are: the machine-shoj), where all the machinery 
is made and repaired ; the blacksmiths' shop, where 
the forging is done, and the carpenters' shoj), where 
every outfit for a large factory is at hand. The build- 
ings cost $45,000. They emjjloy now about 105 hands, 
and very many of their employees, male and female, 
have been with them for many years; it being a rule of 
the establishment to make but few changes, which al- 
most always implies faithful workers and good work. 
The factor}' is connected by telephone with the ware- 
house at 43 Fulton street. New York. 

The annual amount of wages paid is $70,000, which, 
considering the number of women and boys in the force, 
is, we think, the highest pay roll per capita in Kings 
county, or elsewhere. Their annual out-put at present 
is from S240,000 to $250,000, but they can, in years of 
active and prosperous business, nearly double this 
amount with their present machinery and appliances. 



Of the other manufacturers of wire goodn, Mt*ir$. 
Jloteard tfc Mortie and ./. //. /^e HV« it .Son are both 
very large houses, and manufacture wire cloth and 
almost every description of wire work already enumer- 
ated, except Fourdrinier wins and Fourdrinier wire 
cloth, these, as we haw said, being only mantifacturtd 
in Kings county or New York by the William C'aliblu 
Company. The oul-jMit nf tliche two houses is about 
the same as that of the ^Villi.lm Cabbie Company. 'J"ho 
other houses in the business, 77ie ISronklifn Wire Cloth 

Works (Richardson & Hodgson), Smith tk liltiinl, 
Joseph N^orwood, The K. Y. Wire and Wire lioj>t 

Company, Philip Schmitt, Michael McCormick, John 
McMicrru;/, Prancis A. Fay, John Janttm, Jolm II. 
iSc/iiceers, etc., make almost every variety of wire goods 
and wire rope. Several of them are large and enter- 
prising houses, doing a good and profitable biiNinesM; 
others are but new beginners, but make excellent goods, 
and will achieve success. 

The census reported in 1880, on " wire work," 10 
establishments; $240,778 capital; 172 hands; $83, GOO 
wages; $97,641 material, and $228,204 annual product. 
As we have seen, there are three, at least, of the houses 
in the trade which each exceed this product. Our 
figures are: 17 establishments; about 520 hands; about 
$180,000 wages; about $1,050,000 annual product. 



SECTION VH. 

The Manufacture of Steel. 

The manufacture of iron from the ore is not one of 
the industries of Kings County. The production of 
steel is not on a large scale, and there are, we believe, 
no Bessemer steel works here, these requinng a costly 
and extensive plant, and certain facilities for obtaining 
ores and fluxes which do not exist here. The census 
persistently ignored the existence of any steel works 
here, although one had been at work here since 1808 or 
1869, and the other for five or six years. The Chrome 
Steel Works, Kent avenue, cor. of Keap st., is deserving 
of a place in our history, if there were no other reason, 
for its plucky persistency in overcoming all obstacles, 
and for refusing to be overwhelmed or discouraged by 
a long succession of disasters. It was st.arted to de- 
monstrate the truth of a theory, that chromium w.as a 
good and sufficient substitute for carbon in the manu- 
facture of steel. 

The first experimenters, though good metallurgists 
in a small way, with crucible and cupel in the labora- 
tory, were not at home in the larger operations of the 
furnace, and met with technical difficidlies and obsta- 
cles which were as unexpected as they were annoying; 
they would turn out a number of ingots of very supe- 
rior steel, its qualities surpassing everything in the 
market; and while they were rejoicing over this, and 
reckoning their profits, the very next batch, selected 
from the same materials, and made by the same pro- 



698 



HISTORY OF KINGS COUNTY. 



cesses, so far as they could determine, would come out 
with no cohesive power, and none of the qualities re- 
qaired in steel; and yet the one ingot could not be dis- 
tinguished by its looks from the other. The reasons 
for this difference could not be ascertained, and, discour- 
aged by long-continued ill success, the original partners 
withdrew, one after another, till but one was left; but 
he, a Scolch-Irishman, held on and held out, and within 
the last four or five j'ears has succeeded, in ])art at 
least, in overcoming this very stubborn dilliculty. This 
uncertainty of the tenacity of the product, had given 
the Chrome steel a bad rej)Utation. The company was 
a bidder at low rales for the steel wire for use on the 
Bridge, but its reputation for uncertain tenacity of its 
steel caused the bid to be thrown out. Of late, the 
steel has been quite uniform in its character, but the 
ditKculty of insufficient capital, which has hampered it 
from the first, still causes it difficulty. The invention 
has proved itself valuable, and it' is time that the at- 
tention of capitalists was turned to it. The out-put is 
now, we learn, from $50,000 to $00,000 ])er annum. 

The other steel manufactory of Brooklyn is that of 

Wrlijltt <b Son, in Hancock street, between Reid and 

Patcheu avenues. They make carbon steel, but the 

extent of their works or the quality of the steel we have 

been unable to ascertain. 



SECTION VIII. 
Saws and Files. 

This is Mr. Frothingham's heading, and his statistics 
are: 24 establishments; $101,900 capital; 302 hands; 
$97,647 wages; $90,718 material; $249,805 annual pro- 
duct. The census office assumed that there was but one 
saw manufacturer in Brooklyn (there were three at that 
time), remanded him to the miscellaneous industries, 
and inserted Files, 12 establishments, $25,750 capital, 
70 hands, $29,192 wages, $21,970 material, $08,509 an- 
nual product. Both entries are hopelessly wrong, and 
only illustrate the folly of meddling with statistics, 
which the officials of the census otiice were incajjable 
of understanding. The two l)raiiclies of business, which 
are intimately connected, have been carried on with 
many vicissitudes, but the annual product of the two is 
not now less than $500,000, though there have been sev- 
eral failures within the last two years. The number of 
hands is probably now not far from 400. 

Bui, as the processes of manufacture differ mate- 
rially, and the saw manufacturer need not be, and often 
is not, a manufacturer of files, we will treat of saws 
first, and afterwards oi file-nuikinr/. 

The manufacture of saws and files is not an old indus- 
try anywhere in this country. It is not yet fifty years 
since the Euglish file manufacturers declared that the 
Yankees would never be able to acquire the art of mak- 
ing files; that the skill required had passed from genera- 
tion to generation, and that no American could ever by 



any possibility acquire the sleight of band necessary to 
cut tiles evenly and perfectly. It is about forty-five 
years since the manufacture commenced, and for more 
than a score of years past the American files have 
ranked as high as any of English or French manufac- 
ture. 

The saw manufact,ure has passed through a similar 
experience. The Siieffield manufacturers thought they 
had reduced their busiiless to a system and perfection 
which defied competition. The tempering, toothing, 
grinding and finishing a saw were each processes re- 
quiring long jjractice and training, and it was not to be 
supposed, for an instant, that a people who had had no 
experience in such a manufacture, could compete suc- 
cessfully with the English saw works and their skilled 
workmen. But stranger things than this have hap- 
pened, and it has come to pass that, while we manufac- 
tured about $4,000,000 worth of saws in 1880, we im- 
ported in that year only $14,475 worth, and exported 
in the same year $.37,271 worth, and about $17,000 of 
this to Great Britain and its colonies. 

There are now, according to the census of 1880, 89 
saw manufactories and 179 file works in the United 
States, and 18 of the former and 37 of the latter in the 
State of New York. We have no positive knowledge as 
to the first manufacturer of saws in this country, but 
among the earliest, as well as the largest, was the firm 
of R. Hoe & Co., who afterwards embarked so largely 
in the production of jirinting presses. The early saw 
and tile manufacturers found it desirable to import 
skilled workmen, saw-makers, saw-grinders and saw- 
handlers from Sheflield, to train their apprentices and 
young workmen in the dilficult processes of the manu- 
facture; and in 1848 they invited a father and two 
sons by the name of Peace, experienced and skillful 
saw grinders, to come over and manage their saw- 
grinding department. They came, and their work 
gave ample satisfaction. The elder son remained with 
Messrs. Hoe for thirteen years, and in that time made 
himself completely master of all the processes of the 
trade, something very rarely attempted in that business. 
In 1801 the two brothers commenced business for them- 
selves, at first in small quarters in Centre street. New 
York; after a little, they removed to Johnstown, N. Y. ; 
but in 1803 settled tinally in their present location at 
Tenth and Ainslie streets, Brooklyn, E. D. Here they 
have, or at least the older brother has, built up a fine 
business, the establishment being the largest, with one 
or possibly two exceptions, in the United States. Mr. 
Peace confined his industry to saws alone; but of these 
he makes every known variety. 

The steel used is principally of Pittsburgh manufac- 
ture, and while its quality is excellent, Mr. Peace com- 
|)lains that two of his competitors, who manufacture 
their own steel, are enabled to use steel which costs 
them only about one-half the market value, while he is 
obliged to use steel purchased at the market price, and 



THE MANUFACTURING INDUSTRIES. 



is thus iKiiHlicapiinl :it tlic very l)Oginnin£f of tlic race. 
Mr. Pi'UL-e is ;i lu'liever in a tarifT with a fair ili-groe of 
protection for luanufacturos, but hu ilocs not believe 
that it should be such a tariff as will discriminate 
against tlu' niauufai'turt'r. 

The steel used is rolled at tlie rdlliiiij; mill tu llie ]iroper 
length, width and thickness. The steel for carpenters' 
saws is in scjuare sheets, which are divided diaj^onally, 
each sheet making two saws. Being cut into the de- 
sired shape, the future saws arc toothrd and IIKmI wliih' 
the steel is in the soft state. The teeth, which are of a 
great variety of forms, acc'ording to the pur])ose.s for 
which they are designed, are, except in the more com- 
]dicatc(l forms, cut by automatic machinery, the ma- 
chine for cutting the teeth of the carpcnter.s' saws making 



on a hardwood block), and, as the processes through 
which they have passed have sumewliat impaired their 
elasticity, this is restored, if need be, by healing to the 
required color. They are next .set, filed, etclied and 
oiled, when those saws which do not rerpiire handles 
are finished, ready for packing. The carpenters' and 
cross-cut saws are transferred to the saw-handler's de- 
partment, and the blades are punched to receive the 
screws for the handles; and in one pattern, which is 
patented, a portion of the upper part of the blade is cat 
out by a die, .md the liaii<llc fitted to match this ex- 
actly, and, like the other handles, is secured firmly in 
its i)lace by screws. The handles are made of beech 
;ind a])ple wood ])rin(i|pally, though mahogany, rose- 
wood, cherry, and black walnut are used to some extent. 








i ^.1 I" I 



"^K 



\ 




■L.. 






1 •' -n 



I; .11 1 I 




VIEW OF THE H. W. PE.VCE CO.'S "VULCiN" SAW WOUKS. TENTH AND AI.VSLIE STIlEETcr. K. 



1,200 teeth per minute. The burr, or rougliened edges, 
raised by shearing and toothing, are next knocked or 
rolliMl down. They arc then hardened in oil, and tem- 
pered (a difficult and delicate process), a particular 
shade of color being required for the requisite temper. 
After the tempering, they go into the hands of the saw 
makens, to be hammered on an anvil as true as possible; 
they are then taken to the grinding shop, where each 
saw is ground for the purpose for which it is to be 
used. Most of the saws are ground on a machine, 
the saw passing between rollers to the grindstone, and 
passing out between other rollers on the other side. 
The jig and com|)ass saws are ground by hand, the 
grindstones, in all cases, being driven by steam power. 
The saws go next to the polishing shops, and, after 
polishing, are blocked (straightened by being hammered 



The losis of these woods are first sawed into boards of 
the proper thickness, and then thoroughly steamed and 
dried. The handles are then marked out by pattern^ 
and sawed out by band or jig saws, burred and filed 
into shape, smoothed by sandbelts and sandwheels, oiled 
and polished, and finally slit and bored ready to receive 
the blades. 
; In the manufacture of saws, the division of lalwr 
is carried to a remarkable extent, not in the produc- 
tion of difTerent kinds of saws, .is might be expected, 
but in the different processes required in the produc- 
tion of the saw. Each process is a trade by itaelf, 
and hardly ever does a mechanic pass from one to 
another. The usual divisions are saw-makers, saw- 
grinders, saw polishers and finishers, and saw-hand- 
lers; but even these are sub-divided; the man who 



700 



HISTORY OF KINGS COUNTY. 



hardens and tempers the saw has no knowledcje of the 
processes of toothing and filing, nor of the smithing and 
hammering; so that there arc three distinct trades un- 
der the head of saw-making; in saw grinding, tlic man 
who grinds the saws on a machine cannot be trans- 
ferred to the work of grinding them by hand. In 
the polishing department, the polisher cannot do the 
setting, filing, retempering or etching. He might do 
the graining, which is effected by passing the polished 
and finished saw between hardwood rollers. 

The saw-handlers have also several subdivisions. It 
is very rarely the case that a man has made himself a 
master of ail the processes, as Mr. Harvey W. Peace 
has done, and is capable of superintending and direct- 
ing each effectively. This is to be regretted, because 
it is a business which can only be conducted success- 
fully by a man who is thoroughlj'^ familiar with every 
department of it, and who has, at the same time, the 
executive ability needed in the buying and selling, and 
the financial management of a large business, and the 
power to control large bodies of men successfully. 
Without these qualifications, failure in the end is inev- 
itable. There have been many sad examples of this in 
Brooklyn, and the successive disasters have left the 
Harvey W. Peace Company, Limited, practically alone 
in this industry, their only com])otitors now being some 
small shojjs which make only one or two descriptions 
of saws, and from their limited means, the quality even 
of these lacks uniformity. 

Harvey W. Peace. — Were we called upon to name one 
among the manufacturers of Brooklyn, who had, in early 
middle life, won for himself a higli and honorable position 
as a manufacturer, solely by the exercise of industry, enter- 
prise, and the mental abilities which tilted him for being a 
leader and employer of men, our first thought would be of 
the name of Mr. Peace, as the most striking exemplar of 
the success which comes from the exercise of those quali- 
ties. 

Harvey \V. Peace %vas born iu Sheffield, England, Aug. 
10, 1831. His fatlier and graiidfatlior had both bteu brought 
up in the saw business all their lives. When he was yet 
very young, his parents removed to Dore, in Derbyshire, 
about six miles from Sheffield, but still retained their con- 
nection with the saw-works in Sheffield. Mr. Peace ob- 
tained his early education in Dore, but at the age of thirteen 
began to work, a part of the time, in the same niauufactoiy 
with his father and grandfather. At the age of eighteen, he 
was a very skillful saw-grinder. At that tiine(l.S4i)). became 
to America uiih his father and family, the father having re- 
ceived an invilation from Messrs. R. Hoe & Co., of New 
York, to t;ike charge of the saw-grinding in their extensive 
works. In this estabhsliment, young Peace remained for 
twelve years (except a trip to Europe, in 18'>7, for health and 
recreation). In these twelve years, he had become a com- 
plete master of his business, and with his industry, temper- 
ate habits, and economy, had been able to save a little cap- 
ital, to start the business of saw manufacturing for himwlf. 
Accordingly, in 18G1 . h- commenced, in a small way, in Ceiit.-r 
street. New York, lakmgayoungerbruther asii])arlner. Find- 
ing their location not a goo I one, at that time (it was ju>t at 
the beginning of the Civil War), they removed, the next 



year, to Johnstown, Fulton county. New York, where they 
remained about a year. By this time, business — in some 
directions, and the manufacture of saws was one of them — 
had greatly revived, and was much better in the seaports 
than in the interior. Once more, therefore, they removed, 
and this time, to what proved a permanent location, to 
Aiuslie street. Brooklyn. At first their quarters here were 
small and narrow, and proved so inconvenient that they 
moved to a better location on the same street, in 1867; the 
times were favorable for the development of an extensive 
business, and though averse to anything like speculative 
action, they went forward, "hasting not and resting not," 
increasing with each year the quality and the quantity of 
their saws, till one building was added to another, and one 
kind of saws to another ; and now (with the exception of 
the file-works of Mr. C. B. Paul, a friend of theirs, and one 
whose manufacture is an almost indispensable adjunct to 
their own), they occupy several lots in the block bounded on 
two sides by Tenth and Ainslie streets. They make every 
description of saws known to the trades, and for such as re- 
quire handles or frames, they manufacture the--e necessary 
attachments. We have described elsewhere the processes of 
saw manufacture, the four classes of workmen, the saw- 
maker, saw-grinders, saw-handlers, and saw-finishers, and it 
only remains to be said here, that in all this great enterprise, 
employing a force of more than 200 men. and producing 
annually nearly a quarter of a million dollars' worth of 
goods. Mr. Harvey W. Peace has been the informing and 
controlling spirit; his judicious and enterprising manage- 
ments has brought order out of confusiou, success out of 
threatened disaster, and his house has now but two rivals in 
the United States in the extent of its production, and none 
in the quality and excellence of its wares. It is well under- 
stood everywhere, and among all classes of purchasers, that 
the stamp of " Harvey W. Peace " on any saw, or case of 
saws, insures the purchasers that the goods are of the very 
best possible quality. 

In his relations to his fellow manufacturers, Mr. Peace has 
always been kindly and helpful: often taking large risks, to 
keep them from disaster, and where they have succumbed to 
the hardness of the times, furnishing them with employment 
in his own establishment till they could recover themselves. 

In all the relations of civil and social life, Mr. Peace has 
shown himself a good citizen, a tender and kind husband 
and father, and a pleasant neighbor. Though not a member 
of any church, he is a regular attendant on the Methodist 
church — the church of his parents. In politics he is a de- 
cided republican, though never an office-seeker or office- 
holder. He wields a powerful influence in his ward, but has 
invariably refused to be a candidat^e for any public position. 
In regard to the tariff, he favors a moderate protection of 
our struggling manufactures, but insists that the duties 
should be taken off from raw material which cannot be 
produced here, and reduced on such raw material as is 
equally a product of our own and foreign countries; thus 
placing us on au e(iuality with foreign manufacturers. 

Mr. Peace, though heartily American in feeling and inter- 
est, does not forget that he first drew breath iu England. 
He is an officer of the St. George's Society, and a hearty and 
cordial friend and helper of his countrymen. In other 
directions also, his liberal spirit exhibits itself, and he is a 
generous giver to all good causes. 



IMr. Peace, and some of his skillful workmen, have 
designed and ])ateiited many of the machines for the 
l)ur])ose of grindiiii,' the various kinds of saws, as well 






'^^ '^c^ 



THE MANUFACTURING INDl'STIUES. 



701 



as for polishing, tootliing, li.ui(lliiig and graining saws. 
Wliile tbis company make every description of saws 
known or (Icnunuled in the tra<lc, tlieir special attention 
is directed to the higher grades of carpenters' saws, 
band saws (some of these are fifty-five feet in length, 
and they vary in width from one-eighth inch to six 
inches), veneer and re-saw segments, and cross-cut saws. 
They emjdoy from 150 to 100 hands, and their produc- 
tion ranges from *200,000 to $2:25,000 per annum. 

Files. — Tlicre are a luimber of manufacturers of 
files in Brooklyn, but most of them liave but small es- 
tablishments. The largest are that of Mr. Charles B. 
Paul, whose factory adjoins that of the Harvey W. 
Peace Comi)any, on Tenth and Ainslie streets, and that 
of Mr. E. M. Boyuton, on Devoe street, who was a 
manufacturer of saws as well as files. The latter estab- 
lishment is now closed. Four or five others are doing 
a moderate business in this line. The amount of capi- 
tal rc(piir('d is much less than that for the saw manu- 
facture; but the material must be of the finest forged 
steel, of the most perfect temper, and the cutting done 
by hand, and by workmen of the highest skill. Tiicre 
are, indeed, inai-hine-cut files on the market, but for 
the purposes tor which a first-class file is wanted, they 
are as yet of very little worth. There are many va- 
rieties of files and ras]is — rat-tail or taper, round, s<piare, 
fiat, triangular, oval, liaH'-rnuncI, cabinet, etc., etc. A 
catalogue before us specifies about thirty varieties, and 
fourteen lengths of nearly all. 

The art of file-cutting is a very difficult one, and 
only acquired by long practice. A large proportion 
of the file-cutters are of English birth, though the 
younger men of American birth are now doing very 
creditable w-ork. Like the workmen in the saw works 
the file-cutters adhere very rigidly to their own special 
division of the work. The cutter of three-cornered 
files will not attempt to cut rat-tail files, or even lialf- 
round ones, much less rasps of any description; and 
the cutters of these, in their turn, look with disdain 
upon the three-square file-cutters. 

The census of 1880 reports 12 file factories, employ- 
ing 96 hands, and producing $68,50!) of files annually. 
The report is both defective and redundant; redundant 
in the number of establishments, which does not ex- 
ceed eight; and defective in the amount of product, 
which considerably exceeds $100,000. Mr. Paul's out- 
put alone is from $30,000 to $40,000; and Mr. Boynton's 
was not much less, in this department of his business. 
The average number of hands employed by Mr. I'aul 
is from 40 to 50. 



SECTION IX. 

Stamped or Drawn Wares, Tin and Sheet Iron 
Wares, Galvanized Iron and its Ware. 

The production of stamped or drawn wares, by which 
is meant the formation, by means of continuous ])res- 



.•:ure by a power press, and by single or conibineil dies 
and blank-holders, of ]>ans, dislies, pails, ki-ltleH, sar- 
dine, blacking, spice and otlier boxes, and by coinl.ina- 
tion machines and dies, fruit, vegetable, meat and fish 
cans, petroleum cans and eases, and the lettering of 
these with any required name or address by dies, 
worked by the same machines, has become an import- 
ant industry, and has almost entirely sujierseded the 
old process of manufacturing tin-ware. In some of these 
machines, the pan, pail, dish or can, etc., come from the 
machine complete; in others they require wiring, trim- 
ming and finishing, all of which is done with great 
rapidity on other machines. By the use of these 
machines the amount of production can be increased 
one hundred fold with the same number of hands. The 
process of cleepi<t(im]iiii<j was first invented by a French- 
man of Met/, (now Mayence) named Mix; it was con- 
siderably improved and introduced into this country 
by Messrs. Lalance & Grosjean, who still manufacture, 
in Queens' county, these and their enamelled or granite 
wares on a large scale. Subsequent improvements 
were made in the machines, for stamping not only tin, 
but sheet iron, brass, zinc, copper, straw and card board, 
leather, etc., and the first extensive manufactory of 
these machines was started in Brooklyn in lf>6T, and 
subsequently greatly enlarged by 3Ir. E. W. Bliss, who 
is now the sole proprietor. Mr. Bliss does not manu- 
facture stamped ware himself, but produces the ma- 
chines by which it is made. The leading manufacturers 
of stamped wares are the refiners of petroleum oils, who 
make millions of cans, of a capacity of from one to five 
gallons, for e.\j)orting and transporting their oils; the 
canners of fruits, vegetables, meats, oysters and fish, 
whose consumption of the cans is immense; and the 
houses which are engaged in the production of house- 
hold hardware. It is only because these petroleum oil 
cans, fruit, meat, vegetable, oyster and fish cans and 
boxes, and the lard pails, etc., etc., can be furnished so 
cheaply, and in such (juantities, that the oil and pro- 
vision trades and the canned goods trade have been 
so enormously expanded within the last decade, and 
especially within the last five years. These inventions 
have also rendered other industries largely prosper- 
ous, which but for these products of the stamping 
machines must have long since been abandoned as 
unprofitable. 

It is not exceeding the bounds of truth to say that 
these products of machines manufactured in Brooklyn, 
and almost wholly by Brooklyn manufacturers, have 
increased our national exports to the extent of about 
fifty million dollars annually. 

The leading manufacturers of stamped and drawn 
wares, as well as of other tin-wares, aside from the great 
manufacturers who make cans, pails, etc., exclusively 
for their own goods, are : E. Kctcham tfc Co., Fred. 
Habermann, Silas A. Ilsley <fc Co., William Vogcl, 
O. J. Hauck tfc Co. and Somen Brothers. 



702 



niSTORY OF KINGS COUNTY. 



l-,.^.j._,i ivETCHAM.— l..- .^...j-aI of this hki-lcli was born 
October l»th, 1818, in the quiet village of Pennington, Mercer 
county. New Jersey. His parents were Enoch and Matilda 
Smith Ketcham, who are buried in the cemetery of the Pres- 
byterian church of that place, where also rest the remains of 
seven successive generations of the family name. His earlier 
years were spent upon his father's farm, among the duties 
incident to such a life, with educational advantages of the 
most limited nature. Pennington was not then, as it is now, 
a noted seat of learning, and the only privileges, formerly 
given to the farmer's son, were a few weeks in the district 
school during the winter season, when services could best be 
spared from the work at home. While yet a youth Mr. Enoch 
Ketcham left the old liomestead to learn the trade of a car- 
penter; and, after serving a full apprenticesliip, worked for a 
while at Newark and Morristown, in his native state. In 1844 
he began his mercantile career in Clill street. New York, enter- 
ing in the lowest capacity, and soon rising, by industry and 
integrity, to a position in the firm. In 181!) he was married 
to Miss Eliza Van Auken, and resides still in the city of New 
York. Like his fathers, he has retained his connection with 
the Presbyterian church, being now a member of the Church 
of the Covenant, corner of Park avenue and Thirty-fiftli 
street. 

Mr Ketcham is one of the oldest dealers in manufactured 
tin-wares in the United States. When he began in 1844, and 
during the first years of his business life, nearly all kinds of 
goods for house-furnishing were imported from abroad. But 
few were made in this country, and they were the common 
wares of the country tin-shop. He entered largely into the 
manufacture of such articles, his house always occupying a 
foremost position, and he, personally, recognized as a leader 
in the trade. Of late years the methods of producing these 
goods have been entirely revolutionized, nearly every process 
being wrought out by elaborate and expensive machinery. 
These improvements have given rise to various large estab- 
lishments for the construction of such machines, which were 
entirely unknown before. The younger men in the trade 
can hardly appreciate the gi'eat clianges that have transpired 
since Mr. Ketcham first undertook the building of his fac- 
tory. 

The firm of E. Ketcham & Co., at great expense, and 
with an enterprise seldom equalled in these days, constructed 
machinery under their own roof which can be had of dealers 
at the present time for very moderate amounts. Later firms 
have profited largely b\- the experience which the firm of E. 
Ketcliam & Co. acquired only by long and tedious experi- 
ments.* 

In the year IS.j", in company with some other persons, Mr. 
Enoch Ketcham purchased the factory at the corner of South 
Second and Twelfth streets in Williamsburg, and organized 
the firm of E. Ketcham & Co., whose warehouses are at 96 
Beekman and .'58 Cliff streets. New York. This building, 
which at that time was quite meagre in its ijroportions, has 
since become of extensive size. It is built in the form of a 
hollow square, is five stories high, and arranged to accommo- 
date the several departments of which it is composed. The 
stamping rooms are one of the main features of the place. 
Hero articles of great depth arc formed from one sheet or 
disc of metal, witliout seams or solder. It w.as in this brunch 
that experiments were first put forth, the earlier efforts pro- 
ducing vessels of, say, half an inch in depth, and finally 
reaching from seven to ten inches, so that all cooking vessels 
may be made from single sluits cil' tin. or other sheet metal, 



without the possibility of leaks.* There are many other de- 
partments in this factory, in which tin plates are manipu- 
lated in various ways and shapes, and then polished to a 
lustre equalling silver in brilliancy. 



•The reader "III flnd these prnoesscs very fully described In the arti- 
cle on Stumiied aud Drawn Metallic Wares, and In that on Presses 
and Dies. 



Somers Brothers bave confined themselves to the 
production of lithographed or decorated cans, boxes, 
pails, etc., etc., in which they have a large trade. 



The Somers Brothers. — The brothers, Daniel M., Joseph 
L. and Ouy A. Somers, among the best known of Brooklyn's 
manufacturers, are, though not of an old Brooklyn family, 
of oneof the oldest families in the United States. The name 
has been for centuries known in England, and can be traced 
to the time of AVilliam the Conqueror. 

The Somerses of America are descended from the family of 
John Somers, Lord Chancellor of England during the period 
of the War of the Roses. Jolin Somers, the first of the name 
in America, emigrated from England in 16 .5, and settled on 
a large grant of land in New Jersey, embracing Great Egg 
Harbor ; Somers Point, a well-known locality, having been 
the place of his residence. He had contracted a runaway 
marriage with a French lady of much beauty, highly accom- 
plished, and of distinguished social position in her native 
land. Previous to this alliance, the Somerses had been 
blonde men and women, with light hair. Partaking of the 
personal characteristics of this lady, her children aud their 
descendants, to the present time, have almost invariably been 
dark of complexion, vvitli the usual accompaniment of black 
hair and eyes. 

John Somers had two sons, who were named Richard aud 
James. The former had a son, named John, also a grandson 
of the same name, who located in Virginia in 1804, and who 
had a son named Joseph R. Somers, who had three sons (the 
subjects of our sketch) and a daughter, all of whom are resi- 
dents of Brooklyn. They were born in the following order: 
Daniel M., March 20th, 1811; Guy A., July 31st, 1843; Joseph 
L., January 8th, 1844; aud Mary Florence, June 1st, 18.00. 
All of these are married and have families. 

Col. Richard Somers, of the war of Independence, and a 
member of the Provincial Congress for 1775 in Philadelphia, 
was a grandson of the original John Somers, of New Jersey, 
whose brave young son, Richard, was born Sejitember loth, 
1778, and became a sailor, and rose to the rank of lieutenant 
in the United States Navy, and commander of the United 
States ship Nautilus. In the Algerine War, before 
Tripoli, on the night of September 4th, 1803, be voluntarily 
sacrificed his own life by blowing up the ship Intrepid, to 
prevent its falling into the hands of the enemy. 

The great-grandfather of the Somerses of Brooklyn lost 
some ships during the Revolutionary War, aud their grand- 
father lost four vessels by the fortunes of war in 1812-14. 
The Somerses of America were ship-owners for successive 
generations; but, during the last half-century, have drifted 
into other lines of enterprise. While of English and French 
descent, the Somerses of Brooklyn are thoroughly American, 
being of the sixth generation of their father's and of the fifth 
of their mother's famih- in the United States. 

The firm of Somers Brothers was organized in 1869 by 
Daniel M., Joseph L. and Guy A. Somers, who, without cap- 
ital or a local business acquaintance, began operatiims, in a 
small way, near B'ultou ferry, Brooklyn, stamping metal 
goods for manufacturers. Gradually increasing their busi- 



• It was In this establishment that milk pans, wash-bowls, dippers 
and the like were Urst made "seamles.s," since which time they are to 
be found In every city and hanilot of the laud. 




^■J'-^^'^ A J^!:-^' 



r 



CD. . 




THE MANUFACTURING INDUSTRIES. 



703 



ness, they removed, in 1875. to tlioir present locatinn. at the 
corner of Front and Pearl streets, near Fulton and t'.itliarine 
ferries. About this time Mr. William H. Atkinson, a cousin, 
was admitted to a partnersliip in the enterprise. 

The manufacture of brass and nickel-plated ^oods was in- 
troduced, and the business increased rapidly with each p.ass- 
ing year, as the products of the factory became known in the 
market. In 1878, the firm began the manufacture of dec- 
orated tin boxes, for use as packages by manufacturers of 
proprietary articles. Although these goods are of compar- 
atively recent origin, their success has demonstrated their 
great usefulness and popularity wherever they have been 
introduced, the demand for a complete and perfectly finished 
package in tin having been long recognized. 

The great perfection which this firm has attained in the 
modern art of decorating tin has opened a new channel for 
making these goods. By a process peculiar to themselves, 
Soiners Brothers prepare the surface of the tin-plate with 
various richly-colored enamels or j.apans, and print directly 
upon the surface of the same by the lithographic process, 
bringing out the finest lines witli the greatest clearness, and 
giving it a perfect and beautiful finish. B}' their care and 
experience, they have advanced the printing to such perfec- 
tion, that they are enabled to make a clearer and more artistic 
impression on their prepared tin than can be made by the 
same method on paper. After printing, another process is 
employed, which produces a finely enameled surface. Sev- 
eral days are required to finish these processes before the tin 
is ready to be manufactured into boxes or other articles; and 
the labels and other printed matter are imprinted on the tin- 
plate before it is made into the goods. These boxes present 
such an attractive appeariince that theinildic, after using the 
contents, use them for general and household purposes, the 
indestructible label being regarded as one of the best modes 
of permanent advertisement that can be had. 

From a small beginning, this enterprise hns grown to be 
one of the most important in the city; and it is, without 
doubt, in the front rank of similar enterprises in the United 
States, The members of the firm are practically acquainted 
with the various departments of their branch of manufacture, 
and give to its details their personal attention, thus insuring 
an excellence in their goods that they could not hope other- 
wise to attain. 

They have recently purchased a site for a factory on Third 
street, corner of Third avenue, upon which they are to erect 
a large and durable building for the accommodation of their 
rapidly increasing business. 



Other nianufacturer.s who are doing a good business 
are-: Brooklyn Mfg. Co., C. W. BiUler & Co., Lorem 
Griesskr, Iron- Clad Mfg. Co., Peter Micheh, August 
Nagel, Willaini Norris, Robert Schreick, Hugh Sul- 
livan, Jos. H. Van Winkle, John Wilkens, Reinhard 
Wenz, and Thomas JTeneg. It is somewhat remark- 
able, and we fear, not quite in accordance witli tlic 
truth, that the census represents Brooklyn- as the only 
large city in the United States, which is extensively 
engaged in the production of stamped or drawn goods. 
New York is reported as producing $97,280 worth, and 
Brooklyn $1,556,829, while no other large city reports 
them at all. It is probable, however, that in many 
cases stamped ware is included under the head of " tin, 
copper and sheet iron ware," though the manufactur- 
ing census of both New York and Brooklyn have re- 



turii.s under both titles. The manufacturers of liic 
drawing and stamping m.acliines tell uh that largo 
houses in Portland, Me.; Wilmington, Del.; Baltimore, 
Md.; Buffalo, N. Y,; St. Louis, Mo.; San FraiiciHco, 
Cal., and Tortlaiid, Oregon, manufacture oil, fruit, 
vegetable, provision, fish and oyster cairn by hundreiU 
of millions by this pro<'eRs; and that household warex 
are manufactured largely in the same way in Buffalo, 
Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis. 

Tin, sheet iron, zinc and copper are manufactured in 
so many forms that it is not to be .tupposcd that tlie 
drawing process can be appliol to them all, but the 
ingenious manufacturers of these machines have de- 
vised the means for making almost everything which 
can be made by machinery; stove-pipes are made and 
riveted, the elbows formed perfectly, kettles, large 
])ailp, wash-boilers, steamers, hot-air pipes, copper ket- 
tles, baking and dripping i)ans, camp-kettles, etc., etc., 
etc., arc all turned out j)erfectly by machinery. En- 
ameled wares are also manufactured by machine 
methods. The manufacture of stamped and other tin- 
wares in Brooklyn has nearly doubled since 1880. At 
that time there were reported of stamped ware six 
establishments, with $870,000 capital, employing 1,010 
liands, p.aying $:?04,779 wages, using $036,084 of ma- 
terial, and producing annually $1,556,829. The tin- 
ware, copper- ware and sheet-iron ware trade, w.as repre- 
sented as having 119 establishments (this must have 
included the traveling tinkers and dealers .as well); 
with $136,350 capital, employing 284 hands, paying 
$1.50,331 wages, using $346,807 of material, and pro- 
ducing $010,134 of these wares. The aggregate num- 
ber of hands then was 1,294, and the annual product 
$2,175,063. This was exclusive of the production of 
the petroleum companies who emploj'cd in 1883 about 
1,200 hands on their cans, and turned out goods which 
cost them about $2,225,000; it was exclusive also of 
the large ]iacking houses, whose production, though 
very considerable, cannot now lie ascertained. The 
present business in this line in Brooklyn employs about 
2,700 hands, and produces somewhat more than 
$5,200,000. 

The manufacture of galvanized iron for building 
purposes, and of galranizcd iron wares for household 
and other uses, as for leaders, tubing, etc., etc., prop- 
erly belongs with this class of manufactures. It haa 
no separate item in the census, but there are three or 
four manufacturers who employ in all about forty or 
fifty men, and produce goods to the amoant of over 
$150,000. 

Intimately connected with the manufacture of tin- 
wares is the production of tin and lead, or .tpeltrr to</s, 
as well as the sheet or cast iron toi/s, mechanical toys, 
as they are termed, which in these days have so large 
a sale, and bring so much pleasure to the little ones. 
The tin, lead and sheet-iron toys are stamped out in 
halves, by machines of the same class with the dies 



704 



HISTORY OF KINGS COUNTY. 



nsed in the manufacture of tin-wares. They are put 
together and soldered slightly by children, and then 
passed along to receive their appropriate coloring. 
These tovs, which are of Yankee invention, have 
largely taken the place of the German toys, once so 
extensively sold here, being stronger, and better 
adapted for the introduction of the mechanisms for 
producing motion, sound, etc., and at the same time, 
cheaper. They are largely made from scrap iron and 
tin, and even the superabundant cast-away tin cans are 
utilized for the service. 

The principal manufacturers of tin, lead, spelter and 
sheet-iron toys, are Elias Dtirlach, Max Miller, and 
n. F. Leser; of steam and mechanical toys, the Union 
Toy Manufacturing Co., and Edward F. Ryder. 

From these to other toys and games the transition 
to wooden toys and boxes, to dolls, to indestructible 
toys, games and puzzles, to builders' blocks, to 
children's and dolls' carriages, and all other descrip- 
tions of toys, is easy and natural. 

Mr. F. Sytlu/ff is easily king in the department of 
wooden toys and boxes, though he has competitors; 
what Messrs. McLanghlin Brothers cannot furnish in 
the way of toy-books, indestructibles, pictorial illus- 
trations, puzzles and games, might well go unfurnished. 
Messrs. J. Gcetz's Sons, Feter Hillenhrand, George 
Hodgett, and Frederick Scellenberger, etc., manufacture 
dolls and a great variety of children's toys. 

But the children's benefactor is Crandall, "the in- 
imitable." His toys of all sorts, sizes and conditions; 
his dolls that talk, walk, sing, dance, jump and fly, and 
do everything almost that a human being can do; his 
mechanical toys, and above all, his velocipedes, bicycles, 
tricycles, quadrioycles; his carriages for dolls of all 
conditions and ranks; his children's carriages, and 
everything else that can make a child frantic with joy, 
are not surpassed anywhere. 

But Mr. Crandall doesn't make all his toys, and 
what is worse, those which he does make, are not made 
in Kings County; more's the pity, and so we cannot 
place him as we would be glad to do, among the Kings 
County manufacturers. But we make up for that else- 
where in this volume, where we speak of him as a 
dealer. 

A young and enterprising liouse, now Schwalbach 
<fc Obrig, have recently commenced tlie manufacture 
of children's or baby carriages. Mr. Alexander 
Schwalbach commenced the manufacture of baby car- 
riages in Se])teniber, 1882, at liil First Street, near 
Broadway, E. D. His capital was $5,000; he em- 
ployed ten men, and i)roduced §50,000 the first year. 
On the 1st of May, 1883, he took Theodore Obrig as 
partner, and extended the business, adding to it the 
manufacture of reed and rattan furniture, establishing 
for this purpose a new factory at 57 Fifth street. The 
wood wook of their various articles they manufacture 
at Walton, Delaware county, N. Y., iis docs Mr. Cran- 




SCHWALBACH & OBltlG'S FACTORY. 

dall also; but the iron work, plated work, etc., and the 
putting together of their baby carriages is all done 
here. They are now employing 100 hands, and pro- 
duce goods to the value of §80,000. Their sales are 
both wholesale and retail. The firm are young, enter- 
prising and energetic men, of a high sense of honor, 
and are bound to succeed. 

The census gave the statistics of the manufactures 
of toys and games as 10 establishments, 388 hands, 
$332,146 annual product. The number of establish- 
ments has not increased, but the number of hands is 
now 450, and the product, the manufacturers say, 
exceeds $500,000. 



SECTION X. 

Builders', Mechanics' and Housekeeping Hard- 
ware, and Agricultural and Horticultural 
Implements and Machinery. 

Hardware is a very comprehensive term, and in- 
cludes machines, implements and utensils, wholly of 
metal, p.artly of metal and wood, wholly of the harder 
woods, or partly or wholly of porcelain, granite wares, 
and metal or metallic earths. Each of the kinds of 
hardware specified in our title may be of either ma- 
terial. 

Builders' hardware includes hinges, latches, door- 
knobs, locks, keys, bolts, fasteners, door-chains, gong 
and other door bells, window catches and fasteners, 
trimmings for blinds, etc., etc. These may be of iron, 
brass, bronze, and some of them of porcelain or stone- 
ware. Plumbers' and gas-fitters' hardware includes 
basins, faucets, chains, gas-burners and the simpler 



THE MANUFACTURING INDUSTRTES. 



V05 



tools of the trade, but not what are known as Gas-fit- 
ters' anil Pliunbcrs' supplies. Tliose, too, are of por- 
celain or enameled ware, and of bronze or plated 
metal. Mechanics' hardware iiichides the simpler 
tools, axes, hatchets, planes, hammers, adzes, chisels, 
screw-drivers, tack-hammers, brad-awis, squares, com- 
passes, scales, common saws, two-foot rules, measurinf; 
tapes, etc., etc. Tiiese are usually of metal and wood 
except the tapes, and some of these are of steel. 

Agricultural and Horticultural hardware inchides 
hoes, rakes, pitchforks, spades, shovels, garden trowels, 
scratchers, harrows, flower-stands, flower-pots, tree 
pruners, saws, trimming knives, hay knives, grass 
knives, sickles, scj'thes, cradles, flower trellises. Sec, &c. 
Except the flower-jiots these are all iif metal and wood, 
or of wood alone. Housekeeping hardware embraces too 
many items to be enumerated here, but they will be re- 
called by our readers. In this department, iron, steel, 
bronze, plated metals, silver, wood of all qualities and 
degrees of hardness, porcelain, earthen or stone ware, 
and pottery of all grades, are the materials of which 
the utensils are made, and great ingenuity and inven- 
tive skill is displayed in constantly providing new ar- 
ticles and new patterns to supplement or to su])plaiit 
those already in >ise. There is still another class of 
hardware goods, not made for general use, but to sup- 
ply the manufacturers the parts of articles lliey manu- 
facture. Thus, in tlie manufacture of tea-pots, tea- 
kettles, sugar-bowls, milk-cups, pitchers, drinking cups, 
card receivers, etc., of metal, whether planished tin, 
brittania, nickel, or white metal for plating, the 
handles, noses, spouts, etc., etc., are not cast or moulded 
with the vessel, but are cast separately, and soldered to 
the vessel very deftly and delicately, and, if it is sub- 
sequently plated, the seam or joint is invisible. 

All these descriptions of hardware are manufactured 
in Kings county, although hardly any two houses pro- 
duce the same kind of goods. 

The builders' hardware is very much divided. Door- 
knobs, drawers and bolt-knobs, insulators, and every- 
thing which can be made of porcelain is manufactured 
by the Union PorcelainWorks. Bronze hinges, knobs, 
latches and trimmings are made by Charlex Jfcllish, 
and we believe also by the Ansonsia Clock Co. Many 
of the more ornamental of these articles in bronze and 
brass are also made by Mr. W. G. Creamer, at the 
Brookhjn Cit)/ Foundrr/, and by some of the brass 
foundries. The more common articles, are made by 
the small founders and machinists, and the locks, keys, 
gongs, etc., by the look manufacturers. Williams, 
White <fc Co., Xostrand and Flushing avenues, make 
everything in this line except the bronze goods. They 
emjiloy about Ct hands, and ])roduce -?G.5,000 to §70,00O 
a year. Farrin(/ton <fc Whitneij are in nearly the same 
line, and do about the same amount of business. We 
think they make some bronze goods. Other manufac- 
turers are : Bohanan, Brehler, Deitz, and Ellis. 



The plumbers' hardwire comes from L. Br-in>lmt <fc 
Son, J. Conwatj, G. I). lumber tt" Hon, U. McShane 
<e Co., Ronalds <C Co., W. II. Storey, and li. E. Val- 
entine, and the gas-burners from tlio E. P. (ihanon 
Munufacturinrj Co. There is nothing in the line of 
builders' or plumbers' and gaa-fitlem' hardware, nor in 
any other de|)artnient of the builders' or decorators' art, 
required for the construction of tlie finest public or 
private buildings in Brooklyn, which cannot ho fur- 
nished, of as excellent quality and as tasteful form, by 
the manufacturers of Brooklyn as in any other city in 
the world. 

The mechanics' hardware comes from varions sonrccs. 
The saws are furnished by the Vidcan Sair n7<r/v», by 
C. W. Punlap, and several other parlies; the files by 
C. B. Paul mostly ; the hammers by C. W. iJunlap, 
n. L. Judd & Co., Williams, White it Co. and oilicrs; 
the squares, two-foot rules, etc., by 7'. J. Large <b Son. 
The measuring tapes by George M. Eddy & Co, etc., 
etc. 

We will speak of agricultural and horticultural hard- 
ware a little farther on. The largest manufacturer of 
housekeeping hardware in Kings County is CharUa W. 
Dunlap, whose catalogue shows a very great variety of 
items. He confines himself, however, mostly to those 
articles which are of iron and steel combined with 
wood, or of metal only. His list contains 275 items. 
The tin household wares, and those of enamelled or 
granite coating, are furni.shed by the tin manufacturers, 
like Ketchum & Co., Haberman, IMey cO Co., Vogel, 
Somers Bros., etc., etc., etc.; the hollow-ware castings 
by John Sandaver, Gedney & Nungasser, and other 
small founders; and the wood hardware by JI. II. Bel-. 
lows, Christopher Fitter, George Kessel, William A. 
Vredenburgh, etc., etc. 

The ILdsted 3Iamifacturing Co. are engaged exclu- 
sively in casting handles, ears, noses and spouts to 
metal goods for household use, a large business in itself. 
Oakley T. Lee manufactures hardware specialties, such 
as gong-bclls, spiral springs, etc. Several of the other 
hardware manufacturers are similarly engaged. 

Subsection' I. — Agricultural Machinery and Imjilc- 
ments. 

This industry, which at one time was a large one in 
Kings County, has now nearly ceased here, in conse- 
quence of the greater facilities for obtaining the wood, 
iron and steel (which are the principal raw materials 
required in the manufacture) at points farther west, 
and in regions easily accessible to great forests and 
iron mills and furnaces. 

The Agricidtitral Machine Works, in Plymonth 
street, were established by R. H. Allen, E!sq., in 1854, 
and for a score of years or more carried on a very ex- 
tensive business, requiring a steam engine of lOO-horse 
power to drive their machinery, employing 250 men, 
manufacturing not only mowing and reaping machines, 



706 



HISTORY OF KIJSTQS C0UN2T. 



bui .1 -.Mi... line of agricultural implements. But 
the great development of manufactories for these ma- 
chines in Syracuse, Buffalo, Batavia, Cleveland, Toledo, 
South Bend, Chicago, etc., etc., and the increased cost 
of their production here, led Messrs. Allen to remove 
their factory, about five years since, into the interior of 
the State, and rent their building and power to other 
parties, for manufacturing horse trucks, wheelwright 
work, etc. There are two or three other manufacturers 
of agricultural implements in the county, but their 
business is small ; the census reported but one in ISSO. 
Of these the largest is Messrs. Edmiston ib Waddell, 
in Brooklyn, E. D. It. GrammicKs Hon, whose 
works extend from 103 North First to 64 North 
Second street, in the Eastern District, has also 
been in the business since 1874. His production is 
about $10,000. Of the horticultural tools, (J. W. 
Dunkip manufactures a full line. The statistics of the 
hardware manufacture in Brooklyn in the census of 
1880 were 34 establi>hments ; §432,5.50 capital ; 441 
hands employed; $193,186 wages paid; §401,251 mate- 
rial used, and $750,297 annual product. It is so diffi- 
cult to define what shall be classed as hardware, and 
there are so many firms, a part of whose production 
may be classed as hardware and a part as something 
else, that it is impossible to say whether these statistics 
are appro.ximately correct or not. The production has 
certainly not decreased since 1880. 

Subsection II. — Refrigerators. 

The general use of refrigerators, which may preserve 
the ice from too rapid melting, is of recent origin. It 
is not yet fifty years since the collection and distribu- 
tion of ice for family use became a business sufficiently 
large to be profitable. Now one of the great ice com- 
panies has its wagons traversing every street of Kings 
and New York counties; has a capital of over three 
millions of dollars, and has an annual income of be- 
tween five and six millions, and employs more than 
two thousand men in distributing the ice. Other ice 
companies do a smaller but still a profitable business. 

All of this vast traffic in ice creates a demand for 
refrigerators, from the great refrigerating room of the 
large provision dealers and hotels, and the refrigerat- 
ing vats of the breweries, to the smaller and less costly 
family refrigerators and ice chests. Every large city 
has its refrigerator manufactories, and of a great 
variety of patterns; every hardware and house fur- 
nishing store, has the agency of from one to a half 
dozen manufacturers, each claiming to be the best. 

Refrigerators are of varied construction, but the 
most effective embody the following principles, viz.: 

(1). The ice in a chamber at the top of the refriger- 
ator; (2). A perforated rack or false bottom to the 
ice chamber; (3). A guarded entrance of the outer 
air, 80 that it will pass over and around the ice to the 
space under the rack ; (4). A drainage on each side of 



the refrigerator, of the water from the melted ice, in 
such a way that it will extend along the sides and back, 
and keep the air between the lining and outside of the 
refrigerator, at a temperature not above 33° F., and 
finally be concentrated by a sloping groove to the vent 
or outlet ; (5). By this means the air in the refrigera- 
tor will be kept constantly dry, and of a temperature 
not above 35°, at which temperature no decay or fer- 
mentation is possible ; (6). It is desirable that the 
external surface of the refrigerator should be painted 
■with a water-proof and fire-proof paint, which shall 
prevent the introduction of hot air or moisture through 
the pores of the wood. 

Such a refrigerator will be economical in its con- 
sumption of ice; the cold air in it will he dry, and of 
a temperature, extraordinarios excepted, not exceeding 
35^ F. ; it will neither freeze the articles placed within 
it, which would impair their quality, nor convey 
moisture to them, which would in most cases, cause 
their destruction. The refrigerators in" the markets 
approximating to this standard most nearly, are those 
which are most desirable; those departing from it in 
any essential particular are to be avoided. Without 
denouncing any manufacturer or any pattern of refrig- 
erators, it is still safe to say that two-thirds of those 
put on the market do not meet these requirements. 

Our Kings County manufacturers, we are glad to 
say, do conform to these principles more nearly than 
any others within our knowledge. They are not per- 
fect, and have yet some faults which they will correct. 

Messrs. Cooper S McKee, of 115-119 Gwinnett 
street, are the oldest and largest house in the trade, Mr. 
McKee having been engaged in it since 1875, and Mr. 
Cooper being previously of the house of ^IcGill »fc 
Cooper. Mr. McGUl is now established in McKibbin 
street. Both houses manufacture many styles of refrig- 
erators, but aside from the ice chests, give the prefer- 
ence to those having the ice chamber at the top. Their 
drainage is very perfect, and their cupboards are dry 
and sufficiently cold to keep provisions well. They are 
moderately economical of ice, though some improve- 
ments, introduced the present winter, will make their 
reputation much higher in this respect. 

The annual product of the refrigerator manufacture 
(exclusive of refrigerating machines), is about $115,- 
000; the number of hands employed is about 60. 



SECTION XI. 

Silver-Plating and Silver-Plated Wares. 

The only item in the tables of the manufactures of 
Brooklyn put forth in the Tenth Census, which can 
have any reference to the business of silver-plating, is 
the title, eleetro-phdiufi, .and these are its statistics : 
number of establishments, 6 ; capital invested, $10,650 ; 
hands employed, 30 ; annual amount paid in wages, 
$9,371; value of raw material, $3,630; value of pro- 



THE MANUFACTURING INDUSTRIES. 



707 



ducts, $21,G32. It is to be remembered that the term 

" ek'ctro-])lating " incliules (•oi)i>er-i)l:iting, and nickel- 
plating, ami eloctrotyping, as well as silver and 
gold plating. The number of houses engaged in the 
first three of these descriptions of electro-])latiiig is not 
less than tun or twelve, and one of the nickel-platers 
alone, does more than five times the amount of busi- 
ness, and ])r(>duces five times as great a value of goods 
as the census assigns to the whole six electro-])laters. 

But we are not now fighting the battles of the nickel- 
platers, or copper electro-platers, or electrotypers 
against the Census Otlice ; wu have only to consider in 
this place, the silver-platers. Of these, the Directory of 
1882 gave tlie names of eight firms; that of 1883 re- 
duced the number to five. Of these six in the former 
year and three in the latter are merely re-platers and 
repairers in a small way, who are unable to do any 
large pieces, or even any small ones, requiring the use 
of moulds or machinery, but bring them at once to the 
large manufactories ; one is engaged in the manufac- 
ture of door-plates, silvered knobs, and articles of hard- 
ware and plumbing necessity, which re<{uire plating. 
It is not absolutely necessary that he should resort to 
the electro-plating process at all ; but as there is some 
economy in it, the probability is that most of the arti- 
cles are electro-plated. The other house which is en- 
gaged in silver and gold plating, has undertaken the 
manufacture of that almost infinite variety of goods, 
which, though they are not all hollow, yet are known 
to the trade as " hollow wares." These include ice- 
pitchers, flagons, wine and beer pitchers, communion 
services, tea services in great variety, castors, card re- 
ceivers, oyster dishes, tureens, silver bowls and cups, 
butter dishes, with and without covers, fruit holders, 
etc., etc., etc. They make no flat ware, such as knives, 
forks and spoons, except the fancy fish and fruit knives, 
and the s])oons for especial use, such as sugar spoons, 
olive, salad and other ornamental spoons and wares, 
more largely used in wedding j)rcsents than for any 
more practical purpose. This house, Messrs. E. G. 
Wehstku & BuorEiER, takes rank among the seven or 
eight great manufacturers of silver-plated wares in this 
country: the Meriden Brittania Company; Keed and 
Barton; Simpson, Ilall and Miller; the Meriden Silver 
Plate Co.; the Middletown Silver Plate Co.; the Wil- 
cox Silver Plate Manufacturing Co., and we believe 
also one large house in Cincinnati and another in 
Chicago. 



Commencing in a small way in New York city, just after 
the war, as the successors of Asa Rogers and William Duprce 
(Mr. Rogers being one of tliree brotliers whose names are 
thoroughly identifi' d with the early history of electro plating 
in this country), they made wares of such excellence as to 
create a demand for their goods greater than they could sup- 
ply. They removed to Brooklyn very soon, and after several 
experiences of too straitened quarters, erected their present 
fine six-story warehouse, of which we give a view in 








E. G. WEBSTER & BRO.'S SILVER-PLATING WORKS. 

this page. Messrs. Webster not only own the building, 
vvhicli occupies al)Out one-half of the block, but the adjacent 
lots, whicli gives them a complete command of all the light 
an<l air they need on each side of the building : a matter of 
great importance in the manufacture of silver-plated wares. 
In this great establishment they employ an average of 13-5 
hands, paying annually about $6.5,000 in wages, and produc- 
ing silver and gold plated wares of the value of $275,000 to 
1300,000. 

A tour through their works reveals much that is very inter- 
esting in this manufacture. We begin with the basement, 
where the raw material, which is to be transformed into 
articles of such beauty, is stored. And now, before we look 
into the innocent-seeming kettle in yonder brick furnace, let 
us indulge in a little philosophical and historical explanation. 
In the early days of plated ware, before the electroplating 
methods were discovered, the basis of all plated goods for 
table use was copper, and these wares were made mostly in 
England, and exported to this country. After a while a 
whiter and somewhat cheai)er basis was sought for, and this 
was found, at first, in that compound of varying proportions 
known as German silver, or more recently as nickel silver. 
This is a compound or alloy of nickel and brass in different 
proportions. Sometimes tin is .idded; generally, in practice, 
the amount of nickel is small, and of brass large, for eco- 
nomical and other reasons. For what is known as flat ware, 
forks, spoons and knife handles, this is a very good compound, 
not, perhaps, the best possible, but though it is liable to the 
offensive brassy odor, it is better than a sjfter and more 
easily worked metal But for what is known as hollow w.ar^ 
it was early seen that a more flexible and easily moulded and 
turned metal, which should be of the silver color, would be 
better, ami nearly all the large manufacturers are now agreed 
in using a composition known as Brittania or Albata, whoM 
composition is mainly of pig tin. of the quality known a» 
Straits or JIalacca tin. with a moderate percentage of copper, 
and a still smaller one of antimony. The tin is flexible, and 
of a whiteness strongly resembling silver; the copper gives it 



70* 



HISTORY OF KINGS COUNTY. 



firmness and body, while it does not diminish its flexibility; 
aiiJ the antimony hardens it and makes it take sharper and 
cleaner impressions from the dies or moulds which are used 
ia the ornamental portions, and the handles, &c., of such of 
the articles as are cast. 

This composition is more easily oxidized or discolored than 
silver, but its color varies very little from that metal. In the 
basement of Messrs. Webster's factory we shall find kettles 
of this metallic compound melted and so thoroughly amal- 
gamated as to form a perfectly homogeneous mass. From 
the kettles they are run into moulds, and come out in plates 
about 10 inches wide, 15 long and not far from an inch m 
thickness. Tliese plates are next rolled to the desired thick- 
ness for the wares which are to be made. Those sheets of 
rolled metal which are to be made into waiters, trays, &c., 
are subjected to the stamping, or rather, as it is now called, 
the drawing process, and by dies of hardened steel, often en- 
graved with beautiful decorations, are forced into the grace- 
ful forms in which we find them. When they are removed 
from the presses they are liable to be warped, but by a very 
simple but ingenious device they are restored to a perfectly 
flat and regular shape. A metallic table, having a perfectly 
level and smooth surface, is heated to a given temperature, 
and upon this table the refractory trays are placed, and by 
the influence of the heat are so completely straightened that 
they will touch the table at every point of their under surface. 

The sheets of metal, after being drawn through the rollers, 
are of different degrees of thickness, according to the pur- 
poses for which they are required. If they are to be made 
into tea-pots, cofl'ee-pots, sugar-bowls, ice-pitchers or vases, 
they are cut into circular disks, from 10 to 15 inches in diam- 
eter, and are placed in lathes revolving with a speed of 3,.500 
revolutions in a minute; and a wooden form or block approx- 
imating to the general design which is desired being placed 
as a guide in the lathe, the skilful workman applies the 
metallic disk to the lathe, and by the adroit manipulation of 
a tool, somewhat like a burnishing tool, forms it into the 
required shape, and with a beautifully polished surface. The 
ring at the top is attached and held by a projecting lip of the 
metal, which is turned down by the tool. If it is to be em- 
bossed or ornamented, this is done by means of an embossing 
press with matching dies. If it is to have the hammered 
finish, this is done by hand, and both the embossing and 
hammering are done by women, and done admirably well. 
The engraved and chased work is executed by men, not be- 
cause it could not be done as well by women, who possess 
the same artistic skill, but because these are not easily found. 
It is a noticeable fact, that in the manufactures of Kings 
county, the lield of labor open to women is steadily expand- 
ing, and that their wages, for the higher classes of work, 
are approximating to those of men in the same positions. A 
more thorough training in the arts of design would result in 
a still greater enlargement of their sphere of action. But to 
return to our wares. The handles, spouts, rings, &c., of the 
various articles of hollow ware are cast and soldered on to 
their respective vessels. The moulds in wliich they are cast 
are expensive, and the patterns are constantly changing. 
" If I could have the money those moulds have cost me," 
said Mr. Webster, as he opened a cupboard filled with these 
patterns, " I could retire from businessonan ample fortune." 
The mould, which is of brass or bronze, is made in halves, 
hinged together, and each has an upright tube when closed.' 
mto which the molten metal is poured. The metal in con- 
tact with the side of the mouhl chills first, and the moulder, 
as soon as lie has poured in the metal, tips the mould and lets 
the Uquid metal in the centre run out. Were this delayed 
for two seconds, the handle or spout would be solid instead 



of being hollow. When cooled, these handles, spouts, &c., 
are cleaned, filed and trimmed, and then soldered on the 
vessels. The bases of the teapots, sugar bowls, &c., which 
have been turned on the lathes, are also soldered on, and the 
articles are scoured and cleaned for the silvering, which is ap- 
plied in a magneto-galvanic bath. The gilding of the inner 
surface of cups, vases, &c., is performed by a different pro- 
cess, though still magneto-galvanic. When the vessels are 
taken out of the bath, they are of a creamy or ecrii color. 
This is removed, either by scrubbing or by scouring upon a 
fine emery wheel, and the silver surface appears. This is 
burnished, or buffed, or polished on a wheel, or by a particu- 
lar process a satin surface is produced. The manufacturers' 
stamp is put on. and the thickness of the plating is specified. 
Awhde ago the purchasers were satisfied with duplex plate; 
then nothing but triplex would answer, and now tlie rage is 
for quadruplex plating; one enterprising house, seeking to 
distance all its rivals, announces " sextessimal plating." It 
does not matter; all grades are plunged in the same silver 
bath, and kept there for the same lime; and the triplex plate 
is just as thick as the sextessimal. The plated wares ai'e now 
ready for packing, or for storing away in dark chests till 
they are ordered, and Messrs. AVebster & Brother find it 
difficult to keep up a sufficient supply of all the numerous 
articles on their illustrated catalogue to fill their orders 
promptly. This enormous demand for articles of luxury, 
while very gratifying to the manufacturers, is another of the 
many evidences of the extravagance of our times, especially 
in our own country. 

A few words now of the electrojjlaters, electrotypers, 
and nickel-platers. The last-named branch of the 
business has had a rapid development during the last 
three or four years. The nickel-plated trimmings are 
found in all buildings, stores, offices, railroad cars, 
steamboats and steamships. The very slight oxidization 
to which the nickel is subject makes it very desirable 
for many uses; our five and three cent coins are almost 
pure nickel, and the Mexican Government has decided 
recently to m.ake its subsidiary coin wholly of it, and to 
issue certificates payable for duties based on it. Our 
nickel-platers in Kings County in May, 1883, were five 
in number, and were all doing a good business, em- 
ploying about 100 hands, and producing in all over 
§100, 000 of goods. The other companies or firms en- 
gaged in electroplating or replating silver and copper, 
and the electrotypers, numbered together eight estab- 
lishments, employing about 70 hands, and producing 
nearly $80,000. 

We may safely put down the whole business as pro- 
ducing more than $450,000. 

Having thus canvassed all the branches of industry 
in Kings County connected with the manufacture of 
materials in whole or in part, let us now sum up the 
number of hands and the total annual out-put, so far as 
they can be estimated. 

A careful footing makes the number of liands em- 
ployed 14,300, representing more than 57,000 dependent 
persons, and a total production of $24,823,000. 

When we consider that here are no large yards for 
building steamships, no great marine engine or loco- 



THE MANUFACTURING INDUSTRIES. 



Tno 



motive works, no furnaces for the production of pig 
iron or steel, this amount of production appears to be 
very large, and shows the resolute and persistent in- 
dustry of our metal-workers. 



SECTION XII. 

The Manufacture of Paints, Varnishes, etc. i. 
White Lead and Its Professed Substitute — 
Linseed Oil. 2. Painters' Colors, Dry. 3. 
Paints in Colors and White, Mixed with 
Oils or Other Ingredients. 4. Varnishes. 
5. Whiting and Paris White, and the Art of 
Kalsomining. 

The manufacture of paints, varnishes, etc., in Kings 
county does not include what are known as tube or 
artists' colors; for though one of the largest of our 
paint manufacturing houses does produce these, their 
manufactory of them is in New Jersey. But all the 
descriptions of paints which arc used on surfaces of 
wood or iron, or other metals, and all kinds of varnishes 
used on wood, metallic or paper surfaces, are made 
here, as well as all descriptions of dryers. All the so- 
called mineral paints are made or refined for u.^e here, 
as well as tlie linseed and other oils, and the refined 
spirits of turpentine which liave so large a measure of 
use in all descriptions of painting. 

The whiting, paris white, white oxide of zinc, glue, 
and other constituents of the wash known as kalsoinine, 
alabastine, etc., are also either made or j)repared for 
use here. 

The subject is consequently one of great compass 
and extent. 

SunsECTiox I. — White Lead. 

Let us take up each department of the manufacture 
in its natural order. With the exception of the coarse 
paints applied to rough surfaces of iron, wood or stone 
for their preservation, which may be of coal tar, red 
lead, lime, or other articles, all paints used in house 
painting and ornamental work have either white lead 
or the white oxide of zinc, either pure or adulterated, 
as their basis. What is white lead, and how is it pre- 
pared ? It is a carbonate, or perhaps a carbonate and 
a white oxide of lead mixed, and is obtained in the 
form of a very white and heavy powder. It mixes 
readily with oil, giving to it a drying property, spreads 
well under the brush, and perfectly covers the surface 
to which it is applied. 

It is not only employed alone as the best sort of 
white paint, but, as we have already said, is the general 
material or body of a great number of paints, the 
colors of which are produced by mixing suitable color- 
ing matter with the white lead. Besides its use as a 
paint, it is also in demand to a considerable extent as 
an ingredient in the vulcanized indiarubbir. To pre- 
pare it the purest pig lead, such as the retined foreign 



lead and tho metal from the mines of tbo wcFtern 

slates, is almost exclusively used. Tiiis wiw by the 
old methods made in tliin shect.s and tlicHe coiled into 
small rolls to be subjected to the chemical treatment. 
But according to the Aincri<'an method devised by Mr. 
Augustus Graham, of Brooklyn, and now generally 
adopted, the lead is cast into circular gralingn or 
" buckles," which clo.sely resemble in form tlie large 
old-fashioned shoe-buckles, from which they receive 
their name. They are six or eight inches in diameter, 
and the lead hardly exceeds one sixth of an incli in 
thickness. Ingenious methods of casting them are in 
use in the American factories, by which the lead is run 
upon moulds directly from the furnace, and the buckles 
are separated from each other and delivered without 
handling into the vessels for receiving them. They 
are then packed in earthen pots shaped like flower-pots, 
each of which is provided with a ledge or three pro- 
jecting points in the inside, intended to keep the pieces 
above the bottom, in which is placed some strong vine- 
gar or acetic acid. It is recommended that on one side 
the pot should be partially open above the ledge, and 
if made full all round, it is well to knock out a piece in 
order to admit a freer circulation of vapors through the 
lead. In large establishments an immense supply of 
these pots is kept on hand, the number at one of the 
Brooklyn works being reckoned at not less than 200,000. 
They continue constantly in use till accidentally 
broken below the ledge. Being packed with the 
buckles and the acid, they are set close together in 
rows upon a bed of spent tan, a foot to two feet thick, 
and lliin sheets of lead are laid among and over the pots 
in several thicknesses, but always so as to leave open 
spaces among them. An area is thus covered, it may 
be twenty feet square or of less dimensions, and is en- 
closed by board partitions, which, upon suitable frame- 
work, can be carried up twenty-five feet high if re- 
quired. When the pots and the interstices among them 
are well packed with lead, a floormg of boards is laid 
over them, and upon this is spread another layer of tan; 
and in the same manner eight or ten courses arc built 
up, containing in all, it may be, 12,000 pots and 50 or 
60 tons of lead, all of which are buried beneath an up- 
per layer of tan. As the process of conversion re- 
quires from eight to twelve weeks, the large factories 
have a succession of these stacks, which are charged one 
after another; so that when the process is completed in 
one, and the jiots and lead have been removed and the 
chamber is recharged, another is ready for the same 
operation. 

The conversion of metallic lead into carbonate is in- 
duced by the fermenting action, which commences in 
the tan soon after the pile is completed. The heat thus 

' generated evaporates the vinegar, and the vapors of 
water and acetic acid rising among the lead oxidize its 
surface and convert it externally into a subacetate of 

I lead; at the same time carbonic acid evolved from the 



710 



HISTORY OF KINGS COUNTY. 



tan circulates among the lead and iransfonus the 
acetate into carbonate of the oxide, setting the acetic 
acid free to renew its office upon fresh surfaces of lead. 
"When the tan ceases to ferment, the process is at an 
end, and the stack may then be taken to pieces. Tlie 
lead is found in its original forms, but of increased 
bulk and weight, and more or less completely converted 
into the white carbonate. The thoroughness of the 
operation depends upon a variety of circumstances; 
even the weather and season of the year having an in- 
fluence upon it. The pieces not entirely converted have 
a core of metallic or " blue " lead beneath the white 
carbonate crust. The separation is made by beating 
off the white portion, and this being done upon per- 
forated copper shelves set in large wooden tanks and 
covered with water, the escape of the fine metallic 
dust is entirely prevented and its noxious effect upon 
the health of the workmen is avoided. In Europe, 
rolling machines closely covered are applied to the 
same purpose, but less effectually. The white lead 
thus collected is next ground with water between mill- 
stones to a thin paste, and by repeated grindings and 
washings this is reduced to an impalpable consistency. 
The water is next to be removed, and, according to the 
European plan, the creamy mixture is next turned into 
earthen pots, and these are exposed upon shelves to a 
temperature not exceeding 300° until perfectly dry. 
Instead of this laborious method, the plan is adopted in 
the American works of employing shallow pans of 
sheet copper, provided with a false bottom, beneath 
which steam from the exhaust-pipe of the engine is 
admitted to promote evaporation. These pans or 
"drying kilns" are sometimes 100 feet long and 6 feet 
broad, and several are set in the building one above 
another. The liquid lead pasle is pumped up into 
large tanks, and the heavier ])orLi()n, settling down, is 
drawn off into the p.ans, while the thinner liquid from 
the surface is returned to be mixed with fresh por- 
tions of white lead. Beside pans, tile tables heated by 
flues in the masonry of which they are built, are also 
employed. From four to six days are required for 
thoroughly drying the white lead. This is the tinish- 
ing jirocess, after which the lead is ready for packing in 
small casks for the market. 

The manufacture of white lead, whicli was formerly 
an unhealthy and even datigerous occupation, has been 
so much improved by the expedients for keejjing the 
material wet and thus preventing the rising of the fine 
dust, that the peculiar lead disease now rarely attacks 
the workmen. The business is conducted altogether 
upon a large scale, and gives employment to numerous 
extensive factories in different i)arts of the country. 
Some of these have arrangements for converting-.stacks 
that extend under cover 200 feet in length, and their 
facilities for grinding and drying are projiortionally 
extensive. These, and the time required for fully com- 
pleting the process and getting the white lead ready 



for market — which is from three to four months — in- 
volve the use of large capital and tend to keep the 
business in few hands. 

Very numerous have been the substitutes proposed for 
white lead ; baryta, silica (pure or compounded), zinc, 
oxide or carbonate, etc., etc., but all have failed some- 
where ; and success is hardly probable in this century. 

There is a vastly increasing demand for pure white 
lead, and the competition and watchfulness of the trade 
insure the genuineness of the article thus warranted by 
the manufacturers. For some years after the com- 
mencement of the manufacture it was the custom with 
the manufacturers to sell the white lead dry to the 
grinders, who then constituted a distinct trade, and who 
ground the lead in oil and mixed it with zinc, baryta, 
and other substances to suit their own purposes. These 
grinders sold to the house painters, and most of them 
dealt also in colors, which the painters mixed, and thus 
obtained the tints they desired. 

This business is still transacted to some extent, but 
there have been material changes within a few ycai's 
past. Some of the white lead manufacturers now also 
manufacture linseed oil (and this is particularly the 
case with one Brooklyn manufacturer), and it is now 
their practice to grind their white lead in oil themselves, 
and sell it in this condition. They are able thus to 
control the purity of their lead. Pails or kegs of 
white lead thus ground in oil, and bearing the brand of 
a firm of high character, can be relied upon as pure. 
On the other hand, if the dealer or painter requires an 
article which contams a percentage of white oxide of 
zinc, or of sulphate of baryta, he can be accommo- 
dated, but knows what he is purchasing exactly, and 
receives it as an inferior grade and bearing an inferior 
brand. 

The grinders, too, have taken a step forward; they 
now not only grind white lead, zinc, etc., in oils, but 
they also grind, both dry and in oils, other colors, and 
mix them so as to produce a great variety of shades, 
every desirable one, indeed, and furnish them of uni- 
form excellence. Some of them also, as we shall see 
further on, have devised processes for preventing these 
paints from drying up in their cans or pails. 

The result of these changes is that now the white lead 
manufacturers sell their products either dry or ground 
in oil to the large dealers and the paint manufacturers 
only, and these sell to the painters. 

The History of the White Lead Manufac- 
ture in Brooklyn is interesting. The manufacture 
originated in Holland; was not introduced into Eng- 
land till near the close of the last century, and was 
unknown in the ITnited States until after tlie war of 
1812. The first white lead works were established in 
Philadelphia, probably between 1816 and 1820; though 
there is a tradition that two previous efforts had been 
made in that city, that of Wetherell in 1796, and of 
Lewis in 1800. Tf so, both had failed very soon. The 



TUB ^^^^nTF.\nTURING industries. 



m 



works of llinton and IMooic, in Hdlcvillc, N. J., were 
founded in 1818, and the next was probably that of 
the Brookli/n White Lead Compamj, founded in 1S2'J, 
and incorporated in 1825. This is believed to have 
been the tliird then in existence in the United States. 
When it was incorporated it had a capital of $52,000. 
The brothers, John li. and Aus^ustus Graham, were 
amonn; the most active and prominent of its founders, 
and the latter was the inventor of several important 
improvements in the processes. 

In twentysi.K years (1851), it had grown into one of 
the lari^est, and perhaps the largest white lead manu- 
factory in the United States. It occupied an entire 
block, 2-50.K200 feet on Front street, between Washing- 
ton and Adams; employed ninety men, and produced 
annually 2,500 tons of white lead, red lead, litharge, 
etc., valued at §425,000. Meanwhile other white lead 
works had been established in Brooklyn. Among 
these were the Atlantic White Lead Works of Messrs. 
Robert Colgate «fc Co., and the Union Worka, Front, 
corner Bridge. The works of the Atlantic White 
Lead Co. Avere established on Marshall street, near 
Gold, in 1845, where they are still conducted with 
great success. Tiiey were destroyed by fire in 18GG, 
but were immediately rebuilt. 

In 1851, the whole amount of capital invested in the 
business was over one million dollars; the united pro- 
duction from 8,000 to 12,000 tons, and the annual value 
of the product from § 1,200,000 to $1,500,000. 

It was publicly stated at this time that the produc- 
tion of white lead in Brooklyn exceeded that in any 
other town or city in the United States, and was nearly 
equal to that of all the rest of the country. 

In 1860, the census officers reported in Kings county 
eight white lead works, with $848,800 capital; using 
$1,182,400 of raw material; employing 356 hands; 
paying $137,340 annually in wages, and producing 
annually $2,129,500 of white lead and other products. 
This was probably an understatement; but the retiirns 
of the census, in 1870, of the manufactures of Kings 
county were palpably wrong, as they were every- 
wliere else. 

Thire was no separate statement of " white lead," but 
under the head of " paints, lead and zinc," in distinc- 
tion from " paints (not specified)," we have the foUow- 
in<^ returns: Five establishments; 154 hands; -$433,500 
capital; $86,592 wages; $690,280 of raw material used, 
and $882,500 of annual product. We are sure that 
one of the establishments in Kings county at that time 
exceeded these figures, and that the whole number 
(there were four companies instead of five at that time) 
more than doubled it. 

But, if these returns are grossly inaccurate, what 
shall we say of the census returns of 1880 ? No entry 
of the white lead manufacture was permitted. Mr. 
Frothinghara made a return of "Paints, Lead and 
Zinc," in which he gave the number of establishments 



as 28; the capital, $3,352,800; the largest number em- 
ployed at one time as 1,270; the amount of wag«'s paid 
as $577,123; the raw material used as $0,709,702; and 
the annual product as $8,442,038. ThJH included all 
the manufacturers of dry colors, all the nianufaeturerH 
of mixed paints, of which there were several Kpeoialtien, 
all the jjnxlucers of mineral paints, and |»robably, also, 
those of whiting, Paris while, etc., as well an the white 
lead manufacturers. The amount of pr'iduction wan 
probably not very far from the truth, though it wan 
impossible to separate in his tables the white lead man- 
ufacturers from the others. One of the white lead 
houses also manufactured linseed oil for their own use 
and for sale. Mr. Frothingnam had included this ia 
the list of their products. The census office, on the 
])ret('Xt that linseed oil was .a distinct manufacture 
(which, however, they only included, if at all, among 
the " unspecified " industries), threw out the words 
"lead and zinc," and rejected, for no apparent reason, 
two of the establishments, making tlieir returns as fol- 
lows: Paints, 26 establishments, $2,602,800 capital, 941 
hands, $478,376 wages paid, $4,023,500 raw material 
used, and $5,284,201 of annual product. It is hardly 
necessary to say that these statistics do not adequately 
represent the white lead, paint, color and whiting in- 
terest of Kings county, nor its linseed oil manufacture, 
which is as essential a part of the manufacture of 
paints and varnishes as are the colors themselves. The 
annual product given by the Census Office, while it more 
than covers the white lead interest, is far below that of 
the great paint manufacturers, several of which count 
their annual product by millions of dollars. In a letter 
from the Census Office, under date of March 12, 1883, 
they state the annual linseed oil product of Kings 
county as $3,158,737. I have been unable to ascertain 
the process by which they eliminated this amount from 
the general returns of the white lead manufacture. The 
manufacturers themselves cannot give any account 
of it, and it is certain that some of the largest pro- 
ducers of mixed paints and varnishes here do not ob- 
tain their linseed oil from Brooklyn manufacturers. 
The whole return is but another lamentable instance of 
assumption of a knowledge on the part of officials which 
they did not possess, and demonstrates, what ought to 
be well and widely known, the utter worthlessness of 
the census statistics of manufactures. 

Assuming, however, that this estimate may have been 
something more than a mere guess, we have a most re- 
markable development in the linseed oil manufacture 
here in the last decade. In 1860, the Unseed oil pro- 
duced in Kings county was reported as of the value of 
$1,010,704, only $30,000 more than the cost of raw ma- 
terial and amount of wages paid. In 1870, it was $1,- 
' 668,000, which was $301,500 more than the raw mate- 
rial and wages. In 1880, $3,158,737, or $31?,768 above 
the cost of raw material and the amount of wages. An 
analysis of these returns serves to show very conclu- 



712 



HISTORY OF KINGS COUNTY. 



Bively that they were only guess work, and the returns 
of 1880 seem to have been no better. Only two estab- 
liBbments are allowed, while more than that number cer- 
tainly existed; the number of hands is given as 335, 
when in 1870 only 145, less than one-half that number, 
were reported, yet the 335 are said to have received only 
$98,767 wages, while the 145 received 1100,000. The 
difference, which is supposed to indicate the net profit, 
was $313,768; while in 1870, on about one-half the 
annual product, it was $301,500, or only §12,000 less. 
Clearly, there are blunders somewhere in these re- 
turns. 

The manufacturers of linseed oil in Kings county 
are two; one of them, Robert Colgate <b Co., being also 
manufacturers and corroders of white lead; while the 
other, Campbell & T7iayer, manufacture the oil alone. 
The product is now a little less than the amount stated 
by the Census Office, though in some seasons it has been 
considerably more. 

There are only four houses in Brooklyn which are 
properly manufacturers [i. e., corroders) of white lead. 
These are: The Brooklyn White Lead Company, 
founded in 1822; the Union White Lead Company, 
founded about 1842 or 1843; the Atlantic White Lead 
and Linseed Oil Com/iany, founded about 1845; and 
the Bradley White Lead Company, founded about 
1870. Of these, the Atlantic White Lead Company is 
considerably the largest, and is, indeed, with one or 
possibly two exceptions, the largest corroding house in 
the United States. The white lead business has not 
been prospering greatly in the East for several years 
past, and the out-put is considerably less than it was a 
dozen years ago. This is due to several causes ; one, 
that several of the Western houses are connected with, 
or at least in the neighborhood of, the lead mines of 
Missouri and Iowa, or of the smelting furnaces where 
it is parted from silver, and so can procure their raw 
material cheaper than the Eastern manufacturers. 
There has sprung up, also, a certain demand for " sub- 
limed lead" for painting purposes; this was first pro- 
cured from the smelting furnaces, by the condensation 
of vaporized lead. There are objections to this pro- 
duct, from its comparative lightness and bulkiness, 
from its lack of bod}' and its tendency to part from the 
oil, and rub off after a little from the wood or other 
surfaces to which it is applied; and its consumption is 
believed not to be materially increasing, but it has 
helped to depress the trade in the past. The largest 
house in this country, one at Cincinnati, started re- 
cently, which claims to make 15,000 tons of white lead 
annually, has been producing it by what is known as 
the "Shaw process," i. e., by the direct action of car- 
bonic acid gas upon the lead; but the result has been 
expensive and not satisfactory. The capacity of the 
four white lead companies of Brooklyn is about 18,000 
tons of white lead, litharge, red oxide of lead or glass- 
makers' lead, etc., but the annual out-put of white lead 



since 1880 does not much exceed 12,000 tons, or at 
86.75 per hundred pounds, the minimum price of white 
lead ground in oil, about $1,620,000 of annual product, 
as against 12,430,000 of possible out-put. The demand 
for the lead is increasing rather slowly, but the numer- 
ous new factories springing into existence increase the 
.iiinual product beyond the limit of demand, and it is 
only by their capacity to carry heavy stocks of the 
manufactured lead that a reduction below the actual 
cost of production is prevented. 

The manufacture of the so-called mineral and other 
patent paints which contain no white lead, or very 
little, help to make this business unprofitable. There 
are a considerable number of these mineral and other 
paint manufacturers, and their sales are large, though, 
in the end, their wares are not satisfactory. 

The other so-called white lead manufacturers, of 
whom there are four or five, are not corroders, but white 
lead grinders, generally in connection with other colors, 
which they also purchase and grind, dry or in linseed 
oil. 

Subsection II. — Painters'' Colors, Dry. 

The number of colors now used by house and sign 
painters is very large, amounting to several hundreds of 
different tints. Some of these are produced by com- 
bining colors, but there is now a possibility of procur- 
ing so many distinct shades of color from coal tar, pe- 
troleum residuum, etc., etc., that the necessity of hand- 
mixing of colors by the painters themselves has greatly 
diminished. Many of the fine colors are not produced 
here, but only ground in oils or refined for the painter's 
use. This is the case with such of the aniline and petro- 
line colors, carmine, etc., as are used in painting. There 
is not yet, in Brooklyn, any manufacture of aniline or 
petroline colors, though there are indications that 
there may be soon. But the more solid, as well as 
some of the fanciful colors, are largely produced here 
and others are isolated from the ores, minerals, metals, 
and earths with which they are combined, and made 
ready for immediate use. The largest houses engaged 
in the production of dry colors are Adolphus B. Atns- 
bacher, and Sondheim, Alsberg dk Co. There are three 
other houses which manufacture dry colors, to a moder- 
ate extent ; and two, or more, of the great paint manu- 
facturers grind and pack dry colors as a part of their 
business. One of the houses named above, though 
manufacturing chrome, arsenical and other choice 
colors largely, makes a specialty of Paris Green (Scheele's 
green, arsenite of copper), now so largely used by 
agriculturists for the destruction of potato bugs, army 
worms, etc., etc., as well as for an ingredient of 
paints, and for use on wall papers, and in some articles 
of clothing. 

The manufacture of dry colors is said to exceed a 
million of dollars, but the manufacturers are very loth 
to give figures. 




*"«'t'/C>!oKP=n 




f^f^^^^ tyii^^^^j'/^Ui^^^ 



THE MANUFACIURING INDUSTRIES. 



rin 



Subsection III. — Color ground in oil. Colored Paints, 

and Mixed Paints. 

Several very large houses, as we have already hinted, 
have, within a few years past, created an extensive 
business in grinding colors in oil, and spiling thetn in 
cans of various sizes, from one-fourth of a j>oiind to 
five pounds or more, guaranteeing their purity and 
readiness for mixing with wliite lead, also ground in 
oil, or such other liasis as the painter might j)refer. 

These houses also mix and grind these various colors 
with white lead, and thus make paints ready for imme- 
diate application; thus ereatly facilitating the painter's 
work, and enabling householders who want but a small 
job done, to do it themselves. These houses generally 
purchase their white lead, or exchange mixed paints for 
it; and the paints, when mixed, have always given ex- 
cellent satisfaction. Among the leading houses in this 
trade are John W. Masuri/ <£• Son, C. T. llaynolds <C 
Co., Wadsiooi-th, Martinez ib Longman, F. 0. Pierce 
<fc Co., John D. Prince's Sons, etc. 



Leon.\.rd RicnAUDSON, son of Thomas and Lydia Richard- 
son, was born in Watertown, Jfiddlesex county, Massachu- 
setts, December 2d, 1833, and was the first-born of nine chil- 
dren, eight of whom are living. 

Mr. Richardson's boyhood was spent on Ins father's farm, 
and ho enjoyed the public school advantages peculiar to the 
time and locality; and was later fitted for college at Plidlips' 
Academy. Andover, then under the management of Dr. 
Samuel H. Taylor, for whose friendlj' interest and care 
for his welfare as a youth, Mr. Richardson has ever cherished 
the liveliest feelings of gratitude. 

At the age of eigliteen, Mr. Richardson left home, going to 
New York to engage as clerk in the paint store of Raynolds, 
Devoe & Co., at 106 and 108 Fulton street, but boarding in 
Brooklyn with his brother-in-law, Chas. Pratt, Esq.; and it 
lias been in Brooklyn that Mr. Richardson has had his home 
since that time. 

The business of tlie long-celebrated firm, with whose inter- 
ests Mr. Richardson thus early identified himself, was estab- 
lished in 1770 by William Post, who was succeeded by Post 
& Butler, and they by Butler & Itaynolds, the immediate pre- 
decessors of the firm of Itaynolds, Devoe & Co., who, in 1863, 
were succeeded by Raynolds, Pratt & Co., who gave place, 
in 1867, to C. T. Raynolds & Co., a firm composed of Messrs. 
C. T. Raynolds, T. B. Hidden, Leonard Richardson, E. L. 
Molineux and A. Rich. E. 11. Raynolds has, during the pres- 
ent year (1883), acquired an interest in the l)usiness, in wliich 
Mr. Richardson's partnership dates back to 18.^8. 

It was during the period of the interest in the concern of 
Mr. V. W. Devoe (now of tlie firm of F. W. Devoe & Co.), 
that Mr. Richardson, then a young man, developed that pecu- 
liar adaptibdity to the business that has since caused him to 
be regarded as, without doubt, the best manufacturer of 
colors and paints in this country; and he relates that it was 
Mr. Devoe who was fir.st to recognize his talent for this 
branch of the business, and advance him therein; and, during 
the many years of success which have followed one another 
into the past, since then, Mr. Richardson has never ceased to 
regard Mr. Devoe witli that grateful feeling which he be- 
lieves is due from him to the friend of his youth. 

The paint trade and manufacture, when Mr. Ricliardson's 
connection with it began, was in its infancy in this country, 



only small quantities being made by hand, and the bulk of 
the painters' materials in greatest demand Uinu imported, 
lie has seen its develo|)nH-nt into om- of the lemliiig in- 
dustries of the country, employing thouwimU of Mkilled 
workmen, and based on niillionH of ca|iiUil, and its ndvunco- 
ment, under a protective policy, to a point where the im|>ort- 
alion of painter.i' materiuls has pnii-ticaliy censcHl, and an 
enormous demimd, i:au8cd by the steady development of llio 
previously imsettled portions of the United .States, KUppliwl 
almost wholly by domestic munufacturerg, among whom his 
firm takes high rank, both for the excellence and quantity of 
its products, which find a ready sale everywhere. 

The firm of C. T. Raynolds & Co. have an extensive (mint 
and putty works in Brooklyn, a large varnish and color fac- 
tory at Bergenpoint, N. J., and an immenHP paint and putty 
works in Chicago, with large stores at 106 and 108 Fulton 
street. New York, and 21 Ljike street, Chicago. 

In 1858, Mr. Richardson married Miss S. Louisa Cxile, and 
they celebrated the twenty-fifth anniversary of their mar- 
riage at their residence, 1190 Dean street, Brooklyn, on 
Monday evening, June 25th, 1883. They have two sons and 
a daughter. 

Politically, Mr. Richardson is a republican, but he has 
never been, in any sense, a politician, though his counsel 
and advice have often been sought by those high in author- 
ity. His interest in the clean administration of public 
affairs is equalled only by tliat which he has ever taken in 
educational meiisures. 

His family are members of the Washington Avenue Bap- 
tist Church, of which Mr. Richardson is one of the trustees, 
and he has long been prominent in the management of its 
finances. 

In all matters pertaining to the public good, 5fr. Richard- 
son takes a deep and abiding interest. His chaiitv ia 
bountiful, but never ostentatious; and in all the relations of 
life he is honored beyond a majority of his fellows. He is 
widely known in connection with important interests con- 
cerning the Baptist Church, and is at all times recognized as 
a liberal contributor to the pecuniary needs of the organiza- 
tion, and as a wise and safe counsellor in its deliberative 
assemblies. 



A specialty in this line is the mixing of paints with 
gelatine, soluble india-rubber, or some other substance 
which keeps it suspended and prevents its drying up or 
forming paint skins. In this specialty there are several 
houses, each employing a different suspensory fluid. It 
is the opinion of the white lead manuf.icturcrs, ami 
probably they have good reason for their belief, that 
these manufacturers of special paint use little or no 
white lead in their paints; at all events, only suflicien 
to justify their claim that they are partly composed of 
that substance. The Averill Paint Co., of which 
Messrs. Seeley Bros, are now the principal proprietors, 
are the leading house in this specialty, and do a large 
business. The Ingcrsoll Paint AVorks, and several 
others, are smaller in extent. Several of these houses 
claim to use a solution of india-rubber in their paints, 
thus preventing, they say, their fading or changing 
color. 

There are also houses which manufacture coarser 
paints, and those which are used for roofs, for iron 
fences, beams and columns. These generally use the 



714 



HISTORY Olr^INGS COUNTY. 



mineral paints, or red lead, or paints mixed with coal 
tar, or something of the sort. Messrs. H. D. Johns <fe 
Co., and one or two other houses, produce tlicsc ])aints. 

It should be said, in regard to the manufacture of 
paints, that there are certain underlying principles 
which govern the manufacture of all genuine and satis- 
factory productions, whether as applied to wood or 
smooth metallic surfaces, which consist of three constit- 
uents, viz.: l,The pigments; 2, The vehicles; 3, The 
thinners and driers.* 

The two largest houses engaged in the manufacture 
of these mixed paints in Brooklyn are also the largest 
in the United States, or, for that matter, in the world. 
These are: Messrs. C. T. Raijnokh &• Co., who have 
also a large interest in the white lead manufacture, be 
ing stockholders in the Bradley White Lead Co., which 
supplies their white lead, and arc engaged in the pro- 
duction of whiting and Paris white, and in the manu- 
facture of artists' (tube) oil colors. Their mixed paints 
are of excellent quality, and command a large sale in 
all parts of the Fiiited States as well as abroad. 
Messrs. John W. Masury & Son, under the vigorous 
management of their efficient superintendent, Mr. Wol- 
cott, have rapidly risen to the first rank in this manu- 
facture. They confine themselves to paints and fine 
varnishes, and their goods in both departments are 



* 1. The pigments are various; generally white lead (either pure or 
mixed wltii oxide of zinc, baryta or prepared ohaik, or some of the 
earths) is the basis. This should be always the case with white and 
light colors, and with most of the darlier ones, from its body or cover- 
ing property. 

Other pigments used in the mixed or colored paints are; YrUinva.— 
Yellow ochre, chroniate of lead, gamboge, etc. 

RciU.—M^fi oxide of lead, vermilion, red ochre, oxides of iron, red 
oxide of cupper, di-chromate of lead, carmine, carmine-madder, and 
other lakes, etc. 

/JIue«.— Prussian blue, ultramarine, smalt, Tlu'-nard's blue, verditer, 
aniline blues, etc. 

r/rceri.'*.— \'erdigris, Paris green, verditer, borate of coijper, oxide of 
chromium, cobalt green, and green lakes, and very often a mixture of 
chrome yellow and Prussian lilue, etc., etc. 

/iroif Ha.— Umber, bole, terra di Sienna, bistre, sepia, etc. 

Blac/f«.— Lampblack, bone-l)lack, anthracite, graphite, etc., etc. 

2. The Vehicles.— These are : 1. Oils, generally linseed oil, of late 
also, to a limited extent, cotton-3eed oil, nut oil, and poppy oil, vari- 
ously prepared, for the finest work. 2. Water, with glue or gum added. 
The ia-st are essentially water-colors, and are mainly used on interiors, 
and for graining purposes. 

The oil paints are llrst ground with a small quantity of raw linseed 
oil, to make the mixture homogeneous. This, as we have already 
stated, is now very largely done by the marmfacturers. About eight per 
cent, of oil Is added to white load, 12 or l:i per cent, to zinc white, and 
various proportions, according to tlie amount of body of tiie different 
colors, and other considerations. Under tlie old system tiie painter 
mixed tliisfor use witli a further quantity of raw an<l lioiled linseed oil, 
and collared it, to any desired sliade, with coicjred pigments, which he 
obtained eltiier dry or ground in oil. 

Now, the painter can oi)tain his paints, of the requisite fluidity, and 
of any desired shade of color, ail mixed to his hand, and there will be 
no variation in the shade If he has to paint a surface of ten thousand 
or fifty thousand square feet. The addition of oil and colors Is gov- 
erned by fixed rules, and the oils and colors are tested for purity before 
being used. 

3. The paints retpiire, in using, (hijiJicrs, which are generally of spirits 
of turpentine or benzine, and also ((ner.i, or siccatives, which maybe, 
according to the necessities of each pecullarcase, sugar of lead, nitrate 
of lead, sulphate of zinc, verdigris, binoxido of manganese, red lead, 
Japannors' gold size, and, most powerful of all, borate of manganese, 
ground In oil. The paints must be used Immediately, or they settle, 
and paint skins form over them. 



of the very highest quality. In the paint department, 
they grind the white lead and the colors dry and in oil, 
and are prepared to furnish them in both conditions. 
They also mix their paints with the requisite thinners 
and dryers, so as to be ready for immediate application. 
Messrs. Masury & Son procure their white lead mostly 
from Pittsburgh, exchanging their paints with the 
manufacturers for it. The range of shades of color 
made by these houses is very great, and the quality and 
color perfectly uniform. They have elevated the busi- 
ness to one of the fine arts. 

All the paint manufacturers now put up their paints 
in cans and pails of all the sizes required by the large 
or small customers The competition in regard to 
quality is as severe as that in regard to price, and as a 
consequence there is less adulteration in paints at the 
present time than in almost any other commodities. 

Subsection IV. — Varnishes. 

The manufacture of varnishes is carried on to a 
greater extent in Brooklyn than in any other city in the 
Union, more than one-seventh in value of the whole 
production of the United States being made here, and 
the business has received a very great impulse since 
1870. The statistics of the census of 1880 were: for 
the whole country, 81 manufactories, employing ^3,778,- 
100 capital and 573 hands, p.iying 1366,716 in wages, 
using $3,699,084 of raw materials, and producing $5,721, - 
174 annually. Of these the state of New York had 
17 manufactories, 11,395,800 capital, 143 hands, $91,638 
wages paid, $1,028,705 raw material, and $1,867,155 
product. There were no varnish factories in New York 
city, but Brooklyn had 8, with $716,800 capital, 73 
hands, $47,186 wages paid, $35:1,205 raw material, and 
$874,655 product. The j)rcsent product for the whole 
country is believed to be .about 87,500,000, and for 
Brooklyn and Kings county, nine establishments, 150 
employees, $90,0(iO wages, and an annual product of 
over $1,200,000. 

The amount of varnish imported from all foreign 
countries in 1882 was of the value of $116,132, and this 
included all the oriental lacquers and varnishes, as well 
as everything of European production, the whole 
amount being less than one-tenth of the Brooklyn pro- 
duct alone, and about one-fiftieth of the entire American 
production. The figures of 1883 on both sides would 
show a still greater difference. 

In fact, our export of varnishes has, for some years, 
exceeded the import, being, in the year ending June 30, 
1882, $187,860, and having largely increased during 
1883. 

There are now nine manufacturers of varnish in Kinsfs 
county, two having been added since 1880. We ought 
to say, perhaps, a few words hero in regard to the differ- 
ent kinds of varnishes made. 

Fixed oil varnishes, which are the kind most largely 
used, are prepared l)y mixing the fused gum resins with 



THE MANUIACTViRING INUrsTRTES 



715 



a boiled and oxidized linseed oil, at a temperature of 
about 300" F., and added gradually with constant stir- 
rinjr. 

The secret of those varmshes which have the hicjhest 
roput.'Uion consists in the greater ])iirity of the nil and 
gum resins, and the proportions which are used, rather 
than in any other ingredients. Asphalt is sometimes 
used for black varnishes, and India rubber or i,'utta- 
percha for the purpose of giving greater fl('xil)ility or 
elasticity in the working of the varnishes; but the finest 
varnishes are made from pure oil and pure gums. 

Sjnrit vumis/ies arc true solutions of the gum resins 
in alcohol (95 per cent.), or wood spirit of the same 
strength. The gums employed are sandarac, mastic, 
shellac, anime and copal. There are also colored .spirit 
varnishes or lacquers, the coloring ingredients being 
tinctures of gums and gum resins, and recently aniline 
colors. The spirit varnishes are also used as driers for 
paints. They deteriorate by keeping, but as they are 
easily produced, this is not of so much consequence. 
They are not a staple article, like the oil varnishes. 

Volatile oil varnishes are of considerable importance, 
especially in the fine arts; they are prepared from the 
finer gum resins ard the volatile oils, spirits of turpen- 
tine being the usual solvent. 

Ether varnishes are ethereal solutions of the gum 
resins, and have a very limited application, mostly con- 
fined to the jewellers and photographers. 

There are also a variety of miscellaneous varnishes 
made for particular purposes by the parties who have 
occasion for them. These are not made by the varnish 
manufacturers. 

Messrs. Valentine <& Co., Messrs. C. C. Reed ct Co., 
Messrs. J. W. Ma.virij <C' Son and Mr. G. C. Liszka are 
the largest manufacturers of coach and palace car var- 
nishes, of the best quality, for both inside and outside 
work, in Kings county. They also make lower priced 
varnishes for other purposes. Messrs. Valentine & Co. 
probably produce the largest amount, but the aggregate 
value is about the same as that of the other houses. 
Messrs. C. C. Reed & Co. claim, and, we believe, with 
justice, that they were the pioneers in the manufacture 
of fine coach vftrnishes in Kings county, and, perhaps, 
in the United States. They are still doing a very large 
business. 

Messrs. John W. Masury & Son, under the leader- 
ship of their present general manager, Mr. Wolcott, 
have made a great advance in their business, and are 
now, in the quality and quantity of their goods, the 
peers of any house in the country. 

Mr. Liszka is also a large manufacturer of very fine 
varnishes for these purposes. Mr. Liszka came to this 
country from England in 187.3. lie had been appren- 
ticed to the varnish business in England, and made 
himself thoroughly master of the business, and brought 
from thence the formulas, under which he has produced 
must cvcellcut goods. He believes these superior to 



any others for coach work. Mr. Liitzka lia« also in- 
vented and manufactures the "Tercbine " and " Lion 
Liquid Dryers." He claims a capital of tuo,oOO inveated 
in the business, employs HO hands, pays <120,000 wagCH, 
and reports an annual product of $200, ono. 

Of the other varnish maiiufactureni of the county, 
Messrs. William 2>. Chase, Patrick Booden tb Son, 
George S. Wood cO So7i, as well as the more recently 
established houses. Mailer d- Schumann and John /-] 
Comwell, all make varnish of excellent quality, and 
the demand for their goods is already large, and rapidly 
increasing. 

Messrs. Booden & Son give special attention to gold- 
sizing, flock-sizing and bronzing for the manufacturers 
of wall papers. 

Subsection Y.— Whiting and Paris White. 

These articles, for which there is a large demand, are 
not quite identical, though often used interchangeablv. 
Wfiiting is a prepared and refined chalk, brought from 
the chalk clilTs of England in a crude state, or from 
chalk beds in our own country, and ground, washed and 
precipitated in a pure state in factories here. Paris 
white may be from the chalk beds of France (in the 
Paris basin); and if so, is somewhat softer than ihc 
Knglish or American article, and is a finer and more 
nearly impalpable powder when refined; but a consid- 
erable j)ortion of what is sold as the best Paris white is 
a tincly powdered sulphate of baryta, which, for some 
purposes, is preferable to the chalk. 

The substitution in these days of kalsomine and ala- 
hastine for the old-fashioned lime whitewash has created 
a great demand for whiting and Paris white, while their 
employment for cleaning silver, gold, brass and copper 
has fallen off, electro-silicon and other articles having 
largely taken their place. There is also a moderate use 
of the prepared chalk [creta preparata) in medicine, 
though this is smaller than formerly. The kalsomine 
is generally a preparation of whiting or Paris white 
with white glue for the walls of hou.scs. It produces a 
brilliant surface, does not rub off easily, may be tinted 
of any required color, and receives paint over it with 
advantage, the kalsomine filling the little cracks, checks 
or pin holes of the plaster. At first kalsomine was 
made with the white oxide of zinc (and perhaps derived 
its name by- corruption from calamine, the zinc oxide); 
but it was very soon found that whiting or Paris white 
was equally good, and very much lower in price. Where 
the Paris white is composed wholly or in part of sul- 
I)hate of baryta, it is for this purjjose fully equal to 
the zinc. The zinc tradition was maintained by the 
kalsominers, long after its use had been given up, to 
extort a higher price from the customers, on the plea 
of its greater cost. The largest producers of whiting 
and Paris white in Kings county are Messrs. C. T. Ray- 
nolds tt" Co., Messrs. Truslow <t Co. (more than forty 
years in the business), and. after these, Arthur Sutl, 



716 



HISTORY OF KINGS COUNTY. 



Phillips d- Jtr(/i(.si,„ ami Conrad Zeiger. The total 
product annually is nearly a million of dollars. 

We may then safely bring together the industries of 
white lead, linseed oil, paints and colors, dry and mixed, 
varnishes and whiting, in Brooklyn, as having an 
annual product, in 1883, of §14,500,000, divided in 
about these proportions: White lead, f2, 442, 000; lin- 
seed oil, 13,158,000; dry colors, ready for use, $1,000,- 
000; paints, mixed and ground in oils, ready for the 
trade, $5,500,000 (this estimate is probably too low) ; 
varnishes, $1,400,000; whiting and Paris white, $1,000,- 
000; total, $14,500,000. 



SECTION XIII. 

Ropes, Cordage and Twine. 

The production of ropes, cordage a?id twine is a large 
interest in Kiligs county. It has been conducted here 
from almost the first settlement of the county. The 
oldest of the ropewalks in Brooklyn was probably 
started by some members of the Sands family, and not 
far from the time of the Revolution. It is certain that 
since 1783 and up to the present time, the manufacture 
of ropes and cordage has been constantly carried on by 
some branch of that family or their descendants. We 
do not mean by thi.s that, during the whole of these 
hundred years, the same ropewalk has been continu- 
ously carried on by the Sands family or their descend- 
ants; but that there has been no time during that cen- 
tury when some members of the family, and often sev- 
eral at a time, have not been engaged in the manufac- 
ture. To be more definite, probably the first rope- 
maker in Brooklyn or Kings county, was the grandfather 
or uncle of Joshua Sands. As early as 1790 a brother 
of Joshua Sands was engaged in the business, his rope- 
walk extending from the present Sands street, which 
was named after him, to near Tillai-y street. In the 
same vicinity, early in the present century, were the 
ropewalks of James Ingalls, Forbush & Albert, and 
John Seaman. In 1803, Major Fanning C. Tucker, 
who had married a daughter of Joshua Sand.s, started 
another ropewalk on his ovm account, taking a Mr. 
March as his partner. This was at first in the same 
vicinity as the others, extending back from what are 
now Fulton, Washington and Adams streets to the then 
low and marshy lands at the north, through what are 
now Tillary, Lawrence, Bridge, Dufficld and Gold 
streets. Several years later, Mr. R. Sands Tucker, tlie 
son of Major Tucker and grandson of Joshua Sands 
came into the firm, together with other partners, Messrs. 
Carter, Cooper, Marsh, etc. At the death of Mr. R. 
Sands Tucker, his son, Mr. J. A. Tucker, the present 
Treasurer of the Tucker & Carter Cordage Company, 
took his pl.ice. The company had removed tlieir rope- 
walk to buildings at first erected by John F. Delaplaine, 
between Classon and Kent avenues, and between 
Myrtle and Flushing avenues, which they still occupy. 



Meanwhile, other ropewalks were started in Brooklyn, 
mostly east of the City Ilall. Among these were Noah 

Watcrbury and Barlierin (probably a son of Dr. 

Barberin) located on or near the present Clinton street, 
and extending back to or beyond Bridge street. This 
was started in 1816. Barberin died a few years later, 
and Noah Waterbury about 1854. Other ropewalks 
were Martin's, Nat. Rowland's and Thursby's, all of 
them starting before 1825, and about 1828 Schermer- 
horn & Bancker's and James Ingalls. The Tucker and 
Carter Company is the only survivor of those early 
companies. Thursby's ropewalk remained in business 
till about 1850, when the factory became bankrupt, Mr. 
Thursby having died before that time. He had re- 
moved, some years before, to a tract near Newtown 
creek, between the present Grand and Ten Eyck streets, 
and extending from what is now Waterbury street to 
the canal. It is the present site of part of the rope- 
walk of L. Waterbury & Co. 

The next ropewalk to be established was that of 
William Wall, commenced in 1830. Mr. Wall, who 
had learned his trade thoroughly, and had worked for 
some time as a journeyman with Messrs. Tucker & 
Cooper, purchased from one of the old ropemakers a 
ropewalk in Washington street, in 1830, and began 
business in a verj' small way. He removed, in 1836, to 
the site now occupied by his sons on Bushwick avenue 
and Siegel street, where there is now conducted an im- 
mense business. The next ropewalk, which is still in 
existence, was commenced in 1845. The partners were 
Lawrence Waterbury, a son of Noah Waterbury, and 
William Marshall. Mr. Marshall was a practical rope- 
maker, had served his time in other ropewalks, and had 
been from 1839 to 1845 a partner with John B. Thurs- 
bj^, a son of the Thursby already mentioned, in a rope- 
walk near the corner of Flushing and Bedford avenues, 
and for a few months the foreman of Messrs. Tucker 
& Cooper. This ropewalk (of L. Waterbury & Co.) 
was commenced on and near its present location, the 
firm owning the lands south of Ten Eyck street, and 
leasing those of Thursby, north of them, until they were 
sold, w-hen they purchased them. Mr. Waterbury died 
in 1879. Mr. Marshall is now the oldest manufacturer 
of ropes and cordage who is still actively engaged in 
the business. 

There w'ere probably three or four other ropemaking 
firms, now and long since extinct, which date back to 
a period between 1816 and 1830. Among these were 
two, of whom there arc still traditions — Luther and 
Lawrence. Both firms have descendants who are now 
in the business, though on a small scale. John F. Lu- 
ther, at the corner of Grand and Waterbury, and Law- 
rence & Cooper, at Maspeth and Morgan, represents 
these two old firms, and the latter has united with his 
also the name of Cooper, a nephew of Peter Cooper, 
whose glue factory is in this vicinity, and who owned 
a large tract of land in this part of the Eighteenth 



THE MANUFAVTURING INDUtiTRIES. 



?17 



Ward. Other houses in the business are D. Allen's 

So?is, in South Brooklyn; Samuel Ludlow, oi Rocka- 
way avenue, corner Chauncey; and six or seven otliers, 
mostly in the Twenty-fifth Ward. Most of these 
houses do not, we believe, attemjjt the manufacture of 
large ropes, but confine themselves to the production of 
bed and sash cords, clothes-lines, fish-lines and the va- 
rious kinds of twine used for packing purposes. In the 
early history of ropemaking in this county, the roj)es 
were made by hand, the strands being spun and twisted 
by a wheel and spindle turned by a stout man (usually 
a negro) but later by a horse or dog power, the spinner 
having a mass of hetchelled hemp girt round his waist, 
and walking backward as he formed the strand, which 
was twisted by the wheel. The strands, when 
spun, were reeled, and then by another and larger 
wheel, twisted into a I'ope of such size as was required. 
For some purposes the strands were drawn through 
heated tar before being twisted, and thus constituted 
tarred rope; but the Manila and Sisal cordage was not 
often tarred. The tarred rope was very durable, but 
when it had at last worn out, it was cut in pieces of a 
few inches in length and picked tine, sometimes by 
sailors, sometimes by landsmen, and not seldom in the 
alms-houses. When thus ])icked it was called oakum, 
and was used for caulking boats and vessels. The 
Manila and other untarred ropes were better for some 
pvrposes, but they were stiffer and less durable. Now, 
a portion of the Manila and Sisal cordage, as well as 
much of the Russia hemp is tarred. In the course of 
time, machines were substituted for most of this band 
work, the spinning jenny being the first adopted by the 
manufacturers, greatly to the disgust of the hand 
spinners, who, here as well as elsewhere, rose in open 
rebellion against it. 

In the nearly fifty years which have since elapsed, 
the number and variety of machines has been greatly 
increased. The hetchellinw and combine: of the fibres of 
the Manila, Sisal and other hemps, is done by machinery, 
and the laying and twisting of all the cordage, and 
indeed the whole production of the cordage and small 
ropes, is effected by machines which greatly facilitate 
and increase the production. The larger ropes are still 
laid and twisted in the long ropewalks, which in some 
of the larger establishments are from 1,200 to 1,700 
feet in length. In the manufacture of Harvester and 
other twines, the whole of the processes are carried 
forward by machines invented for the purpose. 

There are now, in Kings county, fourteen rope and 
twine factories, an increase of two since 1880. The 
increase in numbers within a few years past has not 
been proportionately as great as in amount of produc- 
tion. In 1870, the entire production of cordage and 
twine in the state of New York was reported as 
$1,553,329, less than half the present product of either 
one of our three largest establishments in Kings county 
in 1883. At that time Kings count v had about §630,- 



000 of annual product, and New York city 1121,440. 
In 1880, the census reports were : For tiie Htate, 37 
establishments; *3,032,100 capital; 2,401 hands cm- 
ployed; $632,748 paid out for wages; *4, 110,112 of 
raw material, and *5,207,I25 of annual jirodiict; for 
New York city, none. For Kings county or Brook- 
lyn, 12 establishments; $2,560,700 capital; 1,520 handii 
employed; ^380,223 wages paid; (13,200,319 of raw 
material, and ^3,915,500 of annual product. 

A very careful and critical collection of the statis- 
tics of this industry in 1883, in Brooklyn, gives the 
following results : Number of establishments, 14; 
capital (including cost of plant), t6,500,000; number 
of hands employed, over 3,500; wages paid, above 
$1,250,000; material u.sed, nearly §9,000,000, and annual 
product, very nearly $13,000,000. This is a remarka- 
ble increase for three years, but while it is in part due 
to the imperfection of the census returns, the develop- 
ment of this industry since 1880, has had no parallel 
in any other of the numerous industries of Brooklyn; 
and our figures will be found below rather than above 
the actual product. 

The three large manufactories now existing in this 
industry, demand, as representative houses, a some- 
what i)arlieular description. We shall take them up 
in chronological order. 

The Tucker <£• Carter Cordage Company, which, as 
we have already said, commenced business in 1803 as 
Tucker & March, has undergone, in these eighty years, 
several changes of both its name z.n^ personnel. During 
Major Tucker's lifetime, it was changed to Tucker & 
Carter, and when his son, Mr. R. Sands Tucker, took 
his place, the firm name was changed to Tucker, Cooper 
& Co., and, after Mr. Cooper's death, to Tucker, Carter 
Sc Co. In 1881, it was incorporated as the Tucker «fc 
Carter Cordage Company, several other parties becom- 
ing stockholders and officers. Mr. J. A. Tucker, the 
treasurer, is the son of R. Sands Tucker and grand- 
son of Major Faiming C. Tucker. This company was 
the first to introduce the spinning jenny for spinning 
hemp, in the place of hand spinning, as already de- 
scribed. This change was first attempted about 1833, 
and met with the most strenuous opposition from the 
hand-spinners. When the first instalment of rope 
spun on the jenny was completed, the enr.iged spinners 

seized Mr. , who had charge of it, and treated him 

to a coat of tar and feathers; they then seized the hemp 
he had spun, paid the comp.any for it, took it to a hill 
near by, and burned it publicly. But the spinning 
jenny triumphed after all, and the ropewalk was known 
for many years as " the steamer." Mr. William Wall 
had a somewhat similar experience, not long after, at 
his ropewalk. 

The Tucker <& Carter Cordage Company's ropewalk 
has always been a large one, but within a few years 
past it has been greatly enlarged and extended, and is 
now one of the best appointed and conducted rope- 



718 



HISTORY OF KINGS COUNTY. 




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C-r^^^^^^ ^ 




THE MANUFACTURING INDUSTRIES. 



719 



both are taxed to thoir full capacity. The boilers, 
which arc rated at 540 liorsc power, are, by an ingeni- 
ous and economical attachment, made to furnish steam 
for 800 horse power of the engines, the water being 
heated to 300 degrees before it is admitted to the boil- 
ers. They employ, when running at tlieir full capacity, 
850 hands, and their entire annual product i.s 18,000,000 
j)ounds of rope, cordage, Harvester and other twines, 
beside the amount of bagging, etc., realizing somewhat 
more than three millions of dollars. Their business and 
capacity has been doubled since 1880. 

Next in order of time, but, perha|is, of somewhat 
greater extent, and confining itself wholly to the man- 
ufacture of ropes and cordage, is the house of \\'il(ia/n 
^\\t^\^< iSonx. This great ropewalk was established in 
1830 by William Wall, a practical ropemaker, who had 
served his time with an uncle in Philadclpliia, and had 
subsequently worked as a journeyman m Brooklyn. He 
was an industrious, intelligent and enterprising man, 
and having, by hard labor, accumulated a small sum of 
money, he invested it in a ropewalk in Washington 
street, Brooklyn, in 1830, and at once commenced rope- 
making on his own account. It is related of him that 
he carried his first completed lot of cordage on his back 
to New York to find a market for it. His energy, per- 
severance and industry soon brought their reward. His 
production increased with each year, and in 1835, hav- 
in<r purchased an extensive tract of land on 15ushwick 
road, now Bushwick avenue, between Siegel and Mc- 
Kibbin streets, and running back almost two thousand 
feet, he commenced the erection of a ropewalk there, 
and in 183G removed thither, and conducted his busi- 
ness on a much larger scale. He attended personally 
to all the details, and, amid great opposition on the 
part of his workmen, introduced the spinning jenny 
into his works. The demand for his ropes a:!d cordage 
constantly increased, and the quality was uniformly 
maintained, so that Wall's ropes became the standard 
of good manufacture. By successive additions, his es- 
tablishment came to cover ten acres of land. Mr. 
Wall retired from active work in 1856, leaving his 
business to his sons, by whom it is still carried on. 

The ropewalk (which has received very large addi- 
tions of machinery, etc., since 1878) is probably the 
longest in the world, extending 1,700 feet in a direct 
line, with a width of 38 feet. The proprietors have 
steadfastly avoided all side issues, such as the manufac- 
ture of Harvester twine, jute rope or twine, bagging, 
or paper. They confine themselves to the production 
of ropes and cordage only, making everything, from a 
24-inch rope to ^-inch, as well as lath yarns, marlines, 
sail twines, and deep-sea fishing lines; and using solely 
Manila, Sisal, New Zealand, Italian, Russian and Ameri- 
can hemp. A considerable j)ortion of their cordage is 
tarred hemp rigging. In addition to their extensive 
home trade they export their products largely to China, 
Singapore, Australia, South America, the south of Eu- 



rope, and the West Indies. Thojr use for driving their 
maeliinery two Corliss engines of 550 horse power in 
all; and five boilers of GO nuiiiinal horse power, but 
capable of su])plyiiig an aggregate of 000 horse power, 
upon an enu'rgency, furnish the steam for them. They 
are fully insured under the New Kngland mutual cor- 
porations system, which is described in detail elsewhere 
in this section. 

They employ an average of 550 hands, and produce 
175 or more tons of rope, etc., per week, their annual 
production varying from 19,1)00,000 to 21,Oim»,i)<iO 
)i()uiids, of an average value of 15 cents per pound* 
The average annual product is now worth from |t2,850,- 
(too u])wards, with a capacity of over ^3,200,000. We 
add here i)ortraits and biographies of Hon. William 
Wall, the founder of the house, and of Michael W. 
Wall, the present head of this extensive manufactory. 



Hon. William Wall.— This distinguished citizen of 
Brooklyn was born in Philadelphia, Manh 20th, 1800. His 
father was an officer on board a ship sailiuK from the latter 
port, but died when his sun was nineteen months old. The 
lad, at the age of eleven, commenced to earn his living by 
working for Michael Weaver, his mother's brother, who 
owned a ropewalk in Philadelphia, and there showed such 
industry and intelligence that he was regularly apprenticid 
to the trade when he was fifteen. Having ac(|uired the 
knowledge and skill of a good ropemaker. when his majority 
was attained, he came to New York. Being intelligent, in- 
dustrious and ambitious, he was intent on gaining capital, 
with which to begin business on his own account. To this 
end he worked as journeyman for several years, and saved 
three hundred and fifty dollars, with which he determined 
to start in business for himself. Having purchased a rope- 
walk in Washington street, Brooklyn, ho worked early and 
late, directing the manufacturing and extending his sales. 
It is related that he carried his first manufacture of cordage 
on his back to New York city to find a market, a circum- 
stance to which he often alluded with pride, in after years, 
as an illustration of what could be accomplished from small 
beginnings by persistent, well-directed industry. Such ap- 
plication and energy could not fail of the success which 
gradually rewarded his efforts. In 1836. the business was 
removed to Bushwick, now in the Eastern District of Brook- 
lyn, and was established on a much larger scale. With hia 
usual energy, Mr. Wall attended to all details, building up the 
largest business of the kind in the country. He was one of 
the first to introduce the spinning jenny in the manufacture 
of cordage, which had previously been spun by hand, and 
was enabled, after many trials, to use it in making all kinds 
of rope. His cstablishmeut was extended until it occupied 
ten acres of ground. In 1856 Mr. Wall retired with a fortune, 
leaving his business to his sons, by whom it is still con- 
ducted. 

Mr. Wall was a man of positive opinions: his face shows 
decision of character and intelligence. Of the strictest in- 
tegrity, undeviating principles and untiring energy, he pos- 
sessed all the elements that made up a strong man. His suc- 
cess in business was due to his own exertions, coupled with 
fidelity and honor, which secured to him the esteem and 
confidence of the community. Such a man was neetied in 
public affairs; accordingly, we find that he was called upon 
to fill many important positions during the village history of 
Williamsburgh, and after its incorporation as a city, such as 



720 



HISTOR Y OF KINGS CO UNTT. 



Trustee, Commissioner of Highways, Supervisor, member of 
the Board of Finance, Commissioner of Water Worlis and 
Mayor. In these and all other places of trust, ho is entitled 
to the proud distinction of having been faitliful and incor- 
ruptible. His election to the Mayoralty of Williamsburgh 
occurred in 1853, being the second incumbent of the office. 
He guarded the ioterests of the city vigilantly, vetoing 
promptly every measure that seemed to him to savor of ex- 
travagance or corruption; and, in his court, administering 
justice without leniency to breakers of the law. During his 
term the movement began for consolidating Williamsburgh 
with Brooklyn. Mr. Wall was tendered the Mayoralty of 
the consolidated city, but declined the honor. lu 1800, he 
was nominated to Congress by the Republicans of the old 
Fifth Congressional District, which comprised wards in both 
New York and Brooklyn, and was elected over the usual 
democratic majority of five thousand. He served during the 
darkest days of the war. President Lincoln frequently con- 
sulted him, particularly concerning the affairs at Brooklyn 
Navy Yard and tbe port of New York; his practical knowl- 
edge and good sense were of great use and highly valued. 
He was a delegate to the Loyalists' Convention in 1866, after 
which he retired from pulilic life. 

Mr. Wall was a public-spirited man, and identified with 
many local institutions. He was one of the original eighteen 
who started tlie Williamsburgh Savings Bank, serving for 
many years as its President. He was also one of the origin- 
ators of the Williamsburgh City,now the First National Bank, 
and of the WilUamsburgh Dispensary. He served seven 
years as one of the Water Commissioners of Brooklyn, dur- 
ing which time the whole system of water supply was con- 
structed, economically and to the satisfaction of the citi- 
zens. 

Mr. Wall, though in later years a resident of New York, 
was thoroughly identified with Brooklyn by reason of his 
large business establishment, his extensive ownership of real 
estate, and the erection of the Wall House, while his name 
will ever be remembered with gratitude for his faithful pub- 
lic services through many years. 

Mr. Wall was dignified and somewhat reserved in manner, 
though genial in his social hours; he had a kind heart, that 
was easily reached by the call of suffering; his private char- 
ities were many, but unostentatious. While in Congress, it 
was his habit to visit the hospitals at Washington every day, 
where his presence gladdened both the loyal wounded and 
the Confederate prisoners as well, on account of his cheering 
words and the comforts which his open purse procured. 
Though a strong Union man, his tender heart felt for the 
Buffering of the enemy's wounded, and his benefactions were 
given to both sides even-handed. He was a true friend to his 
employees, and almost the last act of his life was the signing 
of a check to help a deserving but unfortunate man. 

He died April 22d, 1873, leaving to his family an honored 
name, and the record of a useful, well-spent and busy life. 



Cuari.es Wall, the eldest son of Hon. William Wall, was 
born in Brooklyn, in 1838. He received his education in his 
native city and at Swinburne's Academy, White Plains, New 
York, and spent two years abroad, chiefly in France, adding 
to the knowledge he had already gained. At the age of 
twenty-two he became a partner in the house of William 
Wall & Son, importers of hemp and manufacturers of and 
wholesale dealers in cordage. This business was established 
by Hon. William Wall, and its history is fully set forth in a 
biographical sketch of that well-remembered gentleman, 
which appears above. Mr. Charles Wall was a member of 
this firm, later called Wdliam Wall & Sons aad William 



Wall's Sons, until his death, in 1879, acting as manager of 
the business after the retirement of Hon. William Wall, and 
inventing much machinery, now used in the manufacture 
of cordage. 

Mr. Wall married Miss Eliza Berry, daughter of Evander 
Berry, an extensive landowner in Brooklyn, E. D. He was 
one of the most prominent manufacturers of his time, and 
his advice was sought by manufacturers in all parts of the 
country upon matters of importance. In deliberative con- 
ventions of manufacturers he was esteemed as an able ex- 
ponent of the principles governing successful operation in 
the field they occupied. Politically, he was a republican: 
but his inclinations did not lead him to engage actively in 
political strife or controversy. He was known to all as the 
exemplification of personal honor and business probity, and 
enjoyed, in the highest degree, the confidence and esteem of 
all with whom he was brought in contact. In all the rela- 
tions of life he was upright and plain-spoken, and his position 
upon any question with which he interested himself was 
never questioned or doubted by any who knew him. He 
died in the prime of life, mourned sincerely by many, and 
by all pronounced an honest man, "the noblest work of 
God." The places which knew him once will know him no 
more forever; but, in the memory of relative and friend and 
business acquaintance, the name of Charles Wall will ever 
be held dear. 



Michael W. Wall. — After the retirement of their father 
from business, his sons, Charles, Michael W. and Frank T., 
carried on the establishment, under the firm name of William 
Wall's Sons. At the death of Charles, the eldest, the third 
son, Michael W., on account of the previous death of his 
brother, William Wall, Jr., assumed the management, which 
he still retains. Born in 1839, he came into the business as 
clerk in 1850, remaining until the breaking out of the war, 
when he joined the 8th Militia, in which he was lieutenant, 
and went with his regiment to the front. He saw some ser- 
vice, was wounded, and came home a captain, with an hon- 
orable military record. Upon his return, he continued his 
connection with the house as a partner, after a time becom- 
ing the head of the establishment. The capacity of the works 
has been increased one-third within the last four years; 500 
men are employed, and the manufactured products find a 
ready market in foreign countries as well as in the United 
States. 

Though Mr. Wall's residence is in New York, his business 
identifies him with Brooklyn, where he has large real estate 
interests also. He is prominently connected with the New 
York & Brooklyn Ferry Company, and other corporations. 
Tliough he is still a young man, the prosperity of the firm, 
under his management, and the prompt, efficient discharge 
of his various duties, indicate that he has inherited his 
father's business abilities. He is a member of several clubs 
in New York city, and there, as well as in general society, 
his genial manners, pleasant address, high social position, 
and cordial, kindly disposition, have won for him the hearty 
esteem of all with whom he is brought into contact. 

Though not an active politician in the sense of being an 
aspirant for office, he has always taken a deep interest in all 
municipal, state and national questions, and maintains, with 
great vigor, the principles of the republican party. In per- 
sonal and mental characteristics he resembles his father, and 
is well known in business circles as one of that class of ener- 
getic, capable and honorable men, whose enterprise, public 
spirit and ability have made New York and Brooklyn the 
metropolis of the western world. 




^''-» ^cyAMP-i^^"^ 




THE MANUFAPTUniNG INDUSTRIES. 



721 



The third of these manufactories in tlic order df 
time, thoui,di tlie first in the extent and perfection of 
its plant, and the amount and variety of its jiroducts, 
is the house of L. Waterhury & Co., whicli is chiiined 
to be unrivalK'd in its ca])acity and varied production 
by any rope and cordaj^'e manufactory in the world. 
The present firm, of which Lawrence Watcrbury, a son 
of Noah Waterbury, and William INFarshall, a practical 
ropemaker since 1830, were the lirst partners, was not 
organized till 1846.* Their ropewalk was first estab- 
lished on the south side of Ten Eyck street, but owing 
to a destructive fire in 1849 they leased the building of 
the Thursby ropewalk adjoining, on the north side of 
that street, the jjroprietor having given up business. 
After the death of Mr. Thursby, the property came into 
market, and Messrs. Waterbury & Co. purchased and 
added it to their jjroijcrty. Their tract, which now ex- 
tends from IMeadow street to Grand street, and from 
"Waterbury street to the canal, comprises about 27 acres 
— 405 city lots. Soon after their purchase they com- 
menced the erection of additional buildings, and a large 
part of their extensive tract is covered with their liuild- 
infs for various purposes. Among them are: a rope- 
walk proper, 1,600x40 feet; jenny houses, aggregating 
525x40 ft., and three stories high, for preparing and 
spinning Manila, Sisal, Russian, American and Italian 
hemp; buildings aggregating 225x44 feet, three stories 
high, for the fine s])inning of jute; paper-mill buildings 
acro-regating 4i)()xG0, a part of them three stories high, 
and part one story; bagging mills for the coarse spin- 
ning of jute butts yarn, aggregating over 200x60 feet, 
three stories high; a large laying shed, 150x100, where 
all the small rope is made; storage buildings and large 
cellars, capable of holding several months' products of 
manufactured goods, and storage sheds having a capa- 
city for many thousand bales of raw material. These 
last alone cover several acres. 

There are also large engine and boiler houses, stables 
for fifty horses, etc., etc. 

Beside these there is a large machine shop, and car- 
penter shops adjoining, where much of the machinery 
in use is either made or repaired. Every part of the 
production which can be facilitated by machinery has 
its machines busily at work. 

The bales of hemp are opened, the fibre "drawn" 
over and over again into a " sliver," the " sliver" into a 
" yarn," the yarn is " foi-med " into a " strand," and the 
"strand " is "laid" into a firm fine cord, or into a mass- 
ive rope, as may be required. 

Other machines pick the hard bales of jute butts to 
pieces, then " card " them atid spin them into a coarse 
yarn, and they are woven into bagging ; or, for paper, 
they go through a cutter, and then into enormous re- 
volving cylinders called " rotaries;" then into " wash- 



• Lawrence Waterbury received the rope factor)- originally as a Klft 
from his father, Noah Waterbury, In 1844; but Mr. Maraball did not 
come In as a partner until ISIC. 



ing" and " beating" engine*, where they become a fine 
light-brown pulp, and this is pumped into " ntu(T 
chests" at the end of maeiiines 60 to 8ii feet long, in 
whicli it is transformed into paper, dried, calendered, 
cut, folded and counted ready for delivery. 

The processes for making the Harvester twine, jute 
rope, wool twine, etc., are similar, being only modifica- 
tions of the other systems. 

All the processes which can be executed bv ma- 
chinery are turned over to the machines, yet 1,400 
hands are required in the busiest seasons to superintend 
the machines, and to do what they cannot. 

For driving all this machinery, and heating the 
numerous buildings, the following steam engines are 
required: One pair compound engines of 1,000 horse 
power, one jiair comi)Ound engines of 500 horse power, 
one beam engine of 500 horse power, one pair of com- 
pound engines of 100 horse power, one pair of com- 
pound engines of 150 horse power, one beam engine of 
350 horse j)0wer; in all, 2,00O horse power; and these 
engines are all driven up to their full capacity of work. 
The steam is furnished by 17 boilers. All the entwines, 
except one small pair, are of Wright's construction. 
The small pair, as well as the numerous steam pumps, 
are of Knowles' manufacture. 

The cost of this immense plant has been very heavy, 
probably amounting to more than $1,500,000; but the 
real estate has more than quadrupled in value. 

Ropewalks are generally, though unjustly, supposed 
to be very liable to destruction by fire, so much so, that 
all the insurance companies rate them as hazardous 
or extra-hazardous; yet so perfect and complete are the 
precautions against fire in this great establishment, that 
the New England Manufacturers' Mutual Insurance 
Companies' Association takes the ri.sk at one ])er cent. 
and pays back every year a dividend of from 60 to 80 
per cent, of the premium. What are these precautions ? 
Through every room of all the buildings rows of pipes 
are run along the ceilings, and at a distance of from 
eight to ten feet apart taps are inserted with a large 
sprinkling apparatus. These taps have stoppers, com- 
posed of soft metal, which melts at a temjierature of 
not above 150° F., and as the pipes are connected with 
the street water-main's tanks, the moment the plug 
I melts they each throw a heavy sjiray over a space of 
100 square feet, and as they are only eight or ten feet 
apart, they will at once deluge the room and extinguish 
any fire originating there. But lest the supply from 
the mains should give out, huge tanks of water, con- 
taining many thousands of gallons, are constmctcd 
upon the roofs of the largest building, and kept con- 
stantly filled and in order, to be supplied to ])ipea and 
hose throughout, while driven wells in the vicinity of 
' the buildings furnish an abundance of water, which the 
steam fire-pumps could rapidly distribute over each of 
the rooms. This abundant supply is supplemented by 
a sufficient number of watchmen, whose vigilance is 



722 



HISTORY OF KINGS COUNTY. 



secured by the automatic action of an electric tell-tale 
watchman's clock, and the system is guarded by the 
frequent visits of the iuspectors of the insurance com- 
pany, whose monthly reports are printed and distributed 
to all the insuring corporations. This system is also 
introduced into the Tucker & Carter Cordage Com- 
pany's works, and more recently into those of Messrs. 
William Wall's Sons. 

The average out-put of this establishment is as fol- 
lows: Ro])es and cordage (Manila and Sisal hemp, with 
some Russian and a little American), in all 9,000 tons, 
at an average price of S240 per ton, $2,100,000; Har- 
vester twine (Manila hemp), 4,000 tons, at $300 per 
ton, ^1,200,000; bagging (mostly from jute butts), 
6,240,000 yards, at 10 cents, §624,000; " Manila" paper 
(from jute butts stock), 3,000 tons, at $140 jx-r ton, 
$420,000; jute rope and twine (wool twine from jute, 
not jute butts), $120,000; total out-put, $4,524,000. 

It is worthy of notice in our history that this house 
was the first manufactory in this country, or any other, 
to \x\\\vLfi jute butts. Gunny bagging, which was made 
from jute raised in India and manufactured there, was 
for many years largely imported into the United States, 
but the East Indian manufacturers had great difficulty 
in ridding themselves of the jute butts, or lower por- 
tion of the stalks of the jute (the plant was brought to 
them pulled up from the roots), and the butts were not 
only supposed to be worthless for manufacturing, but 
were a positive nuisance, and were only disposed of by 
compelling their employees to burn them in small 
(piantities every day. A shipmaster, leaving Calcutta 
without a full cargo, was induced, in default of any- 
thing better, to take nearly a hundred tons of these 
jute butts on board as ballast. Arrived in New York, 
he found in Mr. Marshall, of L. Waterbiiry & Co., a 
customer who consented to take it off his hands. By 
some adaptation of their machinery, Messrs. Water- 
bury «fc Co. were able to use this despised fibre for 
bagging, and have gone on using it ever since, and their 
example has been followed by other manufacturers, till 
now somewhat more than 40,000 tons of imported jute 
butts are imjiorted annually. Of this amount Messrs. 
Waterbury & Co. use about 9,000 tons. The Govern- 
ment collected a duty of $6 per ton on it for several 
years. Last year the duty was reduced to $.5. 

After these houses come Laiorence cb Coojier, of 
Maspeth avenue; 3Iessrs. D. Allen\ Sons, in South 
Brooklyn, and Samuel ludlote, of Rockaway avenue, 
whose business, though on a smaller scale, is still large 
enough to be profitable. Only the second of these 
houses makes ropes to any extent. Mr. Ludlow makes 
a specialty of sash and hammock cords and clothes 
hnes. There are eight or nine other small houses 
which manufacture no ropes, but make clothes lines, 
baling cord, lath yarns and twine of all descriptions, 
for all sorts of customers, for which there is a large 
and increasing demand. With an inexpensive plant. 



and the work so light that much of it may be done by 
women and children, these houses are able to make a 
comfortable living, though not to acquire large fortunes. 
It may be said, in conclusion, that the production of 
ropes and cordage from Manila and Sisal, Russian, New 
Zealand and American hemp, in Brooklyn, constitutes 
more than 40 per cent, of the entire production of the 
United States; and that though embarrassed by the 
heavy duty of $25 per ton of Manila, $15 on Sisal 
hemp, and $5 on jute butts— all unjustifiable imposi- 
tions on raw material which cannot be produced here — 
the American rope mamifaclurers can command the 
mai'ket of the world for their cordage, underselling 
Great Britain in her own colonies. Of course, their 
goods exported to foreign countries command a rebate, 
but this rebate is materially less than the duty. 

Subsection I. — Jute and Jute Butts. 

Of over 84,000 tons of jute and jute butts imported 
into the United States in 1882, more than one-half — 53,- 
000 tons — were jute butts. The ropewalks of Brooklyn 
consumed of this somewhat more than 16,000 tons, or 
a little less than one-third of the whole importation, 
and of jute nearly G,000 tons. These were all con- 
sumed in the manufacture of jute rope and twine, bag- 
ging and paper. 

But the ropewalks were not the only consumers of 
jute and jute butts. Jute is used in the manufacture 
of the best qualities of burlaps; in carpets of the 
cheaper class, jute butts forming the filling in these; 
for imitation of coarse silk goods; for imitation hair 
switches; and for wrapping paper of all grades. The 
census of 1880 reports three manufacturers of jute 
and jute goods in Brooklyn, but omits several small 
establishments. The three establishments specified 
were engaged in the manufacture of carpets prin- 
cipally. The Planet Mill, the largest of the three, 
however, made, and still makes, other jute goods, be- 
side carpets; burlaps, and other goods, being on its list. 

The number of jute manufacturers has increased since 
1880, there being now four carpet manufacturers who 
use this fibre either for warp or filling, or both, and 
four or five small houses, which produce other jute 
goods. The amount of raw material used in 1880 was 
reported by the census as equiv.alent to about 7,500 
tons, if jute and jute butts were used in equal quan- 
tities, but if there was an excess of the latter, as is 
probable, there were at le.ast 10,000 tons in all. Add- 
ing this to the consumption of the ropewalks, with an 
allowance for the increased consumption since 1880, 
and the entire consumption of jute and jute butts in 
Brooklyn will be 31,000 tons, or three-eighths of the 
entire importation. The consumption of Manila and 
Sisal hemp in this city, bears just about the same pro- 
portion to the entire importation of these fibres. 

The jute manufacture employs over 500 hands, and 
the annual product is now more than $800,000. 





■w^ -^'^ 



^ ^/ 



THE MANUFACTURING INDUSTRIES. 



r23 



Subsection II. — Ropemakinf/ Machinery. 
The existcnco of ropewalks in tlicsc iLiys iin]plics, 
as it did not fifty yours ago, tlic production of luinn-r- 
ous machine's for the manufacture of the ropes, cord- 
arje and twfne. Nearly all the processes wliicli at tliat 
time were performed hy haTid at a great expenditure 
of time and severe labor, are now performed better, 
with fifty-fold rapiility, and with a great saving of 
labor, by machines; while many descriptions of cord- 
age and twines, then unknown, are now wholly i>ro- 
duced by machinery. Twenty, or even fifteen years 
ago, there were very few machines in the ropewalks; 
the spinning jenny was in very general use, and there 
were some twisting and laying machines; but the 
efliciency of the manufacture of rope, cordage and 
twine, has been almost indefinitely increased by the 
machines invented and introduced by Mr. John Good, 



tion of the- Harvester twine was ready for use, when 
the deinanil for that article came, and it has required 
no changes since. 

Mr. Good licensed, some years since, an English 
house, Samuel I,awHon &, Sons, of I.KTds, to make the 
ropemaking machines under his patents, payin{[r him 
a royalty, and that house are now nianufacturini' 
nearly as large an amount as liis Brooklyn establisli- 
ment. 

Most of his business now consists in the building 
and furnishing of ropewalks, in all parts of the world, 
with his machines in complete running order; and .'o 
great is the confidence of his patrons in his integrity 
and capacity to execute these contracts satisfactorily, 
that he has all the lousiness he can do, and at such 
rates as he demands. The manufacture of Harvester 
twine is becoming a large industry at the west, and 



I ii iff 11 isi it i^' i"kk|||j4ij):: 




I, g g '" i ' ' " I" "". a M g g, g g, ^ BB, tow r ■ I ' I 

iiiiiii||l||||[|||i:|Pl^.p 






IL- 




.lOIIX GOODS ROPKM.\.KIN(; M.VCHINEKV ESTAULI.sHME.NT. 



since the issuing of his first patent, October 5, 1869. 
Mr. Good is now not only the leading, but the only 
considerable manufacturer of ropemaking machinery 
in the T'nited States, and all of his machines are of 
his own invention. In about thirteen years he has 
built up a business which occupies the finest buildings 
for machinists' work in this city or county, covering 
an acre of ground, all his own property, and his busi- 
ness is very rapidly increasing. 

The complete adaptation of these machines to their 
work, and the perfection of their manufacture, are 
really wonderful, and demonstrate the practical char- 
acter of the inventor's genius. While they are simple 
in construction, they require no improvement, and the 
shrewd and skillful mechanics who have made and 
used them, find no opportunity for patenting any 
modification of them. The machine for the produc- 



Mr. Good is shipping more and more machines each 
year to western manufacturers. 

These machine works now have a capital of #300,000 
or more, and give employment in a busy season to 300 
hands, paying out about |;lOO,ono in wages, and pro- 
ducing about $300,(1(10 of machinery. With his 
present facilities, and his high reputation as an inventor 
and machinist, there is no reason why his business 
should not be doubled within the next five vears. 



.JOH.N" Good. — The lives of successful inventors are alwavs 
pleasant and profitable reading, and it is a source of gratifi- 
cation to us when we have the opportunity of recording 
such a life in our pages. The subject of this sketch. Mr. 
John (iood. has I)een the architect of his own fortune, and it 
is well that the young should know that one who. like many 
of them, spent his early years in severe and scantily re- 
quited toil, in the very prime of a vigorous and stalwart 



124 



HISTORY OF KINGS COUNTY. 



manhood, has attained, by his inventive genius, his industry 
and sterling integrity, to a prominent and commanding posi- 
tion among the manufacturers of a great city. 

Mr. Good was born in Ireland in 1840. His mother came 
to America, when he was but seven years of age, and settled in 
Brooklyn, and here he and his elder brother, Michael, acquired 
a moderate education in the public schools. Both were 
quick to learn, and keen observers. When John was about 
tliirteen years old, he was employed, for a time in the 
extensive ropewalk of the late William Wall (now con- 
ducted by William Wall's Sons). After some further atten- 
dance at school, Jolin was apprenticed to Messrs. James 
Bulger & Co., machinists, and served his time with them, 
becoming an accomplished machinist. But his fondness for 
the roperaaking business still clung to liini. and he pres- 
ently procured a situation as superintendent of the rope- 
walk of Henry Lawrence & Sons, which has since been suc- 
ceeded by that of Lawrence & Cooper. Here he was led to 
study the possibility of contriving some method of lessening 
the great labor of hand-combing and lapping the Manila, 
Sisal, Russian and American hemp, and straightening the 
fibres so as to fit the fibre for spinning more rapidly. It was 
the time of the war, and there was a great demand for 
ropes and cordage, yet all the combing was done by the old- 
fashioned lapper. The problem occupied his thoughts night 
and day, and at length he succeeded in producing a machine 
wbicli would do the work automatically and well. Other 
macliines followed for drawing the hemp into slivers and for 
spinning it into a fine cord. He tested these machines very 
thoroughly, and, having secured patents for them, both 
here and in Europe (his first patent bears date October 5, 
1869), he and his brother, Michael, established a machine 
shop and factory for manufacturing these machines, for the 
use of ropemakers, at 588 and .590 Grand street, E. D., about 
1871. His machines had received the first premium— a 
medal — at the Fair of the American Institute, in 1870, and 
subsequently were twice honored with a medal at the Paris 
E.xpositions of 1874 and 1878. In the latter year. Mr. Good, 
having purchased an acre of land (somewhat more than half 
a block), Iwunded by Washington and Park avenues, and 
Hall s'reet, proceeded to erect on it his pre.sent extensive and 
beautiful machine works. The buildings, a part of them 
three stories in height, extend along the whole Park avenue 
front, of 200 feet, and from 50 to 100 feet on Washington 
avenue and Hall street. They are the most convenient, per- 
fect, and admirably arranged machine shops in Kings 
county, and we doubt if they are surpassed anywhere else 
in this country. 

When the demand came for " Harvester Twine," Mr. Good 
had a machine ready to make it, and one .so perfect in its 
character that all the ropewalks which engage in that 
branch of manufacture have been perfectly satisfied with 
it. At every new emergency in the business of ropemaking, 
Mr. Good has been ready at once with a machine to meet 
it. He has now machines adapted to the jute manufac- 
ture, the fibre of whicli requires a different method of 
handling from that employed in the manufacture of the 
various kinds of hemp. It is a characteristic of his ma- 
chines that, while very simple in construction, they cover 
the whole field, and leave no room for improvement by 
others. 

Some years since, he established a house in Leeds for the 
manufacture of his machinery there. The firm name there 
is Samuel Lawson & Sons, and they are working under a 
license of his patents, and are doing about the same amount 
of business as his Brooklyn works. He is the leading manu- 
facturer of ropemaking machinery in the world. His busi- 



ness is now largely done by contracts. Parties who are 
desirous of establishing ropewalks, in any part of the 
world, can contract with him for every part of the work, 
from buying the land and erecting the buildings, to the com- 
pletion, with all the latest and best machinery in perfect 
running order, and, if needed, skillful and competent ma- 
chinists to superintend tlie running. Many of these estab- 
lishments, thus built and furnished by him, are now doing 
excellent work in different States; and he has acquired so 
high a reputation for the perfection of his work and his 
integrity in dealing, that he has all the contracts he can fill. 



SECTION XIV. 

Paper Hangings, Window Shades, and Fresco 
and Ceiling Papers. 








\V. H. MAIRS & CO.'S PAPER-HANGINGS MANUFACTORY. 

The manufacture which gives to each establishment 
the largest annual product is that of paper hangings. 
The census reports, in 1880, but three inanufactories— 
those of William II. Mairs <& Co., Robert Graves & Co., 
and Robert S. Ilobbs & Co. These three establish- 
ments were reported as having a capital of $285,000; 
employing 427 hands; paying $175,733 of wages; using 
#783,753 of material, and producing §1,382,802 of 
paper hangings, window shades and fresco p.apers. 

The number of these establishments is now four, Mr. 
William N. Peak having commenced business since 
1880. At present these houses manufacture more than 
thirty per cent, of all the paper hangings made in the 
United States, and the quality of their finer goods is 
not surpa.ssed anywhere. A few of their designs are 
based upon English or French patterns, though these 
are usually materi,ally modified; but the greater part, 
and those of the most artistic character, are either from 
designs of their own artists, or workmen in the factor- 
ies, or designs made outside and brought to them for 
sale. A very considerable trade has sprung up in these 
designs, of which they require very many; they are 
generally brought to the factories by men, but many 
are believed to be the work of young women and girls 
who have been trained in the Schools of Design for 
women. Aside from skill in the art of drawing, and 
t.act in the forming of such combinations as will pro- 
duce a pleasing and graceful eflfect, there is needed a 



THE MANUFACTURING TXr>rsTRIES. 



Vlh 



jji-iutit'iil knowledge of the actual working of these 
combinations; for designs which may be graceful and 
beautiful in themselves, will not always produce a good 
effect when printed from the roller or block. The de- 
mand for these fine papers is rapidly increasing, and is 
now more than double what it was in 1880. 

Messrs. W. H. Mairs & Co. are the largest manufac- 
turers in the United States, and produce almost all 
grades of papers and paper shades of beautiful and va- 
ried designs. Their annual i)roduction exceeds nine 
millions of rolls, of eight yards each. 

Messrs. Robert Graves c6 Co. are next in the amount 
of production in Brooklyn, turning out about 2,500,000 
rolls annually, besides largo quantities of fresco and 
ceiling papers. They conlinc themselves almost exclu- 
sively to the production of the highest grade of papers. 
Messrs. Robert S. JTohhs <0 Co., though third in the 
amount of their production, are a large and long estab- 
lished house, and their papers rank as high in quality 
and finish as those of any of the other liouses in the 
trade. We believe they do not make window shades 
or ceiling papers. Their processes of manufacture are 
similar to those of Messrs. William II. flairs & Co., 
already described. 

Messrs. William M. Peak ib Co. are a young house, 
having commenced business in 1882, but their goods 
are of excellent quality, and they are building up a 
srood trade. 

A brief account of the processes of wall paper manu- 
facture will be of interest to our readers. 

Forty or fifty years ago the manufacture of paper 
hangings in this country was confined to the production 
of plain colored papers for paper window-shades, and 
cheap papers on a brown or slate-colored slock, on 
which rude designs were printed by a hand press from 
blocks, in, perhaps, three or four colors. The register 
of these was imperfect, and the best patterns would not 
now be considered fit to be used in papering the plain- 
est or roughest shanty. All the better classes of paper 
hangings were imported from England or France; and 
some low-priced papers, but of better designs than the 
American, came from Germany. 

The improvement was very gradual for many years; 
the paper and printing were better, though both were 
far below the poorest of the present time. France sup- 
plied the finest papers and the English manufacturers 
followed. A manufacturer of long experience tells us 
that, so lately as twelve or fifteen years ago, they would 
look sadly at the samples of English and French 
papers as they came in, and would say, " Oh, if we 
could only equal this I " Now, the same samples would 
excite their derision, for they can far surpass even the 
highest productions of the foreign manufacturers. The 
first item in the manufacture of paper hangings is the 
paper. We believe none of the manufacturers make 
their own paper, and probably they could not do so to 
advantage. Several of the large paper mills in Sara- 



toga, Washington anil llirkimer counties, and some of 
those in New England, run exclusively on this paper. 
It is mostly made of old newspaper stock, and it does 
not require very great strength and tenacity, and straw 
would be too brittle, wood-pulp too tine, and rags too 
costly. There are two or three grades, though the 
difference in quality is not great. All are sized at the 
paper mills, an<l are furnished to the wall pa[ier manu- 
facturers in rolls of about 1,000 yards each. A house 
like that of Messrs. W. IT. Mairs & Co. will use from 
70,000 to 80,000 of these monster rolls, which weigh not 
far from 100 pounds each, in a year — about 3,000 tons. 
Ill the basement of the great factory, side by side with 
the stock of paper, are the barrels and casks of colors, 
ground in water. The aniline colors play an important 
part among these, and there arn also large quantities of 
gold and silver leaf, and some of the Dutch bronzes — 
with their appropriate sizes. 

But to return to the paper. If it is to be of the 
grade known as .<<atin papers, it is first passed through a 
grounding machine which puts on a coating of clay. 
This is then reeled up and passes through a polishing 
machine, so arranged that, as the paper passes over the 
cylinder, its surface comes in contact with roller 
brushes of tampico, running at great speed, which gives 
it a fine gloss or satin finish. This ground work may 
be of any desired color, the clay being tinted with a 
light cream shade, pale or deep yellow, buff or ecru, 
brown, olive, light or dark green, blue, or even black. 

Those papers which are not satin finished do not un- 
dergo this process, but are fed directly upon the print- 
ing machine, the sizing of the paper at the mill where 
it is manufactured being sufficient to prevent the 
colors from striking through. At the present time, 
however, all the better classes of papers are satined or 
grounded before printing. In either casw, as the paper 
passes from the printing machine a rod or lath with 
rounded edges, about a yard in length, is, by an in- 
genious device, slipped under the paper at intervals of 
about 16 feet, and drawn up the inclined rails on 
either side, till it reaches a height of perhaps 
seven and a half feet when it drops into a slot in 
the slowly travelling frame, and the paper is thus sus- 
pended, in loops measuring about 16 feet. The frame 
on which they are suspended, travels forward slowly, 
closing up to a distance of perhaps six inches between 
the loops, and the temperature of the rooo is sufficiently 
high to dry this colored surface in a few hours. When 
dry, the paper is ready for the printing of the pattern. 
The printing, which was originally done from wooden 
blocks, usually of cherry or beech, with carved figures, 
which did not always register accurately, is now mostly 
done from cylinders of maple, the process of making 
which we will presently describe. Each cylinder or 
roller prints only a single color, and all of the pattern 
which is of that color. The number of colors in a pat- 
tern may be anywhere from one to twelve; and if gold 



7S6 



HISTORY 01^ KINGS GOUNIT. 



priiiUng is introdiicoil, tlie portions to be in gold liiive 
cyliiulers charged at those points witli gold size, the 
gold leaf being afterward applied by another machine. 
The arrangements for registering are perfect; every 
part of the pattern, on each roller, fits absolutely into 
every other, and when the cylinders arc put in their 
places on the great printing machine, whatever the 
number of colors, they are all printed by the same 
revolutions of the machine, and the long roll of paper 
comes out completed, so far as the pattern is concerned. 
For the drying, the same process as before is necessary 
of hanging it in loops, and when fully dried it is lightly 
calendered, and then passed along an inclined plaue, 
where, by automatic machinery, it is cut off in lengths 
of sixteen yards, the end turned over, and, by another 
automatic arrangement, a girl is able to turn off about 
five rolls a minute, the outer edge or end of the roll 
being folded inward like a hem. The rolls are carried 
from this room to the receiving room, examined, num- 
bered, and after sampling, are ready for packing. 
While roller or cylinder printing of wall-papers is the 
process most in use, some of the very finest patterns 
are printed from wooden blocks, with raised figures, 
upon a different kind of press, the impressions being 
made on a fiat surface, instead of by cylindrical rollers, 
somewhat after the style of the printing machines 
which jirint from wood engravings in colors. The 
method of making the cylinders or rollers for ])riiiting 
the wall-papers merits description. The cylinders, 
turned very smoothly and of uniform si/e, have, first, 
the entire pattern pasted or cemented upon them. This 
pattern is on tracing paper or cloth, and is transferred 
from the original design, which has the design drawn 
and colored as it will appear when finished. The trans- 
fers made by tracing paper of this design are not 
colored, but there are as many transfers as there are 
colors, and the artist, by a colored tracing pencil, marks 
every line of a ])articular color upon the tracing pa])er 
for each roller, before it is carefully ])asted upon the 
roller. The rollers for the different colors constitute a 
set, each having that portion of the design only per- 
taining to its particular color, and the whole number 
making up the entire j)attern. The rollers having these 
patterns of the design marked arc next ])ut into the 
hands of workmen, who work out the design by insert- 
ing in the lines brass-plates — what the printers would 
call their brass rule — about one-fourth of an inch wide. 
The brass is very hard, and the pieces are skilfully in- 
serted, after l)eing hammered or filed into shape, so as 
to give the outline of a fiower, or vine, or any other 
figure. The lines are first cut slightly by a suitable tool, 
and then the brass figures are settled into them to a 
uniform de]>th by a slight tap of a hamraoi-. The in- 
terstices of each figure are filled with a very heavy and 
dense felt, of a thickness nearly equal to the elevation 
of the brass figures. When each roller of a set is com- 
l>leted, they are taken to a lathe, and a gauge being 



set, each is turned down to precisely the same diame- 
ter, a difference of a hair's breadth being sufficient to 
materially damage the printing. The manufacture of 
window shades, which are i)roduced in large quantities 
by Messrs. Mairs & Co., and of fresco and ceiling 
papers, which are a specialty of Messrs. Graves & Co., 
requires a somewhat different process, owing to the 
greater width and different form of these papers and 
shades. The aluulix are printed on gigantic cylinder 
presses, the di.uueter of the cylinders being from 15 to 
18 feet. The rolls of j)aper — three feet in width — from 
which the presses are fed, arc about five feet in circum- 
ference. The ceiling papers are printed, we believe, 
on a very large press, but we are not familiar with the 
details of the work. 

This industry has passed through great changes in 
the last twenty-five years, not only in Kings county 
and the state of New York, but throughout the whole 
country. In 1860, the first census in which it was 
reported, there were 26 establishments in the whole 
country, employing 1,294 hands, and $1,037,600 cap- 
ital, and producing goods valued at 12,148,800. These 
all consisted of what would now be called cheap 
papers. 

In 1870, the number of establishments had fallen to 
19, but these were employing 869 hands, and $1,415,- 
500 capital, and produced goods to the value oi 
$2,165,610. These were better goods, though not yet 
of the highest quality. In 1880 there were reported 
25 establishments, employing a capital of $3,560,500 
and 2,487 hands, and producing goods valued at 
$6,261,303. Among these were the finest patterns, 
equal if not suj)erior to any of the European jjapers. 
Of these 25 paper hangings factories, 16 were in the 
state of New York (11 in New York city, 3 in Brook- 
lyn, 1 in Staten Island, and 1 in Buffalo), 6 in Phila- 
delphia, and 3 in New Jersey. 

In 1870, one-fourth of all the paper hangings made 
in the state of New York were made in Kings county, 
and three-fourths in New York city. About two- 
thirds of all the manufactories, and more than one- 
half the wall paper produced in the United States were 
made in the two counties of New York and Kings. The 
statistics of the census of the business in Kings county" 
in 1870 were: 5 (establishments, 332 hands employed, 
$300,000 cai)ital, $149,500 wages, $996,ooo products. 

In 1880, there had been another change, both in 
Kings and New York counties; the production in the 
former, as we have already seen, had increased, though 
the number of establishments had decreased from five 
to three; the quality of tJic goods had also greatly 
improved. 

In New York city there were 11 establishments; 
$196,500 capital; 1,359 hands; $415,120 paid in wages; 
$2,054,104 value of raw material; $3,499,143 of an- 
nual products. At that time those two counties had 
three-fifths of all tlue manufactories, and produced 




■^na iyAJIJiitOi'-e 




Cvoo^f 



THE MAN'UFACTURIN'G INDUSTRIES. 



727 



four-fifths of all the paper hangings made in the 
United States. 

Botli cities (Now Yoik and Brooklyn), have made 
great progress in the manufacture of these goods in 
three years, 1880 — '83, and their present relation to the 
entire production of the country is that of 83 to 100, 
or five-sixths of the whole. Tlic number of estahlish- 
ments remains (with some local changes), three-fifths of 
the whole, hut some of the establishments in the two 
cities are larger than any others in the United States 
(one, in Brooklyn, is said to be the largest in the 
world). Of the 83 per cent, of production, Brooklyn 
has about 31 per cent., and New York 52 per cent., 
and each year increases largely the aggregate produc- 
tion. The actual amount and value of the Brooklyn 
product for the year ending July 1, 1883, was, in round 
number.s 13,632,000 rolls, value, $2,175,556; of this 
amount Messrs. William H. IVIairs & Co. made 8,882,- 
000 rolls, or their equivalent, valued at §1,125,376. 

The great improvement in these papers dates back 
only to 1875. There are yet considerable quantities of 
the cheaper papers manufactured, for there is a de- 
mand for them; but even the cheapest have tasteful 
designs, and are superior to many of the best designs 
of fifteen years ago. A small quantity of the cheaper 
qualities is imported from Germany, where poor paper 
and cheap work are united, but the importation is de- 
creasing every year. 



\ViLLl.\M H. MairS, who is well known as the leading 
manufacturer of wall paper in the United States, was born 
in Utica, Oueida county, N. Y., June 2!)th, 1834. His father 
was John Mairs, who, for twenty-five j'ears, was a merchant 
of Utica, and his mother was Rachel (Van Deusen) Mairs, a 
daughter of James Van Deusen, Esq., of Leeds, Greene 
county, N. Y. 

Mr. Mairs' grandfather, Rev. James Mairs, was a Scotch 
Presbyterian clergyman, wliocame to this country from the 
North of Ireland, about 1700, and settled at Galway, Sara- 
toga county. N. Y. 

On his mother's side he is a descendant of the seventh gen- 
eration of Jan Franse Van Hussam, who came from Holland 
with his family and settled at Fort Orange and Beverwyck 
(now Albany), as early as 1645, where he made several pur- 
chases of laud; among others, the Claverack lands, made 
June 0, 1G62, lying along the Hudson river, above, and in- 
cluding the site on which the city of Hudson now stands, 
which he bought of the Indians for the sum of five hundred 
guilders in beavers, as recorded in a book of deeds in the 
Albany county clerk's office. Mr. Mairs, consequentlj', 
comes of old Knickerbocker stock. 

In 1815, his father closed up his business in Utica, and re- 
moved with his family to New York, where William H. 
Mairs received his education at the Mechanics' Institute. 

In 1850, he commenced his mercantile education in the 
fancy goods trade, in which his father and brotlier were 
then engaged, and in that line of business he remained seven 
years. 

Ambitious to start in business for himself, when but 23 
years of age, in 1857. he began the manufacture of wall pa- 
per in a comparatively small waj'. His business grew rapidly 
and steadily, and now ranks as the most extensive of its 



kind in till' I rut. 1 siii.-, 1 1 1-, immense factory, located at 
the corner of Sackett and Van Brunt streets, is five stories 
high, and covers twenty-three lots, extending through the 
block to Union street ; its length on Sackett street is 2.50 feet, 
and it extends 200 feet along Union street, and 100 feet on 
Van Brunt street. Here all the various processes of wall 
paper manufacture are carried on, alTording emploj-ment to 
a large number of skilled workmen. In the pages of this 
work, devoted to the manufacturing history of Brooklyn, 
the.so premises are described, and further mention is made of 
Mr. Mairs' great enterprise. 

On June 13th, 1800, Mr. Mairs was married to Miss Ellen 
A., daughter of Danforth K. Olney, Esq., of Catskill, N. Y., a 
prominent member of the Greene county bar, and has a fam- 
ily of four sons and a daughter named in the order of their 
birth. .James H., born July 31st, 1807; William A., born 
.January Otli. 1870; .John H., born March 2d, 1872; Olney B., 
born January 3Ist, 1870, and Ella Louise, born October 20th, 
1878. Mr. Mairs is, in the best sense, one of the mo.st prom- 
inent of the representative business men of Brooklyn; a 
man of much enterprise, energy and originality, and a large 
employer of labor. Taking no active part in politics or 
other interests, which might have a tendency to divert his 
attention from his constantly increasing business, he has ap- 
plied himself unremittingly to the paper manufacture and 
trade, with all the various details of which he doubtless has 
a more tliorougli aoi|uaiutauce than any other man in the 
country, until his name and reputation for fair and honorable 
dealing is known to the entire wall paper trade of the United 
States and Canada. 



Subsection I. — Paper-Making. 

There is not, so far as we are aware, any paper mill 
in Kings County for the manufacture of fine writing 
or printing papers; perhaps none for white papers of 
any description; though on this latter point, we are not 
quite certain. These papers are generally made where 
' there is ample water-power — good clear water being a 
necessity for making clear white papers — and cheap 
land, and extensive, low-priced buildings are also es- 
sential. The raw material is probably as cheap here as 
anywhere. 

Straw paper and paper from wood pulp are also 
generally made in the country, and the former, espe- 
cially, in the west, where straw is a drug. But there 
are, certainly, two and perhaps three manufactories of 
I paper in Kings county. One, the " Manila " paper, 
1 made of jute butts by Messrs. L. Waterbury & Co., 
we have already described; they manufacture 10 tons 
of it every 24 hours, equal to 3,000 tons per year. 
Messrs. Uenry A. Fhilp & Co. (H. A. Philp and M. 
B. Carpenter), a house recently established, are manu- 
facturing, at Carroll, corner of Nevins street, both news 
and wall paper. This paper is made from old news- 
paper stock and similar material. The paper is made 
on Fourdrinier machines, and in large rolls. They 
produce 4 tons of the wall paper Lu 24 hours, equal 
to about twelve hundred tons per year. It is mostly 
sold here. The quantity of news made is not reported. 
Lowell L. Palmer manufactures "Manila" paper, 
amount not stated. 



728 



HISTORY OF KINGS COUNTY. 



Another large paper mill, finely litted up, is now 
idle. 

SuRSECTiuN II. — The Manufactttre of Fancy and 
Colored Papers. 

The 6tati.sties for the census gathered by Mr. Frotli- 
ingham, in 18S0, enumerate paper hangings and fancy 
papers together — giving 6 establishments; 8597,000 
capital; 622 hands; $237,133 wages paid annually; and 
$1,752,412 of annual product. The Census Office de- 
cided to separate the two industries, and gave the 
statistics of the paper hangings manufacture as 3 es- 
tablishments; $285,000 capital; 427 hands; Sl75,233 
wages paid, and $1,382,862 of annual production. 

Tlic number of these cstablishnu'nfs in 1880 was 
correctly stated; one has been added since; but how far 
short of accuracy they fell in the other jiarticulars is 
very clearly shown in a preceding section. 

But, unfortunately for the accuracy of the census 
returns, they foryot to put in the fancy papers at all ! 
The statistics of this industry (fancy papers), as col- 
lected by Mr. Frothingham, would seem to have been: 
3 establishments; $:3 12,000 capital; 195 hands; $61,400 
paid for wages, and $369,550 total annual jjroduct. The 
business directory for 1883 gives the number of manu- 
facturers of fancy papers as four. The other particulars 
will, we think, show that, though Mr. Frothingham 
used all diligence in collecting his statistics, he either 
failed to obtain them accurately, or there has been a 
very great increase of the business within the past 
three and a half years. 

The leading house iu this business is, undoubtedly, 

Messrs. Doty & McFarlan, whose manufactory of fancy 
papers, the largest of its kind in the country, stands at the 
corner of Willoughby avenue and Walwortli street. They 
are the successors of Doty & Bergen, who commenced manu- 
facturing in Brooklyn about 1845. This firm was then com- 
posed of Warren S. Doty and Peter G. Bergen, the latter of 
whom will be remembered by old citizens as a prominent 
member of tlie Board of Education, a brother of Hon. Teunis 
G. Bergen, and father of the present Justice Garret Bergen. 
Previous to 1845, Mr. Doty had for several years manufac- 
tured fancy papers in a small way iu New York city, in con- 
nection with a more considerable business in engraving and 
printing; but, upon the formation of the firm of Doty & Ber- 
gen, the manufacturing department was removed to Brooklyn, 
and carried on in a frame building on Eighteenth street, in 
the rear of the Bergen homestead, wliich stood at the corner 
of Third avenue and Eighteenth street, while the engraving 
and printing was continued in New York, in a building 
known as the old Rigging House, famous as the first meeting 
house of the Methodists in this country. 

The Brooklyn manufactory, under the personal supervision 
of Mr. Bergen, remained thus, until a brick building on the 
opposite side of Eighteenth street, was built and occupied 
about 1853. 

"Warren S. Doty died in November, 1855, hut the firm name 
was continued by previous arrangement, and his son Ethan 
Allen Doty entered at first as a clerk, but soon succeeded to 
an interest in the profits. The firm weathered the panics 
of 1857 and 1801, but found it difficult to compete with im- 



portation of foreign goods, and made but slow headway un- 
til 1862, when Mr. Bergen retired, and the present firm of 
Doty & McFarlan was constituted. In 1864, the manufactory 
was removed to "Willoughby avenue and "Walworth street, 
since which time the liuildings have been repeatedly enlarged 
and re-built, until now they occupy a space 100 liy 200 feet, 
with brick buildings, five stories high, and extensions. 

The specialties of the business are the printing of papers 
for trunk linings and box coverings, and manufacturing of 
surface-colored or coated papers for the use of paper box 
makers, printers, &c., and for use as wrappers of various 
articles. 

This keeps in constant employment about 15u hands, while 
the outlay for machinery has not been less than .^50,000. 

The firm now consists of Ethan Allen Doty, who entered in 
1855, Edward McFarlan, who entered in 1862, James Scrim- 
geour, who entered as a clerk in 1862, and was admitted to 
the firm in 1870, and Albiu Gustave Pape, who entered the 
manufactory in 1806, and was admitted to the firm in 1880. 
Tlie warehouse is at No. 70 Duane street, New York city. 

The firm has been uniformly prosperous for the past 25 
years ; its management is conservative, and its goods rank 
highest in the market. Its machinery is of the latest and 
most approved patterns, while its buildings, stables and stock 
are always in first-class order. Its goods are distributed 
throughout the breadth of the land, and, wherever known, en- 
joy an enviable reputation. 

It has always led in the introduction of novelties in styles 
and colors, as well as in adopting the latest inventions in 
machinery. 

The house of Walther cb Co., in Tiffany place, is a 
large house in this maaufacture; though of less extent 
than that of Doty & McFarlan; they manufacture the 
same styles of papers, and by similar processes. There 
are also one or two smaller houses, which have recently 
engaged in the business. 

The statistics of this industry, as nearly as can be 
ascertained, are ; capital invested, about $400,000 ; 
number of hands employed about 250; amount of wages 
paid annually, about $90,000; annual product, not far 
from $500,000. 

Subsection III. — Fancy and Pkdn Paper Boxes. 

The manufacture of these boxes is closely allied to 
that of the manufacture of fancy papers. These boxes 
are of many kinds. The hatters use immense quanti- 
ties, some of them only of straw-board with labels, 
others of much more ambitiotis and ornamental char- 
acter. The cheap styles are used very largely also by 
the match manufacturers, the common envelope makers, 
the dealers in small articles of hardware, and many 
dry groceries. The book trade requires large numbers. 
The Yankee notions trade requires a vast number of a 
somewhat better character; while the fancy goods and 
candy and confectionery trades take the best quality. 
One manufacturer makes almost exclusively the boxes 
for charlotte russes, with perhaps a small number for 
cake and bakers' fancy goods. The fine stationery 
trade demands also many of the better class of boxes. 
There are now in Brooklyn and Kings county eleven 
manufacturers of these goods, one of whom combines 



THE MANUFACTURING INDUSTRIES. 



729 



the manufacture of candies with that of boxes. Of 
these Mr. Beers Frost, of 125 Nostrand avenue, is pro- 
bably the largest. His specialty is hatters' boxes, and 
he supplies all the leading manufacturers. He employs 
an average force of 25 hands, pays about $10,000 of 
wages annually, and produces an average of §:?0,0()0 
annually. After him, and producing nearly as large 
an amount are: TFaZ^cr W. Wetmore; Win. Herschle and 
Son; Jolin B. Hauck <0 Son; White and Jacohton; 
and, perhaps, Thomas Lcnn, the box and candy maker, 
his combined product being perhaps somewhat more 
than the others. 

Andrew Wohlgemuth, John Roberts (whose specialty 
is the charlotte russe boxes), Mr.i. Wilhelmina Woer- 
ner, Adolph Jloefflinff AnA Ferdinand Berian, are also 
worthy of notice as manufacturers of boxes. The 
census, in 1880, reported 12 establishments, with $49,- 
O'iO capital; 2i:i hands, paying $45,089 wages, and pro- 
ducing $158,826 annually. There have been some 
changes; one or two houses have failed, but the number 
of liands is now about 230, and the annual product 
somewhat more than $175,000. 



SECTION XV. 
The Furniture Manufacture. 

The furniture trade has many subdivisions. Among 
the wliolesale dealers, there are those who manufacture 
only chairs, and these are divided into rattan, willow, 
bent wood, bent seats, usually, including also the per- 
forated veneer seats, wood cliairs and rockers, and 
upholstered chairs. 

There are other classes who confine themselves to 
bed-room sets, chiifoniers, tables, etc.; and even of 
these, there are tliose wlio cater to the cheaj) veneered 
goods turned out in the rougli, in some of the densely 
wooded counties of New York or Pennsylvania, 
where woodland and water-jiower are chea]>, and 
put together and tinishod here ; others, wlio bring their 
hard wood, pine and white wood liunber from the 
west, and import their ornamental woods, and make all 
their work under their own supervision, em])l()ying 
hand-work for the most part, but using machinery in 
those delicate and beautiful adjustments, which can be 
effected more perfectly by macliinery than in any other 
way. These liouses supply all the best and some of the 
cheaper houses with their best goods. 

Another class manufacture only library, otlice and 
drawinu-room furniture ; the finer office chairs beintr 
a specialty with some of these. 

Still another class produce only parlor and boudoir 
furniture of various styles. This involves the up- 
holsterers' art, and mucli of tlie best of it is done in 
the larger and finer retail establishments, which adapt 
their work to suit their customers. In tliese cases, 
however, the division of labor is carried so far tliat 
the easy chairs, couches, tete-a-tetes, sofas, lounges 



and sofa beds, etc., are prepared in the wholesale up- 
holstery factories, and only the covering is put on by 

the retailer. 

The cheaper classes of upliolstered goods, as cheap 
sofas, lounges, chaira, mattresses, etc., are all made in 
large upholstering establishments, and the ijuality dif- 
fers witli the lU'ice. I'pholstery is, in effect, an entirely 
distinct business from the other departments of the 
manufacture of furniture, and wlien it is regarded as 
including mattresses, couches and beds of all descrip- 
tions, as well as window hangings, portieres, and those 
articles more properly considered as upholstery, it 
assumes a great magnitude. 

The increased demand, whicli our fast augmenting 
wealth and luxury have created for the best of every- 
tliing in dwellings, business houses, churches, and all 
our appointments in social life, is nowliere more strik- 
ingly illustrated, than in luxurious furniture and house 
decoration. Sixty or seventy years ago, when all the 
settlements in Kings County could not boast more than 
7,000 inhabitants, there were a few wealthy families, 
mostly Hollanders, and they had some massive furni- 
ture, mostly brought or imported from Holland, often 
riclily carved, and either of oak or dark mahogany. 
Wliile most of this furniture would be too cumbrous 
and bulky for present daily use, it was worthy of pre- 
servation for its elaborate carving, and the grotescjue 
figures which were so skilfully wrought on its surfaces. 
These articles may not have been — they jirobaldy were 
not — the chef d^c-uvres of Flemish or Dutch art, inas- 
much as the early settlers of Nieuw Amsterdam and 
Breuckelcn were not generally of the most eminent 
Dutcli families (these having remained at home), yet 
they were the sons or daughters of burghers who were 
well to do, and tlius represented, in their homes in the 
New World, very- fairly, the furniture and appliances 
of the prosperous burghers of Amsterdam, Rotterdam 
and La Hague. These old families were not, however, 
very numerous, and their descendants, in some cases, 
were too many to inherit any very large share of their 
ancestors' wealth. The large majority of the farming 
and labonng class, whether of Dutch, English, Irish or 
Huguenot descent, had much plainer and humbler fur- 
niture. The rude bunks or fixed bedsteads, covered, at 
first, with the skins of wild animals, and later, having 
heaped upon them the immerous feather beds, which 
every housewife possessed, formed a bed which was 
considered sufficiently luxurious for anybody. The 
other furniture was ecpially plain; the wooden, splint or 
rush-bottomed chairs; the settle; the plain, substantial 
table, often of oak, but without ornament, sometimes of 
]iine, covered with the housewife's suowj' linen; the 
benches and smaller table, which answered for a wash- 
stand; the rude shelves, containing a few books; the 
corner cu])l)oard, with its supply of delft ware, pewter 
plates and wooden trenchers; and in the lean-to, the 
pounding-barrel, soap-barrel, tubs and tub-form or 



730 



niSTORT OF KIKGS COUNTY. 



bench, the paraphernalia fit' washing day: while still in 
the rear was the leach-hoiise, where the lye for the soap 
was made, and the simple apparatus for making the 
tallow-dips, and very possibly, by their side, the quilt- 
ing-bars. 

There were also two other indispensable articles of 
furniture, now little known; the big wheel for spinning 
wool, and the little or flax wheel, on which was spun 
the linen, fine and coarse, which Katrina, by infinite 
toil, prepared for her own future home. Of musical 
instruments there were at that time very few; occasion- 
ally a spinet was put in the parlor, as the greatest of 
earthly treasures, but its tones wa-re weak, harsh and 
metallic. The Dutch did not greatly affect the guitar 
or the bandolin, so delightsome to the ear of the Span- 
ish maiden; and Hans was fain to pour forth his love in 
the notes of the ear-piercing fife, or the more tender- 
voiced flute. 

The change to the furniture of the present time, in 
the families which, though not rich, are in comfortable 
circumstances, is most amazing. In the parlors we find 
the piano generally, and the cabinet organ, also, in many 
cases. The walls are hung with pictures of merit, even 
where they are not costly. The walls, so dingy and 
discolored with smoke in the olden time, are now either 
frescoed or hung with tasteful and elegant papers. 
Portieres adorn the doors and arches, and the mantels 
are draped with lambrequins. The furniture of black 
walnut, mahogany, cherry or rosewood, exquisitely 
carved and decorated, and finely upholstered with silk 
reps, brocade or plush, mirrors, and some articles of 
bric-a-brac; while the dining-room is supplied with its 
fine extension table, and with solid chairs, often ex- 
pensively trimmed with leather, and its substantial and 
often costly sideboard. The kitchen and laundry are 
supplied with all the conveniences for a most efticient 
service; the range of the latest pattern, the hot and 
cold water, the stationarj' tubs, the ironing table, the 
clothes-wringer, and the patent clothes-boiler, all con- 
tribute to make work easy. Ascending to the boudoir 
and sleeping rooms, we find a revolution so great that 
our grandmothers could not even have imagined it in 
their wildest dreams. Bedsteads whi(!h, in stately ele- 
gance, in perfection and beauty of carving and orna- 
mentation, and the richness of their woods (of black 
walnut, mahogany, rosewood and cherry) far surpass 
the couches of the wealthiest and most accomplished 
monarchs of two centuries ago; mirrors which would 
once have been worth a king's ransom, and bureaus, 
lounges, sofas, easy chairs, chiironieres, and cabinets of 
the most graceful models and exquisite finish, adorn 
these rooms, and replace the maple bedsteads, with 
their constantly breaking cords, their turned posts, and 
their scant head and foot boards, the rush or cane-seat 
chairs, and the plain cheap bureau with a small mirror 
of blown glass, which were the outfit of a guest-cham- 
ber forty or fifty years ago. 



There is nothing, not only of this fine furniture, but 
of that still more exquisite, inlaid and decorated with 
the finest paintings and sculptures, in wood or porce- 
lain or leather, which is not to-day produced, from the 
rough wood to the most complete finish, in Kings 
county. 

We are not now speaking of the retail furniture 
houses, of which there are some hundreds, of all grades, 
and which may and do procure their wares wherever 
they can buy them to the best advantage, but of the 
manufacturers who sell only at wholesale. 

As an example of these, take the large house of 
Martin IVorn <& Sons, whose immense warehouses and 
storage rooms, five stories high, cover eleven full city 
lots. They manufacture only the articles of bedroom, 
boudoir and hall furniture, and in this single branch of 
the furniture industry, embracing hall-stands, bed- 
steads, bureaus, wash-stands, canopy bedsteads, side- 
boards, wardrobes, armoires, ehiffonieres, cribs, etc., &c. 
They employ about 225 hands, and produce goods to 
the value of $250,000 or more. In their lumber yards 
and sheds we find the purest and whitest pine; the still 
finer white wood (liriodcndron tulijiifera), dear to the 
hearts of all cabinet-makers; the California redwood; 
the Oregon cedar; black walnut {juglans cinerea), from 
the West; mahogany from Honduras and the West 
Indies; wild cherry; the beautiful wood of the cerasus 
Vtrginiana, and the costly veneers of the French wal- 
nut, French and Hungarian ash, mahogany, &c. All 
these are thoroughly seasoned under cover for two 
years or more, and when called into service are reduced 
to their prescribed form and shape with the utmost 
exactness by machinery, which seems almost capable 
of thinking, and by skilled hand-work. The thicker 
veneers are sawed here, and the boards to which they 
are to be attached having been planed to the smoothest 
possible surface, they are glued on and dried under 
very heavy pressure. When dry they are planed and 
polished till all their beauty is brought out. Every 
joint is fitted with the most mathematical accuracy. 
Those portions, as fronts of drawers, bedsteads, tops 
and fronts of ehiffonieres, sideboards, hall-stands, etc., 
which are to be ornamented, have the straight lines 
cut by a machine, and the leaves, rosettes, flowers, etc., 
carved by hand; or, in a lower grade of work, these 
ornaments arc struck out by dies, working under a 
pressure of many tons. 

The drawer fronts are attached to the sides by a new 
process, which, in this establishment at least, has taken 
the place of the old " dovetail ;" the whole is done by 
two machines working reciprocally and most exactly to 
their respective patterns, the resulting portions, when 
matched together, making an air-tight and very strong 
joint. These machines, working on the end of the 
hard wood, and cutting to the depth of one-half or five- 
eighths of an inch, produce half of a joint of scallops, 
with pins below, wrought out of the hard wood. The 



THE MANUFA CTURING -'IND USTEIE8. 



731 



scallops come within one-quartor to one-tlftli of an imli 
of the front of the hard wood. The rounded pins — 
" dowels " is, we believe, the technical term for them — 
are about one-sixth of an inch in diameter, and, perliaj)s, 
five-eighths of an inch in length. The softer white 
wood for the side of the drawer is wrought by the 
corresponiling machine into a scalloped edge, with the 
holes below it, into which the dowels fit exactly. So 
perfectly is the work done that, after dusting, the two 
ends can be fitted into each other, so as to make an air- 
tight joint, with only a smart l)low of the hand. In 
practice these joints are coated with a very fluid glue 
before being put together, in order to avoid any'*|pos- 



market. Messrs. Worn & Sons' goods have a wide 
market, going all over the country and to other lands. 
The only customers of such manufacturers as these 
are tlie furniture dealers; for they sell nothing at re- 
tail. This is efpially true of the manufacturers of chairs 
of all descriptions, of olVice and library furniture, and 
generally of dining-room tables and furniture, of kitchen 
furniture, etc. The manufacturers of school, hall and 
church furniture, of hotel, steamboat and railway-car 
furniture, on the contrary, deal directly with their cus- 
tomers, whose bills are generally large; or take con- 
tracts for supplying to a great contractor such of their 
goods as he may order. 




MAltTIN WOUN & SON'S FURNITURE WAREIIOUSK. 



sible danger of shrinkage. There are not, as in the old- 
fashioned dovetail, any sharp points or corners to break 
or split off; every surface is rounded, and the joint is 
more perfect than any dovetail joint could be. These 
machines enable the manufacturer to triumph over one 
of the most difficult operations in cabinet work. 

The bedstead, bureau, chitToniere, sideboard or other 
piece of furniture is now ready to be put together. It 
is first thoroughly rubbed down and cleaned, and all 
the delicate grooves and tenons cleared out and made 
ready for joining, the glue joints being pressed care- 
fully into their grooves, the pins or dowels adjusted 
and glued, and great care is taken to have every part 
true, so that there may be no twisting in the drawers 
or elsewhere. The largest joints are often held firmly 
in place by vises till they are thoroughly dry. It is 
next cleaned again, polished and varnished or shellacked, 
the knobs or handles attached, and it is rea<ly for the 



Martin Worn, the senior raenil>er of the firm of 
Martin U'orji <t Sona, extensively and favorably known as 
manufacturers of furniture, etc., of the city of Brooklyn, was 
born at Weil, in Schoenbuch, Wurtemburg. Germany, .Jan- 
uary \n, 1832. His father was Johannes Worn, and his 
mother's maiden name was Anna Ried. His parents ranked 
among the respectable citizens of Weil, and gave their son 
instruction and set before him the examples so necessary 
for children. It is pleasant to say that the young man suc- 
cessfully profited by these. When old enough, he was placed 
at school m his native citj-, where he obtained a good practi- 
cal business education. While yet young he emigrated to 
America, and became a resident of the city of Brooklyn, 
where, on April 30, 1854, he was united by marriage with 
Miss Bernhardina Fent. In 1862, he began the business of 
furniture manufacture in the inimediate vicinity of his 
present extensive manufactory. Prosperity and success 
attended him, and he soon became prominent and highly 
esteemed in the business and social circles of Brooklyn; and 
at a proper time he connected his two sons, William and 
Charles, with him in business, under the firm name and style 
of Martin ll"om & Sons. 



732 



HISTORY OF KINGS COUNTY. 






Some idea of the extent, importance and large amount of 
business transacted by this firm may be gained by visiting 
tlieir factory, wliicli occupies Nos. 12r, 129, 131, 133 Siegel 
street, near Humboldt, and their warerooms, situated at Nos. 
103, 105, 107 and 109 Humboldt street. A view of these 
buildings is seen on an adjoining page. Such a visit will not 
only be interesting, but profitable. 

Mr. Worn is, in every sense, an intelligent and discrimi- 
nating business man, with those other qualifications that 
adorn and make up the character of a good citizen. He has 
never taken any active part in politics, but has exercised the 



high functions of a voter in the best possible manner, voting 
for the best man, regardless of pulitical proclivities. 

His influence is always given to morality and the cause of 
education; and while he is not connected with any religious 
organization, he upholds ihe Protestant faith. 

There have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Worn six children: 
William, born October 2, 1855; Charles, born January 12, 
1857 : Anna, born July 20, 1862 ; John, born September 
4, 18G6; Mary, born July 2, 1869; Edward, born May 16, 
1874. Of these, Messrs. William and Charles Worn are 
married. 



One of our Brooklyn hou,ses, Messrs. Flnijleton Bros., 
whose portraits grace the opposite page, are engage<l 
in a business of so varied a character tliat we hardly 
know where to class them. Tliey are dealers, at whole- 
sale and retail, in furniture, upholstered goods, mat- 
tresses, stoves, kitchen furniture and utensils and baby 
carriages; but they also manufacture much of their 
furniture, upholstered goods and mattresses on their 
extensive premises, having a capital of ^00,00(1, em- 
ploying about 20 men, and turning out about $5(),00i) 
worth of goods a year. 



Patri(;k J., Henry W. and Huuh S. Flnoleton.— About 
the year 1842, Hugh Fingleton came from Ireland to New 
York city, where he engaged in the tobacco business. In 
1848, he married Catharine Moore, also a native of Ireland. 



who came to this country the same year he did. About two 
years later they bought land on Kosciusko street, built a 
house, and came to Brooklyn to live. This section was then 
far out in the country, and settled only by a few scattering 
farmers. His tobacco business in New York proved so re- 
munerative that he was able, in 1862, to buy a lot one hun- 
dred feet square on the corner of De Kalb and Nostrand ave- 
nues, and build three stores thereon. Over these he finished 
a suite of rooms, into which he brought his family from Kos- 
ciusko street, but lived only a few months to enjoy his new 
home. He died January 3d, 1864, leaving a wife and chil- 
dren as follows: Patrick J., born October 10th, 1854; Henry 
W., born August 9th, 1856; Sarah E., born May 13, 1858; 
Hugh S., born March 28th, 1861. Besides these, they lost 
two sons, who died, one ten years and the other five months 
old. 

On the 1st of August, 1876, the three brothers, whose por- 
traits are shown herewith— Patrick J., Henry W. and Hugh S 




'FOONDERS OF THE EAST BROOKLYN FUHNITTJRE COMPANY.' 



THE MANUIACTURING INDUSTRIES. 



733 



commenced business in one of tlie stores their father 

built, as manufacturers of ami dealers in beildlnji. Their 
beginning was careful but energetic, ami in the following 
May they added furniture of all kinds, manufacturing the 
parlor furniture in their own shops, 7") and 77 Kosciusko 
street. During the next autumn, carpets and upholstering 
were added to their trade, which continued to grow ami ex- 
pand till the original building proved utterly inade(|uate for 
its wants. In 1^78, they built an extension I.T x 00, to which 
repairs and enlargements have recently l)een made to accom- 
modate the demands of still another department devoted to 
stoves, kitchen utensils and baby carriages. For many years 
their business has been the largest of its kind between Fulton 
street and Broadway. But over this fair career of manly 
and honorable prosperity there came the dark shadow of 
loss of health and finally of life. During the increased bur- 
den of work and care consequent upon building in 1878, Pa- 
trick J., the elder brother, took a deep-seated cold, from 
which he never recovered. It is the old, old story. Neither 
he nor his physicians became alarmed till it was too late. 
Then travel was tried. He and his mother crossed the ocean, 
and visited the scenes where her childhood and her young 
womanhood had been passed. Then lie went to the Adiron- 
dacks, to Colorado and to California, but that terrible de- 
stroyer, consumption, was marching him through all these 
weary miles only to the grave. His last winter was spent in 
Florida, in company with his brother, Henry. 

The inevitable event occurred .July 15, 1883. His remains 
were sadly and tenderly deposited in Holy Cross Cemetery, 
Flatbush, by a large circle of bereaved friends. His mother's 
death, which occurred January 14. 1883, was hastened by an 
insupportable solicitude for the life of one so near and dear 
to her, and her loss also hastened his decline. Her unmar- 
ried sister, Mary Moore, has for over twenty years been a 
member of the family, almost filling a mother's place. 

The daughter, Sarah E., now Mrs. James Lynch, together 
with lier husband, live in the home family with the two re- 
maining brothers, neither of whom have ever married. 

The business is still prosecuted with energy by the two 
younger members of the firm. The business involves a cap- 
ital of .^60,000, gives employment to 20 men and amounts in 
current sales to $50,000 per year. Its conductors have always 
been noted for unassuming, gentlemanly qualities, combined 
with intelligence, diligence and enterprise. 



Subsection I. — UjiltolsterhH/. 
In tiie upholstery branch of tlie furniture manufac- 
ture there are different methods followed from those 
which we have described above. There are u[iholsterors 
on a large scale, who employ a considerable number of 
bands. They procure or make the frames, whicli are 
usually of pine, well veneered, but sometimes, in the 
best goods, of black walnut, mahogany or cherry, and 
veneered, carved, overlaid, ornamented, &c., in such a 
way as will attract and please their customers; and 
these are then upholstered, except the outer covering; 
that is, the springs are put in, usually upon heavy web- 
bing, tightly drawn, but sometimes on thin boards or 
iron strips. These are covered with a heavy, coarse 
canvass, and then the seat or back stuffed with hair, or 
often some cheaper material, as tow, excelsior, hay, 
curled palm leaf, &c., &c., is laid upon the canvass, 
and a heavy cotton or canton Hannel is drawn over it 



tightly, and, perliaps, knotted at each spring. The 
under surface and webbing is covered, as there is little 
or no strain, with colored cambrics, or, perliaps, some 
heavier material. These sofas, chairs, Ac, thus in their 
undress, are sold in considerable quantities to the fur- 
niture dealers, who keep samples of the goods used for 
covering, which include morocco, book-binders' calf, 
Russia and other leathers, hair and whalebone cloth, 
liroadcloth, reps, brocades of silk, satin or worsted, raw 
silk, cotton or worsted reps, &c., and cover them as 
desired. But the upholsterer also seeks retail custom, 
and upholsters a single set as readily as he would sell a 
hundred of his blanks to a furniture dealer. 

On the other hand, many of the furniture dealers, 
especially those dealing with the better class of custom- 
ers, though they do not attempt to manufacture any 
other descriptions of furniture, (purchasing it or having 
it made to order by the wholesale bouses) yet employ a 
considerable number of upholsterers, some of them 
very skillful workmen; and, buying the frames, have 
them upholstered in their own establishments, and in 
such way as their customers desire. These houses are 
not generally furniture manufacturers, but they are up- 
holsterers. 

Some of the furniture manufacturers confine them- 
selves to the manufacture and veneering of the frames 
of sofas, tete-a-tetes, divans, easy chairs, etc., etc., 
which they sell to the upholsterers and furniture deal- 
ers; and thus, unlike the class just mentioned, they are 
not upholsterers, but manufacturers of chair and sofa 
frames, etc. This is a large business, and is constantly 
increasing, the frames being of all classes, from the 
very poor and cheap to the best carved, veneered and 
inlaid frames. Messrs. Christian arid George Spoerl 
are the largest manufacturers of these frames, and have 
two houses, one in Myrtle, the other in Lee avenue. 
The leading upholsterers who do a large wholesale 
business are: I\tir W. Schmitt, Rohman <t Hillman, 
Charles M. Iledicus, William Lanff, Joseph Huhn and 
StKudiiii/cr d- Gohlsmith, and A. it C. H. Boldicin, of 
Fourth street, E. D., who have a building 30x1.34, 4 
stories high, and employ a large number of hands. 
Schmitt, Lang and Huhn do some retail business also, 
but, we believe, the others do not. Messrs. L<m<j & 
Nau, T. Brooks' successors, J. G. Reither, R. G. Lock- 
tcood tt Son, Geori/'i A. Probst,thQ Cowperthxnaite Co., 
and perhaps, also, the Brooklyn Furniture Co., and some 
others, have upholstery shops, and do work for their 
own customers, but not as jobbers or wholesale dealers. 
Among these upholsterers is a specialist, Mr. Fred- rick 
B. Jordan, who is a manufacturer of and dealer in furni- 
ture draperies and trimmings, such as lambrequins, 
mantel draperies, portieres, &c., at 155 & 157 Adelphi 
street, corner of Myrtle avenue. He commenced busi- 
ness in July, 187C, with a capital of about $8,000, em- 
\ ploys from 6 to 24 hands, pays about $7,500 wages, and 
his annual product is about 160,000. There are also 



734 



HISTORY OF KINGS COUNTY. 



many upholsterers, some of them excellent workmen, 
who start on a small scale, working themselves and em- 
ploying one or two hands, who do custom work and re- 
pairing, but keep no general stock of furniture, or even 
of upholstered goods. In the course of a few years 
some of these work their way into a good business, 
while others drift back into the large ui)hoIsterers' 
shops. But for this upholstery work, many of the larg- 
est dealers in furniture would have no claim to the 
name of manufacturers. Another class, who deal alto- 
gether in the cheap and trashy articles, which will only 
hold together long enough to reach the houses of their 
customers, procure their goods from distant points in 
the country, where woods abound, and where the pieces 
which go to make u]) chairs, bureaus, tables, etc., are 
worked out in the rough, usually from wood only part- 
ly seasoned, often turned put in the lathes for turning 
irregular forms, roughly veneered, and sent to the city 
to be finished, where glue and putty, paint and varnish, 
conceal the imperfection of the work. There are more 
wholesale dealers in this class of goods in New York 
than in Kings county, and the " Cheap Johns " in the 
retail trade supply themselves very largely from their 
stock. But two or three houses in Brooklyn are en- 
gaged in finishing and selling in quantities these cheap 
and trashy goods. It may be said, however, in justice 
to Messrs. Rohman and Hillman, and the Long Island 
Furniture Co., in Myrtle avenue, that if they finish and 
sell many of these cheap goods, they also manufacture 
some that are of a better grade. 

Subsection II. — Chairs, not upholstered, except in 
special cases. 

The manufacturers of chairs of bent wood, veneers 
and perforated seats, and of rattan, willow, etc., as 
well as those who make what are known as cane-seated 
and splint chairs, and the still cheaper articles known 
as common wood chairs, rockers, etc., and iron, galvan- 
ized iron, and iron wire or steel wire chairs, are a class 
by themselves. Each man or firm adheres to a single 
description of chairs, and makes only that kind, though 
he may indulge in the greatest variety of forms. There 
are ten or twelve of these manufacturers of chairs and 
chair seats in Kings county, and some of the wire- 
work manufacturers, as well as two or three of the 
manufacturers of fancy iron castings, may be added 
to the number. The chairs, settees and fancy bed- 
steads of the wire-workers are often very elegant and 
useful. The Cabbie Excdsior Wire Alamifacturimj 
Co., Messrs. Howard & Morse, and, we believe, also 
the Iir(ioJdi/n, Wire Works Co., make a great variety 
of patterns of these goods. 

One firm makes only barbers' and dentists' chairs; 
one makes opera chairs, of iron, upholstered; two or 
three make wood and cane-seated chairs; three or four 
make cane-seated chairs, and repair these and other 
furniture; two are put down as chair-seat manufac- 



turers; two are manufacturers of wood chairs on a 
large scale, and one manufactures dining-room and read- 
ing-room chairs exclusively. There are also three 
manufacturers of rattan goods, but they confine them- 
selves to baskets, split canes for seats, etc., etc. The 
rattan chairs, rockers, tete-a-tetes, lounges, etc., as well 
as those of willow ware or osier of similar forms, which 
are now so popular, are wholly manufactured by three 
or four firms in New England, and are so protected by 
patents that there can be no competition. Much of 
this work is farmed out among families in the country 
towns, at a very low price. The cane seats are now 
largely woven by those firms, and put in in such a way 
as to be very perishable; and, in consequence of their 
mode of constructing them, cannot be replaced, except 
at nearly the cost of new chairs. The rush-bottomed 
chairs, once very popular, have been driven out of the 
market by the rattan manufacturers, who have bought 
up large tracts of the marshes, and burned the rushes, to 
prevent their use. The perforated and bent wood 
veneered chairs, made principally under Gardner's 
patents, are manufactured at his factories in New York, 
where the seats are also sold separately. The chair 
manufacture in Brooklyn is not very large, although 
considerably beyond the amount of product set down 
for it in the census, $121,703. The real product of the 
whole eleven or twelve manufacturers is not far from 
$225,000. 

Subsection III. — The Decoration of Houses, Theatres, 
Halls, etc., with Hard-wood Trimmings. 

This, on the scale on which it is now conducted, is a 
new industry. Intimately connected with the finer 
grades of furniture is the decoration of costly dwell- 
ings, churches, hotels, halls and theatres, steamships, 
steamboats and palace ears, with hard woods, carved by 
hand, veneered with the choicest veneers, polished, and 
wrought in forms of great beauty. Some of these 
decorations are even more costly than the finest furni- 
ture which our best artists have produced, but the de- 
mand for them is large and constantly increasing. 
Among the houses which have attained the highest 
rank in this department of decorative art, is the great 
lumber house of Gross, Austin & Co. They have 
attached a hard-wood department to their business, and 
are unable to supply the demand for their exquisite 
products. Nothing can exceed the beauty of these 
veneers and richly carved woods; the panelled and in- 
laid doorways, newel-posts, rails, window and mirror 
frames, arches and alcoves, have not been equalled in 
the past, even in artistic France. 

The Wliite, Potter ck Paige Manufacturing Co., now 
passed into other hands than those of its original found- 
ers, is also largely engaged in the production of these 
hardwood and cabinet trimmings, as well as of picture 
and mirror frames and mouldings, hard- wood doOrs, and 
to some extent prepared lumber. Their establishment 



THE MANUIACTURING INBUHTliNIS 



r35 



is a large one, tlie lots which they occupy incliirling 
about 47,000 square feet on Willouglihy avenue, San- 
ford and Wahvortli streets, of which about 24,000 feet 
is covered with buildings. Some of these buildings are 
three stories, others two, and a part one story in height. 
The amount of lumber they use and sell in a year is 
2,702,000 feet. The largest number of hands employed 
at one time is 308; the amount of wages paid per year, 
$146,500; amount of sales of manufactured goods, 
1322,500. Other hard-wood trimmings manufacturers 
are: Ahxiindcr Dwjan, Goodwin, Croas & Co., Doicmx 
tfc Thtrk, in the line of picture frames, and perhaps one 
or two others. The whole present total annual out-put 
of these trimmings is a littU' more than $550,000. 

SoBSKCTiON IV. — MoHldinijsof Soft and Hard Woods, 
Sashes, Doors and Blinds. 

Under these two heads the Brooklyn City Business 
Directory for 1883 enumerates forty-four manufacturers, 
some of them large, and otliers only just beginning 
business. We have classed them toirellier in this sub- 
section, though they are, as now conducted, two entirely 
distinct branches of the business. By "mouldings" 
are understood in the trade all that variety (becoming 
daily more infinite) of grooved, fluted, rounded and 
ornamented headings and trimmings about doors, win- 
dows, stairs, ceilings, office rails and trimmings, which 
in these days make the builder's work so largely a de- 
corative art. These mouldings are wrought from either 
hard or soft woods by scroll, jig or band saws in part, 
but principally by planing knives, each adapted to make 
its particular moulding, and the patterns of these knives 
are constantly changed to satisfy the eager demand for 
variety, the ingenuity of the best machinists being 
taxed to invent patterns of new designs. 

In this department of mouldings the house of John 
S. Loomis is easily foremost in Kings county. In 1849 
Mr. Loomis, a native of Wyoming county, Pennsyl- 
vania, and a practical carpenter, having taken a fellow 
workman, James McCammann, into partnership with 
him, commenced the manufacture of sashes, doors and 
blinds, in a shop twenty-five feet square, on Tompkins 
place. The macliinery, which was run by liorse-j)ower, 
consisted of one circular saw, one mortising machine, 
one tenoning machine, and a small sticker, or moulding 
machine, constructed by themselves; the Fay sticker, 
a small moulding machine, very defective in its work- 
ing, being the only other moulding machine then in the 
market. The business of the young firm prospered to 
such an extent that within two years they were com- 
pelled to move to larger quarters. They purchased a 
site on Wyckoff street, near Smith, where they erected 
a new mill, 25x30, and two stories in height, and put in 
a small five horse power engine and considerable new 
machinery. In 1855 the partnership was dissolved, 
Mr. McCammann going out. Mr. Loomis resolved to 
enlarge his business and seek a market in the South. 



He was so successful that in fivo years he sold out bis 
sash, door and blind business, and devoted himself ex- 
clusively to mouldings, eroding other buildings to ac- 
commodate his fast increasing trade. In 1808, after a 
long and prosperous career, his mill, buildings and ma- 
chinery were entirely destroyed by fire. Obtaining 
temporary quarters for his business, he imm<'diately 
purchased the site of his present extensive works at the 
head of the Gowanus canal, and in less than six mouths 
had a very large mill, with abundant machinery, running 
full time. Since that time he has suffered the same ex- 
perience of destruction by fire three times, viz., in 1870, 
1876, and in August, 1881, and each time has erected 
larger and more complete buildings, and has greatlv in- 
creased hi^ business. The destruction in the fire of 
August, 1881, was complete, destroying everything ex- 
cept the office and storage building, and sweeping awav 
also the adjacent sash, door and blind factory of Stan- 
ley & Unckles; yet in three months' time the present 
factory, said to be the largest and in every particular 
the most complete of its kind in the United States, was 
finished and in running order. The present buildings 
occupy the whole front (200 feet) on Xevins street, 
from Baltic to Butler, and extend back on both streets 
225 feet, the whole space (45,000 square feet) being 
covered with buildings, leaving only the necessary pass- 
age ways for wagons and trucks. The corner building, 
38x115 feet, is occupied on the first floor and basement 
by the turning, carving and sawing department. The 
second story is fitted up as a carpenters' or joiners' 
shop, with the most improved labor-saving machinery. 
Here are made window-frames, wood mantels, panel 
work of all descriptions, employing a large force of 
first-class mechanics. The third floor is used for storage 
and other purposes. 

Adjoining on Baltic street is the machine shop, where 
the machines used in the establishment are made, and 
all necessary repairing is done. The next is the stair- 
building shop. Then come the storage sheds where 
kiln-dried lumber is stored ready to out, and on the rear 
we reach the drying kilns, six in number, built of brick 
and extending from Baltic to Butler streets, a distance 
of 200 feet, with capacity for drying 180,000 feet of 
lumber at once, and insuring a constant supply of 
thoroughly seasoned lumber. 

The remainder of the ground is occupied by one 
large mill building containing 13 moulding machines, 
capable of producing 130,000 feet of worked mouldings 
a day ; 3 large planing machines, band, jig, circular 
and other saws, and the necessary belting and shaftinf 
for driving them; in the centre of the mill, the " knife 
room," where the moulding cutters are made and where, 
on shelves, each numbered in order, the knives or cut- 
ters are stored after their manufacture or repair. Two 
men are constantly at work making new knives. The 
shop is fitted up with a portable lorge, anvils, tanite 
emery wheels, etc. In this same mill are also the sand- 



730 



HISTORY OF KINGS COUNTY. 



papering machines, invented by Mr. Loomis, and used 
exclusively in this establishment. On these machines the 
mouldings receive the smooth finish for which Loomis' 
mouldings are noted in the trade. Two of these ma- 
chines now do the work of from 60 to 80 boys, and ac- 
complish it much more skillfully and satisfactorily, 
preserving all sharp corners intact, and iinishing uni- 
formly, and without injury, all surfaces and delicate 
members of the moulding. 

3Ir. Loomis also owns and occupies a lumber yard 
100x225 feet, on the canal, at tlie corner of Carroll and 
Nevins streets, for receiving and piling his lumber, and 
another yard 100x100 feet, opposite his mill on Nevins 
street, where he keeps for sale all descriptions of 



Court from 1675 to 1687, and died in 1688 at the age of 66 
years. The son of Thomas Loomis, of Windsor, was Thomas 
Loomis, of Hatfield, Mass., born iu 16.53. His son was Tlionias 
Loomis, of Lebanon, Conn., born in 1684; and his son Lieu- 
tenant Thomas Loomis, also of Lebanon, born in 1714. 
Captain Isaiah Loomis, also of Lebanon, was a son of the 
lieutenant, and a soldier of the Revolution: he was born in 
1749. Sherman Loomis, of Centremorelaud, Penn., was the 
son of Captain Isaiah, born in 1787, and was the father of 
John Sharp Loomis. 

In 1846, John S. Loomis went from Wilkesbarre, where he 
had learned his trade as a carpenter, to South Carolina, and 
was engaged, under A. W. Craven, in building the Camden 
& Gadsden Railroad, one of the last links in the first railroad 
connection between the North and the South. In 1847, he 
came to Brooklyn,'and entered]the shop of Thomas Baylie, 




\\^ 









r-^^-'v*ffT:v^!f! 




■nVVeBa'tir ' t?'*°'-L SAWING ; 






i.r-:rep 







in" (T-:: 








^m 



J. S. LOOMrS' MOULDING AND PLANING MILLS. 



dressed lumber for the local trade. Mr. Loomis re- 
quires annually for his business about 6,000,000 feet of 
pine lumber and 750,000 feet of hard-wood. 

Mr. Loomis does also a very considerable business in 
the production of hard wood trimmings in .addition to 
his mouldings manufacture. He employs about 120 
hands; paying annually about |92,000 wages, and pro- 
ducing annually uKJuldings, &c., to the value of about 
$350,000. 



John Sha.rp Looms. — The subject of this sketch was born 
in Centremoreland, Wyoming county, Penn., June 12, 183.'). 
He is of strictly Puritan stock, his first direct ancestor in this 
country having been Joseph Loomis, a woollen draper, of 
Essex county, England, who came to Boston in 1038, and re- 
moved to Windsor, in the Connecticut Colony, in 1039. One 
of his five sons was John Loomis or Loomys, another Thomas 
Loomis, botli of Windsor, and both men of substance and 
distinction. Thomas Loomis was a deputy to the General 



who was at that time one of the leading builders in the city. 
About a year later he formed a partnership with James Mc- 
Cammann, a fellow workman, and started a small mill in 
Tompkins place for the manufacture of sash, doors and 
bliuds. Their mill was only 2~> feet square, was run by horse- 
power, and contained a ver}- few machines. 

They were compelled, by the increase of their business, to 
remove to larger quarters in Wyckoff street, near Smith, at 
the end of two years, where they had nearly three times as 
much room and a steam-engine of five horse power. In 18.55, 
the partnership was dissolved, Mr. McCammann going out, 
and thenceforward Mr. Loomis continued the business alone. 
He now turned his attention to the extension of his trade 
with the south. He liad added mouldings to his products, 
and in five years had created so large a market for his work 
in the southern states, that he sold out his sash, door and 
blind interest, and confined himself exclusively to the manu- 
facture of mouldings and turned work. Notwithstanding the 
derangement of business consequent upon the war, his trade 
constantly increased, and he was in the height of a prosperous 
and growing business, when, on the 6th of June, 1808, his 



THE MANUFACTURING INDUSTRIES. 



1Zl 




,h 




J 




<^^''^>:?-'Z-<x:7 



mill was entirelj' destroyed by fire. He instantly made tem- 
porary arrangements for continuing his business, and pur- 
chased tlie site which his present mill occupies, at the head 
of Gowanus canal, on Nevins street. Here, bv the first of 
December, 18G8, lie had completed a very large manufactory, 
replete with every convenience, for his business. Here the 
increase of his trade surpassed all his former anticipations. 
It would seem that Mr. Loomis would be justified in calling 
his manufactory the "Phuenix'" works, for, since his re- 
moval to Nevins street, he has three times seen his buildings 
and machinery and stock destroyed by fire. These fires 
occurred in 1870, 1876 and in August, I881. The last fire was 
especially destructive, sweeping away another factory as 
well as his own. But three months later he had finished a 
new factory, larger, and every way more complete in all its 
appointments, than any of its predecessors had been. Else- 
where we describe this new factory, with its numerous 
buildings. Suffice it to say, that it is fully supplied with 
machines of the latest and most approved patterns, many of 
them of Mr. Loomis' own invention, and that the extensive 
machine shop connected with it is constantly making addi- 
tions to its appliances for turning out perfect work. There 
are other moulding and turning mills in Brooklyn, of gi-eat 
e.xtent and capable of turning out excellent work; but none, 
in all respects, equal to this. He is now also occupied quite 
largely in what is known as the "hard-wood department" 
of the moulding and trimming business. This consists in 
the manufacture of ornamental door and window frames, 
rails, Newel posts, etc., etc., which are richly veneered, in- 
laid, carved, etc., for halls, theatres, opera houses, hotels, 



steamboats and private dwellings. The industry is a com- 
paratively new one, but is rapidly growing. 

Mr. Loomis' business, which began with the Brooklyn 
trade, now extends throughout the eastern, middle, south- 
ern and southwestern states, and he is also frequently re- 
ceiving orders from the West Indies, South America, Eng- 
land, Scotland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and 
other countries. 

Mr. Loomis is a thorough-going business man, and pos- 
sesses a genial and sunny temper, which has drawn around 
him a host of friends. His generous and social disposition: 
his undaunted pluck and self-poise in the midst of disaster, 
his confident leadership in perilous enterprises, his courage, 
hopefulness and perfect self-control amid the wild and 
chaotic excitement of the great fires which have so often de- 
stroj'ed his property; the quiet firmness and resolution with 
which he has retrieved his fortunes; and the constancy of 
his friendships, render him a man to be admired and loved 
by all who know him. 

Mr. Loomis' family consists of his wife and three grown-up 
sons, two of whom are in the business with their father. He 
has always been a republican in his political relations, though 
not a partisan. He was one of the original stockholders and 
directors of the Sprague National Bank. 

Mr. Loomis has always held that the eye of the master is 
the best guaranty of the perfection and excellence of the 
work which he offers to the public; and, acting on this con- 
viction, he may be seen, at almost any hour of the day, over- 
looking, inspecting and directing the work on which some of 
his 120 workmen are engaged. 



738 



HISTORY OF KINGS COUNTY. 



The manufacture of sash, doors and blinds describes 
itself. It is constantly increasing, and these goods, we 
believe, owing in part to the strong competition, are 
better made, and of more thoroughly seasoned lumber, 
than formeily. The trade is almost entirely local, as 
every city and large village has its factories for the 
production of these articles, so necessary for the build- 
er's use. Of late, even hard-wood doors, of the 
best quality, carved and ornamented, are made in these 
factories. The census of 1880 reported 24 of these es- 
tablishments with a capital of $368,350, employing 637 
hands, and paying §190,509 wages; using 8398,679 of 
material and producing $738,722 annually. As the 
census makes no separate mention of mouldings or 
hard-wood trimmings, it is probable that these were in- 
cluded. Now, the business directory of 1883 reports 
eight houses engaged in making mouldings, etc. (there 
are really twelve), and in the county 38 manufacturers 
of sash, doors and blinds. The number of hands em- 
ployed exceeds 750, and the production, aside from 
mouldings is over $1,000,000. The largest houses in the 
business are Louis Bossert, Alexander Duyan, Good- 
win, Cross tfi Co., Stanley cfc Unckles, R. I. Whipple, 
H. Kirk & Morgenthaler, Welsh it LiUh, Long Id((nd 
Saw and Planing 3Iills, South Brooklyn Saw Mills 
Company, William Skidmore, etc., etc. 

SuBSKCTioN VI. — Mattresses, Spring Beds and Bed- 
ding. 

More intimately connected with the furniture trade 
than the hard-wood trimmings, or the mouldings and 
the sashes, doors and blinds, are the mattresses, spring 
beds and bedding. Mattresses are made of exceedingly 
various materials. The material most valued by house- 
keepers is genuine, pure, curled horse-hair; and mat- 
tresses containing this article, and nothing else, always 
command a high price. There are many cheaper ma- 
terials, used either by themselves, or to cheapen hair 
mattresses, however, which have a considerable sale. 
Deer's hair is used by one manufar^turer for ship mat- 
tresses, on account of its buoyant quality, as it is said 
that it cannot be made to sink; Russian felt is used for 
its freedom from vermin; curled husks, tow, excelsior, 
shavings, Spanish moss, curled i)alin leaf, hay, straw 
and moss are also used in the cheaper mattresses. 
There are also mattresses of woven wire, of spiral 
springs, upholstered and not upholstered, of coiled 
springs, and of almost every description of springs, and 
fastened in an almost infinite variety of ways. Then 
there are beds or mattresses of feathers, of down, of 
cotton, of wool, and of vegetable wool and woolly 
plants. Nearly every description of mattress named 
is manufactured here. The census reported but seven 
manufacturers of mattresses and spring beds, employ- 
ing 36 hands and producing $137,076 of goods; but 
this was a most remarkable under-estimate. Of the 
hundi-eds of upholsterers and furniture dealers, there 



is hardly one who does not make mattresses of some 
kind, and most of them many kinds; while there are 
24 houses, some of them large, who make the manu- 
facture of mattresses and spring beds their sole occu- 
pation. It is, of course, difficult, and perhaps impossi- 
ble, to come at any very near approximation to the 
amount of business done in these goods, but it is cer- 
tainly within bounds to say that, including the export 
of special spring beds and mattresses made here, the 
whole number of hands employed is not under 250, and 
the production above $500,000. The leading houses 
who are specially engaged in this manufacture are: the 
Brooklyn Spring Bed Co., who manufacture woven 
wire and other mattresses, at 56 Flatbush avenue; they 
employ ten men and turn out mattresses to the amount 
of about $50,000; John Wood, of ^23 Fulton street, 
whose business was estabished in 1864, and who turns 
out about $60,000 of furniture and bedding annually; 
William S. Fogg (b Son; the 3fetropoUtan Manufactur- 
ing Comp>any; J. & R. Ainslie, of 20-22 Broadway, 
E. D., who make a specialty of peculiar metallic 
spring mattresses of great excellence, employ 15 hands, 
and produce goods to the value of about $52,000 aj-ear; 
K. C. Bradford; the Metallic Ujjholstering Company; 
L. Goodwin; Edwin P. Fowler; George S. Goodwin; 
L. Drew, whose house has been established for more 
than 56 years ; his business in this line is largely 
wholesale, and his customers are the best furniture 
dealers in Kings County; he connects feather dressing 
and renovating with his business, and also bedding in 
general; Samuel II. Mills, William T. F^sh, etc., etc. 

The census returns of all branches of the furniture 
and upholstering manufacture are somewhat more than 
$2,800,000 and 2,065 hands employed. Adding for 
mouldings and bard-wood trimmings, and the defective 
report of mattresses and spring beds, and the very 
great increase of the business within four years, and 
we have an aggregate of more than $4,500,000 in all 
branches of the business, and more than 3,000 hands 
employed. 



SECTION XVI. 
Publishing and Book Manufacture. 

The item, " Printing and Publishing," in the census 
of 1880, is misleading in many respects. Sixty-four 
establishments were reported, with $889,284 capital, 
employing 1,299 hands, paying $522,075 wages, using 
$552,610 material, and producing $1,549,743 of books, 
papers, pamphlets and job work. This enumeration 
included every little job office in the city; but it would 
seem to have omitted the three great book factories of 
Brooklyn — or, rather, two of them, as Messrs. Barnes' 
factory was not erected till 1880 — for Mr. Froth- 
ingham's report, which did include these, gave 68 
establishments, with $994,384 of capital, employ- 
ing 1,448 hands, paying $562,613 wages, using 



THE MANUFACTURING INDUSTRIES. 



7S0 



$496,610 of raw material, and producing annually 
$2,062,293 of books, papers, &c. The census orticc, 
doubtless, concluded in these cases, as they have in 
many other Brooklyn manufactures, that since the 
goods were sold in New York city, Brooklyn was not 
entitled to the credit of their manufacture. But, as a 
matter of fact, the greater part of the product of these 
great book manufactories is shipped direct from the 
factories, by telegraphic and telephonic orders, and 
never enters the New York warehouses. The capital 
is invested here, the whole process of niaiuifacturo is 



77te TVeie Press and Tlie Brooklyn Daily Union, all do 
a very large business, and having job offices attached 
to them, turn out a vast amount of printing annually. 
These four newspajiers, with their advertisements and 
their job offices, have an aggregate production of not 
less than $700,000 annually; adding to this the seven- 
teen or eighteen other newspapers, periodicals and 
magazines (not including the advertising sheets), and 
we have an aggregate annual production of not less 
than $1,050,000. Of the other forty-two or forty- 
three printing establishments, some are connected 




D. APPLETON & CO.'S BOOK MANUFACTORY. 



conducted here, and the perfected product is stored 
here, ready for shipment to any point where it is needed. 
But, though !S[r. Frothingham's annual product exfoeds 
that of the census office by more than $500,000, it does 
not adequately represent the immense production of 
these great houses, as we shall see presently. 

Under this heading, the census, undoubtedly, in- 
cludes the printing and publishing of the daily and 
weekly newspapers and the monthly publications. We 
describe these more at length under the head of " The 
Press and Journalism." Suffice it to say, that The 
Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Tlie Brooklyn Daily Times, 



with book-stores and stationery houses; some are 
jobbing offices, which have a good business in con- 
nection with large manufacturing, commercial or busi- 
ness houses; some are connected with banks, insurance 
and real estate offices, and draw their business mainly 
from them, printing the advertising sheets which are 
so common, and other jobbing work. Most of the great 
manufacturing houses have a printing office of their 
own. Taking these all together (and the number has 
probably increased since 1880 to about 60), and their 
annual production is not less than $500,000, and may 
considerably exceed that sum. 



740 



HISTORY OF KIJSTGS COUNTY. 



But the production of the great book factories ex- 
ceeds that of the newspapers and job printers together. 

The first of these in Brooklyn in the order of time, 
and probably the largest in extent, is that of ISfessrs. 
D. Appleton & Co., at 201-219 Kent avenue. The 
Messrs. Appleton, booksellers in Xew York since 1825, 
and publishers since 1831, had found their imblications 
becoming so numerous as to require facilities of their 
own for the manufacture of their publications. They 
commenced a bindery in New York city in 1854, a 
printing office with eight power presses, and 26 hands 
in Franklin street. New York city, in 1855, and a 
composition and electrotyping department in Greene 
street. New York, in 1864. Mr. Matthews was, and 
still is at the head of their bindery; Mr. Dunne at the 
head of the printing department, now enlarged to 21 
Adams presses and 150 hands, and Mr. William 11. S. 
Werry, deceased in 1875, and succeeded by his son, 
Edward Werry, was at the head of the composition and 
electrotyping department, which originally had twelve 
hands, and now has more than 100. 

In December, 1867, Messrs. Appleton erected their 
present book factory in Kent street and consolidated 
all their departments under one building or series of 
buildings. This is said to be one of the largest and 
most completely appointed printing and binding estab- 
lishments in the world. The bindery alone is 250 feet 
long and five stories high, and has about 425 hands 
employed. The printing office and the composing and 
electrotyping rooms occupy another large building, 
and still another has been erected for the storage of 
books, as well as extensive vaults for plates. The 
firm now employs about 700 hands, pay out $325,000 
annually for wages, and their annual product in this 
factory is between §700,000 and i;800,0oo. 

They have a restaurant for their hands in the build- 
ing, which furnishes meals at the bare cost; two sick 
benefit organizations have been organized; there is an 
excellent circulating library for the operatives, founded 
in memory of George S. Appleton, deceased, a former 
member of the firm, and the Appleton Mission, which 
provides religious services free of charge to all who 
choose to attend them. 

Messrs. MnLonfjhlin Brothers were the next of 
these book manufacturers to establish a large book 
factory in Brooklyn. They had been for many years 
engaged in the manufacture and ■])ublication of colored 
toy books, games and toys in New York at first, from 
1840 to 1850, as Elton & Co., and from 185.T under the 
present firm name; but finding occasion for larger 
quarters, they removed to Brooklyn in 1870, and 
erected their present spacious factory at South Eleventh 
street, corner of Third. Here they employ about 350 
hands, and produce a very large amount of toy books, 
colored and plain games, and toys. Their business 
has grown steadily from year to year. All their books, 
toys, etc., are sold in New York. 



The third, in the order of time, of these great man- 
ufactories, is that of Messrs. A. S. Barnes & Co. 
This bouse has been in business as publishers since 
1838, at first in Hartford, Conn. ; afterward in Phila- 
delphia, and since 1845 in New York city, wdiere they 
originally occupied a store and warehouse at the cor- 
ner of John aiul Dutch streets. Their (piarters be- 
coming too strait for them, they purchased the five- 
story store and warehouse, on the corner of William 
and John streets, in 1868, reserving the old store and 
warehouse, as well as a part of the new, for manufac- 
turing purposes. In 1880, they had outgrown these 
quarters, and Mr. Barnes erected their present large 
manufactory in Brooklyn, on the corner of Liberty 
and Nassau streets, 75x100 feet, and six stories high. 
To this new building they removed their printing 
offices, bindery, packing, and in part, their storage 
rooms. Twenty power presses are kept continually 
runnmg on the school-books and other publications of 
the firm, and most of their orders are shipped to their 
point of destination direct from the factory. Mr. 
Edwin M. Barnes, the third son of Mr. A. S. Barnes, 
is in charge of the manufactory. 

The number of hands employed in all departments 
of the factory is about 250, and they turn out over a 
million of school-books annually. 

These three manufactories are, we believe, all, which 
are regularly engaged in the production of books in 
Brooklyn; certainly, they are all which are conducted 
solely for the account of the publishers who own them. 
Their aggregate production, as we have seen, is above 
81,600,000, and the aggregate number of hands em- 
ployed about 1,350. 



A. S. Barnes. — There is, perhaps, no department of 
enterprise and industry, which has been more marked 
in its development within the past few years, than that 
of the publication of school books. 

The small store, with some dozens of spelling-books 
and readers, with copy-books and arithmetics, in still 
smaller (quantities, has given place to the present mam- 
moth establishment, turning out from its immense 
power-presses, and well appointed bindery, its thousands 
— nay, millions — of volumes yearly, embracing every 
department of human learning for which a text book has 
been, or can be, prepared. In very few establishments 
in the world, probably, has this development from a 
small beginning to a great enterprise, been more fully 
exemplified than in the house deriving its "name from, 
and owing its foundation and great success to, the 
subject of our sketch. 

It has steadily grown, from its first modest quarters 
of twelve by twenty feet square in Hartford, in 1838, 
to the occupation of buildings in Brooklyn, New York 
and Chicago, whose floors may be measured by acres, 
and thr [)ro(luct of whose pix'sses goes out by tons and 
car-loads to evciy part of this and many foreign 




fi'TJ-'byGeoEPenne};*'^ 




THE MANUFACTURING INDUSTRIES. 



Ml 



countries. Alfred Smith Babnks, the founder of this 
establishment, was born in NewIIavcii, Conn., Jan. 28, 
1817. His father, Eli Barnes, was a native of South- 
ington, Hartford county, and his mother, Susan Morris, 
of East Haven, Conn. Eli Uarnes was originally a 
farmer, but subsequently became a merchant at New 
Haven, where he died in 1827, leaving a widow and 
five children. Of Mrs. Barnes, it is said that '"she was 
the daughter of pious parents and a worthy member of 
a godly race. In her widowhood she was not alone. 
She trusted in pious coiitidence to Him who hears the 
prayers of the atHicted, and pours out the oil of gladness 
into sorrowing hearts ; her labors were crowned by the 
highest rewards. Her family grew up under her care, 
and under the influence of her pure and earnest life. 
She iiuprcssiMl upon tlicni the convictions of a religious 
mind, and under these convictions not only guarded 
them from evil, but conducted them to honorable suc- 
cesses." Alfred was the second son, and at the age of 
1 1 years he was placed under the care of an uncle at 
Hartford. He attentled school during winter and 
labored on a farm during the summer months, thus 
combining manual labor and intellectual discipline in 
laying the foundation of future usefulness. 

At the age of sixteen years he entered the store of 
D. F. Robinson & Co., of Hartford, Conn., at that time 
one of the leading publishing houses of the country, as 
a clerk, and, at the same time became a member of his 
employer's family. Here he received the advantages and 
influences of a christian home, which, added to the teach- 
ings of a pious mother, gave a decidedly religious bent to 
his mind, which has found development in later life in 
an active connection with church and Sabbath school, 
and all kindred work, and laid the foundation of those 
strict principles of integrity that have made his name 
respected in the business circles wherein he has moved. 
In 18.35 Messrs. Robinson ife Co. moved their business 
to New York city, where the young clerk caught his 
first glimpses of the methods of conducting the more 
extensive business of leading houses in the metropolis, 
and at the great centers of trade. This larger experi- 
ence was of great value to him, and tiiially determined 
his partially formed plans for the future. In Fcbruai-y, 
18.38, being then just 21 years old, and having com- 
pleted the term of his clerkship, he entered into a 
partnership with Prof. Charles Davies, formerly of 
West Point, b\it then residing in Hartford. The first 
eflForts of the new firm, then and thereafter to be known 
as A. S. Barnes «& Co., were in the publication of Prof. 
Davies' admirable series of matliemiitical works. Prof. 
Davies receiving a portion of the profits in addition to 
a fixed co])yright. The first quarters of the new firm 
consisted of a small room on Pearl street in Hartford; 
and here, without other capital than the intelligence 
and tireless energy of one partner and the intellectual 
ability and thorough knowledge of this subject and 
training for his work on the part of the other, began an 



enterprise, that for ut leaHt one of them, biu be<.Mi a 
life work, and which from that incunNiderabie bt-gin- 
niiig has deveiopi-d into the largeHt and moot popular 
school book ]>ubliHliing houHe in the world. During' 
the first two years of the fxiNtt-neo of the firm, Mr. 
Barnes spent a considerable portion of the time in an 
active canvass of academieH, MehooJH and colleges in all 
j)arts of the (country, for the purp<jiu- of intrrMlr 
Prof. Davies' works. Their fimt venture, Da,.- 
Arithmetic, was intended to be and was the prt'Curaor of 
the first complete series of imilheiiiatieallvxt'' 
attem|ite<l in this country, a scries that hat l" 
ordinarily popular, and even yet is selling largely, and in 
recognized as a standard authority. Mrs. KnimaWil: i i' 
Histories were soon ailded to the firm's lint of pul- i 
tions, and others gradually followed. In 1.S40, Mr. 
Barnes o])cned a book store in Philadelphia, and in lM42 
removed the manufacturing dep.%rtment also to tliat 
city. In the new location, 21 Minor street, their huHi- 
ness was largely increased, and they added to their 
stock the j)ublications of other houses. The oti-ady 
though gradual growth of the business finally deter- 
mined the firm to again remove, this time to New York 
city, which offered su]HTior advantages for the pros*'- 
cution of its work. Their first store in that city was at 
the corner of John and Dutch streets, and the iipp<T 
floors were used for the printing and binding of their 
publications, beginning with four two-roller steam 
power presses, and a moderate outfit for their bindery. 
After a short time two more power-pres-ses were added, 
and rooms in the adjoining building were rented to meet 
the wants of their growing business. 

One after another the works of other writers on edu- 
cational topics were added, besides works of a miscel- 
laneous literary character, other than school-books, 
until now their list embraces nearly all branchen of 
science and literature; and the sale, promoted not only 
by the intrinsic merits of the works themselves, but by 
a most extensive and complete .system of agencies and 
local canvassers, numbers millions of copies annually. 
In 1868 the b\isiness had so outgrown their original qiiar- 
ters.that they removed to their present 5-storj- building 
at John and William streets. This pro|>erty wa* pur- 
chased by Mr. Barnes and used as a stort* and ware- 
house. Mr. Barnes also purchased the Dutch street 
corner, where they had so long conducted their busi- 
ness, using it exclusively for manufacturing purpose*. 
This department outgrew their quarters, and in l^SO, 
he purchased ground and erected a building "5 feet 
front. 100 feet deep, and six stories high, on the coracr 
of Liberty and Nassau streets in T ' ' •< 

formerly owned by the First Bapt - ' ;• 

To this, they removed their printing offices, bindery. 
packing, and in part, their st-^r i . ... 

twenty power-presses are kept • 

the school-books and other pnblicatioDs ot the firm, and 
from this point most of their production is shipped 



742 



HISTORY OF KINGS COUNTY. 



to all parts of the country. Mr. Barnes for many 
years attended to the work of manufacturing. His 
sons have successively followed him, thus familiar- 
izing themselves with all the intricate details of the 
business. His third son, Edwin M. Barnes, is now 
in charge. In the many years existence of the firm 
of A. S. Barnes & Co., many changes have taken 
place in its personnel. Prof. Davies' connection con- 
tinued about ten years. In 1850 a brother-in-law 
of Mr. Barnes, Mr. Henry L. Burr, entered the 
firm and continued as a member of it until his death in 
1865. About this time Mr. Barnes' brother, John C. 
Barnes, and his son, Alfred C. Barnes, and, in 1868, 
Henry W. Curtiss, became associated in tlie business. 
Since then other members of the family have joined 
the firm, Mr. J. C. Barnes withdrawing in 1867 and Mr. 
Curtiss in 1881. The firm now consists of five of 
the sons; A. C, II. B., E. M., R. S., and W. D., 
and a nephew, C. J. Barnes, who is in charge of the 
Chicasro branch of the house. Mr. A. S. Barnes con- 
tinues at the head of the business, though less actively 
than formerly, the burden of labor and responsibility 
being thrown upon the younger partners. The old 
firm name, one of the oldest in the country, is still 
retained. 

Although generally successful, Mr. Barnes has passed 
through the usual storms which assail any long con- 
tinu<'<l business. 

The panic of 1857, and the breaking out of the war, 
were especially trying, but through all he has main- 
tained tlie strong and untarnished credit of the house. 
His well known probity, as well as his industry and 
perseverance, gained for him the confidence of all, and 
in the darkest hours, willing hands were nut wanting 
to aid in tiding over the exigencies of the moment. 
Besides the constant attention given to afl'airs of the 
publishing house, Mr. Barnes has found time to em- 
bark in other enterprises, the final success of which 
well attest his judgment and foresight. One of the 
earliest promoters of the elevated railway system of New 
York, he never, like many others, lost faith in its ulti- 
mate importance, and his faith was finally rewarded in 
its successful establishment. The Central branch of the 
Union Pacific railroad in Kansas, was another enterprise 
in which, after many years of delay and discouragement, 
his distinguishing characteristic, ])ersistency, brought 
him gain. Among the ottices of trust and responsi- 
bility which Mr. Barnes has sustained outside of his 
business, have been those of director of the Hanover 
National Bank of New York, of the Dime Savings Bank 
of Brooklyn, and the Home Insurance Co. of New York. 
At different times he has been, and still is, a trustee of 
the Brooklyn Collegiate and Polytechnic Institute, and 
of the Packer Institute; of Cornell University at Ithaca, 
N. Y. ; of Fisk University at Nashville, Tenn. ; one of the 
original promoters of the Adelphi Academy of Brook- 
lyn, and a director of the Long Island Historical Society. 



Mr. Barnes' family relations have always been of the 
pleasantest and most fortunate kind. His first wife, 
Harriet E. Burr, whom he married in 1841, was, like him- 
self, of Connecticut stock; her father, Gen. Timothy 
Burr, of Rochester, N.Y., and her mother, Mary Chapin, 
a daughter of Laertes Chapin, were natives of Hart- 
ford, in that State. This union was blessed in Phila- 
delphia by the birth of two children, the number subse- 
queiith' increasing to ten. Mrs. Barnes was her husband's 
companion for forty years, and he speaks of her as "My 
joy and comfort, who contributed largely to my success 
in life; a devoted wife and mother, and an earnest 
Christian, largely interested and engaged in works of 
benevolence and charity." She lived to see all her 
children married, and the birth of twenty-four 
grandchildren, and then passed suddenly away, Oct. 27, 
1881. Mr. Barnes has borne fruit throughout his life, 
in a constant and consistent attention to his religious 
duties as church member, Sabbath-school teacher and 
superintendent; and, in many positions of trust and re- 
sponsibility in connection with churches, charitable in- 
stitutions and missions, he has brought to his work the 
same earnest energy, and single-heartedness of purpose, 
that has made his business life successful. He united 
with Rev. Dr. Bushnell's church in Hartford, at the 
age of seventeen. On going to New York, in 1835, he 
transferred his church relations to the Rev. Dr. Spring's 
(Old Brick) Presbyterian church and became a Sunday- 
school teacher in one of the first Mission Sabbath- 
schools in New York, under the superintendence of Mr. 
Albert Woodruif. While in Philadelphia his church 
relations were Presbyterian, and under the j^astorate of 
Rev. Joel Parker, he was a Sunday school teacher at the 
House of Refuge, during his residence in that city. 
His first home in New York was at the corner of 
Amity and Macdougal streets, and while living 
there the family worshipped in Dr. Skinner's church 
in Mercer street. When, in 1846, he removed to 
Garden street, Brooklyn, he identified himself 
with the Church of the Pilgrims, Rev. Dr. Storrs, 
again entering upon Sunday-school work among the 
poor. In 1850 he was elected a deacon in that church. 
In 1853 he built his present large and elegant residence 
on Clinton avenue. Soon after his removal thither, he 
became iiil crested in the establishment of a new Con- 
gregational church on the corner of Clinton and Lafay- 
ette avenues. During the first few years of the ex- 
istence of tliis church, Mr. Barnes was President of its 
Board of Trustees, and it was largely due to his energy 
and perseveraace that the financial embarrassments of 
the society were overcome. Resigning this position 
finally, he became the superintendent of the Mount 
Prospect Mission, established by his church, and in 1864 
superintendent of the Home School of the church, which 
j.ositlon he held till 1871. He was also for eight j^ears 
a deacon of this church. Besides all these labors, Mr. 
Barnes has taken great interest and participated in 



THE MANUFACTURING INDUSTRIES. 



743 



the direction of many other works of a kindred nature. 
He is now President of the Brooklyn City Mission ami 
Tract Society, and of the ''Good Samaritan;" Trustee of 
the American Tract Society of New Y(jrk, the American 
Missionary Association, and of the American Home 
Missionary Society. As miglit be expected, amidst ail 
this complexity of pursuits and interests, holh spiritual 
and temporal, his time has been occupied so fully as to 
leave small opportunity for recreation. In 18" 1, how- 
ever, he laid aside all his business, and in companv 
with his wife and one dauLfhter ancl one son, spent a 
delightful year in a tour through Europe, returning at 
its close to take up the scattered threads, with renewed 
vigor and interest. Notwithstanding his incrcasinf 
years, and the unusually active and busy life he has led, 
Mr. Barnes, now sixty-seven years of age, is still hale 
and vigorous, and l)id8 fair to a(hl many vcars yet of 
labor to those which have already added honor to his 
name, and brought him that well earneil competency 
which we hope he mav long enjoy. 

Mr. Barnes was married again on the Tth of November, 
1883, to Mrs. Mary Mathews Smith, formerly a resident 
and teacher in Brooklyn, and more recently of Piermont- 
on-the-Hudson. 



Of the other publishing houses here, it is said that 
Lain ib Co., the directory publishers, have their com- 
position and electrotyping done in New York, and their 
press-work in Brooklyn. We believe this is true, also, 
of the moderate amount of publishing done by 111 W. 
Swayne db Co., and Iligijins <& Crowther. On the 
other hand, in the present disturbed condition of the 
New York printing offices, several of the smaller pub- 
lishing houses in New York are arranging with our 
larger printing offices here for the manufacture of their 
books. 

It is safe to say that the entire printing, jiublishiTig 
and book manufacturing interest in Kings county has 
an annual production of not less than ^.3,500,000, and 
it has just reached the point where its extraordinary 
develo()ment may be fully expected. The census of 
1890, if it represents this interest with any approach 
to aci'uracy, will show an annual production of 
$7,000,000 or more. This increase will come by the 
removal of the book manufacturing of other large pub- 
lishing houses from New York to our city; bj- the fit- 
ting up here of large j)rinting offices capable of taking 
any contract, and not controlled by the typographical 
unions; and by the ilevelopment of large publishing 
enterprises here. In hardly any of our larger indus- 
tries is the outlook for a rapid and healthy growth, in 
the near future, more promising. 

The only manufacturing stationers in Brooklyn are 
also book-binders. Of these the census reported four, 
employing 23 hands, and producing $17,691 of work. 

The report is absurdlj' low. We have already referred 
in this section to the immense binderies of Messrs. D. 



Applcton & Co. and A. S. Barnex Si Co., which togt-lher 
employ not lesM than "00 hamlM, nn<l turn out for tlnjir 
partat h-ast ♦•'■.oo.iiuoof wiirk. Mr. Win ^5 
8U|)erintendcnt of Appliton'n bindery, w< 
considerable work outnidv of the bookN of that bounc, 
and Messrs. BarncsMtindery also doe» outitidi- U'.rk 
our Illustrated History being bound llien-. But ;i-.i.|.- 
from these there are ten book-bindinj^ tirmit in the city, 
some of them very large establiMhmentu, ami ihrc- or 
four of them making blank bookH, and ■•p«-oial Ixxiku of 
record, and work for buHinesH firms, a Hpcrialty; thrw 
certainly make a specialty of binding illuxtrated and 
professional works, and on«! contract)* for large fdition* 
of school-books. Tlif number of hands I'mpldyed in 
these ten establishments, besides those in Appletonn' 
and Barnes' factories, is not less than 16<t, and the pro- 
duction about ^l7.'>,o(Mi. Of thcsi" hmises, tin- n -• 
prominent are: //. Mu/ne, 377 Fulton street; the ,N > - 
York Book-hindim/ Compnny, 46-48 Court street; Thf. 
Brooklyn Eaylf Bindery, 34 Fulton; Qfnrijf Krunry, 
94 Cranberry and 17o Fulton; K. Wn/kr-r'n •Sn/i, .South 
Portland avenue; Joseph E. Kenney, joii Joralemon; 
Ernest Ilofner, 15 Stagg street; TirM Bnt*., 236 
Court street; Joseph Ricklin, 235 Sixteenth street; and 
Adolph Wentzcl, 93 Harrison avenue. In tliis depart- 
ment, also, there is an opportunity for a great •levc|..p- 
ment of a business which is capable of almost indvti- 
nite expansion. 



SECTION XVII. 

The Hat Manufacture. 

The manufacture of haU and cups is a large businrsa 
in Kings county. The census for 18><o, in its ultimate 
revision, gives the figures as follows : Hat* and caps, 
not including wool hats,* 32 establishmentd, with 
-*533,015 capital, employing 1,392 hands, 4S7 Indng 
women and children, paying out $026, ')04 wageti an- 
nually, using $999,218 of material, and producing #1.- 
978,145. Like so m.any other statements of our manu- 
factures, this, when compared with recent n'tums, 
seems to be greatly understated. The returns of thn>« 
of the thirty-twf> now before us, give an ' 

?6oo,()()0 capital, ?5.30,00O wages, and ♦!. 
ten of the remaining twenty-nine double these tignre*. 
It is but fair to say that Mr. Frothingham found 39 
establishments, with |898,590 ca|>ital, em|iloying 2,2:^it 
hands; paying ♦718,694 w.iges; using $1,. 501,940 ma- 
terials, and ])roducing $2,i>73,3.5(» of goods. As nearly 
as can be ascertained, the total figures for the hat man- 
ufacture — including hat materials, but not including 
caps — are, in round numbers, 11 establishments (the 
others are dealers, and men who finish and revive hat«, 
but do not manufacture), havmg ab- 
ital, employing 2,500 hands; paying .. .. ;.. . ■ 

* In the niljlCellancou~t Kr iint*t»<»rlnpd indn^trlf^. .^nf* Wim.I h«t fM^. 

tory Is set doirn. 



744 



HISTORY OF KINGS COUNTY. 



wages; using about $1,700,000 materials, ami pioducing 
over ^4,500,000 annually. 

The hat manufacture, as conducted in Kings county, 
may be divided into the following classes: 1. Silk hats. 
Of these there are not more than three or four manu- 
facturers, and only one who is largely engaged in it; 
there are many others who profess to manufacture 
these hats, but they only finish them, or perhaps re- 
move the silk j)lash from old hats and put it upon new 
bodies, and iron, dress and trim it, so as to give the 
appearance of a new hat to it; but these are not manu- 
fjvcturers. 2. Felt hats, including ladies' felt hats. 
These are made from the fur of the beaver, nutria, 
hare, muskrat, mink, coney, Siberian squirrel, etc. 
These hats are of several qualities; some only of the 
finest furs, and the felting and all the more delicate of 
the finishing jirocesses are performed by hand; others 
of various qualities of furs, and felted and finished in 
large part by machinery; the first are for retail trade 
in the cities exclusively, the second for the jobbing 
trade; large numbers are also made for ladies' wear, of 
different grades. 3. Wool hats. These, formerly 
largely produced here, are now only manufactured 
by a single estaldishment; they are usually of low 
price, and only used by workingmen, laborers, farm- 
hands and employes of railways, etc., etc. 4. Straw 
Hats, 'i'hese are manufactured for both sexes, and are 
of various kinds; some kinds are imported, as the Pan- 
ama, Guayaquil, Leghorn, and many of the Swiss 
braids; others are made in Canada, Michigan, and in 
some of the southern and western states, in the form 
of long straw braids, which are sewed, shaj)ed and fin- 
ished here; others still are braided and entirely made 
here; for gentlemen's use in the city, the Canadian 
Mackinaw straw is the most popular, though it is imi- 
tated 80 perfectly that it is very difficult to distinguish 
them; other and cheaper braids are manufactured here; 
the straw hats for ladies are mostly sewn and finished 
in our Brooklyn factories, but the braids are from 
England, France, Switzerland and Germany, and 
considerable quantities from New England factories. 
5. Caps. 'J'his is, strictly, an entirely different branch 
of business from the hat manufacture, and is carried 
on in a diff('rent way. Caps may be made of almost 
any sort of material. The cloth (^aji is of a great va- 
riety of patterns and materials; the military fatigue 
cap, the cadet's cap, the caps for conductors, messen- 
ger boys, etc., etc., are generally of new and tine ma- 
terial. 

A lower grade are made by the Jewish clothing 
dealers from old cloth garments. There are also caps 
of canva.s, of straw, of patent leather, of hair sealskin, 
of furs of various kinds, oftenest of seal, otter or nu- 
tria, of plush, of leather, of knit woollen goods, of linen, 
of hair, of fine rattan ; and if there is any other material, 
textile, fibrous or furry, capable of being utilized for 
caps, it is pressed into the service, 



The manufacture of head -gear, comprising so great 
a variety of patterns, materials and processes, is 
necessarily a large business, employing very many 
hands, and having great numbers dependent on it. 

We have taken much pains to ascertain the begin- 
ings of this industry, and by the kind assistance of Mr. 
James W. Peck (the oldest manufacturing hatter in 
New York or Brooklyn, and still maintaining an inter- 
est in the business) and of Mr. Hosea O. Pearce, late 
of the firm of Pearce & Hall, but now retired from 
business with an ample fortune, we have been able to 
gather the following facts: 

The earliest hat manufacturers of whom we can learn 
were Sarles (6 Company, who were manufacturing fur 
and beaver hats, not far from Fulton ferry, as early as 
1822, and perhaps earlier. The " Company " was Mr. 
Joseph Burroughs, a son-in-law of Mr. Sarles. He died 
in 1881, being at the time of his death more than 80 
years of age. 

About 1826, Messrs. Raymond tC' Taylor were en- 
gaged in making hats on Washington street, near the 
present approach to the Brooklyn Bridge. The partner- 
ship was dissolved before 18.T5, and Raymond removed 
to the corner of Myrtle street (not Myrtle avenue) and 
Division sti'eet, and continued in the business for sev- 
eral years. Taylor removed to Jay street, and, five 
years later, took in a Mr. Frost as partner, and put up 
a factory on Classon avenue, near Flushing, just north 
of the Tucker & Carter Cordage Company's present 
ropewalk. 

In 1832, Mr. James W. Peck, who had been appren- 
ticed to the hatters' trade in New York in 1819, and 
subsequently had worked as a journeyman for Messrs. 
Raymond & Taylor, commenced business for himself 
on Henry street, near Fulton. Mr. Robert Peck, his 
brother, had commenced business in 1829. Silk hats 
had been introduced into New York about 1825 by :in 
English manufacturer; but though he made great efforts 
to start their manufacture in that city, they failed to 
take, and their production was given up for the time. 
It happened that the shop in which Mr. Peck had 
learned his trade m New York, was the only one where 
the manufacture of these silk hats had been attended 
with any success. After Mr. Peek went into the em- 
ploy of Messrs. Raymond & Taylor, in 1827 or 1828, 
the firm were surprised one day by the receipt of an 
order for "six dozen silk hats." The New York man- 
ufacturers could not make them, and the order had been 
sent over to Brooklyn as a last resort. The proprietoi's 
of the factory were at their wits' end. They did not 
like to give up the job, but they knew nothing about 
silk hats. They called up their hands and asked them: 
Can you make silk hats ? Most of them pleaded ignor- 
ance, but Mr. Peek said he thought he could; he had 
watched the process of the English manufacturer, and 
believed that he could follow it. An intelligent Irish- 
man among the journeymen said he had seen them 



THE MANUFACTURING INDUSTRIES. 



745 



made in England, and thought he cuiilii help in the 
matter. The two iiumi were set at work, and in duo 
time turned out the six do/.en. Tliis was the hegiiitiiug 
of a large trade. Tlie silk hat was then made oti a fur 
body, and not on a shellacked muslin body, as now. It 
was very tall, the crown being sometiuies 10 or 18 inelies 
in height, and, after a time, very much bell-crowned, 
the top of the hat over-shadowing the brim, which was 
felt, and comparatively narrow. When Mr. Peck went 
into bu.siness for himself, he very soon began to make 
silk hats, and thus early achieved a tine reputation. His 
first styles were silk hats, made as we have described; 
fur hats, of thick felt, felte<l ami bowed wholly by hand 
(the "former" had not then been invented); these were 
of two kinds: those in which the natural nap was 
combed out, so as to raise a short nap, which was made 
very smooth by combing and pressing, and those on 
which an artificial na]) was put, of nutria or silk plush, 
ceiTiented on, and giving the hat a rough appearance of 
raised fur, which was much admired, though now it 
would be regarded as horrible; and the beaver hat. 
After some years, Mr. Peck removed to his present 
location, 110 Fulton street. The business is now con- 
ducted mainly by his son, Mr. Imiac W. Peck. The 
manufactory is not large, but it is, by many yeara, the 
oldest now existing, that of Messrs. Taylor & Frost 
having been given up about 1860. 

A hat factory was started by Tlieodore Murray, in 
Middagh street, about 1835, but was given up in 1845. 
The building is still standing, but is used for other 
purposes. 

The felting process, as now practised by the use of 
the " former," and the subsequent scalding and shrink- 
ing of the felt in hot water, was not invented till 1846. 
Previous to that time, the fur, when picked by hand, 
was " bowed " or brought to its place on a conical 
block by the use of an elastic cord and bow, which re- 
sembled in shape a fiddler's bow. It was then scalded 
and shrunk by hand. 

Between 1835 and 1850 a Mr. Cochran, a manufac- 
turer of furs, caps, etc., had two factories in the vicinity 
of Willoughby and Raymond streets, and sold hat 
materials, pulled fur, etc. 

In 1851, Mr. Jolui H. Prentice, who had been en- 
gaged in manufacturing hats on a moderate scale in 
New York since 1848, purchased one of Cochran's 
factories, at Willoughby and Raymond streets, and 
went largely into the manufacture of. felt hats. His 
business was prosperous from the first, and a lucky hit 
in 1855, in the production of the " Wide Awake Hat," 
a soft felt hat, which took everywhere, enabled him to 
clear in that year §100,000 or more on that article 
alone, besides cleaning up all his refuse lots of fur. 
After the embarrassments which resulted from the 
great panic of 1857, he recovered himself speedily, 
but soon after sold out his business to his brother, 
James B. Prentice, who, a year or two after the com- 



mencement of thi ....;,. ; -,..,, ;., .n luv 

cxteiul his factories, in order to Mupply tlie <ieniand ior 
felt hats for the Hoidierx. 

In 1M7(), Dr. Srii.Ks' HiMtory of Hrooklyn, Vol. III., 
p. 686, said : "Jat. II. Prentico'ii factorii><( turn out 
more halH than any other Himilar oittabli^hMieiit in the 
country, and the wlmlenale dealern, from all parln of 
the United States and the Urilifth provincpn, ar« chiefly 
supplied from the Brooklyn market. Twin- a uwk 
auction trade sales of hats are held at the warchouii«; 
from 300 to 1,000 cases, each containing; from two U> 
six do/.en hats, being sold each .nale-day, accordin(f to 
the demand of the traile. .Mr. rrentiee in entire 
owner of three hat factories, one of which is boundH 
by Willoughby, Raymond, Bolivar and Navy mreels, 
an entire block; another is on Nostrand avenue, near 
Myrtle, occupying six full lots; and the third at Nor- 
walk, Conn., the latter being the smalh-tt, and innsX 
only for the purpose of forming fur hat bodies, ('a- 
l)acity of the works, 1,000 dozen hats per <hiv. and 
about 1,500 operators are employeil. Tii.- nales aver- 
age about *3,000,000 annually." 

The number f«f felt hats w.is greater tiiaii that noir 
produced in Kings county, but the value of those now 
made averages more than twice as much. After sev- 
eral vicissitudes and changes, among which wa."* the 
turning of the Nostrand avenue f.actory into works 
for the production of felt skirts, coats and other goods, 
Mr. Prentice finally succumbed to his successive mis- 
fortunes in 1880, and after his failure, the biisinesji 
in all his factories was abandoned. 

But the manufacture of hats did not cea*.' i.v :iiiv 
means in Brooklyn with his failure. 

In 1853, Mr. Hosea 0. Pkarce, who had learned 
the business in Danbury, then .as now, a great centre 
of the hat manufacture, came from that place, and 
became foreman of Mr. Prentice's factory. In : 
Mr. Pearco established himself as a manufactu. ...., 
hatter in a small bpck building, still a |)art of the 
present site of the large manufactory of Pearre Sc 
Hall. The firm was at first H. O. Pearee A Co. In 
1860, it was changed to Pearee &, Brush; in 186fl, to 
Pearee «t Benedict, and in 1868, to Pearre &, Hall. 
Mr. II. O. Pearee retired in 1 878, and the business has 
been conducted since under the name of Pearee A Hall. 
Mr. Henry O. Pearee taking his father's place. It is now 
the largest felt hat manufactory in Brooklyn, and one 
of the largest in the United States. 



HosBA O. Pkarce. —New England thrift is noted the 
world over. A peculiar combination of industrr. • ■ 
perseverance and tact, characterizes the Puritai. 
ants. In most countries poverty .icts aa a < » 
ours as a stimulant, for which reason, in so i 
the poor boy becomes the ricli man. .■Vn &■ 
tune is the sure indication of superior qual 
cumulator, and a glance at the suct^ssful solf-niade men of 
our time, shows that a large proportion are sons of New 
England. Many of them have been attracted to the roetrop- 



746 



HISTORY OF KINGS COUNTY. 



f 



,JP^ 



D*»! "'''^iiV I 

■»- --!■ "^-i. '""Xi.i. Hi.'' 



ir-'-^fcUli 




PEARCE & HALL'S HAT FACTORY. 

olis and her sister city, and conspicuous among these is the 
gentleman whose portrait is herewith presented. 

Mr. Pearce was bom a farmer's boy in Danbury, Conn., in 
1831. His father was a man of sterling worth, but not of 
large means, and the support of his family of eleven 
children was no light task in those days of hand labor, poor 
markets, and scarcity of monej'. Consequently the lad 
could look forward to a life, not of ease, but of lalior, and 
his future lay in his own hands. 

He had no educational advantages better than the com- 
mon schools, but he so well improved his opportunities there 
as to acquire a good English education. 

His boyhood was passed upon the farm, but at the age of 
eighteen, like most young men in those days, he was appren- 
ticed to a trade, in his case the hatters' craft. 

At his majority he decided to enter mercantile life, and 
with a capital of only two hundred dollars, he opened a re- 
tail store in Carbondale, Pa. But his business was not pros- 
perous, and after si.x; months' experience, he closed it out 
and returned to Danbury, a sadder and a wiser man. He 
then commenced making hats, taking out work from the 
factories to be done at home. After a few mouths he bought 
a little place and erected a small work-room behind his 
dwelling house, where he continued to carry on the trade 
for lialf a year longer. Then ambitious to enlarge his busi- 
ness, he built a factory and commencgd tlie manufacture of 
hats for the trade. In this he continued about ten years, 
increasing the production to fifty dozen per day. During 
this time, in his numerous journeys to New York for the 
purpose of disposing of his goods, he formed an acquaint- 
ance among the business men of tlie city. Consi.ious that 
his powers were adequate to larger undertakings tlian were 
possible in flie country, he determined to remove his man- 
ufacturing interests to the vicinity of New York, which he 
did in 1853. 

Afterwards he bought a plot of ground on Stockton street, 
near Nostrand avenue, in this city, and erected a brick build- 
ing, 35x100 feet, where he commenced manufacturing for par- 



ties in New York. In 1861 he added largely to his buildings, 
and opened a store in New York for the sale of his goods. 
The size and production of his factory were steadily in- 
creased until the buildings covered the entire lot, 100x250 
feet, with a capacity of one hundred and fifty dozen per 
day. Mr. Pearce was familiar with the details of his busi- 
ness, and introduced system and method into all its branches. 
Skillful in forecasting the market, he Ijought and sold to 
advantage, while his careful financial management insured 
his abundant prosperity. It is a matter of pardonable pride 
with liim that he always met his obligations promptly, paid 
his workmen at the end of the week, never failed to pay a 
hundred cents on the dollar, and passed with credit unim- 
paired through all the financial crises that occurred during 
his business career, altliough at times he had several liundred 
men in his employ and disbursed thousands of dollars each 
week. 

At length Mr. Pearce determined to withdraw from active 
business, and to enjoy the reward of his labors free from 
the incessant demands of such large interests. Accordingly 
he retired in 1879, leaving his Imsiness to his sons and his 
partner, Mr. Charles Hall. Since that time his cares h^ve 
been fewer, but his energetic disposition will not permit 
leisure to degenerate into idleness; accordingly, we find him 
actively superintending his investments. 

Mr. Pearce is happy in his home and family. Married 
when he was twenty-one, his household now consists of his 
wife, two sons and one daughter. His church relations are 
with the East Congregational Society, in whose affairs he 
takes a deep interest. 

When the present house of worship was erected a few 
years ago, his practical business ability was sought and 
utilized on the building committee, while his open hand gave 
a large portion of the means for its completion. His up- 
rightness, and his good judgment have won the confidence 
of the communit}', and he has been elected trustee of various 
financial institutions. 

Mr. Pearce is a man of strong political convictions; was 
first a whig, and afterwards a republican, but has never been 
an active politician. He was instrumental largely in shap- 
ing the legislation, which culminated in the law prohibit- 
ing the employment of convict labor in the manufacture of 
hats. As a citizen of Brooklyn, he is proud of her improve- 
ment, and has done much toward building up the Twenty- 
first ward. Here he has invested largely of his means in 
real estate, anxious to promote the material welfare of that 
portion of the city, and awaiting liis return in the general 
advance. Here he lives in an elegant home, amid the fruits 
of his well-earned success. 



Henry O. Pearce — an energetic and successful hat man- 
ufacturer of the present firm of Pearce & Hall— was born in 
Danbury, Conn., in 1845. He is the eldest son of Hosea O. 
Pearce, whose biography will be found above in these 
pages, and who was the founder of the large manufactory 
of which his son is now senior i)artner. Mr. Hosea O. Pearce 
removed to Brooklyn with liis family in the spring of 1853. 
The son was educated at a boarding school in Danbury, and 
at the Collegiate and Polyteclmic Institute of Brooklyn. At 
the age of seventeen he became a clerk in the jobbing trade 
in hats, and was so employed until 1868, when he entered 
the store of his father in New York. In the spring of 1870, 
he began assisting his father in the management of the busi- 
ness at the factory. In the autumn of that year he was al- 
lowed an interest in the business, and was admitted as a 
general partner in 1874. From the date of his becoming a 
member of the firm, he interested himself in devising ways 




^ ^/?c 



1HE MANUFACTURING INDUSTRIES. 



747 





for felting hats by machinery, and also for the use of shaping 
machines for expediting the processes of the hat manufac- 
ture. Up to this time, although many efforts had been made 
to use machines in felting or condensing the forms, as they 
came from the " former." none had proved successful; the 
hats being shrunk or felted by hand, and in very hot, but not 
boiling, water. This process was too slow for an establish- 
ment which turned out from 150 to 200 dozen hats a day. 
Mr. Pearce pos.sc.ssed a fine mechanical genius, and. aided by 
e.xpert machinists, he patiently experimented, till he suc- 
ceeded in producing a machine which pas.sed the hats be- 
tween rollers and plunged them in boiling water after each 
pressure between the rollers. The motions were necessarily 
very rapid, as in boiling water the felted fabric is slirunk 
very quickly, and the product might easily be marred. By 
the machine, as finally perfected under his supervision, the 
felting is performed with great rapidity and precision, and 
the product is fully ecpial to the hand felting, while an equal 
quantity can be produced by half the number of hands, 
while these hands can earn about 2") per cent, more than 
they can by hand-work. Other machines followed for di- 
minishing the amount of hand labor without injuring the 
product ; till now more than half the processes in felt-hat 



making are performed by machinery. Thes<> machines have 
been adopted by other manufacturers, and Mr. PparceiaDow 
at the head of a company for manufactiiriog them. 

In 187S, in connection with Charles Hall, he purcliaaed his 
father's interest in the business, which has sint* be*n con- 
ducted under the firm name of Pearce & Hall. Mr. Pr«rc* 
has l)een, since his boyhot'Kl, so assiduous in h ;i to 

his business that he has never found time to I- , elr 

engaged in political matters. He is not, however, inditfrrmt 
to anything affecting the public welfare, and is a lilicral 
supporter of all worthy objects. He is president of the 
Bushwick and East Brooklyn Dispensary, and is connected 
with other charitable institutions. In tH^, he was married 
to Miss A. Stevens, of Portchester. N. Y. 



In 1859, Messrs. Ames «!b Moulton, who had be*n con- 
ncctcil with Mr. Prentice's Raymond «treet f«ctorio«s 
resolved to go into the manufacture of hats, and pro- 
ceeded to erect a large hat factory on Noslrand ave- 
nue, between Myrtle and Park avenues. The main 
building was 200 feet by 25, and three stories in height 



r48 



HISTORY OF KINGS COUNTY. 



A smaller building was erected on the same premises 
30x30 feet. The buildings and machinery were erected 
with great care, the purpose being to make it, in all 
respects, a model factory. The factory was put in 
operation in January, 1860, and had about *15,000 of 
stock in the building in various stages of manufacture, 
when, on February 3, 1800, the boiler exploded with 
great force, tearing out one end of the factory and 
wrecking about one-third of the large building, killing 
nine persons and wounding eighteen more. There were 
200 hands employed in the factory, but only thirty-five 
of them were in the building in the morning when the 
explosion took place. The factory was purchased by 
Mr. James II. Prentice & Co., and became their Nos- 
trand avenue factory. 

Mr. Hooper, who had been a hat manufacturer in 
Newark, New Jersey, was employed in Pearce & Hall's 
establishment in 1808, but returned to Newark after- 
ward, and, in 1873, started the present hat manufac- 
torj' of ITooper (t Pi\i/or on Park avenue. II. M. Sil- 
rerman commenced manufacturing hats of fine grades 
in Brooklyn in 1874, and the Brooklyn Felt Hat Com- 
ptinij and Dick-ersoti <t Brown a little later, though that 
firm succeeded to J. D. Bird & Co. Messrs. R. DunVip 
& Co., who had been large manufacturers of silk and 
very fine felt hats for their own retail trade in New 
York city, removed their felt hat business to Brook- 
lyn in 1880, and have since greatly enlarged it, and are 
now just completing a very large manufactory, where 
they will have their silk hats also made under the same 
roof. They also contemplate erecting a factory on ad- 
jacent lots for their straw hat business, which is now 
conducted in New York. 

An industry of such importance deserves some de- 
scription of its ])rocesses of manufacture. These vary 
materially with the different kinds of hats. The silk 
hat, vulgarly known as "the stovepipe hat," is made in 
large ])art of imported materials; the frame and the 
brim are of muslin of a peculiar manufacture, each 
layer stiffened witli shellac, and the whole again 
charged with that gum. 'i'lieso bodies are imported, 
to some extent, from France, though the bodies manu- 
factured here are equally good. The covering, of silk 
plush of a peculiar quality, is also imported from 
France. Our silk manufacturers can make a plush of 
equally good quality, but there has been some ques- 
tion as to the permanency of our American dyes. The 
art of j)utting this on without any wrinkle or drawing, 
and without showing the stitches is only acquired by 
considerable practice. Much of the binding and bands 
also come from France, though the American are 
equally good, but the japanned and skiver sweat lea- 
thers are made here. 

The making-up, pressing, lining and finishing are 
done here. All the imported articles pay a heavy duty. 
It was computed three or four years ago that the duty 
on the imported matei-ials going to m.ake u|) a iino silk 



hat was about one dollar. It is now somewhat less. 
Silk hats are also made, for summer wear, of the same 
material and in the same way, but covered with a 
white, or more nearly, a pearl-grey silk plush, of 
equally fine quality. This style, which has been out of 
fashion for some years, is, it is said, likely to be revived 
for the benefit of the ultra-fashionable. Another style 
of high and stiff crowned hats, formerly in great de- 
mand, is now seldom seen, except for ladies' wear — 
the beaver hat, as it was called, though sometimes 
other furs than that of the beaver were used in its 
manufacture. Thirty or forty years since, a beaver hat 
was the distinguishing mark of a well-dressed gentle- 
man. The wittj' Boston poet, O. W. Holmes, says in 
his "Urania; a Rhymed Lesson:" 

" Have a good hat; the secret of your looks 
Lives with the beaver in Canadian brooks."' 

The fashion may come around again; but, meantime, 
the fur of the beaver is largely utilized in the felt hat. 
It may have been with some prophetic foresight of this 
that the poet continues, in this poem, so full of happy 
conceits: 

" Mount the new castor; ice itself will melt; 
Boots, gloves may fail; the hat is always /e/< .'" 

There are silk hats of inferior qualities, made with 
pasteboard brim and frame; but the covering of these 
is not, we think, of American silk, but of the old plush 
removed from battered hats of better quality, and re- 
vived and ironed to give it the appearance of newness. 
The silk hat, in its best estate, is rather an expensive 
luxury, its retail price ranging from 86 to $10. 

2. Felt Hats. As we have already stated, there are 
two distinct methods of making these. M;ichinery is 
used to a considerable extent in both, but one stj'le is 
known as "hand-made," and the other as machine- 
made. The preliminary processes do not differ in the 
two. The fur, whether coney, hair, beaver, nutria, 
muskrat, mink, ottor, seal or whatever it may l)e, comes 
to the factory in masses, which contani many lumps or 
knots, and, not seldom, considerable dirt. These masses 
are subjected at once to the picker and blower — tech- 
nically called the "devil" — and, by this powerful and 
complicated machine, are torn into single hairs and 
blown through perforated cylinders till they come out 
clean, free from knots, and only the finest and softest 
fibres pass into the loose bat at the end, where they 
are coiled up in tubs. These tubs are next sent to the 
weighing room, where the quantity required for each 
hat is weighed and put into a compartment of a box 
holding the suflicient amount for a dozen hats. As 
many of these boxes are filled as there are dozens of 
hats to be made in a day. In the larger factories this 
may require 1. 50 to 175 boxes. These are now ready 
to be j)ut into the "former." The " former," first sug- 
gested by Thomas Blanchard of Boston, assumed its 
))roseiit form in 1S46, in the invention of Mr. Henry A. 



THE MANUFACTURING INDUSTRIES. 



740 



Wells of New York, which w:is still turtlior iiii|>rovecl 
by Mr. Henry A. Riirr, Mr. Yiilo anil others. 

To uiKlerstaiul the office of tlie/br//(tr (which is now 
usually of Yule's latest improved pattern), we inu8t 
reniemlier that fur, like some descriptions of wool (tlie 
felting wools), and, unlike hair, [lossesses the felting 
property, i. e., that each fibre of fur has little liooks, 
beards, notches or scales, which, under favorable cir- 
cumstances, interlock with the other fibres, and pro- 
duce the substance called felt, a substance which 
can be made as dense and firm as woven cloth. It was 
discovered, about forty years ago, that if the fur or 
felting wool was exposed to a rapidly revolving per- 
forated cone, through which a strong current of air was 
passing, the fur would be attracted to tlie surface, and 
felted evenly and uniformly. This felt, of course, took 
the form of the cone, and when the prescribed amount 
of fur was thus deposited on the cone, a cloth was 
thrown around it, a cap of the same metal was placed 
over the cone, and the whole lifted off and plunged 
into a bath of water, which rendered it more dense, 
and another cone substituted for it over the fan, which 
repeated the process for another hat. After its plunge 
bath, the cone was lifted out, its cap taken off, and the 
embryo hat, a cone-shaped rag, stripped off, to under- 
go a further felting process. Here the two methods of 
hat-making begin to diverge; the hand-made hats are 
])lunged into water as hot as can be borne by the oper- 
ator, wrung out, twisted and plunged again, and tiie 
process repeated, until the hats— three or six of tliem 
are handled at once — are shrunk to the requisite size, 
and are rendered uniform in density. This process is 
slow, and hard on the hands of the operator. Without 
careful supervision or inspection, there is a liability to 
imperfect work; but witli it, the felting is very perfect, 
and the hats remarkably free from defects. By the 
machine method, the hats — half a dozen in a bunch — 
are rolled up, plunged into boiling water, seized by the 
operator, passed between rollers in different directions, 
thrown out, rolled in a different way, again plunged 
and passed between the rollers, the intense heat of the 
water insuring their shrinking and felting much more 
rapidly than by the hand method. To the casual ob- 
server, this method appears more certain of producing 
the desired results than the hand method; but experts 
say that there are liabilities to imperfect felting in both. 
When thus completely felted, the hats are placed upon 
stretchers to be'dried, and then, by the machine method, 
they are shaped by machines. By the hand process the 
shaping is deferred till later. The hats are next sub- 
jected to the stiffening or shellacking processes. Tliere 
are three of these: one by water charged with gum, 
another by the use of a solution of gum shellac, applied 
by rubbing and rolling, till the whole hat is saturated 
with it; while a third, which is called the wine-stiff, 
consists of the application of alcoholic vapor, some 

fine gum or gum resin being dissolved in it in small 



quantity. Generally, only the very fine«t and iighto«t 
hats are subjeite<l to the wini'-iitifT; but the water and 
shellac stiffeningH have been no much improved, that 
they are uned on much of the fine otock. After the 
stiffening, when again dry, the hat is ready to In- dyed, 
if it is to receive any coloring. Here, again, the two 
methods slightly diverge. In the haml method, the 
dyeing is done by hand, iti vatfi or \.\i\<* of eomparn- 
lively small size, and the color in made uniform in the 
hat by sundry wringings and rubliingn. By the ma- 
chine method the hats are plunged, in large ' 
into immense vats, where they are rolled ani i 

around in the boiling dyes, and finally thrown up by a 
false bottom, when they are toswed out in half dozen* 
by the operatives. The colorn employe<l are varioux, 
and, in the fancy colors, the aniline dyeN are much 
used. While the hat is still moist, it i.s taken to the 
blocking room, where, by the hand method, the crown 
is shaped on wooden or metallic blocks, and thori'Ughly 
pressed in moulds, while the brim is preiwed flat. By 
the machine method the same results are attained by 
machines which piress the hat into shape very rapidly. 
When transferred to the dyeing room, the hata blocked 
by hand are subjected to a heat of 110'' K., and then 
sent to the shaping and jiressing rooms. The machiiH' 
hats are cooled off with cold water on the blocking 
machines, and in the shaping rooms a slight nap is first 
raised, the superficial shellac beini; discharged; the 
curl is given to the brim, according to the latest style. 
In the hats with flexible brims, the brim is wired, and 
the hat is ironed, and is ready for the final finishing, in 
which it is bound, lined, leathered, tipped and banded. 
In the machine process, the tips are made by a machine, 
but the rest of the work is done by hand. At every 
stage the hats are carefully inspected, and if the lea.it 
defect or imperfection is discovered, the hat is rejected, 
and is sold, generally unt rimmed, as a second quality. 
The inspection in the hand-made hats is of the severcflt 
kind, and the rejected hats form an important item. 
These are generally sold to retail dealers at a very low 
price, and finished by them, and usually have their 
names on the tips. 

When completed, the hats are packed in dozens, each 
in its own box, and sent to the warchonsos for the re- 
tailer or jobber. Tliese are the hard or - ' 
The soft felt is made in consiilerable qn . 
not so popular now as some years since. The principal 
difference in its manufacture is that it has but a small 
infusion of shellac, is not shaped with so much oan^. is 
not trimmed so closely, and the brim is trimmed bat 
little, and is not curled, and soiit ' ' ! 

3. 'Y\\v straw haU AW oi nuiii 
terns. They are, as we have said. m.ide up from the 
braids, which are either made at the fac -• r sent 
from other states or countries, Wing ofi d by 

women ami children at their homes. When sewed, 
thev are stiffened to a greater or less degree; if intend 



750 



HISTORY 01 KINGS COUNTY. 



ed to be white, they are partially or wholly bleached, 
pressed and trimmed. The retail prices range from 75 
cents to $5 or $0 for American goods, and sometimes 
reach much higher prices for Panama, Guayaquils or 
other foreign products, when these happen to be in 
fashion. 

We can give no detailed account of the wool hat 
manufacture, nor of the numberless forms and styles of 
caps. The fashions and the processes for making the 
latter, change from month to month, except in the mili- 
tary and naval styles, and even these have occasional, 
though less frequent, modifications. 

The principal hat manufacturers in Kings county 
are : In silk hats, Robert Dunlap <b Co., who have a 
very large factory on Nostrand avenue, near Park; 
James W. Peck & Son, Fulton street; Messrs. Balch, 
Price d' Co., and perhaps one or two smaller houses. 
All the silk hats made here are for the retail trade, and, 
we believe, exclusively for the retail trade of the man- 
ufacturers themselves. Messrs. Dunlap & Co. make 
from 85,000 to 100,000 silk hats, which are sold in their 
retail stores in New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and 
Chicago. The hats have a high reputation. 

In felt hats, the leading manufacturers are Pearce <& 
Hall, whose factory is in Stockton street, and who turn 
out from 125 dozen to 150 dozen daily, and, in the 
busy season, with their factories elsewhere, can pro- 
duce 200 dozen a day ; they use the machine pro- 
cesses, and sell their hats to jobbers all over the coun- 
try and abroad ; Hooper <fc Pryor, on Ellery street, 
near Nostrand avenue, whose production is almost as 
large as that of the preceding house, and of nearly the 
same qualities; they also sell to the jobbing trade; The 
Brooklyn Felt Ilat Co., 301 Park avenue, whose spe- 
cialty is ladies' felt hats, and whose large factory has 
recently been burned ; they manufactured, when full, 
about 100 dozen ladies' hats a day, and sold to the job- 
bing trade; R. Dunlap tfc Co., also have a large fac- 
tory on Nostrand avenue, and make about 48 dozen 
felt hats a day of the best quality and highest price, 
by the hand processes, which are sold exclusively in 
their own retail stores ; H. M. Silverman <& Co., of 
100 Grand avenue, near Myrtle, who makes about 36 
dozen felt hats daily, of the best quality, by the hand 
process ; Dickerson <& Brown, 44 Kosciusko street, 
who turn out about 24 dozen huts daily, of the best 
quality, and by the hand process. The last two sell, 
we believe, mainly to the city retail trade. 

So far as we are aware, these are the only houses 
engaged in the manufacture of felt hats. There are 
others who buy unfinished hats, and finish them up in 
such styles as they desire, putting in their own tips 
and trimmings; but these are not manufacturers. With- 
in the last two or three years several manufacturers 
have failed. The amount of capital invested in the 
felt hat manufacture is somewhat more than a million 
dollars; the number of hats turned out, when running 



full, somewhat more than 2,200,000 ; the number of 
hands employed over 1,600; the amount of wages paid 
about $1,200,000; the annual product somewhat more 
than $2,700,000. 

In straw hats, the principal manufacturers are : The 
Novelty Straw Works (Charles M. Evarts), Park ave- 
nue, City Hall, a very large establishment, employing 
350 hands or more, and turning out immense numbers 
of hats, though generally of the cheaper styles ; this 
establishment was burned in September, 1883 ; Balch, 
Price ik Co., who import and purchase from New Eng- 
land and Canada very choice braids, and make them up 
m their own works; their straw hats are of high grade, 
but their manufacture limited ; Robert Dunlap ib Co. 
have a very large straw hat factory in New York, 
which they will remove to Brooklyn early in the next 
year (1884). 

There are also four or five other straw hat manufac- 
turers on a small scale, three of them in South Brook- 
lyn and two in Greenpoint, but we have been unable to 
obtain their statistics. 

There are several houses engaged in furnishing ma- 
terials for hatters, fur of the coney, hare, rabbit, nutria, 
mink, muskrat, etc., etc.; the largest of these is the 
house of Harper, Hollingsworth tO Derby, in McKibbin 
street, who furnish large amounts of these furs to the 
hat manufacturers. 

Of the one loool hat factoiy reported in the census 
of 1880, as existing in Brooklyn, we have no knowl- 
edge, and have been unable to learn whether it is still 
in existence. 

The cap manufacture is carried on here to a con- 
siderable extent, but there are no means of arrivino- at 
any separate statistics of it. 

Subsection I. — Furs and the Fur Manufacture. 

Closely allied to the manufacture of hats and other 
head gear, is that of the preparation and adaptation of 
furs to the various purposes of human wearing ap- 
parel. This trade, in all its branches — capture of the 
animals, and importing, exporting, dyeing and re- 
importing their skins and preparing them for wear — is 
a very large industry. 

In Kings county we have no great importers or 
manufacturers to compare with the Giinthers or some 
of the foreign houses in the fur trade in New York 
city, but our fur manufacturers are, nevertheless, en- 
terprising as well as industrious, and they have built 
up a good and substantial business. 

All kinds of furs are handled by our Brooklyn fur- 
riers, and they are made up in all the varieties and 
forms we have indicated. The census reported 22 
manufacturers of dressed furs in Brooklyn, having 
$416,265 capital, employing 473 hands, paying out 
$137,374 wages, using $565,154 of material, and pro- 
ducing annually goods of the value of $830,804. This 
was jirobably, in 1880, a nearer approximation to the 



THE MANUFACTURING INDUSTRTEH. 



761 



actual production of manufactured t'urs th.ui most of 
the statistics of Brooklyn iinlustries reported by the 
census, but it represents it very inii)erfeetly in 1884. 
There are now 28 houses in the trade, all but one of 
them engaged in it exclusively, and selling mostly at 
wliolesalo; the exception, Messrs. Balch, Price <C Co., 
biing also manufacturers of and dealers in hats, caps, 
and straw goods, and manufacturing their furs ahnosft 
entirely for their own large retail trade. The largest 
manufacturer of furs here is, we think, Jlr. James Cas- 
skly; and after him come Messrs. O. ct A. Comeuu <fi 
Co.; TVam 0. TAnder; J. PladwelCs Sons; William 
Stillwagen ; Merck ib Auer ; Rogers tb Lotoery; 
Juliits Weinberg ; William Ilillman ; Hitchcock, 
Dermody <& Co.; Joseph D. Williams, etc., etc. 
The inimber of hands employed in the business exceeds 
550, and the production is about *1, 150, 000, and would 
be much greater, but for the decided fall in the prices 
of furs within the past three years — a fall of not less 
than fifty ]>er cent, in sealskins and of somewhat less 
in otter. These reductions in price have materially 
interfered with the profits of the business, which a few 
years ago were very liberal. 



SECTION XVIII. 
Drugs and Chemicals. 

This title is a comprehensive one, and the amount 
of manufacturing under it is very large. It includes 
the manufacture of what are known as the " com- 
mercial acids," viz., sulphuric, nitric and muriatic' 
or hydrochloric, in all their various degrees of strength, 
the production of other chemicals, such as alum, blue 
vitriol (suli)hate of copper), green vitriol or copperas 
(sulphate of iron), white vitriol (sulphate of zinc), aqua 
ammonia, muriate of tin, tin crystals, and incidentally 
sulphate of soda (Glauber's salts) and sulphate of lime 
(plaster of Paris), and other commercial preparations, 
which can be manufactured economically by artificial 
processes; the production of ammonia ami other nitro- 
genous compounds for refrigerating, fertilizing, medi- 
cal and economical purposes; the productions of car- 
bonic acid gas and some of the carbonates, and the 
elimination and utilization of mineral, metallic or 
earthy substances from the crude materials with wliich 
these acids are combined; the whole range of medical 
chemistry, and the production and compounding of the 
preparations of the pharmacopuiia, whether vegetable, 
animal or mineral, completely pure and in commercial 
quantities. Also, the combination and preparation of 
new remedies; the compounding on the large scale of 
household and other compounds required in domestic 
economy, such as flavoring essences, cream of tartar, 
tartaric acid, bicarbonate of soda, sal soda, carbonate 
and muriate of ammonia, baking powders, compressed 
yeast, bleaching powdc-s, etc., etc.; the preparation 
and putting up for sale of all artificial mineral waters; 



the subliming of sulphur; the preparation of riTtilixcre 
and ehcmical manures. 

In addition to the luanufacture of thin gn-at variety 
of cliemicals and cirugH, many of tin- large maiiiifac- 
turers employ chemista, and fit up hihoratorica for them 
in their establishment.M. Tliis i.s the caiw. with all the 
larger sugar refineries, with the oil refincrH, with the 
manufacturers of dry colors, and, indeed, the larger 
paint houses generally, the manufacttireni of cream of 
tartar and baking powders, etc., etc. 

The manufacture of drugs and cheniii-aU in not a 
new business here. Several of the largoxt houiie* 
date from 1850 or earlier. Among them such house* 
as Martin Kalhfci.tch, E. R. .Si/iiihh, If. J. linker 
& Co., J'Vedcrick Scholes, JJaniel 11. (inty, .fee. 
We have not the figures for 1860 in Brooklyn, but in 
1870 there were 15 establishments, employing .383 
hands; having a capital of |S».3,000; paying 111(0,015 
wages; using $775,138 of material; and producing 
drugs and chemicals of the value of $1,799,357. The 
manufacturing statistics of 1870 were so notoriously 
incorrect, especially in the cities, that this was un- 
doubtedly an understatement. 

In 1880, there were thirty establishments, employing 
a capital of $3,704,550; employing 1,177 hands when 
full, and an average of 1,037 through the year; paying 
out $540,059 in wages; using raw material of the vsilue 
of $3,706,449; and producing goods valued at $5,309,- 
390. These are Mr. Frothingham's figures; those of 
the com[)endiumof the tenth census differ considerably 
from them, increasing the number of establishments to 
thirty-eight, and diminishing the capital employed to 
^3,449,650; the hands employed to 1,104 when full, 
with an average of 961; reducing the w.ages paid to 
$473,353; the raw material used to $3,446,549; and the 
annual product to $4,900,338. We hardly need to say 
that Mr. Frothingham's figures are the most probable. 
Hut large as was the amount in 1880, it has materially 
increased since. Four cream of tartar works, two, if 
not three, sulphuric acid works, two sulphur refineries, 
one or two very large manufactories of porous or other 
plasters, etc., etc., have been added since 1880, and 
have nearly doubled the production. The gf' ' ' 
preparing houses of E. R. St/iti/ib it Co. and 
lb Co. have also largely increased their facilities for 
manufacturing, .and the high reputation of their prep- 
arations is constantly enlarging the demand for them. 
It is to be noticed, also, that the great increase of pop- 
ulation and of manufactures creates a constantly-in- 
creasing demand for many of the chemicals required 
either for manufacturing or household use. 

The production of drugs and chemicals in Kings 
county in 1880 w.ia about forty per cent greater than 
that of New York county (^ '~i. and is 

approximating to that of 1' 'lia ($11,- 

though the latter has hitherto led the country in theae 
manufactures. 



V52 



HISTORY OF KINGS COUNTY. 



Let US now coDsider for a little space the different 
classes of chemical manufacture which are conducted 
here. Beginning with the ])roduction of the commer- 
cial acids and their compounds, we find four or five 
houses engaged in their manufacture. The largest of 
the.se is that of Martin KalhflelsclCs Sons, occupying 
about twenty acres on Newtown Creek, Brooklyn .side. 
This house was first established in 1829, and now has 
five large factories in Brooklyn and extensive works at 
Bayonne, N. J., and Buffalo, N. Y. 

The production of sulphuric acid, or oil of vitriol 
(the two terms not being exactly synonymous commer- 
cially, sulphuric acid being the acid which does not ex- 
ceed 58° or C0° in strength, while oil of vitriol must 
come up to G6° or above), is the basis of all their other 
manufactures of chemicals. 

They produce their sulphuric acid by burning sul- 
phur under such conditions that its vapor unites with 
oxygen from the air and water in the receiving cham- 
bers, in the proportion of one part of sulphur to three 
parts of oxygen. A smaller proportion of oxygen gives 
sulphurous instead of sulphuric acid. 

The sulphur used in these factories comes mostly 
from Sicily, from whence it is brought at low freight or 
as ballast. The sulphur of Utah, Nevada and Califor- 
nia is just as good, but the expense of its transportation 
is too great. About 20 tons a day are used in all the 
factories. The sulj)hur furnace has an iron bed-plate 
instead of furnace bars, and the furnace fires must he 
lighted long enough to heat the bed-plate before the 
sulphur is put on it. The charge of sulphur is from 60 
to 75 pounds, and it requires about three hours to burn 
off. In practice, the oxygen is added in the leaden 
chambers where the sulphur vapors are condensed 
either in the shaj)e of nitrate of soda or nitric acid. 

We cannot give in detail the piocosses, which differ 
in different establishments, by which the sulphuric and 
nitric acids are produced and those by which they are 
concentrated. Steam plays an important ])art in all the 
operations. 

Nitric acid and aquafortis are made by heating com- 
mercial nitrate of soda with sulphuric acid; muriatic 
acid, by the decomposition of common salt by sulphuric 
acid; alum, by burning or calcining alum stone to ex- 
pel a portion of the sulphurous and sulphuric acid, and 
then lixiviating the mass into a paste with hot water, 
drawing off, concentrating and crystallizing. 

Blue vitriol (sulphate of coi)iK'r) is produced by heat- 
ing either metallic copper or the richer copper ores 
with concentrated suljihuric acid and crystallizing; 
white vitriol (sulphate of zinc), by dissolving either 
metallic zinc or its oxide or carbonate, or the sulphide 
(blende) in dilute sulphuric acid and evaporating. If 
the blende is used, it must be redissolved in water and 
purified. 

Aqua ammonia is made in a large iron still, by mix- 
ing equal weight of sal ammoniac or sulphate of ammo- 



nium and freshly burned lime with four times their 
weight of water, and applying heat till the ammonia 
gas is driven off into the bottom of a vessel two-thirds 
full of water. The water absorbs the ammonia. The 
gas becomes liquid at from 40° to 58° below zero Fah- 
renheit. 

Muriate of tin and tin crystals are produced by dis- 
solving granulated tin in muriatic acid and evaporat- 
ing to crystallization. The aqueous solution known as 
" muriate of tin," requires the addition of muriatic or 
tartaric acid, or it throws down a basic deposit. 

The immense demand for earthenware vessels and 
pipes in this business, and the great losses by break- 
age, have led the house to establish a large pottery of 
their own, which turns out great quantities of these 
wares. They employ in their Brooklyn works about 
750 men, and produce, of all the chemicals, over 
^2,500,000 per annum. 

The Pratt Manufacturing Company, which manu- 
factures the sulphuric acid and other chemicals used in 
the refining of petroleum, is probably the next largest 
producer of these commercial acids. They produce 
their sulphuric acid from co])per pyrites (sulphide of 
copper), mostly imported from Spain, the residual cop- 
per ore being sold to the smelters. Their production 
of sulphuric acid is about $600,000 per year, and the 
caustic soda used in the refining of petroleum is also 
imported by them, and amounts to perhaps 120,000 
more. 

There are three or four other manufacturers of com- 
mercial acids, etc., in Brooklyn, of which the two 
largest are Pfizer <£• Co. of Bartlett street, and Charles 
Kraft of Flushing avenue. The Phenix Company is also 
large. The total production of this class of chemicals is 
not far from $4,200,000, and the number of hands em- 
ployed about 1,350. Some of these houses produce 
copperas (sulphate of iron), Glauber's salts (sulphate 
of soda), artificial gypsum (sulphate of lime), and some 
of the chlorides, either incidentally or as commercial 
products. 

The sublimation of sulpliur is an allied industry. 
This is carried on extensively by Mr. Prederick Scholes, 
of 152 Kent avenue, whose product is sold wholly by 
the house of Battelle & Ren wick, 163 Front street, 
N. Y., and by Mr. Daniel H. Gray, whose factory is 
at 25 Ninth street, and his warehouse at 115 Maiden 
lane. These gentlemen, like Messrs. Kalbfleisch, obtain 
the crude brimstone or sulphur from Sicily, and con- 
duct th(ar ])rocesses so carefully that the sul]>liurous va- 
pors do not escape, so as to annoy the inhabitants of 
the neighborhood. They einjdoy about 45 hands, and 
their annual [)roduct, in round numbers, is about 
$350,000. 

Subsection I. — Medical Chemists. 

Next in importance to the manufacturers of commer- 
cial acids, and hardly second to them in the extent o 



THE MANUFACTURING JNDUSTIilES. 



793 



thi'ir business, are the manufacturers and compounders 
of medical drugs — the medical chemists. There are 
four or five of these, but only two who have attained a 
verv high reputation abroad for the excellence of tlieir 
preparations. 

EuwARD R. Sguiiui, M. D., has been engaged in 
his present vocation as an importer, manufacturer 
and compounder of drugs for wholesale purposes 
only, for more than thirty years, and no manufacturer 
of drugs in the country has so high a reputation for 
thorough knowledge, strict integrity, careful manipula- 
tion, and the absolute purity and reliableness of his 
preparations. The physician who prescribes his prep- 
arations, knows that he can obtain from them all the 
beneficial results which the drug, in that form, can be 
e.vpected to produce; while those of his compounds, 
which are sold in large quantities, are equally reliable. 
During the war, when a pure article of chloroform was 
indispensable for the surgeons, the medical purveyors 
of the army could find none at all comparable, for pur- 
ity and excellence, to that of Dr. Squibb. This was 
true also of his other preparations. He manufactures 
no secret or patent medicines: and whatever compounds 
his medical skill and knowledge have led him to pre- 
pare, to facilitate the physician's labors, are always 
put up with the formulas in full. 

M. 0. Edmond Foucji-.m has followed a somewhat 
different line of business from Dr. Squibb, being more 
largely an importer of the best French preparations, 
than a manufacturer, though his manufactures have 
been of a very creditable character. We believe he 
was the first to introduce the gelatine capsules now so 
generally used, in all forms and of all sizes, for the ad- 
ministration of bitter or nauseous medicines. We are 
unable to give the exact details of the annual produc- 
tion (part of it importation) of these two great drug 
houses, but it is certainly not less than $600,000. The 
number of hands varies very greatly. 

Dr. James S. Sawley, who has made a specialty of 
the manufacture of pepsin and its compounds, and of 
some other medicines/ Henry Jackson ct Son; Geonj' 
J. Joletisen; Edward D. Kendall; II. Endeman; God- 
frey Osaun and Franz Roessler, all of them practical 
chemists, and engaged in the production of some 
specialties, also come under this class. 

Subsection II. — Patent Medicine-'^. 

Following these, we may also name some of the few 
manufacturers of patent medicines and medicinal pre- 
parations, whose manufactories are in Brooklyn or 
Kings county. The largest of these, the Graefenberg 
Company, now owned and managed solely by Col. 
Charles E. Bridge, whose portrait and biogra[»hy we 
give, was originally a German house, and held some 
valuable patents. Under its present proprietor its busi- 
ness has been greatly extended, and it is now very large 
and profitable. 



Col. Cqas. E. Bridob ia donconded from Puritan Mtock. 
The first of Iiih iincvtitorM in Ami-rica won .Sir Juhti l<riil)(<'. of 
Essex county, Kn);liinil, unti of tlio pilt^nnm wlio Unilinl from 
tho Mayllowcr on "Ni-w Knglanirs ro«-k-nbtj«Hl ■ ooiit." OOf 
of his dvscendiintK, who wua Colonul UridKu'x K^^'^KTanJ- 
father, married Molly Fry, an Indian woiiuin of tho iiurwt 
type, most of wliogo descondanta arc charuin«Ti»!<l by dark 
faces and lilack or daric oycii and liair, th« latttr bciOK 
straight. Tlic cohincl's matomal tcnindmotlicr woa lirat 
cousin to Daniel Welwiter, Am«'rica'M <:4'l#'hrHt<'d iitatcainan 
and orator, who was a son of her ninth-' Jimhum 

Fisher Bridge, fallier of I'ol. ('harlcB E. l.i l«)rn in 

Beverly, Mua.M., in 1S2"J. While yet a m«T«! Xaii in- went to 
sea, his advontvirous disposition leading him to 8c«k a life of 
more danger and less monotony than that of hin landmnan 
comrades. In 18-10, at the ago of twenty-four, h») be<-ain« • 
resident of Brooklyn, and soon found employment in tho old 
proprietary medicine house of the Grnefenbcrg C>)ni|>anr. 
then located on Broaihvay. Uis position wa« an uninifMirtant, 
if not a menial, one. He l)egan literally at the liottom of lh<> 
ladder. If he had not I)een previously very imluHtnous and 
saving, he could scarcely have retained his foothold on Iho 
lower round at the beggarly salary he received. Hi.t atten- 
tion to the duties entrusted to him was such as to commend 
him to the good opinion of his employers, and gradually he 
was advanced to more responsible and lucrative position*. 
Meanwhile he attended night college, acquiring the educa- 
tion which he felt to be essential to his success m life, read 
medicine, attended lectures, and in time received a diploma 
as a physician. Uaving no taste for a general practice, he 
devoted his knowledge to the benefit of the GraefenljergCo., 
in whose affairs lie was more and more a power year after 
year, till, in 1863, he was enabled to purchase enough of its 
stock to insui-e him a position as its general manager. The 
enterprise flourished more remarkably than ever before, and 
six years later Mr. Bridge was the sole owner of its stork, 
which made him proprietor of an extensive business many 
years established . He died in 1871. and all of the right.*, 
titles and privileges of the Graefenljerg Company passed to 
the ownership of the present proprietor. Col. Charles F.. 
Bridge. Mr. Bridge was married in 18.52 to Miss Augusta J. 
Edmunds, of Plymouth, New Hampshire, and Col. Bridge 
was born in Brooklyn, April 2!>tli. l^vin. .\ daughter was 
bom to them also. 

Charles E. Bridge attended private srhixiis in Brooklyn 
until he was eleven years old. when he entered the Brooklyn 
('. .lli'j^'iate and Polytechnic Institute. p,-vised • 
,-r;MUn, and graduated therefrom in 1X67. L-i' 
a German school to obtain a knowledge of the German lan- 
guage, which is necessary in the conduct of the extensive 
correspondence of the Graefenlierg Company with dealers in 
the German states. At the death of his father he succeeded 
him in business, having previously mastered all of its details 
by several years' association with him in the office: and, 
under his management, the enterprise has steadily grown, 
and more than retained its status as one of the oldest, best- 
established and most reliable patent medicine hous^ in «h» 
world. In 1873, he married Miss Margaret P. 8* 
I New York city. Their son, now ten years of age. ■■• 
last of his name in this branch of the family, should he die 
without issue. If the boy is to be spared to him. it is the 
i hope of Col. Bridge that he may become his successor as the 
I proprietor of the Graefenberg Company, and, in time, hand 
I the business down to his descendants, thus perpetuating its 
ownership and management in the family and name. 

E^rly in life Col. Bridge developed a liking for military 
I affairs, and. in 1869, then only sLxteeu years old, he joined 



754 



HISTORY OT KINGS COUNTY. 



- A ' Coiupauy of the 28d Regiment! He filled various war- 
rant positions, and was officially connected with the staff of 
the colonel in command, until he left the regiment in 1880 
to accept an appointment on the 11th Brigade Staff, which 
he held till January 1st, 1883, when he was appointed to a 
place on the staff of Governor Cleveland, with the rank of 
colonel. His duties as an officer on the staff necessitated his 
studying closely the various systems of signaling in use. He 
conceived the idea that the United States army system could 
easily be employed, by means of steam wliistles, to communi- 
cations at sea, rendering it possible to signal the course, the 
name of the vessel and the line to which it might belong, the 
captain's name, and otlier facts of a similar nature, besides 
locating icebergs or wrecks, or indicating distress of any kind, 
Buch as mutiny, shortage of water, leaks, sickness, &c. He 
thought, too, that a regiilar signal telegraphy might be 
adopted for the use of passengers, and for the apprehension 
of criminals on board of vessels and en route for foreign 
shores. He claimed no special originality in the scheme, for 
it contemplated only the application of an old and tried sys- 
tem in a new direction; but he trusted that to give those 
most interested the results of study and experiments in this 
mode of signaling would lead to benefit to the commercial 
traveling community, not only of America, but throughout 
the world; and he neither sought to secure the system to 
himself, by patent or otherwise, nor to obtain any pecuniary 
benefit therefrom. His experiments met the approval of 
Commodore George H. Cooper, U. S. N., commandant of the 
Brooklyn Navy Yard; General Edward L. Mohneux, com- 
mandant 11th Brigade, N. G., and others, who have conceded 
the advantages to be derived from his proposed application, 
and encouraged him to place his system before the pulilic, for 
it is so simple and easy of comprehension, that its manifest 
utility must, before many years, bring it into general use. 

Col. Bridge has been a life-long resident of Brooklyn, and 
will, doubtless, reside there until his death. Though a young 
man, liis interests are such that he has the prosperity and 
progress of the city at heart, and aU measures toward their 
advancement meet with his hearty co-operation and liberal 
support. 

The Pond''s Extract Company manufacture another 
preparation which has a great reputation and an exten- 
sive sale. The production of these two establishments 
is said to be between $300,000 and $350,000. The other 
patent medicine houses, of which there are a dozen or 
more, do a very moderate business. One of them, the 
Damonia Magnetic Mineral Company, is a new comer, 
and bases its claims to ))uLlic patronage on its prepara- 
tions of an earth or ore of iron, and, possibly, chrome, 
said to be magnetic, and found in Texas. It is adver- 
tising largely, but we know not witli what success. 
Other professed magnetic remedies, like the Wilsonia 
and Victoria Clothing, Lave had their day, and have 
ceased to attract public attention. 

SuiiSECTioN III. — Mineral Waters. 

Tlie preparation of artificial mineral waters, carbon- 
ated waters, &c., is becoming a large and very profit- 
able business. Nearly all the mineral \witers which 
have a high reputation have been carefully analysed, 
and the formula thus obtained has been so successfully 
imitated, that the artificial waters are reoommended by 



the most eminent physicians as equal or preferable to 
the genuine. There are now 29 or 30 of these manu- 
facturers of artificial mineral waters in Kings county, 
several of them doing a large business. The cost of 
plant is not very heavy, the jirincipal items being a 
good artesian well of very pure water and a good sup- 
ply of siphon bottles. The formula are simple, and the 
production of carbonic acid gas, pure, and of sufficient 
quantity to enable the manufacturers to charge the 
siphons, already filled with the required solutions, is all 
that is necessary, in the hands of skilled workmen, to 
make the business successful. The sales are largely to 
druggists, physicians, and, to some extent, to private 
customers. Hclbnan, Miiller <k Co., Bach S Nostrand, 
Henry Seyelka, Frederick Feltmann, H. & C. Batter- 
m.an, Schneider & Bro., Smith (D Layton, Hess & 
Palmer, Knohel & Pope, Sweeney cfc Bro. and Lawrence 
Maxwell, are, we believe, the largest of these manufac- 
turers. The entire business is estimated at about 
$400,000. 

Subse<:tion IV. — Mineral Paints, Roofing Materials, 
and Other Mineral Preparations Produced by 
Chemical Processes. 

Most of these houses have trade secrets which they 
believe to be valuable, and hence repel all inquiries in 
regard to the character and extent of their business. 
In general, little can be learned about them, except 
that they are engaged in some chemical work. There 
are one or two roofing companies, the proprietors of 
which are somewhat more communicative. Among 
these are H. W. Johns and Gridley & Co. of the Phenix 
Chemical Works, at the foot of 39th street. Tlieir 
specialty is a chemically compounded cement for roof- 
ing purposes, and perhaps also for tiling. Of the 
Jordan Iron and Chemical Company, the Manhattan 
Chemical Company, the Charles T. White Company, 
and the National Chemical Works, we have only been 
able to learn that they belonged to this class, and that 
several of them were doing a large business. 

Of course, any estimate in regard to the amount of 
this business can be only a guess, and may come wide 
of the mark. We prefer an under-estimate to an exces- 
sive one, and are sure that in estimating their entire 
production, and that of others who may belong to this 
class, at $500,000, we are considerably within the mark. 

SuiiSECTioN V. — Cream of Tartar and Tartaric 
Acid. — Baking Powders. 

Our knowledge of these chemical manufactures is 
more thorough and complete than of those of the pre- 
ceding subsection. By the courtesy of the proprie- 
tors we were permitted to inspect all the processes. 

Though cream of tartar is a necessary ingredient of 
a good baking powder, and a very large proportion of 
that which is manufactured here is consumed by bak- 
ing powder companies; yet it is used for many other 



TBE MANUFACTURING INDUSTRIES. 



756 



purposes, in domestic economy, in medicine, and in 
the arts. Formerly it was largely imiiorted, but the 
importation has now ceased, and only the crude argols, 
from which both cream of tartar and tartaric acid are 
manufactured, appears among the imports. We do 
not know the number of cream of tartar companies in 
the United States, but the production of Brooklyn is 
very nearly, if not quite, one-half of all that is made in 
the country, yet it is all at present consumed here. 

In tracing the processes which lead to the produc- 
tion of a complete baking powder, we find it necessary 
to begin at the beginning, 'i'he principal constituents 
of all baking powders are bitartrate of potassa, gen- 
erally known as cream of tartar, and bi-carbonate of 
soda, the cooking soda of the shops. There is in some of 
them also a very small percentage of scsqui-carbonate of 
ammonia, and in those which are of inferior quality, a 
quarter or less percentage of alum, tartrate of lime, 
tartaric acid, <fcc. ; but the two ingredients, named at 
first, are the most important. It is of the highest 
consequence, that both the cream of tartar and the 
bi-carbonate of soda should be, as nearly as possible, 
.absolutely pure. Commercial cream of tartar has 
been considered in the past as sutticiently pure for 
almost any use, when it consisted of 95 per cent, pure 
bi- tartrate of potassa, and 5 per cent, of tartrate of 
lime, or some other substance inert, or of no material 
importance. This is not the standard to be reached 
by the best manufacturers. The New York Tartar 
Co. now makes a cream of tartar 99^,^ to 99 j'j, pure, 
and the ])roductions of the other Brooklyn companies 
is brought to the same standard. The bi-carbonate of 
soda is brought up to an equal degree of parity. 

How is cream of tartar made? The crude tartar is 
called argols, and is imported from France and Italy, 
and in small quantities also from Germany, Eng- 
land and Austria. 

The whole quantity imported last year was 18,- 
320,366 pounds, and the custom house value, |3,- 
013, .STG, or about 16 cents per pound. Argols are 
the dejjosits of crude tartar in wine barrels, and con- 
sist of tartaric acid, tartrates of lime and potassa, with 
other impurities, and a considerable percentage of dirt. 
As delivered at the tartar factory, they are dirty, 
greyish, black-looking masses, partly in powder, partly 
in small, rather tough lumps. They are first powdered 
and then boiled in immense boilers, and the alcohol 
and other volatile impurities expelled (this is the part 
■"of the process to which exception has been taken, from 
its alleged malodorous smells, but these, though never so 
bad as represented, are now almost entirely removed 
by a condensing process). When boiled it is filtered 
through bone-black, and then evaporated and crystal- 
lized. It is chemically impure, though the crystals are 
white and clear. It is next redissolved and the tar- 
trate of lime separated, and it is tested for any other 
impurities, which, if they are found, are removed, and it 



is again crystallized, and in ready for u«e, u wo Bhall 
see presently. 

The tartrate of lime is treateil with Niilphuric acid, 
and the tartaric acid is separateil, a sulpliate of lime 
(gypsum or plaster of Paris), being fonned. The tar- 
taric acid being first purified, is crystallized and is 
ready for market. There is a eonsidcraliic demand 
for it for a variety of uses. 

But we will now follow the cream of tartar or bi- 
tartrate of potassa. There is, as we have said, a large 
demand for this for culinary, medical, cheinifal, anri 
technological purposes, but the Brooklyn tartar com- 
panies find an instant market for all their product* in 
the Royal Baking Poiodnr Comp<ti>i/'» factory, and if 
the product was three times what it now is (as it soon 
will be), it would all be absorbed in that rapidly grow, 
ing industry. The crystallized cream of tartar is 
hoisted into the upper stories of the factory, where it 
is ground as fine as the finest flour and bolted. It is 
then tested for impurity again, and is ready for the 
next step. 

Meanwhile, the soda has been ground also, its purity 
similarly tested, and the two are emptied into the 
mixer, a very ingeniously constructed machine, which, 
by its various motions, thoroughly combines the two 
powders, and so incorporates them with each other 
that there is no possibility of an excess of one or the 
other in any package, large or small, of the compoiinil. 
When thus completely mixed, it is again tested, and 
by an automatic movement, each barrel filled with it 
is lowered to the floor below, and another set in it« 
place. From these barrels it is packed in boxes of dif- 
ferent sizes, each boxful being weighed to secure the 
exact weight, the covers put on the box labelled, and 
one, two or four dozen packed in a wooden lx)x, also 
labelled. The demand for this baking powder is enor- 
mous. Forty tons or more are shipped daily. 

But the Royal Baking Powder Company have also 
other lines of business. They have gained a great 
reputation for their flavoring extracts — lemon, orange, 
vanilla, rose, ginger, etc. — which are of undoubted 
purity and full strength, and of which many thousand 
gross are sold every year. The two establishments, 
which are really under the same control, employ about 
500 hands, and on the completion of the new tartar 
factory, will be able to produce goods to th.. v^lno of 
about 14,000,000 annually. 

There are three other cream of tartar and tartaric 
acid factories in Kings county beside the Nne Tfrk 
Tartar Conipan;/, but their cream of tartar product is 
now absorbed by the Royal Baking Powder r 

The tartaric acid produced by all the compani' ^ 

elsewhere, the chemical works of Martin Kalbfleisch's 
Sons and others using it, as do the color manufacturers 
in the preparation of colors and mordants. Their pro- 
duction of this acid does not probably exceed fl 00,000. 
There is now no other baking powder company in 



766 



HISTORY OF KIN-OS COUNTY. 



Kings county except the Royal, two or three others 
having removed or given up the business. The census 
of 1880 reported at that time 110 establishments manu- 
facturing baking powders in the United States, with 
an annual product of 14,760,598. In the three and a 
half years which have elapsed, a considerable number 
of these have failed or relinquished the business, but 
the Brooklyn company has constantly grown, partly 
by the acknowledged excellence of its products and 
partly by the most energetic and thorough advertising, 
in all ways and by all methods, ever attempted in this 
or any other country. It now produces more than one 
half of all the baking powder manufactured in the 
United States. 

Let us now sum up the products of the various sub- 
divisions of these chemical manufactures, reserving for 
a separate section one division, that of Fertilizers and 
Glue. We find, then, in the six subsections we have 
described, an annual product of about $10,300,000 and 
the employment of from 2,800 to 3,300 hands. 



SECTION XIX. 
Fertilizers — Glue. 

The manufacturers of fertilizers is a somewhat im- 
portant interest in Kings county for several reasons. 
There are but three or four houses directly engaged in 
it, but the product is large. The statistics of the cen- 
sus of 1880 were: Capital, §54.5, 000; hands employed, 
89, of whom 84 were men; amount of wages paid, 
151,000; cost of material, $1,063,867; annual ]iroduct, 
$1,252,7.50.' These figures were below the present rate 
of production, which probably now exceeds $1,500,000, 
but they were more nearly correct than most of the 
statements of Brooklyn industries. 

But the industry is of special interest from its con- 
nection with other indu.stries and mercantile enterprises. 
It has direct connection with the manufacturing chem- 
ists, from whom the acids, ammonia and other chemi- 
cals used in the transformation of dill'erent substances 
into effective fertilizers are obtained; with the slaugh- 
ter-houses, which furnish much of the offal which is 
transformed; with the scavengers, whose coiitril)ulions 
of dead animals, bones, etc., form an iin])ortant con- 
stituent of the fertilizers; with the importers of nitrate 
of soda, sulphate and muriate of potassa, guano, phos- 
phates, etc.; with the exporters of bone-black, super- 
phosphates, etc.; with the Menhaden factories, from 
whom they obtain a kind of guano, after the oil is 
taken from the fish; with the glue- makers, from whom 
they obtain bones and much nitrogenous matter; with 
the sugar refiners, who furnish them with their spent 
bone-black and the residuum of waste after its re-puri- 
fication, and to whom they sell considerable quantities 
of refined bone-black produced by some of their pro- 
cesses; and with the miners and quarrievs of jihosphatic 
rock in South, Carolina, from whom they obtain very 



considerable quantities of these valuable constituents 
of fertilizers. 

The demand for fertilizers is very large, and is con- 
stantly incr''asing. P>ven the more intelligent of the 
farmers, on the comparatively new lands of the West, 
are beginning to understand the advantage of restoring 
to the soil the constituents so largely taken from it, 
and are, by the use of fertilizers regaining the yield of 
wheat, corn and other cereals, which was so rapidly 
falling off. The first attempt at manufacturing fertil- 
izers on a large scale in Kings county was made in 

1850, on Crow Hill, by Swanmitel, Pieper & Co., who 
had a fat-rendering establishment, and ground bone to 
some extent, for export to England, for a year or two. 

The same year a Mr. Paulsen made glue and ground 
bone on First street, Williamsburgh, near the present 
site of the sugar house, opposite the Cob dock. In 

1851, Mr. Charles De Bergh, the son of one of the 
partners in the great nitro-phosphate works in London, 
came to this country, and finding that the sugar refiners 
were then using their spent bone-black for filling 
sunken lots, made an arrangement with them to take 
their entire product of this article, they packing it in 
casks. He stored this in lots which he hired, till the 
spring of 1852, when he commenced the manufacture 
of fertilizers from it in the building which Mr. Paulsen 
had occupied in First street. He treated it with 
suljiliuric acid, and made a dissolved bone phosphate of 
lime, which be sold largely in Baltimore. 

The same year (1852), Joseph Oechsler established a 
rendering establishment on Crow Hill, and ground 
bone extensively. He found a moderate market on 
Long Island, but the greater part of his product was 
sent to Philadelphia and the South. 

In 1855, Frederick Langman began the manufacture 
of super-phosphate of lime on Crow Hill. His market 
was in New Jersey, as the Long Island farmers could 
not be induced to use any other fertilizer than stable 
manure. 

The first attempt to utilize the dead animals from 
New York and Brooklyn, for the production of 
fertilizers, at Barren Island,* was made in 1855, by 
Lefferts R. Cornell, who had obtained a contract with 
the two cities for collecting these animals. Their 
bones and dried tlesh were ground and treated with 
acids, etc., and shipped to the nitro-jihosphate company 
of London, that company sending out a chemist to 
superintend the manufacture. In 1856 William B. 
Reynolds had a similar factory on Barren Island, and 
shipped his fertilizers to various ports on the Rhine, to 
be used for grape culture. In 1858, Mr. De Bergh, 
who had carried on his works on First street, E. D., 
successfully, commenced the use of dried meat as a 
source of ammonia, but the odor emanating from his 
factory was so offensive, that the city authorities com- 

*Barren Island Is a small island near the west shore of Jamaica bay, 
belonging to the town of Flatland.^, in Kings county. 



^^ 



Iff/ 




^<So /^ '^''€>->-J^^,^:^'t^^:^ 




THE MANUFACTURING INDUSTlilES. 



pelled him to stop its use. In 1859 the factory of L. 
R. Cornell, on Barren Island, was burned, and he 

romovfd to Flatbusli, where lie carried on the business 
of boiie-lnirning (tor tlu' suj,^ar retiiurs) and the manu- 
facture of bone-black, for whii'Ii he found a ready 
market. After a time he sold out his establishment to 
the Zoanelital Company, who took the contract of 
removing the dead animals from New York city, and 
removed their works to Blazin<^ Star, N. J. 

In 1860, E. Frank Coe took the works which I)e 
Bergh iiad vacated in First street, E. D., and com- 
menced the manufacture of super-phosphates of lime 
for dealers in the South, and continued there till 1864, 
when he removed to Hunter's Point, and in 1880 to 
Barren Island. In 1873, Thomas White commenced 
the manufacture of super-phosphate of lime on Barren 
Island, for parties in the South, and still continues in 
the business. The census does not report his establish- 
ment under lirooklyn. In 1880, Mr. Geo. B. Forrester 
commenced the manufacture of chemical fertilizers in 
Fourth place. South Brooklyn. His fertilizers were 
inodorous, and he had carefully prepared formulas of 
combinations required for each crop and each soil. He 
had made these formulas and tested their efficacy in 
connection with' another house since 1873. These have 
proved effectual in greatly increasing the production of 
the sandy loams and other soils of the seaboard States. 
They have a very large sale on Long Island, in New 
Jersey, and in the States farther South, and many thou- 
sands of tons are sent out yearly; also, other parties, 
in part at his suggestion, have engaged in the impi-ove- 
ment of Peruvian guano by bringing up the percentage 
of ammonia, which of late years had been seriously 
diminished even in the best specimens. This required 
the erection of considera])le machinery, which for con- 
venience sake, has been placed in one of the large ware- 
houses at the water front, where the guano is landed. 
Mr. Forrester is the largest manufacturer of complete 
chemical manures in the country ; but Messrs. 77. J. 
Baker & Bro., of Smith street, and C. Huntington, who 
are also noticed among the chemical manufacturers, 
manufacture fertilizers quite extensively. Mr. L. F. 
Reqiia, of Sedgwick street, is also a large producer of 
goods in this line. There were no others until the pre- 
sent year (1883), except the parties on Barren Island, 
when there were two joint stock companies started, 
mainly, however, to deal in imported fertilizers. 

The Peter Cooper Glue Factorij and James Greene, 
also a glue manufacturer, sell their refuse products, 
bone, hair, etc., for fertilizing purposes ; and Messrs. 
Adams & Munroe, on the New Lots road, have a fat- 
rendering establishment, and burn bones, making a 
good article of bone-black for the sugar refiners. The 
entire busineds of producing fertilizers in Brooklyn in 
1880 was, according to the census, three establishments 
with 1545,000 capital, employing 125 hands, paying 
out $51,000 wages, using material valued at $1,063,867, 



and producing $1,252,756 annually. The amount of 
the business has somewhat increased since that time ; a 
new house has started, but an old one has relinquished 
the business. The number of hands is now at least 
150, and the j)roiluct not less than $1,500,000. It is 
noteworthy also that there Ih less consumption of 
animal waste and a greater call for chemical manures. 
The formulas of Mr. Forrester are attracting much 
attention and the demand for them is rapidly increasing. 
But, aside from the manufactories of fertilizers in 
Brooklyn, there are three (one of them a Menh.'tden oil 
factory, which makes up a fish guano from the refu.se, 
after the expulsion of the oil, and two rendering estab- 
lishments for the utilization of dead animals, etc.) 
others in Kings county, two of them on Barren Island. 
These establishments turn out about $250,000 worth of 
manures yearly. There is, or was a short time since, 
also a small factory for fertilizers in Flatbush, but we 
have no particulars concerning it. Altogether, it is 
probably not far from the truth to put down the entire 
product of fertilizers in Kings county at about #1,800,- 
000. 



George Boardman Forrester, a leading manufacturer of 
chemical fertilizers, was born in New York city, >Iarch 18, 
1830. He was the son of .lames and Elenora (Irwin) Forres- 
ter. His paternal grandfather came to this country from 
Scotland in 1801. He was educated in the public schools of 
Now York city, and in Jenney's Academy, then in East 
Broadway, New York. 

Mr. Forrester commenced his business life early, being, in 
1853, a clerk in tlie metal brokerage business, in 18.54 in the 
iron trade, and in ISrj.T in business on his own account. In 
December, 1856, he became connected with a manufacturing 
firm, and .advanced step by step till, in 1873, he became part- 
ner in the house. As a result of previous study and experi- 
meuts, he devoted himself, after his admission to the firm, 
to the preparation of chemical manures, from formulro drawn 
up by himself, the formula being varied for each crop, in 
accordance with its demand for special chemicals aa plant 
food. So thorough had been his research into the recpiire- 
ments of each crop, and so successful were his manures, m 
producing crops of the largest quantity and liestquahty, that 
Forrester's Chemical Manures, after an experience of eight 
or nine years, have become very popular among agricultur- 
ists everywhere. He also devised fornTulae for orange, lemon 
and pineapple culture, which have come into very exten.iive 
use in Florida and other southern and southwestern states, 
and have greatly added to the productiveness and excellence 
of these fruits. Like his vegetable manures, they increase 
the size, quantity and good quality of the products of each 
crop to which they are applied. A similar success has at- 
tended his formula for the culture of the sugar cane, which 
is now sold largely. He has also, within the last three or 
four years, prepared a top dressing for lawns, and a fertilizer 
for house and garden plants, both of which have already 
achieved a high reputation. 

The advantages accruing from the use of Mr. Forrester's 
fertilizers are: that they are entirely inodorous: they .ire much 
less bulky than ordinary manures; they accomplish better 
results; are perfectly certain in their effect; are less expen- 
sive than the ordinary imported manures, and give better 
results than stable manure and at less cost. In 1880, the 



75S 



HISTORY OF KINGS COUNTY. 



firm with which Mr. Forrester liad been connected for 
twenty-four years was dissolved, and he withdrew, taking 
with him his formuhu and his business in fertilizers, and es- 
tablished himself in their more extensive manufacture, at 
119-125 Fourth place, Brooklyn, where he is now turning out 
immense quantities to supply the demand from all parts of 
tlie countrv, his annual out-put being several thousand tons. 

In pursuance of his l)elief that the highest interests of the 
farmer are promoted by the diffusion of intelligence, Mr. 
Forrester has delivered before farmers' clubs in different sec- 
tions of the country, several carefully prepared lectures on 
" Agriculture and Methods of Fertilization." 

Sir. Forrester, amid an active and exceedingly busy life, 
has found time for participation in the duties of good citizen- 
ship. Though not an active partisan, he is thoughtful and 
sound in his political convictions, always more desirous of 
an honest and able administration of our city and state affairs 
than of strict party success. 

Mr. Forrester is a religious man, and carries his religious 
principles into his business, endeavoring in all things to 
glorify the Master whom he serves. He united with the 
Cannon Street Baptist Cliuich in New York city at the age 
of eleven years, and though but thirty when he removed to 
Brooklyn in 1866, he had been a member of its Board of 
Trustees for several years, and had been successively Treas- 
urer, Secretary and President of that board. 

In 1806, he became a member of the Tabernacle Baptist 
Church in South Brooklyn, and has been for some years a 
deacon of that church and President of its Board of Trustees. 
In 1882, he was elected Moderator of the Long Island Asso- 
ciation of Baptist Churches, a religious body which occupies 
a very high rank in that denomination; and, in 1883, he was 
re-elected Moderator of the same body, an honor not hereto- 
fore conferred in successive years upon any other member of 
the association, minister or layman. 

He was married in May, 1857, to Miss Emily Maria Brook. 



Subsection I. — Glue and Neatsfoot Oil. 
Tlie manufacture of glut; and gelatine, wliicli is now 
an important industry in this country, employing 
^3,910,7.50 capital and about 1,800 liand.s, and produc- 
ing in 1880, accordingto the census, $4,324,072 of glue, 
gelatine, and allied wares, was almo.st entirely unknown 
in this country till 1820. A glue factory had been cs- 
taLlished on what was then called the Middle road, in 
New Yorii city, near or on the site where the Park 
Avenue Hotel, Fourth avenue and Thirty-fourth street, 
now stands; but it was mismanaged, and the proprietor 
was so deeply in debt that he was obliged to sell, but 
had great difficulty in finding any one who would take 
it at any price. Tlu! location was then very far out of 
town, though since in the very centre of the most fash- 
ionable part of the town; and there was very little de- 
mand for any glue, except tiie foreign article, which 
was very impure and of poor quality. It was at this 
time (1820) that Peter Cooper, then a pros])erous gro- 
cer at Eighth street, between Third and FcMirth avenues, 
or, as they were then known, the " Old LJoston road " 
and the " Old Middle road," finding that this proj)erty 
on Murray Hill could be bought low, purchased it for 
$2,000, and immediately commenced the manufacture 
of glue, making a superior article, and at (jne-third tiie 



price of the foreign article. Having driven the foreign 
glue out of the market, he turned his attention to the 
production of refined glue or gelatine. At that time, 
for cooking purposes. Cox, an English manufacturer, 
held the market with his "Sparkling Gelatine," but 
Mr. Cooper produced an article superior to his, and at 
a much lower price, while he also supplied a new de- 
mand for gelatine for photographic and other pur- 
poses. His preparations, after a few years, completely 
controlled the market, and at the present time there are 
no glues or gelatines imported, except the Russian 
isinglass, or fish glue, made from the swimming blad- 
ders of several species of fish. This product, we be- 
lieve, Mr. Cooper never attempted. It is now imported 
to a small amount. Mr. Cooper remained on Murray 
Hill till 1845, when, finding the value of land there 
rapidly increasing, he purchased a large tract of land 
in the north-east part of Williamsburg, extending from 
the Maspeth road, now Maspeth avenue, to Newtown 
creek, and a considerable distance south, and erected 
there extensive buildings. Finding, after some years, 
that the city corporation might interfere with his ex- 
tensive works, as there was great activity in build- 
ing in that vicinity, he removed to another portion of 
his property, known as Smith's Island, near the cor- 
ner of Gardner and Maspeth avenues, where his works 
still remain. About 1870, the glue factory was incor- 
porated as " The Peter Cooper Glue Factory." It has 
been managed for many years by his nephews, Messrs. 
Charles and George Cooi)er. 

The products of the factory consist of the common 
and white glue, lirpiid glues, refined and common gela- 
tines, and a very superior article of sparkling gela- 
tine for jellies, blanc mange, etc. They also make 
bone-black, and dried flesh, refuse, etc., for the manu- 
facturers of fertilizers. Their products are said to be 
of the annual value of more than $300,000— consider- 
ably less than they were some years ago, as an active 
competition in these manufactures has sprung up all 
over the country, and there were, as we have said, 82 
glue factories in the United States. Of these nine are 
in the State of New York, and one other in Brooklyn. 
None of the others in New Y'ork are in any large city. 

Two other factories in the United States are said to 
be as large, or larger, than the Peter Cooper ; one in 
Philadelphia and one in St. Louis. The only other 
glue factory in Kings county is that of Mr. James 
Greene, at Ewen streit, corner of Bayard. It is less 
extensive than the Cooper factory, but Mr. Greene 
makes Neatsfoot oil as well as glue. The production 
of the two glue factories is not far from $500,000. 

There are many interesting facts connected with the 
glue manufacture, and especially with the factory with 
which the honored name of Peter Coo])er is associated, 
which we should have been glad to lay before our read- 
ers; but we regret to say that out of all the more than 
5,200 inanufact(»riis of Kings county, the present man- 



THE MANUFACTURING INDUSTRIES. 



agers of tin- Putcr Cooper Glue Factory arc the only 
manufacturers who have persistently and peremptorily 
refused us any information whatever concerning their 
business. 



SECTION XX. 
The Glass Manufacture. 

The manufacture of i^lass dates back more than 2,000 
years. It has been successfully practised by many na- 
tions, some of them hiirhly civilized and possessing cul- 
tivated and artistic tastes; others of a low grade of 
civilization, and uuiking only rude articles for daily 
use. When it was discovered that the melting of 
Band with soda or potash would ])roduce a compound 
transparent or partially transparent fluid, at high tem- 
peratures, and easily work(>d at a moderate heat, which 
could not only be cast in moulds, but blown into globes, 
flasks, cylinders, etc., the more intelligent nations began 
to experiment in it largely. The first and ])rineipal 
direction of their experiments was in the line of flasks, 
bottles and vases, which should take the place of the 
bottles of skin which were previously used, and the 
amphone, flasks and jars which were made of clay and 
burned by the potter's art, and used for holding wine 
and other liquids. 

Glass was also employed for beads and other or- 
namental purposes. In the middle ages great im- 
provements were made in the production of hollow 
glass vessels. They were blown very thin; new in- 
gredients were mingled with the sand and alkali to 
make the glass clearer, whiter, and more easily worked; 
among these new ingredients, the red oxide of lead, 
and otlicr lead salts, manganese, arsenic, borax, etc., 
were the most common. Colors were introduced into 
the manufacture of glass, and in the Venetian glass 
works, these were so combined, by skillful blowing and 
manipulation, that a variety of colors would be blended 
with each other, or appear in succession or alternation 
upon the surface of these delicate vessels. In this 
direction, the Venetians of the fourteenth and fifteenth 
centuries produced glass flasks, bottles and vases, etc., 
which modern art has not been able to equal; though 
within a few years past, the Hon. A. II. Layard, the 
Assyrian explorer, and some other English art con- 
noisseurs, have attempted, with considerable success, 
the revival of this beautiful manufacture, in its ancient 
seat in the Venetian Archipelago. In more modern times, 
the glass manufactories of Bohemia and Moravia have 
been renowned for their production of fanciful articles 
of varied colors in glass, these articles being moulded 
and the colors mingled so as to produce a very fine 
glass. These articles, boxes, paper-weights, etc., con- 
tain a considerable percentage of minium or red lead, 
manganese, etc., while the Venetian glass has very lit- 
tle of these ingredients, and is remarkable for its light- 
ness. Plate, cast or rolled glass has also been a verj- 



important modern protluct of glass works, being used 
for the best mirrors, windows of stores and shopH, and 
of the finer dwellings, and of late, for glazing of 
coacheSffor small counters for banks, insurance olVues 
and stores, and for many other purjioses. The best 
is produced in France; the English j)late glass comes 
next, and it is manufactured, to a moderate extent, of 
very good ipiality, in tiiis country, while an inferior 
but very strong article is manufactured in Germany. 
The manufacture of bottles of all qualities, is usually 
the first development of the glass industry in a new 
country. These are generally made of alkalies and 
sand only, and having a green or yellowish green color, 
or, where the ingredients are not very pure, a dark green 
or black appearance, the product is called green or 
bottle glass. Flint glass is made from powdered quartz 
or flints, refined potassa or soda, and usually some red 
lead. This product is also called white gliiss. When 
carefully made, and from pure materials, the green 
glass becomes so nearly white as to answer for most of 
the purposes for which flint glass was formerly used. 
Fruit cans, druggist.s' prescription bottles, syphons 
for mineral water, and the finest bottles for choice 
wines, champagne, etc., are made from it. Flint glass 
has, however, a wide field. Druggists' and fancy bot- 
tles, vases, colognes, and lamp and gas chimneys and 
.shades, as well as most descriptions of colored glass, 
caster bottles, glass chandeliers and drops, radiators, 
headlights, etc., etc., are from this kind of glass. Glass 
tubing is also made from it. By the addition of a 
considerable amount of red lead, and some arsenic and 
manganese, glass suitable for plate glass, optical glass, 
glass for philosophical instruments, etc., etc., is pro- 
duced. Attempts have recently been made to use 
glass blocks of large size, instead of brick or stone; 
for building purposes. If it can be produced on a 
large scale, and the glass thoroughly annealed, there 
seems to be no good reason why it should not be suc- 
cessful. There has been much thought and labor ex- 
pended within a few years past on processes of an- 
nealing, which should so toughen the glass as to make 
it" practically unbreakable. A certain measure of suc- 
cess has been attained: the articles intended to be an- 
nealed were plunged, at first in cold oil, while still very 
hot, and the surface was so far hardened that they 
might be thrown about the room without breaking, but 
if they chanced to strike or be struck by a sharp me- 
tallic point, like the point of a nail or tack, or a knife 
blade, they flew at once into ten thousand pieces, the 
toughening being only of the surface, and the interior 
substance expanding destructively, the instant the air 
reached it, on the same principle with the Prince 
Rupert's drops. A modification of this process, the 
oil being heated, and the glass allowed to cool in it 
gradually, has been tried with somewhat better success. 
Several attempts have been made to make dishci, 
plates, statuettes, etc., of an opaque glass, aa substitutes 



700 



HISTORY 01 KINGS COUNTY. 



for china and ijuicelain, the articles being hardened in 
the same way; but these attempts have proved failures 
thus far, and' are all, we believe, now abandoned. The 
glass manufacture is a very extensive one in this coun- 
try. Every description of glass is now manufactured 
here, though the plate glass products have not been as 
satisfactory as .some others. The imports of glass of 
all kinds now average about §6,600,000 a year, of which 
more than one-half is plate glass, against ten millions 
more a dozen years ago. In 1880, the total product of our 
American glass works was reported as $21,154,571, and 
this was undoubtedly considerably below the truth. It 
is safe to say that we produce four times as much as 
we import. Of our manufacture of glass oue-half is 
produced in Pennsylvania, mainly in Pittsburgh and 
its vicinity; about one-seventh in New Jersey, and one- 
eighth in New York, of which amount Brooklyn and 
its immediate vicinity produces more than two-thirds. 
Pittsburgh is easily first in this manufacture, and it is 
doubtful whether Philadelphia or Brooklyn comes next, 
their production is so evenly balanced. New York city 
.has no glass furnaces, and only Baltimore and St. Louis 
among the other larger cities are engaged in the busi- 
ness at all, and they only in a moderate way. 

In Kings county, the industry is of long standing. 
As early as 1764 glass bottles were made here, a speci- 
men bearing that date and the name of the. manufac- 
turer being now in the museum of the Long Island 
Historical Society. There was, probably, in Gowanus 
or its vicinity, or possibly in Flatbush, a small glass 
furnace from that time on, but we have been unable to 
trace its history. In 1833, a crown glass factory was 
established in the then village of Brooklyn. Of those 
of later date, the oldest are believed to be the glass 
houses of South Brooklyn, probably that which, with 
some change of location, is now owned by Hagerty, 
Bros. & Co. Abiut 1850, a Mr. Dorfflinger established 
a large glass house on or near Concord and Prince 
streets. Snyder, Storms, Brookfield, Dannenhoffer and 
Huwer were engaged in the business at different 
points within the next ten or twelve years. About 
1866, Mr. Hibbler, who had been in the employ of 
Dorfflinger, purchased the works at Concord and 
Prince streets, a brother of Dorfflinger being his part- 
ner. On the death of Mr. Dorfflinger in 1879, Mr. 
Rausch took his place, and the firm is now Hibhler ib 
Ruusck. This is said to be the largest glass works in 
Brooklyn, the capital invested being |!l 75,000; hands 
employed, 350 ; wages paid, -«!20,000 ; out-put, .$240,- 
000, or more. They manufacture drusrsists' show 
bottles, glass tubes, i)lain and engraved or decorated 
globes, lamp and glass chimneys, fine bottles for 
Colognes, etc., caster bottles, and, indeed, almost every- 
thing in the way of glass hollow ware, except druggists' 
prescription bottles and glass fruit cans. Like several 
of the other glass houses of Brooklyn, their most con- 
siderable product is of glass globes and of chimneys. 



plain, engraved and decorated. The Greenpoint Glass 
Works, now owned and run by the E. P. Gleason Man- 
ufacturing Comj)any, are also largely engaged in the 
manufacture of the finer qualities of globes and chim- 
neys for gas, petroleum oils and electric lights, as well 
as other decorated and engraved bottles, vases, etc. 
They have also set up recently a furnace for green glass 
wares. . A third house largely engaged in glass manu- 
facture is the La Bastie Glass Worlcs of Messrs. Er- 
nest De la Chapelle & Co. This house have attempted 
some new departures in the manufacture of glass, an- 
nealing their chimneys and other wares in oil to make 
them indestructible. After some failures and changes 
in their processes, they have achieved a fair measure 
of success. The chimneys, globes, etc., are not, indeed, 
absolutely unbreakable or indestructible, but, through 
the toughening process, they are made much more dur- 
able than the ordinary wares ; and they have so large a 
demand for their globes and chimneys, that they are 
importing them largely in the unannealed condition to 
subject them to their processes, in addition to their own 
production, which is quite large. In another direction, 
that of making plates, cups and other table wares of 
opalized glass, after the fashion of the "hot cast por- 
celain" made some years ago in Philadelphia, and 
toughening these wares by their annealing processes, 
they have been less successful, and have, we believe, 
now abandoned it. Other large houses engaged in the 
hollow glass ware manufacture are the £Jmpire State 
Flint Glass Works of Francis Thill ; he makes all 
kinds of flint and colored glass ware, and has been in 
business since 1857; his capital is $80,000; number of 
hands, 160; wages paid, $75,000; annual product, ?!175,- 
000 ; the Bushwick Flint Glass Works of Messrs. 
Brookfield & Co.; the Long Island Flint Glass Works 
of J. N. Huwer; the East River Glass Works of A. 
Stenger & Bros., also flint glass ; and the Williams- 
burgh Flint Glass Company of N. Daimenhofl^er. 
Most of these, and we believe all, manufacture similar 
wares of flint glass and hollow wares. Two houses — 
Hagerty Bros. <& Co., of South Brooklyn, and George 
Meyer of Williamsburgh — make green glass wares, and 
mainly bottles of all kinds. There are also six or seven 
smaller houses running only small furnaces, and making 
mostly fancy glass wares, chemical, philosophical and 
optical glass, and imitations of the Bohemian and 
Venetian wares. 

There are also nearly a dozen glass stainers, enam- 
elers, decorators, and fancy glass blowers, some of 
whom make a specialty of stained glass windows and 
decorations. 

There are not, so far as we are aware, any manufac- 
turers of window glass, plate glass, or other flat glass 
wares, or of druggists' prescription bottles, or glass 
fruit cans, in Kings County. 

The entire production, which in 1880 was stated as 
1^1,351,582, employing 1,884 hands, and using $952,750 



THE MANUT'ACTURING INDUSTRIES. 



vol 



capital, is now somewhat larger, though-severe competi- 
tion has greatly reduced prices. A rough estimate 
makes the actual production somewhat above $1,000,- 
000, and the number of hands about the same as in 
1880. 

The competition has had the farther effect of leading 
several of the larger houses to investigate new lines of 
manufacture, and the improvement of those in which 
they are already engaged, to the highest degree of per- 
fection. The plant of a glass house is quite expensive, 
and the result in the present condition of the trade is 
hardly sufficiently assured, to warrant so large an out- 
lay as would be necessary for a radical change. The 
directions toward which they are looking are the finest 
pressed wares, plate glass, glass blocks, and rough plate 
for roofs, floors, etc., glass mosaic pavements and floor- 
ings, etc., etc. Vault lights are now made by several 
houses here. The glass industry is in some respects in a 
transitional state, and though holding its own, is not 
advancing as rapidly as most other manufactures. — Its 
future is, however, promising. 



. SECTION XXI. 

Porcelain, Pottery, and Fictile Arts. 

In no department of Brooklyn industry, have the 
officers of the Census of 1880 been guilty of greater 
or more deliberate injustice, than in the treatment of 
our porcelain manufactures. There are several small 
potteries, in which the coarser articles of stone-ware, — 
jugs, crocks, stone jars, flower-pots, etc., — are made; 
and these, to the number of six, were duly recorded 
under the head of " Stone and Earthenware." There 
are also five or si-v establishments, of a miscellaneous 
character — one m.aking a fair article of encaustic tile, 
two or three others making draining tiles, and one or 
two, fire brick; the whole product of these latter in- 
dustries, which were sot down as four, was re])orted as 
amounting to 1201,084, and employing in all i:?5 hands; 
while the stone and earthen ware men were credited 
with 298 hands, and an annual production of $194,284. 
But the only manufactorj- of true porcelain, in Brook- 
lyn and on this continent, the chief glory of our manti- 
facturing industry, in its development of high art, and 
its successful struggle for twenty years against obsta- 
cles which had broken down every previous attempt 
to produce genuine porcelain, was not even named. And 
this was not an accidental oversight; the able special 
agent of the Census Office, Mr. J. II. Frothingliani, a 
man of culture and taste, had visited the Union Porce- 
lain Works at Greenpoint, and was so deeply im- 
pressed with the excellence of their production, the 
genius displayed in their manufacture, and the extent 
of the works, that he wrote a full description of them 
to the Census Office, and urged them to give it a spe- 
cial notice. It was all in vain. Tliey would consent to 
its insertion, either under the head of "Earthen .ind 



Stone ware," with no separate designation, or under 
the head of " Brick and Tile," in the Hame way; but as 
a separate title, "Porcelain," never. As Mr. Frothingliani 
declined to class it tinder either of these misleading 
titles, it was left out, though there is reason to believe 
that the number of hands was credited to the stone 
and earthen ware establishments; but its distinctive 
character, and its products were entirely omitted. And 
yet, at that time, these Union PorceAnin Work* had 
been in existence for scventeea years, under their |>r<s- 
ent proprietor; had an invested capital of more than 
$250,000, were employing over 200 hands (they employ 
more, now), and were turning out fine hard porcelain 
goods, which were the admiration of the best connois- 
seurs in ceramics, to a value of about $250,000 annually. 
We forbear all speculation on the motive which ac- 
tuated the Census Officers in pursuing such a course. It 
was one of the many sins for which they will have to 
answer to the American people. Let us endeavor then 
to atone, so far as we may, for this neglect of the Cen- 
sus Office, by giving, as briefly and clearly as we can, 
the history and peculiar processes of manufacture of 
the Union Porcelain Work». For the better under- 
standing of the subject, some preliminary exjdanation 
may be necessary. 

Writers on the ceramic art divide the finer produc- 
tions of the potters' art into two classes: natural or 
hard porcelain, and artificial or soft porcelain ; the lat- 
ter being, in reality, not porcelain at all, in the true 
sense of the word. The wares of Sevres and Limoges, 
in France, those of Meissen and Berlin, in Germany, and 
all the best wares of China and Japan are of natural or 
hard porcelain; those of Staffordshire and the other 
English potteries are of artificial or soft porcelain. No 
hard porcelain is made in Great Britain. In this coun- 
try a number of attempts have been m.ade to produce 
hard porcelain; among them, one in Vermont, in 1810; 
one in New York, in 1819; and one in Philadelphia, in 
1827 (it is possible the last w.as not hard porcelain); 
one at Egg Harbor, N. J.; several attempts near Flush- 
ing, L. I., and many others in various places, some 25 
all told. All of these were unsuccessful. The only 
porcelain works that have ever succeeded in making 
hard porcelain a success in this country, are the Union 
Porcelain Works, at Greenpoint. There arc manu- 
factories of artificial or soft porcelain at Trenton, N. J., 
and some of the 21 potteries there make dishes, vases, 
etc., of very artistic and elegant designs, and vie with 
the English potteries in Vieauty; there are also exten- 
sive potteries of soft porcelain at East Liverpool, Ohio, 
at Cambridge, Mass., and perh-aps at some other points ; 
but none of these are manufacturing, or attempting to 
manufacture, natural or hard porcelain. All of these 
would be classed by the French under the head o{ pate 
tendre. What, then, is the difference, .and why should 
the hard porcelain be preferred to the soft ? We an- 
swer, the difference is principally in themodcof manu- 



762 



HISTORY OF KINGS COUNTY. 



facture, the manner of burning, and the entire absence 
of boracic acid, lead and other metallic- oxidec, or other 
poisonous substances in the glaze that covers the sur- 
face; the material employed for the body of tlie ware 
is nearly the same in both, though used, in somewhat 
different proportions, and must be, in the hard porce- 
lain, of much finer quality. Kaolin or porcelain clay, 
of the very best ciuality, and the purest of quartz and 
feldspar, are the constituents of the body of natural 
porcelain, or China, as it is more commonly called. All 
other wares can, and do, use moi-e or less of the com- 
mon cheap ball clay. The kaolin and feldspar are in 
reality much the same thing, except that in the kaolin 
the feldspar has reached its powdered condition, by a 
process of nature, wliich abstracts the potash and 
causes disintegration. 

Pure kaolin is the product of feldspar, which has 
been, by the processes of nature, reduced to powder, 
while the feldspar used in porcelain manufacture is 
still as hard as the granite rock from which it came, 
and has to be reduced to powder by crushing and 
grinding. The quartz adds the element of silica to 
the porcelain. 

In the manufacture of hard porcelain, the kaolin, 
feldspar and (juartz, after undergoing the processes of 
grinding, washing and de-magnetizing, of pressing, 
mixing, and kneading, of forming, trimming, and dry- 
ing, all of which we shall presently describe, are 
ready for their first baking, which will bring them into 
the condition, technically known as " biscuit." 

At the Union Porcelain Works, the moulded and 
dried wares are placed in single layers, carefully sep- 
arated and supported, in the seggars, and these seg- 
gars carefully placed one over the other, are wheeled 
into the upper part of the great kilns, where the heat 
is much less intense than in the lower part, being, as 
we may say, the waste heat of the lower kiln. Here, 
at a temperature of about 1,500 degrees, they remain 
from thirty to thirty-five hours, and after their re- 
moval from the kiln, are suffered to cool for two or 
three days; when taken out of the seggars, they are 
brittle and porous, not very hard, and can, if necessary, 
be trimmed in the lathes. They are now ready for 
the glazing. The material for the glaze is the same as 
for the ware itself, except that the proportions are en- 
tirely different, in order to make it fluent and flux at 
the same time that the body becomes vitreous. The 
glaze must be reduced to the most impalpable powder, 
and suspended in large tubs of water, by constant 
stirring. The biscuit ware is dipped into this, and 
quickly absorbs the water, leaving the glazing com- 
pound in a nearly dry paste upon the ware. It is now 
looked over and cleaned olT, and placed in shallow seg- 
gars (which, for this purpose, are made of the most 
refractory clays), great care being taken to jirotect the 
wares from being warjied or marred in the seggars. 
When thus carefully jilaced, they are jml in the lower 



division of the kilns, and the fires urged, until a heat 
I of from 4,000 to 5,000 degrees is obtained, sufficient to 
make the whole of each piece, glazing and body, per- 
fectly homogeneous and vitrified. This heat is main- 
tained from 30 to 35 hours, and the wares are suffered 
to cool for three days before being taken out. 

They are now finished wares. They will not craze, 
or crackle, or stain, whatever may be the fluid placed 
in them, and whatever the degree of heat to which 
they are subjected. The process of burning the soft 
porcelain and earthenware is, in most respects, the re- 
verse of this. 

The biscuit, in the first burning, is subjected to a high 
heat, perhaps 3,000 to 4,000 degrees; the glazing, while 
containing some feldspar, is largely composed of lead, 
borax, etc. It is applied at a low heat, and forms a 
glaze, covering over the l)iscuit, but not at all homo- 
geneous witli it, and the ware is fragile, and sure to 
craze or crackle if subjected to considerable variations 
of temperature. The process is, in every stage, easier 
than that for china ware, l)ut the results are much less 
satisfactory. 

We recur, now, to the history of the Union Porce- 
lain Work.^ at Greenpoint. A small establishment, 
with one small kiln, was started by a family of Ger- 
mans, on the site of the present works, for the man- 
ufacture of door-knobs, etc., as early as 1854. They 
were made with a mixture of kaolin and phosphate of 
lime, after an English formula. They proved unsuc- 
cessful, and the works passed into the hands of a stock 
company, who succeeded in inducing Mr. Thomas C. 
Smith, then a prosperous architect and builder in 
New York, to loan them considerable sums of money. 

The war came on, the company failed, and Mr. Smith 
found himself obliged to take the factory for his debt. 
Full of faith and patriotism, even in that dark hour, in 
his country's success in the near future, Mr. Smith be- 
gan to cast about him for some way of utilizing this 
factory, in the prosperous times that were to come. In 
1863, he was in Europe, and embraced the opportunity 
to visit the porcelain factory of Sevres, in France, and 
some of tlio English potteries in Stoke-on-Trent; and 
when he had returned home he ha<l fully made up his 
mind to undertake the manufacture of hard porcelain. 
The factory was put in thorough repair, new buildings 
erected, machinery and materials procured; and, after 
two years of experiment and a heavy outlay, he put 
upon the market a small quantity of genuine porce- 
lain. Finding a ready market, he increased his pro- 
ductions each year, and by the application of new and 
improved machinery, overcame the numerous and for- 
midable obstacles which beset every step of his path- 
way. Nowhere else, either in France or Germany, in 
China or Japan, had the manufacture of hard porcelain 
been successful without government aid and p.atronage; 
but he was not only fighting his battles without assist- 
ance from his government, but was threatened, in the 




THE UNION I'OKCELAIN WOllKS AND WAKES. 



764 



HISTORY OF KINGS COUNTY. 



very infancy of his enterprise, with the reduction ol 
the duties on European and Asiatic porcelain; while 
his competitors, who were manufacturing soft porce- 
lain, were seeking, in every way, to damage and depre- 
ciate his wares. But he fought on, expending over 
$250,000 on buildings and plant; buying a quarry of 
quartz and feldspar, to be sure of the best; building 
and furnishing a machine shop, where he could produce 
his own machinery and tools; when he found a need 
for a machine which would do his work better than it 
was done, inventing and manufacturing it; when the 
time came for producing decorated china, resolving to 
use only original designs, as he had already done in 
the forms of his vases and dishes; and, later on, pro- 
curing the services of an eminent artist and sculptor, 
to aid him and his son in this part of his work. Every 
year has witnessed material progress, till his establish- 
ment is known all over Christendom (better, we had 
almost said, in Europe, than in Brooklyn), and his 
wares are fully appreciated wherever they are known. 

lie has received from the various Expositions, their 
highest awards. At the present time he is employing 
more than two hundred hands; paying liberal wages; 
has a very large capital invested in the business and 
plant, and turns out about $250,000 of his various 
wares, many of them of the highest artistic beauty, 
each year. 

Some of his vases are of exquisite design. One of 
them, which forms a prominent feature in our illustra- 
tions, is known as the " Keramos Vase," and was sug- 
gested by Longfellow's beautiful poem, "Keramos." 
We have left ourselves but small space to speak of the 
processes of this interesting industry, but we cannot 
wholly omit them. The kaolin, procured mainly from 
Pennsylvania, comes in lumps and powder, and is 
mixed with the quartz and feldspar (from Mr. Smith's 
own quarry at Branchville, Conn.), which has to be 
ground, at first coarsely, and afterward to an impal- 
pable powder. The comltination of these three ingre- 
dients in a huge vat, with water, to the consistency of 
a thin paste, is technically called "mixing the slip." 
Inside the vat, a vertical shaft, supporting ajiuraberof 
radial arms, keeps the " slip " in a state of constant agi- 
tation, as the liquid slowly escapes from an orifice be- 
neath into a sieve. The sieve is constantly shaken, 
and the " slip " continues its sluggish course down a 
short channel, and between two sets of horse-shoe mag- 
nets, some horizontal, some perpendicular. The object 
to be attained by these magnets is the removal of every 
fine particle of iron which the mixture may contain 
(quartz has a strong affinity for iron and other metals) ; 
every speck of the metal retained, however minute, ap- 
pears as a black spot on the snowy surface of the fin- 
ished china. After passing the magnets, the liquid 
runs into a second sieve, and thence into a second vat, 
at a lower level, where a similar apparatus to the first 
keeps It constantly in motion. After passing through 



several of these vats, the " slip " is led into storage 
tanks. From these it is transferred to cloth or canvas 
bags, placed between the leaves of a screw press, inge- 
niously contrived to squeeze the water from the " slip;" 
the material comes out of the bags a heavy dough, 
which is thrown into bins and kept there for months to 
ripen. Age improves it, and the Chinese have a tradi- 
tion that the material for their old porcelain was kept 
for a hundred years. When wanted for use, this 
dough is sent to the kneading macliine — a very inge- 
niously constructed machine, of French invention — 
which kneads and mixes it quietly, but with the utmost 
thoroughness. When thus kneaded, it is ready for 
moulding. 

Here we learned something which surprised us ; the 
potter's wheel, which, for more than three thousand 
years, had been so fully identified with all fictile manu- 
factures, is now obsolete, and is abolished from the 
Union Porcelain Works. In its place, there are long 
tables, before which a row of employes are stationed, 
and in front of each one are perpendicular and hori- 
zontal revolving discs, which are put in operation by a 
mere pressure of the knee on a lever. Beside each 
operator is a mass of the dough, irregularly shaped, 
perhaps in the form of imperfect tubes. The disc, or 
revolving head, being at rest, the operator puts upon 
it a mould, the interior of which is of the exact form 
of the exterior of a bowl, or cup. Into this he inserts 
one of his dough tubes, and the disc is set in motion, 
the plastic mass being pushed with his fingers out 
against the side of the cavity. Then a counter-poised 
metal blade is brought down into the cavity, which is 
so adjusted and shaped as to remove exactly enough 
material to leave the bowl or cup of the requisite 
thickness, and, at the same time, to form its interior. 
Sometimes these dishes, or bowls, are of oval form, 
and an arrangement of cams enables the operator to 
turn them out not quite so rapidly, but j^et with a fair 
amount of speed. The dish, cup, or bowl, when re- 
moved from the mould, is set aside to dry and be 
turned off and finished, and is then ready for the first 
baking. Many objects do not require the revolving 
head, and are pressed into moulds, either by machinery 
or by the hand alone. This is the case with the han- 
dles, ears, noses, etc., of pitchers, tea-pots, sugar-bowls, 
etc., etc., as well as with most of the porcelain hard- 
ware. 

Next comes the first baking, or converting the ware 
into biscuit. We have described this pretty fully, 
when showing the difference between hard and soft 
porcelain, but a few words concerning the kilns and 
seggars will be in place here. The kilns are luige 
cylindrical structures, fifteen and a half feet in diame- 
ter, and having two stories, the lower being about 
eleven and a half feet, and the upj)er about nine feet 
in height. The walls, which are of brick, faced inside 
with lire brick, are more than three feet in thickness. 



THE MANUFArTriiTNG ISIX'STRIKS 



:c5 



When fired, :i kilu uses about ti-n tons of coal to a 
baking, ami tlie cdnibustion is continued for thirty to 
thirty-live hours. Tlu' upper story is used for the lirst 
baking, the heat being much less than that of the 
lower story. The sigr/ar.i are round boxes, made of a 
cheap but very refractory clay, and at these works are 
made with great care on the premises, to insure their 
good quality. In tliem, for the first baking, as many 
articles are placed as can be put in, without danger of 
damage. They are then piled into the kiln, the bottom 
of one seggar serving as cover to the one below it, and 
the piles reaching to the top of the kiln. 'I'he surfaces 
are separated by rings of soft clay, which form a tight 
joint. About 30,000 to 60,000 pieces of ware may be 
included in one baking. 

We have also described the processes of glazing and 
second baking, to which these wares owe their uni- 
form excellence. The heat generated in the lower 
story of the kiln is far more than sufficient to melt 
iron, nearly sufficient to melt platina. Great skill is 
required in managing the fires, and they must be 
checked at a point when the glaze is tlucnt and the 
body vitreous, just before the articles themselves melt. 
There are glass-stoppered holes in the sides of the kiln, 
through which the process of baking is watched. The 
porcelain, if it is to remain white, is now finished, and 
nothing more is required except to sort it over for im- 
perfect pieces, which are consigned to the grinding 
mill to be pulverized and made over. 

If, however, the ware is to be ornamented with colors 
or gilding, or is to have any artistic designs placed 
upon it, the process known as decoration is yet to be 
applied to it. The decoration is done by hand. The 
colors used are formed by the combination of certain 
metallic oxides and salts, with certain fluxes which 
enable them to fuse into colored glasses. The oxides are 
usually those of chromium, iron, uranium, zinc, man- 
ganese, cobalt, antimony, gold, etc. The salts and oxides 
are ground up with turpentine, and painted on in the 
ordinary manner. It is not until the heat of the 
furnace has driven oflf the oil, and chemically combined 
the ingredients of the colors, that the effect can be 
determined, for the hues at first are dingy and un- 
pleasant, and give no idea to the inexperienced eye of 
the intended effect. 

Gold is applied by dissolving the metal in aqua regia 
(nitro-muriatic acid); the acid is driven off by heat, 
when the gold remains in a state of minute division. 
After the ware is ornamented, it is enclosed in a muffle 
furnace, an inner box of fire-brick, which is so arranged 
as to be completely surrounded by the products of 
combustion. After the colors are developed the articles 
are removed, and hand burnishing of the metallic por- 
tions completes the manufacture. During the past 
season the Messrs. Smith, having occasion to erect a 
new building, have fitted up several studios, to which 
access may be had, without going through the main 



building, for thi' use of ladies who wisli to try tlieir 
skill in the fascinating art of decorating china. Kverv 
facility will be furnished them for this jileasant purfluit, 
anil their pieces can bo fired at very short notice. 



Thomas C. Smith, the only nmnuracturiT of hiini ixireeliiiu 
in this country, was born in Bri(lf(oliamptoD, SiilTolk county, 
Tjong Island, in IHl.'i. Ilig aiiceHtors, on the luatc-rnnl Hide, 
niixratcd from Wales to BridKelmmpton, in the town of 
Southampton, of which town tliey were the carlienl wttlers. 
a little more than two liuiiilred yearii ago. KiH father die«l 
wlieii he was iiiily six years nf nKi-, and he wan hriiii);ht up l>y 
l)is widowed mother on a farrji |>iirehas<-d hy his ane<-<itorH 
from the Indians. The schools of Hridgehanipt»ii wen- k'X"! 
for the lime, and he enjoye<l their advantriKiii until he wan 
sixteen years of age, when he left homo alone and came to 
New York to seek a place in which to learn a trade. After 
various disappointments, he apprenti<'ed himfielf to a maoler 
builder, giving his promise to serve faithfully as an a[>|>ren- 
tice for four years. He kept his promise to the letter, and 
received for the first year ."Ml cents a day, for the teeond. 62^ 
cents, for the third, 75 cents a day. and on the fourth year he 
was to receive STJ cents, but his employer was so well plea«e<l 
with his faithfulness th.it he voluntarily nuade his compensa- 
tion a dollar a day. His employer allowed him to spend the 
months of .lanuary, February and March at home, with his 
mother, and these mf)nth8 were diligently employed in school, 
in improving his education. 

Before he was 21 years of age, he commenced business aa a 
master builder, but hard work and exposure to rough wea- 
ther, brought on severe sickness, and he retume<l to his home 
in Bridgehampton to enjoy a mother's tender cjire and nurs- 
ing. He suffered from two successive attacks of illness, .and 
while recovering from these, he employed all his leisure mo- 
ments in still further improving his education. At this time 
his health was so completely shattered that he gave up the 
hope of being able to pursue his trade as a builder, and en- 
deavored to qualify himself to Ijecome a teacher. In 1937 he re- 
turned to New York, without money and with irajiaired health. 
Here he was offered, by a master builder, a position as sujier- 
intendent of buildings, with the understanding that he was 
to do only what his condition of health would permit. 

He soon found that he was improving in vigor and 
strength, and in Septeml)er, 1839, again commenced business 
as a master builder, and continued in it with remarkable 
success till 1863. At this time, his health having been again 
impaired Ijy protracted overwork, he went to Europe for rest 
and recovery. He was in Paris when the intelligence was 
received there of the disastrous battle of Manassas, generally 
known as "the second battle of Bull Run." Among the 
many failures and business wrecks which were caused by the 
outbreak of the civil war, there was one in which Mr. Smith 
had a special interest — a small porcelain factory at Grei-n- 
point, Brooklyn, which was largely indebted to him, and 
which he had been comi>elled at the winding up of its afTairs, 
to take in partial satisfaction of his debt. 

Dark as was the political horizon of our country at this 
time— drifting, as it seemed to many, to inevitable liank- 
niptcy and ruin — Mr. Smith looked hopefully to the future, 
•and believed that, " when this cruel war w.is over," manufac- 
tures would thrive as they had never thriven liffore. and that 
we should become one of the greatest manufacturing nations 
on the glol)c. Our history for the piist twenty years has jus- 
tified his foresight. This conviction of his. .acting upon a mind 
inten.sely practical, led him to consider the possibility of util- 
izing the little porcelain factory, which had co«t him so 



766 



HISTORY OF KIJSTGS COUNTY. 





much, and wliich was lying idle and dismantled at Green- 
point. 

He began at once a critical examination of the porcelaui 
manufactories of France, to which lie was by good fortune 
admitted, and the earthenware manufactories in Stafford- 
shire, in England; and, though he was convinced that there 
would be great difficulties to surmount iu finding the proper 
materials, properly prepared, and in chemically combining 
them, yet he was strongly impressed with the idea that there 
was nothing done there which could not, by perseverance 
and industry, be done as well here. To a man of liis strong 
will and fine mechanical genius, and in the full vigor of a 
stalwart manhood, nothing seemed impossiljle. Accordingly, 
immediately after his return, he cleared away the wreck and 
rubbish of the little porcelain factory, and began tlie neces- 
sary experiments, wliich would enable him to start out on his 
new and unknown field of labor. 

After about two years of diligent experiment, lie was pre- 
pared to ])ut upon the market merchantable specimens of 
the true, hard, vitreous porcelain. While conducting these 
experiments, he very wisely manufactured the simpler arti- 
cles of porcelain — door knobs, caster wheels, insulators and 
other hardware trimmings, for which there was an imme- 
diate demand, and at a fair profit ; but soon proceeded to 
manufacture a general assortment of China table ware for 
large hotels, and later, vases, plain and decorated, and the 
more delicate articles of porcelain, which compare favorably 
with the finest wares of Limoges, Meissen and Berlin, alike 
in tlie beauty of their design, and the delicacy and tasteful- 
nesa of their decoration. Every year has witnessed material 



progress both in the qualitj' and quantity of his wares. The 
copying of European designs or patterns is studiously 
avoided, much originality is displayed, and many articles 
are of such rare artistic beauty, as to excite the wonder and 
admiration of connoisseurs from all jiarts of the world. The 
" Union Porcelain Works" has now grown to a vast estab- 
lishment, owning its own quarries of quartz and feldspar, 
and mills to crush and pulverize these earths, and has become 
a favorite resort for those interested in art manufactures. In 
accomplishing such a work within less than twenty 3'ears, 
Mr. Smith has had difficulties and obstacles to contend with 
which would have utterlj- appalled a man of less resolute will, 
and of inferior mental resources. Not least among these has 
been the utter indifference of both the American government 
and the people to efforts and sacrifices for the promotion of 
our national reputation in industrial art, which in any coun- 
try of Eurojie would have been crowned witli the highest 
honors, and have received the most sulistantial rewards. But 
he has succeeded, and botli in America and in Europe, has 
ac(iuired a reputatiim which will go on increasiiiK through- 
out the world. 

In his domestic relations, Mr. Smith is singularly happy ; 
his son, a young man of rare genius, is associated with his 
father in business, and is well qualified to carry forward the 
work to still greater ])erfection. In the midst of most en- 
grossing business cares, Mr. Smith has found time for the 
promotion of great benevolent institutions. He has been 
for many years President of the New York Ophthalmic Hos- 
pital and College, and is a zealous promoter of many other 
charitable and financial institutions. 



THE MANUFACTURING INDUSTRIES. 



767 



In politics, Mr. Smith is, from pnuiiple, not from love of 
party, a decided republican, thoUKli ncvor an oflice-seeker or 
ofRce-Iiolder. He is, in Ihe beat sense of tbe word, a protec- 
tionist, l)elievinK in a tariff whidi will fully protect all our 
industries, till the wa^'es of Euroi)e approximate the wages 
paiil for labor in this country, and remove duties from those 
raw materials only, which have not been, and cannot be pro- 
duced hero. 



A word, now, concerning tlie humbler branches of 
fictile manufacture iirosecuted in our city, which, 
though with one exception, not specially ornamental, 
are in their way very useful. 

There were in Brooklyn in the summer of 1883, ten 
potteries engaged in various branches of the business, 
the most extensive being the red-ware flower pots, 
drain tiles, white lead pots, etc. Three or four of the 
number confine themselves to earthen and stone ware, 
for culinary, chemical and technical purposes, and two, 
we believe, make sewer pi[)es, large and small. There 
is one house recently started, the International Tile 
Company, which produces encaustic, geometrical, 
mosaic and plain tile pavements, of very fine quality. 
Four houses make fire-brick, and the i|uality of their 
goods is such as to increase their sales. The present 
statistics of these manufactories we have not been able 
to ascertain definitely; if any reliance can be placed 
on the census returns, they probably employ in all 
about four hundred hands, and their annual product 
may, perhaps, be safely estimated at from $424,000 to 
¥450,000. Their business is generally local, though 
some of them have warerooms in New York city. 
There are not included in this statement the chemical 
pottery works of Jlr. Clias. Graham in Metropolitan 
Avenue, which are devoted solely to the manufacture 
of chemical vessels of stoneware, many of them of large 
size, which are so made as to resist the action of the 
strongest acids ; and also the chemical pottery works 
attached to the great acid works of Messrs. Martin 
Kalbfleisch's Sons, which have already been mentioned 
in the account of those works. The production of both 
is large, but we have no definite figures concerning it. 



SECTION XXII. 
Bread and Bakery Products. 
If the annual product of these manufactures were 
to be stated, without reference to the number of 
establishments engaged in it, "Bread and Bakery 
Products " would stand as about sixth or seventh of our 
industries; for the census of 1880 reported the annual 
product of that year, in Brooklyn, as $5,594,975, and 
adding in the bakeries of the county towns, about 
$5,900,000. But this large amount was the production 
of 562 bakeries, and was an average of but about 
$10,000 to each. The amount of capital reported was 
about $1,080,000; the number of hands employed was 
1,301; the amount of wages paid about $620,000; and 



the amount of material used about $3,900,000. Tlie 
number of bakers in the county, in May 1883, wa8 022, 
and if their average ])rorluctii)n was the same it would 
make the annual product about $0,500,000. Of course 
it is impossible for ns, without the power of govern- 
mental authority, to ascertain with entire certainly 
whether the bakers have increased or diminished their 
production ; but we know these facts, viz., that the 
failure of a baker is one of tlie rarest eventH in our 
commercial history; that most of them give evidence 
of an enlarged business, with the constantly increasing 
])opulation, and that the large houses liave, within the 
past three years, greatly enlarged their facilities and 
products. The bakers are divided into several clasaes; 
one class devote themselves exclusively or mainly to 
the manufacture of bread, and generally to the pro- 
duction of three or four standard kinds, as the Vienna, 
the cottage, the family, and the French twist. Most 
of this class, finding an insufficient outlet for their pro- 
ductions in their local farail\- trade, supply stores, 
restaurants anil some hotels with it, and if they make 
a really good article, soon secure a good custom and 
make large profits. Another class make only crackers, 
and by enterprise, and the study of the wants of the 
public, speedily secure a large patronage. Another 
class, while making the ordinary kinds of bread, 
generally of fine quality, make also what are known as 
the fancy styles of bread. Queen's rolls, tea biscuit, 
raised biscuit, French rolls, muffins, buns, etc., etc. 
Most of this class of bakers make cake and pastry also. 
Still another class are known as cake bfihm, though 
they make some bread, and most of them pies also. 
The manufacture of the best qualities of cake is one of 
the fine arts, and the greatest adepts in this and fine 
pastry, call themselves pastry cooks, find places at large 
wages at the great hotels, and thus avoid the risks of 
keeping up bakeries for themselves. 

The pi'i- Ixrkirx are also a class by themselves, and 
their wares, especially in a county which has so large a 
New England element as Kings, find ready and large 
sales. Many of the regular bakers make from 50 to 
100 pies daily for their own retail tr.adc; but the pie 
bakers proper, have no shop, and do not retail their 
goods, but sell them or leave them on commission with 
the better class of restaurants, with other bakers, with 
grocers, with cheap restaurants, and finally with liquor 
salooiLS. It is said that a pie which has been left over 
in turn by each of these customers, when it arrives at 
the liquor saloon is well nigh a week old. 

Let us review these several classes and so classify 
our manufacturers of bread and bakery producU 
according to their special vocations. 

In the manufacture of bread only, .I>hn If. ShidU is 
unquestionably the foremost baker in Kings county. 
He is the architect of his own fortune, and by his enter- 
prise has built up an immense business. He has no 
store; never retails a loaf of bread, except the sUle 



768 



HISTORY OF KINGS COUNTY. 



loaves returned by his drivers, which are sold largely 
at a reduced i)rice to customers who come to the ware- 
house for them ; but his great ovens, warehouses 
and stables cover 16 full city lots, and include 
nearly the whole block bounded on two sides by 
Harrison avenue and Rutledge street. He is said 
to require for his bakeries 1,000 barrels of flour, and 
that of the best, a week; to make up 15,600,000 loaves 
of bread in a year, worth nearly §1,100,000. He has 
85 wagons on the road, keeps 125 horses in his stables, 
and pays his foreman, who is the man from whom he 
learned his trade, §20,000 a year. It is said that there 
is no bakery on so large a scale in the United States. 

Next to Mr. Shults in this business, though at a con- 
siderable distance below him, is the house of August B. 
Hcrseman & Ct)., Mr. Herseman having formerly been 
Mr. Shults' foreman or superintendent. Mr. Herseman's 
place is at 292 Graham avenue. Like Mr. Shults, he 
keeps no retail shop, but sells his large product, except 
the stale bread, to hotels, grocers and restaurants. He 
has been in the business but three or four years, but 
has built up a trade of about 1250,000, requiring 22 
wagons and about 30 horses. 

Of the other bread-makers, the Jennings Bakery 
Company, of which Mr. Ephraim J. Jennings, whose 
portrait graces our pages, is president, probably does as 
large a business as any, except the National Baking 
Co. They, like most of those which follow, do a re- 
tail as well as a wholesale business. The Jennings 
Bakery Company have eight stores, and employ 30 
wagons and 50 men; use, on an average, 120 bar- 
rels of flour per week, and have an annual out-put 
of about ^190,000. 



Ephraim J. Jenxisos was born iu Brooklyn, August 17th, 
1849. Hi3 father was Charles Grattan Jennings; liis mother 
was Sarah Ann Dunning, of Rochester, Kent county, Eng- 
land. 

Mr. Jennings' great grandfather, Jeffrey Jennings, was a 
native of Dublin, Ireland; he married a sister of tlie cele- 
brated Sir Henry Grattan, who was also a native of Dublin. 
One of his paternal ancestors, Jolm Jennings, settled in Dub- 
lin about the year 1700. He was a man held in high consid- 
eration and esteem, and when he went to Dublin was given, 
as was the custom in treating men of distinction, the freedom 
of the city. It is supposed that he came to America, with 
other members of the Jennings family, early in the eight- 
eenth century, and, after remaining a while in this country, 
he returned to Dublin. 

The parents of the subject of this sketch left London and 
came to America in 1838, settling in Hrooklyn. His father 
was a custom-house broker in London. Meeting with re- 
verses, he emigrated to America for the purpose of bettering 
his fortune. Here he became a manufacturer of ladies' shoes. 
He was a well-educated, high-minded and eminently re- 
spectable citizen. On his settling in Brooklyn, he became a 
member of .St. Mary's Episcopal Churcli, having been reared 
in the faith and teachings of the Church of England. His 
daily life accorded with his religious principles, and by pre- 
cept and example he adorned the religion he j)roI'e8sed. He 
was marked for his courtesy and pleasing manners. For fif- 



teen years he occupied the position as sexton of St. Mary's 
Church. 

He became a resident of Bethlehem, Pa., in 1868, where, 
in 1869, he died. When young Jennings was five years old, 
he attended public school No. 4, Classon avenue. When No. 
25, in Walworth street, was opened, he attended there, until 
No. 4 was reorganized with Mr. E. Spafard as its principal, 
and he continued to attend here, till he was twelve years of 
age. 

As he was thrown on his own resources for support, when 
not in school he used to vend the Brooklyn Eagle by way of 
adding to his Income. He appears to have been a close and 
intelligent student, mastering all the branches taught in the 
school he attended. 

Deciding to engage in some occupation, he entered the of- 
fice of the Journal of Commerce, then located at the corner 
of Wall and Water streets. New York city, where he re- 
mained six months. Leaving there, he began learning the 
business of printing in tlie office of D. Nicholson, where he 
remained about one year, when he accepted an offer from 
Williams & Guion, 40 Fulton street, New York, prominently 
connected with the National, Guion & Co. and German 
steamers. Mr. Jennings remained with this firm four years, 
gaining the respect and confidence of the partners by his 
prompt attention to business. When his father removed to 
Bethlehem, Pa., the young man severed his connection with 
Messrs. Williams & Guion, and went with the family to re- 
side in Pennsylvania. He united with his brothers and sis- 
ters in purchasing a home at Bethlehem for his father. But, 
upon his father's death, about a year after becoming a resi- 
dent of Bethlehem, this sou returned to Brooklyn. 

Times being hard and employment diflicult to obtain, he 
engaged in the lock factory of Williams, White & Churchill, 
until he received an offer of a clerkship in a bakery, which 
induced him to leave the employ of Messrs. Williams, White 
& Churchill, and accept the offered situation. After serving 
in this capacity for two years, he started a small bakery (with 
but one window) on his own account, at 265 Myrtle avenue, 
between Canton and Division streets. Here he laid the foun- 
dation for his future success, a success which has placed him 
among the prominent business men of Brooklyn. He is now 
engaged in the same business on an extensive and prosperous 
scale. 

Mr. Jennings occupies and has occupied a prominent posi- 
tion as a citizen. When but fifteen years of age, he joined 
Sprague's First Battalion as a drummer; but the drum corps 
beiug full, lie entered the ranks and shouldered a musket. 
This battalion was afterwards consolidated with the 13th 
Regiment, after which Mr. Jennings was elected to the rank 
of second lieutenant, company B, now retired into the vete- 
ran service. He is now, and for several years has been, a 
member of the New York Produce Exchange. He is also a 
director in the East Brooklyn Savings Bank. 

Mr. Jennings was united in marriage to Miss Alice S. 
Walker, at Dr. Tyng's Church, Stuy vesant square. New York, 
June od, 1873. Mrs. Jenniugs is a granddaughter of Edward 
Walker, a prominent publisher and binder of New York city. 
Mr. Jennings is a member of St. Matthew's Episcopal 
Church, Brooklyn, having always adhered to the tenets of 
the church in which he was reared. 

He has never been a politician, but has always endeavored 
to vote for those men who would best fulfil the duties of the 
offices to which they were to be elected. 

Mr. Jenniugs is still a young man, honorably identified 
with tlie young business men of Brooklyn, than which no 
abler representatives of the business interests of the times 
exist in any other city. 



THE MANUFACTURING INDUSTRIES. 



769 





It is no affectation to say that to their abilities and acconi- 
plisliments their beautiful city is largely indebted for the 
commanding commercial position it has attained. 



The other leading: bakers who sell their bread at 
wholesale and retail are: Richter Bros., Valentine 
Lambert, Horace W. Stearns, Perhacs tfc Dahn, 
Rudolph C. Backer, John Kenny, John L. Patch, 
etc., etc. Nearly all of these have several stores, 
and from two to ten wagons, and most of them 
are doing a business ranging from $20,000 to $40,000 a 
year. The National Bakbuj Co., already mentioned, 
is a New York as well as a Brooklyn company, and has 
an original method of doing business. Mr. Samuel 
Howe, of New York, is president. The company has 
45 stores, of which 'ib are in New York, and 10 in 
Brooklyn. We do not know the details of the man- 
agement of the New York stores, but the Brooklyn 
stores are all run by the same rule. Each has four 
bakers; uses 40 barrels of flour a week; each has the 
same number of wagons (four, we believe) ; all make 
cake as well as bread, and their out-imt is nearly -IX,- 
000 barrels of flour a year, which produces a value of 
about $025,000 per annum in bread and cake. 



The cracker bakers, though few in number, do a large 
business. The directory for 1883 names only three; 
but one of these, the great house of Hetjield <(• Diicker, 
isone of the largest cracker manufactories in the United 
States. Their large manufactory, 75 by 12.5 feet, acd 
live stories in height, has all the machinery and appli- 
ances necessary for the prompt production of every 
description of crackers and ship-bread. The house was 
founded in 1844 by 3IiIos Swaney,.on the corner of 
Pearl and Nassau streets. In 1857, it came into the 
hands of David K. Ducker, a son of William Ducker, 
who was for many years a local Methodist preacher, 
connected with the Sands Street M. K. Church. Mr. 
D. K. Ducker had been, for some years, engaged in the 
flour business, opposite their present cracker factory, 
prior to 1857. In 1801, the business was removed to 
its present location. Mr. C. R. Hetfield, originally from 
Scotch Plains, N. J., came to Brooklyn in 1857, and in 
the year 1805 became a partner with Mr. Ducker. The 
firm was D. K. Ducker «fe Co. till 1879, and then 
changed to its present title of Iletfield & Ducker. Mr. 
D. K. Ducker died in 1876, and William M. Ducker, 
his son, became connected with the business at that 
time, and an equal partner from 1879. In 1882, R. W. 



770 



HISTORY OF KINGS COUNTY. 











\^s 







HETFIELD & DUCKElfS CKACKEK MANUFACTORY. 



Steele, a native of Jamaica, L. I., who had been in 
their einjiloy for fifteen years, was given an interest in 
the business. 

From 1844 to 1857, their largest production was 
about 30 barrels of flour a week (1,560 barrels per year), 
and they employed 5 or 6 men. Since 185 7, it has 
grown steadily, till it now consumes 150 barrels of flour 
per day, equal to 900 barrels per week, or 46,800 barrels 
per year; gives employment to over 200 hands, and turns 
out from 13,000,000 to 15,000,000 pounds of crackers 
and ship-bread in the year, of a value of more than 
^1,500,000. They send their goods all over the world, 
and there is but one opinion of the excellence of the 
manufacture. 

Danhl Canty, of 532 (Irand street, E. D., is also a 
cracker baker of fair reputation, who has been engaged 
in the business about eighteen years, and makes excel- 
lent goods. He uses about 3,000 barrels of flour in a 
year, employs 10 hands, and sends out six delivery 
wagons. His out-put is probably something like 
$100,000. 

Louis P. Voi/el, of 174 Twelfth street, is also a 
cracker baker; but we have not been able to obtain 
any particulars of his business. 

The fancy bread bakers are very nuineri)us, and sev- 
eral of them have achieved an excellent reputation. 
The best houses are also cake bakers. James Morton 
was, for a long time, at the head of this class, and 
Anderson <£• Co., Wu/te ib Go. (the successors of 
Kernan «& Co.), Thomas Swani/, oi l'41 Court street, 
and his son, lhi:odore A. Smany, of 034 Bedford avenue, 
etc., etc., are among the most prominent members of it. 

The cake-bakers are also very numerous, and of every 
degree of excellence. Many, and, perhaps all, of those 
we have named as fancy bread bakers, have also a high 
reputation for their cake; but there are also many 
others, who conduct their business on a smaller scale, 



who have a high local 
reputation for their cake. 
Many of these bakers 
have an annual produc- 
tion not exceeding $10,- 
000; but their cakes are 
not the worse for that. 
To name some of these 
might seem invidious, 
since those of equal merit 
who were omitted might 
deem themselves wronged. 
From careful inquiry, we 
judge that the number of 
these cake bakers, of ex- 
cellent local reputation, 
exceeds 40. 

The pastry cooks and 
cake makers attached to 
the great hotels and first- 
class restaurants, as well as the caterers, of whom there 
are five or six, are a class by themselves; and while 
they are really very highly skilled as bakers, they 
do not affiliate with the bakers generally. Of these, 
W. D. C. Boiigs, J. T. Ht'nson, G. W. Swam, Jr., 
Wm. Vines, and Miss Emily Murray, and the chefs of 
Dieter's, Hubel's, (Jage's, the Wall House, the Pierre- 
pont House, Thompson's, etc., etc., are those best known 
to the public. 

It remains to speak of the 7>ie bakers. Of the ten 
or twelve of these, the Brooklyn Pie Baking Co. and 
the 3Ielropolitan Pie Bakery are the largest; John 
Kobbe is the manager and principal proprietor of 
the former, and John Albohn of the latter. Edwin 
Chenoweth, Jacob Enners, F. Gramlich, Valentine 
Guthy, Caspar Koestcr, Henry Leutz, Thomas Lindsay, 
Anton Miltner and Louis Volz, are also largely en- 
gaged in this business. It is worthy of notice, that 
while the pie, in all its dyspepsia-producing varieties, is 
essentially a Yankee institution, yet all these pie bakers, 
with a single exception, are Germans. 

But these pie bakers do not enjoy a monopoly in 
the manufacture of pies. Very many of the fancy 
bread and cake bakers also rhake pies for their cus- 
tomers, and the quality of these often surpasses those 
of the professional pie makers. 

Summing up now the bread and bakery products, 
we find that in the wholesale bread and the cracker de- 
partments alone, the annual product of not more than 
nine or ten houses exceeds 14,000,000, and the number 
of hands they employ is about 050. Of the remain- 
ing 012, probably more than forty do a business of 
$20,000 or more, and employ at least eight hands each, 
making an aggregate of not less than $850,000, and 
325 hands; one hundred and fifty jiroduce $10,000 or 
more, and emjiloy at least four hands each, aggregating 
about $1,500,000 and 000 hands; of the remainder, not 



777^ 3rA NTT- A (' TrRTNG IND USTRTEF^. 



771 



less than 250 produce $5,000 or more, and employ two 
or three hands each, aggregating $1,250,000 and about 
600 hands, and the romainiiii; lii'2 do a l)\isincMS of from 
$2,00(1 to >!;i,000 eai-h, aiul onijiloy not more than one 
hand beside their own labor. The aggregate for these 
would be about $400,000 and 102 hands. This would 
make a grand aggregate of $S, 000, 000 annual product, 
and the employment of 2,337 hands. Wo think no 
one who has gone carefully over the grounil, as we 
have, can doubt the substantial accuracy of these 
figures. 

ScTBSECTiON I. — Confectionery. 

Intimately connected with the bakery business is that 
of the manufacture and sale of confictionrry. Some 
of the fancy bread and cake bakers are confectioners 
also, and many of the confectioners deal, in a moderate 
way, in cakes and comfits as well. The census of 1880 
reported 104 confectionery manufactories in Brooklyn, 
having $236,235 capital, employing 228 hands, paying 
?i79,477 wages, and producing §822,843 annually. 
There were eight confectioners also in the county 
towns, making 112 in all, and giving a total product of 
about $866,000. We doubt if all these were really 
manufacturing confectioners, but as they probably in- 
cluded the ice cream manufacturers, of whom there 
are a considerable number, the number may not be 
overstated. The Brooklyn directory for 1883 gives the 
names of 505 confectioners and ice cream manufac- 
turers, but we know that more than one-half of these 
are dealers in confectionery only. It would probably 
be much too large an estimate to jiut down the manu- 
facturing confectioners as 200. Some of these do a 
large business. Among these, the largest house is 
Mason, An tfc Zollinyer, of 83 Fulton street; while 
Jamex Diicktrorth cb Son, I[uyhr,.T(i im a /S. JiurhoiKin, 
Henry Josenhans, Henry M. Crowell, F. C. Smith, L. 
D. Fleminrf & Co., Herman Giese, Chnrlix Moll en- 
hayen, Georye 71 Riley (who is also a fancy baker), 
George E. Stevens, Frederick Schlobohm, are all large 
manufacturers; and among the ice cream makers, who 
are not general confectioners, are J. M. Horton (who, 
in addition, makes a specialty of Charlotte Russes), 
Thomnx Denh'im, Dixon (b Wilxon, P<tir Armmd, 
and Riilhrt Ri id. 

The present confectionery and ice cream manufac- 
ture in the county employs more than 500 hands and 
produces over $1,1.50,000 annually. 



SECTION XXIII. 
Distilleries and Breweries. 

The distilling and brewing industries of Kings county 
are of great extent, and their production of very large 
amount. 

The census of 1880 does not report these industries 
under the head of Manufactures of Twenty Cities, nor 



under the county Btatisti , i i vmg them for itn gen- 
eral and State statistics of distilled and malt liquors, 
which were kept separate from other manufactuns. 
Tiiey do not distinguisii between the dlMtdieries and the 
breweries. By personal apjilication to the census office, 
we have been able to obt.iin the followin;,' statement of 
the manufacture in Kings <-ounty, in niantiseript : — 
Liquors distilled and malt liquors — 42 cstabli.slimentii; 
capital, $3,888,500; average number of hands employed, 
1,102; wages paid, $.547,504; raw material used, *2,- 
814,792; annual J. roducts, $4,993,772. We have tried 
to check these by the reports of the Internal Revenue 
Office, but, as the revenue district includes (2ueens and 
Richmond counties as well as Kings, and the largest 
distillery in the United States has part of its works in 
(Queens and part in Kings (and, we believe, also, one of 
its distilling houses in New York city), we have been 
unable to make any very satisfactory comparison of 
their figures with those of the Census Office. We have 
encountered other difficulties also. Both the distdlers 
and brewers are wholly opposed to giving any statistics 
of their business for publication. The census did not 
make any distinction between them, though they had 
the legal power to obtain it; and the task of securing 
these returns, when attempted by a private citizen, is 
almost hopeless. 

We have, by persistent and protracted effort, suc- 
ceeded in obtaiinng information which satisfies us that 
the cajjital, the number of hands, and the annual pro- 
duction are each much greater than they were stated 
to be in the Census report; and that, if they were not 
understated then, there must have been a wonderfid 
and extraordinary increase, within the last three and a 
half years, of which we can find no evidence. 

Our returns from the Distilleries are not so full as 
we could wish. There are eight of them, of whom two 
are reported as having offices in New York city. They 
are all of large size, but the Ridyewood Di.^tiliiny Co., 
which is, we believe, Gaff, Fleischmann & Co.'s Kings 
County Distillery; Edward Kane^s extensive distillery 
in South Brooklyn; Oscar King d' Son, on First street; 
E. D. Fischer Bros., in Third avenue; H <t // Rehxera, 
in Stagg street, and John L. Ila.^hronck tt" C<>., in 
Front street, are the largest. 

Most of them, and perhaps all, are engaged princi- 
pally in the production of high proof alcohol, or ''high 
wines," as they are called, for which there is a large 
market for chemical, medical and manufacturing pur-. 
poses, as well as for export. Much is sent to France, 
and a part of it, in the present depressed condition of 
the wine production there, comes back to us, after a 
year or so, duly doctored, and bearing the inscriptions, 
"Pure Old Cognac," or " S. O. P. Brandy, 1838, 1848, 
or 1858," or some other dates from thirty to fifty years 
old. Whiskey is not made to any considerable extent, 
as it can be produced so much more cheaply in the 
grain growing regions of the West, and genuine rum, 



772 



JTTSTORT OF KINGS COUNTY. 



gin and brandy can be made more profitably in other 
gections than here. The production of these eight dis- 
tilleries cannot be ascertained very definitely, but from 
the best information we can gather, we conclude that 
they employ between 400 and 500 hands, and that 
their annual product is not less than $1,700,000, and 
perhaps reaches two million dollars. 

In regard to the Breweries, our knowledge is more 
definite, though obtained with the greatest dirticulty. 

There were in Kings county, in January, 1884, thirty- 
five breweries. One or two had failed, and two or 
three had changed hands during the preceding year. 
Of these, eight manufacture ici-Isk beer, a very mild 
beer, containing only from 4 to 6 per cent, of alcohol, 
and classed by the saloon kee])ers among the temp<r- 
iinci: drinks. Weiss beer is always sold in bottles, con- 
taining a little more than a wine pint. The retail price 
per bottle, the bottles being returned, is five cents. 
The wholesale price is, we believe, about .35 cents per 
dozen, 'i'lie whole production is not far from 4,500,000 
bottles a year, and the annual product may have a value 
of 8150,000. Of the eight manufacturers, IL nrij 
Dmenthol is the largest, his production' exceeding a 
million of bottles a year. Anton Manuel follows; and 
the two Marqwirdls, F. W. Witte, IT. Immcn, John 
Mennincjcr and VT. Gimther succeed in about the order 
we have named. 

Of the remaining 27 breweries, seven manufacture 
ale of varying (juality, one of the seven making lager 
bier also, and twenty manufacture lager bier exclusive- 
ly. The prices of both the ale and lager bier vary 
within certain limits, according to their quality; but, 
on investigation, we find that -*;8 per barrel of 30 gal- 
lons is a fair average price. Our returns show that the 
annual production of the 27 breweries does not vary 
much from 981,000 barrels, being rather over than un- 
der tli.it amount. Tiiis would give an aggregate pro- 
duction of $7,848,000, and adding the weiss beer — 
1150,000 — a total sum of §7,998,000, or, in round num- 
bers, $8,000,000. 

This is an enormous advance on the Census reports ; 
for, adding our lowest estimate of the distillery pro- 
duct, which is undoubtedly too low, we have a grand 
total of $9,600,000 as against the $4,99.3,772 of the 
Census — just about double. Astonished at this result, 
we have consulted the men who, from the nature of 
their business intercourse with the brewers, were most 
likely to be well informed in regard to their produc- 
tion, and the answer has been in all cases that our fig- 
ures were too low. We have checked off the produc- 
tion of each brewery very carefully, but with the same 
result. We cannot, then, doubt the correctness of our 
estimate. 

There are, probably, two reasons for this difference: 
one, that, despite the authority with wliich the agents 
of the census were armed, they were often deceived in 
regard to the production of manufacturers, and were 



particularly liable to be deceived in this matter, where 
the products were sure to be heavily taxed; the other 
that, by the introduction of new methods and appli- 
ances, of which the refrigerating machine was the most 
important, the capacity of the breweries has been 
greatly increased, and their expenses in the manufac- 
ture reduced. The ale and lager bier of Kings county 
have always borne a high reputation, and that of some 
of its breweries is not surpassed anywhere. This fact 
has led to an increased demand for their products from 
other cities and states, and this demand has been met 
by a larger manufacture. The increase in production 
has, perhaps, with our rapidly augmenting population, 
caused a greater home consumption, but much of the 
new product has been consumed in other states and 
cities. 

The leading bn'wers of Brooklyn are the Williams- 
burgh Brewery, lager, about 80,000 barrels a year; 
Warren G. Abbott, ale and lager, and S. Liebmann's 
Sons, lager, each about 75,000 barrels. These are fol- 
lowed very closely by Otto Huber, H. B. Scharmann 
lb Co., Obermeyer & Liebmann, the Boulevard Gar- 
den Brewery and N. Seitz's Son, whose portrait and 
biography grace our pages. Mr. Seitz has a very fine 
brewery, with all the latest and best appliances. He 
employs about 50 men, sends out 22 wagons, and keeps 
twice that number of the gigantic Norman horses, 
which brewers so much affect, and his lager bier has a 
very high reputation. 



Nicholas and Michael Seitz.— Nicholas Seitz, a native of 
Bavaria, came to America in 1843, and was employed for 
nearly tliree years by F. & M. Scliaefifer, brewers, of New 
York. In 1846. he established a brewery on Thirteenth 
street. New York, and carried on a measurably successful 
business there for a year and a half. During the year 1848, 
he removed to Williamsburg, and began brewing at the 
corner of Maujer and Waterbury (late Reiusen) streets. His 
business flourished, and subsequently he removed to a place 
directly across Maujer street, and later to the site of the 
brewery now owned by his son, Michael Seitz. 

The buildings now in use by Mr. Seitz, his father began to 
erect in 18t)6. The establishment is very large of its kind, 
occupying nineteen lots lying on Waterbury street, and be- 
tween Maujer and Ten Eyck streets. In 1871, Mr. Seitz trans- 
ferred the business to his sons, Michael and .Joseph, and his 
son-in-law, Frank X. Bill. In .Januaiy, 1873, Michael and 
Joseph Seitz purchased the interest of Mr. Bill, and, five 
years later, Michael Seitz bought the share of his brother, 
Joseph, and has since been sole proprietor. 

Nicholas Seitz married Catherine Stahl, of New York, and 
she bore him seven children, named, in the order of their 
nativity, Michael, Josejjh, John, Catharine, Theriasia, Anna 
and Mary, all of whom are living except John, Catharine and 
Anna. 

Michael Seitz, eldest child of Nicholas and Catharine (Stahl) 
Seitz, was born in New York, October 16th, 1844, and re- 
moved to Willianisliuigh with his parents, where he, early 
in life, attended the public schools, to which his eiUicational 
advantages were limited. When he was about fourteen 
years of age, he began to assist about the work in the brew- 
ery; and, when he was only seventeen, his fabher being sick, 



THE MAN UFA CTU HIS a IXD I'STRIKS. 




y^^^^u^ ^2^ 




he assumed and creditalily discharged the duties of forenum. 
On the recovery of his fatlier, he was placed in cliarge of the 
brewery as superintendent, and so continued up to and niosl 
of the time since he became proprietor. 5Ir. Seitz's early and 
long ac<iuaintance with the details of brewing renders him 
one of the most expert lager l)eer manufacturers in, or in the 
vicinity of, New York. The products of his brewery find a 
ready market and a large sale, and his already very extensive 
business is constantly increasing. 

In August, 1878, Mr. Seit/. married Elizabeth Huwer, of 
Williamsburg, and they have three children, named Mary, 
Michael and Anna. 



Other brewers, of nearly the same rank, are: Joseph 
Burger, Charles Llpsius, I'erdlnand Miliich, all lager; 
The Leavy and Br'Mon Breioing Company, William, 
Vlmer and Oc/ts tt Lehiicrt, eacli lager; while Henry 
Kiefer, Leonard <b Eppig, Joseph Fallert and Charles 
Frese, each lager, and Howard & Fuller, ale, produce 
somewhat less, thou<;li still iarcrt' manufacturers. Of 
those whose production ranges from 8 150, 000 to i200,- 
000 per year, there are the Budweiser Brewing Com- 
pany and Metzler Brothers, lager; and the Long Island 
Brewing Company, George Maleom and titreiUr & 
Henison, ale. Two others produce not more than 
ilOO,000 a year. One of these makes lager and the 



other ale. The whole product is fearful to contem- 
plate — nearly a barrel and a half of beer for every 
man, woman and cliild in the county. It should be 
said, indeed, that not less than oncdialf of this great 
product is sold to other markets than ours; but, on the 
other hand, considerable quantities of beer and ale are 
brought here from New York, Newark, Chicago, St. 
Louis, Milwaukee, and from Great ]3ritain and Ger- 
many. 

The census statistics are equally in fault in regard to 
the number of hands employed in the manufacture. 
The rule is that, including the ilrivers of w.igons, por- 
ters, etc., as well as the workmen eng.iged directly in 
brewing, the allowance should be two hands for every 
thousand barrels of animal product. The weiss beer 
men exceed this proportion, but the largest ale and 
lager brewers have brought iheir machinery to such 
perfection that they do not quite come up to it. Eight- 
een hundred is, however, a low estimate of the entire 
force employed by the brewers; and thi.s, with the 500 
hands in the distilleries, gives 2,300 as the entire num- 
ber of hands in the distilleries and breweries of Kings 
county — a little more than double the number reported 
by the census. 



•'i 



HISTORY OF KINGS COUNTY. 



■SKeTloX XXIV. 
Rubber and Elastic Goods. 

The manufacture of rubbiTand elastic gooflw, though 
of considerable amount, and embracing manj^ varieties 
of these goods, has not attained to the magnitude 
which it has reached in the States of ]\Iassachusetts, 
New Jersey, Rhode Island or Connecticut. It is note- 
worthy, however, that this manufacture is one which 
attains its highest productiveness in small cities and 
towns rather than in the large cities. Only four of the 
cities of over 100,000 inhabitants r-.-port manufactories 
of rubber goods in the census. These four are: JJoston, 
$1,095,000 of product; New York, $1,037,768; Brook- 
lyn, ^922,857; and Chicago, §35,600. New Brunswick, 
N. J., Waterbury and Colchester, Conn., two or three 
of the smaller cities and to.vnsof Massachusetts, as 
Maiden, Springfield, Andover and East Hanapton, and 
the small towns of Rhode Island, produce the greater 
part of the rubber goods in the United States. The 
reported production of New York city was only 
$115,000 more than that of Brooklyn, and left almost a 
million for the jiroduction of the smaller cities and 
towns of the state. 

The actual production of rubber goods, in Brooklyn 
and Kings county, is considerably lai'ger than is reported 
in the census, as we have found was the case with many 
other manufactures. I'he census figures are : U 
establishments; $298,837 capital; 273 hands; $120,885 
wages paid; $064,335 of material used, and $922,857 
of annual product. 

The directory gives the names of twelve establish- 
ments, of which one and probably two or three are 
only dealers in rubber goods, but there are certainly 
nine and possibly ten manufacturers. Of these, Mr. 
Francis II. Ilohou seems to have been the pioneer. 
Mr. Holton, whose portrait graces our pages, and 
whose biography will be found below, removed from 
Boston to Brooklyn in 1850, and after starting a rubber 
factory in New York, in that year, removed it to 
Brooklyn in 1860, and commenced here the manufacture 
of surgical, medical and stationery articles of rubbci-. 
In 1870, Mr. C. li. iJickittson became hi.s partner, and 
in 1874, bought his interest in the business, and has 
since conducted it at 000 and 602 Atlantic avenue, 
Brooklyn. Mr. Holton imraedialely started another 
rubber factory in New York city, an<l in 1877 removed 
that to the f(jot of Adams street, Brooklyn. Both 
establishments are now doing a large business. Mi'. 
Holton emjiloying about one hundred hands, and turn- 
ing out more than $200,000 of goods annually, while 
Mr. Dickinson's number of hands and out-put are about 
the same. Meanwhile other houses have gone into other 
branches of the manufacture of rubber goods and with 
remarkable success. 

The Guita Percka and liuhhtr Muniifacturin;/ 
Conipuuy, of 55 Fianklin avenue and 23 Park IMace, 



N. Y., is a veiy large manufactory and turns out 
immense quantities of rubber belting, packing and 
hose, car springs, vulcanized rubber fabrics, etc. It 
employs about 150 men, and its annual out-put is about 
$300,000. 

liachrach Brutherx, of Leonard and Devoe streets, 
E. D., are largely engaged in the manufacture of rubber 
clothing and gossamer goods, as are also the Johnson 
llubber Works, of Flushing avenue, cor. Steuben, and, 
we believe, also, the A. II. Smith Manufucturintj 
Comjmni/, of 74 and 70 Ninth street. Mr. Eugene 
Doherti/, of 444 Fir.st street, E. D., makes hard-rubber 
goods of all desciiijtions; and the other two are, we 
believe, in some liiancli of the rubber or gossamer 
goods, in a modi'iatc way. The rubber toy ballons arc, 
it is said, manufactured by some of these houses, and 
possibly other toys. No rubber shoes, boots, or arctics 
are made here, nor, so far as we can ascertain, the 
rubber or gutta ]>ercha plates for dentists' use, nor the 
larger car springs. 

The entire number of hands employed in the rubber 
manufacture at the present time is estimated at about 
550; the amount of wages jiaid, about $260,000, and 
the total out- put, about $1,325,000. 



Feascis H. Uolton, President of the F. H. Holton Rubber 
Company, was born in Northfield, Mass., November 17t)i, 
1831. His parents were Lutlier and Marcia (Mixer) Iloltou. 
The American branch of (lie family of Holton is descended 
from one of the name wlio emigrated from Ipswich, in Eng- 
land, in 1680, and located near Hartford, Conn., wlience 
Francis H. Holton's ancestors removed to Northfield in 1735. 

Mr. Holtou's educational advantages were very limited, as 
may be judged from tl>e fact that he began his business 
career at the age of thirteen, when he went to Boston and 
was employed in the shoe and rubber store of his uncle, 
Samuel Holton, in finishing for the marlcet the crude rubber 
shoes imported for the American trade before tliey were 
superseded by those made under the Goodyear patents. 

In 1856, Mr. Holton ivmoved to New York and was em- 
ployed as a clerk by a Broadway firm dealing in rubber 
goods; but he soon resigned his position and engaged in the 
manufacture of druggists' and stationers' specialties in rub- 
ber, opening a factory on Broadway, near Thirty-seventh 
street. 

In 1800, Mr. Holton removed his business to Brooklyn, 
where he liad taken up his residence in 1856. In 1868, Mr. 
William Gray became his partner, and, in 1870, sold his 
interest in the enterprise to Mr. Charles B. Dickinson, who, 
in 1874, bought the entire business of Mr. Holton. 

At this time Mr. Holton established a factory in New York, 
and in 1877 removed it to Brooklyn, locating at his present 
site at the foot of Adams street. 

The business has grown, from one employing five or six 
hands in 1860, to such proportions that, in 1883, from eighty 
to one luindred hands find constant employment. The 
demand for the wares produced at this establishment is so 
great that it exceeds the capacity for production, principally 
owing lo the fact that the large factory now in use is 
inadequate to the necessities of tlie business ; and, with a 
view to fully meeting the requirements of the trade as to 
(]nautity, Mr. Holton contemplates a speedy removal to more 
commodious and ailvautageous quarters. 




-V*» AH tUtdtir 




THE MANUFACTURING INDUSTRTES. 



I (5 



The enterprise of Mr. Holton is, in some sense, antecedent 
to any similar one in the city, ami tlioiigli tlio developtncnt 
of the rubber interest and improvements in rubber manu- 
facture have perhaps exceeded those of any others, Mr. 
Holton has not only kept abreast of tlie times, but has led 
some of liis competitors in numerous valuable features of 
the industry. 

In 1804, Mr. Holton married Hannah Maria Blake, of 
Boston, and has had four children, three of whom are dead, 
the olde.st, Francis H. Ilolton, Jr., now assisting him in the 
conduct of this important business. 



SECTION XXV. 

Manufactured Tobacco, Cigars, Cigarettes 

and Snuff. 

The niaiiufacture of tobacco, for chewing, smoking 
and snufFs, not including cigar.s or cigarettes, is a large 
industry, although conducted in only ten establish- 
ments. These ten factories have a capital of $1,059,- 
890; employ 941 bands (with an average force of 601); 
pay out 1^198,770 wages; use of the raw tobacco, §931,- 
250; and produce annually !s2,302,V03. Some of the 
figures of the Census Office differ slightly from these, 
but the aggregates are the same. New York county, 
from 17 establishments, produces $4,320,972, not quite 
twice as much. The manufacture of cig.ars and cigar- 
ettes is not very large in Kings county, being carried 
on in the small way by numerous jiroducers (341 es- 
tablishments, employing 923 bands and producing 
$977,480 dollars worth of these goods); but in New 
York, though many of the individual factories are 
small, the aggregate production is very great; 761 cs- 
t.ablislimeuts with a capital of $5,858,448, employing 
16,988 hands and paying out $6,066,455 for wages, 
using $8,805,147 of raw materials and pro<lucing cigars 
and cigarettes to the value of 818,347,108. As these re- 
turns are those of the InternalRevenuc offices, tliey are 
not probably overstated. The great difference in the 
production of the two counties is said to be due to two 
causes, viz., that five or six of the largest establish- 
ments conduct their manufacture on an iinmens(! scale, 
many hundreds of operatives being employed on the 
production of a single brand of cigars or cigarettes, and 
the aggregates being sufficient to supply the jobbing 
and retail demand of a large part of the country, and 
a considerable export demand in addition; and in the 
second place, that the smaller manufacturers, in order 
to compete with the larger, farm out the manufacture 
to families and small companies of operatives, in Brook- 
lyn, East New York, Flatbush and elsewhere, they 
furnishing the tobacco, and the work being done often 
in ball bedrooms, or living rooms in tenement houses, 
hovels and shanties; and the finished but unst.ampeil 
and unlabeled cigars, often fresh from rooms reeking 
with filth and disease, are delivered at the factory, 
where they will receive the name of some famous 
brand, and are j>ut upon the market. The cigars, etc., 



made in this way, are produced at lower cost than those 
made in larger establisliments, but command nearly the 
same ]irii-('s. New York is crediteil with their j>roduc- 
tion, while they are actually niaimfactured in Kings 
county. Since the reduction of the revenue tax, a large 
number of these operatives have eniigraled from New 
York to Kings county, an undesirable addition to the 
population. The quantity of cigars and cigarettes 
produced in New York county is more than one-fourth 
of the entire (piantity produced in the whole coimtry, 
whih' the manuf.-icture of tobacco in other forms, in 
New York and Kings counties together is less tlian 
one-eighth of the whole amount in the country. The 
I leading bouses in the jtroduclion of chewing and .smok- 
ing tobacco and snuff, in Kings county, are : William 
JfJaslarn cfc Son ; the Kehlbeck Maiiufactnring (Jo.; 
BuchaiiKii CDiil Li/<ill; Ahrmn Anf/imr li Son; TApman 
Arc)isber<j; Sebastian. II. Appel ; Gabriel Schteager ; 
Charles Vot/elev ; Aur/ust Pape, etc., etc. Morris 
Ilirsc/i, though a large dealer in chewing and smoking 
tobacco and snuff, does not mainifaature these articles 
very largely; confining his manufacturing mostly to 
cigars, in which he takes the lead in Kings county. 
Mr. Ilirscli is a native of Austria, born in 1842, and 
is a practical cigar-maker, having served an apprentice- 
shi[) at the business in New York city, and subsequently 
conducted his cigar-making in West street, New York, 
till 1868, when he bought out the long-established cigar 
factory of J. J. Blair, at 53-55 Fulton street, which he 
still continues. He employs about 50 cigar-makers and 
contemplates enlarging his place, that he may extend 
his business. He manufactures over two millions of 
cigars, and purchases many thousands beside, for his 
three stores. His annual production exceeds $150,000, 
and his sales are much larger. 

Among the other leading cigar-makers are : .flar/ifrf 
Brothers, of 18 Broadway, E. D., whose factory is 
25x75 feet and four stories high, and who employ 35 
h.ands or more and produce cigars to the amount of 
about $120,000 ; Ro^iic Eueiit>' iC Soii, of 89 Fulton 
street, w ho are retailers of cigars and tobacco, but have 
a factory at the rear of their store, in which they em- 
ploy from ten to fifteen bands, and turn out from $35,- 
000 to ■?40,000 per annum ; Aiidrctr Hoit'l. of 474 
Fifth avenue, also a retailer, but who has a cigar fac- 
tory in rear o( his store, where he employs a number of 
hands in the manufacture of fine cigars; the E-'k/ord 
Cigar Manufactory, 53 Greenpoint avenue, E. D.; 
Charles II. Eggcrt <C Bro., of Kingston and Atlantic 
avenues; 3Iorris M. Grodjinski, of 425 Fulton street; 
Edwin A. ffathaicai/, of 129 Grand street; John N. 
Grumwald, of Court street; Herman Seidenberg, 401 
Fulton street, etc., etc. 

The business directorj- reports 727 cigar dealers and 
manufacturers, and 123 tobacconists, or 850 in all ; 
not more than one-half of these are manufacturers, to 
any consider.able extent; this would be an increase of 74 



nisrORY 01- KINGS COUNTY. 



estal»lisliini-nts ovit 1880. The 425 cmi.loy not less 
than 2,80(» hands, pay about $613,000 wages and turn 
out over *4,300,000 of tobacco, cigars and snuff an- 
nually; the amount having materially increased since 
the reduction of the tax. 



SECTION X.Wl. 
Watches and Clocks. 



SrusKcTioN I. — Watch Cases. 

This manufacture produces a large amount from a 
few establishments, but the cost of material is so great 
that the margin of profit is not large. The census of 
1880 reported only 4 cstablisiiments in Brooklyn, with 
an investment of $156,58.5 as capital, employing 295 
hands, paying $240,816 wages, using $717,177 of mater- 
ial, and i)roducing annually $1,109,140 of watch cases, 
gold, silver and nickel. 

We must confess, that we have very little confidence 
in these figures. In 1870 there were no watch case 
manufacturers reported in Kings county, though some 
of our manufacturers have been here more than twenty 
years. The Brooklyn Business Directory for 1883-4, 
gives the names of nine, some of whom have been in busi- 
ness here for eight or ten years or more to our personal 
knowledge. Three or four may possibly have started 
since 1880. The names of these manufacturers of 
watch cases are : 77ie JirooMi/ii Watch Case Co.; 
James A. Carlier; Courvohnr, Wilcox ib Co.; Jean - 
not <k Shiebler; Martin <b Florimont; Jules Menefjuij; 
Charles Schwitter; Thode <C Co., and Gustave Wille- 
iitin. In 1870 the census reported 33 establishments 
in New York city, producing $1,754,500 of watch 
cases. The census of 1880 reports none in that city, 
although the great house of llobbins & Appleton, the 
New York branch of the Wallham Watch Co., turn out 
about $2,000,000 worth of watch cases annually from 
their factory in Bond street, and two or three other 
large manufacturers are known to us personally. The 
wonder is that several of the Brooklyn manufacturers, 
who have offices in New York, were not reckoned as 
New York manufacturers. 

There are two or three difficulties in the way of the 
production of watch cases, which go far to make the 
business unjirofitable. The largest producers of watches 
in this country, as far as their very extensive works 
will permit, prefer to case their own watch movements, 
because, especially with stem-winders, there is rec^uired 
so nice an adjustment of the watch to the case, that 
even a slight variation in the size, or in the fitting of 
the stem, might result speedily in a broken main-sprin"- 
or a derangement of the action of the watch. One of 
the great companies (the Elgin), it is true, makes no 
cases; but it is by no means certain that the reputation 
of its watches has not been impaired thereby. The 
foreign watches, which are sent here as movements to 



be cased, are of later j^ears (especially the Swiss and 
French watches) of. so variable sizes, that it is rarely the 
ease that a case here, unless made expresslj- for it, fits 
it exactly. 

Then there is the large amount of capital recjuiied, 
and the fierce competition in all styles of cases, which 
has reduced the profit to a very narrow margin. The 
deniand for these cases, especially for the silver and 
nickel, and to some extent for the gold, is very large 
and constantly increasing, but when the manufacturers 
and the importers of cheap movements are advertising 
them in nickel cases at $5 retail, and in silver (not very 
pure silver, we presume), at from $6 to $8, if the move- 
ments have any value in money, it may readily be im- 
agined that there is not a very large profit left for the 
watch case maker. The gold cases do not offer a much 
larger precentage of margin. Gold watches for men's 
use (only 8 or 10 karats fine, it is true), are offered as 
low as $20, with movements that will go for a time (if 
they are carried), and perhaps for even a smaller sum, 
at retail ; while ladies' gold watches at $15 to $20, are 
very abundant. The catering for these cheap and worth- 
less wares is demoralizing, and not all our manufactur- 
ers will engage in it. 

There are, of course, honest watch movements, and 
honest gold and silver cases in which they are fitted, 
and our Brooklyn watch case manufacturers do their 
fair share in making them, but we fear it is true, as we 
were told by a watch manufacturer in New York, that 
there are fifty cheap watches and watch cases, to one 
good one. 

The industry in Brooklyn, as nearly as can be ascer- 
tained, employs about 450 workmen, pays about $355,- 
000 wages, uses over $1,100,000 material, and produces 
about $1,560,000 of watch cases. We doubt if the net 
profits of the manufacturers exceed six per cent. 

Subsection II. — 2'he Making and Repairing of 
Watches and Jewelry. 

Perhaps we should make this title, " The Repairing 
of Watches and Jewelry," dropping the idea of "mak- 
ing " either watches or jewelry entirely. There are 
certainly no manufactories of watches here, on any 
scale, large or small; and there are no large manufac- 
tories of jewelry. A single house in the Eastern Dis- 
trict, 7'Ae Ret/del and Schiocihold Manufactxring Co. 
have, within two j^ears past, made an attempt on a 
small scale to manufacture some articles of jewelry, 
mainly, we believe, for their own retail sales. A few 
of the repairing shops may produce some articles of 
jewelry of special construction for customers, but this 
is hardlv manufacturincr. The census of 1880 gives 
us the following statistics on this subject: " Watch 
and clock repairing," 109 establishments; $82,068 cap- 
ital; 152 hands emi)loyed; $70,171 wages jjaid; $53,319 
materials, and $221,723 annual 2)roduct. This is simply 
absurd. 



THE MAXUFACTURTNG INDUSTRTES. 



Ill 



The number of dealers in watches and jewelry, to 
which sonic of them add silverware and optical goods, 
is much larger than this — 177, according to the busi- 
ness directory of lS8:i-84, or, making allowance for 
'lii|ilicated names, about 169. But not one of these 
can i)roperly be called a manufacturer of either 
watches or jewelry. JMany of these are large estab- 
lishments, and do a fine business; but they are mer- 
chants and dealers, not manufacturers. Not twenty of 
them are capable of taking a tine watch to pieces and 
repairing it successfully, and very many are incai)able 
even of cleaning or repairing the finer descriptions of 
clocks. The repairing of jewelry is, in the best houses, 
attended to on the premises, but many of the shops 
send their repairing, if it is at all difticult, to repair 
shops on the back streets, or in private dwellings where 
a skillful though not prosi)erous workman attends to 
it. Watch cleaning and repairing (generally the 
insertion of a duplicated piece for a broken one, in the 
American watches), is also conducted in these out-of- 
the-way repair shops. The manufacture and sale of 
optical goods, especially of spectacles, eye glasses, and 
opera glasses, is also a part of the business of some of 
these dealers in watches and jewelry; but the manu- 
facture, except of the gold frames, is generallj' exe- 
cuted by the opticians, of whom there are ten or eleven 
in the county. 

The whole estimated jiroduct of the manufacture 
and repair of watches, jewelry, and optical goods, so 
far as they can be recognized as manufacturing indus- 
tries, does not probably vary much from the census 
footings, which are certainly large enough; but the 
number who are entitled to the name of manufacturers, 
even in this small way, does not exceed thirty at the 
most. 

SniiSECTioN III. — Clocks. 

In Mr. Frothingham's preliminary report of the 
census of Brooklyn manufactures, he specifies among the 
miscellaneous industries, two clock factories, but, in 
accordance with the rule of the census office, gives no 
separate statement of their statistics. As he after- 
wards explained to the writer, one of Ihese was a very 
small enterprise, which was soon abandoned; while the 
other was the large and extensive manufactory of the 
Ansoiiid Clock Co. 

Since 1880, there has been no attempt to establish 
any other clock factory in Kings county, so that this 
remains the only manufactory of its class in the city 
or county. 

The manufacture of clocks in the United States is 
an industry of considerable amount, but the number 
of manufactories is small. Tlie census reports 22 
establishments, having a capital of ^2,474,900; employ- 
ing 3,940 hands, paying *1, 022,093 wages; using 
^1,908,411 of material, and producing clocks annually 
of the value of $4,110,267. Of these, 15 were in Con- 



necticut (but only five of these were of considerable 
size), the whole reporting $1,816,400 capital; employ- 
ing 2,570 hands; paying $l,20ti,07;t wages; using 
$1,:!80,301 material, and i)ri>dnciiig annually clocks 
valued at $3,010,717. It is safe to say that more than 
nine-tenths of this product was from the five leading 
factories. 

New York reported four establishments, with 
^025,000 capital; employing 1,292 hands; paying 
$382,020 wages; using $5o8,C50 of material, and pro- 
ducing $1,037,350 in value, of clocks. Wo are unable 
to ascertain where the other three factories in the 
State of New York are or were; but as the ]>ublished 
statement of the Ansonia Clock Co. at that time was 
that their capital was *: 1,000,000; the munber of hands 
employed, 1,325; and the annual production U])wards 
of one million dollars, there does not seem to have 
been much left for the other three companies. 

Of the other three factories not in New York or 
Connecticut, one is or was in Newark, and one, or 
possibly two in Boston, but as the aggregate product 
of the three, according to the census, could not have 
exceeded $56,200, they were too small to be of much 
consequence. 

The Alison la Clock Compann was originally 
established at Ansonia, Conn., being one of several 
enterprises growing out of the Ansonia Brass and 
Copper Company, of Messrs. Phelps, Dodge it- Co., 
and maintained by the caj)ital of that great house. It 
was organized as a separate company in 1877, but the 
stockholders were partners or heads of departments in 
the Phelps, Dodge Sc Co. house. Soon after, however, 
there was consolidated with it the interest of Mr. 
Henry J. Davies, a successful manufacturer of clocks 
and specialties in New York city, and the new company 
went into operation in January, 1878, at Ansonia. 
Their business so greatly increased that at the end of 

j the year it was deemed necessary to erect another and 
much larger factory, and it was decided to build this in 
Brooklyn, where the comi)any had purchased a site, 

I consisting of an entire block on Twelfth and Thirteenth 

I streets and Seventh avenue. The immense factory 
erected here was finished and occiH)ied in May, 1879, 
and its appointments were of the best in every respect. 
They were employing 1,175 hands here and 150 more 
at Ansonia, where the first stages of the manufacture 
were prepared, and were turning out about 3,000 clocks 
a day, when their factory in Brooklyn was burned to 
the ground, October 27, 1880. It was immediately 
rebuilt, with a greater amount of room, and all the 

I latest improvements of machinery and appliances, and 
the entire force at Ansonia was transferred to Brook- 
lyn. The company claims that it is now the largest 

I clock factory in the world. They turn ont 3,ooo clocks 
in a day, of all kinds, and are also engaged in the 
manufacture of bronze figures and in the production of 

I those cut and engraved bronze and brass casings for 



778 



HISTORY OF KINGS COUNTY. 



their docks, heretofore produced only in Franco. In 
the quality of their clocks as time-keepers, justice 
compels us to say they have not yet quite attained to 
the excellence of some of the other eminent clock 
manufacturers. The/ may do so in time; there seems 
to be no good reason why they should not. 



SECTION XXVII. 
Leather:— Dressed Skins and Skivers; Belting, 
etc.; Saddlery and Harness; Trunks and 
Valises; Leather Goods; Leather Decora- 
tions. 
Leather and its manufactures, other than those of 
boots and shoes, are not correctly represented in the 
census of 1880 on Brooklyn manufactures. The only 
entries there are: Leather — Dressed Skirts: 20 establish- 
ments; $691,650 capital; 563 hands; $248,932 wages; 
^1,258,407 material ; $1,755,144 annual product. 
Saddler)/ and Harness: 88 establishments; $105,877 
capital; 185 hands; $73,437 wages; $151,848 materials; 
1300,425 annual product. Trunks and Valises: 7 
establishments; $89,800 capital; 93 hands; $32,138 
wages; $88,249 material; $146,344 annual product. 

Mr. Frothingham had another item. Leather Goods: 
11 establishments; $138,075 capital; 120 hands; $34,782 
wages; $244,800 material used, and $341,367 annual 
product. His other items agreed with those of the 
Census Office, and they, in their supreme wisdom, struck 
out Leather Goods entirely, as unworthy of notice. We 
should say that the item Leather — Dressed skins, had, in 
Mr. Frothinghain's report, the title Leather — Morocco, 
but with the same figures as that of the census office, 
as were both the other items, Saddlfrtj and Harness 
and Trunks and Valises. We have then, in the census 
report, the following aggregates of the leather manu- 
facture, aside from boots and shoes, in Brooklyn: 115 
establishments; $887,327 capital; 841 hands; $354,507 
wages; $1,498,504 material, and $2,201,913 of annual 
prodii(-t. Adding Mr. Frotliinghani's item of Leather 
Goods, we have 126 establishments; $1,025,402 capital; 
961 hands; $389,289 wages; $743,304 material, and 
$2,543,280 of annual product. 

We have said that these statistics of the census, even 
with Mr. Frothingham's added items, failed to give 
correctly the real facts in regard to this industry. The 
number of establishments may or may not be correct; 
we think that comjiared with the present it is too large; 
but the other items might safely be doubleil without 
coming up to the present production and business of 
the various branches of this great industry. Then, also, 
it gives no adequate idea of the great variety and the 
distinct branches of the business. The term " dressed 
skins" does not apply to anything lik(,' all the leather 
manufactures of Brooklyn. There are a few tanners 
in the county, but they do but little, and that mostly in 
tanning and dressing sheep-skins. To them the "dressed 



skins" description might apply. There is not, so far as 
we can learn, any sole leather manufactured in the 
county, and very little heavy harness leather. Neither 
is there much morocco, in the ordinary sense of the 
word. The largest manufacturers produce skivers, 
hatters' linings and leathers, book-binders' leather, 
sheep-roan, calf, Cape and Turkey morocco, kid, for 
shoe-makers' and glovers' use, calf, also for shoe-makers' 
use, and, to some extent, shoe uppers, and some goat and 
other skins for boots and shoes. Several of these 
establishments are very large, and their products go all 
over the world. Their merits are such as to secure for 
them a constant demand ; though most of the local 
dealers prefer to purchase these goods in the New 
York market, often buying what has been sent over 
there, from Kings county, rather than deal with the 
manufacturers directh*. There are half a dozen of 
these large manufacturers, not one of whom would 
acknowledge that his business was the manufacture of 
" dressed skins." But there are a number of others, to 
whom the epithet is still more inapplicable. There has 
sprung up in connection with the great expansion of 
the boot and shoe trade, though wholly distinct from 
it and carried on independently, a large business in the 
manufacture of shoe uppers and boot tops. These 
manufacturers neither tan nor dress leather. Some of 
them deal in leather, jobbing in a small way; but their 
principal business is the production of shoe uppers and 
boot tops. Others again manufacture the soles and 
insoles of boots and shoes; and some, though perhaps 
none in Kings county, from the scraps of leather and 
hemp and cement, produce a compound called leather oid, 
which is largely used for insoles and for the outer soles 
of cheap shoes, and is coming to be employed consider- 
ably by the book-binders. 

Still another class manufacture embossed and stamped 
leather, for furniture and decorative purposes This 
work properly belongs to fine arts, but it is, neverthless, 
leather-working. 

Others, still, manufacture from leather, and either 
partially or wholly from leather produced in Brookly'n, 
fancy leather goods, trunks, valises, portmanteaus, 
satchels, ladies' reticules, |)\irses and pocket-books. This 
is also a leather manufacture, but is very inadequately 
represented under '' trunks and valises " in the census. 

There are, still further, the large saddlery and har- 
ness trade, which as being more obvious to the enumera- 
tors, is ])robably a little more accurately represented. 

Let us consider these different branches of the great 
leather industry in their order and we will afterward 
sum up the totals of the various leather manufacturers. 

SuHsECTioN I. — Skivers. 
The manufacture of skivers * (and of sheep, calf and 
goat skins, connected with it, in some establishments), 

* "Skivers" are the "nelta" {i.e., skins of certain breeds of 
sheep), which have been split once or twice. The split skins of larger 
animals are called " splits or split leather. 



THE MANUFACTURING INDUSTRIES. 



779 



has many subdivisions. 'J'Iutc :u\- hutters' leather; 
book-binders' skivers, book- binders' roan; library slieej); 
American calf; French calf; American morocco; ca])e 
morocco ; goat skin or turkey morocco ; Russia for 
hooks, pocket-books, etc. (this is a split cowhide) ; 
pocket-book and reticule leather, and linini^s ; some of 
the former are of alligator skin; shoi-linini^s; shoe- 
uppers of calf skin, sheep or goat skin, kid hihI |ii1i1iIc 
goat, and sheep-skin morocco, for ladies' shoes, 
itc, ifcc. 

For the book-binders' use, the skivers are better than 
the entire skin; will last as long; look as well or better 
th;in the whoK' skin; are ])Ut on more easily and neatly 
and render tiie book lighter, wliilr tliey cost only a little 
more than half as much. 

The Russia leather, now manufactui-eil licrc, though 
from a different class of skins, and by a different 
process, is also split for many purposes for which it is 
used. The goat skins, for book-binders' use, are not 
split, the leather being usually not quite so thick as the 
sheep or calf skins; and, as much of it is used for what 
is known as half binding, a somewhat thicker material 
is required. 

Genuine goat skin being the most costly material 
used, both in book-binding and shoe-making, a cheap 
substitute for it is very largely manufactured from 
sheep skin, which, when neatly grained and new, is an 
excellent imitation, not to be easily detected, except by 
experts, but the leather is softer and less durable. 

The book-binders' calf is, through late improvenunts, 
produced of a quality equal to the best English. 

Skivers are also largely used for linings of boots and 
shoes, in the boot and shoe trade, and for linings, parti- 
tions, &c., in the fancy leather goods trade. 

Skivers are not produced in this country, but are 
imported from England. The reasons of this are not 
far to seek. A sheep skin, to split well, must be from 
a coarse-wooled sheep of large size and must have 
considerable thickness, so as to admit of being easily 
divided. The South Down, Leicestershire, Lancashire, 
Lincolnshire and other large-framed sheeji are suitable 
for this purpose; their wool is a combing, not a felting 
wool. The South American sheep and many of the 
Australian sheep belong to the same class. The pelts of 
Canadian sheep are also very well adapted to the pur- 
pose of splitting. The sheep of the United States, be- 
ing generally reared for their wool, do not furnish 
skins ht for the production of skivers. 

The machine for splitting sheep skins is an English 
invention, and still protected by an English patent, 
while those for splitting larger hides or skins are of 
American invention. IJoth do their work exceedingly 
well, but the English machine is the more delicate of 
the two. 

The skins, deprived of their wool and dried, but not 
tanned, are shipped from England to the manufacturers. 
They are first put into a brine or pickle to soften them, 



then washed and plnnped in vat« filled, or partly filled, 
with an infusion of Sicilian sumac. In this solution 
they are kept for 48 hours, being frequently handled, 
and when taken out they are completely tainied. The 
Sicilian sumac j)rove8 much better in practical working 
than the Virginian r)r any other American sumac, both 
as containing its tannin in a more readily soluble con- 
dition, and as possessing, in a higher flegree than moitl 
other arlirles yielding tannin, the mordant property 
which makes tlie cidors, with which the skins are subse- 
quently dyed, fast. The Other articles used in tanning 
heavier skins, such as the me/(|Uile l»ark, hard-hack, 
the Australian wattle, or the itifusions or extracts of 
oak, hemlock and other barks, do not answer aa good a 
purpose for these skins. Occasionally, when the Sicilian 
sumac is scarce and high, some terra japonica is mixed 
with it in the vats, but the result is not so good. After 
being drawn from the sumac vats, the tanned skins are 
hung up and exposed to the pure air, that they may be 
oxygenized, or, as some of our chemists would sav, 
"ozoned." They are next brushed by a rapidly revolv- 
ing brush, to remove all dust, and are now ready for 
the coloring, which is applied in shallow tubs, a dozen 
or more skins being placed in each tub, which contains 
always the same color. The colors are logwood ami 
other blacks, some combined with iron, redwood, Brazil 
\vood, fustic, madder, and for the more delicate tints 
of red, blue, purple, &c., the aniline colors. They are 
handled constantly in these dye tubs, ancl, when colored, 
are ruiibed down with a broad piece of hardwood, all 
the superfluous color discharged, and the skins are piled 
upon a bench or horse, and are removed to the drving- 
room, where each skin is stretched to its full tension 
upon an upright drying board, and dried by steam heat, 
some hundreds or thousands of skins being subjected to 
this pro(^e.ss at once. The heat is increased gradually 
to about llo'' or 120° F. They are ne.\t taken to the 
poli.shing and marking room. The polishing is done 
by a burnisher driven by steam power over a sloping 
surface. They are now generally divided into halves; 
and if intended for the book-binder or for shoe linings, 
ifec, they are ready to be packed, unless the book-binder 
desires to have them lined or marked. For the hatters' 
use, as well as for linings of reticules, ice, itc, however, 
they still require to be lined, ruled or checked. For the^e 
purposes, they are put upon large cylinders, and creased, 
lined or checked by the appropriate tool, which is 
moved forward automatically at each revolution from 
ffiu to Tjiy of an inch, according to the design to he 
worked out. When this process is completed, they are 
ready to be packed for the market. 

The leading manufacturers of skivers arc the great 
house of ./ "S. Rockicell it Co., \vho occupy nearly the 
whole block bounded by Flushing and Classen avenuea, 
' Wallabout street and the Williarasburgh road. Their 
buildings on this large tract are four stories in height, 
and have 700 feet front by 40 feet width. Their large 



?80 



HISTORY OF KINGS COUNTY. 



anil powerful engines receive their steam from four 
boilei-s, consuming 1,000 tons of coal annually. They 
use about 300 tons of Sicilian sumac annually, as well 
as other tanning materials. The house have also two 
tanneries in Broome County, N. T., known as the 
" Yorkshire tanneries," and the leather and skins pro- 
duced there are all tanned with hemlock bark. The 
sumac is used for tanning split sheep skins or skivers. 
The dealers in these skins there are known as " fell- 
mongers." We have already explained why these are 
preferred, as well as the treatment they undergo to make 
them finished skivers. The split skins are divided into 
" fleshes " — the side next the flesh, and " grains " or 
" skivers " — the side next the wool. The bouse use 
also a considerable number of these large sheep skins 
whole (not split) which are technically known as 
" roans;" goat, kid, calf and other skins, and some kip 
and horse hide, are also tanned by this great establish- 
ment at its tanneries in Broome county. 

Their specialties are book-binders' and hatters' skivers, 
as well as linings of boots and shoes, roans, calf, goat 
and other bookbinders' leather, and some kip and calf 
for the boot and shoe trade. 

They employ 275 hands, and turn out from 1,200 to 
1,500 dozen tinished skins per week, or about 930,000 
skins a year, besides other leather. Their total out-put 
exceeds $1,500,000 a year, and has done so for many 
years.* 

Mr. Elihii Dici<jht, whose works are also on Flushing 
avenue, is engaged in nearly the same lines of goods 
with Messrs. Rockwell & Co., though he confines him- 
self mostly to two classes of skivers, tlie " grains " for 
hatters' leathers, and the " fleshes " for childrens' shoes 
and shoe linings. He turns out from 125 to 150 dozen 
finished skins a week, but in busj'^ seasons can increase 
his production to 225 to 250 dozen weekly. He em- 
ploys from 30 to 40 hands. Frederick HorM also manu- 
factures skivers, but mainly for shoe and boot linings. 
II. M. Warren <t' Son, Mmirice S. Kerru/nn, Janus 
Chtnan cb Co., and Geor<je. F. Sullivan, tan and dress 
entire sheep skins for shoemakers' and book-binders 'use. 
There are also a number of small houses who manufac- 
ture a few entire skins, and sell tiicra to the speculating 
dealers. 

Messrs. Jame.'i Clunan ct Co., Adolph Fleischauer, 



' ThiK li tarted In 18U (seventy years ago), at Colebrook, 

LItchlleld tu.. loiiii., by Tlieron Kockwell, father of the late J. S. 
Uockwcll In IKW, J. s. Ufiukwell came to New Vork, as the repre- 
sentative of the house, and the next j«ar was admitted Into partner- 
ship, the Drm heirju- Theron Kockwell & Co Theron Itockwoll died in 
1IM8. The Urooklyn factory was biiilt In 18.i(l, on Wallaboiit street, and 
has since been four times enlarged. Mr. .1. S. Kockwell was a man of 
ereat executive ability, and wide and far reachinn enterprise. The 
business freally prospered under his wise management lie died Jan- 
uary 3, 18711, and the next year his wife and daujjliter (Ills only child), 
died. S. r;. fla.ss, a partner, died in February. 18SI ; and Mr. Geortie 
WhltiuK, a brother In-law and partner, died Nov. 2.'"), IHSt. There are 
now none of the orluinal linn of J. .S. Kockwell & (;o. survivlnu, except 
Mr. John T. Kockwell. a brother of J. S. Kockwell. Mr. S. A. Smith 
Is the Superintendent of the factory, and Mr. W. L. K. Story, General 
Manager. 



the Gam Brothers, and WiUiarn Garner, are reported 
as tanners, and probably all do something in the way 
of tanning and dressing sheep and goat skins, and, per- 
haps, also calf skins. There are very few, if anj', cow 
or horse hides tanned in the county, and, it is said, no 
glove leather of any description. 

The total number of manufacturers and dressers of 
skivers and entire sheep skins, and the small tanners, 
aggregates not over 18; the amount of capital is un- 
certain, but certainly exceeds §1,200,000; the number 
of hands is not less than 625; the amount of wages 
paid is about $330,000, and the total product not far 
from $2,800,000. 

SuBSECTiox II. — Biltin;/ and Lace Leather. 

Of the 22 manufactories of leather belting and hose 
in the State of New York, whose annual product is 
reported in the census as $2,3(35,139, only two are in 
Kings county, and the belting factory of one of these 
has been onlv removed into the county, from New 
York, in the spring of 1884. The lace-leather factory 
of that house has been here for some years. The other 
belting factory has been here for several years. We 
are doubtful if either of them manufacture hose, though 
in the list of miscellaneous industries of Brooklyn, 
" belting and hose" are named. 

The two houses were jMessrs. Charles A. Schieren <t' 
Co., of 13th street and Third avenue, and Stex>hen 
Bidlurd & Co., 26 First street, E. D., but the latter 
sold out their factory January 1, 1884. 

In New York city there are eleven belting and hose 
factories, whose united production is $1,699,729. One, 
if not two, of these, properly belong to Brooklyn. 

Messrs. Schieren <& Co.^s works were established in 
New York in 1808, and now rank as one of the largest 
and most extensive belt manufactories in the United 
States. They have branch houses in Boston and 
Philadelphia, and have special agents at New Orleans, 
San Francisco, and Hamburg, Germany, and repre- 
sentatives in every large manufacturing district, 
in our own and other countries. Their belting is 
shipped to almost every part of the globe. 

Their leather belting is known as the " Bull Brand," 
and has attained a high reputation for its excellence. 
It is made from pure oak-tanned leather, tanned in 
those regions in Pennsylvania, Maryland and West 
Virginia, where the best oak bark is to be obtained. 
None but domestic steer hides are used. After the 
leather is tanned it is brought to their New York 
factory, and the solid part curried and cut up into 
belting; the balance (offal) is used for shoe purposes. 
The house used about 40,000 hides in 1883. The 
Brooklyn works were at first established only for the 
purpose of tanning and preparing lace-leather, which is 
used for .sewing belting together. They were established 
in 1879, and are the only works of the kind iu the city 
of Brooklyn or its vicinity, and have iiiel with great 



THE MAXriWCTURING II^DUSTRTES. 



781 










CHAKLKS A. SCHIEREN & CO.'S MANLKACTOItV. 



success. For tlio in'oductioii of lace leather peculiar 
material and special processes are required. The hides 
for this purpose are imported from Calcutta, and being 
so near the great Brooklyn docks, thej' can obtain them 
without expensive inland transportation. When re- 
ceived, they require very careful handling. Tiiey are 
first unhaired with lime, and then laid away in tan-vats, 
filled with a strong solution of gambier (a variety of 
catechu), until they are thoroughly tanned; after tan- 
ning they are finished with ncats-foot and castor oils, 
which make the skins very pliable and tough. The 
lace-leather works are erected on a new and improved 
l)lan, and are considered as models. They employ only 
skilled mechanics, who earn high wages. The pro- 
prietors, who are all Brooklyn men, have been so much 
gratified with the success of this manufactory, that 

♦The present firm of Chas. A. Schleren & Co. was formed In 1882, and 
consists of Charles A. Schieren, Jacob R. Stine, and Fred. A. M. 
Biirrell. 

'Tiii.t. A. Schkrcn, the founder of the business, was born In Germany, 
and came to Brooklyn In 1S.W. He was 11 years of age the very day that 
he landed with his parents In this country. He had received afrood com- 
mon school education, and applied himself studiously to ma.'»ter the 
English language, which he accomplished. He was at flrst engaged 
with his father in the cigar business: but had formed a dislike to It, 
and after attaining liis majority, obtained, in IKiU, a situation as sales- 
man in the leather belting establishment of Phil. F. Pasquay. at ii 
Spruce street, New York. Hy close application and energy he soon 
acquainted himself with the business, especially the making of leather 
belting, so that when his employer died. In 1801, he was placed at the 
head of the concern. The administrators did not wish to continue 
the business, and it was sold to other parties, with whom he staid 
until April. 186-S when he founded the present house with a very 
modertite capital, the savings of the four years' salary, and built up. In 
a comparatively short time, one of the leading leather belting houses 
in this country. He continued alone until April, Ism. Mr. Schleren, 
aside from business, gave much of his time and means to Sunday- 
schools and charitable organizations. He »a.s a member of the 



they propose, in the near future, to remove their New 
York leather belt factory to the same site, and their 
new buildings for that, together with the present lace- 
leather factory, will cover an acre of space.* 

Messrs. Utephr,, Ballard d- Co., of 26 Fii^t street, 
E. D., the only other liouse engaged in the manufac- 
ture of belting in Kings county, sold out their entire 
business on the first of January, 1884, to the Union 
Belting Company. They h.ad been a long time in the 
business, employed 28 hands and re|)orted an annual 
output of $220,000. We believe their successors in- 
tend to enlarge the works, but their plans have not yet 
been made public. 

The leather belting business in Kings county, for 
188.3, may be summed up as employing about 125 hands 
and yielding a product of from $70(1,000 to tT'o.nno. 

Brooklyn S. S. Union for 10 years, and served several > ,.f- ... ■ ..air- 
man of Anniversary CommlHeo, or Grand Marshal of the May parade. 
He repre^^ented the Lutheran interest In that board, and Is yet an 
active member of St. Matthew's English Lutheran Church, and through 
his liberality placed that congregation upon a solid financial ba.«ls. 
He was Superintendent of the Sunday school several year», also bad 
charge of a mission school for Ove years, and only lll-bealth coiDpelled 
him to withdraw from his cherished work. 

Jticnlt H. Stitir was born near Plainfleld, N. ,1.. and came to New Vork 
in \M'>, and engaged In the leather trade, and was associated with his 
brother In the morocco business; but for the past 10 years has been 
associated with .Mr. Schleren In several caparllles, until !«& when he 
entered Into partnership with him. 

Mr. Stine is also an .ictive worker In the Noslrand avenue M. E. 
Church, and has been treasurer of the congregation for s«voral yean; 
he Is also an ardent wi>rker in the Sabbath school. 

Fifl. A. M. BurrcU was born In Northampton Coiinlv. Pa., and came 
to Brooklyn In IS7.'.. His father, tlie late Hev. .1, Ilgon Burrell. was 

pastor of St. Matthew's English Lutheran Church. H ••- ' 'he 

employ of Mr. Schieren In 1ST;, and by his energy and »ed 

his way up to chief clerk, and received an Interest ; In 

1883. 



782 



HISTORY OF KINGS COUNTY. 



SuiisEcriox 111. — Sadilli7-y ami ILirncxs-Makinfi. 

This branch of the leather manufacture, like tlie 
boot and shoe trade, includes a large number of man- 
ufaeturers whose iiulividual products are small, and their 
number of employes, few. The census report of 88 es- 
tablishnientf), with 185 hands (248 as the largest num- 
ber at one time), and an aimual product of ^300,425, 
gives less tiian three hands, and not quite §3,400 of an- 
nual product to each establishment. The number of 
saddle and harness makers is somewhat larger than the 
truth, for there were only 75 in 1882, of whom 7 had 
dropped out in 1883, though 15 new ones had t.-iken 
their places, making the hitter 3'ear number 83. 

Two other facts indicated very clearly that the busi- 
ness was of small extent ; there were only three firms 
in 1882, all the rest being individual shops; of these, 
two were brothers, who were in partnership, and one of 
these gave up business at the end of the year ; in 1883, 
there were but two firms, and two of the shops had wo- 
men for proprietors, though the business is a heavy 
one and not as approjiriate for female labor as some 
otiiers. Judging from the names, three-fourths of the 
whole were of foreign birth and of nine or ten dif- 
ferent nationalities. 

There is a moderate demand for saddles, and a very 
steady one for harness and repairs; but the business is 
not one which offers a chance of a large success, even 
to an enterprising man, unless he can find an outlet for 
his products beyond the bounds of the city and county; 
and this business is monopolized by the large manufac- 
turers of Newark, N. J., New Haven and Hartford, 
Conn., and New York city. The southern trade in saddles 
and harness is large, though, it has not increased so 
rajiidly as that of the west. The greater part of this 
is suiyjjlied from the eastern (cities, but our Kings 
county manufacturers have not made any progress in 
commanding it. 

The largest houses in this business here are said to be 
Jonlan lirothii-x, of 63 Lafayette avenue, and Ilrrriiig 
(ind Camp, of 26 Flatbush avenue, but we doubt whe- 
ther either house has an annual outlet, exceeding $25,- 
000 or $30,000. J.nnes V>n, Vieit, of 1751 Fulton 
avenue, and Geon/e W. Buiujity^ Jr., 432 iMftli ave 
nue, also do a fair local business. The census state- 
ment of the product of this business, $300,425, was pro- 
bably not far out of the way. 

Subsection lY.— Trunks, Portmanteaus, Valises, 
Satchels, Eelicules mid Fancy Leather Goods. 
This subsection miglit, ])erhaps, with propriety, be 
divided, inasmuch as the manufacture of trunks, port- 
manteaus, valises, etc., is entirely distinct from that of 
fancy leather goods, the latter including not only the 
finer qualities of the ladies' reticules, pocket-books, 
and purses, but ladies' belts and girdles, leather fans, 
jewel cases, opera-glass cases, toilet boxes, shaving 
cases, surgeons' and physicians' pocket cases, etc., et(t 



The census reported seven manufacturers of trunks, 
valises, &c. The technical name for valises, satchels, 
reticules, &c., is " hugs.'''' The business directory, for 
1883, rc|>orts fifteen, but a careful inquiry reveals tlie 
following facts in regard to them. Ten of the fifteen 
do not manufacture, but purchase their stock in New 
York or elsewhere. Three of these keep one or pos- 
sibly two men in their stores, who rei)air trunks and 
bags ; and one of these and perhaps two, manufacture 
in a small way elsewhere, but not in Kings county. 
One has removed his factory to New York city. One 
is a " bag " maker and does not make or sell trunks. 
Three manufacture trunks, but not bags. All retail 
tliese goods, though one of the trunk-makers and the 
" bag" maker also sell their goods at wholesale. 

Of the three trunk-makers, Mr. James M. Spear is 
much the largest, having a factory at 327 Adams street, 
besides his retail store at 3 1 1 Fulton street. He employs 
about 40 men or in the busiest time, 50. The other 
houses, in their workmen for repairing and all, probably 
make up the 93 or thereabouts reported in the census. 

The other two trunk manufacturers, Messrs. Hand 
(did Plant, and Mr. George W. McCarthy do a smaller 
business than Mr. Spear, but are fair and honorable 
manufacturers. The annual product rf the trunk man- 
ufacture as conducted in Kings county does not pro- 
bably exceed $125,000 and including the "bag "man- 
ufacturer, Mr. D. S. Hammond, who, besides his fac- 
tory, 28 Cumberland street, has ware-rooms at 108 
Chambers street. New York, does not probably much 
exceed $150,000. 

There has been a materially increased consum])tion 
of these goods here, within three years past, especially 
in the line of travelling bags, satchels, reticules, itc. ; 
but the increase has not been in their production here, 
but in the abundant supply furnished from other mar- 
kets, especially from Newark, N. J., which has very 
large manufactories of every description of leather 
goods, and also from New York city, which has large 
trunk, bag, and pocket-book factories. 

Of the pocket-book manufactories, some of whom 
also manufacture the fashionable bags, reticules, &c., 
now so much worn by ladies, we find it impossible to 
gain any very definite information. The census does 
not give any report of them; the business directory for 
1883 gives the names of twelve, all either Germans or 
Scandinavians, but there are probably twice the num- 
ber. None of them are located on business streets, but 
have their workshops in their dwellings, and these on 
those streets where rents and property are very low, and 
as they do not require a large stock of the raw material, 
or much machinery, their work is often done in hall 
bedrooms, and much of it by children's fingers. Mr. 
Frothingham's report, thrown out entirely by the Cen- 
sus Office, of 120 hands and $341, 3(i7 annual product, 
was certainly not above the m.irk. There remains one 
establishiiicnt, not notiil in the Census, that of Messrs. 



THE MANUFACTURIN<: f.VnUSTHIKS. 



C. IT. Walker <k Co., leather embossers, to be noticed. 
Messrs. Walker & Co. have not been long in tlie busi- 
ness, but they make nil (lesc'ri]itioiis (if Hl;iin]ic(l and em- 
bossed leather for the deeoratioii of funiitiire, and iip- 
holsterv trimmings, chair coverings, etc. They use for 
tiiese jiuriioses the finer (jualities of sole leather, Russia 
leatiier, French and American calfskins, etc., etc. Their 
leather is mostly American, though little, and perhaps 
none of it, of Brooklyn production. Tiieir work is ar- 
tistic and tasteful, and finds a ready sale among the 
finer upholsterers of New York city. The embossing is 
in gold and colors as well as plain. They also emboss 
to some extent silk velvets, plushes, mohairs, etc. Tliey 
employ ten or twelve hands, and their out -put is not less 
than *5(),000 and is rapidly increasing. 

SuiiSEcrioN V. — Leather, iShoe-nppers and Linings. 
There are eight or ten houses who are engaged in the 
production of boot-legs and shoe-uppers and linings. 
They are not shoe-makers; very few, if any, of them 
could make a shoe if they tried, but they have their 
p.atterns of all the sizes, and all the breadths of each 
size. Most of them furnish their own material, and cut, 
trim and line these uppers and boot-legs for the shoe 
manufacturers, furnishing them of any required quality 
at so much per dozen or hundred. The cutter is gener- 
ally a man and a skilled workman, but several girls are 
emploj'ed, who paste, trim, bind and stitch these uj)- 
pers. These houses are all Germans, and they gener- 
ally add to their income by dealing in a moderate way 
in sole and upper leather, morocco and skivers. Their 
leather may be, and some of it doubtless is, manufac- 
tured in Brooklyn, but they procure it always in New 
York. The amount of the out-put of those liouses can 
only be roughly estimated, for a German manufacturer, 
whether large or small, has the greatest possible aver- 
sion to giving figures in regard to his business. In Xew 
Y^ork, the Census Office recognized this business as "boot 
and shoe uppers," and reported 18 establishments with 
a product of $18(),'r02, or about §10,000 each. Tiie boot 
and shoe manufacturers, who are the sole purchasers of 
these articles, say that the estimate is too low, and that 
those shops average not less than $i5,000 each. T!iis 
would give a total out-put of $150,00(1 or more, aside 
from the trade in sole and upper leather, which is not 
manufacturing, and is therefore not witliin the scope 
of our inquiries. They employ about •")() hands. Let 
us now sum up the total production of leather and 
leather goods, except boots and shoes, so far as that 
production belongs to Kings county. We find the 
footings of production of all these classes, §4,740,792, 
and of the number of hands employed, 1,150. 



SECTION XXVllI. 
The Boot and Shoe Manufacture. 
The manufacture of boots and shoes is a large in- 
dustry in Kings county; and while the 54G establish- 



ments reported in the census must include not less thau 
.'lOO small shops, doing only cuHtoni work and repairing, 
and having an annual product of not more than $1,000 
to ¥".i,000, and some of lliem even less than ♦ 1,000, there 
are a considerable number of large manufacturure 
whose annual products make up the greater part of tlie 
grand aggregate of ^l,br.»,9!i;!. The inventions of the 
past twenty years have completely revolutionized the 
business of shoe-making. American leather is now fully 
equal to French, English, or Russian heather, in beauty, 
durability, and finish; while its price is materially 
lower than the foreign artittle at the present lime, and 
the machines for making boots and shoes have readied 
such perfection that the finest and most durable shoeH 
can be furnished at prices which would have been im- 
possible twenty years ago. The machines for making 
and crimping boot legs .'ind uppers, the cutting, stam]i- 
ing, sewing, fitting and buttonhole-making machines, 
the pegging machines, and above all the McKay sole- 
sewing machine, and its successors, have brought about 
this revolution. Most of these machines are now free, 
the patents having expired from two to five years since; 
but the boot or shoe is not now, except in the rural 
districts, made by one man; the journeyman shoe-maker, 
with his "kit" of tools on his back, looking for a job, 
either in a shoe-maker's shop or doing the shoe-making 
and repairing for the farmer's family, is not now a 
recosrnized mechanic; the division of labor has been 
carried so far in this business, that there are very few 
men under :!5 years of age who could cut, fit and finish 
a boot or shoe, from the uncut leather to the final 
touches, to save their lives. As a consequence, the 
journevman shoe-maker must either consent to devote 
his whole time to producing a particular part of the 
boot or shoe, content himself with being a repairer or 
cobbler, turn his attention to some other business, or 
join the great army of tramjis. As shoe-makers are, 
beyond most other mechanics, intelligent and thought- 
ful men, they generally adopt the first or third of these 
alternatives. Moreover, the boot or shoe is not, now, 
to any great extent, even in what are called hand-made 
shoes, a hand product. In the large establishments, 
and even in those smaller ones of which we have 
already spoken, as manufacturers of boot-legs and shoe- 
uppers, the boot-legs and the uppers are struck out with 
great precision, in quantities, by guillotine knife dies 
which are prepared, for each size or half size and every 
width, and then, after trimming, shaving and pasting 
which is done by hand, they are stitched, bound, 
seamed, and if they are to be buttoned, the button holes 
are made by machines; ihey are stamped and pressed 
into shape by machines; the further lining, trimming, 
straps anil every part is fitted by machinery; the soles, 
insoles, welts (where welts are used) are pressed, solidified 
and prepared by machines, and pegged or sewed by 
machines at such speed that, from 600 to 800 pairs can 
be completed in a day by each machine. The fine work 



784 



msTORY OF KING a COUNTY. 



done by tin.- McKay machine and its iniinovcinents, on 
ladies' slices, and the best grades of men's boots and 
shoes, is really superior to the best hand-work. There 
are no better boots or shoes made than those of the 
Biirts, Mundoll, Edwards, Taskers, the Harding Co., 
the Whitehouse Shoe Co., Geo. A. Smith and other 
raamifacturers; and keen competition has reduced the 
price of these excellent goods to a very reasonable 
figure. 

The other machines employed in the manufac- 
ture greatly facilitate the production of fine goods. 
Even the pegged boots and shoes made by the best 
pegging machines are superior in finish, and perhaps 
equal in durability, to the sewed boots and shoes of 
forty years ago. But below these, there are large 
quantities of inferior boots and shoes made by ma- 
chinery, largely by convict labor, of cheap and poor 
material, the soles frequently of leatheroid, or paper, 
in part, and the uppers of refuse leather, or cloth. 
They are sold at very low prices, but nothing so utterly 
worthless, can ever be really cheap. Of course, great 
quantities of this trash are sold in Kings county, but» 
except some of the boots and shoes made at the peni- 
tentiary, and there by a IMassachusetts firm, they are 
not, to any considerable extent, produced here. 

The manufacture of boots and shoes for the wholesale 
trade, has only lately been largely conducted here. 
Until recently, many of the manufacturers have had a 
good retail and custom trade, and their first object was 
to supply that, though in certain styles they have done a 
fair jobbing business. This is the case with Messrs. 
E. D. Burt tfc Co., who, beside being the agents for the 
sale of E. C. Burt's ladies shoes and Henry Burt's 
gentlemen's boots and shoes, manufacture also largely 
on their own account, both for their own sales, and for 
a jobbing trade; with Mundell & Co., F. Edwards cb 
Go. and the Harris Flexura Shoe Co., who make shoes 
of special patterns or patents, and do a jobbing as well 
as a retail business. Messrs 11. ib F. II. Tasker have 
large salesrooms in Brooklyn and Jersey City and in 
addition to their fine retail trade, manufacture not only 
for their own sales, but for wholesale trade. We think, 
however, that their factory is not in Kings county. The 
Ilardimj Shoe Co. and the IVht'tehousc Shoe Co., both 
have factories as well as retail stores, but we think 
their factories are elsewiiere. The shoe stores generally, 
except those mentioned al)ove, do very little in the way 
of manufacturing, though most of the larger ones have; 
from two to a dozen men employed on repairs or 
special custom work. There are, however, many 
manufacturers who are not also retailers; perhaps the 
largest of these are Brennmi and Kelly, whose factory 
is on Grand and South First streets, E. D., and is four 
stories in height; they employ 200 hands, run 150 
machines by steam power, and turn out over 300,000 
pairs of shoes in a year, representing an out-put of at 
least |!400,oo() ; they commenced business in J 878, 



Maurice A'y(/«, of 9-17 Hope street, E. D., commenced 
business in Brooklyn in 1880; he confines himself to 
the manufacture of women's and children's shoes, em- 
ploys 125 hands, pays wages annually to the amount 
of $62,000, has a capital of $:i5,000, and an annual pro- 
duct of $225,000. Robert Bit & Son, in the Pond's Ex- 
tract Building, 146 First street, E. D., were established in 
1853 in North Second street, removed to New York in 
1867, and returned to Brooklyn in May, 1883; they make 
exclusively ladies' and children's fine shoes, employ 125 
hands, pay $75,000 wages, and have an annual product 
of $150,000 or more. Smith cfc Martin, Tenth and 
Ainslie streets, E. D., are large manufacturers of ladies', 
misses' and children's shoes; they commenced business 
in 1868 as J. Smith & Son, succeeded by Smith & Mar- 
tin, January, 1880; they have a capital employed in the 
business of $30,000, employ 50 hands, pay $21,000 in 
wages, and produce annually $100,000, or more. 

Michael DoioIukj, established in 1860, near Pineapple 
street, as M. & P. Dowling, removed to New York, and 
returned to Brooklyn in the summer of 1883; he makes 
ladies' and children's shoes of medium grade; employs 
35 hands; his annual product is about $70,000. Williai/i 
Lowrie <C" So7i, in Pond's Extract Building, 146-150 
First street, E. D., removed to Brooklyn from N. Y. in 
May, 1883, make only Ladies' fine shoes; employ 25 hands; 
pay about $12,000 wages; out-put $50,000 or more. 
George A. Smith, 349 Adams street, makes women's and 
children's shoes, very fine work; he commenced business 
in New York, in 1869, as one of the firm of Hamilton, 
Pratt & Co., and is now the only representative of the 
firm; came to Brooklyn in 1883; he employs 60 hands, and 
produces annually over $100,000 of goods. He had 14 
years' experience with E. C. Burt, before starting for 
himself. Baker <t' Ferguson, of 1123 Broadway, E. 
D., and Hatfield ib Ruinph, of 1125 Broadway, E. D., 
both nearly opposite Grove street, manufacture in a 
moderate way. They employ about 15 hands each, 
and have an out-put of $30,000 to $35,000 each. 

James White, 28 and 30 Adelphi street, has been 
manufacturing in Brooklyn since 1874; he makes 
women's and misses' shoes; employs 100 hands; uses 
steam engine, 15 horse power; production $150,000 or 
more; became from England in 1855. Among man- 
ufacturers of ladies', misses, and children's shoes, are: 
Wm. Strusz, 16 and 18 Dunham Place, E. D., who 
employs steam-power and 40 hands; business, $100,000. 
John Ennis, 584 Grand street, E. D., established 1865; 
employs 100 hands; annual sales $100,000; weekly 
wages $800. Other manufacturers are: Wm. Nagle, 
17 South Third street, E. D., employs 50 hands, and 
business $40,000; Ilayninondd- Otpers,\A?, Fourth street, 
E. D., employ 50 hands, and do a business of about 
$80,000. L. Hooper, 100 South Sixth street, 25 hands; 
doing a business of $30,000. James Walsh, established 
1866, in North Seventh street; employs 25 hands; busi- 
ness, $40,000. J, W. McCahe, 191 Fulton street, estab- 



THE MANUFACTURING INDUSTRI i:s 



lished 1884; 30 hands; does a business of $40,000 per 
year. George & Fitzfferahl, 50 Fulton street; started 
1852 in Grand street, K. D., moved to jiresent location 
in 1877; employ :i2 hands, and do a business of $:!(>, 000 
yearly in boys' and youths' shoes. Mnyer <& Neicman, 
•1->1 Ellery street; established 188:i, employ l(i hands, 
with an average output of ^12,000. 

Tlie liai/ atate Shoe Co., or their successors, who 
have large labor contracts at the penitentiary, also 
turn out a very large amount of work, mostly pegged, 
and of the cheaper qualities. There are one or two 
other firms who are engaged in manufacturing heavy 
work for laborers and for the southern trade. 

Aside from these, there are, perhaps, fifteen or twenty 
shoe-makers who do only custom work and by measure. 
Most of them have some specialty, one making boots 
for horse jockeys, ifcc. ; another, boots for telegraph 
linemen; another, boots which fit anatomically; another, 
special boots and shoes for the lame, for deformed feet, 
or those encumbered with bunions or nodes; others, for 
persons with tender feet, etc., etc. Most of these do 
also ordinary custom work. They employ usually from 
three to ten workmen, and some of them gain a reputa- 
tion in their specialties, and acquire a moderate fortune. 
Yet these very men are no exceptions to flic rule which 
we laid down, in the commencement of this article; they 
do not manufacture the shoes or boots throughout in 
their workshops. They may show a customer pieces of 
calf skin or morocco, from which he may select the 
quality he desires to have made into the shoes he orders; 
but that leather or morocco is carefully matched at the 
factories for shoe uppers; the soles are bought all pre- 
pared, and while he shapes and stretches the boot or 
shoe according to the required form, on his own or his 
customer's last, the chances are 9!) out of 100 that the 
boots or shoes are sewed on a ^IcKay Sole Sewing 
Machine, and finished on some other machine. Boots 
or shoes cannot be made wholly by hand, or by one 
man, without loss, even though at a large advance from 
ordinary prices. 

The directory gives the names of 652 boot and shoe 
makers and manufacturers, as distinguished from boot 
and shoe dealers, in the county, an increase of a little 
more than 100 since 1880. The statistics of Brooklyn 
alone then were 546 establishments; ^311,835 capital; 
1,194 hands (1,496 largest number employed at one 
time); $502,834 paid in wages; |852,168 of material, 
and $1,819,993 of annual product. The increase in the 
number of establishments, the large product from those 
establishments which were not then in existence, oh, at 
most, only just starting, and the greatly increased pop- 
ulation, warrant the belief that the business is now, 
at least, 30 per cent, larger than in 1880; ami, if 
any dependence can be placed upon the census statis- 
tics, would lead to the conclusion that the present num- 
ber of hands is not far from 1,800; the amount of wages 
paid about 1656,000; the amount of material used about 



$1,120,000, and the annual product not far from $2,357,- 
700. Our belief is, from a careful examination, that 
the total out-|)Ut considerably exceeds tliesf figiirec, 
though there has been a very decided decline in prices 
within the i)ast tliree years. Tiial the busineKs might 
be, and oiiglit to be, miicli larg«'r than it is, is our firm 
<-onviction; for Brooklyn ;uid Kings county are very 
favorably situated for manufarttiring boots and shoes 
on a large scale. In this connection, wc give the bio- 
graphy and portrait of Mr. Ai.axson Tkask, founder 
of the Jiiii/ Stall SItiii; ami Lculher M"nuj'>ir(iirhi;/ 
Coiiip'ini/, above referred to, and who hsus been, for fifty 
years, an esteemed resident of Brooklyn. 



Al.ANSoN Trask is a lineal descendant of Captain William 
Trask, who was at Nauiiikeag(now Salem. Ma«.s. ). when .lohn 
Endicott arrived from AVeymoutli, England, in 102^, by the 
ship .lt/f/ai7, with a colony of Puritan emijp-.ints. Captain 
Trask was of great assistance to Endicott in those early days 
of privation and hardship. An early writer has said: •• Cap- 
tain William Trask was to the Massachusetts Colony, what 
Captain Miles Standish wiis to the Plymouth Colony." 

On Octolier 19th. HiiiU. William Trask was made a freeman; 
in 1636 he was chosen captain, and from IfVJo to liWi* In- re- 
presented Salem in the General Court. In lti37, he com- 
manded the expedition against tlie Pequot Indians, the vali- 
ant Richard Davenport being his lieutenant. Ca|>tain Track's 
will bears date May loth, 1666. and he died not long after- 
wards, and was buried under arms, leaving two sons and 
three daughters. 

Alanson Tuask is of the sixth generation from Captain 
William Trask. He was born in Millbury, Worcester <'Oiinty, 
Mass.. in 1808, and came to New York in 1S29. In 18:«. he 
was married to Sarah E. Marciuand, and in 1834 took up his 
residence in Brooklyn, where he has since lived. 

In the year 1833, he went into the jobbing business of boots 
and shoes, in New York city, as a member of the firm of 
Wessons & Trask, which was subsequently changed to A. & 
A. G. Trask. He did business some fifteen years in Maiden 
Lane, and then removed to Warren street. The manufacture 
of boots and shoes was begun about 1865. Mr. Alanson Trask 
was instrumental in organizing the Boy Stair Sho'- and 
Leather Mitmifacturinij Company. This firm had manufac- 
tories in several States of the Union, and it has grown to lie 
the most important company of the kind in this country. 

At the time of Mr. Trask's removal to Brooklyn, the city 
was a village, and he has watched its growth with the great- 
est interest, and aided in its development, during the past 
lialf century. He identified himself with its benevolent and 

' charitable institutions, and was early connected with the 
City Tract Society (afterwanls the Brooklyn City Mission 

I and Tract Society), the Brooklyn Di. •<]!<■«. lary. the Home for 
Friendli'sn ^\'omen and Children, the Old .Men's Homr. and 

I theBrooWj/ii loioi;/ ilms Chrixtian A.isocialion. He has 
for some time been prominently connected with the Brook- 
lyn Dime Savings Bank: 

SECTION XXIX. 
Window Blinds and Shades. 
The census of 1880 gives the following statistics, 
under the title " Window Blinds and Shade.^ : " Estab- 
lishments, 12; capital, $294,460; hands, 140; wages. 
$82,171; material, $224,722; annual product, $475,805. 



786 



HISTORY OF KINGS COUNTY. 



Air. Frotliinghaiii's preliminary report, with more re- 
gard to the facts, gavi- iho following statistics: Estab- 
li§hnient8, 3; capital, |'278,000; number of hands, 163; 
wages, #71,799; material, $204,705; annual product, 
^■«:i7,«50. 

There are, at least, four different articles known 
under the names of window blinds and shades, viz. : 
First, the wooden slat blinds, either inside or outside 
of our windows, and which form one item of the " sash, 
doors and blinds," so extensively manufactured overall 
the Northern States; these are decidedly not what this 
item in the census could have meant. Second, the 
wire-cloth screens or shades, not properly called blinds, 
so commonly used in windows in summer. We do not 
think these could have been intended by the Census 
Office, and yet we cannot be certain. They come prop- 
erly under " wire work " and " woven wire " in this 
work. Third, the window shades and curtains of the 
wall-paper manufacturers, which might, perhaps, by 
courtesy, be called window blinds, inasmuch as they 
keep out the light. These are treated of, under " Wall 
Papers and Paper Hangings." Fourth, " window shades " 
proper, curtains of white Hollands, or of colored linen, 
or of cloth painted in oils, with gilt bands or stripes; 
or with stripes of other bright oil colors; or landscapes 
in oil; or water-colors, India ink, ttc. ; of graceful 
and artistic designs, and either transparent or opaque. 
These last are probably what the Census Office intended ; 
but if so, they were wide of the mark, as to the number 
of the establishments or the extent of the business. 

There are indeed, not twelve, but at least sixty es- 
tablishments, which manufacture the white and col- 
ored Hollands curtains, and deal in tassels, shade and 
picture cord, etc., etc. This is an item in the business 
of every upholsterer, carpet dealer, painters' shop, and 
most of the furniture dealers, but is only one item of 
a multifarious business, and cannot be severed from their 
other business. It would be much more appropriate to 
single out window hangings and drapery, one item of 
the upholsterers' business, and give the statistics of it 
as a distinct business. The directory puts down thir- 
teen or fourteen of these window shade men, some of 
them carpet dealers, some upholsterers, and others 
painters, but it might have just as easily increased the 
number to fifty. 

There are, however, two firms, and so far as we have 
been able to ascertain, only two in the county, who 
manufacture the " transparent and opaque window 
shades, of which we have spoken. These are Jay C. 
Wemple <b Co., of 121 Fourth avenue, and Atulrew 
Barricklo, of Hicks street, between Warren and Bal- 
tic streets (until the night of F"el). 26, 1884, when his 
factory and its contents were destroyed by tire). 

The idea which these shades were intended to de- 
velojj was that of a curtain, which should exclude the 
strong sunlight, and yet should present to the eye both 
from the inside and outside, a pleasing and artistic 



view, a landscape, or noted church, abbey, or public 
building, either in colors or mezzotint, and one which 
would be durable as well as beautiful. This idea was 
worked out from observation and protracted experi- 
ment, by Mr. Jay C. Wemple, beginning in 1840, with 
the cotton cloth dipped in glue water, and with rude 
designs drawn on it with India ink, and gradually per- 
fected by giving the cloth used a coating of oil, tur- 
pentine and beeswax, which made it finn, yet trans- 
lucent, and yet gave a basis on which oil colors could 
be painted or printed. By the application of a mod- 
ified chromotype process, these curtains can now be 
made of exquisite designs, in black and white or in 
colors, and with or without gold bands, and at prices so 
reasonable as to be within the reach of persons in very 
moderate circumstances. 

The industry did not emerge from its experimental 
stage until after 1845, and for the next twenty years 
its growth was moderate, but it is now a well estab- 
lished and constantly improving and increasing busi- 
ness. Mr. Wemple has now a capital of $200,000 
invested in it, employs from 150 to 200 hands, and re- 
ports an annual production of over $300,000. His 
only competitor, Mr. Andrew Barricklo, was formerly 
in Sedgwick street, but his factory there was burned 
about four years ago, the materials used being very 
inflammable; he then removed to Hicks street, where 
he has just been burned out again. His goods are of 
the same quality with Messrs. Wemple & Co.'s, but 
his production was not so large, though it was increas- 
ing. He employed about 90 hands, and turned out 
from $180,000 to $200,000 of goods annually. Both 
firms, we believe, made also those articles — lamp shades, 
with designs printed on this prepared cloth — which 
have attracted so much attention. They also furnished, 
where desired, the white and colored Hollands for cur- 
tains, with all fixtures, table oil cloths, etc., etc. These 
two establishments, then, employ about 250 hands, 
and produce not less than $500,000 of goods — larger 
amounts, both in employees and products, than the 
census attributes to its mythical twelve mantifacturers 
of " window blinds and shades." 

The amount of production of the while and colored 
Hollands curtains, fixtures and trimmings, cannot be 
definitely ascertained, but we may approximate it in 
this wise: There are not less than 60 houses who 
make this an item of their business; if each house 
averaged only a set of these shades a week (a set is 
from 15 to 20 curtains, according to the size of the 
house), this would amount to $30 to $40 a week — to 
$1,660 to $2,080 a year, or for the whole, from $94,000 
to $124,000 a year. This is undoubtedly below the 
actual produc^t. This would give for the window 
blinds, curtains and shades of these materials, an ag- 
gregate of $000,000 or more. 

Lace curtains and the lamhrequins, silk hangings, 
tassels, and metallic or gilt-wood mountings, and bands 



THE MANUFACTURING INDUSTRTES. 



787 



for them, as wull as lor iiianU'l ilrapcrus, [icirliL"-t'H, 
etc., belong to tlir upholsterers' art, and have been 
treated of (iiuU'r ii])li()lstery. Of the other wimlow 
blinds, shades and curtains, we have treateil under 
their ap]>ro|>rialc heads. 



SECTION XXX. 

Cooperage. 

Cooperage is an iiMjturtant inaniifactuM'. Tlic census 
statistics give 42 estahli.shments, with $913,700 capital, 
employing 1,547 hands, paying $595,010 in wages, using 
$1,58:5,987 of raw material, and producing $2, '.•37,202 
of barrels, casks, «&c. The number of establishments is 
the same as is reported in the Brooklyn Directory for 
1882, but as far as we can ascertain these are all inde- 
jiendcnt cooper sliops, some of them doing a large busi- 
ness, but not connected with the large sugar refineries, 
distilleries, and breweries, which, for the most part, 
manufacture their own barrels, casks and kegs. The 
cooperage department of IFavi'ini i/er <0 El<li r'svAmvry 
alone, has a capacity for the production of 8,000 sugar 
barrels a day, and actually jiroduces, in ordinary sea- 
sons from 4,000 to 5,00o barrels daily; and I>c Caitlro 
& Donner, the Brookhjn Sugar Refining Co., Mol- 
lir, Si'rcl- (i Co., the Lii'ingston Steam Refincrg, and 
the HiimiUon Avenue Refinery, probably produce at 
least 10,000 barrels more, every working day. The 
great distilleries ami breweries require casks and kegs 
of peculiar form and construction, and they prefer to 
make them on the premises. These three industries, and 
the petroleum refiners, are the largest consumers of 
barrels, casks and kegs, and it would be a very low 
estimate which put their united production below 
12,000,000. The flour trade does not use so many bar- 
rels as formerly; a large proportion of its products are 
put up in stout paper bags of different capacities, and 
but a sm.all part of the barrels they use are new; teams 
in their employ, visiting all the bakeries, the larger 
groceries, etc., and buying all the flour barrels they can 
find, at a standard price of 18 or 20 cents per barrel; 
these are repaired in the cooper shops, and made to do 
good service in the flour trade. The provision trade 
use a good many barrels, but the lard, hams, bacon, 
&c., are put up in tins or in boxes, and hence the com- 
parative demand for barrels is less than formerly. The 
fruit, potato and vegetable trade use many barrels, 
though these branches of trade are not so extensively 
carried on in Kings couivty as in the fruit districts; 
but most of their barrels are old flour barrels, and not al- 
ways coopered. Cider barrels, soap barrels, lime, plaster 
and hydraulic cement barrels, are not manufactured to 
any considerable extent in Kings county, as the expense 
of transportation requires them to be produced nearer 
the places where they are used. We conclude, then, 
that including the barrels, etc., manufactured by the 
lartce MianufactMrers for their own use, the annual 



j)roduction of cooperage cannot fall below ♦4,000.000. 
The Superintenilent of Haveineyer atid Klder's cooper- 
age establishment is, or w.as, Mr. lyowell -Af. Palmer. Of 
the indi'pendent coopers, I'md Weliliiunut, whose por- 
trait graces the following jiagc, is, we believe, consider- 
ably the largest; the others who are most noteworfliy 
are: I'atrii-h J)<iltoii,:iHl Tliinl .street, K. I).; Jlronnni 
<fc CoUi{/rtn, .140 Fifth street, K. D.; St€j)lifu I'. 
Short/and <t' limtlur; Jhnry .Milhnm, N. «l" //. 
CDonnell, J. <t' W. MnUinon (kegs of all Hortn); 
l\mlsin lb Egnr, North 11th and .id streets; Joltn 
Carver, 112 South 2nd street; Michael Becker; Ileunj 
Heims; Dillon^ s Sons; R. A. Robertnon «t Co.; JI. 
Wai/de/l <t" Co.; B. F. Briggt; Jinnen C<>iighl-iit, 72 
North 1.3th street; Smmiel M'a>i</en, 05 North lliird 
street; 3/". IT. Duane, 098 Willoughby avenue; Peter 
Bennett, 245 \'an Hrunt street, etc., etc. 

^lost of the larger coopers, aside from their mamifac- 
ture of barrels, half barrels or kegs, manufacture or deal 
in sugar shooks, casks and staves, heading and hoo]is, 
and some of them make a specialty of repairing second- 
hand barrels. 



Paul Weidmann. well and widely known in connection 
witli the cooperage interest in Brooklyn, was born in Nieder- 
auerbach, near Zweibrucken, Rhein Pfalz, Bavaria, May 1.", 
1830, and came to America in March, 18.52, and was employed 
about six months by a brewer in New York. Later he worked 
about a year in one of the old Williamsburch breweries, and 
for a year as a cooper in Cincinnati and vicinity. Returning 
east, he was emploj-ed in New York and Williamsburgh as a 
journeyman cooper until 1859, when he opened a small 
cooper's shop of his own in the rear of an old buikiinj; on 
North First street, near Second. A few years later he re- 
moved his then greatly increased business to .South Twelfth 
street, where the Havemeyer sugar refinery now i.o. and it 
was located there till the property embracing his site was 
purchased by the Havemeyers, and converted to their use. 
He then purchased the lot on North First street, where he had 
first begun business on his own account, and occupied en- 
tirely the buildings, one room of which had previously been 
sufficient lor the demands of his business. Later, he removed 
to North First, between Second and Third streets, where he 
had a large establishment for the time, but which his grow- 
ing business necessitated his almndoning, on account of lack 
of room and other facilities, which he obtained in 1874, at his 
present location on North Third street, where he bought a 
large factory, to which he was compelled to build an addition, 
and near which he has erected other buildings, until he now 
has one, 100x125 feet, six stories high; one. .50x125 feet, two 
stories high, and another, 100x135 feet, four stories high, ad- 
jacent to which is a capacious yard. His business, which af- 
fords employment to many workmen, is one of the largest of 
its kind in the city, and in its management. Mr.Weiiimann is 
assisted by his sons, Paul Weidmann, .Jr., .ind Freiierick 
Weidmann. Mr. Weidmann m.nrried Susan Diehl, a native 
of Bavaria, but a resident of New York, by whom he has two 
cliildren living. While yet working as a journeyman cooper. 
Mr. Weidmann established a small fancy store which his 
wife managed thirteen years, thus aiding him to put hisenter- 
prise on a lirm footing, which insured its after success. His 
wares include new sugar, flour and syrup liarrels, li.alf-l>ar- 
rels. kegs, &c., and he deals extensively in sugar shooks, 



788 



mSTORY OJ' KINGS COUNTY. 





^>5^^^^>^^^^^^ 



second-hand barrels and casks and staves, heading and 
hoops. His factory and wareliouse are located at 85 to 109 
North Third street, and lit to 104 North First street, and he 
lias a yard and wharf at the foot of North Sixth street. 

SECTION XXXI. 
Clothing: Men's; Women's; Shirts. 

The doUdiiij trade, in its various IjniMclies, is a very 
hxrge industry in King.s county ; largo, not only in the 
amount inailc for our Brooklyn manufacturers, but still 
larger in the amount produced liorc for New York 
iiouses. 

We are at loss to understand the clothing statistics 
furnished by the census. The com|)endium of the tenth 
census states the number of establishments engaged in 
manufacturing men's clothing as 328. If this number 
was meant to include all the tailors, it was altogether 
too small; for they number 716 in the city and about 
24 in the county towns, or 740 in all. But it is not 
usual to count every tailor, or indeed, the tailors gene- 
rally, as manufacturers; though, in a sense, a ])art of 
them are so. If, on the contrary, it was intended to 
include all the manufacturers of ready-made clothing, 
it was very much too large, for, including all the deal- 
ers in ready-made clothing, there are only 15(1; and of 



these, less than one-half manufacture their goods here, 
whatever they may do elsewhere. Several of the 
larsrer of these houses have their factories and cutting 
shops elsewhere, and the goods are only brought 
here to be sold. This is especially true of such houses 
as Iialdwin, A. J. Nutting & Company, and many 
others. Some, of course, do manufacture here, and a 
larger number than is generally supposed. The largest of 
these is, undoubtedly, Smith, Grai/ ib Co., whose ex- 
tensive stores, factories and warehouses occupy so 
largo a space on Broadway and Fourth street, E. D., 
and Maidiattan and Greonpoiut avenues, Greenpoint. 
In their sjiecialty of boys' and children's clothing, 
this house is the largest, as it was the first, in the 
United States. It is now fifty years since the present 
senior partner of this firm — whose portrait and l)io- 
graphy are among the most precious contributions to 
the gallery of worthies in our work — commenced the 
business of making boys' clothing in New York city, 
jironipted therelo by his firm conviction that such gar- 
ments, if picipcrly made, would find a ready sale. He 
was himself an accomplished t.iilor, cutter and filter, 
and his goods were soon hugely in demand. Mr. Allen 
(iray, the second partner of the present firm, added to 
t,liepo]iularily of this brant^h of business by originating 



.^^ 



^^^ 




S"4 ^Ir/A liRilcMu 



r 



(j^/PU^t^a.^^ <2y/?p^^i 




^-L, 



THE MANUFACTURING rXDrsmiES. 



7M0 



the best set of graded patterns for boys' c-ldtliiii!^, wliicli 
had over been produced. Mr. Smith removed several 
times in New York and ha<l built uj) in twenty-seven 
years of active and honorable toil a very extensive 
wholesale trade, largely with the south ; when, at the 
conunencenient of the late civil war, he found himself 
subjected to the loss of many hundreds of thousands of 
dollars, by the indisposition and in many eases, the in- 
ability of his southern customers to pay, he with- 
drew from business, gathering together the wreck of 
his fortune. It is not often the case that a man, past 
fifty years of age, who has lost so large a fortune, suc- 
ceeds in retrieving his fortune and winning a still 
larger one; but this was one of the rare exceptions. In 
1864, in partnership with his brother-in-law, ^Ir. Allen 
Gray, Mr. Smith opened a retail clothing store of small 
extent on Fourth street, Williamsburgh. Ilut so 
popular had their goods been, before the war, that old 
customers rallied round them and besought them to 
manufacture boys' clothing for them. And so it hap- 
pened, that before the close of the war in 1865 they had 
been compelled to establish a manufactory on Broadway, 
E. D., and removed their retail store to that street in 1868. 
Eacli enlargement only opened the way for another, and 
in addition to a branch factory at Greenpoint, 48x100, 
and four stories high, and buildings on Broadway, 
100x100, seven stories in height, they built an im- 
mense factory in Fourth street, and are now about 
erecting another imposing and extensive structure on 
the corner of Broadway and Foui-th street, E. D. They 
have now three departments of their manufactures, the 
wholesale trade, the retail trade, and custom work. 
Over 3,000 adults are on their pay-roil; and their weekly 
disbursements for wages alone reach $30,000 or more, 
making more than §1,600,000 for wages annually. 
Their annual production is probably greater than that 
of any otiier firm of manufacturers in Brooklyn, except 
the great sugar refiners and perhai)s one or two of the 
petroleum houses. They do not, by any means, confine 
themselves to boys' and children's clothing, l)ut make 
and maintain a full line in all departments of their busi- 
ness. The present firm consists of five partners, the in- 
fusion of \-ounger blood having increased its efficiency. 



Edwari> Smith. — One of the representative self-made men 
of Brooklyn is Mr. Edward Smith, resident at No. 99 Bedford 
avenue. A son of Gerslionv B. and Temperance (Sheffield) 
Smith, he was born in Norwalk, Conn.. December 19th. 
181t!, and his early life was spent on liis father's farm. 

As subsetiuent events have proved, Mr. Smith was not 
intended by nature to be an agriculturist, and he seems to 
have recognized this as a fact at a very tender age: for, when 
only fifteen years old, lie left home and secured a situation as 
errand boy in a New York grocery store, and was employed 
in that and other humble capacities, with different grocery | 
firms in that city, for about two years. Next he solicited his 
father to permit him to learn the tailors' trade, and was 
apprenticed to a tailor of Ridgefield. Conn. At the expira- 
tion of a year his instructor went out of business, and young i 



Smith, having in that short time acquired a contidcniblo 
knowledge of thetruile, leturneil to New York nnrl worked a» 
a journeyman until \K\'>, when he wasi'oinpelled to Ivnvo the 
city on account of the outbreak of the cholera. Just at this 
point in his career he had engaged' u conip<-tent person to 
instruct him in the art of cutting, but wan prevented from 
learning by his sudden cleparture for home. Hut, nothing 
daunted, he dally iiracticed the drafting of riothing. and in 
a short time obtained ii good theoretical knowledge of 
rutting. 

After the al)atenient of the plague, Mr. Smith retunD^l to 
New York, and, though he had never yet actually eut n 
garment, engaged as cutter with n lirni for whom he hiul 
formerly worked ii» a jounieyinan, and filled tlie [io8ition 
successfully and satisfactordy. In January, IH.tJ, with th« 
assistance of hi.s father, he went into businei-s as a clothier 
on Chatham street, between Pearl and Baxter Htreetfl, and in 
conducting bis trade soon discovered that there was a 
lack of boys' clothing in New York; and, lielieving that neat 
and well-m.ade garments, in various sizes, for iKiys, would 
meet with a ready sale, he got up an assorlment of sueh 
goods, and was so successful with it that he continued in this 
line and liecame the (irst manufacturer of Ixiy.s' clothing of 
any prominence in the city. In 183<5, he removed his 
establishment to Fulton street, and, a)>out 1H4.3, reiiuiring 
more room, to William street, below Maiden Lane, where he 
embarked quite succe.-isfuUy in the wholesale trade. For 
some years the trade of the city had lieen gradually concen- 
trating on the west side, and about l>t4T Mr. Sm"th removed 
his business to Barclay street, at the corner of Church. Five 
years later he located on Warren street, and, after two years, 
removed thence to Broadway, near Leonard street. From 
this time on his business rapidlv a,ssumed larger proportions, 
growing steadily until 1861, when he retired on account of 
embarrassments arising from the unsettled condition, caused 
by the war for the union, of a southern trade which, during 
years of unabated growth, had attained to hundreds of thou- 
sands of dollars. 

In 1864. Mr. Smith resumed business, on a limited scale, in 
Williamsburgh, in company with his brother-in-law, Mr. 
Allen Cray, opening a retail store on Fourth street. So 
popular had been Jlr. .Smith's goods among his former 
customers that many of them solicited the new firm to man- 
ufacture for them their stock of boys' clothing. The demand 
for their work increased so rapidly that before the close of 
the war, the firm established a manufactory on Broadway, 
Williamsburgh, and removed their store to that street in 
1868. In 1870, they built and occupied their present large 
Broadway store. Their extensive store in Greenpoint was 
' opened in their then new building in 1877. In 1881, the firm 
first occupied their extensive factory on Fourth street, in 
connection with which there is a third store. 

It is with just pride that Mr. Smith refers to the fact that 
he was the projector of what is now the largest manufactory 
of boys' clothing in the United States, and probably in the 
world. At this time, the firm of Smith & Gray consists of 
Messrs. Edward Smith, Allen Gray, W. O. H. Randolph, 
Willard F. Smith and Warren E. Smith, the two last 
mentioned being sons of the senior memlier; and the active 
members are Messrs. W. G. H. Randolph, who superintends 
the purchase of materials and the manufacture of stock; 
Willard V. Smith, who supervises the retail department of 
the business, and Warren E. Smith, travelling and wholesale 
representative of the house. As large as are Messrs. Smith & 
Gray's facilities for manufacture, they are not sufficient to 
supply the immense demand for their goods, and the firm 
has recently purchased the Washington Hall property, at the 



TOO 



ursTORY OF KINGS comrrY. 



corner of Broadway aud I'ourtli street, and will soon erect 
upon it a large six-story building, with iron front, for occu- 
pancy as a store and factory, where, with enlarged facilities, 
they will concentrate their business and engage more exten- 
sively than ever liefore in the manufacture, and in both the 
wholesale and retail trade in clothing; their wholesale trade, 
as heretofore, to be confined chiefly to boys' clothing, while 
in their retail department they will carry a large stock of 
both men's and boys' clothing of all descriptions. In all 
Brooklyn tliere is not a more useful business. Not less than 
3,CM>0 hands find daily employment with Messrs. Smith & 
firay. who disburse thousands of dollars weekly, which goes 
to aid the general prosperity of the citj' by its gradual distri- 
bution through all of the various avenues of trade. 

Mr. Smith has been twice married, and has three sons and 
three daughters. He is no politician, but takes a lively 
interest in all matters of national or municipal importance, 
and he has been a willing and liberal contributor to various 
charitable objects and toward manj' useful improvements. 

Ne.xt to Smith, Gray & Co., thougli with a long inter- 
val between, is the house of McKeon & Todd, 110-116 
ikoadway, corner 4th street, E. D. ; men's, boys' and 
children's clothing. This firm wa.s established in 1878; 
gives employment to 1,500 persons. Mr. McKeon was 
formerly witli Smith, Gray it Co., jobbers in New 
York. Mr .Todd started in the business some 18 years 
ago. M. linseiiberg tfc Son, 43 and 45 Fulton street, 
established in 1868, erected their present fine building 
in 1878, and the firm name was changed January, 
1882, to A. Rosenberg; they employ 3 cutters and 
25 hands, and have an annual out-jnit of from 5*75,000 to 
$100,000. Adolph Kilchuin, 266 and 210 Fulton street, 
manufactures men's, boys' and children's clothing; 
they were established at No. 260, in 1866, employ 200 
hands, and sell largely at wholesale; Mr. Ketchum 
is an Austrian, and came to the United States in 
1856. 

Ne.\t in order come the tailors, those large houses 
which, confining themselves exclusively to custom work, 
are yet doing a comparatively large business, exclusively 
in supplying suits made to measure. Most of these men 
are dealers also, keeping on hand an assortment of 
choice goods for the use and wear of their customers, 
which they make up themselves; in other words, they 
are " men^hant tailors." We have seen that Smith, 
Gray & Co., like some other of the large clothing 
houses, keep up a large custom department, and do a 
fine business with customers of the best class. A large 
house like this lias a manifest advantage over the small 
"merchant" tailors, in being able to obtain a greater 
variety of suit goods, and at much lower jiriccs. It 
was formerly said of Brooks Brothers, and some of the 
other manufacturers of very fine clothing, that their 
goods were of such excellent quality, and so admirably 
made, that many of the " merchant tailors," who had 
rich Southern customers, would take their orders for 
complete suits, to be delivered the next day; allow them 
to select their cloths, take their measure, and then go to 
these great houses, match the goods, applying their 



measures and buy the goods ready made, and send 
them with the bill, on which a very large profit was 
made, to the customer at the time appointed. The cus- 
tomers of our Brooklyn tailors would hardly be satis- 
fied with such an arrangement; and though it might 
sometimes prove successful, the risk would be very 
great. 

We think James B. Ilealy, of 205 Montague street, 
is probably entitled to the leading place among our 
" merchant tailors." He has been in business for 20 
years, has a large store and stock, 'md keeps 35 tailors 
employed constantly in cusloip w-ork. His out-put is 
very large, though we cannot give the exact figures. 
Godfrey Rossberg, of 282 and 284 Fulton street; D. 
Pi/zer, of 385 Myrtle avenue; and Robert Raphael, of 
464 Fulton street, probably follow; while James Porter, 
of 288 Fulton street; William, Strauss tb CV».,431 Grand 
street; Westin <t" Kreinbrink, of 141 Flatbush avenue; 
William Voss, 32 Myrtle avenue; ./ V. Duhernell, of 
333 and 335 Fulton avenue; R. & J. Donahue, of 331 
Washington street; I). K Johnston, of 36 Fifth avenue; 
H. P. Hansen, of 60 Bond street; and Friedrich Kron, 
of 744 Fulton, are all doing a large custom business. 
Many of the tailor shops connected with the cheap 
clothing trade also do a large amount of business, the 
greater part of which is in the hands of Germans and 
Hebrews. We are unable to give any estimate of the 
amount of this business. 

The remainder of the business of making and repair- 
ing men's clothing is conducted in small tailors' shops, 
where the tailor does his work himself, with usually 
one or two women, or, possibly, a single male appren- 
tice or journeyman to assist him. Most of these estab- 
lishments do not turn out more than 82,000 or §2,500 
worth of work in a year, and many even less than 
§2,000. It is very difficult to make anything like a cor- 
rect estimate of the number of hands actually employed, 
or the amount of goods produced by the manufacturers 
of men's clothing. We have seen that one house em- 
ploys nearly three times as many hands as the census 
allows to the whole 328; and, inferentially, that its 
annual product is greater than that of the whole amount 
reported by the census. From as careful a review as 
it is possible to make of this great business, we should 
place the number of employees at about 5,600, and the 
annual product at about §7,300,000. We are sure that 
this is rather below than above the mark. 

SuBSEiTiox I. — Wome/i''s ClotJiin;/. 

We come next to the consideration of the manufac- 
ture of Women's Clothing. While this branch of the 
clothing manufacture has been greatly extended and in- 
creased since 1880, the census statistics are not quite as 
hopelessly wrong as in men's clothing. The census 
officers report 25 establishments, with §157,425 capital, 
615 hands, §180,480 wages, §390,223 material, §71 1,249 
annual ])rodiict. 



THE .1/ 1 .V r / • I r rrniNi! i\i> r -s ritiHs. 



701 



All, or nearly all, ol our larfjc flry goods firms are 
engagi- 1 very extensively in lln' production of these 
>;oods; ^lessrs. Wtchder d' . {.brain nn, ■v!\\o \v:\t\ in tlie 
Imsiiu'ss, employing .'iOO or more hands, and turning 
out every year more than ^300, 000 of tliese goods. F. \ 
W. Diet:, of Boerum street, K. D., manufactures \ 
women's rnd children's wear, employing 45 hands, and 
doing an annual business of nearly 4ir>o,000. he was 
recently burned out, but is commencing again. F. 
Looser ■': Co.; Jonrneai/ <b Bnrnh'im; J. O'Brien; 
Weclisl /• .1- /?n.., '/: K. riorto,,, S. B. Jone-s C. M. 
Wfsf, 1. D. JlaUhews tD Son, F. /'. iS'/ryt//^, and others 
in th( Western District, and five or six firms in the 
Kasi rn District, are also largely engaged in the pro- 
du lion of these goods. There are also many firms 
w jich make this their sole business; and when we add 
10 these the dressmakers and cloak and suit makers who 
have shops and stores, or employ help at their own 
homes in the manufacture of these goods, we shall find 
the number of establishments largely increased. Of 
the 5-")9 dress and cloak makers in Brooklyn, not less 
than one-fifth (112) "take in work," as the phrase is; 
/. ('., make the goods which are brought to them, or 
which they furnish, at their own homes, shops or stores; 
and nearly all of these employ some assistants, in sev- 
eral instances, within our knowledge, from 10 to '20. 

The range of this business, which now includes, as 
the " men's clothing" does not, all articles of femi- 
nine underwear, as well as dresses, suits, and cloaks, 
has caused it to make great progress from year to 
year. Before the war it was impossible to purchase a 
bride's complete trousseau from any manufacturer. A 
few articles might be j)icked up imported from 
European or Mexican nunneries, and the rest was made 
by persons specially employed for that purpose, or by 
the bride herself. Now it would be hard to find a 
bride, of whatever station in life, who did not purchase 
every article needed from the manufacturer or dealer. 
And this is true to a great extent also of dresses, 
cloaks and suits, as well as of every description of 
linf/erie, not only for women's use, but for the cloth- 
ing of infants and young children. 

The division of labor, in ihe manufacture of these 
goods, has been carried to a great extent. Some 
houses make only ladies' collars and cuffs, and one of 
our Brooklyn manufacturing liouses (.7! C. Roach cC 
Co.) employ 100 hands on this manufacture alone. 
Six or eight houses manufacture only embroideries and 
laces for the trimminir of ladies' and children's cloth- 
ing, and not far from 200 hands are employed in this 
work only, aside from all the imported laces and Ham- 
burg edgings, Coventry rufflings, and the similar trim- 
mings made elsewhere and sold here. Four houses 
are engaged exclusively in plaiting, fluting and other 
trimming work, done by machinery on these goods. 

The 11,000,000 and more of sewing machines sold 
every year in this country, are not pur<liastd foi- fam- 



ily use to any great extent, l>ul for manufacturing 
purposes, directly or indirectly; many sewing women 
purchasing their own maehiiieH to do wurk for the man- 
ufacturers at their iiomcH. 

We conclude then that the number of eMtablislimcnts 
must be multiplied by five at least, /. e., that there are 
from 130 to i;i5 of them. The number of hands em- 
ployed cannot be less than I.HOO; the amount of wages 
paid is doubtful — not less, certainly, than fi4(Mi,ooo, and 
probably considerably more — and the total pr<Mluetion 
more than *2, 100, 000. Of this pntduct, full four- 
fifths is manufactured by not over 16 large hoiiNcs, and 
the remainder, probably, by the smaller establish- 
ments. 

SUBSKCTION II. — ShirlH uiiil Shirl FronU. 

The census statistics of shirt-making are as follows: 
Establishments, 25; capital, *07,.3Oo; hands, :f(»4; 
wages paid, $105,723; material used, ^200,511; annual 
product, $430,060. The directory for 1883 reports 45 
firms, of which, however, 3 have gone out of busines.s, 
3 others have their factories out of Kings county, and 
hence are not manufacturers here, but dealers; 13 are 
small establishments making a few shirts, or night 
shirts, to eke out the i-esources of thread an<l needle or 
fancy goods stores, and cannot fairly be reckoneil man- 
ufacturers. 

The Keep Manufacturing Co., the Harding Manu- 
facturing Co., the agents of the " Arcade" and the 
■' Monarch " shirt.s, and some others, do no manufac- 
turing here, but are simply dealers. Most of the 
" gentlemen's furnishing goods" stores have particular 
brands of shirts, of which they are agents, and as 
these are put up with their labels on the boxes, they 
pass for Brooklyn manufacturers, when, in fact, they 
are not manufacturers at all. 

Still the manufacture of shirts and shirt fronts is a 
good business here, both in the wholesale and the cus- 
toms trade. It is not as extensive as the factories of 
New York, Philadelphia, or even Baltimore, Chicago 
or Newark, and probably Troy. But it exceeds in 
these products any of the other large cities of the 
Union. 

The shirts manufactured here are generally of very 
good quality, whether made for the wholesale or the 
custom trade. 77n- Sun Maniifactiirin<i C<>., of 68 
Broadway, E. D. ; Geon/e W. Aidt, of 767 Fulton 
I street; H. X. ISurdIck d' Co., of 45 South Fifth street, 
E. D. ; Gers'in <l- Siittoii.i, 63 Atlantic avenue; ./". C. 
iJiiJf'ee il Co., 50 Fourth street, E. D. ; Robert Siueaton, 
123 Atlantic avenue; Janus iSinipl', Jr., 145 Fulton 
street; Henri/ iSieifenlur;/, 454 Fulton street; MUtmi 
E. Smith, W^ Fulton street; Thomas Brof., 517 Ful- 
ton street, and J. A. John.ion. 352 Fulton street, are the 
j)rincipal manufacturers for wholesale trade. Some of 
these undoubtedly take orders from dealers in furnish- 
ing goods, to make up custom goo<Is for them, which 



70:.' 



HISTORY OF KINGS COUNTY. 



will Ijf sold ill the naiiio of the dealur; but most of 
their work is for the jobbing houses. Most of the 
large dry goods houses deal in shirts, but with one or 
two exceptions, they are not made here. 

The manufacturers who make up shirts only for 
their own customers, and who sell their goods to the 
wearers, and not to dealers, are not so many; the lead- 
ing house in this business is that of Ithamar Dubois, 
of a-.'8 Fulton street, whose portrait and biography we 
are glad to present to our readers as that of au es- 
tinial>le, enterprising, honest and high-minded manu- 
facturer. He has been engaged in his present busi- 
ness since 1 80 1. There are no shirt manufacturers in 
this country whose goods have a better reputation for 
excellence of (piality or perfection of fit than those of 
Ithamar Dubois, and those wiio deal with liira once 
are sure to do so again. Mr. Dubois employs a large 
force in the manufacture of liis goods, and his annual 
product is said to be larger than that of any other 
custom manufacturer, either in Brooklyn or New York. 



Ithamar Dl' Bois, well and widely known as manufacturer 
of and dealer in gentlemen's fine shirts and furnishing goods, 
at No 328 Fulton street, Brooklyn, is of French Huguenot 
extraction, and successive generations of his family have 
lived in America during the past two hundred years. Three 
brotliers of the family were the emigrants, and their descend- 
ants are now numerous throughout the Union, and especially 
so on Long Island, up tlie Hudson river and in New Jersey. 
Mr. Du Bois's father, the Rev. A. C. Du Bois, was formerly 
well known in western New York, where he was instrumental 
in planting and building up Presbyterian churches, which 
yet remain as monuments to his zeal in the Christian cause, 
and is now living at an advanced age in California, where 
one of his sons is a distinguished physician, and another is 
in the United States government employ. His mother, who 
was Mehitaljel Sumner, a native of North Adams, Mass., 
died in 187.0. 

Mr. Uu Bois was born in Allegany county, N. Y., where 
his father was then laboring in the ministry, in 1830. In 
1844, the family removed to the Western Reserve, in Ohio, 
following westward the course of the Star of Empire. The 
youth was a student in such public schools as that section of 
the country then afforded, and later at the old Milan academy 
at Milan, Ohio. At the age of seventeen he became a school 
teacher, an avocation in which he was remarkably success- 
ful, instructing many scholars much older than himself. 
Three years he was thus employed, and that they were three 
years of mental discipline and advancement is evidenced by 
the fact that during the third year he w;is principal of a 
union school at Tiffin, Ohio. Relinquishing the te.xt-book 
and the fernde, Mr. Du Bois embarked in the book and sta- 
tionery trade at I'lymouth, Ohio, in 18.50, in which he con- 
tinued until 18")7, when he disposed of his business and re- 
moved to Brooklyn, N. Y., to become manager of the store 
of Charles H. Little, a dealer in paints and artists' supplies, 
on Atlantic street, a poiition which he held until his func- 
tions were assumed by a gentleman who bouglit an interest 
in the business of Mr. Little, abjut the time of the outbreak 
of the Rebellion. 

In partnership with Mr. N. L. Huntington, Mr. Du Bois 
ejtablishtid a factory and store on Fulton street, within two 
doors of his present location, for the manufacture and sale 



of fine shirts and furnishing goods. It may be interesting to 
note that these gentlemen were the pioneers in their line in 
Brookljn, there having been previous to that time, no .stores 
in the city where such goods were handled, and a market 
for them having yet to be, in a great measure, created. In 
January, 1866, Mr. Huntington withdrew from the business, 
and since that time Mr. Du Bois has been proprietor. Under 
the latter's management it was more than doubled during 
the three years succeeding the former's retirement, and it 
has been gradually augmented to its present proportions as 
the leading enterprise of its class in the city, the sign of the 
gold shirt having become familiar to Brookl3nites as one of 
the landmarks on Fulton street. Mr. Du Bois's specialty is 
fine custom shirts, in which department he has no superior, 
either in New York or Brooklyn. His stoje is the centre of 
a large local trade, his customers living on either side of the 
East river, and he supplies many regular puichasers through- 
out the Union, especially in New York and Pennsylvania. 

Mr. Du Bois has long been identified with the Presby- 
terian church, under the influences of which he was born 
and reared, and very prominent in all measures calculated 
to advance the general interests of that denomination, as 
well as of those of congregations of which he has from time 
to time been a member, as an instance of which may be 
mentioned the fact that he was prominently connected with 
the Memorial Presbyterian church of this city since its or- 
ganization, having for many years served as one of its ruling 
elders. His earnest devotion to this church has been fur- 
ther proven by the fact that he has materially contributed 
to its establishment and growth, and his prominence in con- 
nection with its Sunday school and mission work, and his 
performance of the duties of its organist and musii'al con- 
ductor, until recently, during a period of eleven years. He 
is president of the Bryant Literary Society, and all measures 
toward public enlightenment and the dissemination of gen- 
eral knowledge have a staunch supporter in him. 

The political history of Mr. Du Bois has been one un- 
marked by any changes of party affiliations. He was one 
of the pioneer Republicans, and he points with pride to the 
fact that his first vote cast in a presidential election was for 
John P. Hale, and his second for John C. Fremont, and 
that he has voted for each successive Republican candidate 
for the presidency, including the last. While taking an earn- 
est and intelligent interest in public affairs, he is not, and 
has never been, an active politician. 

In 18.52, Mr. Du Bois married Miss Adaline P. Brink, of 
Plymouth, Ohio, and has a son and three daughters. The 
son, Mr. William S. Du Bois, was for several years in busi- 
ness with his father, but latterly has resided in California, 
where he is interested in the manufacture of plows and 
wagons. Viola C, Mr. Du Bois's eldest daughter, is the 
wife of J. Freeman Atwood, M. D., of Brooklyn. Lillian 
Alice, and Edith Louise, his younger daughters, reside at his 
home, adding to the peace and comfort of his declining 
years. 

Other custom manufacturers of good reputation are: 
Ira Pereijo, G-29 Atlantic avenue; Henry Siaeaton, of 
114 Atlantic avenue; William P. Johnston, 397 Fulton 
street; Walter A. P/ielan, 103 Broadway, E.D. ; stridHenri/ 
Jarvis, 168 Fourth street, E. D., etc., etc. As nearly as 
we can ascertain, the present condition of the shirt manu- 
facture in Kings county is about as follows: Establish- 
ments, 30; wholesale, 22; custom, 8; number of hands, 
about 450; wages paid, $160,000; total out-put, $520,000. 



NTY. 



\\ 

tl. 
la 
tv 



- in their line in 
t time, no stores 
I. and a market 



th 

« 

ill 

..1' 

ar 

til 

fa 

III 

til 

i\ 

It 

ar 

fo 

I" 
cti 



of 
at 
ex 
liv 
hn 
au 

BO 

Mi 
wt 

in 
ye 
an 
on 
in 
wa 
(lit 

1 
hit 
IHJ 
fol 

yoiitii 
the '. 
at 
tea 
ful . 
Th 
ye; 
th( 
un 
am 
tio 
till 
mo 
of 
on 
tioi 
ill I 
of 

I 
e-tt; 
(li.u 



.'Oliic, 

-.jars. 



itl.Tian 



•u'.>:r.\ I 
-.8 Four; 



is been proprietor. Under 
!■ IP than doubled during 
's retirement, and it 
eseut proportions a.v 
- city, the sign of thi: 
iiiarir ;5rooklynite: if 

et. Mr. Du Bois's - 

it he has no siup^iior, 
tore is the centre of 
side of the 
. : -^rsthrough- 

\- in New York and Pennsylvania. 
'"■•>u identified with the Presby- 
iuences of which he was bom 
in alV measures calculated 
' of tliat denomination, as 
1iich he has from lime 
ce of which may be 
V connected with 
•jty since its or- 
pferved as one of its ruling 
this church has been fur- 
lie has materially contributed 
th, and his prominence in con- 
>ol and mission work, and his 
its organist and musical con- 
, a period of eleven years. H^e 
-rary Society, and all nu 
and the dissemination (■ _ 
h supporter in liim. 
ir. Du Bois has been one un- 
()f party affiliations. He was one 
II. ' nd he points with pride to the 
.1 presidential election was for 
' ■" '^ hn C. Fremoi-^ 
Republican cai 
ilie last. While taking an earn- 
. public affairs, he is not, and 
tician. 

iad Miss Adaline P. Brink, of 

'I has a son and three daughters. The 

'. Du Bois, was for several years in busi- 

*r, bat latterly has resided in California, 

*p^ ■■ the manufacture of plows and 

liois's eldest daughter, is the 

"uufl, M. D., of Brooklyn. Lillian 

lii-< younger daughters, reside at hi.s 

I and comfort of his declining 



•ors of good reputation ar>:: 

o'-'^nue; Henry Snieaton, ')t 

■'. Johnston, 397 Pultoii 

• :iy,E.D.;and77 

., etc. As ne;xi 

; of the shirt maaii- 

ioltows: Establisli- 

immber of hands, 

■,$520,000. 





'^,..^^^^ii>l 



f 



TFTE MANUFArri'nrXii TXni'STi: I i-:s. 



793 



The grand total of ilie clothing and shirt manufac- 
ture is, then, about 7,850 hands, and very nearly ^sio,. 
000,000 of annual production. 

SKCriON \X\II. 

Measuring Tapes and other Instruments of 

Precision. 

The first thought of the reader of this work will 
probahly be, " Measuring Tapes ! What a small and 
trifling article to make a special section of, in an account 
of the manufactures of Kings county." Hut the reader 
would be wrong, for measuring tapes, and the other in- 
struments of precision belonging to this manufacture, 
arc really articles of great imiiortance and extensive 
use, requiring a large manufactory and the use of a 
very considerable capital for their production. 

Mr. George M. Edd;/, whose portrait and biography 
appear in connection with this article, is the only manu- 
facturer of these goods in Kings county, and, perhaps, 
the only manufacturer of them on a large scale in the 
United States. 

As his biography states, he came to New York, from 
Massachusetts, in 1845, and commenced tliis manufac- 
ture under circumstances of great difhculty. He had 
no acquaintance, and very little capital, and but scanty 
knowledge of the business which he had undertaken. 
The instruments of measurement, which had been de- 
rived from Great Britain, were many of them inaccu- 
rate ; and these, such as they were, were mostly imported ; 
skilled mechanics, such as were required for this work, 
were few in number, and not easily induced to enter 
into the employ of a new beginner in a new enterprise. 
Then, also of the materials to be used, the tape had to 
be specially woven for the purpose, the leather prepared 
especially for this use; and the services of the brass 
founder and finisher, of the metal spinner, the saddler 
and leather stitclier, tlie painter, and above all the 
printer, must be called into requisition to produce the 
goods. Special machinery of new designs was required 
and built for some of the processes of the manufacture; 
of these machines, the continuous cylinder printing ma- 
chine, which now prints the tapes in continuous lengths 
of 400 feet per minute, was the most important and 
valuable. 

The first of these printing machines was constructed 
in the shops of the Messrs. Hoe & Co.,and the princii)le 
mvolved in it was subsequently developed into the 
great cylinder printing presses of that famous firm, 
which throw off their ,30,000 newspapers per hour. 

At that time there was but one wholesale hardware 
store, Messrs. Clark «& Wilson, of Piatt street. New 
York city, through which the American manufacturer 
could dispose of his goods; the other houses dealing 
exclusively in imported and mostly English hardware, 
which they claimed was very far superior to any which 
could be made here. What are now our great cities, 
were mostly provincial towns, an 1 the markets were 










GEO. M. I'.DDV \ rO.S M.ANlKACTnltV. 

limited. There were comparatively few railroads, .ind 
trans])ortatii)n was slow and difficult. 

But, notwitlistanding all these ditficulties, Mr. Eddy- 
pressed forward resolutely, determined to achieve suc- 
cess. He established his business at first in New York 
city, in very contracted quarters, but in 1S51 removed 
to larger premises, at 45 Gold street, N. Y., where, for 
some years he did a thriving business. The panic of 
1857, and the commencement of war in 1861, reduced 
the business to a low ebb. In 1862, it was removed 
to Terry ville, Conn., and in 1865 to Brooklyn, and the 
next year to its present spacious location, 345 to 353 
Classon avenue, built expressly for its purpose, which 
occupies, with the dwelling-houses of the proprietor and 
his sons, eight full city lots of 25 by 100 feet, or 
20,000 square feet. 

In this large establishment are manufactured every 
variety of measures for which there is a demand, from 
the one-foot pocket spring tape to the 500-feet steel 
tape. The pocket s])ring tapes are- of many varieties, 
styles and designs. There are also measures specially 
aila]>ted to the use of tailors, shoe-makers, dress-makers, 
etc., etc., as well as those adapted to the use of survey- 
ors, engineers, iron-workers, bridge-builders, farmers, 
j)lumbers, carpenters, and mechanics generally. 

There is a large and increasing demand for steel 
tapes for accurate measurement. A woven tape, how- 
ever carefully made and protected, is liable to many 
variations; but a steel tape, if carefully graduated, is 
subject only to variations of temperature which ar*' 
easily adjusted. These steel tapes have become indi,«- 
pensable to the surveyor, eugineeer, architect, dock and 
bridge builders, iron and pipe manufacturers, etc., etc. 



794 



niSTORY OF KING R COUNTY. 



The hubines-s lias gruwii and iuireased willi the 
growth aiiil prosperity of the coiiiitry, until the goods 
made by George M. E<ldy & Co. are widely and favor- 
ably known in our own and foreign lands. 

Duririj; the nearly forty years of his business life in 
New York, Brooklyn and Terryville, Mr. Eddy has 
had several different associates in business, the firms 
having been suecessively, G. M. &T. W. Eddy, from 1846 
to 1851; Eddy k Wells. 1851-1854; Eddy ifc Hinchman, 
1854-1858; Eddy & Wellington, 1858-1861; 1802-1865, 
the Edilv Manufacturing Company, at Terryville, Ct., 
Me.*,srs. Ives ii Upson being the partners; from 1865 to 
1870, Geo. M. Eddy alone; his brother, AV. P.Eddy, 
iH-came a partner in 1870; and the firm now consists of 
the two broth.ers, G. :M. A W. P., and Messrs. John G. 
A W. II. E.l.ly, sons of Geo. M. Eddy. The firm have 
a capital of *l()0,000; employ 50 hands; pay out an- 
nually about $25,000 wages, and their average annual 
product is about $80,000. 

Geo. 51. Eddv was born in the town of Dudley, Worcester 
county, Mass., October 4th, 1818. He was tlie son of John 
Eddy, Jr., a native and life-long resident of that town ; and 
was the eldest of eight cliildren; all of whom lived to ma- 
turity. 

His father was a farmer and a man of much pioiiunence 
in town, county and state affairs, holding office more than 
fifty years, as colonel of militia, representative to the Legis- 
lature for years, justice of the peace, chairman of the board 
of selectmen of the town ; of the boani of trustees of Nichols 
Acailemy: and of tlie hoard of assessors. 

His grandfather, a native of Gloucester, Rhode Island, 
and one of the earliest settlers of the town, was a man of 
enterprise, who, from a wilderness, turned the forest iuto 
productive fields, built houses, barns and mills; planted or- 
chards and mulberry trees, and was the first to introduce 
the culture of silk worms and the production of silk in that 
section of country. During the first invasion of Rhode Island 
by the British, in 1776, he raised a company of 100 men for 
the defence of Newport. 

He married Deborah Winsor, daughter of John Winsor, a 
distinguished Baptist clergyman, whose grandmother was 
the youngest daughter of Roger Williams, the founder of 
Rhode Island, and whose grandfather was one of the twenty 
aswjciatos of Itoger Williams in the ]>urcluise of I'rovidence 
from the native Indians, 

The Eddy family are of Saxon origin, and trace their 
genealogy to John and Samuel Eddy, who came from Eng- 
land in the ship llitiidmaid, and arrived at Plymovitli, 
Mass., Octolier 29lh, 1030; an account of the voyage being 
given in Winthrop's History of New England. They were 
the wjiiH of William Eddie, the curate of the church of 
Sjiinl Duiislan. Cr.mhrook, county of Kent. lOnglaiid, from 
I'll)! to IfllO. Samuel was one of the original purchasers of 
MidillelKjro, Mass., where some of his descendants still reside. 
.lonathaii E<ldy, his grandson, held a niilitaiy commission 
umlnrthe Governor of Ma-ssachuselts, raised men, and served 
ill the French war in t/anada, and afterwards resided in 
Novii Scotia, until the breaking out of tlie Revolution, when 
he joined the .American army at Cambridge, March 27, 1776 
(see Washington's letter to (Congress of that date). He held 
a cummissioii as colonel, aud coiumaiided at the b.attle of 
Machia^, I'roviiice of Maiiiu. Massachusetts granted him 



lands on the Penobscot river after the war — township No. 10, 
afterwards named Eddington— in recognition of his military 
services. In 1800, Congress granted him 1,280 acres of land 
in the Chillicothe district, Ohio, for distinguished military 
service. 

John Eddy, Jr.. the father of George M., married Nancy 
Merritt, a descendant from Henry Merritt, one of the first 
settlers of .Scituate, Mass.. as early as 1626. Savage's iV. K. 
Gencaluijical Did ionai-y says: " Henry Merritt lived in Sci- 
tuate, whei'e his wife joined the church in April, 1637. He 
died the last of March, 1653." 

Thus, on both the paternal and maternal side, he traces his 
ancestory to the earliest settlers of Massachusetts and Rhode 
Island. John Eddy, Jr., died in December, 1867. 

Geo. M, Eddy received the rudiments of education at the 
district school and afterwards at Nichols Academy in his 
native town. He was an apt scholar, foremost in his cl.asses, 
and received the commendation of his instructors. While at 
the Academy, he walked daily three miles to and from his 
father's residence. He early developed a taste for mathema- 
tics and mechanics; aud in his boyhood, all the leisure time 
spared from his books and studies was spent in his father's 
workshop, constructing various mechanical devices, among 
which was a complete water-mill, which was placed in a 
neighboring brook, fur the amusement of the boys of the 
neighborhood. Although he never learned any mechanical 
trade, this experience gave him a knowledge of the use of 
tools, which, as Benjamin Franklin wrote of himself, has been 
of service to him throughout his business career, and a 
stimulus to invention aud construction of machines, useful 
in his business. 

In 1834, at the age of 16, he entered the store and post 
office of the Hon. William Hancock, in his native town, as 
clerk, where he remained for three years. The contrast be- 
tween the postal facilities in those days and at present, is re- 
markable. There were then four rates of postage, based on 
the old Sjiauish silver currency, from 61 to 25 cents, according 
to liistance. aud while a letter is now nent throughout the 
United States for two cents, the postage was then 25 cents for 
more than 500 miles. The mails were conveyed in post 
coaches and the through mail, from New York to Boston by 
way of Hartford, was carried through the town. The hour 
of arrival of the southern mail was three o'clock in the morn- 
ing, and it became a part of his duty to be up, and receive 
and assort the mail, which, in the winter, was a cold task, 
while the driver of the coach sat shivering on his box, and 
the impatient passengers were scolding at the delay, inside. 
The President's message, at the opening of Congress in 1836, 
was carried through the town by express riders on horseback 
aii<l the town's people assembled at the post office to see them 
|)ass. For two winters he had exclusive charge of the post office, 
Mr. Hancock being a member of the Legislature at Boston, 
In 1837, he went to the adjoining town of Thompson, 
Conn., where he remained but a few months before he was 
prostrated by a fever, taken home, and for a time given up 
as past hope, but finally recovered. 

During the next year aud a half, he taught school in the 
neighboring towns, and, in 1830, entered the employment of 
Samuel Slater & Sons, extensive manufacturers of cottonand 
woollen goods, in I he tieighboring town of Webster, as book- 
keeper. 

In 1840, be made bis first journey, visiting New York city, 
thence to Albany, and by stage through the state, visiting the 
principal towns to Bufi'alo, then the largest city west of 
New York, returning home by way of the Erie Canal, 
travelling the whole length of it in a liue boat, occupying a 
whole week fioiii I'.iilTalo to .Mbany. a leisurely and delight- 



THE ^TANUFAVrURTNG INDUSTRIES. 



TftS 




\""1'^ 





ful way of travelling. Returning; home, he engagtd in can- 
vassing for various publications, and afterwards was em- 
ployed by a publishinj; liouse in Boston, as canvasser and 
collector, travelling throughout the New England states for 
three years in that capacity. 

In the spring of 1844. he came to New York and ongagi d 
to travel for a New York publisher; went to Maryland, 
Yirginia. and western Pennsylvania, but finding the business 
unremunerative, returned to Philadelphia. 

There from the 6th to the 10th of May he witnessed the 
native American and Irish riots, in which thirty houses and 
three churches were burned, fourteen persons killed, and 
many wounded. The veteran General Cadwalader finally 
took command of the niilitarj', declared the city under mar- 
tial law. dispersed all crowds, established a patrol of all the 
princi|)al streets, and put down the mob. The year 1844 w.is 
one of great political e.xcitement. there being three parties, 
Whig, Democratic, and Native Americans. In June of that 
year he went to the Whig National Convention at Baltimore, 
which nominated Clay and Frelinghuysen for President and 
Vice-President, and there for the first time saw Daniel 
Webster, and heard him make a speech supporting the nom- 
ination, although he was. undoubtedly, disappointed and 
chagrined (as he e.\pe<:ted to receive the nomination); he 



made a powerful impression never to be forgotten by those 
who heard him. 

Rettirniug to New York in the fall of 1844, he engaged as 
a traveler and canvasser for the then celebrated publisher of 
fashions, Genio C. Scott. In that capacity -lie was engaged 
for a }-ear, and in traveling among the tailors, his attention 
was called to the want of correct measures (which were then 
all imported I. and the question occurred to him. why not 
make them in this country? and with very little means he 
set about devismg and constructing machines to produce 
them, and the question was soon answered with an en<x)ur- 
aging affirmative. 

From that small beginning, encountering many discour- 
agements and difiiculties during the earlier years, but prose- 
cuted with determination and perseverance, the business has 
grown and expanded to dimensions undreamed of .it that 
time, until every kind of measure, demanded by all classes 
and occupations, under the English metre, and other systems 
of the countries of Europe, is made by the firm of Geo. M. 
Eddy & Co. From that time he found the occupation of his 
life, and it bids fair to lie that of his successors for genera- 
tions to come. At his manufactory, the largest variety and 
prolwbly the largest quantity of measures are produced, to 
be found in any establishment in the world, with, perhaps. 



nrSTORT OF KINGS COUNTY. 



„, M. For a description of tlie business, see page 

"'.I ,i-.tory. 

Ill iJtifnilH-r. lH4ri. \w married Mary E. Tenney, of New 
York, who ha^s Irtruo him six children, three of whom sur- 
vive, «nd two of whom. viz.. John O. and \Vm. II.. together 
with hiji hrother, Wm P.. constitute tlic firm. His sons re- 
ceived a business education previously to entering the firm, 
and are favorably known in social and military circles in 
Brooklyn, and hold commissions as officers of the 47th regi- 
ment. 

In politics, he has always been identified with the Repub- 
lican party, from its formation, but ha.s never been active as 
a politician, nor aspired to or held political office. In re- 
ligion. Iio has always been an attendant at the Presbyterian 
churcli. although not a member, but has been identified with 
the t'lasaon avenue Presbyterian church (formerly Dr. 
Duryea's), from its establishment. His social connections 
have been with the business men of tlie large cities, and lie 
U as well known among the elder merchants of Philadel- 
phia anil Itoston, as among those of New York and Brooklyn. 



SECTION XXXIII. 
Lumber— Packing and other Wood Boxes. 

'■ Liiinber in tiic rough,"' as saweil boards, slabs and 
plank, not jiiancd, or in a.nj way changed from its 
original condition, is not an article of manufacture, so 
far as Kings county is concerned, since it is all brought 
here in that condition from Canada, Michigan, Maine, 
Minnesota or elsewhere. Tiie men who only sell it in 
this condition, are lumber ckalers, not hunher tnaimfac- 
turers, and should be assigned a place among our largest 
dealers or merchants. 

But our larger lumber dealers, ahiiost without ex- 
ception, have saw .itid phiiiiiig mills connected with 
their iumljcr yards, and prepare matched and ])laiied 
boards, and tongued and grooved jtlank, mortised tim- 
bers, doors, mouldings, and other wood-work, ready for 
the carpenter's use, while some of them make a specialty 
of wood bo.xes for packing and other purposes; and 
others work up the hard woods into various forms. It 
is only in these connections that we can here regard 
lumber .is a manufacturing industry, though, if we were 
writing of any of the great lumber States, we must 
number tiie products of their great saw mills among 
•the manufactures of the State. 

The census lakes the same view of this subject which 
we have done, giving these two items — aside from 
" Hash, doors and blinds," which we have already treated: 
"Lumber, planed," 12 establishments, $C7G,,500 capital, 
530 hands, *'J.'iO,H27 wages, ¥1,271,317 material— that 
is, lumber; *l, 707,821 annual product; and "Boxes, 
wooden, p.ackiiig," 7 establishments, %9n8,500 capital, 
002 hands, *24:i,812 wages, $1,28G,6;!0 material, and 
*l, 707,040 annual jiroduct. The two items, it will be 
seen, are very nearly equal, and together amount to 
$3,47<'>,401 of annual product. 

The IJirectory does not give us much assistance of 
value in regard to this matter. The lumber dealers, 
the saw and planing mills, the packing lio.x makers, and 
the sash, door and Miml iiKUiiifactiireis, arc mingled 



in hopeless confusion. Visits to many of the leading 
lumber establishments have cleared up some of the 
difticulties. Of the lumber dealers, Charles E. Rogers 
ft Co. are the largest in the wholesale trade, and CVo.s-.s', 
Austin Jb Co. the largest in the retail trade. Jacob T. 
E. TMchfield <£• Co., Julian Ross <b Co., Southard d' 
Co., Ji'rederick W. Starr, Beers tfc Resseguie, Halstid 
Jirotliers, etc., etc., are also very large lumber dealers. 
Nearly all of these have saw and planing mills, and 
manufacture their lumber, in part, for builders' use. 
Some of them have moulding mills, sash, door and 
blind factories, or hard wood trimmings departments in 
connection with their lumber j'ards. Of these, we 
have already spoken, under " Furniture." There are also 
moulding mills, saw and planing mills, some of them 
with hard wood trimmings departments, and one large 
box maker, who are dealers in lumber to a considerable 
extent. Among these may be named John S. Loomis, 
White, PdttiT (b Paige Manufacturing C<uiipaiii/, 
Goodwin, Cross <& Co., Charles A. Roger.i tfc Co., 
Charles IT. Rei/nolds, IT. E. Pickett, Alexander dh Ellis, 
8(nUh Brooklyn Saw Mill Co., Long Island Saw and 
Planing 3Iill Co., and dear F. Haioley. The last 
named, while he is the largest box maker, also sells 
about 6,000,000 feet of lumber. 

Among the packing box makers, Mr. Oscar F. Haw- 
ley, oi whose large establishment we give a view, is un- 
doubtedly chief, and his works are probably more ex- 
tensive than any other in the country. 

The magnitude of Mr. Ilawley's business entitles him 
to a somewhat full description. The Hawley family 
have been engaged in the manufacture of packing 
boxes in New York and Brooklyn for about forty-four 
years. The father of the present manufacturer, O. F. 
Hawley, Sr., was by trade a carpenter, in New York, 
and commenced making j)acking boxes as a part of his 
business in 1840, at fir.st in New street, and, afterward, 
also in Gold street, New York, Messrs. Foster & 
Lowerre being his jiartners at different times till 1861. 
In 1858, they had removed to iheir new mill, 128 
Clumdi street, corner Thomas, New York, five stories 
high, still retaining their Gold street place, but selling 
that in New street. In 1801, Mr. Hawley, Sr., and C. 
Corley wt^re the proprietors, and O. F. Hawley, Jr., 
was ill tiie employ of the firm, beginning at the large 
wages of two dollars per week. He remained in the 
factory for four years, passing through every depart- 
iiunt and working at every machine in the works, till 
lie had mastered the business in all its details; and then 
for four years more, had charge of the lumber yard, 
which tile firm had maintained, since 1845, on Thirteenth 
avenue, corner West Twelfth street. New York. They 
bought what is known as the " product of the log," 
and, using the coarser lumber for their boxes, sold the 
better grades for commercial purposes. 

In 1870, Mr. O. F. Hawley, Jr., became a member of 
the firm, which then consisted of O. F. Hawley, Sr., 



THE MANUFACTURING TNDUSTRIES. 



•97 



■sil 










O. F. HAWLEY'S MANUFACTORY. 

William H. Wright and O. F. llawley, Jr. About 
this time there began to be some falling off in the de- 
mand for packing boxes from the dry goods jobbing 
houses, many of the jobbers removing to the West, 
and the goods being sent to them in the original pack- 
ages, and distributed by them from Chicago, St. Louis, 
and other points, in packing boxes made there. But a 
new business was found in the manufacture of petro- 
leum oil cases for export. These cases were of pecu- 
liar construction, and each held two five-gallon cans of 
petroleum oil. The demand for these increased so fast 
that in 1873 the firm of O. F. IlawIey Sc Co. resolved 
to move their box factorj- to Brooklyn, and put up 
machinery for manufacturing these goods. Their new 
location was on Rodney, lloss and Keap streets, and 
Kent avenue and the Wallabout canal. At this time 
they were manufacturing over 3,000 boxes a day, a very 
decided advance from the 50 boxes a day with which 
they had begun. At their new works in Brooklyn, they 
had made provision for making 3,000 oil boxes and 
1,000 of the other sizes daily, but the demand for the 
oil boxes increased beyond their ca]iacity to supply 
it, and a new firm and new buildings were required 
to extend it. The new firm was known as Hawley, 
Johnson Sc Wright, and consisted of O. F. ITawloy, Sr., 
a special partner, and his sons, O. F., Jr., and E. C. ; 
Russell Johnson an old lumber merchant, and William 
II. Wright. The increase in the oil business in 1877, 
had brought the demand for oil cases up to 8,000 a 
day, and about 3,000 other packing boxes were re- 
quired. The firm expired by its own limitation in 
1877. O. F. Hawley, Sr., and W. II. Wright retired; 
Russell Johnson, and E. C. Hawley, as R. Johnson & 



Co. took I lie Br'Miklyii Im.siness, lunl ','. 1'. llawley, Jr. 
iIh New York business, at 40 Gold street, and the 
luinlier yard was removed to Corlear's Honk, N. Y. On 
theL'Othof August, 1879, the Brooklyn mill was burned 
down, .iiid on the 23d of August, O. F. Hawley, Sr., 
died very suddenly, aged 59 years. 

R. Johnson & Co. re-built the Brooklyn mill, aii<l 
sold out their interest in it to O. F. Hawley, Jr., 
April 1, 1880, who has since condiifted the business, 
both in New York and Brooklyn alone. Both mills 
have been thoroughly overhauled, and new and com- 
plete labor-saving machinery put in throughout. The 
oil cases are made almost entirely by machinery; the 
nailing them together being accomj)lished entirely by 
machines, and wire nails being used in the place of cut 
nails. Three machines constitute a set for the oil 
cases, and turn out the boxes complete. Four sels are 
now running with a capacity for turning out 18,000 
of these cases in a day. Boxes for other purposes are 
also made to the extent of 2,500 to 3,000 daily, and there 
is also an immense business done in "shooks," that is, 
boxes ready to be nailed together, but packed in parts 
to save room in shipping. These are sent to different 
parts of our own country, and all over the globe. 

The value of the lumber used for boxes by Mr. 
Hawley is $750,000 a year; and they sell of lumber, not 
needed for this purpose, 6,000,000 feet per year. The 
trade in oil cases when the export demand is active, 
amounts to over one million dollars a year; in other 
boxes and shooks, to over half a million. He prints his 
owu labels, trade marks and circulars, in colors or plain 
as required; uses $30,000 worth of nails annually; em- 
ploys two hundred men and boys and ten or fifteen 
clerks, etc., in his ofiices; pays $140,000 annually in 
salaries and wages, and has a working capital of $250,- 
000. The manufacture of oil cases is too large a busi- 
ness to be done by one firm, and several of the great 
petroleum refiners, have their own manufactories for 
making both these and the five-gallon oil cans which 
are packed in them. In a busj- season of export, the 
demand from the Brooklyn refineries alone, amounts to 
between 50,000 and 60,000 cases a day; one house 
(Devoe Mfg. Co.) using from 25,000 to 30,000, and 
another (Charles Pratt k. Co.), from 15,000 to 18,000. 
Both these houses, we believe, make most of their own 
cases. 

Aside from these, the other packing-bos makers in 
Brooklyn and Kings county are: Rogers <C Co., Bond 
and Third streets; James H. Di/leinan, 501 Union 
street; A. B. Dobbti tfc Co., 128 Freeman; Jfremiah 
Close, 350 S. 3d; Edward C. Smith, 420 Oakland, 
Reeves <t Church, 127 Greene, with an office also in 
N. Y., E. II. Barnes <t- Co., 26 Court street, and works 
also at Oswego, N. Y. and Zephaniah Wood, 325 Ewen 
street. The total number of bands employed in box- 
making consideralily exceeds 1,200, and the total out- 
put cannot b(! less than $5,000,000. 



7»S 



HISTORY OF KINGS COUNTY. 



Tbo a.hievements of the eminent and patriotic sliij' 
builJir, surveyor of slii]>i»ing, and civil and military en- 
gineer, Mr. James I>. Leary, whoso steel ])ortrait graces 
the oi>|.o»ite page, and whose biography will be read 
with deep interest by all, have been so various, and all 
of them of such service to the city, to commerce, and 
to the nation, that we have been at a loss to decide in 
which connection he would be most fitly placed. He 
might have been ai>j>roi>riately honored under " Com- 
merce," to which his services, both as surveyor for the 
British Lloyds, and as the builder of some of the 
Htaunchcst steamships from our i)ort, and very many of 
the best government vessels, fully entitled him; his 
great deeds in connection with naval and military en- 
gineering would have given him a place with the most 
eminent of our engineers; he might have taken rank 
with our other great ship-builders, for he is the peer of 
the most eminent of them — and if we have elected to 
place him as a dealer in and a manufacturer of ship 
timber and lumber, it is only because we could place 
him there without a competitor, for the honor which is 
due to him. His extensive yards, at North Fourth and 
First streets, are stocked with the best timber and lum- 
ber for sliip-building purposes to be found anywhere; 
and those i^ho have had occasion to build or thoroughly 
repair their vessels, have always found that his ship- 
yard and lumber yard could furnish the best lumber 
and the best hands for the work required. 

Mr. Leary reports that he comuienced his present 
business in 1867; that he has invested in it a capital of 
$100,000; employs 225 hands; ])ays about ^150,000 for 
wages; and has an annual production of ^450, OOO, of 
which the sales of lumber amount to $75,000 annually. 



James D. Leary. — There is not in Brooklyn a more exten- 
sively or more favorably known citizen tlian James D. Leary; 
and there are few of his coutemporaries, an account of whose 
live* would Ije more interesting to the general reader, or 
more encouraging to tlie rising generation, as sliowing that 
perseverancf, unyielding energy and undeviating fi<lelity to 
a life purpose, togetlier with personal honor and commercial 
integrity, will ultimately win their legitimate rewards. 

A son of Daniel an<l Catharine (Stack) Leary, .James D. 
Leary was born in Montreal, Canada, September LTith, 1837. 
Ue attended a private school there during liis cliildliood and 
l)oyhood. In l(i.52, he came to Willianisliiirgli, and began to 
wrve an apprenticeship of four years at the trade of ship- 
builder with his uncle, Thomas Stack, who wa.s, for manv 
years, one of the lea<ling ship-builders of the city of Brook- 
lyn, ajt now bounded, with a sliip-yard between where is now 
the fool of North Fourth street and the foot of North Si.\th 
street. At the expiration of Iuh term of apprenticeship, dur- 
ing a [Kirlion of which he attemleil night schools, Mr, Leary 
was maile foreman of IiIh umdc'K ship-yard, and held tliat 
{lOHition until IHflO, when he cHtablislied a ship-yard at the 
foot of North Tliirteenlli Hlreet. 

The luimc aptitucle for his choHcn work, and tlie cliaracter- 
i«tii- ddiKcnce and thoroughness which had rendereil liim a 
very valuable assiHtant in his unile's liusiness, insured his 



■iiir-coss when he embarked in the same line of enterprise on 
\\ a account, and his business thrived, even beyond his 
e.\i"clations. In 1871, he removed to the foot of North Sixth 
street, and occupied the former ship-yard of Mr. Stack, who 
had, a few years previously, withdrawn from business. Here 
he has since built many vessels of all kinds, and, for years, 
has given constant employment to from lOU to 225 men. In 
1876, he bought the lumber yard and mill formerly owned by 
the Williamsburg Mill and Lumber Company, and has since 
manufactured lumber very extensively, both for consump- 
tion at his ship-yard and for the general market. 

The excellence and durability of Mr. Leary 's work, and the 
fidelity and promptness with which he fulfilled all contracts 
awarded to him, many years ago brought liim to the attention 
of those who looked after the shipping interests of the United 
States Government, and during the late war his services 
were secured to superintend the keeping in order of twenty- 
seven steamers in the United States service; and, during a 
portion of the period of the Civil War, lie was Assistant 
Superintendent of Construction of the United States Revenue 
Marine; and at the close of the war he built a revenue cutter 
at Tonawanda, N. Y., for use on the upper lakes. 

Even while yet a foreman in the employ of Mr. Stack, his 
power to successfully manage heavy contracts had been 
recognized by that gentleman, with whom he was a silent 
partner in a government contract of considerable import- 
ance, and was the active manager of the building of between 
forty and fifty vessels thus constructed. If any further 
evidence of his ability to perform brilliant achievements as a 
ship-builder, or of his right to take rank among the foremost 
ship-builders of the United States, was thereafter necessary, 
it was forthcoming in the signal success with which he ful- 
filled tbe important contracts above referred to. That his 
fame, long since, reached foreign shores, may be inferred from 
the fact that he was for nine 3'ears the only surveyor in New 
York, for Lloyd's Register of British and Foreign Sliipping, 
his duties being to keep all British and other vessels, classed 
in Lloyd's, up to the standard required by the rules. It de- 
volved upon him, in this capacity, to visit all vessels dam- 
aged, or supposed to be damaged; to see all necessary repairs 
properlj' made, and to certify to all bills for the same. A 
higher compliment than was paid to Mr. Leary for honor and 
integrity, by his appointment to, and long continuance in 
this pasition, can scarcely be imagined by one who has an 
idea of the inducements to dishonesty and bad faith with his 
employers, wliich are made to its incumbent, from time to 
time, by vessel owners, to whom a delay for repairs, neces- 
sary when the lives of tlieir seamen are considered, but not de- 
sirable to themselves, often means a loss of thousands of dol- 
lars, beyond the actual expense incurred in putting their ves- 
sels in condition, and by unscrupulous sliip-builders, who are 
ever ready to avail themselves of the surveyor's favor in 
attem])ts to obtain more than an equitable price for services 
rendered. 

Mr. Leary has also been .awarded many extensive contracts 
by tbe United States Government, other than such as natur- 
ally belonged to his regular busine.ss; and he has built, in 
various places, piers, dikes and gun-pits, besides doing con- 
siderable dredging; he has also constructed all of the gun- 
beds in use for heavy ordu.ance, in all of the United States 
fortifications, from Maine to California New York being 
the great purchasing depot of supplies for the United States 
Army, Mr. Learj', under successive administrations, from 
IHGS to 1880, held the contrac^t for all of tlie local transporta- 
tion, incident to the purchase and distribiitiou of the supplies 
to the various military posts in all [larts of the Union, em- 
ploying many men and te.ams. From 1873 to 1882, he was 



KX^ 




^V'by A f-P.iixhit 





£^ 



THE MA .Vf 'FA CTf^RrXG TXD CSTRTES. 



709 



extensively engaged in the wholesale and retail coal trade in 
New York, during a greati'i part of the time supplying all of 
the public sohooU and station houses, and all of the govern- 
ment posts and fortifications about New York, and several in 
other parts of the United States, 

Mr, Leary was married September 28th, la'iO, to Mary C, 
daughter of James Fallon, a builder and dealer in brown 
stone and marble, long well known in Brooklyn, by whom 
he has had eight sons and one daughter, four of whom are 
living: Daniel J., aged 22 years: Sylvester, aged 10; fieorge, 
aged 14; and Marie C, aged 4. Daniel J., a graduate of Co- 
lumbia College, is a civil and mining engineer, and is now in 
charge of the engineering and contracting department of his 
father's business. Sylvester and George are students at the 
Polytechnic Institute. Marie C. is a bright l.ttle miss, who 
christened the " City of Gloucester." the last steamer built by 
her father, launched May 32d. 1883, Thorough man of busi- 
ness as he is, carefully looking after even the details of his 
immense enterprises: wide as is his aci|uaintance with public 
men, and numerous and pressing as are the demands for his 
presence abroad, Mr. Leary finds his greatest happiness in 
his home, where, in the companionship of wife and children, 
he passes the hours of rest which follow his days of care 
Though he is not one to refer boastfully to his achievements, 
he is entitled to regard them with pride. Setting out on the 
journey of life as an humble but earnest apprentice, he has— 
as the result of his business capacity, his perseverance and 
the honorable policy which he has always pursued toward 
all with whom his numerous enterprises have brought him in 
contact— attaine<l to a position among the most prominent 
men of the Brooklyn of his day and generation. 



We think we are fully justified in estimating the 
number of liands employed in the manufactures of this 
section at about l',30U, and the total annual production 
at more than $9,000,000. 



SECTION XXXIV. 
Carriages, Cars, Wagons and Trucks. 

The census of 1880 gives the following statistics 
concerning these industries: Carriages and wagons — 
90 establishments; §484,350 capital; 492 hands; $289,- 
155 wages; $328,425 material; $829,492 annual pro- 
duct. Cars, railroad, street and repairs — 7 establish- 
ments; $61,774 capital; 92 hands; $65,329 wages; 
$59,266 material, and $137,055 product. To any one 
ac(|uainted with the statistics of the manufactures of 
our city and county, these figures bear on their face 
the evidence of their inaccuracy. 

The directory for 1883 numbers 110 of all classes, — 
carriage builders, wagon and truck builders, and wheel- 
wrights; but the wheelwrights are for the most part 
blacksmiths, with whom the ironing of wheels is an 
incident of their work, or they are finishers of wheels, 
which have been manufactured in the rough at some 
hamlet in the wooded districts, and sent here to be 
finished. There are four axle and spring makers in 
Urooklyn; whether they make the patent or other hubs 
also we are not certain, but they have a better claim to 
the title of wheelwrights than any of the 25 or 30 
who claim that name. 



The wagon and truck makers are also, many of them, 
originally blacksmiths, who have added the manufac- 
ture of strong and heavy wood- work to the iron por- 
tions of the trucks and Iieavy wagons which they 
made at first. Of one of tliese it is exprostijy noted 
that he is a skillful liorse-shoer ; yet he has adver- 
tised as a wagon maker for 17 years. 

A few of tiicse nianufai'turers do make very good 
wagons and trucks, and their grocery wagons, milk 
wagons and bread carts, are, through the jmintors' 
skill, made very attractive. 

Among these, Mr. Joseph F. Clark, who.se specialty 
is grocers', bakers' and other business wagons, em|doy8 
about 211 workmen, and has an establishment covering; 7 
or 8 city lots, in Concord street. William (Jon nidi/ makes 
trucks, and his skill as a blacksmith enables him to 
produce those which will stand heavy wear; he 
started in Ridgewood, in 1867, and did not remove to 
Brooklyn till 1880; his place is in Marion 8treet_ A. 
W. Shadboldt it Son, 68 Flushing avenue; in 1853 
the senior member of the firm commenced the manufac- 
ture of trucks and heavy wagons on Norfolk 
street, New' York city. He began on a small scale, 
hut enlarged his business continually, and ten years 
later removed to Brooklyn, locating first in Concord 
street, and in 1866, at 68 Flushing avenue. In 1873, 
he erected a new shop, and added a 20-horse power 
steam engine to drive the machinery. Soon after his 
son was admitted to partnership, other additions were 
made to the buildings from lime to time, and greater 
facilities provided for manufacturing. Their product 
averages about $100,000 in value annually, giving em- 
ployment to 25 men. 

Several of the carriage builders make wagons also. 
Among these are Hand <0 Falksen, of Third avenue, 
and 22d street, who employ 14 men, pay about $8,500 
for wages and salaries, and turn out $13,500 of work; 
Joseph Statler, of Forest place, between 4th and •'ith 
avenues, and who started in Fort Hamilton, in 1876 ; 
Robert Jones, corner of Nassau and Bridge (first at 133 
Nassau, in 1865, the firm being then Jones & Burke. 
He came to his present location in 1880), employs 35 
men; specialty, business wagons; yearly turn-out, $75,- 
000. This IS one of the oldest firms in the city. 

Of the carriage makers proper, John Curley, of 242 
State street, is probably the largest; he has an exten- 
sive factory, and turns out a large amount of excel- 
lent work. William B. Davis, of 16-20 Henry street, 
is also a successful manufacturer. Coe <fc Merritt, of 
242 Bedford avenue, established in 1855 on South 
Seventh street, erected their present building in 1876; 
they employ, on an average, 30 hands, and turn out 
$50,000 worth of carriages annually. James E. Wheeler, 
of 131 Third street. JDuhatnel <t Singer, of 169 Clymer 
street, employ 16 hands, pay nearly $10,000 for sal- 
aries and wages, and produce annually nearly $20,000. 
lieynolds d; Elliott, 371 and 373 Pacific street j Cal- 



800 



HISTORY OF KINGS COUNTY. 



I., .iijii 1. iiiiii^uBii iiviiiuu; Auyas 
/, ■l.jiiiro.Mt'aveiiiu'; «7b.if/>/i^. Vava7ia(/h,i5 

Fi:iibu8ii avenue; //«;/(/ cf- /(///ejjew. Third avenue and 
•.'•-'li Ktreet, etc., etc., are other manufacturers of car- 
riages with a fair reputation. 

'J'hi-re are no great houses in this business like the 
lire waters, Flandreaus, and others of New York, or the 
extensive carriage works of New Haven, Conn., and 
Newark, N. J.; but tliese houses suffice for our local 
busiiiesH and re]>airing. 

We do not think from careful inquiry that the busi- 
ness is increasing in Kings county, and from the best 
information we can obtain, believe the census report 
decidedly beyond the actual production. We should 
hardly jdace that product higher than $800,000, or at 
the most, ^850,00(1. 

We can find no railroad or street cars manufactured 
in the county, unless some of the railroad repair shops 
of some of the Coney Island roads, or the Long Island 
road, may, in the stress of summer travel, have built 
gome of the second-class or cheap cars. There are 
at these shops, as also at the terminal stables and car- 
bouses of tlie street railroads, j)laces for repairing the 
cars, and the great number of tliera which need repair- 
ing, as well as the motors and stiow-scrapers, would be 
very likely to require an expenditure of nearly the 
amount specified by the census, though this is rather 
an outlay on the part of the roads, than a manufactur- 
ing product. 

SuBSKCTiox I. — Axles and Carriage Sprim/s. 

The F. W. Wurster Foundry, Spring and Axle 
Wi/rA-s, located near the foot of Broadway, at the 
corner of 1st and South 6th streets, Brooklyn, E. D., 
must be ranked among the most vigorous and ])roduc- 
tive manufacturing entcFprises in the city. Their 
rapid growth from so recent an origin is remai-kable. 
Mr. Wurster first commenced here in 1875, with a 
foundry, having received his mechanical training in a 
mowing machine manufactory. This he continued for 
about three years, when, feeling a capacity and desire 
for more and larger business, lie began making axles 
with one trip baminer, and a few men. Successful in 
this, he enlargud in buildings and machinery, and em- 
barked actively in the new department of making steel 
springs. The three co-ordinate branches developed so 
fast, individually and collectively, that their demands 
for more buildings and greater facilities, some became 
imperative, resulting in the erection, in 1880, of the 
large and imifosing building shown in the accompany- 
ing cut. Mr. Wurster had previously rented, but now 
purchased, the premises he occupied, of David Jones, 
a largo brewer of New York. The new building has 
a total frontage of 250 feet, standing 100 feet on 1st 
street, and 150 on South 0th street. It is six stories 
high, and has all possible adaptations of construction 
and machinery, to make it what it is, a model of its 




F. W. WURSTEK'S FOUNDRY. 

kind. Besides this, Mr. Wurster leases an adjoining 
building on 1st street, 150 feet long, making his front- 
age 250 feet on this street. Then his foundry in the rear 
is 75x200 feet, in which all kinds of casting for build- 
ing and heavy machinery is done. Nor is this all. 
The spring shop is 50x150 feet in dimensions, where 
everything in demand, from a light buggy spring, up 
to the weightiest truck spring, is made. Two steam 
engines, one of 50, and the other of 150 horse power, 
furnish the motive propulsion required. Four trip, 
hammers, innumerable machines, and a force of 200 
men, are the fashioning and perfecting forces, by which 
10 tons of pig iron, 8 tons of refined wrought iron, and 
:i tons of the best steel, are transferred into castings, 
axlc's, and springs, every twenty-four hours. Their 
annual sales are large. There is no similar establish- 
ment in Brooklyn. 

Jan. 1st, 1884, Mr. Wurster received into copartner- 
ship his able assistant, Mr. C. W. Sehliichtner, who 
had been his salesman for the previous five years. 

Mr. Wurster, with the assistance of a superintend- 
ent, and three foremen, attends to the mechanical direc- 
tion and details, and the finances, while Mr. Sehliichtner 
giv(!s his time to buying the raw material, and selling 
the manufactured product. Mr. Wurster, who has 
lived ill the 19th ward of Brooklyn since about 1860, 
IS but ;J2 years old, and his i)artner is but 27 years old. 

^Vith a record of such achievements, so early in 
life, they have only to preserve their powers of body 
and mind, and a most satisfactory future is assured. 



SECTION XXXV. 

Grinders and Wholesale Dealers in Coffees, 

Spices and Teas. 

'J'he large stores along tlie river front, between 
Kuitoii and Wall street ferries, receive thrce-fourllis of 




V /, /r ■// /// u // // ■ 



THE MANUFACTURING INDUHT/.'/ZS 



KOI 



the coffee impoi-ted into the United States, including 
all whole cargoes, and a portion of that in mixed car- 
goes. Steamers now do more of the carrying trade in 
coffee than sailing vessels. Coffee from Arabia and 
the East Indies comes mostly in 300-lb. sacks, while 
that from South America and Mexico is in bags called 
"pickles," containing 131^ lbs. each. The exact value 
of the coffee imported at the Brooklyn stores caiinnt 
be accurately ascertained, but would be about three- 
fourths of the annual importation, which for 1883 was 
valued at ^42,050,513, about §4,000,000 less than for 
1882. Coffee which becomes "rusty," or discolored, 
by the sea voyage, and thereby damaged in appearance 
more than in quality, is " polished " here by rapid revo- 
lution in cylinders, which restores its original color, 
but renders it more shiny, hence the name. The New 
York ifc Baltimore Coffee Polishing Company, arc en- 
gaged in this liusiness, also a few other firms. 

Seven-ninths of the tea imported is landed at the stores 
between Catherine Ferry and Grand street. Its value 
in 1883 was $17,302,849, as against $19,382,102 in 1882. 
The manufacture of teas here occupies a number of 
firms. Two-thirds of the tea (the Report on Commerce 
and Navigation says about one-tifth) imj)orted comes 
across the Pacific to San Francisco, thence overland. 
The duty on tea and coffee was removed July 1, 1882. 

Under the head of spices are included cinnamon, 
cloves, nutmeg, mace, ginger, pepper, mustard and 
allspice, which were imported in 1883 to the amount 
of $1,550,289. Nearly all of these are landed at the 
stores between Fulton and Wall street ferries. Several 
firms are engaged in packing, grinding and preparing 
them for market. 

The first among the Brooklyn firms who handle 
coffees, spices and teas, are the Ariosa Coffee Works 
(Charles & John Arbuckle), at the foot of Adams and 
Jay streets. They first established in 1870, in Water 
street, New York, where they were burned out, and 
then came to Brooklyn in 1881. Their factory, six 
stories high, foot of Adams street, was supplemented 
in 1884, by a large one, nine stories high, at foot of 
Jay street. They have always dealt in coffees, teas 
and spices; but, in 1883, they added a general whole- 
sale groceries department. They employ 500 hands, 
48 roasting cylinders in operation each day, and 32 all 
night, each cylinder of copper, with 300 lbs. capacity, 
and taking 35 minutes to roast; 2, .500 sacks of coffee, 
of 130 lbs. each are roasted, and 12 car-loads of ground 
goods shipped daily. They import coffees from all 
countries where they are grown, and do a business of 
$8,000,000 per year. William W.iring's Brooklyn 
Coffee lb Spice 3IUk, at 74 Fulton street, was estab- 
lished (by Cornelius Van Cott, brother of Judge Joshua 
M. Van Cott), at Hicks street, about 1839; was at 46 
Fulton street for 21 years, then located at 48 Fulton; 
then in Nassau, and since 1854 at its present locality. 
The Gennania Coffee tfc Spice Mills (ol Wischmau & 



Bohn), at 78 Fulton street, was established in 1852, at 
No. 25, 8an\e street, and have been 10 years in their 
l)re8ent location. They eniidoy 16 hands, a IZ-liorse 
power steam engine; roast 1,500,im)0 11)» per year; 
business amounting to $190,000 annually. Mr. B.din 
entere<l the firm in 1879. We present, herewith, the 
portrait and biography of the senior partner. 

1 [(iUMANN WiscHMASS.— A prominent member ofthatclaiw 
of energetic men who arc engage*] in mercantile life in this 
city, and who constitute such an iin|H)rtiint factor in Uniok- 
lyn's commercial importance, is Mr. Hermann Wiwhmann. 
Like many others who have built up large business interests 
here, Mr. Wischmann is an adopted citizen of this country, 
having teen boru August 18, 1831, in the Kingdom of Han- 
over, now a part of Prussia. His father was a farmer, living 
near the Baltic sea-coast, who gave his son the educational 
advantages which were alTorded by the village sehool, as 
conducted under the well known and thorough German 
system. The lad lived quietly at home, until he was seven- 
teen years of age, never having traveled far, or seen a city. 
Two brothers had preceded him to America, and their letters 
awoke in him the desire to leave the quiet farm life, to see 
something of the world, and to try his fortunes in the United 
States. He accordingly took passage for America, arriving 
in New York, as so many others have done, poor in purse 
but rich in hope, ambition and energy. His stay in the city 
extended over three years, during which time he was em- 
ployed as clerk in the grocery liusiness. Then came an op- 
portunity to invest in an undertaking wliich promised well, 
and ho put his savings into the New York Submarine Wreck- 
ing Company, an organization which was formed for the 
purpose of raismg sunken vessels. The Company did not 
succeed, and recovered neither sunken ships or sunken cap- 
ital, so Mr. Wischmann lost his all, and was forced to begin 
again at the bottom of the ladder. Notwithstanding the ebb 
in his fortunes, he took unto himself a wife, whose acquaint- 
ance he had made in South Brooklyn; while duck-shooting in 
the Bay. Casting about for something to do, he remarked 
upon the crowds of people daily passing over Fulton Ferry, 
and reached the conclusion that a dining saloon on the 
Brooklyn side, near the Ferry, would be remunerative. He 
therefore opened such an establishment at No. 25 Fulton 
street, begimiing in an humble waj-, but gradually enlarging 
his accommodations as lie was able. At the end of six years 
he had accumulated some capital, and, what was better, had 
won the confidence and esteem of all who knew him. An 
advantageous offer was made him at this time, to go into the 
coffee trade as clerk in Waring's house, where he remained 
four j'ears, giving such satisfaction that a share in the bu.si- 
ness as partner was offered him. of which offer he availed 
himself. The firm relation existed for ten years, when he 
decided to start in business for himself, having acquired the 
necessary experience and some capital. He bought and re- 
built the stand at 78 Fulton street, with Mr. Hohorst as his 
partner, who remained for only a year, however. By close 
attention to his business, and good in.anagement. Mr. Wisch- 
mann was able to increase his operations year by year, add- 
ing to his place of business, putting in a steam engine and 
requisite machinery, until the small store of a few years 
since has become a large wholesale establishment, dealing in 
coffees, teas and spices, employing a number of men and 
horses, and turning out many thousands of dollars' worth of 
manufactured products annually. Early in his business 
life he adopted the motto, " Pay as you go," which has 
proved as advantageous m his case as it luiversally does. 



Srt2 



nrSTORY OF KINGS COUNTY. 



at-, 
ter; 



■iccesB in mercantile life by accident, or 
ty without faithful, persistent labor. The 
:iy are losers, must combine industry, en- 
. ence with business tact ; at the same time 
he mu-.l be known to men to be honest and reliable in his 
dealiiit,"<- These qualities distinguish Mr. Wischman, 
and have brought him not only wealth, but also the 
rateem of men for his integrity and manhood. Ilia 
interest in the affairs of the city le.^ds him to favor those 
riieaiiures that would tend to the |iublic good, and to oppose 
•trongly all forms of dishonesty iu municipal matters, though 
he takes uo part in pobtii-s beyond voting, and that the Re- 
publican ticket, generally. He is fund of reading, and well 
IKwted in the current events of the day. Affable in manners, 
bin courtesy is genuine, springing from a kind heart, tliat 
does much in charity towards relieving the misfortunes of 
others. His church connections are with the (Jerman Lu- 
theran Church, in Henry street, of which organization he 
has been treasurer for a number of years. Always fond of 
society, be has been a member of several social organizations 
and a military company: he is also a member of .Joppa Lodge 
of Free Masons. 

His time is still mostly devoted to bis large business, 
which he oversees for himself, although receiving the a.ssist- 
ance of a younger partner in carrying out ttie d tails. Mr. 
Wischmann is to be congratulated upon having won, by his 
own exertions, a competence and a goud name, both among 
business men and in society at large. 



Tlie firms of Packard <& James (the portrait and hio- 
{jraphy of the junior partner, Hon. Darwin R. James, 
will be found at page 4 16*), of i);i Furnian street; E. li. 
Durkee tb Co., 263 Water street, do each an annual 
business approaching 1500,000 each, and employ some 
.50 men; Wni. Borling, 124 Kent avenue, established 
at 22 Raymond street, employs 5 hand.s, roasts about 
$100,000 annually; Voit Glahv, liischoff ck Co., es- 
tablished 1S82, came from Tompkins avenue, corner of 
Park avenue They roast some ;iu,i>00 lbs per month, 
and their sales amount to $.500,000 per vear. They 
make a specialty of wholesale groceries, and do un an- 
nual business of 1100,000 in potatoes. The Von Giahn 
Bros, commenced the railk business nine years ago 
with ordy |i2.50 capital. J. Weidet)iei/er,Jr., J. J. S/ii/- 
der, Ilenrij Watson, and the Bain Tea <D Coffee Co., 
al.so coniliicl large concerns. 

A few of the foregoing hou.ses have otlices in New Yoi-k 
city. A large part of the coffee handled by these firms is 
also roasted by them. After being sorted anil jjicked 
over, the green coffee runs ihrougli i)ipes into cylindri- 
cal iron roasters, which are constantly revolving within 
a beateil furnace; each cylinder contains from 150 to 
:iii0 pounds of coffee, which, after being roasted, is run 
into large cooling trays with double gauze bottoms, 
through whi(!h a bbiwer draws a current of cold air. 
Tlie smaller houses roast .5,000 lbs. per day, and the 
larger ones proportionally more. Sj,i(-es are ground 
and put in jiound ami half pound packages; spices of 
all kinds have been admitted to the ports of the United 
.Slates .Inly fri'c, since .lidy, ISSii. 

In coniicciion with this department of Brooklyn In- 



dustries, we present the portrait and biography of Mr. 
S. M. Beard, a long and well known resident of our 
city, although his business interests are more strictly 
associated with New York city. 



Sylvester M. Be.\ud. — This gentleman, one of the best 
known and moft highly respected residents of Brooklyn, 
E. D., was Vjorn Dec. lUli, 1810, a son of .Samuel and Arter- 
crelia (Wooster) Beard. His paternal grandfather was an 
American soldier in the Revolution, and lived in the house 
iu which his son .Samuel lived after him, and in which 
Sylvester M. Beard was born. In 1823, Samuel Beard 
disposed of the old family homestead in Huntington, 
Conn., and removed with his family to Oxford, Che- 
nango county, N. Y., where Sylvester M. Beard passed 
his time on bis father's farm until 1840, in the meantime re- 
turning to Huntington, Conn , his native place, and marry- 
ing Miss Lucy M. Cummings. 

In 1840, Mr. Beard came to New York and soon engaged 
in the grocery trade, in partnership with bis brother-in-law, 
William A. Cummings. under the firm name of Beard & 
Cummings. In 1844, these gentlemen clianged their trade to 
one in tea, coffee and spices, iu which they embarked in a 
small way near the foot of East Hous on street. Two years 
afterward they bought the store and mill of William Pren- 
tice, in Front street, their offices bsiug located at 379 Front 
street. Their business was prosperous, and steadily in- 
creased, until their sales aggregated about |1, 0110,000 per 
annum. In 1860, the firm changed its organization some- 
what, and was known as that of Beards & Cummings until 
1872, when it became Beard, .Sons & Co. After some inter- 
mediate changes it became known as the house of Fitz- 
patrick & Case, Mr. Beard having an interest in the busi- 
ness, which has assumed such proportions that for some 
years past it has not unfrequently reached an annual ag- 
gregate of $7,000,000 to $8,000,000 and has amounted to 
112,000,000 in a single year. The store and offices of this 
house were removed to 128 Front street in 1861, and thence 
in 1863 returned to 271) Front street, whence they were re- 
moved, in 1879, to numbers 5, 7 and 9 James slip. This 
important commercial enterprise is extensively known in 
New York, and throughout the principal business centres of 
the United States. Its history iu detail would be an inter- 
esting one, as showing how, from a small beginning, an im- 
mense enterprise may be built up by the judicious and per- 
sistent application of those cardinal principles, without 
which no success, however slight in degree, can be attained. 
To Mr. Beard is due, iu no small degree, the credit of this 
gratifying success. 

Elsewhere, in these pages e.Kteudeil reference is made to 
the beautiful Ceineteri/ of the Evergreens. With the his- 
tory of this celebrated burial place, the name of Mr. Beard 
is inseparably linked. At the organization of its first asso- 
ciation in 1852, he was one of the original stockholders. 
Through the trying years of its early history, he was one of 
its staunchest supporters, and when, in 1872, difficulties of 
long duration culminated in its sale by legal process, he be- 
came the purchaser, and through his influence a stock com- 
pany was organized, under a special act of the Legislature, 
to take charge of its interests, with William A. Cummings 
as president, Sylvester M, Beard as Vice-President, and 
Winchester Britton as Attorney. Since that time, during the 
more prosperous years of its history, in which it has taken 
rank among the leading cemeteries of New York and Brook- 
lyn, Mr. Beard has been active in its management, and he is 
its present Vice-President. 




-■•? tj A-HJ^J''-'- 



TTtE MANUFACTURTNG rNDUSTIiTEfi. 



803 



Mr. Board was one of the projcclors of tin- Miliuiiolilun 
Life Iiixuraiice Company, of Mew York, and lias been one of 
its directors from its organization. He was one of the 
originators, and lias from tlio first been a director, of thr 
UiooldjiH Cros.iToini Railroad Companif. He was one of 
tlie organizers of the Koss street Presl)yterian chnrcb; was 
its first treasurer. an<l one of its first trustees. From time 
to time throiigli his busy career, he has been i)ronunenlly 
identified with otlier commercial, religious and charitable 
interests of Brooklyn and New York. He first came to 
Brooklyn to reside in 184.5, nearly forty years ago, and in 
18.52 built his residence, No. 10 Bedford avenue. It is prob- 
able that he has done more than any other man to improve 
his part of the city, and large sums have been ex|)ended by 
him to that end. He is widely known as an honest, up- 
right, Christian gentleman, and his home is one of tlie most 
hospitable in the city. 



SKCTION XXXVI. 
Marble and Stone Work. 

The c