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fflifptodiici^J l<t/ pnmi'jMi'n ftnm the paiiilimj Ay Wm. S. I'^^ai^alL 







91 ^isstm oC American Commerce b? #ne f^uvasm ^m:encatiiai 












Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1895, by 

D. O. Haynes & Co. 
In the office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington. 



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Levi P. Mokton, Gootmer oftlu Slate ef Nem York 

rr, LL.D., WuhiDgtoii, D, C, 

Unittd Slala CtmmUsmur ef 

Ford, Washineton, D. C, 
Ckief UmUd Slates Bureau afStatiitict 20 



8 THE CORPORATION IN COMMERCE . . CoL William Jay, New York , .47 

9 COMMERCIAL ORGANIZATIONS . . Albjcander E. Orr, New York, 

I^tidenl New York Chamber cf Commerce 50 

10 ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF NEW YORK COMMERCE, General Horace Porter, LL.D., New York 55 

13 WALL STREET .... 








. -, ^RASC;)! Wav-anp AY3S, PiulaiiripUa, N. W. Ayer &• Sen 76 
. Henry H. Hall, New York, /Tall &• I/emkaw 84 

Stuyvesant Fish, j 

President Illiiwis Central Railroad 98 

Charlbs H. Cramp, Philadelphia, 

President William Cramp &• Sam 
Skip and Engine Building Co. 1 19 
General Thomas T. Eckebt, New York. 

President Western Union Telegraph Co. 13$ 




20 THE TELEPHONE John E. Hudson, Boston, 

President American Bell Telephone Co, 133 


Levi C. Weir, New York, 

President Adams Express Company 137 

22 THE STREET RAILWAYS OF AMERICA . Herbert H. Vreeland, New York, 

President Metropolitan Traction Company 141 


24 AMERICAN THEATERS Albert M. Palmer, New York, Proprietor Palmer's Theater 157 

Hiram Hitchcock, New York, 

Hitchcock, Darling dr* Co., Proprietors Fifth Avenue Hotel 149 


General Charles H. Taylor, Boston, 

Editor and Managing Proprietor Boston Globe 166 


Publisher and Proprietor The Iron Age 1 74 

27 AMERICAN MINES Richard P. Rothwell, New York, 

Editor The Engineering and Mining Journal 1 78 



. Redfield Proctor, Proctor, Vt, 

United States Senator from Vermont 188 

Francis G. duPont, Wilmington, Del 192 

30 AMERICAN LUMBER Bernhard E. Fernow, Washin^on, D. C, 

Chief Division of Forestry, U, S. Department of Agriculture 196 

31 PETROLEUM: ITS PRODUCTION AND PRODUCTS, Henry C. Folger, Jr., A. M., LL.B., New York, 

Standard Oil Company 204 



. George E. Morrow, Stillwater, Oklahoma, 

President Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College, 

and Director Agricultural Experiment Statum 215 
Lazarus N. Bonham, Oxford, Ohio, 

Ex-Secretary Ohio State Board of Agriculture 220 

34 AMERICAN COTTON Richard H. Edmonds, Baltimore, 

Founder and Editor Manufacturers* Record 231 

35 AMERICAN WOOL Willlam Lawrence, A. M., LL.D., Bellefontaine, Ohio, 

President National Wool Growers* Association, and 


President Ohio Wool Growers* Association 236 
Alfred Henderson, New York, Peter Henderson 6^ Co, . 248 

37 AMERICAN SUGAR John E. Searles, New York, 

Secretary and Treasurer American Sugar Refining Company 25 7 

38 AMERICAN RICE John F. Talmage, New York, Dan Talmage's Sons . . 262 



• _• • 

• • • : /•. •. 

41 AMERICAN POTTEailfife •* * *• / 


• • 

Charles A. Pillsbury, Minneapolis, 


Pillsbury- Washburn Flour Mills Company 266 

. Tabids Qh^^^^dee, BhilM^elphK 

:':*,: I ^- w: :/! PfesiS^eni ClilHnder &" Sons, incorporated 274 

. 'John IiIoses, Trenton, N. J., 

President The John Moses &* Sons Company 285 

Emerson McMillin, New York, Emerson McMillin &* Co. 295 





. Warner Miller, Herkimer, N. Y., 

Herkimer Paper Company 302 

. John W. Harper, New York, Harper <&• Brothers . . 308 

. Theodore L. De Vinne, New York, The De Vinne Press 314 

. Charles Huston, Coatesville, Pa., 

President Lukens Iron and Steel Company 320 


Alfred A. Cowles, New York, 

Vice-President Ansonia Brass and Copper Company 329 







Alba B. Johnson, Philadelphia, Baldwin Locomotive Works 337 

49 MACHINERY MANUFACTURING INTERESTS, William Sellers, Philadelphia, 

President and Engimer Wiitiam Sellers 6* Co,, Incorporated 346 


Vice-President McCormick Harvesting Machine Company 352 

51 STOVES AND HEATING APPARATUS . . Jeremiah Dwyer, Detroit, 

President Michigan Stove Company 357 


Presidents. Z. Mott Iron Works 364 


William H. Jackson, New York, 

President Jackson Architectural Iron Works 371 

54 ELECTRICAL MANUFACTURING INTERESTS, Thomas Commerford Martin, New York, 

Editor The Electrical Engineer 377 











• • 









Philip D. Armour, Chicago, Armour <&* Co, 

• 383 

Eugene G. Blackford, New York, 

Ex-Commissioner of Fisheries 389 

Edward S. Judge, Baltimore, 

Editor The Trade, and Secretary National 

Association of Canned Food Packers 396 
. Charles Carpy, San Francisco, 

President California Wine Association 401 

. James E. Pepper, Lexington, Ky., James E. Pepper 6* Co, . 407 

Fred Pabst, Milwaukee, President Pabst Brewing Co. 


Pierre Lorillard, Junior, New York, 

President P. Lorillard Company 418 

Samuel Colgate, New York, ColgaU <&* Co. 


. Henry Bower, Philadelphia, 

Henry Bower &* Son, Manufacturing Chemists 429 

. William P. Thompson, New York, 

President National Lead Company 433 

. Henry G. Piffard, A.M., M.D., New York, 

President Genesee Salt Company 442 

. Frank A. Kennedy, Cambridge, Mass., 

Kennedys Branch, New York Biscuit Company 446 

. Thomas R. Chaney, New York, 

President American Cotton Oil Company 451 

. Thomson Kingsford, Oswego, N. Y. , 

President T. Kingsford 6* San 456 

. Ohio C. Barber, Akron, Ohio, 

President The Diamond Match Company 460 

Robert Maclay, New York, 

President Knickerbocker Ice Company 466 

James W. Tufts, Boston, 

President American Soda Fountain Company 470 

. S. N. Dexter North, A.M., Boston, 

Secretary National Association of Wool Manufacturers 475 



73 AMERICAN CARPETS Sheppard Knapp, New York, Sheppard Knapp 6* Co, 



Benjamin C. Claek, Boston, Pearson Cordage Company 
Robert H. Foerderer, Philadelphia 




76 AMERICAN RUBBER MANUFACTURES . Charles L. Johnson, New York, 

Secretary United States Rubier Company 498 

. Henry Burn, New York, 

' President National Wall Paper Company 505 


78 AMERICAN MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS . William Steinway, New York, President StHnway 6* Sons . 509 

79 AMERICAN CARRIAGE AND WAGON WORKS, Chauncey Thomas, Boston, Chauncey Thomas 6* Co, . 516 






V • 


Willis B. Marvin, New York, Marvin Safe Company . 521 

Frederick G. Bourne, New York, 

President The Singer Manufacturing Company 52$ 

. Edward Howard, Boston, 

Founder The E, Howard IVatch and Cloch Company 540 

Clarence W. Seamans, New York, 

Wychofft Seamans ^ Benedict 544 

. Albert A. Pope, Boston, 

President Pope Manufacturing Company 549 

John N. Beach, New York, Tefft, Weller 6* Co, 


86 THE CLOTHING AND FURNISHING TRADE, William C. Browning, New York, Browning, King 6- Co, 561 


. William B. Rice, Boston, Rice <5r» Hutchins 


88 THE HARNESS AND SADDLERY TRADE . Albert Morsbach, Cincinnati, 

President National Wholesale Saddlery Association 575 

89 THE FUR TRADE F. Frederic Gunther, New York, C, G, Gunthet's Sons . 579 


. Charles L. Tiffany, New York, President Tiffany 6* Co, 589 


James E. Nichols, New York, Austin, Nichols 6* Co, . 595 


John W. Nix, New York, John Nix 6* Co, 

. 602 


. John McKesson, New York, McKesson 6* Robhins . . 607 

94 THE PAINT, OIL, AND VARNISH TRADE . Daniel F. Tiemann, New York, D, F, Tiemann ^ Co, .620 





Albert F. Hayward, Boston, 

President and Treasurer Fobes, Hayward 6* Co, 625 

George W. Gay, Grand Rapids, Mich., 

Treasurer Berhey 6r» Gay Furniture Company 628 

Edward C. Simmons, St. Lonis, 

President Simmons Hardware Company 633 

. John G. Bainbridge, New York, Henry Bainbridge 6* Co, 642 


Albert Clark Stevens, New York, Editor Bradstreefs . 648 

100 THE NEXT ONE HUNDRED YEARS . . Chauncey M. Depew, LL.D., New York . 

. 675 

















LEVI C. WEIR .... 

















. 224 

. 232 

. 241 

. 252 

. 260 

. 264 

. 269 

. 276 

. 289 

. 296 

• 304 

. 308 

. 317 

. 325 

. 332 

CHAUNCEY M. DEPEW, LL. D. Frontispiece 








357 O. C. BARBER . . 



380 S. N. D. NORTH . 





408 HENRY BURN .... 

























WILLIAM B. RICE .... 573 

JOHN W. NIX 604 

JOHN McKESSON .... 613 
GEORGE W. GAY .... 628 




A LTHOUGH transportadoii for self or chattels 
l_\ has long been known to man, improvement 

A. A. in its various meihods was so slow as to be 
almost imperceptible until tlie introduction of steam 
gave ii an impetus on land and water. This power- 
ftil agent has been adapted to transportation within 
[he past one hundred years, and the event has been 
followed by the decline and fall of the stage-coach 
and the canal-boat, and the rise and development of 
the locomotive and the steamship. These two have 
constituted the most important factors of transpor- 
tation, which is itself one of the most important ele- 
ments of the civilization of the present century. 
On sea and land rapid transportation was impossible 
without steam. This was apphed first to power 
transmission, as in pumping and the movement of 
machinery; then to navigation, where the conditions 
correspond most nearly to those of stationary prac- 
tice, and last to the propulsion of vehicles on land. 
The factor by which its power is utilized for the 
latter purpose is the locomotive. There axe no 
tn^nchcs of the mechanic arts which possess greater 
fascination for the general public than the building 
of steamships and locomotives. Properly directed. 
they struggle, they accomplish, they excel ; and all 
are interested in their achievements. This interest 
is not new. It anached no less to the transporta- 
tion of bygone generations. The rivalry of compet- 
iog stage-coaches and the popularity of the favorite 
whips are traditional. To-day the master of the 
^>eediest steamship and the driver of the fastest 
locomotive have inherited the same popular regard. 
As the entire development of locomotive engin- 
eering in the United States has taken place within 
the past century, it is not difficult to trace its in- 
ception and progress. Although other lines of rails 
had previously been laid for special pnqioses, the 
Baltimore and Ohio and the South Carolina rail- 
roads — both begun in i8z8 — were the first Ameri- 

can railways coostnicted to cany passengers and 
freight. Upon the first mentioned of these lines 

was run the first American-built locomotive, — that 
of Peter Cooper, which was constructed in 1829. 
This was, however, a mere working model, not in- 
tended for permanent service, but to demonstrate 
the practicability of operating the line by locomo- 
tive power. It did this successfully, and led to the 
completion of the road, which otherwise might have 
been abandoned. This little machine, with a single 
cylinder three and a half inches in diameter, a boiler 
no larger than that of an ordinary kitchen-range, 
and tubes improvised from gun barrels, on its trial 
run attained a speed of eighteen miles an hour, and 
hauled forty passengers besides the driver, who was 
Peter Cooper himself The first locomorive for 
real service used in the United States was the 
" Stourbridge Lion," built at Stourbridge, England, 
and imported by Horatio Allen, in 1829, for the 
Delaware and Hudson Canal Company. It was 
of a primitive type, quickly abandoned both in Eng- 
land and the United Stales, but forms one of the 
interesting steps by which a uniform pattern was 
subsequently reached. In 1830, the first locomo- 
tive constructed in the United States for actual 
work — the "Best Friend" — was built by the West 
Point Foundry, for the South Carolina Railroad. 
In 1831 Matthias W. Baldwin, a manufacturer of 
bookbinders' tools, of Philadelphia, was engaged by 
the proprietors of Peale's Museum, of Philadelphia, 
to construct a mode! locomotive to operate on a 
circular track, to satisfy the public curiosity growing 
out of the RainhiH contest, in England, which had 
resulted in a victory for Robert Stephenson's 
" Rocket," and which was then attracting wide- 
spread attention. In September, 1832, there were 
built at York, Pa., by Davis & Gartner, three loco- 
motives of the " grasshopper " pattern, for the Balti- 
more and Ohio Railroad, from designs of Phineas 


• • • 


Davis and Ro$s Wjnltds*** "Some of these locomo- 
tives contiiiiied*.in senrfce about sixty years, and 
until Fdcipbtty^w^ still in use at Mount Clare, in 

* *The success of the Peale Museum model was 
such that Mr. Baldwin was employed by the Phila- 
delphia, Germanto wn and Norristown Railroad Com- 
pany, in 183 1, to construct a locomotive for their 
line. This locomotive — " Old Ironsides " — was 
completed in November, 1832. It was a four-wheel 
engine, similar to the English design of the day, 
and weighed in running order something over five 
tons. The rear, or driving wheels, were fifty-four 
inches in diameter, placed on a crank axle. The 
cylinders were nine and one half inches in diameter, 
by eighteen inches stroke, and were attached hori- 
zontally to the smoke-box. The firame was of wood. 
The wheels were made with heavy cast-iron hubs, 
wooden spokes and rims, and wrought-iron tires. 
There was no cab. The tender was four-wheeled, 
with wooden sides and back for holding the wood 
used for fuel, and with an iron box used as a water- 
tank. This locomotive attained a speed of thirty 
miles an hour, with its train attached, and upon a 
special occasion it is said to have attained a speed 
of sixty mfles per hour. Locomotive engine build- 
ing may be said to have become fairly established 
by 1834; but in those early days, when there was no 
practice to guide, when skilled workmen were few, 
and but little in the way of shop facilities existed, 
the difficulties siurounding the locomotive builder 
were extraordinary, and only the most indomitable 
perseverance attained success. Civilization owes a 
debt of gratitude to those pioneers of railway me- 
chanics — Cooper, Allen, Baldwin, Rogers, Norris, 
Winans, Campbell, and their co-workers, and later 
to William Mason, Cooke, McQueen, MillhoUand, 
Hudson, and others. 

The early American locomotives were similar in 
all essential features to the English engines of the 
day, being constructed largely either from published 
descriptions or from actual observation of those im- 
ported. The importation of locomotives did not 
long continue, however, as the mechanics of the 
country soon proved their ability to supply the de- 
mands of the growing railroads. The many bright 
minds engaged upon the subject, together with ac- 
tive competition among the early builders, soon re- 
sulted in radical departures from the English types. 
Developing independently, under various conditions, 
the differentiation soon became marked, and re- 
sulted in features which still distinguish the Ameri- 
can firom the English locomotive, in whatsoever 

country they may be found. The steps by which 
these difierences were reached may be briefly 
touched upon as follows : the substitution of a four- 
whed swiveling truck or bogie for the pair of fixed 
carrying-wheels (1832); the use of the cross-head 
pump for suppl3ring feed-water to the boiler (1833) ; 
the use of the half-crank driving-axle in place of 
the crank-axle (1834); the use of outside connec- 
tions to the driving-wheels (1835) ; the coupling 
together of two pairs of driving-wheels, patented by 
H. R. Campbell (1836); the use of counterbalance 
weights to balance the revolving and reciproca- 
ting parts (1837); the use of lap-welded wrought- 
iron boiler tubes (1838); the use of bar-firames of 
forged iron with forged pedestals (1840); the use 
of wooden cabs with glass windows, to afford am- 
ple protection for the enginemen, which originated 
about 1840 in New England, where such protection 
was necessary on account of the severity of the win- 
ters; the introduction of Baldwin's flexible-beam 
truck (1842) ; the use of equalizing beams connect- 
ing the driving-wheels, invented by Eastwick and 
Harrison (1845); the use of the "ten-wheel" loco- 
motive, with six coupled wheels and a leading four- 
wheel truck ( 1846) ; the use of the Mogul locomotive 
with six coupled wheels and a leading two-wheel 
truck (1861), and of the Consolidation type, with 
eight coupled wheels and a leading two-wheel truck, 
designed by Alexander Mitchell of the Lehigh Val- 
ley Raibroad, and built at the Baldwin Locomotive 
Works in 1866. The Mogul type took its name 
fi'om the first engine of this class; the Consolidation 
t)rpe likewise took its name fi'om Mitchell's " Con- 
solidation," but the latter was named not because of 
any peculiarity of design, but because of the then 
recent consolidation of a number of smaller lines 
now joined in the Lehigh VaUey system. 

Other features of the American locomotive appear 
to the foreigner to be peculiar, such as the pilot or 
" cowcatcher," the bell, the boiler covering of plan- 
ished or Russia iron, the large headlight, and the 
directness and visibility of the pipes and other ap- 
purtenances. The aim of American locomotive 
designers has been to produce a machine having the 
maximum flexibility of wheel-base to enable it to 
pass sharp curvature and adapt .itself to the uneven- 
ness of track subject to the action of severe firosts ; 
and to provide for repairs by making every part 
accessible and removable without afiecting other 
parts. Prior to the Centennial Exhibition of 1876, 
it was firequently customary to use gaudy painting 
and forms of unessential parts supposed to be orna- 
mental ; but during the period of business depression 



and retrenchment in which the Centennial occurred, 
the raihx)ads learned to dispense with this source of 
expense. This cause, together with the improve- 
ment in the pubUc taste which was coincident with, 
or the result of, the Centennial, led to the aban- 
donment of fancy painting and molded or beaded 
ornamentation, and the substitution of smooth, ap- 
propriate forms, painted in plain dark colors, with 
little or no striping. 

In the early fifties the "American" type, with 
four coupled wheels and four-wheeled truck, patented 
by Campbell in 1836, became the most generaUy 
adopted class of locomotive, and was for many 
years thereafter used for general service — passenger, 
fireight, and switching. The growing traffic of the 
railwa3rs, however, created the need for more power- 
ful locomotives constructed especially for freight ser- 
vice, as well as for engines better adapted for switch- 
ing than old road locomotives. Therefore, in the 
sixties, the Mogul and ten-wheel types were widely 
adopted, and between 1870 and 1880 the Consoli- 
dation type became the recognized standard for the 
heaviest freight service. Prior to 1880, the general 
use of iron tires and iron rails of light section, usually 
not exceeding fifty to sixty pounds per yard, limited 
the weight per axle to about twelve tons as a maxi- 
mum. About that year the general substitution of 
steel tires and the growing use of steel and the in- 
troduction of the heavier rails possible in steel, to- 
gether with an awakening to the advantages of larger 
heating surfaces in locomotive boilers, led to the ac- 
ceptance of greatly increased weights. This ten- 
dency has since grown constantly. The use of 
heavier, more powerful locomotives made practi- 
cable economies in transportation by the use of cars 
of larger carrying capacity, which in turn required 
still heavier locomotives to move them. Like the 
perpetual contest between the impenetrable armor- 
plate and the irresistible projectile, it is difficult to 
predict the conclusion of the struggle. It appears, 
however, that the present car loads of 60,000 to 
80,000 pounds are about as large as will serve the 
convenience of shippers. It is safe to predict that 
rails of 100 pounds per yard, which have already 
been adopted by a number of the most important 
lines, must shortly come into general use. The 
heaviest locomotives of 1895 have as much as 
twenty-foiu: tons' weight per axle. 

Among the locomotive-building establishments 
which have contributed a share to the motive-power 
of the past, and have either disappeared altogether 
or have discontinued, the manufacttu^ of locomo- 
tives for other lines of business in which competition 

is less intense^ may be mentioned the works of Nor- 
ris Brothers, of Philadelphia, which in early days 
were active competitors of Baldwin and Rogers, but 
which, after many vicissitudes, went out of existence 
in 1865. These works in part are now included in 
the plant of the Baldwin Locomotive Works. Balti- 
more had the works of Ross Winans and the Den- 
meads. Boston has had the works of Seth Wilmarth, 
the Globe Works of John Souther, and the works of 
McKay & Aldus at East Boston, whilst the Hinckley 
Locomotive & Machine Works, one of the oldest, 
occupied an honorable position in the business 
until within ten years. New England has been an 
active locomotive-building section. In addition to 
the works mentioned may be noted those of Ballard 
Vail, Andover, near Boston, Mass.; Corliss & Night- 
tingale, Providence, Geo. H. Corliss, the great en- 
gine-builder, proving less successful in the manufac- 
ture of locomotives ; A. Latham & Company, White 
River Junction ; the Amoskeag Locomotive Works 
at Manchester, N. H. ; the Locks and Canals Works 
at Lowell, Mass. ; a works at Lawrence ; and in later 
days the Taunton Locomotive Works, the Mason 
Machine Works, and the Pordand Locomotive and 
Car Company, three concerns of enviable reputa- 
tion, which have recently found other lines of busi- 
ness more profitable. New Jersey also has been a 
prolific field of locomotive-manufacture. An ofi"- 
shoot from the Rogers Works was that of Will- 
iam Swinburne, of Paterson, which was subse- 
quently called the New Jersey Locomotive Works, 
and finally the Grant Locomotive Works. Find- 
ing their shops antiquated and their appUances 
inadequate to modem requirements, the Grant 
Works ceased business at Paterson in 1885, and 
reorganized with new capital and new shops at 
Chicago. This plant succimibed to the financial 
storm of 1893, and was sold to the Siemens & Halske 
Electric Company, which now operates it under 
its own name for the manufacture of electri- 
cal equipment and locomotives. For many years 
Breese, Kneeland & Company operated the Jersey 
City Locomotive Works at Jersey City, and Van 
Cleeve, McKean & Dripps had shops at Trenton. 
Eastwick & Harrison were builders of locomotives 
at Newcastle, Delaware, but, failing in 1840, were 
succeeded by the Newcasde Manufacturing Com- 
pany. The partners subsequentiy gained fame and 
wealth in railway operations in Russia. In the 
West were the Cuyahoga Works of Cleveland, those 
of ScoviU at Chicago, Booth & Company at San 
Francisco, and others at Detroit and Milwaukee. 
Later the Rome Locomotive Works, at Rome, New 



York, entered the field, but had only a few years 
of disastrous existence, which ended in 189 1. The 
list might perhaps be extended further, but it is a 
more agreeable task to record the works which 
are, in this year 1895, engaged in keen but fiiendly 
rivalry to contribute to the progress of transporta- 
tion and to supply the motive power for 180,000 
miles of railways in the United States and a con- 
^derable number abroad. 

The Baldwin Locomotive Works of Philadelphia 
were established in 1831 by Matthias W. Bald- 
win, as has before been mentioned. These works 
are now the property of George Bumham, Edward 
H. Williams, William P. Henszey, John H. Con- 
verse, and William L. Austin, partners, constituting 
the firm of Bumham, Williams & Company. The 
annual capacity is 1000 locomotives, and 947 
have actually been constructed in a single year, 
during all of which, however, the demand for lo- 
comotives was not sufficient to keep the works 
running continuously to their maximum capacity. 
The works occupy sixteen acres in the center of 
the city. A number of the buildings of later con- 
struction are from four to six stories in height and 
of the most substantial character. Employment is 
given to about 5100 men. 

The Rogers Locomotive Works, of Paterson, 
N. J., were founded in 1836 by the firm of Rogers, 
Ketchum & Grosvenor. The mechanical head 
and dominating spirit was Thomas Rogers. Upon 
his death in 1856 the business was incorporated 
under the title of The Rogers Locomotive and 
Machine Works, of which Jacob S. Rogers was 
president and William S. Hudson was superinten- 
dent. Mr. Hudson exercised an important influ- 
ence upon the development of American locomo- 
tive manufacture. Owing to Mr. J. S. Rogers' in- 
creasing age, the company was reorganized in 1892 
under its present title of The Rogers Locomotive 
Company. Mr. R. S. Hughes, for many years 
treasurer, became president, and Mr. Reuben Wells, 
well known for his honorable connection with rail- 
road management, became superintendent. These 
works give employment to about 1400 men, and 
have an annual capacity of 250 locomotives. 

The Schenectady Locomotive Works were estab- 
lished by Norris Brothers in 1848, were incorpo- 
rated in 1 85 1, and in 1863 passed into the sole 
control of John Ellis, who associated with him as 
superintendent Walter McQueen. Mr. Ellis was 
succeeded, upon his death in 1864, by his next 
younger brother, Charles G. Ellis, and upon the 
death of the latter in 189 1 Edward Ellis became 

president Mr. A. J. Pitkin is now superintendent 
The works employ 1800 men and have an annual 
capacity of 400 locomotives. 

The Cooke Locomotive and Machine Com- 
pany, of Paterson, N. J., began the manufacture 
of locomotives in 1852, the title of its ownership 
then being Danforth, Cooke & Company. The 
works were originaUy established about the year 
1800, and for fifty years were engaged in the man- 
ufacture of cotton and other machinery. Upon 
the entrance of John Cooke, who had previously 
been in the employment of Thomas Rogers, the 
manufacture of locomotives was begim. John 
Cooke may therefore be regarded as the foimder 
of this establishment as a locomotive- works. The 
present organization is John S. Cooke, president; 
Frederick W. Cooke, vice-president; William 
Berdan, secretary and treasurer; and Charles D. 
Cooke, superintendent The original shops in 
Paterson have recently been abandoned to other 
uses, and new and completely modem shops have 
been built with a capacity of 180 locomotives per 
year. The works employ about 800 men. 

The Pittsburgh Locomotive Works were organized 
in August, 1865, and were completed so far as to 
construct their first locomotive in the latter part of 
1866. The works were originally designed for a ca- 
pacity of thirty locomotives per year, but by the con- 
struction of new fire-proof buildings, and the addi- 
tion of new and improved machinery, the capacity 
has been gradually increased to 300 engines per 
year. The works occupy nearly twelve acres of 
ground, and their equipment includes the most im- 
proved hydraulic, pneimiatic, and electric appliances 
for fashioning the work and handling materials. 
There is also a completely appointed laboratory for 
chemical and physical tests of materials. The works 
employ about 1500 men. 

The Rhode Island Locomotive Works of Provi- 
dence, Rhode Island, were likewise established in 
1865, at the close of the War of the Rebellion, 
when the nation once more turned to the arts of 
peace and began the work of restoring its wasted 
energies, expanding its means of internal communi- 
cation, and developing its material resources. These 
works have occupied an important position in the 
field of locomotive-manufacture. As now organ- 
ized, Charles Felix Mason is president, Arthur Liv- 
ingstone Mason is vice-president. Earl Philip Mason 
is secretary and treasurer, and Joseph Lythgoe is su- 
perintendent. These works employ about 1400 men, 
and have an annual capadty of 250 locomotives. 

The works of H. K. Porter & Company, of Pitts* 



burgh, were established in 1869, and have been 
devoted exclusively to the manufacture of light lo- 
comotives for such special purposes as in mills, fur- 
naces, mines, contractors' and plantation service, 
etc. The firm was at first Smith & Porter, and 
later Porter, Bell & Company. It employs 325 men, 
and has a capacity of 120 locomotives per annum. 

The Brooks Locomotive Works of Dunkirk, New 
York, were originally constructed as the locomotive 
building and repair shops of the Erie Railway. In 
1869, Jay Gould, then president of the Erie Rail- 
way, having completed extensive shops at a more 
central location on the line of that road, ordered 
the Dunkirk shops to be permanently closed, and the 
machinery removed to other locations. Mr. Horatio 
G. Brooks, at that time superintendent of motive 
power and machinery of the Erie Railway, whose 
home was at Dunkirk, and whose interests were 
identified with the welfare of that place, made a 
proposition to Mr. Gould for a lease of the shops 
and machinery for the purpose of establishing the 
business of locomotive-building. The lease was 
consummated in November, 1869, and before the 
close of the year the first two locomotives of the 
new Brooks Locomotive Works Company were 
turned out The growth of the works since that 
time has been constant, imtil their capacity at the 
present time is 400 locomotives per year. During 
the year 1883 the property, comprising twenty acres 
of land, the permanent plant, additions and ma- 
chinery were purchased firom the New York, Lake 
Erie and Western Railroad Company by the Brooks 
Locomotive Works. These works employ about 1500 
men. At the present time Mr. M. L. Hinman is 
president and treasurer, and Mr. R. J. Gross vice- 

The Richmond Locomotive and Machine Com- 
pany of Richmond, Va., is the only locomotive- 
manufacturing plant in the South. The works were 
established in 1865 for the manufacture of planta- 
tion and saw-mill machinery, and were gradually 
adapted for the construction of tram and street-car 
motors. In 1880, the shop having been destroyed 
by fire, it was removed beyond the city limits and 
reconstructed upon an enlarged scale. In 1889 it 
secured the contract firom the United States govern- 
ment for building the machinery of the armored 
batde-ship Texas, which gave it wide prominence. 
This contract was successfiilly executed, but the 
works have since been devoted exclusively to the 
construction of locomotives. They give employ- 
ment to 1200 men, and have an annual capacity of 
200 locomotives. 


The Dickson Manufactiuing Company of Scran- 
ton, Pa., are important manufactiurers of locomotives 
and of mining machinery, for which their location in 
the anthracite coal regions of Pennsylvania is most 
suitable. These works were established in 1862. 
They have a capacity of 100 locomotives aimually, 
and employ firom 400 to 450 men. 

The Manchester Locomotive Works, of Manches- 
ter, N. H., established in the early fifties, are under 
the management of Aretas Blood. They employ 
about 700 men, and are capable of producing about 
100 locomotives aimually. 

From the foregoing it is apparent that, exclusive 
of such locomotives as are built in railroad shops or 
shops not regularly engaged in the business of loco- 
motive building, the locomotive-manufacturing estab- 
lishments of the country have an aggregate capacity 
of about 3000 locomotives a year. At the present 
time this capacity is largely in excess of the require- 
ments of the country. The actual reported produc- 
tion of the past six years, with the number exported 
(not including Canada and Mexico), is as follows: 












Number of 








201 1 












Average. . . 




The total number of locomotives in use upon the 
railways of the United States, Canada, and Mexico 
for the same years, as reported to " Poor's Manual," is 
as follows: 1889,31,062; 1890,32,241; 1891, 33,- 
563; 1892,35,281; 1893,36,012; 1894,35,813. 

As the average life of a locomotive may be taken 
at twenty years, it is apparent that an annual pro- 
duction of about 1800 locomotives will supply the 
natural wear, whilst there is in the country a capacity 
for constructing in contract and railroad shops about 
twice that number. The difference between the 
number requiring replacement on account of natural 
wear and this total capacity must be absorbed by 
locomotives for new lines, for permanendy increased 
traffic, and for export. The locomotive -building 
establishments above mentioned employ in the ag- 



gregate 15,000 men, who receive in wages about 
$10,000,000 annually. The total value of the pro- 
duct of these works, when operating to their full 
capacity, is about $30,000,000. 

Although the earliest locomotives used in the 
United States were imported from the mother coim- 
try, it was not long before the achievements of 
American mechanics attracted attention abroad. In 
1845 ^^ Baldwin Works exported locomotives to 
the Royal Wiirtemberg Railroad. In 1848 Rogers 
shipped locomotives to Cuba; and while the expor- 
tation of locomotives diiring recent years has been 
largely to those countries without the resources 
requisite for locomotive-building, in the earlier years 
it was not imcommon for American manufacturers 
to ship their products to Austria, to England, and 
elsewhere in Continental Europe. Statistics fail to 
show the number of locomotives exported during 
the earlier years, and even recent statistics are in- 
accurate in not covering shipments of locomotives 
to Canada and Mexico. During the twenty -five 
years comprised within the period from 1 871 to 1894, 
there were exported 2879 locomotives to countries 
exclusive of those reached by rail connections from 
the United States. These locomotives were dis- 
tributed throughout South America, Cuba, Australia, 
Japan, Norway, Sweden, Russia, South Africa, and 
the Islands of the Pacific. The shriek of the Ameri- 
can locomotive is heard in the Holy City. Although 
the line from Jaffa to Jerusalem was constructed by 
French capital, the locomotives were supplied from 
the United States. 

The market price of a locomotive in 1832 appears 
to have been $4000, this sum having been agreed 
upon between Matthias W. Baldwin and the Phila- 
delphia, Germantown and Norristown Railroad for 
the locomotive " Old Ironsides." The highest prices 
known in locomotive-building, as in other industries, 
were those obtained during the War of the Rebellion, 
when heavy freight or passenger locomotives com- 
manded from $30,000 to $35,000. Prices declined 
after the close of the war to about $7000 for a thirty-fi ve- 
ton passenger locomotive in 1878-79. During the so- 
called boom of 1880-81, prices again rose to about 
$15,000 each for similar passenger locomotives; but 
since that time there has been a constant reduction 
in the price per pound, the weights of locomotives 
gradually increasing with the demands of increasing 
traffic, while prices have remained nearly stationary 
at about $8000 to $9000 each for average passenger 
locomotives, and from $9000 to $10,000 each for 
average freight locomotives. 

The importance of fuel economy was appreciated 

in Europe earlier than in the United States. Pro- 
gress had been made in the development of the 
compound locomotive by Lindner, Von Borries, La 
Page, Worsdell, Webb, and others. W. S. Hudson, 
superintendent of the Rogers Locomotive Works, 
designed a two-cylinder, or cross-compound, loco- 
motive, as early as 1873, ^^^ ^^ ^^ never built. In 
1882 Henry D. Dunbar designed and patented a 
four-cylinder tandem compoimd locomotive, which 
was tested on the Boston and Albany Railroad. In 
1889 the Pennsylvania Railroad imported from 
England a compound locomotive of Webb's pattern 
for experimental service. The same year Samuel 
M. Vauclain, superintendent of the Baldwin Loco- 
motive Works, designed a four-cylinder compound 
locomotive, in which a high-pressure and a low- 
pressure cylinder are placed one above the other on 
each side of the locomotive, both formed within a 
single casting, together with the steam-chest, and 
occupying the same place as the ordinary single-ex- 
pansion cylinders. The two piston-rods connect 
to a common cross-head. From the cross-head pin 
back, the locomotive does not differ in any essential 
respect from the ordinary engine. The first loco- 
motive of this pattern was built the same year for 
the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. Tests indicated 
highly economical results. About the same time 
A. J. Pitkin, superintendent of the Schenectady 
Locomotive Works, brought out a two-cylinder, or 
cross-compound locomotive, having a form of inter- 
cepting-valve differing from those previously used 
abroad. The general interest in compound loco- 
motives, together with the powerful influence of 
two of the most prominent works in the country, led 
to the rapid introduction of compound locomotives, 
and caused other locomotive-builders to bring out 
similar designs. There have since been built in the 
United States about 800 compound locomotives, of 
which nearly 600 are of the Vauclain pattern, four 
are of the four-cylinder " tandem " type, and most 
of the remainder are of the two-cylinder or cross- 
compound type. The compoimd locomotive is un- 
questionably a step in advance, realizing as it does 
an economy of from fifteen to forty per cent, ac- 
cording to the service in which it is employed. 

The most conspicuous improvement in transpor- 
tation, which resulted from the introduction of 
steam-power, was the great increase in the capacity 
for high speed. Peter Cooper's first locomotive is 
said to have attained a speed of eighteen miles per 
hour. Baldwin's "Old Ironsides" is recorded as 
having attained a speed of sixty miles per hour for a 
short distance. Speeds of sixty miles per hour have 



therefore been known from the inception of Ameri- 
can railways. The real progress of locomotive de- 
velopment has not been so marked in increasing the 
capacity for speed as in increasing the weight of 
trains which can be hauled with certainty at rates 
of speed which have previously been regarded as 
phenomenal. Up to the year 1889, when the com- 
pound system was introduced, there did not exist a 
demand for sustained speeds exceeding fifty miles 
per hour. In November, 1892, one of Vauclain's 
compounds. No. 385, running on the Philadelphia 
and Reading and the Jersey Central railroads, be- 
tween Philadelphia and Jersey City, with a train of 
four heavy cars, attained a speed of ninety-seven 
miles per hour by covering one mile in thirty-seven 
seconds. On May 10, 1893, locomotive No. 999, of 
the New York Central Railroad, is said to have 
covered a mile in thirty-two seconds, equivalent to 
112^ miles an hour, hauling the Empire State ex- 
press, consisting of four heavy cars. On July 19, 
1893, engine No. 682, of the Philadelphia and Read- 
ing Railroad, hauled a train of nine loaded passen- 
ger cars from Winslow Jimction to Pleasantville, 
twenty-six mOes, in twenty-two minutes, or at the 
rate of 70.9 miles per hour, and on August 27th, the 
same locomotive hauled seventeen loaded passenger 
cars over the same distance in twenty-seven minutes, 
or at the rate of fifty-seven miles per hour. These 
performances are remarkable for the weight of the 
trains hauled. The locomotive is a Vauclain com- 
pound. On September 11, 1895, a locomotive of 
the New York Central and Hudson River Railroad 
hauled the Empire State express, consisting of four 
cars, from New York to East Buffalo, 436^ miles, 
in 407^ minutes, being an average speed of 64.26 
miles per hour. It is believed that the steam loco- 
motives of to-day possess capacity for running at 
as high a speed as is required by public demand, 
or as is consistent with the commercial conditions 
governing the business of transportation. 

During the past few years the general substitu- 
tion of electric power for horse-power and for other 
means of propulsion on tramway lines has caused 
electricity to be regarded as perhaps a rival of 
steam, or at least as a competitor which may prove 
to be a serious rival in the future. The progress of 
electrical science is so rapid that what is written 
to-day is obsolete to-morrow. What we regard as 
impossibilities now may shortly become established 
facts. In 1840 Davis & Cook constructed a walk- 
ing-beam engine with a zinc and copper battery, 
using a solution of blue vitriol. In 1842 Davidson, 
of Scotland, constructed a five-ton electric locomo- 

tive, which was actuated by seventy-eight pairs of 
thirteen-inch-square zinc and iron plates in sul- 
phuric-acid solution, and propelled itself at the rate 
of four miles an hour. In 1844 Channing con- 
ceived the idea of substituting electro-magnets for 
permanent steel magnets, and of exciting the field 
magnets by an electro-magnetic machine. This 
idea was subsequently developed by Henry Wilde, 
Manchester, England, between 1863 and 1866. In 
1847 Farmer constructed an electro-magnetic loco- 
motive having forty-eight pint cup cells of Grove 
nitric-acid batteries. This drew a car containing 
two passengers on a track of eighteen inches gauge. 
In 1850 Page, of Washington, constructed an elec- 
tro-magnetic locomotive of sixteen horse-power, ac- 
tuated by 100 cells of Grove nitric-acid batteries, 
having platinum plates eleven inches square. This 
machine propelled a car carrying a dozen or more 
persons on the Baltimore and Washington Railroad, 
at a speed of nineteen miles an hour. In 185 1 
Thomas Hall, of Boston, constructed and exhibited 
a small electric locomotive which took its current 
from a stationary battery by means of the rails and 
wheels. It was arranged automatically to change 
the current and return at the end of the track. In 
i860 he made a more elaborate model called the 
" Volta," which was exhibited at the American Me- 
chanics* Fair. In 1859 Farmer invented what he 
designated the self-exciting dynamo, which was con- 
structed in i860. Improvements on this were made 
by Wheatstone, Leaman, and Ladd in 1867, and 
by Gramme in 187 1. It made possible the substi- 
tution of the dynamo for the galvanic battery, and 
permitted the generation of electricity at low cost 

The first experiments in the use of electrical lo- 
comotives on steam roads appear to have been 
made by Leo Daft on the New York Elevated Rail- 
road with a motor of 125 horse-power. In 1886 
Frank J. Sprague conducted experiments on the 
same road with trains of individual motor-cars. In 
1891-92 the Thomson-Houston Electric Company 
built a locomotive of about 125 horse-power for 
freight service at Whitinsville, Mass. This locomo- 
tive handles an aggregate load of 200 to 300 tons 
at a speed of five miles an hour. In 1892 the 
North American Company ordered from the Bald- 
win Locomotive Works a powerful electric locomo- 
tive to be constructed firom the plans of Sprague, 
Duncan & Hutchinson, Limited. This locomotive 
was completed in 1894 and weighed sixty-seven 
tons. It had four pairs of wheels connected by 
coupling-rods, and the field magnets were hung 
firom the driving-boxes, whilst the armatiure was 



hung on the driving-axle. In 1892 the General 
Electric Company undertook the construction of 
an electric locomotive for the tunnel of the Balti- 
more and Ohio Railroad in Baltimore. This loco- 
motive was completed in 1895, and was designed 
to weigh ninety tons and develop 1500 horse power. 
In 1892-93 the General Electric Company equipped 
in the grounds of the World's Columbian Exposi- 
tion at Chicago, and operated during the period 
of the Exposition in 1893, an elevated railroad 
known as the Intramural Railway. Its mechanical 
success was such that in 1894 the Metropolitan 
West Side Elevated Railroad, which had been de- 
signed as a steam line, countermanded an order 
for twenty-five steam locomotives and substituted 
electric power. In 1895 the Lake Street Elevated 
Railroad of Chicago discontinued the use of steam 
locomotives and substituted electric power. The 
same year the New York, New Haven and Hartford 
Railroad equipped its Nantasket Beach branch 
electrically for experimental purposes, and the 
Pennsylvania Railroad equipped a branch road at 
Mt Holly for the same purpose. In 1895 the 
Baldwin Locomotive Works consummated a work- 
ing agreement with the Westinghouse Electric and 
Manufacturing Company, for the production of 
electric equipment for railway service. There is a 
large field for electricity in railway work, and it is 
probable that after it has been applied to switching 
and suburban service in the great cities, public 
opinion will compel the abandonment of steam lo- 
comotives in these precincts. 

Although the steam locomotive is more promi- 
nently brought to the attention of the public, and is 
therefore more popular and better known, yet it has 
no greater effect on daily life than other steam en- 
gines. Mention has been made of steam-power 
applied to transportation in navigation on the ocean 
and on inland water-ways, but besides this use for 
steam it supplies a thousand wants of daily life, such 
as the furnishing of the water-supply of great cities, 
the driving of the machinery of busy hives of indus- 
try, the lighting of streets and houses^ the running 
of elevators in high modem buildings, the extinguish- 
ing of fires, the operating of the electric tram-car, 
and in many other ways meeting the wants of mod- 
em civilization. For many years the development 
of the stationary engine and the marine engine were 
identical. The first experimental steam engine built 
in the United States is said to have been constmcted 
in 1773 by Christopher Colles, a lecturer before the 
American Philosophical Society at Philadelphia. In 
1787 John Fitch launched on the Delaware River at 

Philadelphia a steamboat propelled by paddles, which 
attained a speed of thirteen miles per hour, and in 
1796 he experimented in New York with one ope- 
rated by a screw. His efforts were closely followed 
by those of Robert Livingston. About the same 
time other mechanics were devoting attention to the 
problem of steam navigation, among them Samuel 
Morey, Nathan Read, Nicholas Roosevelt, Oliver 
Evans, Robert Fulton, John Stevens, and others. 
Transatlantic steam navigation began in the year 
18 1 9, when the American steamer Savannah made 
the trip firom Savannah to St. Petersburg. The de- 
velopment of the marine engine through its various 
forms of single expansion, compound, and triple ex- 
pansion cylinders has resulted in the powerful mech- 
anisms which drive the Campania^ the Lucania, the 
JPariSy the St Lauis^ and the St. Pauly at the rate of 
500 miles per day. This development has resulted 
firom the labors of many, among whom may be men- 
tioned John and Robert Stevens, Robert Thurston, 
James P. AUair, the Copelands, and John Ericsson. 

Since 1850 the improvements have been rather in 
details of constmction than in any marked change 
in type. The engineer has striven and is still striv- 
ing for the highest efficiency with the greatest degree 
of economy. The introduction of what is known as 
the Corliss valve gear marks probably one of the 
greatest eras in engine building. This is a device 
by which the steam is admitted into the cylinder for 
any desired portion of the stroke, and the point of 
cut-off automatically maintained by the governor 
without affecting in the least the firee opening of the 
exhaust Many devices had been introduced before 
this time for the purpose of using the steam expan- 
sively, among which may be mentioned that of Fred- 
erick E. Sickles, in 1841, whose drop cut-off with 
detachable valve gear was used in this country until 
1849, ^ben George H. Corliss brought out the im- 
proved expansion gear which bears his name, and 
which is used to-day by builders all over the coun- 
try. The adoption of the surface condenser may also 
be noted as an improvement of great practical utility 
in the economy of that class of engines to which it is 

As the country developed, there was an ever-in- 
creasing call for smaller engines with higher speed 
and higher steam pressure. Excessively high pres- 
sures had already been experimented with as early 
as 1823 by Jacob Perkins, who in 1827 constmcted 
a single-acting engine in which steam of 800 pounds 
pressure was used, and in the same year he made a 
compound on the Wolfe plan, in which he adopted a 
pressure of 1400 pounds, expanded eight times. He 



even went so far as to propose to adopt a pressure of 
2000 pounds, using engines with small cylinder di- 
mension and cutting off the admission at one sixteenth 
of the stroke. For obvious reasons these excessive 
pressures were not adopted in general practice, but 
the experiments had the effect in later years of call- 
ing the attention of builders to the greater economy 
of high pressure steam, and engines and boilers were 
adapted to its use in a moderate degree. This 
caused inventors to consider different plans by which 
high pressures could be utilized and high speed en- 
gines constructed. A number of designs were exe- 
cuted, among which may be noted the Westinghouse, 
which is a double-cylinder, single-acting engine. The 
low cost and simplicity, combined with a high de- 
gree of efficiency, have brought this engine into ex- 
tensive use. 

The competition among engine builders has caused 
marked changes to be made in simplifying and re- 
ducing the cost of manufacture. Probably no change 
which has been made equals that, adopted by nearly 
all builders of what may be called the merchantable 
engine, of reducing the number of main parts to a 
single colimm or bedplate, in which the revolving 
and redprocating parts are supported and the cylin- 
der secured direcdy to this column or bed. Engines 
of this class, both vertical and horizontal, are manu- 
factured by builders all over the country, and per- 
haps no better estimate can be derived of the advance 
in this particular than to consider that in 1795 there 
were exceedingly few in this country who were in- 
terested in the introduction of the steam-engine, 
whereas in 1895 scarcely a town of any importance 
exists which does not boast of one or more shops 
where steam-engines are built. The marked advance 
in the efficiency of the steam-engine may be seen 
when we consider that previous to 1850 it took from 
five to eight pounds of coal and something like 
eighty pounds of water per horse-power per hour to 
operate what was then considered the best class of 
engine, whereas to-day the same work is done vnth 
an expenditiure of one and eight tenths pounds of 
coal and fifteen pounds of water per horse-power 
per hour. The manufacture of stationary engines is 
so widely distributed and so extensively followed 
that neither in the United States Census nor in other 
compilations of statistics, is it possible to determine 
the number of men employed, the number of em- 
ployers interested, the amount of capital involved, or 
the value of the productions of this branch of 
engine building. 

The steam fire-engine is an important factor in 
securing the safety of human life and property, and 
the improvement in such engines within fifty years 
has been great Captain John Ericsson built a port- 
able steam fire-engine, which was tested in New 
York City in 1842, but was not put into regular ser- 
vice. The time required for raising steam was then 
eighteen minutes. Steam fire-engines were put into 
permanent service in Cincinnati about 1853, and at 
that time steam could be raised in less than four 
minutes from the time the torch was applied. Econ- 
omy is not a matter of prime importance in steam 
fire-engines, the first requisites being power and por- 
tability. Modem machines of beautiful design and 
superb workmanship can be drawn by two horses, 
and can be made ready for delivering enormous 
quantities of water within three minutes after the 
sound of the alarm. This comparatively small ap- 
paratus can throw a stream of water over all except 
the highest buildings in the large cities, and can 
run for hours without damage. The boiler of the 
steam fire-engine is one of the most powerful for its 
weight used in any practical work. The fire-engines 
manufactiu-ed in the United States are admittedly 
superior to those manufactxu-ed elsewhere. This 
superiority has doubtless resulted from the need ot 
the most efficient apparatus to protect cities largely 
built of wood, and which are much more subject to 
conflagration than those of older countries, where 
brick and stone are the principal materials used in 

While the progress of steam-engineering during 
one hundred years has largely revolutionized the 
methods of living, this development has not reached 
its termination. On the contrary, the engines and 
boilers which have recently been used in torpedo 
boats, the experiments of Maxim in England, and of 
Langley in the United States, introducing steam- 
engines and boilers of power heretofore inconceiv- 
able for their lightness, and the light engines and 
boilers which are used in road carriages, indicate 
that we may expect in the near future an enormous 
saving in the amount of coal used in producing 
power, and in the convenient subdivision of power 
for a great variety of uses. It is reasonable, there- 
fore, to expect that this advance will continue at 
an accelerated pace, and it may be predicted that 
the further development of steam engineering will 
result in the increased conservation of the world's 
resources and in an added contribution to the com- 
fort and happiness of mankind. 



WHEN the harvest of a century is gathered 
we are able to measure its quantities and 
to determine its values; but the improve- 
ment in the arts of a century can be estimated otJy 
by comparing the conditions existing at its begin- 
ning with those at its close. 

Looking backward, then, to 1795, we discover a 
sparsely settled country, with means of transporta- 
tion limited to the slow ox or to the more speedy 
horse ; the forest is cleared by a clumsy axe, adapted 
more for dressing the timber after it is felled than 
for felling it ; the ground is tilled by the spade and 
the plow of wood, saving only the coulter and some- 
times the mould-board, which turns the soil but little 
below the surface ; and the harvest is gathered by 
the scythe and the sickle, wielded by arms and 
hands strengthened and hardened by toil. A few 
sawmills have existence, but most of the timber for 
construction is hewed. The grist-mill is the most 
complex piece of machinery ; its shafts and gear- 
wheels are of wood, and its owner, the jolly miller, 
depends upon his customers not only for his tithe 
of the grain, but also for the assistance necessary to 
grind it. The condensing steam-engine of Watt, 
patented in England in 1 769, was only practically 
at work there for the first time in 1776. The non- 
condensing engine of Oliver Evans had demon- 
strated here in 17S0 that it would operate, but 
in this country both the condensing and the non- 
condensing engine were absolutely unknown in 
practice. The spinning-frame of Arkwright, in- 
troduced into England in 1771, was as yet an 
experiment here. The spinning-wheel propelled by 
the fool, and the loom by the foot and the hand, 
were the sole domestic agencies for clothing the 
people and their beds, upholstering their fumitiure, 
and providing their table-napery. Iron had been 
made in the forge for more than a century, and cast- 
ings of iron of uncertain quahty were supplied from 
the small cotd-blast furnaces, whose output was from 

one and one half to two tons daily, a few of the 
largest making from twenty-five to thirty tons per 
week. With few exceptions every kind of production 
was by hand, or if machinery aided, it was directed 
at every stage by human intelligence. Whenin 1771 
Arkwright established his spinning-frame in Eng- 
land, and a few years later Oliver Evans organized 
a flour-mill in this country to execute the several 
operations of the mill previously conducted by the 
miller, machinery was enabled for the first time to 
perform successive but dissimilar operations without 
human direction. 

The jealous policy of Great Britain, which aimed 
to concentrate within her borders all the improve- 
ments in the arts, prompted legislation from 1750 to 
the close of the century, first to prevent the manii- 
factiue of iron in this coimtry beyond the stage of 
pig and bar, then to prevent the exportation from 
Great Britain of any " tool or utensil used in work- 
ing up or finishing cotton or linen, woolen or silk 
manufactures, and of any other tool or utensil which 
now is, or at any lime or times hereafter may be, 
used in working, finishing, or completing of the iron 
or steel manufactures of this kingdom," under pen- 
alty of forfeitiu^ of such tools or utensils, a fine of 
;^30o, and imprisonment for twelve months. That 
the unfortunates outside of the kingdom should never 
be enhghtened, they were forbidden, under penalty 
of ;^5oo and imprisonment in the common jail for 
twelve months, " from seducing artificers, and others 
employed in the manufactories, to depart out of this 
kingdom ; and if any artificer has promised or con- 
tracted to go into foreign parts to practise or teach 
his trade, such artificer may be obliged to give 
security, at the discretion of the court, that he shall 
not go beyond the seas, and may be committed to 
prison until he give such security." 

At the close of the last centtuy and during the 
early part of this, these acts were rigidly enforced, 
and they were not rescinded until 1845. In con- 



sequence of this legislation machinery could not be 
obtained from England, and the only alternative was 
to rely upon our own mechanical ability and con- 
struct what was needed at home. Our workmen 
were skilled in the use of the axe, die adze, and all 
carpenters' tools ; they had successfully constructed 
our sawmills and grist-mills, in which tlie gearing and 
shafting were of wood, the latter revolving upon 
small iron journals ingeniously secured in the ends 

of the wooden shafts. 

our iron with facility i 

chinery then coming i 

demanded that this in 

ish and be given a m 

afforded by the forge, and out of this i 

machinist was born. 

From the " History of American Textile Machi- 
nery," by John L, Hayes, LL.D., we learn that 
Samuel Slater, a young Englishman, aided by the 

Our blacksmiths fashioned 
1 the forge, but the new ma- 
nto extensive use in England 
n should receive a higher fin- 
are exact form than could be 
ssity the 

n that State, in 
1 this country to 
s machinery was 
e may conceive 

capital of some enterprising 
R. I., constructed at Pawtucket, 
1790, the first of the textile mills i 
use the Arkwright system. All of i 
built by him on the premises, and 
the difficulties under which he labored when 
consider that he brought whh him from England no 
plans or models of the machinery, and in that age of 
the world not one of the machines now so common 
for shaping cold iron had existence. What expedi- 
ents he must have resorted to, and what a school it 
was for his workmen I At this period woolen cloth 
fabricated in the household was the only domestic 
source of the supply of that article; but in 1793 
John Schofield and his family, with his brother 
Aithtu', emigrated from England to this country, 
and, being well skilled in the most approved method 
of manufacturing woolen goods in England, con- 
structed, with the aid of some persons of wealth in 
Newburyporl, Mass., the first carding- ma chine that 
was worked in the United States. This apparatus 
was first turned by hand ; but when the remaining 
machinery was completed the factory was put into 
operation by water-power, the business thenceforth 
being conducted prosperously. Like the cotton- 
mill of Slater, the machinery of this first woolen- 
mill was built by Schofield on the premises. Rude 
indeed must such machinery have been ; but it 
served its purpose, not alone to prepare the fiber and 
to spin the yam for which it was designed, but also 
to educate every man, woman, and child who aided 
to construct or to operate it. 

Out of such experience came, first, that adjunct 
of the lathe, the slide-rest, the progenitor, in fact, of 

nearly all the appliances for automatically shaping 
cold iron. At this time the lathe had but lately ad- 
vanced beyond the first stage of its existence, that 
of two dead-centers, which supported the work as it 
was rotated backward and forward by a band around 
it, one end .ittached to a spring-pole above it, the 
other end to the fool of the operator, while the tum- 
ing-lool was held in his hand. Think of the skill 
and tlie patience required to produce good work 
with such an implement! And yet with no better 
appliance all of the domestic turned work of our 
colonial period was executed. 

The lathe had now, however, advanced beyond this 
first stage, and was provided with a revoluble spindle 
and center, by which the work was axially supported 
and rotated ; but the tools for turning either wood 
or iron were still held and manipulated by hand. 
The new industries demanded large numbers of 
cylindrical iron pieces exactly parallel and of like 
diameter, tor the production of which manual skill 
was inadequate. This want was supplied by the 
slide-rest, which theretofore had been found only in 
the workshop of the optician and the mathematical- 
instrument maker, but was now to become a com- 
mon adjunct of the lathe. From this time the 
capacity of the lathe to produce cylindrical work of 
the required exactitude was unlimited, but the work- 
man had to manipulate the slide-rest to enable the 
cutting-tool which it carried to perform its work. 
The preparation and the adjustment of the culting- 
tool, as well as its rate of traverse, required skill ; 
but to perform the work after that demanded only 
constant attention, and the number of workmen 
who could patiendy give that was limited. As a 
consequence the slide-lathe was introduced, where- 
by the advance of the cutting-tool, and the rotation 
of the work, were automatically performed. The 
facilities for producing the long, flat, and straight 
surfaces best adapted for such a machine were then 
limited to the hammer and the cold-chisel, the file 
and the straight-edge, the latter then produced by 
grinding three surfaces alternately upon one another 
until they touched uniformly, in any order of pairs. 
The slide-lathe, therefore, had a curious develop- 
ment. The hand-lathe, with its wooden bed and 
short slide-resl, could produce cylinders economi- 
cally, and these were utilized for slide-lathe beds; 
but lacking stability, as well as security for the slide- 
rest, the cast-iron bed dressed by the cold-chisel and 
the file was finally adopted. The form of the guid- 
ing surfaces of the slide-rest was, however, mortified 
in the lathe to save hand labor, and this distinctive 
form has maintained an existence to the present day. 




The next development of the slide-rest was the 
planing-machine, whereby the rough and irregular 
surface of the castings and forgings, traveling slowly 
under a cutting-tool movable at right angles to the 
travel of the work, was smoothed and reduced to a 
true plane. The advent of this machine was an era 
in the life of the machinist, as great, perhaps, as that 
of the sh'de-rest. I am unable to determine when 
the first one was started, but to give some idea of 
its development I may say that in 1838 it was gen- 
erally understood that there were but four of these 
machines in the United States. With this machine 
it was at once possible to construct lathes of in- 
creased capacity, power, and exactitude. The drill, 
which before that had been limited to a revolving 
vertical spindle, was endowed with an iron frame, 
and a table at right angles to it, upon which the 
work might be rigidly supported and adjusted with 
ease and certainty. The boring-mill or vertical lathe 
was then economically possible, and took its place in 
the machine-shop to execute a large class of turned 
work that did not require to be supported upon 
centers, or as preparatory thereto. Much of this 
work consisted of wheels that had to be keyed upon 
their shafts. The seats for these keys were chipped 
and filed, and the first development of the planing- 
machine was the key-seating machine, in which the 
tool moved while the work was fed against it. The 
capacity of such a machine for other work was soon 
developed, and when provided with compound slide- 
rests and a revoluble table moimted thereon, it took 
its place as a standard tool in the machine-shop, 
imder the name of the slotting-machine. This 
planer, with its vertically movable tool, was the 
progenitor of a machine with similar attachments, 
but with its tool moving horizontally, upon which 
work could be conveniently shaped in a great variety 
of forms ; and the shaping-machine, as it was called, 
soon became one of the standard tools of the 

With the advent of these tools the art of driving 
the cold-chisel and of guiding the file, once the 
criterion of a good workman, was rarely exercised. 
In the mean time, however, the vertical spindle- 
drill, with its compound tables, movable vertically 
and adjustable horizontally in two directions at 
right angles with each other, had been supplemented 
by the horizontal drill, with similar tables, but with 
its drill-spindle parallel to the tables ; and the further 
requirements in this direction had been supplied by 
the radial drill, in which the vertical drill-spindle is 
movable about a vertical axis, toward and from which 
it is adjustable radially. 

The development of the machine-shop was not, 
however, exactly in the order above indicated ; it 
had other requirements which these tools supplied 
inadequately, if at all, among which were the screw- 
bolts and nuts for securing the parts of the machines 
together, a want which had been imperfectly sup- 
plied before even the original lathe had an existence. 
The iron screw-bolt was then formed by compress- 
ing a split die upon it, provided with spiral threads, 
and rotating the bolt or the die backward and for- 
ward until the thread was partly cut and partly raised 
to its completed form, while a taper-tap was screwed 
into the nut from one side and then from the other, 
until by trial the nut was found to enter upon the bolt. 
The apex of the thread was always larger than the 
diameter of the bolt, and bolts and nuts were only 
interchangeable by accident. The slide-lathe made 
it possible to cut out the thread without raising it, 
but for the great mass of bolts this was far too ex- 
pensive, so that the split die continued to produce its 
imperfect product in this coimtry imtil the solid die 
patented by Philetus W. Gates, May 8, 1847, ^^ 
sectional threads, was introduced. After this die 
had cut the thread at one pass, its direction of rota- 
tion was reversed to unscrew it from the bolt, which 
not only left a mark upon the thread, but was liable 
to injure the die, and no compensation for wear was 
possible. It was not until 1857 that a bolt machine 
was devised by William Sellers, and constructed by 
his firm in which dies to cut the thread at one pass, 
and adjustable to size, could be opened and closed 
while running continuously in one direction, and 
thereafter ordinary screw-bolts could be made inter- 
changeable. In i860 this tool was introduced into 
England, and subsequently upon the continent of 

Another of the early machine-shop tools was the 
gear-cutter, simply a revolving milling-cutter against 
which the wheel was forced, mounted upon a spindle 
above the dividing-plate on the same spindle. The 
only power used was that required to rotate the cut- 
ter ; the movement against the cutter and its reverse, 
and the division or adjustment for the next tooth, 
being all performed by the workman. The cost of 
such work was so great that the teeth of nearly all 
wheels, even for fine machines, were cast, until a 
machine was devised by William Sellers, and con- 
structed by his firm in 1867, and exhibited at the 
exposition in Paris in the same year, in which the 
work of the operative was limited to adjusting the 
wheel to be cut to the cutter. After that the ma- 
chine proceeded with the work of cutting each tooth, 
retracting the cutter, turning the wheel for the next 

William Sellers. 



tooth, and so on, until the wheel was completed in 
less time than it could be done when these move- 
ments were effected by hand ; so that now one man 
can easily attend several machines, and cast teeth 
are no longer admissible in good machines. 

One other typical machine-tool which has re- 
ceived its greatest development in this country must 
be referred to — the milling-machine, by which the 
various shapes for use or for ornament in our fire- 
arms are fashioned. Its use is so varied that it has 
become a necessary adjunct to every machine-shop, 
and I close with this the list of machine-tools ne- 
cessary to make other machines. It must not be 
supposed, however, that the above comprise all or 
nearly all of the machine-tools now in common use ; 
they are but t5rpes, upon which an infinite variety of 
changes have been wrought to adapt them to special 
requirements. Their development marked the first 
stage of the machinist's art, when machine-tools were 
only required to perform the simple operations of 
turning and planing, drilling and milling, to make 
other machines. 

Along with the development of these tools for 
general piurposes came a development of the system 
of interchangeability as an economical principle in 
manufacturing machinery, requiring in some in- 
stances special machines, but more commonly spe- 
cial tools or appliances for use in connection with 
the ordinary machine-tools. While it cannot be 
claimed that this country was the first to attempt 
manufacturing machinery upon this principle, it 
must be admitted that the system was in successful 
use here very many years in advance of any other 
nation, and that, in fact, the demonstration here that 
the system was economical, as well as advantageous 
in other respects, induced the nations of Europe to 
adopt it and procure the necessary apparatus here 
to establish it at home. 

For the economical manufacture of machinery or 
of apparatus in which large numbers of the parts 
shall be interchangeable there are certain prelimi- 
nary conditions which must be observed : first, refer- 
ence standards must be provided, with which to 
compare the several parts and determine the toler- 
ance — that is to say, the amount of variation per- 
missible between the standard and the product; 
second, every part of the finished piece must be 
completed without the intervention of hand labor; 
and third, for every piece a base must be established, 
to which each and every succeeding operation must 
refer; consequently every piece must form a sepa- 
rate study to determine the best appliances for 
each operation, so that the efficiency of the opera- 

tion shall not be dependent upon the skill of the 

The first application of these principles was made 
upon firearms in our government arsenals, under the 
direction of Mr. Eli Whitney, the inventor of the 
cotton-gin. The growth of the system must have 
been slow, and confined for a long period to a few 
of the principal parts; but from the first it had 
proved economical, for in 1822, Mr. Calhoun, then 
Secretary of War, admitted to Mr. Whitney that the 
government was saving $25,000 per year at the two 
public armories alone by the use of his improve- 
ments. The drop forging-press, with its dies con- 
forming to the shape desired, served to produce 
expeditiously in red-hot metal all of the smaller 
parts of the gun, closely approximating the finished 
size and shape. The milling-machine, when its 
capacity was developed, finished these forged parts, 
however varied the shape, with an accuracy well 
within the limit of tolerance ; and the drill, when the 
order of procedure had been determined and the 
guiding templets were provided, fashioned the bear- 
ings for the working parts and the holes for securing 
the parts in position. The wooden gun-stock, of 
irregular form, was rapidly and automatically shaped 
exteriorly as it and its model revolved in a lathe 
designed by Thomas Blanchard, and patented by 
him January 20, 1820. Other special tools routed 
the groove for the gun-barrel and the cavity for the 
lock, with the other details required to receive the 
guards and fastenings of the gun, with such accuracy 
that the several parts could be assembled as they 
came from the machines. The accuracy then at- 
tainable, however, was far short of that now de- 
manded ; the gun then produced did not require it. 
The machine-tools were limited in variety and com- 
paratively rude of structure, so that the quality of 
their work could not be depended upon. The 
vernier caliper was the most delicate instrument of 
measurement, and a thousandth of an inch was its 
extreme limit of accuracy, while the form of the 
screw-thread did not admit of very accurate deter- 

As the quality of our machine-tools improved, the 
skill of our workmen advanced and their appreciation 
of accuracy was enlarged. Appliances necessary to 
detect with certainty an error of the twenty thou- 
sandth of an inch were supplied by the Pratt & 
Whitney Company, after designs by Professor W. A. 
Rogers and Mr. George M. Bond; and the form 
of screw-threads advocated by Mr. William Sellers 
in a paper read before the Franklin Institute, April 
21, 1864, has since become the standard for the 



United States ; so that now a degree of accuracy is 
easily attainable which, at the introduction of the 
system, was impossible. The failure of the earlier 
attempt to establish an interchangeable system of 
manufacture in France was perhaps due to rude 
apparatus ; but from the description that has come 
down to us it would seem that the cardinal condi- 
tions before referred to had not been observed, with 
the result that a commission appointed by the French 
government in 179 1 decided that it was inexpedient 
to establish a central manufactory of locks, mainly 
for the reason that it had not been found economi- 
cal, and in 1807 the last factory engaged in the 
manufacture was suppressed. 

From the first our method of working the inter- 
changeable system had proved economical, and, with 
the growth of excellence in every detail of machi- 
nery, the system had been so extended and improved 
that the knowledge of its advantages reached to 
foreign countries, and various commissions were 
appointed to investigate it. In 1870 the German 
government contracted with the Pratt & Whitney 
Company for gun machinery to the value of $350,- 
000, and within the next three years for $1,250,000 
more; and until 1875 ^^^ company was kept busy 
on European orders. By a supplemental contract 
with the German government the Pratt & Whitney 
Company agreed to superintend the erection of the 
machinery they had furnished, and to instruct native 
workmen how to operate it. The results were so 
satisfactory that, departing from precedent, the au- 
thorities forwarded a letter, from which the following 
is an extract : 

"The Pratt & Whitney Company has furnished 
the royal armories of Spandau, Erfurt, and Danzig 
with plants of machinery which execute the work 
with such nicety and precision as to save one half 
the wages, and to render the government in no 
small degree independent of the power and skill of 
the workmen." About the same time other manu- 
facturers of gun-making tools — notably Brown & 
Sharpe, of Providence, R. I.— received large orders 
for such machinery from other foreign countries, 
and our system for the manufacture of this class of 
interchangeable parts was thus established in Eng- 
land and on the continent of Europe. 

The record, therefore, discloses the fact that for 
more than half a centiuy this country has been in 
possession of a system of manufacture peculiar to 
itself, developed first in the manufacture of the 
larger class of firearms, then extended to pistols, 
and subsequently to a great variety of products, 
such as the sewing-machine, the type-writer, the 

bicycle, and the watch, in all of which we stand to- 
day unrivaled. 

Within the period I have been reviewing every 
art has advanced enormously, and many have been 
developed that had no previous existence. The 
farmer no longer scratches the surface of his fields. 
His plow of steel sufi&ces to turn the sod to a depth 
that compels a more bounteous harvest ; his seeds 
are planted and his crops are tilled by machines 
which he rides and guides ; and his harvest is cut 
and cured by still other machines, that carry him to 
their work, obedient to his will. 

Textile fabrics, at first hand-made, by successive 
steps have become the product of machinery to 
which the raw material is supplied, and from which 
the finished material only is removed by hand. The 
twine for the fisherman was once spun and the 
meshes of his net were knit by hand. But he need 
no longer knit, because he can buy his net for less 
than he must pay for the twine of which to make it. 
The yam for knitting, formerly hand-made, is no 
longer in the market, and its knitted product, once 
a fireside occupation, is' now supplied at a cost that 
even those so-called idle hours could not compete 
with. Boots and shoes then required a skilful work- 
man to produce. Each was the work of one man. 
But the shoemaker no longer exists. More than half 
a hundred workers each contributes his mite to the 
shoe which machinery produces, while garments 
then cut out and laboriously stitched by hand are 
now fashioned in piles and stitched and buttonholed 
by machinery. While machinery has thus been 
adapted to feed and to clothe us, it has been taught 
to produce almost every article required in the 
household or the workshop. Indeed, the very 
houses that shelter us no longer represent the skill 
of the joiner, for the mill has usurped his place, and 
the carpenter only assembles its work. 

The same changes have occurred in the fabrica- 
tion of metals. The blast-furnace, whose maximum 
product early in the century was 25 to 30 tons per 
week, now produces 500 tons per day. The bloom 
of iron, then the unit from which the largest masses 
were built up, small as we now regard them, has 
given place to the ingot of steel, weighing many 
tons, which requires less labor to produce than the 
bloom of as many pounds. The forge and the roll- 
ing-mill which fashion the ingot in great masses are 
new creations, and the machines which shape it in 
detail with such marvelous rapidity, and at one heat, 
are developments so great that the original parent 
is barely recognizable. In transportation the team 
of horses has long since been displaced by the loco- 



motive, and present indications point to another and 
more efficient substitute. 

The immense number of similar parts which the 
automatic machinery of these and other industries 
demanded afforded opportunity for the introduction 
of machine-tools to manufacture machinery, as dis- 
tinguished from those designed simply for making it. 
The difference may be illustrated in the two processes 
of making a turned bolt with a square or hexagonal 
head, the one after the introduction of the slide-lathe, 
and the other at the present time. Then, a bar of 
iron of suitable size was heated and forged by the 
smith to a size and shape approximating that of the 
finished article; this was centered; a carrier was 
secured upon one end whereby it could be rotated ; 
the end opposite the carrier was squared in the slide- 
lathe by a side-tool, the carrier was transferred 
to the other end of the bolt, and the opposite end 
was squared, the side-tool was changed for another 
tool, adapted to tiuning the body of the bolt, and 
this again for another, adapted to cutting the 
thread. At each change of carrier and of tool the 
lathe was stopped that the workman might release 
the one tool and secure the other. Now, the iron 
bar, square or hexagonal, and of the size and shape 
of the head of the bolt, is delivered from the rolling- 
mill to the attendant of the machine, who thrusts it 
into the machine against a stop ; the machine grips 
it, squares off the projecting end, turns up the body 
of the bolt, cuts the thread, bevels the end, and 
finally cuts off the bar beyond the last turning, to 
make a head, and the bolt drops, a finished product. 
The machine releases the bar, moves it forward the 
distance required for another similar bolt, and re- 
peats its operations, imtil the bar is converted into 
bolts ; and it could, if desirable, inform its attendant 
that it was out of work, or notify him of the fact by 
stopping its movement. The attendant is no longer 
of necessity a machinist, for his only occupation is 
to provide his machine with bars, to remove its pro- 
duct, and to keep it clean, duties which attendance 
upon a number of such machines does not make 
onerous. The turned bolt so manufactured is as 
good as, but no better than, that which was first 
forged and then finished upon the simple slide-lathe ; 
but the product of the workman is vastly greater, 
and the skill required for it is far less. For such 
apparatus quantity of like product is the first req- 

uisite. Given this, and the skill of the engineer 
and the machinist is demanded to produce by suc- 
cessive automatic operations the desired result. 
These operations without the intervention of human 
intelligence may at first be few in number, but they 
will be extended from time to time as experience 
warrants or as futiure discoveries may render possible. 

The field, then, for machinery and for manufac- 
turing interests is forever widening. Every secret 
of nature that is imfolded, every discovery in the 
arts, every combination that produces new results, 
only opens other avenues of progress, which must 
become more rapid and more diverse with the 
growth of the centuries. 

At the close of this century, however, it should 
be noted that within the period I have been review- 
ing the trade of the machinist had its origin. It 
would be interesting to determine accurately, if that 
were possible, what is now the annual product of this 
new industry ; but the census gives only the aggre- 
gate value of the machinery, tools, and implements 
in use, and the annual production of all manufactur- 
ing industries. From this source, however, we find 
that the annual product of all manufacturing in- 
dustries per employee amounts to $1988, a sum con- 
siderably in excess of what I believe would be found 
to be the product per employee in a manufactory 
comprising foundries and machine-shops. The last 
census gives the number of foimdries and machine- 
shop establishments at 6475, ^^ capital employed 
at $382,798,337, and the number of employees at 
247,754 ; and if we assume the annual product per 
employee to be $1500, we shall have an annual pro- 
duction of machinery equal to $371,631,000, which 
is probably a moderate estimate. The importation 
of machinery is so small compared with our own 
production that the cost has but little effect upon 
our market, particularly so as its design and con- 
struction are generally regarded as inferior to our 
own ; but it is of interest to know that our average 
annual importation for the last five years has been 

It is to be hoped that, with a more widely dis- 
seminated knowledge of the value of statistics, the 
coming decade will develop census reports from 
which, for the principal industries at least, an ac- 
curate knowledge of our production per operative 
may be determined. 






KNOWLEDGE is not a matter of words: it 
is an acquaintance with things. Theories 
. may present a seemingly formidable front, 
but they must ever yield before the battering-ram of 
facts. The farmer who hitched his small hoise to 
the short end of the whiffletree to balance the large 
horse at the longer end may not have appreciated 
the stem philosophy of the fiiilure of his scheme, but 
die failure itself was a demonstrated fact. Needless 
to say, he was not a farmer of the present day and 
age, to whom the laws of mechanics, as applied to 
his calling, are almost as fami liar as to the inventor 
himself. The contributions of invention to the ad- 
vancement of agriculture are as self-evident as cause 
and effect. These contributions — the things con- 
tributed — are familiar to the great farming public. 
This acquaintance with the various machines and 
implements designed for his use has given the agri- 
culturist a knowledge that is power — a power that 
is seen not only in his own ameliorated condidon, 
but in the generally augmented commercial pros- 
perity of the nadon and of the world. The uni- 
versality of the value of important agricultural 
inventions is uniformly recognized by writers upon 
commercial and economic subjects. In 1869 Mr. 
J. J. Thomas published a book entided " Farm Im- 
plements," and in the course of his introductory 
remarks said: "The great value of improved farm 
machinery to the country at large has been lately 
proved by the introduction of the reapn. Careful 
estimates determine that the number of reaping- 
machines introduced up to the beginning of the 
great Rebellion performed, whQe working in harvest, 
an amount of labor neady equal to that of a miUion 
of men with hand implements. The reaper thus fills 
the void caused by the demand on workingmen for 
the army. An earlier occurrence of that war must 
therefore have resulted in the general ruin of the 
grain interests, and prevented the annual shipment, 

during that gigantic contest, of the millions of bush- 
eb of wheat which so greatly surprised the com- 
mercial savants of Europe." 

In contemplating the subject of farm machinery 
and implements, one is struck by the infinite variety 
of useful inventions extant, and is at a loss to know 
where, within the scope of a brief sketch, the line 
shall be drawn between special mention and mere 
allusion covering the general field. Research in 
this direction, however, as doubdess in most other 
industrial lines, discloses the names of a few whose 
individuality has become so indelibly stamped upon 
the age as to entitle them to more than a. passing 
notice. Aside from these apparendy necessary ex- 
ceptions, it is not the purpose of this article to dwell 
upon particular inventions, classes, or individual in- 
ventors, but rather to indicate in a comprehensive 
manner the growth and devdopment of the speci- 
fied art during the past 100 years, and to show or 
attempt to measure the accruing advantages not 
only to agriculture but to the commercial progress 
of this wonderful century. 

There are no tangible figures relative to the early 
manufacturing interests of the United States. The 
government made an effort to secure data on this 
subject in i8ro, and, under the direction of the Sec- 
retary of the Treasury, the marshals of the several 
States, and the secretaries of the Territories, began the 
work, but the returns were so irregular and deficient 
in specific particulars that they have never been 
accepted as possessing any value for the statistician. 
It may be said, however, that down to the begin- 
ning of the present century but litde progress had 
been made in the improvement and development of 
agricultural implements. It is true that during the 
eighteenth century in Great Britain there were va- 
rious spasmodic efforts at improvement which showed 
that inventors were dreaming of something better 
dian was then in common use, but they either lacked 

ELUkiuiiE M. to 



capacity to make their new devices practically op- 
erative, or agriculturists lacked sufficient intelligence 
to appreciate and operate them. The first quarter 
of this century had passed before invention in this 
line had made any practical progress, and it was 
not until the middle of the century that manufac- 
turers undertook a general advance, and began to 
push their product and arouse agriculturists to the 
advantage of improved implements. Then opened 
this modem period of rapid progress, development, 
and perfection. The movement began in this coun- 
try, and Americans have maintained the lead ever 

The centennial character of this pubUcation sug- 
gests the fact that loo years ago the patent on Eli 
Whitney's cotton-gin was two years old. As a fac- 
tor in the acceleration of the national resources and 
wealth, its value can scarcely be overestimated. 
Referring to it, Lord Macaulay is reported as say- 
ing: "What Peter the Great did to make Russia 
dominant, Eli Whitney's invention of the cotton-gin 
has more than equaled in its relation to the pro- 
gress and power of the United States." In 1791, 
just previous to the time of Whitney's invention, the 
cotton crop of the world was estimated at 490,000,- 
000 pounds, of which the United States produced 
about one two-hundred-and-forty-fifth. As early as 
1845 the total product had increased to 1,169,600,- 
000 pounds, of which the United States suppHed 
1,000,000,000 pounds, or more than seven eighths. 
Other cotton-produdng countries were slow to 
avail themselves of Whitney's invention, and were 
consequently distanced in the race to supply the 
world's increasing demand. In this connection it 
is interesting to note that in 1784 a consignment of 
eight bags of cotton, a total of about 1600 pounds, 
was seized at Liverpool on the ground that so large 
a quantity could not have been produced in the 
United States ! A conservative estimate of the cot- 
ton crop of this coimtry for the current year places 
it at about 9,500^000 bales of 477 pounds each. 

The first need of the original agriculturist was an 
implement for stirring the soil, and for this purpose 
he fashioned a stick with a hooked end, which he 
himself drew. In time, when beasts were trained 
for the bearing of burdens and for draft, this stick 
was enlarged and drawn by them ; later it was shod 
with iron, and through all the centuries down to a 
little more than 100 years ago it remained substan- 
tially the same, even among the most highly civi- 
lized peoples, being to this day in common use in 
Mexico and in other Latin-American nations. Some 
improvement was made in Great Britain during the 

last century in the form of plows, and iron was in- 
creasingly used in their construction, but the plow 
still in common use was the primitive implement, 
generally made by the farmer himself. The first 
American patent on a plow was granted to Charles 
Newbold of New Jersey, in 1797. The claim was 
for a plow of solid cast iron, excepting handles and 
beam, consisting of a bar, sheath, and mold-plate. 
It cut and turned over the soil very well, but farm- 
ers did not accept it because they thought that iron 
was poisonous to the land. 

The man who laid the foundations of the modem 
plow was Jethro Wood. He gave it its present 
form and made it of cast iron, with share, shin, 
mold-board, and landside, the parts being common 
to any plow — that is, interchangeable. It was 
patented September i, 18 19. During the forties 
plow-making was carried on extensively in the East- 
em States, but the demands of the Westem and 
prairie States from 1850 and onward, and the use 
of chilled iron, expanded the industry and led to 
the many inventions and the perfection that have 
followed. Among the names that will ever be as- 
sociated with the plow are John Deere, pioneer in- 
ventor and manufacturer, and James Oliver, whose 
perfection of the chilled plow was an important ad- 
vance in this line of invention. 

The first drag, or harrow, was the limb of a tree, 
with extending branches. This suggested the A 
form of drag with teeth inserted, and it, in turn, the 
square or oblong Roman harrow. These came 
down to the middle of this century, substantially un- 
changed. The first improvement in harrows was 
the revolving disk, for which the first patent was is- 
sued by our Patent Office to G. Page on August 7, 
1847. Many and various have been the improve- 
ments in harrows since. 

Hand dropping or sowing of seed was the common 
practice down to the middle of this century. A sort 
of drill plow was produced in Assyria long before 
the opening of the Christian era, and the Chinese 
claim the use of a similar implement some three or 
four thousand years ago. About 1 730, Jethro Tull, 
an Englishman, produced a machine that was the 
protot)rpe of the modem drill By the end of the 
century, considerable advancement had been made 
in England, and a broadcast seeder mounted on a 
wheelbarrow had been invented. The first Ameri- 
can patent on a seeding-machine was granted in 
1799 to Eliakim Spooner, and several others were 
issued during the early years of this century; but 
nothing practical resulted until about 1840. J. Gib- 
bons, on August 25, 1840, patented the feeding cavi- 



ties and a device for regulating the amount deliv- 
ered. Next, M. and S. Pennock, of Pennsylvania, 
obtained a patent March 12, 184 1, for improvements 
in cylinder drills, a class of drills they largely placed 
upon the market. Patents on slide drills and " force- 
feed " drills followed, the first patent on the latter 
having been granted to Foster, Jessup & Brown, 
November 4, 185 1. The feeding or dropping de- 
vices having thus been invented, various kinds of 
seeding-machines followed — drills, broadcast seed- 
ers, and combinations, etc., to be developed and 
perfected as the years passed. 

The original cultivator was like the original plow, 
simply a hooked stick. This in time was developed 
into the hoe, and remained the common cultivating 
implement until this century was well advanced. 
Early in the eighteenth century Jethro Tull origina- 
ted in England the " horse-hoe " system of cultiva- 
tion. He sowed grain in rows, cultivating between 
them. To carry out his system he invented the horse- 
drill and the horse-hoe, or cultivator, with which to 
work between the rows. His system failed for the 
time, cultivating continuing to be done with the hoe, 
and sometimes by plowing between rows, until corn- 
fields began to be of considerable size, when the 
single-shovel com cultivator for one horse was pro- 
duced by some blacksmith, and later another shovel 
was added, forming the two-shovel plow. The latter 
was generally used in the prairie corn-fields up to 
i860. April 22, 1856, George Esterly took out a 
patent on a straddle-row two-horse com cultivator, 
which was the first in the invention of a line of im- 
plements in the manufactiure of which millions are 
now invested; there being an almost endless vari- 
ety of cultivators — hand and horse, single and dou- 
ble, walking and riding, shovel-bladed, spring-tooth, 
disk, etc. 

Among the prehistoric implements that have been 
found are several forms of sickles and scythes for 
cutting grain. The earliest are of flint, but curved 
and shaped quite like the old sickle that our grand- 
fathers used ; the scythes being similar in shape, but 
larger, some having shanks for handles, or snaths. 
These were the implements with which grain and 
grass were cut, down to about fifty years ago. Of 
course, through the many centuries they were im- 
proved in form and material; the snath of the 
scythe was given the proper shape, and finally fin- 
gers were added, forming a cradle, early in this 
century. It is true that Pliny describes a crade 
stripping-header, as in use in Gaul during the first 
century of the Christian era, and several efforts 
were made to produce a grain-cutting machine to 

be drawn or pushed by horses, in England and in 
this country, toward the end of the last century and 
the fore part of this; but nothing practical came of 
these efforts. 

The earliest demonstration of a successful reaper 
was made by Cyrus Hall McCormick in Virginia in 
the summer of 1831. His first patent was granted 
on June 21, 1834. Letters patent bearing date De- 
cember 31, 1833, were issued to Obed Hussey, but 
the McCormick reaper had been operated in the field 
two years before Mr. Hussey claimed to have in- 
vented his machine. Both McCormick and Hussey 
built reaping-machines that did good, practical work. 
Hussey, however, was hardly strong enough for the 
struggle necessary for pushing a radical innovation ; 
but McCormick zealously persevered, improving 
and perfecting his machine, building an increased 
number each year, and pushing their sale with un- 
tiring energy, until the demand so largely outran 
manufacturing facilities that in 1847 ^^ plant was 
removed to Chicago and fully equipped for supply- 
ing the harvest-fields of the West 

In 1849 the United States Commissioner of Pat- 
ents, referring to the McCormick reaper, said: "In 
agriculture it is in my view as unportant a labor- 
saving device as the spinning-jenny and power- 
loom in manufactures. It is one of those great and 
valuable inventions which commence a new era in 
the progress of improvement, and whose beneficial 
influence is felt in all coming time." Mr. McCor- 
mick exhibited his machine at the London Exposi- 
tion of 1 85 1, and after witnessing its field work the 
juries were enthusiastic over its success, it being 
openly asserted that this machine alone was worth 
the entire cost of the Exposition. In recognition 
of the value of Mr. McCormick's invention, it is 
worthy of note that in 1878 he was elected a cor- 
responding member of the French Academy of 
Sciences, on the ground of his " having done more 
for the cause of agricultiure than any other living 

Since the invention and general introduction of 
the reaper, improvements have been many and val- 
uable. Among those marking the progress of the 
development it should be noted that in July, 1851, 
Palmer & Williams were granted a patent on their 
self-raking reaper. During the fifties patents were 
also issued to John H. Manny, Walter A. Wood, 
Cyrenus Wheeler, and others, for improvements on 
reapers; to Louis Miller for important features of 
both reapers and mowers, and to C. W. and W. W. 
Marsh for the first practical hand-binding harvester, 
with which, later, the binder was successfully incor- 



porated. The first patent on a grain-binder was 
granted to John £. Heath on July 22, 1850. Com- 
ing down, however, to the automatic twine binder, 
as in use at the present time, the McCormick de- 
vice patented by Marquis L. Gorham, February 9, 
i^75> ^ the original successful invention. The 
early reaper has gradually developed into the mod- 
em harvester, and is now quite generally superseded 
by it. The range of the harvester's utility is also 
being enlarged, and we have a machine adapted to 
the successful cutting of rice, and another to com 
and sugar-cane. Within the past decade some at- 
tention has been given to the Universal Harvester, 
designed for the simultaneous cutting and threshing 
of grain. It is built to cut from sixteen to forty 
feet, but climatic conditions are such as to preclude 
anything more than a very limited adoption, though 
machines of this type are used to some extent on 
the Pacific Coast 

Implements for mowing and reaping were origi- 
nally of the same class, and mowing and reaping 
machines were thus classified in the Patent Office, so 
it is not known who first invented a machine intended 
solely for mowing. The early reapers were gen- 
erally of the class known as combined — that is, they 
both reaped and mowed. William F. Ketcham was 
the first to build distinctively mowing-machines for 
the market His first patent was granted on No- 
vember 18, 1844. 

Grain was first poimded out of straw by a stick, 
neact by the flail, and then by cattle or horses on 
the " threshing-floor," and the larger portion of the 
grain in this country was thus threshed prior to 1840. 
The first successfully operated threshing-machine 
was the invention of Andrew Meikle, in Scodand, 
ibr which he obtained a patent in 1788. A fanning- 
mill was added in 1800, and it then became a com- 
plete separator, but it was very imperfect and was 
stationary — being mn by water-power — and the 
grain was brought to it to be threshed. Threshers 
without separating devices were used in this coun- 
try as early as 1825, but to Hiram A. and John A. 
Pitts belongs the honor of producing the first prac- 
tical combination of threshing and cleaning, or sepa- 
rating, devices, all in one machine, and that portable. 
In 1854 they made the combination and successfiilly 
operated it Their first patent was dated December 
29, 1837. The Pitts Brothers laid the foundation of 
the threshing-machine industry, and they and McCor- 
mick, who was bringing forward his reaper at the 
same time, together laid the foundation upon which 
has since been built the whole structure of the mod- 
em agricultural-implement industry. It opened up 

great possibilities for improvements in other classes, 
and stimulated invention in all lines. 

Com-planters are strictly an American invention. 
Several patents on seeding-machines were issued by 
the United States Patent Office from 1799 down to 
1836, when the records were destroyed by fire, and 
some one or more may have been granted for put- 
ting seed- com into the groimd. A patent was issued 
to D. S. Rockwell, March 12, 1839, ^^^ ^ com-plant- 
er. Afterward other patents were granted, covering 
various devices and improvements in hand and horse 
planters, but it was left for George W. Brown to 
produce a practical and marketable machine of this 
type. His first patent was issued on August 2, 1853. 
The hinged marker was successfiilly attached by 
Jarvis Case, whose patent is dated December i, 1857. 
The first patent on a check-rower was granted to M. 
Robbins, on Febmary 10, 1857; but to Haworth 
Brothers is due the credit of making the check-rower 
sufficiendy practical for common use and putting it 
on the market. 

In haying tools and machinery, J. £. Porter's 
patents of 1872, on carriers, opened the way for a 
big industry. The Keystone Manufacturing Com- 
pany were first in the field with a successful hay- 
loader, and to P. K. Dederick must be accredited 
the perfection attained by the baling-press. 

In view of the fact that windmills for pumping 
piuposes were very generally used in Holland several 
hundred years ago, it seems somewhat surprising 
that the farm wind-engine, as we know it to-day^ 
has a history of only some two-score years. In 1 841 , 
a man named Wheeler, who was laboring as a mis- 
sionary among the Indians in Northern Wisconsin, 
conceived the idea of a windmill for grinding grain 
and pumping water, but it was not imtil 1867 that 
his theories were embodied in a model of what is 
known as the " solid-wheel " mill. In 1854, Daniel 
Halliday and John Bumham crystallized their ideas 
of a sectional windmill, and, engaging at once in its 
manufacture, stimulated others, until now inmiense 
capital is invested in this branch of industry. 

It is apparent that there are many other impor- 
tant machines and implements of this class well de- 
serving more than passing note, but the scope of 
this article precludes any specific reference to them. 
Of incalculable value is the long line of portable 
engines, horse-powers, ditching machines, com shel- 
lers, shredders, and buskers, cane machinery, potato 
planters and diggers, etc. Suffice it to say that in 
these various lines improvement is the watchword; 
and if our American inventors have not quite reached 
perfection, they are making commendable progress 



toward it, and need have no apprehension of being 
superseded by inventors or manufacturers of other 

The niunber of establishments engaged in the 
exclusive manufacture of agricultural machinery and 
implements, as shown by the census returns of 1890, 
was 910 ; or, as specified in the " Government Bulle- 
tin," this is the "number reporting," and we can well 
believe that it is considerably below the actual total. 
These concerns reported an aggregate capital of 
$145,313,997, the number of hands employed being 
39,580, receiving in wages $17,652,162. The value 
of the manufactured product, including receipts from 
custom work and repairing, was $81,271,651. Our 
foreign trade in this line of manufactures is increasing 
at a rapid rate, having grown firom practically noth- 
ing at the time of the Rebellion to $5,027,915 for the 
fiscal year ending Jime 30, 1894, a forcible illustra- 
tion of the fact that American genius and skill, 
American capital and push, are asserting their su- 
premacy around the globe. The number of farms 
in the United States is given as 4,564,641, or 623,- 
218,619 acres, worth $13,279,252,649. These farms 
were supplied with machinery and implements to 
the value of $494,247,467, this figure represent- 
ing a gain of over twenty-one per cent, in ten 
years. It will thus be seen that the modem agri- 
culturist is keenly alive to the value of either im- 
proved methods or implements looking to the bet- 
tering of his condition and the lightening of his labors. 
If he does not repeatedly say so in words, he puts it 
more forcibly in deeds. That he takes kindly to 
the manufactured products of inventive skill is seen 
in the gradual ratio of increase of the money annu- 
ally expended for purchases in this direction. It is 
also seen in the wonderful increase of our country's 
cereal product, which has grown firom about 600,- 
000,000 bushels in 1840 to considerably more than 
3,000,000,000 bushels as estimated for 1895. There 
has, of course, been a natiural logical increase in our 
farm product, but it is safe to say that a fair percent- 
age of it, as shown by the above figures, has been 
directiy due to the benefits which invention has con- 

In the early colonial days, machinery was re- 
garded as a special invention of the devil, and it was 
a bold step, taken by the Rev. Thomas Barnard, to 
preach his " manufactory sermon " in Boston, in the 
course of which he asserted that " an industrious 
prosecution of the arts of civil life is very fiiendly to 
virtue," assuring his hearers that such encouragement 
to manufactiures as would enable them to produce 
at home what they were then importing fi-om foreign 
countries would be the part of wisdom and prudence. 
It was nearly three quarters of a century later before 
the agricultural-implement industry gave even a hint 
of its ultimate magnitude, and the story of its won- 
derful growth during the past fifty years — were it 
told by a master who should picture all its bright- 
ness — would read like a tale of the Arabian Nights. 

The invention, development, and marketing of our 
modem farm machinery and implements have directly 
advanced the cause of agricultiure to a degree that 
our forefathers never dreamed of, fairly lifting it fit)m 
the treadmill round of dmdgeryto the table-lands of 
thought, so that now, instead of being a mere matter 
of the application of brute force, its rich possibilities 
call into constant requisition the God- given attri- 
butes of intelligence and reason. In the United 
States there are more than 10,000,000 persons actu- 
ally engaged in agriculture in its various branches, a 
number which far exceeds those employed in all 
other fields of labor, and in nothing is the progress 
of the farmer's calling shown so strikingly as in the 
wonderful improvement in the implements designed 
for his use. By the aid of these he has, within the 
last half-century, been enabled to increase the effec- 
tive force of labor fully twenty per cent, which means 
an annual net gain to the agricultural community of 
probably not less than $200,000,000 ; and when it is 
remembered that the products of the fiarm present a 
most important figure in our commerce, our manu- 
facturing, shipping, railroad, and kindred interests, it 
will be conceded that the advancement of agriculture 
means also the advancement of these industries, and 
a material augmentation of the general prosperity 
of the whole country, and of all countries. 

tributed to modem agriculture. X^ . ^ ^^ y 


Jeremiah Dwver. 



CAREFUL research into the histoiy of the 
origin and evolution of stoves and heating 
apparatus develops the fact that advance in 
invention and manufkcture has not followed isother- 
mal lines, as would seem natural, but that the 
United States, from the inventive character of its 
people, has easily taken the lead, although in doing 
so it has not hesitated to appropriate all that was 
best and most useful in the systems that obtained in 
Other countries. The vast geographical extent of 
OUT country, its various climates, and the complex 
character of its population have been'reflected in the 
history and nature of this as of other great industries. 

Stoves are said to have been cast for the first time 
in Alsace, France, in 1490, and as early as 1509 
they were cast at Ilsenberg. The first casting 
known to have been made in America was a small 
round-bottomed kettle with a cover, made at Lynn, 
Mass., in 1643, at the first blast-fiunace erected in 
this country. The jamb-stove was made by Chris- 
topher Sower, of Gennantown, Pa., between 1730 
and 1740. In 1744 Franklin stoves were made in 

Between 1752 and 1768 stoves of the box-stove 
<»der were made at Marlboro, near Winchester, Va. 
In 1760 Baron William Henry Steigel cast Stoves at 
his finnace near Letiz, Pa., and was very successful. 
In 1786 heating-stoves of the box shape were cast 
in Philadelphia, and plates for these stoves were 
shipped to Providence, R. I., and to Troy, N. Y., 
where they were put together. The Conant stove 
was made at Siandon, Vt., in 1830. The plates for 
the Woolson stove were made at Brandon, Vl, and 
carted seventy miles to Claremont, N. H. The 
Woolson stove was also made at a later date in 
Massachusetts, Detroit, Mich., and in Cleveland, 

The character of heating and cooking appliances 
at any period is determined by the kind and price 

of fiiel. At the beginning of the century wood was 
cheap and labor scarce ; therefore the fireplace was 
made capacious enough to contain a laige back- 
log which lay in the ashes at the rear, and in firont 
of which was the forestick, resting on andirons. The 
space between these two logs was filled with smaller 
wood. The living-room in which this fireplace 
was located served for both kitchen and dining- 
room, and at night high-backed settees were ar- 
ranged in front of the fire to intercept the heat, and 
prevent cold draughts from behind. The home 
idea of the fireside that pervades our literature had 
its origin in these early family rooms. The fire- 
place also served for cooking. Hinged to the 
right-hand jamb was an iron crane filled with dan- 
gling pot-hooks. It was pulled out so that pots and 
kettles might be hung on the hooks, and the crane 
was then swung back over the blazing fire. Pota- 
toes were baked in the hot ashes. In the wall 
alongside the fireplace was built the brick oven, 
with its flat bottom and arched top, having an iron 
door in front On baking-day, a wood fire was 
built inside of this oven, and when it was burned to 
coals and the oven thoroughly heated, the fire was 
neatly removed, and the bread placed on the oven 
bottom. In England, with soil coal for fuel, they 
still cling to the open fire, and do not take kindly 
to the substitution of close stoves. In the northern 
part of America the climate made it desirable to 
heat other rooms than the one in which the fire- 
place was located. The fiist effort in this direction 
was the jamb-stove. This was a cast-iron box built 
into the side of the fireplace so that one of its sides 
received heat from the fire, while the rear end, 
which could be dosed with a door, opened into the 
room in the rear of the fireplace, which thus re- 
ceived some heat from the adjoining chamber. 

In the early days churches were not heated, foot- 
stoves being used to keep the feet of the congrega- 



tion warm. These consisted of sheet-iron pans about 
six inches square, in which live coals were placed, 
and these were enclosed in casings of metal perfo- 
rated at the sides and top, having bails by which 
they were carried. In 1744 Benjamin Franklin de- 
vised a cast-iron open fireplace which stood out 
firom the chimney and so caused the heat from its 
back and sides to be thrown into the room. 

The six-plate or box-stove was the earliest form 
of the present heating apparatus. It was made 
from iron taken directly from the blast-furnace, and 
was very heavy. These stoves stood on an orna- 
mental frame, and were made in this country as 
early as 1752. Early in this century cylindrical or 
oval stoves of sheet iron were made in Philadelphia, 
and also in New Hampshire, by Isaac Orr. This 
developed later into the oval regulator, with a draft- 
damper, opened and closed automatically by the dif- 
erence in expansion of a brass rod and the sheet-iron 
stove-body. In 1836 James At water, of New York, 
made a stove with an illuminated case of cast iron 
and mica. It had inclosed flues, a check-flue, and a 
direct draft-damper. The Stanley square heating- 
stove, with return and exit flues inclosed in the four 
corners, was perfected about this time. In 1845 
Dr. Bushnell invented a cylinder-stove with the in- 
side lined with fire-clay, and having a pipe at each 
of the foiu: comers, down which the heat returned 
to a hollow base, and thence went up through a 
pipe at the back. 

Gas-biuners or surface-burners next appeared in 
the order of time. These were both round and oval, 
and by perforated fire-pots, or perforated gas-rings 
at the top of the brick, the coal was more perfectiy 
consumed than in any former device. They were 
mostiy made of sheet iron ; and generally the flues 
which returned the heat to the base were inclosed 
in the stove body. The most popular of these were 
the P. P. Stewart's oval and round parlor-stoves, 
first made about i860, by Fuller, Warren & Com- 
pany, of Troy, N. Y. 

Base-burning stoves have now been long in use. 
The principle of these stoves is ** to place the fuel in 
such a position that air to supply combustion shall 
come from one direction, and the fuel from the oppo- 
site direction, thereby causing the heated products of 
combustion to pass from the sides of the pile of fuel, 
instead of up through it.'' The magazine idea is first 
seen in the English patent of David Riz, 1770. Next 
came the patents of James Watt, in 1785; Pollock, 
in 1807, and Stratton in 1817 and 1822. Anthracite 
coal was brought into use in America between 1820 
and 1830, being afterward used to a limited extent 

for heating in open grates. It was so difficult to 
prevent a fire kindled with anthracite coal from go- 
ing out, that those who were interested in this fuel 
sought for an expert to devise the best method of 
burning it. Dr. Eliphalet Nott, President of Union 
College, of Schenectady, N. Y., had invented a box- 
stove in 1820, with which all the students' rooms in 
the college were heated ; and as he was an acknow- 
ledged authority on the combustion of fuel, a small 
quantity of anthracite coal was sent to him. The 
result of his experiments was the construction of an 
illuminated magazine-stove of an oblong square 
section, lined with fire-brick. This worked well, 
but for the fact that when the cover was removed 
gas would escape and often explode. When a pas- 
sage was made from the top of the magazine to the 
exit flue, which allowed the gas to pass ofi^ the users 
would often carelessly leave the damper open, thus 
causing all the coal to become ignited. These de- 
fects rendered the new stove of no value. 

Jordan L. Mott, Sr., a merchant of New Yoik 
City, who in 1830 had become a manufacturer of 
stoves, in 1833 constructed a self-feeding base-burner. 
In this stove he introduced the burning of the chest- 
nut size of anthracite coal in thin layers, fed from a 
magazine. Mr. Mott's stove contained the princi- 
ple of the modem base-burner, as it is now used. 
In 1852 D. G. LitUefield, of Albany, constructed a 
self-feeding base-biuning stove, which he improved 
in 1856 ; and in 1862 he made his " Morning Glory" 
base-bimier, which had a very large sale wherever 
anthracite coal was used. The construction of this 
stove, employing chestnut coal, showed how anthra- 
cite coal might be burned successfully. In 1862 the 
"Oriental" base-burner was devised by Perry & 
Company, being similar to the " Morning Glory " 
construction. It had a great sale. 

About this time the "American" base-burner was 
brought out by Van Wormer & McGarvey, of Al- 
bany, proving very successful. About 1863 Hailes 
& Treadwell, acting for Rathbone, in Albany, 
added a magazine to the revertible-flue gas-burner, 
which drew the flame away from the magazine, and 
heated the floor more than the direct-draft base- 
burners had previously done. In 1865 Hunt & 
Miller, of Hudson, produced a base-burner with 
very small mica windows opposite the grate. In 
1 87 1 James Spear, of Philadelphia, constructed his 
anti-clinker direct-draft base-biuner^ with a small 
illumination opposite the grate, and the same year 
W. J. Keep brought out " Keep's Side-Burner," which 
was the first stove that had been made with a full 
mica section both below and above the fire-pot. 



Fuller, Wairen & Company, who manufactured this 
stove, were of the opinion that " no one would admire 
mica windows opposite a dirty ash-pit," and therefore 
thought best to be very careful about putting it on the 
market Perry & Company, of Albany, were watch- 
ing the anti-clinker and the side-burner, and in 1873 
put the anti-clinker grate and the full double illum- 
ination into a case of the graceful proportions of the 
American base-burner, and produced the *' Argand " 
base-burner. The arrangement of flues in the Ar- 
gand was the same as had been made by Elihu Smith, 
who did much to develop the base-burning stove. 
The Argand construction and shape were exacdy 
what the people wanted. The Michigan Stove Com- 
pany manufactured it on royalty in the West. The 
Detroit Stove Works made the " Crown Jewel " of 
the same shape, except that they sloped the lower win- 
dows outward. Fuller, Warren & Company in 1875 
made " The Splendid " after the lines of the " Crown 
Jewel," and in 1876 the Michigan Stove Company 
dropped the " Argand " and made the " Garland." 
This type of roimd stoves held its own until 1880, 
when the Magee Furnace Company, of Boston, con- 
structed a rectangular double illuminated base- 
burner, with an artistic ornamentation. This shape 
was followed by leading firms, but did not meet the 
approval of the masses, partly because the fire-box 
was square. 

In 1884, the Michigan Stove Company brought 
out a stove with square base, round fix)nt, and nearly 
square sides, with a round fire-pot, and a round top 
surmounted by a dome, called the " Art Garland." 
This was the invention of Mr. Keep, who had re- 
moved fix)m Troy, and had become the superintend- 
ent of the Michigan Stove Company. This stove 
was imitated by six of the largest firms the next year. 
The same year Smith & Anthony of Boston made 
the " Hub " base-burner, with a modeled ornamen- 
tation by Mr. Osbum, designer of the Low Art Tiles. 
In 1885, the Michigan Stove Company adopted the 
modeled style of ornamentation, which has since 
been used by the principal manufacturers. In 1887, 
Mr. Keep patented the use of an intumed mica sec- 
tion over the fire, with a reflector placed above it, 
in the " Reflector Art Garland " for the Michigan 
Stove Company. The patents were respected for 
about five years, but at present nearly all first-class 
houses have constructed stoves with the reflectors 
and the shape of this base-burner. 

The first departure fi-om the early brick oven was 
the tin reflector. When this was set before the fire 
the baking was done on shelves by radiant heat. 
In the brick oven the fire was placed inside. The 

first efibrt at improvement tended to place the fire 
outside the oven, so as to impart a continuous heat, 
and at the same time to make a portable stove which 
would warm a room by the heat escaping through 
its outside walls. The first cooking-stove was prob- 
ably evolved by placing an oven in a box-stove. The 
James stove was the first of this kind of which we 
have any record. It was called a nine-plate. The 
oven door opened on the side of the stove, and the 
flues about it led the smote up its sides and over 
the top to the pipe collar. 

The Vermont " Historical Magazine " has this to 
say concerning the great change wrought by the 
introduction of the cooking-stove : 

In 1 8 19, John Conant invented the Conant stove, 
and made the first one from castings obtained at the 
furnace in Pittsford, Vt. In 1820, Mr. Conant erected 
a furnace at Brandon, Vt., and the first blast was made 
in October. At this furnace was cast the old Conant 
stove, the first made in the State, and a great invention 
for the time, and which was the wonder of the farmer's 
kitchen. It was the inauguration of a new era in the 
culinary kingdom. The pleasant old fireplace, with 
its swinging crane of well-filled pots and ketdes, hearth- 
spiders with legs, and bake-kettles, and tin bakers to 
stand before the blazing logs and bake custard pies in, 
all went down at once and disappeared before the first 
stove, without so much as a passing struggle. Stoves 
with ovens, but without boilers, etc., had been previ- 
ously made to some extent. The State of Vermont was 
being supplied previous to 18 19 by a house in Troy, 
N. Y., who had their castings made in Philadelphia. 

The Conant stove had an oven above the fire, 
with a door in both ends, the firont one being over 
the fire-door. Each side of the stove was extended 
so as to receive a pot which rested in the recess by 
its rim. This presented one side and a portion of 
the bottom of each pot to the fire. At the rear of 
the stove another chamber was constructed to hold 
a third pot, and this could be heated by an inde- 
pendent fire, if it was not considered desirable to 
heat the whole stove. The fire was still under the 

The Woolson stove, invented at Claremont, N. H., 
had the oven at the side of the fire-box, and by 
dampers the heat could be thrown under or over the 
oven. The top was flat, and there were several 
cooking-holes. The "Premium" succeeded, and 
was an improvement upon this stove. As an illus- 
tration of the change in the requirements of the 
trade, Mr. H. C. Woolson, a son of the inventor, 
writes : " When my father's stove was first made 
the fiaxmers said it did not bum half enough wood, 



but when it was laid aside the complaint was that it 
burned too much wood. A sheet-iron stove was in- 
vented soon after my father made his stove, called 
the 'Yankee Notion,* which was the beginning of all 
elevated-oven stoves." Experiments in oven-stoves 
showed that the fire underneath the oven heated the 
bottom too rapidly, and the fire at the side caused 
one side of the oven to bake faster than the other. 
This led to placing the oven at the rear, and on a 
higher level than the boiler-holes, which brought the 
heat uniformly against all parts of the oven. This 
also enabled the boiler- holes to be placed very near 
the floor, and brought the oven higher up than in 
any other construction, making it a very convenient 
stove to operate. 

The next progressive step was Stanley's rotary 
cook- stove in 1833, a stove which had the cooking- 
holes and fire-box as low down as the elevated oven. 
The top revolved by a crank and cogs, so that any 
hole could be brought over the fire. Tin ovens 
were placed over the pots or sad-irons to retain the 
heat, and a tin cover was put over a rack on which 
were placed loaves to be baked, making a portable 
oven for the top of the stove. An elevated oven 
was attached to the stove when required. 

The evolution of the cooking-stove did not follow 
in regular sequence, as would appear firom the fore- 
going account. The Conant, and Woolson, and the 
elevated-oven were probably made at the same time. 
Mr. Giles F. Filley, of St. Louis, sheds light on the 
subject as follows : " A Mr. Hoxie, a Quaker, had 
gone firom Philadelphia to Salisbury, Conn., where 
pig iron was made before 181 2. He had no doubt 
used the ten-plate stoves, for he held that the heat- 
ing of an oven fi-om the under side was wrong, and 
that the fire should be on the top of the oven, and be 
made to pass around the same to heat it evenly in 
all its parts. Hoxie's first stove was oval in form, 
the fire passing down the two end flues, meeting at 
the bottom of the stove, thence to a chimney by a 
channel cut in the hearth of the fireplace over 
which the stove was placed. Hoxie then made a 
two-flued portable stove, the flues similar to those in 
the two-flued ranges now in use. He next made a 
stove with what is now called the three-flued princi- 
ple. The stoves made by Hoxie were principally 
sold in the neighborhood of Salisbury, and they 
were hardly known outside of that place during his 
lifetime, which ended about 1820." J. G. Hatha- 
way, who made a great stir in the stove trade, ob- 
tained a patent on his stove in 1837. He claimed 
to have invented the three-flue construction, but he 
afterward admitted that he had seen one of Hoxie's 

stoves. The Buck stove was invented by a Mr. 
Crowell, of Palmyra, N. Y. ; but according to con- 
tract the patent was taken out in the name of Mr. 
Buck, in 1839. 

P. P. Stewart's first patent was in 1838. The fire- 
box hung in the upper part of the oven, so that the 
heat fix)m both sides and the bottom was thrown into 
it. The flame passed down in one sheet in fi-ont of 
the oven, then under and up the rear to the pipe 
collar on top of the stove. Stewart's large-oven 
stove was made in 1850, and was at first a three-flue 
construction, but he soon after adopted a sheet flue 
under the oven, and three flues at the back. Sam- 
uel Pierce about this time invented the curved plate, 
now generally used at the front of the oven, which 
threw the ashes firom the grate into an ash-pit in the 
hearth. There have been no important changes in 
cook-stove construction since that date. Minor 
changes have been made to increase sales, such as 
Filley's gauze door, his return-flue construction, the 
various arrangements of reservoirs and grates, the 
methods of oven ventilation, and Buck's Stove Com- 
pany's brilliant glass and enameled oven doors. 
Several innovations have also been introduced by 
Bridge, Beach & Company. 

Royal Deane, of the Bramhall-Deane Company, 
N. Y., gives a number of facts regarding French 
ranges, or those made of wrought-iron and steel. 
Before 1850 a Frenchman, who, he thinks, was 
named Gillette, had supplied the Boston market with 
a sheet-iron range. The fire in this range was sus- 
pended inside of a sheet-iron casing in a basket 
grate, the cooking and heating being accomplished 
by radiant heat fi-om the fire direct. The firm of 
Stimson Brothers, or Stimson & Son, of Boston, had 
also made similar ranges. About 1850 the firm of 
Duparquet, Huot & Moneuse, of New York, was 
established, and made a similar range, but later the 
oven was made a separate part of the construction, 
and flues were placed around it as at the present 
time. In 1855 John Van, of Cincinnati, placed on 
the market the first modem wrought-iron range, in- 
tended to be used on Mississippi steamboats; and 
since that date this branch of the trade has increased 
very rapidly. 

Stoves were manufactured in Detroit during the 
thirties at the Hydraulic Iron Works foundry. In 
1849 the writer of this paper, while learning the 
molding trade in this foundry, worked on repairs 
for Woolson stoves, and in this way had his atten- 
tion turned to the subject of this manufacture, and 
in 1 86 1, with his brother, James Dwyer, he estab- 
lished the first foundry in Detroit exclusively for 



making stoves. In 1864 this concern was merged 
into the Detroit Stove Works, W. H. Teflft and M. 
I. Mills joining the company. In 187 1 the present 
writer, with Charles DuCharme, George H. Barbour, 
and others, established in Detroit the Michigan 
Stove Company, and in 188 1 his brother organized 
the Peninsular Stove Company. 

Foimdries for the manufacture of stoves exclu- 
sively were established at Troy and Albany at an 
early date on account of the superior molding-sand 
found there. In 1835 Joel Rathbone and Pratt & 
Treadwell conducted stove foundries in the latter 
city. Such foundries were also established at vari- 
ous points in the New England States. New York 
City possessed a number of stove foundries, and 
Jordan L. Mott was one of the first to use a cupola 
for remeldng iron for stove manufacture. 

About 1865 the competition of foundries located 
in the West became so sharp that eastern manu- 
facturers were obliged to establish branch houses at 
Chicago to fiEudlitate the delivery of stoves to their 
western customers. Later, eastern men began to 
move their entire plants to western points, with the 
result that at present Chicago is the center of stove 

As the result of the efforts of Mr. John S. Perry 
of Albany, a meeting of stove manufacturers was 
held at Ddmonico's in New York on March 6, 
1872, with Mr. John S. Perry as chairman, and 
Henry T. Richardson as secretary. General Rath- 
bone suggested that a permanent organization was 
desirable^ and the following conmiittee was chosen 
for that purpose: Messrs. Resor, Smith, Shepard, 
Rathbone, McDonald, Tefit, Patterson, Bradley, 
Greene, and Filley. This committee presented a 
draft of a constitution and by-laws which were 
adopted after discussion and amendments, an as- 
sociation being organized with John S. Perry as 
president; G. F. Filley, first vice-president; David 
Stewart, second vice-president, and Mr. A. Bradley, 
treasurer. John S. Perry held the office of presi- 
dent until 1874; Sherman S. Jewett was president 
until 1878; John F. Rathbone, 1879 and 1880; 
R. P. Myers, i88i; W. H. Whitehead, 1882 and 
1883; Grange Sard, 1884 and 1885; Jacob L. 
Smyser, 1886 and 1887; George H. Barboiu:, 1888 
and 1889; D. M. Thomas, 1890; Jesse Orr, 1891 
and 1892; George D. Dana, 1893 and 1894, and 
Lazard Kahn, 1895. In 1886 D. M. Thomas was 
made permanent secretary and held the position 
until his death in 1895, with the exception of the 
year 1890, when he accepted a position with a 
manufacturing concern. He resumed the duties of 

his office, however, in 189 1. T. J. Hogan suc- 
ceeded him in 1895, having been secretary during 
the year 1890. 

At the first meeting in 1872, Mr. Perry presented 
the following table, showing the number of stoves 
manufactured in the years enumerated: 



Gain pek cent. 















■*'/*' ••••• 

The following figiures are furnished by T. J. Ho- 
gan, secretary of the association mentioned above, 
the National Stove Manufacturers' Association : 

In 1870 there were 275 stove and hollow- ware 
manufacturers, consuming yearly 275,000 tons of 
iron. The volume of business in 1872 was $37,- 
600,000. The stove foundries in the United States 
January i, 1895, were 215, with an estimated capac- 
ity of $35,840,400. The volume of business in 1892 

was $34»S7S»30o; i» ^^93f $3o>o3S>7oo; estimated 
volume of business in 1894, $24,204,810. 
The estimated capacity is divided as follows : 

ConDecticut $234,000 

Maine 324,000 

Massachusetts . . . 2,580,000 

New Hampshire . . 169,200 

Rhode Island .... 421,200 

Indiana 1,098,000 

Ohio 4,107,600 

Illinois 3>859,ooo 

Kansas 360,000 

Michigan 3,480,000 

Minnesota 342,000 

Missonri 1,540,800 

Wisconsin 921,600 

Maryland $720,000 

New Jersey 100,800 

Virginia 216,000 

West Virginia .... 100,800 

Pennsylvania .... 6,062,400 

New York 6,776,000 

Georgia 11 1,000 

Alabama 120,000 

Kentncky 975,000 

Oregon 00,000 

Tennessee 1,086,000 

Texas 45>ooo 

The Stove Founders' National Defense Associa- 
tion was organized in 1886 with Mr. Henry Crib- 
ben, president, and D. M. Thomas, secretary. Mr. 
Cribben has bfeen elected president each year. The 
office of secretary has always been filled by the 
secretary of the National Association of Stove Man- 
ufacturers. Committees from this association and 
from the Iron Molders' Union meet each year to 
decide upon prices to be paid for molding, and to 
adjust dififerences and avoid strikes. Through the 
efforts of this association no reduction in the wages 
of molders employed by its members was made ne- 
cessary during the period of business depression ex- 
tending from 1893 to 1895. 

In 17 13, M. Ganger, in a treatise on the construe- 



tion of fireplaces^ recommended the heating of air 
by means of a hollow back or wall of a fireplace. 
In 1744 Dr. Franklin invented a stove for burning 
wood, in the form of a box, of a greater distance 
from side to side than in depth, with an open front 
The smoke escaped over the top of a flat chamber 
behind the fire, and passed downward between it 
and the real back of the stove, and thence into the 
chimney. This flat, hollow chamber communicated 
underneath the stove with a tube opening into the 
external atmosphere, and a quantity of air was thus 
passed through the flat chamber into the room, 
through small holes left in the sides. This was 
probably the first attempt to construct a hot-air fiimace 
for supplying pure heated air to rooms. A patent 
was granted Daniel Pettibone of Philadelphia, in 1 808, 
for stoves for rarefying, by heat, air for warming 
buildings. This system was soon after introduced 
in the Philadelphia Almshouse, and was used for 
heating churches and large buildings. In 1835 
William A. Wheeler is said to have made at Wor- 
cester, Mass., the first warm-air fiunaces that were 
made in New England. Gurden Fox, a grocer of 
Hartford, Conn., some time between 1835 ^^^ ^^4° 
brought out a hot-air furnace which had a large 
sale. Other hot-air furnaces of an early date were 
the Blaney and the Culver. The old firm of Rich- 
ardson & Boynton, of New York, put the Boynton 
furnace on the market at an early period. 

In 1843 ^^- Henry Ruttan began his experi- 
ments in heating and ventilation, and later wrote a 
book on the subject. The first attempt to heat 
buildings with anthracite coal was made in a very 
crude way. The furnace was placed in the cellar, 
surrounded by an air-chamber of brickwork, and 
the gaseous products of combustion were carried 
through the building, passing through cylindrical 
drums on the upper floors and out at the top of the 

The use of hot water in pipes for heating seems 
to be an invention of great antiquity. Seneca has 
accurately described the mode of heating by water 
in the Thermae at Rome, which shows that the me- 
thod of heating baths by passing water through a 
coil of brass pipes which passed through the fire 
was known prior to the Christian era. The appli- 
cation of this invention appears to have cropped up 
at various periods. In France, in 1777, M. Bonne- 
main used a coil of small pipes filled with water 
for the incubation of chickens. In 181 7 Marquis 
de Chabannes introduced it in London for heating 
a conservatory, and also heated some rooms in a 
private house by means of pipes leading from a 

kitchen boiler. In 1822 a Mr. Bacon, also in Eng- 
land, introduced hot water for heating purposes, 
using a single pipe of large diameter, which was 
slightly deflected from a horizontal line, the hot 
water passing along the top of the pipe, which gave 
very imperfect circulation. Mr. Atkinson, an archi- 
tect, suggested the addition of a separate pipe for 
returning the colder water to the boiler. 

Hot-water heating came into general use in Can- 
ada a number of years ago, and the open-tank sys- 
tem seems to have been first used there; but this 
did not become a popular method of heating in the 
United States until recently. In 1842 the Perkins 
hot-water apparatus was introduced in New York 
and Boston from London, by Joseph Nason ; and 
the business was conducted in both places by the 
firm of Walworth & Nason. One of the first 
houses warmed by the Perkins hot-water heater was 
No. 15 Ashburton Place, belonging to the estate of 
Ebenezer Melleken, and the apparatus was in 1892 
doing good work after a use of forty-seven years. 
In a Perkins apparatus circular, issued in London 
about 1820, a heater spoken of as being the only 
one in the United States is recorded to have been 
in the residence of Colonel Thomas H. Perkins, 
Pearl street, Boston. 

Hot-water heating has been extensively used in 
England and in Canada, but was not thoroughly 
appreciated by the people of the United States un- 
til within the past fifteen years. The Gumey and 
the H. B. Smith heaters were very generally used. 
During the last fifteen years this method of heating 
has become very popular, and there are a great 
number of good heaters on the market. Detroit 
has done much to introduce hot-water heating. The 
Peter Smith heater was the first The Detroit 
Heating and Lighting Company in 1885 began con- 
structing the Bolton Heater, which had previously 
been made in Canada. The Mouat was the next. 
The United States Heater Company has during the 
past four years done a large business, and the Penin- 
sular Stove Company are heating many buildings by 
a combination of hot water and hot air, their system 
being considered equal to any in use. 

William Cook, of Manchester, England, proposed 
in the middle of the last century the heating of 
houses by steam. In America the practice seems to 
date from 1 841, in which year Mr. J. J. Walworth 
bought a small stock of wrought-iron pipe and fit- 
tings, which had been sent to this coimtry by James 
Russell & Sons, of Wednesbury, England, to be 
sold on commission by James Boyce, who soon be- 
came discouraged by the small amount of business 


done, and retunied to England. The gas compa- 
nies weie just beginning to use wrought-iron pipe. 
One year aAer, Mr. Joseph Nason returned from 
England, bringing the Perkins Steam Heater, which 
had been manufactured in England since 1820, and 
the firm of Walworth & Nason was formed. In 
1845 or 1846 Mr. Nasonconceived the idea of using 
small wrought iron pipes, three quarters to an inch 
in diameter, for warming buildings with steam. 
The first building wanned in this way was the East- 
era Hotel, of Boston, and the first factory was the 
Burlington (Vt.) Woolen Mill. The steam-fitting in 
the fectory was done by N. H. Bundy, the inventor 
of the fiundy radiator. For many years every steam- 
fitting firm in this country could trace its origin to 
the <dd shop of Walworth & Nason, through either 
one or two removes. 

The improved methods of heating buildings by 
steam and of ventilatiDg them by " fan blowers," 
now so extensively used throughout the United 
States, owe much of their development to James J. 
Walworth. It was in 1841 that he entered into 
partnership with bis brother-in-law, Joseph Nason, 
and established the buaness of steam and hot-water 
warming and ventilating buildings by radically new 
methods. In 1844 the construction of apparatus for 
warming buildings, especially manu&ctories, by 
steam, was begun and rapidly extended. Immedi- 
ately following this came a new system of ventilation 
by the use of the " fan blower," propelled by steam- 
power, which was and is used in conjunction with the 
system of steam-heating. Though J. J. Walworth has 
been the business head of the concern, yet as an en- 
gineer in steam-heating he has designed and executed 
many important works. Mr, Nason retired from 

the firm in 1852, and at present the Walworth Man- 
ufactiuing Company owns an extensive steam-heat- 
ing plant at South Boston, employing there and else- 
where upward of 800 workmen. 

In 1846 Mr.Thos. F.Tasker, Sr., of Philadelphia, 
introduced the first closed apparatus returning the 
water of condensation to the boiler, and thus keeping 
up the circulation for heating purposes. His firm, 
Morris, Tasker & Morris, became very prominent soon 
afterward, in both steam and hot-water heating, be- 
ing also manufacturers of pipes and fittings. This 
establishment subsequently became widely known 
as Moiris, Tasker & Company. They made the 
first wrought-iron pipe that was made in this 

Men who have been prominentin the introduction 
of steam and hot-water heating apparatus are Henry 
B. and Edwin Smith, John H. Reed, John H. Mills, 
and George B. Brayton. 

Cast-iron radiators have been extensively manu- 
&ctured in this country. The first we have record 
of is the N. H. Bundy radiator, and after that the 
Gold Pin radiator. The Gumey Manufacturing 
Company and a large number of others are making 
radiators, probably the laigest concern being the 
American Radiator Company, which controls two 
extensive plants in Detroit and one in Bufialo. 

In preparing this history I am indebted to "The 
Metal Worker," New York; R. Z. Liddle, Albany; 
Giles F. Filley, St Louis; George W. Cope, Asso- 
ciate editor of "The Iron Age," Chicago; John 
H. Mills, Boston ; Jordan L. Mott, New York ; W. L. 
McDowell, Philadelphia; D. G. Littlefield, Albany; 
John Van Range Company, Cincinnati; and Frank 
A. Magee, Boston. 







IT is through the agency of the plumber and 
sanitary engineer that life in cities, under the 
healthful conditions which govern it at the pres- 
ent time, is made possible. Though to the ordinary 
layman the work of the plumber may be less obtru- 
sive, he really deserves a. much more prominent 
position as a benefactor of communities than his 
fellow-craftsmen of the building trades are disposed 
to accord to him. The architect may prepare plans 
of edifices, the symmetry and beauty of which ex- 
cite the pleasure of the eye, and his more mechani- 
cal co-laborers, the mason, the brick-layer, and the 
carpenter, may follow his tracings with the finished 
skill in the acquirement of which their lives have 
been spent; these create a habitation. But to the 
man who interweaves, as it were, his efforts with 
theirs, who provides sanitary appliances after a fash- 
ion compatible with the sternest laws laid down by 
the dictators of pubhc health — to this man, the aim 
of whose life is to provide safeguards insuring his 
fellows against all danger of infection from that 
most insidious enemy of human life, the microbe 
bred by careless or imperfect domestic surroundings, 
is due a meed of gratitude but seldom forthcoming, 
because the reasons for it are so slightly understood. 
Engineers, architects, and health officers accom- 
plish much by their influence with individuals and 
by the exercise of their professional and official func- 
tions. They reach, however, only a limited portion 
of the community, while the plumber makes his in- 
fluence felt on every hand. A certain trust is thus 
imposed upon him, which raises the better and more 
conscientious element of his occupation to a higher 
plane than is usually awarded to the followers of 
mechanical pursuits, as it has converted the calling 
itself into what enthusiasts on the subject might be 
tempted to denominate one of the fine arts. The 
word "plumbing," derived from the \,3X\a plum&um 
(lead), meant originally to seal or repair with this 

metal. In the earlier ages lead was the material 
most favored for such purposes, owing to the ease 
with which it could be manipulated. Lead pipes 
were used to some extent by all the nations of old, 
and were invariably utilized in the ancient cities of 
Asia, Egypt, Syria, and Greece for conveying water 
under pressures too great for pipes made of earthen- 
ware. These pipes were made from sheets of lead 
rolled into the form of cylinders and soldered at the 

When the improvement in plumbing fixtures is 
compared with that of other materials used in me- 
chanical pursuits a curious disproportion in the rela- 
tive rime that has been required for this development 
is revealed. Almost the entire history of progression 
in this department is covered by the past fifty years. 
Hardly a half-dozen plumbers were known in New 
York a half-century ago, and all these were men who 
fashioned in their individual workshops the some- 
what crude fittings they supplied. After the com- 
pletion of the Croton Aqueduct in 1843, however, 
the necessity for durable pipes and fittings began to 
be felt, and this led to the establishment of manu- 
factories of plumbers' supplies. At first these con- 
cerns were engaged almost exclusively in the manu- 
facture of lead pipe, sheet lead, or iron pipe. In the 
earlier part of the century, wooden pipes, or log» 
bored out, were used for conveying water through 
the streets. This was under the old Manhattan sys- 
tem. There was at that time, and is there yet, a 
tank in Reade Street for maintaining which the 
Manhattan Bank received its charter. 

A modem chef would regard with curious con- 
tempt the kitchens of that day, though their oc- 
cupants doubtless thought them adequate for all 
purposes of the culinary art. In contrast to the 
elaborate arrangements now in vogue for producing 
every degree of temperature desired, there was Aen 
the ordinary kitchen range with its water-back con- 




trivance for heating water, which, however viewed 
by modem eyes, was then regarded as being ahnost 
the veritable culmination of that half-century's de- 
velopment in domestic apparatus. The same princi- 
ple applies in ranges to-day, and is in general use in 
private houses, although for hotels and other large 
buildings special appliances for heating water, inde- 
pendent of range connections, have accompanied the 
increased magnitude of such structures. The first 
kitchen appliance independent of the range, with its 
water-back and boiler connections, was a sink used 
in the kitchen, with the usual hot and cold water 
faucets over it. This for many years comprised the 
entire plumbing of an ordinary dwelling. The next 
feature was a bath — a wooden box lined with lead, 
a primitive and unsightly fixture. Following that 
came cast-iron bath-tubs, painted inside and out, and 
next a box lined with copper, which was the favor- 
ite bath for many years. 

A quarter of a century ago was commenced here 
the manufacture of porcelain-lined bath-tubs, which 
for a long time were brought out exclusively by the 
company of which I am the head. To-day similar 
goods are made in various parts of the country by 
other concerns. The most popular and elegant tub 
— the very acme of perfection in bathing apparatus, 
in fact — is one of solid porcelain, which has become 
almost indispensable in the finest plumbing. These 
goods were, until a year ago, always imported from 
Europe ; but since that time one of the most enter- 
prising potters in the United States has so perfected 
this variety of ware that the American article to-day 
stands on an equal footing with the world's produc- 
tion. There is practically no expense to which one 
may not go in this direction, should he feel so dis- 
posed, and some of the private bath-rooms in the 
homes of modem millionaires could compete in point 
of beauty with the famous public baths of ancient 
Greece and Rome. 

In the possession of our house is a Dresden-china 
bath-tub, the only duplicate of which is owned by 
the emperor of Germany. It is comparatively 
simple in design, and betrays but few evidences of 
the value put upon it — $3000. It is seldom, how- 
ever, that extravagance extends thus far with this 
particular article. As a rule it is more generally 
distributed throughout the bath-room; and hand- 
painted tiles, which constitute the material for walls 
and floors, come in for a fair portion of the finan- 
cial outlay, much fanciful decoration being permitted 
with these. Then the more immediate toilet acces- 
sories are to be considered, and among these are 
found on3rx and variegated marble slabs with brass 

supports, plated with nickel, silver, or gold, and 
furnished with the most elegant Cauldon-china 
basins, painted by prominent artists. These adjuncts 
themselves constitute an important item of cost in 
the equipment of the thoroughly up-to-date bath- 

In examining the subject of domestic sanitation it 
is worth while to note that while the expense of the 
plumbing of the average first-class dwelling of thirty- 
five or forty years ago could be computed at $250, 
this work to-day may be reckoned, in the majority of 
instances, at from $2000 to $6000, according to the 
size of the building and the fancy of the owner. 
As has been aptly observed, " Look out well for the 
health-rate, and the death-rate will lose its signifi- 
cance." Doctors for many centuries had the mo- 
nopoly of what little knowledge existed of the con- 
ditions affecting public health ; but of late years the 
Dwelling Reform Association of New York, Amer- 
ican Public Health Association, Public Health 
Association of New York, and similar organizations 
in other large cities throughout the Union, together 
with the architect, the plumber, and the inventor and 
manufacturer of plumbers' supplies, have done more 
to reduce the death-rate from zymotic disease in our 
large towns and cities than probably the doctors 
have themselves. 

As a part of the general sanitary system now to 
be considered, each house has its own network of 
pipes which convey the refuse of the basins, sinks, 
and closets to the general sewer. It is obvious that 
any leakage or deposit from these would nullify the 
purpose for which they were designed. The air 
within them must also be kept out of the dwelling 
by placing a water-trap at every opening through 
which sewage is to enter the pipes, and by making 
all internal pipes gas-tight. It is necessary that a 
ciuxent of fresh air have free access to the pipes, 
that the filth within them may be oxidized ; and the 
air of the sewer outside must be rigorously shut off 
from that of the pipes within the house. This 
seciu'es freedom from contagion from without, and 
the water-trap, as previously mentioned, furnishes 
protection against the passage of gas within through 
openings which admit of the entry of water. 

The inverted siphon, which is sealed by water 
lying in the bend, is almost universally regarded as 
the simplest and best form of trap. True, inventors 
are appearing from time to time with other proposi- 
tions in the way of a seal, but a better device hardly 
seems possible. A separate, distinct trap is placed 
in the house-drain to disconnect the main sewer from 
the house. This will not insure perfect security, how- 



ever. Practically a distinct trap is required at each 
basin or other fitting, its function being to shut out 
the air of the house-drains from the rooms. The 
soil-pipe is ventilated by a current of air which flows 
upward, and must always extend to a point above 
the roof. This, together with the ventilating of each 
trap, insures the most perfect immunity against the 
accumulation of sewer-gas within the pipes that is 
known. Sometimes the additional flushing received 
by a soil-pipe into which the refuse of both a water- 
closet and a bath or wash-basin is discharged works 
rather as a benefit, and it may be contended that 
plumbing-work after the ideas just set forth, with 
proper traps, light and ventilation, good workman- 
ship and first-class material, is all that is necessary 
to insure perfect safety from contagion. 

A bedroom basin is usually made perfectly safe 
by leading its waste-pipe into the ordinary drain-pipe 
which connects with the sewer, and which must 
be protected by a water-seal, itself ventilated to 
prevent siphonage. It is a good general rule to 
have all plumbing fixtures ventilated in the same 
way. Occasionally rain-pipes are utilized as venti- 
lating continuations of soil-pipes and waste-pipes. 
This should never be, for these pipes terminate under 
the eaves, a point where the drain-air is likely to be 
carried back into the house. 

All drain-pipes should be made of iron. Lead 
pipe is afiEected by hot water and is often destroyed 
by rats. Clay decomposes and is easily broken. 
Two grades of soil-pipe are known to the trade- 
common and extra heavy. The common pipe, if 
certain conditions exist, can be trusted to serve for 
a considerable length of time. The heavy-grade 
pipe is the safest to select, however, and its diameter 
is a leading point of importance, as the quantities of 
water usually proceeding from bath and acciunulat- 
ing fixtures will, as a rule, flush a four-inch pipe 
better than one of larger size. Every joint of the 
soil-pipe should be made with a view to its being 
tested under pressiu'e. Iron, as already indicated, is 
preferable in pipe to any other material. With 
the introduction of sewers generally the manufac- 
turers in New York for some time supplied every 
section of the United States with iron pipe. The 
custom of tarring pipes cannot be too strongly con- 
demned, as imperfections may exist which cannot 
be discovered after this has been done, but which 
manifest themselves after the pipes have been put 
into actual use and when it is too late to remedy 
them without great expense. 

In the interests of good ventilation it is best to 
continue the soil-pipe and all vent-pipes to a point 

above the roof without any reduction in diameter. 
That the greatest care must be exercised in the 
manufacture and the adjustment of this class of 
pipe will be appreciated when it is stated that any 
want of air-tightness in drains or soil-pipes within a 
dwelling leads to the pollution of the air, both by 
indraft as well as by diffusion. A common method 
of testing such leaks as may admit foul air is to fill 
the house-drains, soil-pipes, and the rest with smoke 
from cotton-waste soaked in oil. The escape of 
these impleasant fumes by other than the proper 
channels is readily detected. In occasional in- 
stances, too, the lower end of the pipe is stopped 
and the pipe itself is filled with water, the fall of 
which, of course, denotes an imperfection some- 

I have already referred briefly to the subject of 
traps, which, above every other branch of the more 
practical part of plumbing, causes the most vexation, 
and continually presents a problem that every aspir- 
ing sanitary engineer feels called upon to cope with. 
Few there are who have shrunk from charging this 
barrier, and but few of these, in turn, have failed to 
contrive some sort of a trap that for the nonce, at 
least, seemed to combine the essential features of 
which the plumbing world has been so long in 
search. In general, though, from its simplicity and 
practical utility, the system of back ventilation, in- 
dorsed by all the boards of health, is believed to be 
the most eflicacious and satisfactory in existence. 

In any article dealing with this subject attention 
must necessarily be directed to the progress which 
has been made in the construction of water-closets. 
It is with this division of plumbing more than any 
other, perhaps, that the question of general public 
health is most intimately concerned, and upon this 
point particularly have the manufacturers of plumb- 
ing fixtures brought all their inventive faculties to 
bear. Water-closets, apparently, were of as early 
origin as definitely constructed baths. In the his- 
tory of Rome we find records of some which were 
designed in gold and silver. It is contended that 
traces of others were found in the ruins of Pompeii, 
and that they even existed in Egypt Fosbroke, 
writing on this subject, speaks of closets in the pal- 
ace of the Caesars which were adorned with marble 
and mosaic, and which were provided, apparently, 
with complete drainage by water. 

Throughout Europe, however, the subject seems 
to have received but slight serious attention until the 
eighteenth century. The first English patent for a 
water-closet was issued in 1775 to Alexander Cum- 
mings, a watchmaker in Bond Street This closet 



had a sliding valve between the trap and bowl, and 
here we find the first recorded instance of a siphon- 
trap being used in this connection. In 1778 Joseph 
Bramah received a patent for a closet with a valve 
at the bottom of the bowl, working on a hinge. 
Bramah's closet was the forerunner of a large num- 
ber of inventions founded on the same general prin- 
ciples as the first, and in most respects but slight 
improvements over that one. A valve closet sup- 
plied by a tank, the hopper of which was flushed by 
pressure on the seat, was patented in 1792. No 
patents were issued for water-closets in America 
until 1833, nor does it seem that previous to the 
nineteenth century they were consi4ered as coming 
within the province of the plumber at all. At the 
present day we have for consideration valve closets, 
pan closets, plunger closets, hopper closets, cistern 
closets, siphon closets, and latrines. A score or so of 
years ago the pan closet was the type generally in 
use. Then came the valve and plunge closets, 
which have been superseded by the siphon closets. 
The valve closet takes its water from the main service- 
pipe, and cisterns are not usually required with this 
class of closets. A cistern closet differs in that its 
water supply is taken into the cistern direct from a 
main or a tank, and is released into the bowl by a 
system of valves and pulls. In the material of 
construction water-closets have followed the general 
trend of toilet furnishings, and are now made mostly 
in one piece and of glazed earthenware. Next to 
the water-closet, urinals are of vital sanitary impor- 
tance, but their general construction and principles 
scarcely require extended discussion. 

Thus it will be seen that never in history have 
plumbers had so much to do with the health of the 
families in our large cities as now, nor have they 
ever so well understood the principles of internal 
plumbing-work as at present. The knowledge of 
sanitary work is spreading rapidly, and to keep 
abreast of his trade the plumber has to educate his 
eyes as well as his hands ; for it is not enough that 
he becomes a skilled hand- worker — he must become 
an intelligent head-worker as well. 

An almost incalculable advantage now exists in 
the fact that even in the cheapest flats all kinds of 
closed plumbing have been superseded by open 
work, with no boxed fixtures or pipes. This is to 
be commended on accotmt of its cleanliness, health- 
fulness, and availability in event of the necessity of 
repairs. Much of the progress made by the plumber 
has been due, without doubt, to the intelligent action 
of the boards of health. When it was definitely felt 
that this aid and codperation were being furnished. 

the efforts of the better class of plumbers were 
strengthened and stimulated. To Mr. John Dema- 
rest, more than any other inventor, the public is in- 
debted for the best plumbing fixtures known in any 
section of the globe. Many of these he himself has 
patented, and his entire career has been fairly illu- 
minated with repeated successes in the devising of 
appliances to conform with the consensus of opinion 
expressed by the most capable sanitary engineers of 
modem times. 

In proceeding to the second division of the sub- 
ject I might remark at the outset that in these days 
it would be considered about as sensible for a man 
to contemplate the construction of any building of 
consequence without the aid of the workmen who fit 
the stone and lay the floors as to eliminate the 
steam fitter from his calculations. But few Ameri- 
can industries have grown with such rapidity as this 
one, which has pushed ahead at a pace parallel with 
the manufacture of wrought-iron pipe. With the 
latter, too, its progress has been almost inseparably 
connected, for had not the production of wrought- 
iron pipe by perfected machinery and at a reduced 
cost occurred at the time it did, the development 
of steam and hot-water heating would have been 
greatly retarded. This growth may be said to date 
practically from 1840, though it did not assume 
proportions of consequence, relatively to the great 
industries, until after the close of the war. The ear- 
lier developments of the industry were largely assisted 
by Joseph Nason, of New York, and J. J. Walworth, 
of Boston. 

Attempts at steam heating had been made in 
England by the emplojonent of the Perkins system, 
in which very small pipes were connected with boil- 
ers, on the calculation that a high temperature would 
thus be generated. Sometimes this temperature be- 
came sufficiently high to elevate also its environ- 
ments, after a most unexpected and distressing 
fashion ; and because of this liability to explosions, 
as well as through its irremediable extravagance in 
the consumption of fuel, it was finally abandoned. 
At the period referred to it is probable that not 
twenty buildings in New York City were heated by 
steam. With the introduction of low pressure, the 
early development of which was greatly assisted 
by the two gentlemen mentioned, a change became 
almost immediately apparent. Low "pressure" 
meant practically no pressure at all, and possessed 
economical advantages hitherto unheard of. It was 
durable in that there was practically no wear upon 
the apparatus, and no fuel was wasted in generating 
high temperatures. 



All of this was brought about^ of course, by suc- 
cessive inventions and improvements. Though the 
two are included under the one title now, steam 
heating really preceded heating by hot water in 
pipes. The first boilers set up were similar to those 
that had been used for power purposes. They were 
made from wrought-iron. Radiators followed 
quickly, being constructed from wrought-iron tubes, 
both vertical and horizontal; but as low-pressure 
work came into more general favor other forms of 
radiators in sheet-iron were adopted, chiefly because 
of the low rates at which they could be sold. They 
lacked durability, however, and at last their use was 
abandoned. About 1865 the attention of manufac- 
turers was directed to the construction of heating 
boilers and radiators from cast-iron ; and though for 
a time progress in this direction was slow and the 
sale of these goods limited, it had assumed by 1880 
proportions of fair size, and since that date has ex- 
panded with such rapidity as to make the manufac- 
ture of steam and hot-water furnaces one of our 
most important industries. A number of American 
manufactiu'ers, in fact, are exporting goods of this 
description, and find that they can successfully 
compete with foreign makers. Because of the de- 
velopment of hot-water and steam heating, also, a 
strong impetus has been imparted to an auxiliary 
occupation — the making of such hardware goods 
as bolts, nuts, washers, gauges, facings, and various 
tools — which represents large investments of capital 
and on which the success of the main industry 
largely depends. 

While the advancement in supplies for steam and 
hot-water heating has not hinged absolutely upon 
the development of the modem office building, it is 
undeniably true that this institution has constituted 
the most important factor in its increased prosperity, 
and has added enormously to its growth. The 
boilers used for this purpose are almost always of 
wrought-iron or steel, owing to the fact that in 
nearly every instance high pressure is used on the 
boilers for the running of elevators, electric lights, 
and for pumping. In a large number of these 
buildings the exhaust steam from the engines is 
alone sufficient for all heating purposes, and where 
it is not, a reducing pressure-valve is used, so that 
the pressure in the distributing pipes and radiators 
rarely exceeds ^ve pounds, and the water condensa- 
tion is returned to the boilers by automatic devices 
of various kinds, the manufacture of which occupies 
the attention of several large factories. 

It is safe to state that in 1840 the amount of 
trade in this line did not exceed $200,000 per 

anntun, and that not more than $75,000 were in- 
vested in it. In i860 the trade had increased to 
about $2,000,000 per annum, which represented a 
capital of about $500,000. By 1880 these figures 
had increased to an annual trade amounting to 
$15,000,000, the capital behind which was $4,000,. 
000 ; and at the close of the season of 1895 I can 
safely assert, I believe, that this industry has ex- 
panded in its yearly transactions to between $80,- 
000,000 and $100,000,000, and that the invested 
capital will amotmt to $50,000,000. As an illustra- 
tion of the rapid development of certain branches 
of this business it may be stated that while in 1870 
only 8 firms were engaged in the manufacture of 
house-heating boilers, in 1 880 there were 1 8 ; in 1 890, 
63 ; and for 1895 the number is estimated at 150. 

The manufacture of cast-iron radiators has kept 
pace with that of the boilers. Only from 250,000 
to 300,000 feet of radiators were cast in 1870, while 
in 1880 the output was little less than 2,000,000 
feet. By 1890 it had increased to between 6,000,- 
000 and 7,000,000 feet, and for 1895, as far as 
reports can be gathered, close to 18,000,000 square 
feet of surface will have been cast. The lowering 
of the cost of production has been a very material 
factor in the progress of this trade ; in fact, it may 
be said that the reduced cost of steam and hot- 
water heating had a very sensible effect on its 
growth generally. As an illustration of this we may 
revert to 1880, when radiators were sold at thirty- 
eight and forty cents per square foot, figures which 
by 1895 had dropped to from sixteen to eighteen 
cents per foot for the standard sizes. 

In other branches of this industry, as well, have 
occiured reductions as great proportionately to the 
cost of production. This is most notably the case 
in the manufacture of iron pipe and brass valves. 
These reductions have been brought about by im- 
proved methods of manufacture, better systems of 
management, and by largely increased trade, which 
permits business to be done with a smaller margin 
of profit. 

In the foregoing, reference has been made at more 
or less length particularly to the culinary, bath, 
toilet, heating, and supply and waste pipe systems ; 
but there are one or two subjects that have only 
indirectly been touched, among which one of the 
most important is ventilation or pure air. The out- 
side air, as is well known, contains carbonic acid 
varying between 3 and 6 parts in 10,000 volumes; 
but in close places, such as crowded buildings, this 
rises to the extent of even 25 volumes in 10,000 
of air. It has been experimentally proved that 



when the heat is excessive organic matter charging 
the air of crowded places rises in amount as the 
carbonic acid increases, so that we have a fouhiess 
of the air, or, as it may be termed, want of ventila- 
tion. The sanitary plumber must fully understand 
this, just as he must also know that wherever there 
are sewers there is certain to be sewer-gas, which, 
when it finds its way into houses, becomes a deadly 
enemy to the human race, and the source or pro- 
moter of nearly all the so-called zymotic diseases. 
To abate this evil has been one of the greatest prob- 
lems which the modem sanitary plumber has had to 
encounter, and which he has now happily solved for 
the benefit and welfare of the millions who live the 
artificial existence of our large cities. The wise and 
exact observance of all these sanitary laws and reg- 
ulations by oiu- plumbers in their work has within 
the past quarter of a century materially reduced the 
death-rate in oiu* larger cities. Thus it will be seen 
that the work of the practical or sanitary plumber 
demands high and peculiar qualifications. His or- 
dinary work is easily learned, but the scientific or 

sanitary part requires careful study. There are four 
things in a building which cannot be sacrificed to 
economy. They are the foundations, the roof, the 
plumbing-work, and the apparatus for heating. The 
two essentials first mentioned are usually seciu'ed at 
any cost; but the attempt to economize comes in 
the plumbing-work and furnace. As time goes on 
and the importance of the plumber's work comes to 
be still better understood, the vital interests affected 
by this false economy will be realized, and people 
will come to appreciate that the best way for all 
concerned is to pay the plumber a fair price and 
hold him to a strict account for the quality of the 

In closing this article it may be interesting to 
show by figures the exact importance of the allied 
industries under discussion. The following tabular 
statement gives the number of plumbing and gas- 
fitting and plumbers' supply establishments, with 
the invested capital, the value of the product, etc., 
in thirty-seven of the principal cities of the Union, 
taken from the census reports for 1890 : 


Atlanta, Ga 

Baltimore, Md 

Boston, Mass 

Brooklyn, N. Y 

BnffiOo, N. Y 

Charleston, S. C 

Cbkago, 111 

Qncinnati, O 

dereland, O 

"Dcnrcr, Colo 

Detroit, Mich 

Galveston, Tex 

Indianapolis, Ind 

Jersey ayr» N. J 

Kansas CSty, Mo 

LonisTille, Ky 

Memphis, Tenn 

Milwaukee^ Wis 

Minneapolis, Minn. . 

MobOe, Ala. 

Newark, N.J 

New Haven, Conn. . 

New Orleans, La 

New York, N.Y.... 

Norfolk, Va. 

Omaha, Neb 

Philadelphia, Pa 

Pittsburgh Pa 

Portland, Me 

Providence, R. I . . . . 

Richmond, Va 

Sl Loois, Mo 

St. Paol, Minn 

San Frandsoo, Cal. . 

Savannah, Ga 

Syracnse^ N. Y . . . . 
Washington, D. C. . . 


Plumbing amd GAS-FrrrtNC Estabushmbnts. 
































































































Plumbkrs' Supplus. 


• • • • 





• • ■ 






• • • • ■ 



• • • • • 











• • • • • 



Thirty years earlier the census reports for i860 its growth, and its own achievements to vouch £ot 
divided the plumbing business and its branches into its worthiness, the trade of the plumber is one to 
four general classes, reporting them as follows : which the future can only mean progress. Much 







P urab ng in«terial» 










P umbrnfiMd pu.fitiing .. . 

As showing the material increase since then, each has been done in fifty years, as I have shown ; but 

one of a half-dozen of our principal cities exhibits more remains to do, and the next century will see 

in 1890 a larger value of product than did the whole the fruition of this one in the enlarged scope of new 

country in i860. With these figures to demonstrate and changed conditions. 




THE improvement in the art of building indi- 
cated by the variety of building materials, in 
iron, stone, clay, and wood ; the machinery for 
their production ; the skill with which these materials 
are used singly and in combination ; the appliances 
for rapid construction ; the devices for the conve- 
niences and comfort of the occupants of buildings; 
and the artistic treatment of the interior and exterior 
of edifices, is self-evident to any person who com- 
pares the structures erected within the past few years 
with those put up less than a quarter of a century 
ago. These improvements in the art and science of 
butldiog may be said to have been achieved within 
the business period of a single lifetime, without going 
back to the time when brick, stone, iron, and wood 
were worked into shape by laborious processes, after- 
ward being used in the most commonplace manner, 
and when almost everything in which artistic effect 
was sought had to be imported from Europe, or 
the skilled labor to produce it had to be specially 
brought from the old countries. There are still 
standing in the lower sections of the city of 
New York dwelling-bouses erected a century ago, 
old office buildings proudly named after owners who 
have passed away in the natural course of events, 
and old hotels that were once looked upon as mar- 
vels in their way. And yet many things that appeal 
to the eye and receive admiration as component parts 
of new buildings cannot strictly be classed as build- 
ing materials, however essential to artistic effect or 
to comfort and convenience such things are. Deco- 
rations in oil and water colors on walls and ceilings, 
hangings of paper, leather, and other materials, 
electric hghting, steam-heating, and even the eleva- 
tor, without which the modem high building would 
be impracticable, are among these. 

The height to which many new buildings arc 
carried indicates the greatest advance in the art of 
construction, for such edifices represent principles 
untried twenty yean ago, and have for their basis 

the use of iron or steel for the support of the floors, 
instead of masonry, reducing the walls to a mere 
inclosure for keeping out inclement weather, and 
for protecting the ironwork incased in them from 
damage by fire. Twenty-five years ago a six-story 
building was considered very high ; but passenger- 
elevators came into use, adding value to the upper 
stories. Ten and eleven story edifices followed. 
With solid masonry the thickness of a wall is 
regulated by its height, tapering by stories from the 
bottom to the top. Under this method the great 
thickness of the lower portions of the walls oc- 
cupied the most valuable space for rentals, and with 
a height of ten or eleven stories the greatest prac- 
ticable limit seemed to be reached. No more of the 
area of a valuable lot could be given up to the oc- 
cupancy of brick walls. Suddenly and simultane- 
ously a number of architects and engineers grasped 
the idea that metal columns could be carried up 
to any desired height, having girders between on 
which to carry the floors and the requisite amount 
of masonry as an outside protection. Thus an 
edifice could be elevated to the clouds, and, irre- 
spective of height, take up far less of the area of 
a lot than would be required by the old fashioned 
method of solid brick walls. Fifteen, twenty, and 
twenty-five story buildings quickly followed, and it 
is conceded that structures 500 feet high, or of any 
height whatever, can be safely erected on this plan. 
The use of a framework, or, as it is generally 
termed, a skeleton, of iron or steel, with curtain- 
walls supported on girders placed between the 
columns, the latter and the girders carrying the floors 
in addition, is an American novelty, notwithstanding 
it has for its immediate prototype the cast-iron fronts 
with column standing upon column. The first cast- 
iron front ever erected in the world was put up in 
New York in 1848; yet that was but a repetition of 
iron columns and lintels long previously used as a 
substitute for stone and brick to the extent of a 



single story. The skeleton, as used in the lofty 
buildings, is simply an evolution or expansion of 
the principle contained in the familiar cast-iron 
fronts, and in the oft-used method of increasing the 
bearing strength of a brick pier of too small an area 
safely to bear alone the load to be imposed, by plac- 
ing an iron column in the center of the pier. 

Obviously it is to the interest of an owner, as well 
as necessary for public safety, that an excessively 
high building shall be so constructed that in the 
event of fire the building itself shall not be seriously 
damaged, nor shall it imperil the safety of siuxound- 
ing buildings. Laws regulating the construction of 
buildings in New York require all structures above a 
stated height (eighty-five feet) to be built fire-proof ; 
that is to say, they must be constructed with walls 
of brick, stone, or iron, the floors and roofs of 
materials similar to the walls, and the stairs also 
must be of incombustible materials. Fire-proof 
floors are now commonly constructed of rolled iron 
or steel I-beams, with arches of biunt clay between 
the beams. 

The first wrought-iron I-beams rolled in this 
country were made by Peter Cooper, at his mills in 
Trenton, N. J., about i860. The Phoenix Iron Com- 
pany, of Pennsylvania, began to roll them about 
the same time. Prior to that date there was a very 
limited number of fire-proof buildings in this country. 
Those which did exist chiefly belonged to the gov- 
ernment. In the early fire-proof structures erected 
in New York City — the Cooper Union building, 
Harper's publishing building, and the Historical 
Library building — the iron floor-beams are of a 
shape known as deck-beams, being very similar in 
section to an ordinary rail, only deeper. The depths 
of I-beams have been increased from six and seven 
inches up to twenty-four inches, and mild steel has 
displaced wrought-iron. Eastern and Western roll- 
ing-mills yearly turn out an enormous quantity of 
rolled steel I-beams for use in buildings. 

Before the time when rolled beams could be expe- 
ditiously procured and at moderate prices, cast-iron 
beams were used. When the openings to be spanned 
were of considerable width, bowstring-girders, or 
arch-shaped castings with horizontal wrought-iron 
tie-rods connecting the ends, were commonly used. 
It is admitted by all who are competent to judge 
that wrought-iron or steel is superior for use where 
the load tends to tear the metal asunder; and in 
course of time cast-iron for beams and girders be- 
came almost entirely superseded by rolled wrought- 
iron, and later on by rolled steel. The use of 
cast-iron beams, lintels, and columns in commercial 

buildings kept a number of large foundries in 
New York busy for many years. More than half a 
century ago the Jackson Architectural Iron- Works, 
now a corporation, were started, being practically 
the pioneer foundry for the manufacture of ironwork 
for buildings. It was in these works that the first 
entire iron front was made, from drawings furnished 
by the introducer, James Bogardus. Several firms 
that became quite renowned in the line of architec- 
tural ironwork — among them J. B. & W. W. Cornell 
— procured their cast-iron work for many years from 
the Jackson foundry. Iron fronts became popular, 
and New York supplied the demand from Boston, 
Philadelphia, Chicago, and St. Louis, until finally 
their manufacture was taken up in every section of 
the country. During the past ten years architects 
have shown a preference for fronts of brick with 
terra-cotta or stone for trimmings, and cast-iron 
fronts have largely gone out of fashion, perhaps 
later on to be revived, particularly for commercial 
structiu'es, as cast-iron has in its favor unequaled 
advantages of lightness, strength, durability, econ- 
omy, incombustibility, and ready renovation. John 
Roach, who became celebrated as an iron-ship 
builder, started in the foundry business in a small 
way in New York about the year 1840, making 
castings for builders' uses ; but he veered off into 
ships' castings and machinery, and finally into build- 
ing ships. 

The Jackson foundry was started to manufacture 
grates and fenders, and during all the years of its 
existence has continued that as one of its principal 
branches. It was the establishment of a new in- 
dustry in this country, for these things were all 
imported from abroad. While fireplace fronts can' 
scarcely be included among ** building mat^als," in 
the ordinary understanding of that term, yet they go 
to make up a permanent and necessary part of build- 
ings. There are a number of other adjuncts to an 
edifice that cannot properly be included as building 
materials, but each of which makes progressive steps 
in providing useful, convenient, and comfortable 
structures. In a modem building electric light and 
steam-heat are looked for as matters of course ; and 
mail-chutes, telephone and electric call service are 
developments of recent years. In dwelling-houses 
gas-stoves are supplanting coal-ranges for cooking ; 
the old-fashioned pan water-closet has given way to 
the S trap-bowl; bath-tubs are of enameled iron, 
solid porcelain, or marble, instead of wood lined 
with copper or other metal; pneumatic or electric 
appliances open the street-door at will ; locks that 
are unpickable and burglar-alarms secure reasonable 

WlLLfAM H. J»( 




safety from would-be intruders; and in a variety 
of ways the conveniences, comforts, security, and 
healthfulness of homes have been added to of late 
years by provisions made in the planning and con- 
struction of buildings. 

Formerly French or English plate-glass was de- 
manded for every good building. American plate- 
glass slowly but surely worked to the front rank in 
quality, and has become one of our great home 
industries. In art glass-work for windows, American 
manufactiu'ers and American artists produce the 
equal of the best made in any other country, but the 
time was not long ago when everything in that line 
of art-work was of foreign make. 

Marbles in great variety, sandstones in almost 
every color, and granite of various hues are quarried 
in all directions ; and through cheap transportation 
by water or rail, every section of the country has an 
available supply of every kind and color of stone 
for architectural effect in buildings. Stone is planed 
and carved by machinery more accurately and 
quicker than by hand. The labor thus saved, and 
the consequent cheapening of molded and carved 
stone, have increased the consumption and given em- 
ployment to a far greater number of workmen than 
would otherwise have been the case. The world's 
experience has shown, moreover, that while machi- 
nery increases production, it also opens new fields 
for useful labor, and the cheapening of the cost of 
manufactured products proportionately increases 
their consumption by bringing them within the 
reach of a greater number of persons. Not only 
in stone, but in every kind of material which enters 
into the construction and finishing of buildings, has 
machinery reduced the cost. The army of work- 
men is vastly greater in numbers, and wages are 
higher, than when hand labor had the field entirely 
to itself. 

Wood moldings were laboriously worked out by 
hand in former years. Machinery changed all that, 
so that to-day a carpenter would as soon think of 
hewing out timber from the log by hand as to work 
out by hand the trim for a house. From the mold- 
ing-mill the trim now comes all ready to be put in 
place. Hard woods, especially ash and oak, have 
largely taken the place of white pine for trim, and 
it is due to machinery that doors and architraves 
around openings can be obtained in hard woods at 
less cost than the same in soft woods could have been 
had a few years ago. Hard wood for mantels, of all 
grades from the simple and cheap to the elaborate 
and costly, has, to a great extent, taken the place 

of marble and slate. The advance in woodworking 

machinery and in carving by machinery enables 
very artistic and elaborate work in wood to be ob- 
tained at very reasonable prices, and architects and 
builders have not been slow in availing themselves 
of their opportunities. Improved fillers and varnish 
coatings for hard woods are on sale in every paint- 
store, and cabinet finish is easily and cheaply 
produced. Ready-mixed paints for interior and 
exterior uses are extensively used, the grinding 
being done by machinery, the mixing, therefore, 
being more thorough than by hand. Paint mixed 
with such ingredients that fire is repelled from 
wood or other materials coated with it is a compara- 
tively new article of manufacture, but is being largely 
used for protecting frame factories and other build- 
ings where the danger of burning is great. Wire 
cloth, in place of wood lath, is much used, not only 
because it keeps the plaster better and prevents 
cracks, but because it makes a good fire-resisting siu*- 
face for ceilings under wood beams and on the sides 
of wood studs. A variety of solid, thin, light, and 
strong partitions of iron and plaster are used in 
place of the wood-stud, lath, and plaster partitions, 
so dangerous in case of fire. Mortar and plaster 
mixed by machinery are supplied to masons in any 
quantity required. The mixing being more perfectly 
done by machinery than by the hoe, the blisters so 
often seen on finished wall surfaces, due to bad 
mixing, are obviated. To ordinary plaster other 
ingredients are now added, these plaster mixtiu'es 
being known in the market under several different 
names, but all having for their object hardness and 
durability. A few years ago American hydraulic 
cements were looked upon with extreme suspicion 
by engineers and architects, and imported Portland 
cements were demanded for use in important foun- 
dation-work. Now American cements are recog- 
nized as having equal strength with the English 
and German cements, joined with other good quali- 
ties, and are sold at lower prices than the imported 

In appearance the streets in our great cides are 
taking on a lighter hue, due to the light-colored 
brick so generally used for the fronts of new build- 
ings. Twenty-five years ago, in New York, red was 
the universal color for front brick, the choice front 
brick being brought from Philadelphia and Balti- 
more. The clays of New Jersey give us brick in 
white, lemon, buff, mottled, and other hues, and these 
are used to the exclusion of red. Terra-cotta in 
a variety of colors and artistically executed enters 
largely into the ornamental treatment of the fronts 
of buildings. The extensive use of this material, 



and the erection of manufactories for its production, 
are of recent date in this country. In clay products 
alone architects have a chance to display taste and 
skill of which their professional brethren a decade 
or so ago never entertained a thought. 

In the Post-Office building in this city, a little 
more than twenty years ago, hoUow-tile flat arches 
between iron floor-beams were introduced for the 
first time in this or any other country. This was 
the invention of Mr. B. Kreischer, a manufacturer 
of fire-brick in New York. The flat-arch system 
provided a level ceiling at once, at a less cost and 
with much less weight of material than filling in be- 
tween iron beams with segmental arches of common 
brick, and then furring down with wood or iron to 
obtain a level ceiling surface. The new system 
came into general use for fire-proof buildings all 
over the United States. A long litigation ensued 
over the patent, but under the crucial test of publi- 
cations from all parts of the globe, the courts finally 
decided the Kreischer patent void for want of orig- 
inality. Abroad the system of flat arches whose end 
sections abut against rolled iron or steel beams for 
floorings is recognized as an American invention, 
and at a meeting of the Royal Institute of British 
Architects, held in 1882, this method of constructing 
floors was commented upon, the chairman of that 
meeting going on to say that when a man in the 
United States brought out a good invention con- 
nected with building or anything else, it was straight- 
way adopted all over the country, remaining in use 
until something better was provided, when that, in 
its turn, was taken up. 

Another American invention whose merit has 
been recognized everywhere is illuminated tiles 
— the placing of small disks of glass in iron plates 
which form a walking surface and at the same time 
transmit light to a vault or room beneath the side- 
walk. The name Hyatt will always be associated 
with this invention in America and Eiu'ope. Years 
of litigation ensued after the introduction and use 
of this invention, but fortunately for the inventor the 
court decisions were finally in his favor, by which he 
realized large sums of money. 

Iron for the frame and bars of skylights has su- 
perseded wood in all large cities, in part because 
modem building laws will not permit the use of 
wood for any but very small skylights. Twenty-five 
years ago iron skylight bars were of solid rolled 
iron. An American inventor, Hayes, introduced 
skylight bars of sheet-iron, bent by machinery to a 
proper shape, and these light, strong, and cheap 
bars are now everywhere in use. Galvanized sheet- 

iron for cornices on the fronts of buildings has taken 
the place of wood in cities, and in the manufacture 
of them an enormous amount of sheet-metal is used 

In bank and safe-deposit buildings the burglar- 
proof work for vaults and strong rooms represents 
a very large manufacturing industry in providing 
what is deemed essential to the equipment of such 
structures. Bank vaults of chilled iron and sted 
were used a long time ago, but the increase in the 
demand for burglar-proof work resulted in improved 
methods of construction, and in the invention of 
better time-locks and alarm appliances to give warn- 
ing of attempts at burglary. 

Wood necessarily enters into the construction of 
buildings of every character. Hundreds of millions 
of dollars are invested in the work of handling this 
material, and several hundred thousand artisans are 
employed in preparing it for use from the time the 
logs are gathered in the forests until they are 
fashioned into the required shapes. This industry 
is among the most important in the United States, 
but there are no reliable data extant from which 
anything approaching an accurate estimate of the 
capital invested or the number of timber workers 
employed can be determined. Some idea of its 
magnitude may be formed when it has been es- 
timated by builders of wide experience that out of 
some 12,000,000 dwelling-houses in the United 
States nearly 11,000,000 are built mainly of wood. 

In the almost countless number of fire-proof 
buildings the stairs, of course, are made of incom- 
bustible materials — iron for the strings, risers, and 
railings, and slate or marble for the treads. Several 
large iron- works devote their attention solely to this 
class of manufacture. The variety of designs and 
the coating of the iron with other metals by electro- 
processes, or by a process that preserves iron against 
rust without paint, go to make up in extent and 
beauty a branch of iron manufacture that has de- 
veloped from very small beginnings to extensive 
proportions. The inclosure of elevator-shafts in 
fire-proof buildings is generally of iron grille-work, 
which has the same characteristics as iron stair-work 
in points of design and workmanship. 

In putting the different kinds of materials in 
place in the building a saving of time and labor is 
sought. Even in ordinary buildings brick and mor- 
tar are no longer carried on men's backs up a ladder. 
Hod-hoisting machinery has taken the place of 
manual labor in this respect. On important build- 
ings power-derricks Uft all heavy weights from the 
ground to the uppermost story— stone, iron, and 



everything else. It is not an unusual sight to see a 
cart-load of brick brought to a building, the horse 
then unhitched, the cart hoisted by the derrick to 
an upper story, and the brick dumped, after which 
the cart is lowered to the ground. The riveting of 
connecting parts of ironwork in important buildings 
is frequendy done by machine instead of by hand. 
Foundations for high buildings, where the soil is 
uncertain or inadequate to bear enormous loads, are 
in some instances carried down to rock by means of 
cylinders of iron sunk to the required depth and 
then filled in with masonry. In other cases a fram- 
ing of iron beams covering the whole area of the 
building, much like a raft, is laid and covered with 
concrete. Engineering skill in its application to 
building work has no limit, in reality ; it can reach 
down deep into the ground or tower up high toward 
the clouds. But the opportunities to do the things 
that would have been considered marvelous a cen- 
tury ago have arisen only during late years. Possi- 
bly the same ability existed then, but the call for its 
exercise has come with a more recent date. 

Architecture has played a most important part in 
the development of the modem building. Conse- 
quendy a slight departure from the main thread of 
this subject may be allowable in order better to 
trace the progress of the century in the building 
line. The origin of architecture is wrapped in ob- 
scurity. Caves and huts of branches were the first 
buildings made by man. Examples of a second 
stage of development are found in the stone monu- 
ments of various islands in the Pacific and in 
the andent monuments of America. The ruins of 
Mexico show no foreign influence in their artistic 
workmanship, and are therefore regarded as an in- 
dependent national development. Some of these 
show an advanced and highly ornamented form of 
the pyramid. Of Oriental architecture the Egyp- 
tian examples are perhaps the most striking. The 
numerous monuments of India can be compared in 
extent and magnificence only with those of Egypt. 
China received its architecture from India. Gre- 
cian, Roman, and Gothic architecture furnishes high 
examples of the art, and many of its features are 
interwoven with modem architecture. 

A new period in the development of architecture 
began about the close of the eighteenth century, 
when a reaction against the rococo style made it- 
self felt. Important examples are the Mint in Berlin 
and the Brandenburg Gate, built at the close of the 
eighteenth century. The age and conditions of 
American civilization do not admit of an indigenous 
axchttectuial development, as in older countries, and 

therefore we find in the United States examples of 
almost every known national style. The building 
operations of the settlers of the seventeenth centiuy 
were modeled upon those of the coimtries whence 
they had emigrated. 

Thus the early buildings of New England and 
Virginia are essentially EngHsh ; those of New York 
and Pennsylvania are Dutch and German; while 
Florida shows thoroughly Spanish architecture, and 
New Orleans is practically a transplanted French 
city. With the beginning of the eighteenth century 
the increased intercourse between the individual 
colonies gave rise to a more homogeneous archi- 
tecture. The more important buildings of the 
period are all the works of English architects, 
among them being King's Chapel, Boston (1749), 
by Harrison, and St. Michael's, Charleston, S. C. 
(1752), by Gibson, a pupil of Wren. To the same 
period belong Christ Church, Philadelphia, and the 
old State-houses of Boston and Philadelphia. The 
dwelling-houses of the colonial period were simple 
in style and usually of wood, depending for their 
external efiEect principally upon the use of columns, 
and with interiors of great plainness, the ornamen- 
tation being concentrated in the staircases, of which 
some artistic examples are still in existence. 

The first and chief of the government buildings 
at Washington was the Capitol. In its present form 
the Capitol is a monumental edifice with a dome 
135 feet in diameter rising 217 feet above the roof. 
The architectural effect is secured by the free use 
of porticos and colonnades, and by the striking 
approaches. The other government buildings are 
of a similar style. Since that period a style founded 
on the Italian Renaissance has been employed in 
nearly all public buildings, sometimes with great 
success. To this period, also, belongs the New 
York City Hall (1803-12), built of marble and free- 
stone, which at the time of its erection surpassed all 
buildings here in material and conception. For a 
time Greek architecture became the fashion, and 
it was applied to many buildings. To this develop- 
ment belong the Custom-houses in Philadelphia and 
New York (with monolithic columns) and Boston, 
and Girard College, Philadelphia. 

The first successful attempt of Gothic architecture 
was the erection, in 1839-45, in New York, of 
Trinity Church, by Richard Upjohn, which has 
since remained the accepted type of American 
church buildings. From the church the Gothic 
style was for a time carried to all other classes of 
buildings, but was soon abandoned. With the rapid 
growth of the country in wealth and ambition there 


succeeded crazes for vanous architectural styles, 
Egyptian, Moorish, Swiss, and other types were 
employed, but finally all of them were abandoned. 
Subsequently a revival of Gothic architecture, under 
the influence of Ruskin, produced some buildings 
of merit, among them the National Academy of 
Design, New York, largely in the Venetian style ; 
the State Capitol of Connecticut, at Hartford ; and 
the Harvard Alumni Memorial Hall, at Cambridge. 

During recent years the prevailing style for muni- 
cipal buildings has been that of the French Renais- 
sance. Imposing examples of this style are seen in 
the new municipal buildings of Philadelphia and in 
the new buildings of the State and War departments 
at Washington. Many of the newer capitol build- 
ings of the various States are of architectural merit, 
the most elaborate being the Capitol at Albany. In 
church architecture, New York, Boston, Chicago, 
Baltimore, Philadelphia, and some Western cities 
possess good examples of Gothic and other styles. 
The largest and most costly church edifice on the 
continent is St, Patrick's Cathedral, in New York. 
A notable departure from the Gothic style is seen in 
Trinity Church, Boston, where the Romanesque has 
been employed with great artistic success. 

Much of the sameness and monotony in dwelling- 
houses which obtains in most of the older cities is 
giving way to a pleasing variety, especially in newer 
localities. This change is largely due to the forma- 
tion of schools of architecture, which are turning out 
thoroughly equipped native architects. The Ameri- 
can Institute of Architects, founded in 1867, with 
its local branches, assists in encouraging professional 
intercourse among its members, and the 

architectural journals spread an increasing know- 
ledge of the art. All these agencies combine to 
form a national educated taste which may originate a 
national type of architecture, thus rendering impos* 
sibte the crudities of past generations, and developing 
refinement in the choice or combination of existing 

Every one of the group of subjects referred to 
occupies a relationship more or less indmate to 
the others. A modem building is something more 
than merely the walls and roof. It includes the pro- 
ducts of trades that a century ago had no existence, 
others that have lived less than half a century, and 
still others that less than a quarter of a century ago 
were unknown. With the growth of population 
the number of buildings proportionately increases. 
In our great cities many families living indepen- 
dently of one another occupy together a single build- 
ing, while the former rule was one family to a house. 
New conditions of living have arisen, not merely far 
the poor in tenement-houses, but for the well-to-do 
and affluent, in the aggregation of many homes 
under one roof. Increasing the size of buildings 
verticaUy instead of horizontaUy called for the work- 
ing out of new problems not only in engineering, 
but in sanitary science. American ingenuity and 
skill have, however, kept pace with every require- 
ment or necessity. The achievements and progress 
in every direction which have added so much to 
the welfare and greatness of our country during the 
past one hundred years have nowhere been more 
marked than in the materials used and the know- 
ledge of their proper applications in the construc- 
tion of buildings. 




THERE is no wayin which the electrical indus- 
tries of 1895 can be compared with those of 
1795, for the simple reason that a hundred 
years ago electrical science was rudimentary and the 
electrical arts were all unborn. A few stray pieces of 
apparatus built by instrument makers under the vague 
directions of philosophical investigators constituted 
throughout the first quarter of the present century the 
bases from which all our later inventions and de- 
velopments have dated. It was not until within the 
last fifty years that, the correlation of electricity and 
magnetism being fairly understood, and the ability 
to turn mechanical energy into current being fully 
perceived, the world enjoyed the benefits, in quick 
succession, of telegraphy, electroplating, electric 
lighting, telephony, electric power, electric traction, 
electric heating, forging, welding, aod cooling, and 

economists ; but indications are not wanting that it 
is the agency chiefly to be relied upon hereafter in 
the closer knitting together of city and country, the 
increasing of facilities for commerce, and the diffu- 
sion throughout remote districts of information that 
should be common to all 

The telegraph, representing a pioneer electrical 
development, has attained, it is believed by many, 
the magnitude of maturity, while its methods are 
pretty much the same as when Morse first operated 
his crude devices. Inclusive of allied and similar 
services to the public, the telegraph system of the 
United States reaches a capitalization of about 
$300,000,000, of which the Western Union and 
Postal lines may be credited with more than one 
half. The condition of the telegraph industry is 
portrayed in the following figures: 





A™.*g. Ton. 

AviiAn Co«T 





18M.. ...... 



1^ . 

the electric extraction of minerals and precious met- 
als. These constitute a noteworthy fruition for five 
decades, yet have barely scratched the possibilities, 
and have so far been limited in their usefulness al- 
most entirely to urban populations. Strange as it 
may seem at a time when dwellers in the city en- 
counter electrical appliances on every side, there 
is not a single art that has been a direct boon to the 
agricultural sections of the country, despite the fact 
that America is a land of farms, and that here elec> 
tricity has been more vigorously exploited, and in 
more ways, than anywhere else in the world. Elec- 
tricity is, in fact, at the present moment, curiously 
associated with the intense and crowded city life 
that engages the thoughts of social and political 

Hence it will appear that there is no rapid expan- 
sion in telegraphy going on, nor can there be one 
without some very radical changes. If the popu- 
lation of the Um'ted Stales of America be taken at 
65,000,000, it would appear that only one telegram 
per head per year is sent, and the ratio remains 
about the same through many years, without any 
variation that denotes a growing habit on the part 
of the people. 

When we turn to telephony an explanation of this 
state of affairs is seen. The advent of Professor . 
Bell's telephone in 1876 found capital quite averse 
to assuming any risk in it, and even in 1879 the 
Western Union Telegraph Company surrendered all 
its telephonic work to the American Bell Telephone 



Company, on condition of being paid for a term of 
years twenty per cent, commission on the receipts 
in royalties from the telephone — an arrangement 
which has brought some $7,000,000 into the West- 
em Union treasury without any expenditure. But 
the telephone has meantime gained ground so enor- 
mously that some observers believe the effectual 
supercession of the older telegraph to be well in 
sight. The American people now exchange yearly 
750,000,000 telephonic talks; that is, they use the 
telephone ten times as much as they do the tele- 
graph, at infinitely less cost. Each telephone talk 
through an exchange costs the subscriber less than 
five cents on the average. Every twenty-four hours 
the telephone is used more than 2,000,000 times, so 
that, broadly, 4,000,000 people, or twenty-five per 
cent, of the adult population, resort to it daily, 
chiefly for commercial purposes. As an actual fact, 
hand-written letters are only four times as numerous ; 
and thus, if both telegraph and telephone were out 
of existence, the number of sealed pieces of mail 
matter, on the same calculation, would be increased 
by 800,000,000. New York City alone would re- 
quire 40,000 district messenger-boys to carry around 
its communications that are now sent in a single 
day over its telephone wires. 

The total investment in telephony, however, in 
1894, was only $77,500,000, although it is rapidly 
increasing. One of the most important commercial 
branches of it is the long-distance work, which, be- 
gun in 1885, is done with a ramification of 55,000 
miles of pole-line and 265,000 miles of wire, con- 
necting together no fewer than 2000 towns and cities 
by double or " metallic " circuit, any one of which 
places any telephone subscriber in New York, for 
example, can reach ; while the public can do the 
same in this city by using some 1200 scattered pay 
stations. The rate to Chicago from New York is 
$9 for five minutes* talk, or $4.50 at night. The 
recent expiration of fundamental patents has also 
greatiy stimulated telephonic work. 

In view of these and other conditions, Mr. P. B. 
Delany, a well-known electrician, has worked out 
a plan that would render the telegraph remarkably 
valuable, and popularly rehabilitate it He proposes 
that letters shall be telegraphed instead of carried 
by trains. There are 40,000 letters exchanged daily, 
for instance, between New York and Chicago, and 
the perfection of methods now is such in " machine 
telegraphy" that with two good copper wires he 
would carry 28,000 messages of fifty words each 
daily between the two cities. The contrast with 
old methods is seen in the statement that with a 

single copper wire of only 300 pounds to the mile, 
thus machine-worked between New York and Phila- 
delphia, Mr. Delany proposes to handle 3000 words 
per minute ; whereas by the present key system in 
vogue, for the same quantity of matter, thirty-eight 
wires must be worked quadruplex, or 152 circuits, 
at about twenty words per minute. Here certainly 
lies a great futiure, with great benefit, if the plan is 
feasible, to commercial and social intercourse. 

Although this country ranks with England in its 
patronage of the submarine cable, and is proud of 
the indomitable New York merchant, Cjrrus Field, it 
has no cable industry and a very small cable owner- 
ship. Vast as are the quantities of fine cable made 
in America for telegraphic and telephonic work 
along its rivers and lakes, the American cable is still 
unknown to the deep seas. There has been no 
period, apparently, since the New World was eleo 
trically moored alongside the Old, when our manu- 
facturers could, in this branch, compete on equal 
terms with those of England and Germany. 

The fire-alarm telegraphs have been an important 
item in this field of manufactiu^, and there are over 
600 places equipped, generally with the Gamewell 
system, which is, perhaps, the best known. In 1890, 
the last year for which definite statistics are avail- 
able, a group of fifty cities had no fewer than 8400 
fire-alarm boxes in use by their fire departments. A 
system for a small city costs about $1000. Every 
city has now its police telegraph also, many com- 
bining with it a telephonic patrol system that brings 
a squad to any point within five minutes after the 
call is sent in. The district messenger system has 
become familiar in most American cities, as an 
auxiliary to the telegraph. In New York City the 
average number of boys employed for this work is 
1200, who run some 2,500,000 errands in a year. 
That the boys loiter is obviously a calunmy. 

As an offset, perhaps, to the European preemi- 
nence in the one department of submarine tele- 
graphy, we may tiun to the generous figures of the 
growth of electric lighting in the United States. 
There are barely one hundred central stations in 
all Great Britain; there are 2500 local electric-light 
companies here, and some 200 municipal plants. 
The investment there has reached $35,000,000 ; in 
such work in this country the total is placed at 
$300,000,000, New York alone approximating the 
figures for all England. Of isolated plants for arc 
or incandescent lighting in mills, mines, stores, halls, 
docks, etc., the number in the United States has 
reached probably 7500 ; there were in 1893 no fewer 
than 3500 such isolated incandescent plants, with 



a capacity of 1,500,000 lamps. The value of the 
total arc and incandescent outlay, independent en- 
tirely of the central stations, is placed at $200,000,- 
000. All this is the outcome of the inventions 
of men like Edison, Brush, Elihu Thomson, Wes- 
ton, Wood, Hochhausen, and, in the new era just 
beginning, Nikola Tesla, Stanley, Bradley, and Stein- 
metz. At one time some forty or fifty manufactur- 
ing companies competed for the sale of the plant ; 
but the art has in many respects become specialized, 
and the leading survivors are the General Electric, 
Westinghouse, Fort Wa3me, Excelsior, Brush, Stan- 
dard, and Western Electric companies. The General 
Electric Company, for example, had its arc appara- 
tus operating in 957 central stations, in May, 1895, 
supplying 130,000 arc-lights. This is a tjrpical 
"parent" company, which now has a total capital 
of about $44,000,000, employs some 7000 men in 
its factories, and has an annual output ranging from 
$10,000,000 to $15,000,000. A typical "local" 
suborganization is the Chicago Edison Company, 
with a capital of $7,000,000, and four central stations 
supplying current daily for 161,000 incandescent 
lamps, 4000 horse-power of electric motors, and 
3600 arc-lamps, using about 500 miles of under- 
ground tubing and cable to reach its customers. 
A t3rpical isolated plant is that in the Auditorium, 
Chicago, with 17,000 incandescent lamps; or that 
in the new Carnegie Steel- Works, at Duquesne, Pa., 
where 3000 horse-power is used for electric light 
and power. 

The practical incandescent lamp was brought to 
commercial perfection by Edison less than twenty 
years ago. The dynamo capacity in this country 
to-day for incandescent h'ghting is estimated at over 
8,000,000 lamps of sixteen candle-power, while the 
number connected to the circuits is from 12,000,000 
to 15,000,000. The number of lamps produced by 
about a score of factories is from 50,000 to 75,000 
dally. Ten years ago an incandescent lamp cost 
the consumer not much less than one dollar, while 
excellent lamps are now bought at about twenty 
cents apiece. The average life of lamps is 600 to 800 
hours. Equally remarkable is the reduction in the 
cost of carbon-points for arc-lamps. In 1876 they 
were imported from a French maker, a dozen or two 
in the batch, at forty cents each. The American 
manufacture began in 1878, with over thirty hand 
processes, and at prices of $80 per 1000. The car- 
bon art to-day recognizes only four hand processes, 
and prices are in the neighborhood of $10 per 1000. 
Within the past fifteen years some seventy-five fac- 
tories have been started to supply the annual con- 

sumption of 200,000,000 carbon-points, and their 
capacity has reached three times that figure. There 
are to-day twenty-five factories in the world, with 
a capacity of, say, 350,000,000 per annum. The 
largest of these factories is in Cleveland, O., owned 
by the National Carbon Company, comprising four- 
teen large buildings on seventeen acres of ground, 
with a capacity of 250,000,000 per annum. 

All these seem large figures, but as a matter of 
calculation it will be found that they would need a 
tenfold multiplication if electric light were entirely 
to replace gas. The process is, however, going on, 
with the effect at the same time of raising the stan- 
dard of illumination everywhere, and greatly cheap- 
ening gas production. In 1890 no fewer than 278 
American cities, with a population of 7,000,000, had 
entirely given up gas for electricity in lighting their 
streets. Although no mimicipal gas-plants are now 
erected, the number of electric-lighting plants built 
by municipalities is strikingly on the increase all 
over the Union. 

Associated closely with electric light is electric 
power, the motors being placed on the same circuits 
as the lamps. All the concerns building electric- 
light apparatus also build motors; but there are 
about a dozen factories, such as the Crocker- Wheeler, 
and Eddy, that devote themselves exclusively to 
motors, of which it is estimated that 500,000 are 
now in use, the bulk of these being the small fan- 
motors for ventilation, costing, on an average, $15 
each. Motors of fifty horse-power and upward are, 
however, by no means uncommon ; while the ten- 
dency in all new factories, machine-shops, etc., is to 
distribute power by such motors, instead of using 
long lines of belt and shafting. At the Homestead, 
Pa., Steel- Works, for example, power is thus fiu*- 
nished to electric motors aggregating 4000 horse- 
power ; at Bessemer, Pa., to about 2000 horse-power ; 
and a third metal plant has thirty electric cranes, 
three electric traveling bridges, six motor freight 
conveyers, fifteen motor-cars, and a score of motors 
for miscellaneous purposes. 

The use of electric elevators in cities, furnished 
with current from both central stations and isolated 
plants, is a distinct class of work. In New York 
there are several hundred of these elevators, requir- 
ing a total of upward of 5000 horse-power daily for 
their operation. For the Parrott Building in San 
Francisco Mr. F. J. Sprague is furnishing fifteen of 
his electric elevators. At present to be found chiefly 
in office buildings, they have already made their 
way into apartments and into private dwellingSr 
Electric heating and cooking apparatus, fed with 



current from central stations, is also becoming famil- 
iar, especially in laimdries, restaurants, canneries, 
and hair-dressing establishments. 

A few years ago the dynamos in central stations 
were large that would operate 500 lamps; to-day 
machines of from 5000 to 25,000 lamp capacity 
are not unusual. These are now driven directly by 
huge steam-engines of the vertical triple-expansion 
marine type. In the same manner arc-dynamos 
were usually able to energize twenty-five or thirty 
arcs of 2000 candle-power each ; but their place is 
being taken by machines that will feed 150 to 200 
such lamps on circuits thirty and forty miles long. 
It is evident that great economy is thus effected. 
Arc-lighting, which at its introduction cost seventy- 
five cents or more per night per lamp, now averages 
from thirty to thirty -five cents. Incandescent lamps 
cost about one cent an hour each for current, and 
motors obtain their supply at less than ten cents 
per horse-power per hoiu:. Whereas it was once the 
well-nigh universal custom to sell a current at a 
" flat rate," it is now the more scientific custom to 
meter it. Indeed, one of the most significant de- 
velopments of late years has been the perfection of 
American electrical instruments of measurement and 
precision devised for lighting and power circuits. 
Those of Edward Weston have won a reputation 
that has gone around the world. 

Very early indeed were the efforts made in elec- 
tric railroading. The work of Thomas Davenport, 
a Vermont blacksmith, fifty odd years ago, embodied 
many of the elements familiar in the street-railway 
of to-day ; but no progress was made, because the 
primary battery was then the sole soiurce of current. 
It was not until within the last ten years that the 
electric railway industry became established. The 
present writer collected the first American statistics 
on the subject in 1887. There were then but thir- 
teen small roads. This year the trolley roads in the 
United States have reached the imposing total of 
900, with 11,000 miles of track, 25,000 cars, and a 
capitalization of fully $750,000,000, which in spite 
of frequent inflation has a notable dividend-earning 
capacity, rarely falling below six per cent for the 
bonds, and the common stock receiving as much. 
The ability of electricity to increase the traffic of a 
street-railway has hardly ever been less than forty 
per cent, in the year of its adoption, and has fre- 
quently exceeded one hundred per cent. In all 
Europe the niunber of electric roads is below 1 00. 
The annual increase here is at least that number, 
representing a purchase of some $100,000,000 worth 
of rails, cars, motors, wire, engines, boilers, poles, etc. 

The electric railway industry has endless aspects. 
In New York, Washington, and Chicago, under- 
ground trolley conduit roads are being adopted in- 
stead of the overhead trolley type, with fair success. 
In Chicago, at the World's Fair, an elevated electric 
road carried 8,000,000 passengers, and there is now 
a similar road in regular operation in that city. For 
New York City is proposed a tunnel electric railway 
S3rstem, to cost the metropohtan taxpayers $50,000,- 
000, on the plan so successful for some years past 
in London. 

Nor is this all. As far back as the summer of 
1894 there were sixty-two street-car lines carrying 
United States mail; thirty-five lines had gone into 
the express business, and fifty-five were hauling 
freight. These figures have probably been doubled 
in the past twelvemonth. More interesting still is the 
intenu-ban extension of the trolley system. Within 
a year as many as 190 electric railway companies 
have been projected to ply across country, with 3457 
miles of track. Many of these have been built and 
are already running. They range from four miles 
up to seventy-five in length. The competition of 
these roads and the regular street trolley railways 
with steam railroads has begim to revolutionize the 
latter, if only for the reason that ten miles for five 
cents is an ordinary car trip, while the steam train 
needs ten cents for five miles for its mainte- 
nance. On some steam roads the suburban travel 
has been practically wiped out, and a great many 
schedules have been abandoned. To meet this seri- 
ous condition of affairs the Pennsylvania, and the 
New York, New Haven, and Hartford Railroads, as 
well as others less well known, have adopted electri- 
city for some of their branches with marked success ; 
and the intention is to carry this change much further 
at once. 

Additional to this is the use of heavy 1500 horse- 
power electric locomotives by the Baltimore and Ohio 
Railroad Company for freight haulage in its Bald- 
more tunnel. These locomotives haul trains of 1400 
tons, and make, when necessary, a speed of sixty 
miles an hour. The same method is to be adopted 
for the Grand Trunk Timnel under the St. Clair River. 
In short, the steam railroad system is at the point of 
a new departiure, and is everywhere being prepared 
for the greater utilization of electricity. 

An art allied to electric locomotion is that of 
electric navigation. At the World's Fair in Chicago 
in 1893, 1,003,500 passengers were carried on the 
lagoons by a fleet of fifty electric launches; and 
these boats, scattered all over the country, have 
become nuclei for a number of smaller busy fleets 




employed by trolley railways, park boards, police 
departments, and private owners. These boats are 
operated by means of storage batteries charged from 
time to time, and able to run them continuously for 
forty or fifty miles. A boat of such a character, 
making ten to twelve miles an hom*, thirty-five feet 
in length and six to eight feet beam, is obtainable 
complete for about $1600. 

The storage battery has been far more successful 
afloat than in street-car propulsion, but it is now in 
swift adoption for isolated plants and central stations, 
as a reservoir of current when the machinery is not 
in operation. The Edison Company in Boston has 
recently erected and equipped a five-story building 
as a storage-battery adjunct, which supplements an 
earlier annex of the same kind, the two together 
being by far the largest in the world. They have 
a capacity of 30,000 amperes of current, or 60,000 
lamps ; and have taken care of all demands on the 
company for current during periods of fifteen hours. 
It is becoming the practice, also, to equip fire-alarm 
departments with storage batteries in place of the 
old primary batteries. 

Electric mining is one of the latest of the indus- 
tries to be developed by the electrical engineer, and 
bids fair to surpass the electric railway in magnitude. 
The demand for apparatus in it is estimated to have 
reached already the sum of $100,000,000, for hoists, 
crushers, drills, ptunps, ventilators, cars, etc., all 
driven electrically. The adoption of this machi- 
nery, furnished with current from dynamos driven 
by water-power, has enabled scores of mines to pay 
expenses that were unable to do so with fuel as high 
as $15 a ton. Some of these plants are being oper- 
ated at altitudes of 1 2,000 feet above sea-level, and 
exemplify the beauties of long-distance electrical 
power transmission, which in itself is even now con- 
stituting a separate field of endeavor. 

By all odds the most important long-distance 
dectrical power enterprise is that of the Niagara 
Falls Power Company, in the utilization of part of 
the energy of the great cataract. By means of its 
plants on both sides of the Niagara River this com- 
pany will develop 350,000 horse-power; and its 
power-house, canal, and tunnel on the American 
side are adequate to the production of 100,000 
horse-power of electrical current, generated by the 
Tesla two-phase system. An expenditure of $3,000,- 
000 has been made, and is now yielding an income. 
Part of the current is being used in the electrical 
manufacture at the falls of aluminium and carborun- 
dum, and a large manufacturing city is beginning to 
form about a mfle above the falls, free from smoke, 

dust, and gases, all the energy being distributed 
silently over hidden wires. Arrangements have been 
made by which Buffalo, twenty-two miles away, is 
to receive this current in large quantities, the price 
being $18 per horse-power at the Niagara end of 
the line ; while it is estimated by experts that the 
current can even be delivered 300 miles away in 
Albany, to compete on equal terms with the power 
of steam-engines on the spot, using coal at $3 per 
ton. The boats on the Erie Canal are also to have 
this power, at a rate of $20 per horse-power per 
year, and vital improvement in canal haulage is ex* 
pected. The first trials in this direction have been 
made, with notable success. All over the United 
States the example at Niagara is being imitated, and 
millions of dollars are pledged for similar water-power 
utilizations, while a great many such plants have gone 
into commercial operation. 

Incidental reference has been made to the use of 
American electrical measuring instruments abroad. 
But for the fact that om- own markets have had so 
large a capacity of consiunption, an enormous ex- 
port trade would long ago have grown up. As it is, 
the demand from foreign countries in certain lines 
is already respectable. Throughout Mexico, the 
West Indies, Central America, and South America, 
our dynamos for light, and motors for power, are in 
use on an extensive scale ; and many are also found 
in Canada, although it is the practice there to manu- 
facture under patents of American electrical inven- 
tors. A considerable part of the new gold-mining 
work in South Africa is done with American elec- 
trical plant ; and Buluwayo, which but two years 
ago was the bush capital of savage Lobengula, is 
lit every night from a central station whose machi- 
nery was made in New York State. Japan and China 
have taken large quantities of electric-lighting ap- 
paratus from us ; the royal palace of Corea is illu- 
minated by our incandescent lamps ; American tele- 
phones are thickly strung in the Sandwich Islands ; 
and electric railway plants from Ohio are in success- 
ful operation in Indo-China. Even England has 
not disdained to take electric motors and electric 
railway apparatus from us, and some of her most 
important electrical manufacturing corporations bear 
famous American names and employ many Ameri- 
can inventions and methods. Indeed, if the remark 
of Emerson be true, that steam is half an English- 
man, we may with equal felicity assert that electricity 
is nine tenths an American. 

The above are to-day the main lines of Amer- 
ican electrical manufacturing and supply, reaching 
toward a capital of $1,500,000,000; but they are 


not all, and they draw their material from a swarm 
of subsidiary industries ; while they throw out every 
year new commercial tendrils and employ thousands 
of intermediaries in order to gain access to the pub- 
Uc. The electric refining of metals is a growing de- 
partment, in which millions are invested annually. 
There are 393 electroplating establishments in the 
United States, with a capital of $38,000,000, employ- 
ing 270Q hands ; and there are also no fewer than 300 
electrotyping finns, besides large numbers of etching 
and jewelry houses using current in their work. The 
insulated wire and cable factories number a dozen. 
Their output mounts into countless millions of feet of 
wire annually, while the practice of running interior 
wires through tubes has necessitated the production 
of some 15,000,000 feet of insulated conduit annu- 
ally. Merely placing wires underground is estimated 
to have required $150,000,000 for cables and sub- 
ways. Every hotel in the country has its annunci- 
ator system, and every private residence of any pre- 
tension has at least its electric bells. In medicine. 

electrotherapy is so well recognized that a score of 
large manufacturers are busy turning out galvanic 
and faradic apparatus for practitioners of all schools. 
The production of disinfectants electrically has as- 
sumed large proportions, and their use is growing. 
The place of electricity in education may be gauged 
by the fact that 1500 students take up electrical 
engineering in a single year as a special study at 
leading colleges. It is seen clearly to-day that the 
future of all the electrical arts depends upon a re- 
duction in the cost of current, and to this end Mr. 
Tesia has devised his oscillator, combining steam- 
engine and dynamo in an integral mechanism which 
shall create and distribute power at half or one 
quarter the present cost. Others are working at 
the problem of obtaining electricity directly from 
heat ; and if there be one thing that is clearly writ- 
ten upon the face of mechanical and industrial ad- 
vance, it is that the succeeding century, no less than 
the present has been that of steam, will be emphat- 
ically the age of electricity. 

7^ M-<t^r^^^ 



THE packing industry may be considered as 
applying more particularly to the curing 
and packing of hog products; but no re- 
view of this business would be complete which did 
not take into consideration the slaughtering, dress- 
ing, and shipping of cattle and sheep. The Ameii- 
can packing-house of to-day is usually found com- 
bining the two branches of business, although it is 
true that only a small percentage of the product 
from the cattle and sheep is "packed," using the 
texm in its most literal sense. 

The information available docs not make it plain 
as to where and when the packing industiy, as dis- 
tinct from butchering operations and incidental cur- 
ing of meats, had its origin. It is said — although 
I cannot find satisfactory proof of the statement — 
that pork was cured and packed in barrels in Salem, 
Mass., in 1640, and it is certain that, about 1690, 
Boston did quite a trade in that line; but the pater- 
nity of the Western packing business, as we under- 
stand it to-day, belongs, I think, to Cincinnati. In 
181 8, oneElisba Mills, a " down-easter," was estab- 
lished as a packer in Cincinnati. The first drove of 
hogs ever received in Chicago was in 1837, but no 
attempt at packing seems to have been made until 
1832. In that year George W, Dole packed some 
pork for Oliver Newbury, of Detroit ; but Chicago 
does not figure in the statistics of packing points 
mitil 1850. It is claimed that 9600 hogs were 
packed there in 1834. It was not until the season 
of 1832—33 that a definite attempt was made to 
obtm statistics covering such operations. In that 
vintct Cincinnati was credited with slaughtering 
SSi^oo hogs, several houses being engaged in the 

IV development of the agricultural resources 
"• the Western States, especially from Ohio to 
™ Mississippi and Missouri rivers, cheapened the 
"^ <rf producing animals, particularly hogs ; and 
'"mtioD to their production was stimulated and 

encouraged by the demands from Southern and 
Eastern dealers for product for their markets. Pack- 
ing operations naturally followed in many places 
west of Cincinnati, more or less directly in commu- 
nication with the transportation facilities afforded 
by river navigation. The movement of the product 
was by way of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers to 
New Orleans, and a great deal was shipped thence 
by vessels to Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, 
Boston, and other cities on the Atlantic coast. 

In the early days of Western pork packing the 
slaughtering was, to a large extent, a distinctive 
business from the curing operations. The packer 
confined himself largely to the cutting and curing 
of dressed hogs. The farmer in those early days 
slaughtered his own hogs on the farm, in the months 
of December and January, the neighbors usually as- 
sisting ; and he sold whatever he could spare over 
and above the needs of his own family to the near- 
est storekeeper, or to the small packer, who, located 
at some convenient point, cut up the dressed hogs, 
cured the product, and shipped it South, as I have 
already mentioned. Sometimes, indeed, the pack* 
ing-house took the form of a flatboat on the river, 
tlie curing, such as it was, being done on board. 
When the spring " break-up " came the flatboat was 
floated down the river, and the product exchanged 
at Cincinnati, Louisville, St. Louis, and New Orleans, 
for sugar, molasses, rice, and other merchandise. 

Chicago's place in the packing business is preSmi- 
nent to-day, but it was not always so. In r84s a 
Cincinnati journalist published the following state- 

"The putting up of pork has been so important 
a branch of business in oiu: city for five and twenty 
years as to have constituted its largest item of manu- 
facture and acquired for it the soubriquet of ' Pork- 
opolis.' . . . Our pork business is the largest in the 
world, not even excepting Cork or Belfast, in Ireland, 
which country puts up and exports immense amounts 


in thai line ; and the stranger who visits Cincinnati 
during the season of cutting and packing hogs should 
on no account neglect making a visit to one or more 
slaughter-houses and pork-packing establishments in 
the city. 

" It may appear remarkable, in considering the 
facility for putting up pork which many other points 
in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky possess, in 
their greater contiguity to the neighborhoods which 
produce the hogs, and other advantages which are 
palpable, that so large an amount of this business is 
engrossed at Cincinnati. It must be observed, how- 
ever, that the raw materia! in this business — the 
hog— constitutes eighty per cent, of the value when 
ready for sale, and, being always paid for in cash, 
such heavy disbiu^ements are required in large sums, 
and at a day's notice, that the necessary capital is 
not as readily obtainable elsewhere in the West as 
here. Nor, in an article which in process of curing 
runs great risks from sudden changes in weather, 
can the packer protect himself, except where there 
are ample means in extensive supplies of salt, and 
any necessary force of coopers or laborers to put on 
in case of emergency or disappointment in previous 
arrangements. More than all, the facilities of turn- 
ing to account in various manufactiu-es, or as articles 
of food in a dense community, what cannot be dis- 
posed of to profit elsewhere, render hogs, to the 
Cincinnati packer, worth ten per cent, more than 
they will command at other points in the Mississippi 

In the Cincinnati " Price Current " of November 
16, 1844, it was mentioned that a large pork-pack- 
ing house had been established at Louisville, and 
the Louisville "Joiunal" was quoted as saying: 
" Heretofore all the pork killed here has been packed 
at the slaughter-houses, and the purchases have been 
in gross ; but the packing-house on Pearl Street wil! 
now enable dealers to purchase the net pork at the 
slaughter-houses and have it packed in the city, pre- 
cisely as this business is done tn Cincinnati." 

The " Price Current " in the same month said : 
" The number of regular packing- houses at Cincin- 
nati is found to be twenty-six, the most of them 
prepared to do a pretty extensive business, as far as 
the necessary conveniences are concerned ; but only 
a small proportion of them will pack to any consid- 
erable extent on their own account." In 1853-54 
the number of packing-houses there was forty-one ; 
in 1855-56, forty-two houses, Among the various 
points in the region of the Ohio and Mississippi 
rivers where hogs were packed in considerable num- 
bers in the forties were Columbus, Chillicothe, Circle- 

ville, and Hamilton, in Ohio; Lafayette. Lawrence- 
burg, Madison, Terre Haute, and Vincennes, in Indi- 
ana ; Alton, Beardstown, Pekin, Peoria, and Quincy, 
in Illinois; and many places of minor importance. 
The greatest number of places engaged in the hog- 
packing business was reported in 1873— 74, 397 places 
being included in the official reports ; and since that 
time the number has steadily declined, the process 
of concentration in the large centers going steadily 
on, the number in 1894-95 being only 76. 

The first effort at a definite statement of pork 
packing in the West was instituted by Charles Cist, 
of Cincinnati, in the winter of 1832-33. The " Price 
Current " of that city, which was started in January, 
1844, by A. Peabody, inaugurated a more complete 
system of investigation, and this publication has con- 
tinued such statistical work, with a very greatly 
widened scope of investigation in recent years, the 
trade now relying upon its weekly and annual state- 
ments for information concerning this industry, I 
am indebted to my friend, Mr. Charles Murray, the 
present editor and proprietor of the " Price Current," 
for most of the statistical information incorporated 
in this article. 

The first season in which the Western packing 
reached a total of 1,000,000 hogs was in 1843-44, 
the number falling below this point during the next 
three years. The following table shows the number 
of hogs packed in the \Vest up to the beginning of 
summer slaughtering operations : 











J849-to. ::*::: 

1853-54 ■■■"■■■ 
lllf:P ::::::■ 










1862-63 ■■- 




1869-70' "':: 


3,31 i/no 





Prior to 187a summer slaughtering had not 
reached proportions of importance. In that year 
500,000 hogs were killed during the season, and 
subsequently, with the introduction of chilling 
processes, summer killing developed into large pro- 
portions, as is shown by the following comparison 



of yearly totals for the summer and winter seasons, 
and the aggregates : 









tji 81,000 



























«'^ #3 


«'5 * 



jl/L 1 •••••••• 

"|g;p- • •••• 










X ^ ^ 







The summer season covers the period of eight 
months, from March to October inclusive, and the 
winter season four months, November to February 
indugive, in these exhibits. For the past ten years 
the summer packing represents nearly fifty-two per 
cent of the aggregate. It is here shown that from 
abusmess of about 1,000,000 hogs, as the yearly ex- 
tent of Western packing operations fifty years ago, 
Ac growth of this industry brought the annual aver- 
age for the following decade to 1,606,000, during 
^Wch period the largest total was 2,535,000, in 
'^53-54; for the next decade, 1855-56 to 1864- 
^5» the annual average was advanced to 2,613,000 
'^ogs, the largest number being 4,069,000, in 1862- 
^3; for the following decade, 1865-66 to 1874-75, 
"^c annual average reached 3,993,000 hogs, with 
^»766,ooo as the largest nimiber, in the last year of 
*« period; for the next decade, 1875-76 to 1884- 
^5» there was a more striking advance, the annual 
*^erage representing 9,015,000 hogs, with 12,243,- 
^o as the largest yearly nimiber, in 1 880-8 1 . Again 
* large increase is shown for the past decade, 
^ding with 1894-95, for which the annual average 
^ ^2»i39,ooo, and 17,713,000 the largest yearly 
^^ber, in 1890-91. 

For the ten years ending with 1851-52 the pack- 
^8 at Cincinnati represented twenty-seven per cent. 
^^ the total for the West, that city reaching 475,000 
^ in 1848-49. At that time the industry had 

'^^^ly been inaugurated at Chicago, and was of 

unimportant proportions at St. Louis, while Milwau- 
kee, Kansas City, Omaha, and other towns were 
unknown in the packing lists. Railroads penetrated 
the West in 1852, and by 1855 several roads were 
in operation. This influence, tending, as it did, to 
open up the country to settlement, and facilitating 
the exchange of commodities, had a marked effect 
on the extension of the packing business, and in 
changing its geographical position and its character. 
At Chicago about 20,000 hogs were killed in 1850- 
51, and the increase at this point from that time on 
was rapid. In 1858-59, 99,000 hogs were killed in 
Chicago; 505,000 in 1861-62; 1,225,000 in 1871— 
72; 4,009,000 in 1877-78; 5,752,000 in 1880-81 ; 
and in 1890-91, 6,071,000, by far the largest yearly 
total for one city in the history of the industry, Kan- 
sas City coming second with 2,398,764 in the same 

Until 1861-62 Cincinnati continuously main- 
tained its position as the leading packing point in 
the country. In that season the distinction passed 
to Chicago, where it has remained, and is likely to 
continue for a long time. Of the aggregate of 131,- 
000,000 hogs handled by Western packers in the 
past ten years, Chicago represents 46,000,000, or 
thirty-five per cent. During the past ten years 
Western packers have paid out $1,429,000,000 for 
hogs, or an annual average of about $143,000,000, 
reaching $172,679,000 for the year ending March 
I, 1895. These figures relate only to the manufac- 
ture of hog products, and to the business in the West 
prosecuted for commercial purposes. 

While curing operations were carried on in East- 
em markets at an earlier period, what may be termed 
regular packing establishments probably were not 
established there until after the industry had been 
developed in the West. The following is a state- 
ment of the reported sales of beef-cattle, sheep, and 
hogs at Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Balti- 
more, in the year 1844, most of these animals being 
undoubtedly slaughtered for local consumption in a 
fresh state : 


IN 1844. 






New York . . 
Philadelphia. . 
Baltimore . . . 




















The aggregate value of the 623,000 animals mar- 
keted in the four large cities in one year, fifty years 
ago, was $7,500,000. For the year 1894 the re- 
ceipts of cattle, sheep, and hogs at Boston, New 
York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore were as follows : 


IN 1894. 






New York . . . 
Philadelphia. . 


1 76,960 












The total value of the 9,445,000 animals repre- 
sented in the foregoing exhibit for 1894 was approxi- 
mately $ 1 40,000,000. There were exported 421 ,000 
live cattle, valued at $38,963,000, leaving approxi- 
mately 9,000,000 animals for local slaughtering es- 
tablishments at the seaboard, and representing about 
$100,000,000 in value. 

For many years a number of large packing estab- 
lishments have been in operation in Eastern cities, 
notably at Buffalo, Boston, Providence, New Haven, 
and Springfield. At about fifty establishments in 
New England, New York, and Pennsylvania from 
which returns of packing have been obtained, the 
total packing for the year ending March i, 1895, 
was 3,098,000 hogs. The total of these establish- 
ments ten years ago was 1,550,000, which exceeded 
any previous year. The hogs slaughtered the past 
year at the seaboard and other Eastern localities 
represented a value of about $60,000,000, which 
with the amount paid out by Western packers makes 
a total of $232,000,000 for the year's outlay for 
hogs, or an average of about $750,000 daily. 

These statistics indicate in general terms the sig- 
nificant progress of the pork -packing industry in the 
United States, which we may say really had its begin- 
ning about seventy-five years ago. The limits of 
this article will not permit me to explain in detail 
how this vast quantity of meat is to-day handled 
and prepared for market. Naturally, labor-saving 
devices have been adopted as pressing needs dem- 
onstrated their necessity. The killing is done by 
hand, no mechanical means of wholesale slaughter 
having been evolved; but in the manipulation of 
the carcass many ingenious contrivances are utilized. 
The scalding and the scraping of the hog used to 
be a slow and tedious job ; but to-day as soon as 
life has left the animal he is hooked by the nose to 

an endless chain, passed through the scalding-vats, 
and through an automatically adjustable scraper, 
where he is deprived of his hair and bristles in a 
few seconds ; he is then hoisted, head down, upon 
an inclined rail ; and is disemboweled, beheaded, 
washed, trimmed, and whirled off to the chill-rooms 
at the rate of twenty hogs a minute. The cutting 
and curing of the hog, too, is different from the cus- 
tom of early days. Hams, shoulders, sides, or bar- 
reled pork, comprised the selling list of thirty years 
ago. To-day the variety of cuts is bewildering to 
an outsider. The world is to-day the packer's mar- 
ket, and he has to study the peculiarities and prefer- 
ences of each country, and even each county. The 
influence of English county idiosyncrasies in the 
cutting and curing of home-killed bacon is reflected 
to-day in our cuts. Wiltshires, Cumberlands, Staf- 
fordshires, Yorkshires, etc., are only a few of such 
distinguishing styles. 

No one factor has done more to render possible 
the development of the last twenty years in the 
slaughtering, curing, and packing of meats than the 
discoveries seciuring and improving artificial refrig- 
eration. At the bottom of all successful meat curing 
lies the proper and thorough chilling of the carcass. 
The packing season is now twelve months long, and 
summer-cured meat differs in no material respect 
from that cured in winter. 

Beef packing was among the earliest of operations 
in the curing of meat for transportation to other 
localities, as well as for preservation for home de- 
mand. Barreled beef was put up in the West in 
considerable quantities as early as pork, and prob- 
ably earlier, and transported by water to the Eastern 
markets ; and beef packed at Boston, New York, 
New Haven, and other Eastern cities found its way 
all over the world on shipboard. 

The canning of beef was attempted in Chicago in 
the sixties, and enjoyed some little growth ; but it 
was not until the year 1879 that the beef-canning 
business was taken up on a large scale by the pack- 
ers. Mechanical ingenuity, in discovering a sure 
and practicable method of hermetically sealing tins, 
rendered possible the preservation of food in this way 
on a large scale ; and the facih'ties already secured 
by the large packers for disposing of every part of 
the animal placed the business entirely in their hands. 
The convenience of canned beef, tongues, potted 
meats, and soups, and the fact that they could be 
guaranteed to keep sound in any climate for years, 
combined to steadily increase this branch of the in- 
dustry. In 1890, 111,000,000 pounds of canned 
beef were exported. 



The dressed-beef trade, which now forms so large 
a part of the packing business, had little importance 
prior to 1875. '^^^ settlement of the West, and 
the rapid increase in the numbers of cattle on the 
Western ranches and farms, afforded a new and 
bountiful addition to the world's food-supply; but 
it was not until the invention and development of 
refrigerator-cars that the food which the world lacked 
was brought in quantity, and in good condition, to 
its table. The exportation of fresh beef had its 
beginning in a moderate way in the early months 
of the year 1876, and was enlarged with the later 
months, making a total of 19,838,000 pounds for 
the year. For five years, ending with 1880, the 
average was 59,000,000 pounds, reaching 100,622,- 
000 pounds in the last year of the period. For the 
next ten years the annual average was 113,000,000 
potmds, reaching 182,500,000 in the last year of the 
period. For the past four years the average was 
203,000,000 pounds, reaching 233,000,000 pounds 
in 1892. At first the cattle were transported on the 
hoof, and handled in the Eastern cities by the local 
abattoirs ; but the long and tiresome journey was bad 
for the beef, and this method had to give place to 
something less wasteful and more humane. The 
large hog-packing establishments which had already 
grown to prominence in Chicago afforded the neces- 
sary means of effecting the revolution. There the 
offal could be manipulated to better advantage than 
elsewhere. Mechanical skill, as I have said, pro- 
vided the refrigerator-car, cold-air machines, and a 
number of other devices. The packer to-day slaugh- 
ters thousands of head of cattle daily, chills the car- 
casses at a uniform temperature, whether in mid- 
winter or in the " dog days," loads the beef, after 
thorough chilling, into his own refrigerator-cars, in 
which a uniform temperature is maintained between 
Chicago and the Eastern markets, delivers the beef 
into his own cold-storage warehouses in the large 
Eastern centers, and distributes the carcasses to the 
local butchers at a lower price and in better condition 
than the local beef slaughtered by themselves, and 
in vastly better condition than the meat which they 

previously obtained from cattle shipped on the hoof 
1 500 or 2000 miles by rail. If the meat is intended 
for export the packer runs his refrigerator-cars along- 
side the ocean-liners, and transfers the meat to the 
specially constructed chill-rooms of the steamers, and 
lands the beef in London, Liverpool, and Glasgow 
in prime condition and at a low price. There is 
good ground for the view that the cattle-raising in- 
dustry of the West has been greatly benefited by 
this extension of slaughtering through the develop- 
ment of the dressed-beef trade. 

Definite figiu-es illustrating the growth of the 
slaughtering of cattle for commercial dressed beef 
are unfortunately very meager ; but the general piu*- 
pose of such information is served by the introduc- 
tion of statistics indicating the number of cattle killed 
at prominent Western markets where this industry is 
prosecuted. The following compilation shows the 
average annual number of cattle killed in periods 
of five years, from 187 1 to 1890 inclusive, and the 
average annual number for the four years ending 
1894, at the places named: 




St. Louis. 

Kansas City. 


1881-85 .... 

1886-90 ... 
1890-94 ... 


AI 1,000 










The killing of cattle for supplies of commercial 
product has also been prosecuted at various other 
points in the West, including Milwaukee, Sioux City, 
Indianapolis, Cincinnati, and Cleveland. 

The following is a comparison of the number of 
cattle killed in 187 1, 1880, 1890, and 1894, at the 
large Western markets mentioned, with the total re- 
ceipts at Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Bal- 
timore for the same years, with totals for Western 
and Eastern markets mentioned: 



Sc Louis 

Kansas City . 


Foar Western centers 


West and East 








■ ■ • • 












The aggregate value of the 5,037,000 cattle in 
1894 in the several markets where they were killed, 
including the number exported alive (421,000), was 
approximately $235,000,000. 

Incident to traffic in dressed beef, the mutton 
trade has assumed important proportions in late 
years, this product being largely distributed in the 
refrigerator-car shipments of meats. The following 
figures show the number of sheep killed in the four 
Western centers and received at the seaboard cities 
in the years 1871, 1880, 1890, and 1894: 






Sheep, West . . 
Sheep, East. . . 





The published records of the Census Office do not 
give figures showing the capital invested in the pack- 
ing business earlier than 1870. The official figures 
for 1870, 1880, and 1890 are as follows: 

1870 $22,124,787 

1880 49419,213 

1890 116,887,504 

Even after the packing business had assumed 
fairly large proportions, the packers were not aware 
of, or did not appreciate, the value of the offal, and 
the problem of how to get rid of it at the least ex- 
pense was ever present. So recently as twenty-five 
years ago, in Chicago, the blood was allowed to run 
into the river, and men were paid five dollars a load 
to cart the heads, feet, tankage, and other waste 
material out upon the prairie and there bmy it in 
pits and trenches. Instead of being a source of 
profit, the offal, in this respect, was a distinct source 
of expense. Gradually there grew up in the vicinity 
of the packing centers subsidiary enterprises having 
for their object the utilization of some or all of this 
waste material. Such concerns turned out glue, oil, 
tallow, and crude fertilizers. In time, however, the 
necessities of the business, and the growing compe- 
tition, forced the progressive packer to include these 
industries in his own establishment. It became less 
profitable to pack in a small way, and to-day a large 
packing plant depends largely for its profit on the 
intelligent utilization of those so-called waste mate- 
rials which in the early days of the packing business 
were not only thrown away, but the removal of which 
was, as I have shown, an actual source of expense. 

In all this packing business, whether it is in beef 

or hogs, the waste which previously prevailed when 
the animals were handled one by one by local butch- 
ers, or were handled on even a slightly larger scale 
by the numerous small packers that were scattered 
over the States of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, and 
Missouri, or in the East, is, by the present methods, 
entirely obviated. It is the aim that nothing shall 
be wasted. The large packing establishments of 
to-day manipulate their own horns, hoofs, bones, 
sinews, hide-trimmings, etc., in their own glue- works. 
The sweet fat of the cattle forms the basis of butter- 
ine, made in their own butterine factories ; the sheep 
pelts are scoured, and the wool removed in their own 
wool-houses, cleansed, and sold direct to the large 
Eastern cloth-mills. The intestines are cleansed and 
salted and used for sausage casings in their own 
sausage factories. The blood and all animal refuse 
are treated by their chemists in their own fertilizer 
factories, with a view to the scientific preparation of 
fertiKzers to suit different soils ; and in one or two 
packing houses there has been established a labora- 
tory where the inner lining of the hog's stomach is 
made into pepsin of greater purity and activity than 
was possible when the sensitive material had to be 
transported in a raw state, and subjected to all the 
risks of decomposition and consequent loss of diges- 
tive power. 

I do not know of any business in which the de- 
velopment has been so marked in the same length 
of time as in the packing business. It seems a '' far 
cry " from the packing-house which consisted of a 
flatboat on the river to the packing-house of to-day, 
which owns and operates, as part of its equipment, 
6000 refrigerator-cars ; but the distance as measured 
by the lapse of time is only fifty years. I do not 
care to venture a prophecy as to the future. I shall 
leave that to the genial editor who writes, I under- 
stand, on the " Next Hundred Years." The popu- 
lation of the United States in 1871 was about 39,- 
500,000 ; in 1880, 50,1 55,000 ; in 1890, 62,622,000 ; 
in 1894, about 68,000,000. The population in 1894, 
as compared with that of 1871, was as 172 to 100. 
The total number of animals marketed in 1894, as 
compared with 1 87 1 , was as 306 to 1 00. The fierce- 
ness of competition may force the packing-house 
of twenty-five years hence to include a tannery, a 
boot and shoe factory, a cloth-mill, and a mammoth 
tailor-shop, and the tendency to concentration may 
be still further intensified ; but the packing business 
as a whole seems destined for greater development, 
and should grow with the country's growth. 

I^^aXJ. of 



IT is conceded diat the search for gold was in a 
measure one of the propelling forces of discov- 
ery; but the quest for food, and particularly 
for fish food, must also be conddered as a reason 
for the love for wandering. This double incentive 
was conspicuously shown in 1614. Captain John 
Smith, in describing " New England, a part of Amer- 
ica, at the Isle of Monahiggin," writes, " Our plot 
was there to take whales and make trials for a mine 
of gold and copper. If this failed, fish and Airs was 
then our refuge, to make ourselves savors howso- 

The earUest knowledge that edible fish of the kinds 
known in die old world were to be found in abun- 
dance in the waters of the new dates back to the 
time of John Cabot and his sod Sebastian. Under 
a charter granted by Henry VII., John and Sebas- 
tian Cabot reached, in June, 1497, what was proba- 
bly the coast of Labrador. We find on a map of 
somewhat later date (the authenticity of which can- 
not be questioned) a land which bears the name 
"Tierra de los Bacallaos," which, in English, is 
"the Land of the Codfish." Philologists are often 
struck by what may be called the resistance of a 
word to all changes. J. Carson Brevoort has shown 
in the most convincing manner that the Greeks, the 
Latins, the Iberians, the English, and the Dutch all 
derived the name " cod " fi'om the small stick, gad, 
or rod used in drying the gadus, and baculeum in 
Iberian is a small sdck, hence the Spanish baccalaos 
or dried cod. 

In 1415, as stated by Prof. G. Brown Goode, 
English vessels fi'equented the fishing- grounds of 
Iceland, and it is not impossible that these ships 
sailed further westward in search of the cod. If 
tradition is worth anything, the probabilities are 
strong that the hardy Basques reached the northern 
coast of America centuries before Columbus did. 
" The banks of Mewfoondland were among the prin- 

cipal inducements which led England to establish 
colonies in this country, and in the records of early 
voyages are many allusions to the appearance of 
cod." (Goode.) 

Less than a century later, an adventurer petidoned 
Queen Elizabeth (1577), offering to "destroy the 
great Spanish fleet which went every year to the banks 
of Newfoundland for fish for their fasting days." 
Eleven years later (1585), when war was imminent 
between England and Spain, Barnard Drake was 
commissioned to proceed to Newfoundland to warn 
"the English fishery there of the trouble." In 1600 
there are records which show that England em- 
ployed 200 vessels and 1000 men and boys in the 
New England fisheries. With the settlement of Vir- 
ginia the excellence of the fish on the southern coasts 
was cited. " A bold channel so stored with sturgeon 
and other sweet fish as no man's fortune has ever 
possessed the like " (1607). George Percy wrote to 
England of " the good mussels and oysters of Vir- 
ginia " (1606). There is a record of the same time 
describing an encounter with the Indians of Virginia, 
who, having been driven off, " fled, leaving many 
oysters in the fire." The presence of salmon (saUos) 
in Virginia is indicated by a document found in the 
Simancas archives. There is a curious fiagment of 
verse which has come down to us, written by Dray- 
ton (1619-20), entitled "An Ode to the Virginia 
Voyage," where the adventurers are "to get the 
pearle and gold." 

In the study of fish as food, comparing the long 
past with the immediate present, one marked differ- 
ence is in the method of preservarion. Among 
aboriginal races, more particularly those living in the 
far North, climatic conditions permitted conservation 
of fish by the simplest methods of drying, but such 
measures were not possible in warmer zones. The 
method of salting and drying fish, as practised in 
Scandinavia, is of the most remote antiquity. Smok- 



ing fish in order to prepare them for eating, it is be- 
lieved, is of a later date. In the earlier times it must 
have been necessary that a catch of fish should be 
at once landed so that it could be marketed. Later 
came the preparation of fish for future use by salting 
and drying. If the port of final destination were 
far distant, a convenient shore in the proximity of the 
catch had to be found, so that the fish might be 
cured. The early Norseman or Basque of the twelfth 
and thirteenth centuries, or the English, French, or 
Spanish fishermen of the sixteenth and seventeenth 
centuries, must have sought such curing-grounds, 
so that fishing interests had much to do with the 
early founding of colonies. 

Modern methods of preserving fish are refine- 
ments of older processes, the result of a better scien- 
tific acquaintance with the composition of food. If 
there always must exist a demand for cured fish, be- 
cause it can be kept over, and has the advantages 
of small bulk and high nutrient quality, neverthe- 
less the demand for the more natural fi-esh fish re- 
mains constant The first use of ice on board of 
fishing-smacks, it is believed, was by the fishermen 
of the American colonies, the practice always having 
been in vogue among the New England fishermen. 
The reason for it is plain ; the low temperature of 
New England furnished an abundance of ice during 
the winter, but in summer the heat was excessive, 
and fish would spoil. In England and France ice 
always has been, in the past as in the present, an ex- 
pensive luxury. 

The credit for the refrigerating of fish on a large 
scale is to be accorded to Enoch Piper of Maine, 
who first perfected it in the British Provinces. This 
method is now general in all the large cities on the 
American seaboard. The advantages of the refriger- 
ating process are evident In former times, when 
there was a glut of fish, it often had to be destroyed, 
because the expense of handling amounted to more 
than the price offered. To-day, no such waste is 
possible. Whenever fish is landed at the large cities, 
and is low in price on account of catches in excess of 
inmiediate demand, such fish are bought at a fair 
price and stored in refrigerators. In this way the 
labors of the fishermen are not lost, and the stock of 
food is increased. 

Sometimes the idea has been advanced that co- 
operative methods, such as are successfully carried 
out by dairymen, should be used by fishermen. It 
has been proposed that desiccating establishments 
should be organized in the neighborhood of fisheries, 
where the excess of fish might be dried by means of 
approved apparatus. 

An important factor in the extensive use of fish is 
a more expeditious method of transportation. By 
means of rapid transportation, fish from all portions 
of the United States reach in a short time the main 
centers, and distribution on a large scale becomes 
possible. By actual comparison, it is found by look- 
ing over the list of fish offered for sale every day in 
New York, Philadelphia, Boston, and Chicago, that 
the variety offered far exceeds that to be found in 
London, Paris, or Berlin. The large centers of Euro- 
pean population require fish, but those living at some 
distance from the capitals have it only in sparse 
quantity. This arises from want of a better system 
of distribution, or from indifference on the part of 
those who supply the markets. In the New York 
fish markets, as in those of other great centers of the 
United States, fresh fish may be found at all times in 
excellent condition, coming fix>m every portion of 
the country. There are no waters, salt or firesh, 
from Alaska to the Gulf of Mexico, which do not 
contribute their fish to the general markets. Even 
salmon from Kamtschatka, via Bering Strait, have 
been found in Fulton Market, New York. 

The natural increase of any population requires a 
larger supply of all kinds of food, but there is another 
factor to be considered in this — a brief study offish 
alimentation in the United States. In proportion to 
the flesh of domestic animals eaten in this countiy, 
the quantity of fish consumed per capita is larger 
than elsewhere. If there should be the least de- 
crease in any staple article of food, no matter whether 
derivable from an animal or vegetable source, such 
diminution would be at once attended with the 
gravest consequences. Has, then, the supply of fish 
been equal to the demand ? 

For the elucidation of a question of this character, 
not a general but a special area of water, with refer- 
ence to the catch, should be studied. As has been 
before presented, the fishing-banks of Newfoundland, 
first discovered by the Cabots, gave abundance of 
fish during the sixteenth century. Though statistics 
of fishermen cannot be presented with precision^ 
since we learn that in Queen Elizabeth's time there 
were *' a thousand English men and boys " fishing 
there, we may safely believe that, counting the 
Spanish, French, and Dutch fishermen working over 
the same grounds, there were some 5000 men em- 
ployed. For almost 400 years these same waters of 
the Atlantic have been fished, — and by an array of 
fishermen ever increasing, — who have employed for 
the last century very much improved methods of 
taking fish; yet it cannot be said that in these waters 
the staple fish, the cod, has shown any appreciable 



diminution. A vastly increasing quantity of fish 
only could have sufficed the business demands of the 
more numerous fishermen. This constant presence 
of fish is not singular to American waters. The same 
conditions of perennial abundance occur in European 
waters. The European herring, or other fisheries, 
are of the remotest antiquity, yet they still bear the 
stress of the vast requirements of to-day. 

It may then be laid down as a general rule, that 
so far as pelagic or deep-sea fish are concerned, in 
contradistinction to the capture of fish hving in 
dose proximity to the coast, the supply of such 
deep-sea fish is well-nigh inexhaustible, as man's ef- 
fort to diminish their number has so far been with- 
out appreciable effect This was the conclusion 
arrived at by the late Professor Huxley in his ex- 
haustive study of the English fisheries. It is not, 
however, to be questioned, that fi-om causes beyond 
our comprehension certain kinds of fish are in abun- 
dance one year and scarce the next. This may be 
the case of one special fish, but not of all the fish 
firequenting known areas of water. The error made 
by the superficial observer is to give too great 
prominence to the absence of special fish in a par- 
ticular year. When systematic research is made, 
extending over periods of twenty or fifty years, the 
average quantity of pelagic fish is found to be the 
same. A particular fish may be scarce in certain 
waters while abundant in others. Fishermen, when 
the catch is poor off the coast of Massachusetts, 
naturally complain, but are ignorant of the fact that 
north or south of them these same fish are in abun- 

There are exceptions to this general rule as ap- 
pHcable to the constancy of certain pelagic fish. 
In former years what was known as the shore cod 
were in abundance near our coasts. These fish 
have become comparatively scarce to-day. Whe- 
ther too many have been caught, so that reproduc- 
tion became difficult, or for the reason that the 
sources of food for the fish have been diverted, is 
not now known. As far as relates to one fish, the 
halibut, its absence fix>m its former grounds is a 
well-ascertained fact That the halibut is scarcest 
to-day in eastern waters of the United States can- 
not be questioned. The possibiHty is that the old 
halibut groimds have been over-fished. 

It is this ignorance on the part of our legislatures 
of the inexhaustible natiural supplies of pelagic fish, 
which has brought about numerous acts which 
have only resulted in hampering the fishing inter- 
ests of the country. The laws of nature are indif- 
ferent to human laws. '^As early as 1670 laws 

were passed by the Colony of Massachusetts pro- 
hibiting certain instruments of capture, and similar 
ordinances have been passed firom time to time 
ever since. The first recourse of our State govern- 
ments has always been in seasons of scarcity to 
attempt to restore fish to their former abundance by 
protective legislation." (Professor G. Brown Goode.) 
In a careful study made of the mackerel, extending 
over three quarters of a century, there were found 
periods of abundance and scarcity. " These alter- 
nated without the least reference to the alleged 
causes of over-fishing or any particular cause." If, 
then, useless laws were made in what was certainly 
the infancy of American fishing, a better acquain- 
tance with ichthyology should preclude the formu- 
lating of any such restrictive acts to-day, so far as 
deep-sea or free-swimming sea fish are concerned. 

So far the subject of fish as a food-supply de- 
rived from the sea or ocean has been presented, 
and an endeavor has been made to show how un- 
wise and useless it is to place any restrictions on 
the taking of pelagic fish. With fish found in the 
rivers or lakes the conditions are entirely different. 
If it is beyond man's power to exhaust the food de- 
rivable from the sea, this is by no means the case 
with fresh-water fish. There are many fish called 
anadromous, or those which return periodically firom 
salt to fresh water, as the salmon and the shad, and 
these species would be absolutely exterminated if 
man so willed it. These fish, bom at the source of a 
river, go down to the salt water at certain periods 
during their existence, remaining there till, later on, 
urged by the instinct of reproduction, they return 
to their places of origin in the same rivers. The 
period of their return fix)m salt to fresh water, in or- 
der to lay their eggs, is when these fish are caught 
It is precisely at this time that these fish are of ser- 
vice to man, being in their best edible condition. 
It can thus be understood how a river could be so 
cross-barred, by means of nets, as to catch almost 
every anadromous fish ascending the stream. A 
practical example of this may be found in the Co- 
lumbia River, once the finest salmon river in the 
world. The Columbia has supplied canned fish 
during the last quarter of the century, and now, 
from over-fishing, the river is almost depleted of 

The presence of dams for manufacturing purposes 
may or may not have been an industrial necessity, 
but such dams have in the past brought about the 
entire disappearance of salmon and shad in certain 
New England rivers, for the reason that the fish 
could not ascend the streams to lay their eggs. It 



is therefore wise and proper that State legislators 
should pass laws regulating the character of the nets 
to be employed in catching such anadromous fish, 
and fixing certain periods when fish could or could 
not be caught, or establishing what are known as 
close seasons. 

Our great North American lakes, when compared 
with the vast extent of the sea, are restricted areas 
of firesh water. The range of fish in these lakes is 
limited, and their habits can be readily determined. 
If no heed were to be taken as to the seasons of 
spawning of these lake fish, and their indiscriminate 
capture were carried out, the inevitable result would 
be their complete destruction. It is a salutary and 
just provision, that laws should be passed restrict- 
ing fishing in the lakes to certain seasons, and regu- 
lating the size of the meshes of the nets. 

It is therefore evident that with certain firesh- 
water fish, forming a large proportion of our food, 
their present or futxire abundance must depend upon 
protective legislation. But even then the legiti- 
mate supply, bearing in mind the constantly in- 
creasing demand, would be notably decreased if it 
were not for the intelligent methods devised for re- 
stocking with fish depleted rivers and lakes, and 
even in some cases the seas. 

Here the newer science of fish-culture becomes 
important. Fish-culture does not create fish. What 
it does is to study particularly the spawning habits 
of fish. It secures the fecundated eggs, hatches 
them artificially, rears the young fish, cares for them 
up to the period when they are able to provide for 
their own wants, and, lastly, introduces the young 
fiy in quantity in those rivers or lakes where, firom 
over-fishing or other "causes, the fish are wanting. 
Fish-culture has to do with our future supply. It 
plants the fingerling to-day, so that in the years to 
come the little fish, grown to full size, may fiimish 
wholesome food. 

In studying the advance fish-culture has made in 
the United States it is highly flattering to signalize 
the practical good sense and enterprise of a private 
body of citizens, the American Fish Cultural Associa^ 
tion, which first directed public attention to the re- 
stocking of our rivers and lakes. It was through the 
influence of this association that the attention of the 
government was called to the matter, with the re- 
sult of creating the United States Fish Commission 
(1871), with that most distinguished man, the late 
Spencer F. Baird, at its head. With the fiillest ap- 
preciation of the exigencies of the case. Professor 
Baird endowed the study of American fish-culture 
with all the treasures of his scientific and, above all, 

practical mind, and our country will always be in- 
debted to him for the many benefits he has bestowed 
upon it 

It is evident that preservative measures wiU al- 
ways be necessary in order to keep up the average 
stock of useful fish in our rivers and lakes, but when 
we study the condition of the oyster a more serious 
problem is presented. 

The oyster is a type of immobility. If in its em- 
bryotic state it is endowed with motion, in its sub- 
sequent condition it becomes forever fixed. If the 
oyster were taken in an indiscriminate manner. In 
time it would be exterminated. In England and 
France the supply would have ^ed long ago had 
not stringent measures been carried out looking to 
their preservation. In France efforts were directed 
toward restocking old beds and the creation of new 

The oyster-beds of Maryland and Virginia were 
at one time deemed inexhaustible, but constant 
dredging for oysters, the quantity desired being on 
an ever ascending scale, showed that the beds of 
Chesapeake Bay were unable to stand the demands 
made on them. Legislators finally directed their at- 
tention to these oyster-groimds, and to other oyster- 
beds on our North Adantic seaboard, and with good 
effects. Grants were established in some cases, 
making a tide to oyster-beds, or municipalities 
rented oystering privileges. The planting of oysters 
was encouraged, and laws were formulated regulat- 
ing the dredging. The chaotic conditions of some 
fifteen years ago have been changed. Even with 
the many precautions used it is to be feared, such 
is the demand for oysters, that our time of plenty 
has passed, and that the price of the oyster will be 
increased in the years to come. Methods of estab- 
lishing new beds by means of oyster-culture have 
been successfully carried on in France, but do not 
seem to have been available in the United States. 
This arises not fi-om any want of knowledge or skill 
on our part, but because the spat of the American 
oyster has certain peculiarities in which it differs 
from the French oyster. The clam is still abundant, 
nor does there seem to be any reason why for many 
years to come it will not meet the demand. 

Lobsters are becoming scarce. This is caused by 
their having been over-fished in the first place, and, 
secondly, because of the indifference of the captors 
as to the size, condition, and consequently the age 
of the lobster. In a general taking of lobsters, the 
small females having been captured, natural chances 
of reproduction were destroyed. At one time lob- 
sters were fairly abimdant in the waters of New 



York* To-day, few, if any, are caught. The ab- 
sence of lobsters from their former grounds upon the 
North Atlantic seaboard must be noted. Methods 
of fish-culture applied to lobsters have not as yet 
been successfully operated. Legal restrictions in 
regard to the indiscriminate capture of the lobster 
have been exceedingly difficult to carry out. The de- 
mands of the lobster canneries in certain seasons are 
always on the increase, and supervision is apparendy 

Terrapin of the finest variety is becoming very 
scarce. This is due to the overcapture of the North- 
em terrapin. In the South terrapins of not so high 
a quality are still moderately abundant. Fish on 
our American coast are not taken to serve as food 
alone. The menhaden is among our valuable fish, 
as a source whence oil and fertilizing material are 
derived. With a very much increased force of 
fishermen, and with more approved methods of cap- 
ture, the catch of the menhaden is still large. The 
menhaden shows, as do other pelagic fish, that in cer- 
tain years they are more abundant than in others. 

Looking over a list of fish offered in the New 

the halibut. In 1804 Nantucket shoals, or localities 
even nearer to New York, furnished the halibut As 
time went on halibut was fished for near Labrador ; 
then the waters near Iceland were sought by our 
adventurous Gloucester fishermen. At present fi^esh 
halibut comes in good quantity firom Alaska and 
the far northern Pacific. To-day all the ordinary 
fish marketed, taking New York as a center, is de- 
rived, not only firom adjacent seas or rivers, but firom 
waters 800 miles north or 1000 miles south on the 
Atlantic sea-board. 

In presenting such figures as are available, show- 
ing the weight and value of the American fisheries 
for 1870, 1880, and 1890, those of 1870 are not con- 
sidered by the United States Fish Commission as 
absolutely trustworthy. The census of our fisheries 
had not, in 1870, the advantages of the careful 
supervision of the Commission. Unfortimately, too, 
that of 1890 is wanting in some details, the 
work not having been entirely concluded. If, how- 
ever, errors have been made, experts believe that 
the statements as to values are rather under than 












General fishery products . . 
Mammalian prodacts 













York markets in 1804, it will be found to be made 
up of some fifty-seven varieties. Deducting firom 
this list two which are rather unusual and not salable 
to-day, we have fifty-five kinds. To-day seventy-five 
different kinds of sea products may be seen in any 
of the wholesale or retail fish markets in the Ameri- 
can cities of the seaboard, according to the season. 
A notable change is to be found in the places from 
which the fish are obtained. Our great-grandfathers 
who were captains of fishing-smacks caught the 
general run of pelagic fish in about the same areas 
of water as do their great-grandsons, the skippers of 
the Gloucester or New York fishing fleets of to-day. 
By means of transportation other sources of fish fur- 
ther north or south furnish the present additional 

The greatest exception among the deep-sea 
swimming fish, as has been before stated, would be 


AND 1890. 


Fiscal Year 

Fiscal Ybar 

Fiscal Ybar 

Fish and shellfish 

Oils and spermaceti . . 









In 1875 the value and extent of the fisheries 
carried on by the port of Gloucester alone was es- 
timated at $4,059,500. In 1876 it was worth $4,- 
648,000. This was one only of many towns which 
kept out fleets on the Atlantic and in the bays and 
sounds of New England. For this same year (1876) 
Professor Baird estimated that the yield of the fish- 


eries prosecuted in vessels and from the ports of the 
United States amounted to : 

KiKD. P<.U«DS. 

Codfish 7i.373.9<» 

Mackerel 3O1S43.500 

Herring 23,318,700 

Other fish II.S03.S40 

Fresh fish not cured 99i677.9ii 

It must be bome in mind that twenty yeais ago 
the fisheries of the North Pacific were in their 

It has been possible for the United States Custom 
House to determine, with a fair amount of accuracy, 
the total tonnage of vessels employed in the cod, 
mackerel, and whale fisheries for a series of years. 
In 1800 the total tonnage was 35,626 tons; in i8ao, 
1,108,464; in 1840, 241,232; in i860, 329,605; 
and in 1880, 115,946. The diminution of tonnage 
is due to the withdrawal of the large vessels em- 
ployed in the whale fisheries. 

The abstract taken from the last census presents 
many remarkable features. In 1890 there were 
163,348 persons employed, with a capital invested 
of $43,602,123, returning products worth $44,277,- 
514. There were 7257 vessels, with a net tonnage 
of 174,020, worth $11,133,265. Marj-land, with 
her oyster fisheries, had the most men, 36,436; 
Massachusetts was the next with 16,250 men. 
New York had 9321 employed. California had 
3094 men. Dividing the value of (he products, the 
general fisheries were worth $26,747,440; the whale 
fisheries $1,697,875; the seal fisheries $438,218; 
menhaden fisheries $1,817,878; oyster fisheries $13,- 
294,339; and the sponge fisheries $281,754. 

The latest statistics of the fishing business of the 
States of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, 
Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and the District of 
Columbia (1894-95) show 91,000 people em- 
ployed. The value of the oyster product alone was 
$12,400,000. Shad was worth $i,zi6,ooo. In the 
oystering business the investment in Maryland was 
$7,649,904, and the oyster product represented $5,- 
259,865. The total weight of the product from the 
water was 590,454,369 pounds, worth $19,023,474. 

The weight of fish caught was : 

1874 295.726,800 

18S0 465,6do,o<» 

1890 332,211,600 

1894 . . 324.ai7.*°o 

The oil exported in 1894 was 430,389^^ gallons. 

The particulars of the menhaden industry are of 
great interest, because they are carried out upon the 
Middle Atlantic seaboard in a more systematic way 
than any other fishery. The catch, it will be no- 
ticed, was the lightest in 1874, and the heaviest in 
1880; but the takes in 1890 and the last year far 
exceeded that of 1874, which tends to prove that 
with fish having powers to move as they please, 
man's efforts to lessen their numbers materially by 
capture become impossible. 

A statistical study of the weight and values of 
fisheries on the Pacific coast, from the watere of San 
Francisco Bay to Alaska, is not yet possible. On 
the Columbia River the canning of salmon began in 
1866, with 4000 cases, and in 1889 reached 309,885 
cases. Then came the exhaustion of the Columbia 
River. In 1S83 the salmon of Alaska were first 
canned, and in that year 6000 cases were marketed. 
In i8go the enormous total was 610,717 cases. In 
the seven years from 1883 to i8go this would have 
meant a consumption of 27,706,958 salmon. There 
can be no question as to the speedy extermination 
of the salmon in some of the Alaskan rivers. 

As to the cod and other pelagic fish of the North- 
western Pacific waters of the United States, there is 
no reason to suppose that they are in less quantity 
than on the Atlantic seaboard. With each succeeding 
year, these fish fi^m the Pacific will find their way all 
along the great lines of railroad from the West to the 
East, and in increasing quantities. 

Extensive canneries, many of them devoring their 
attention to the herring and lobster, are found on the 
eastern coast of the United States, and they contrib- 
ute largely to our stock of food. On the California 
coast the presence of the true sardine has been noted. 
When there shall be oHve-culture in California, sar- 
dines, as they are put up in France, will unquestion- 
ably be added to our home fish food. 

MENHADEN INDUSTRY — SEASONS 1874, 1880, 1890, and 1894. 







NuxoEi or 
Fish Cauckt. 

















Fish-culture has been of great benefit to California. 
The shad, at one time unknown in the Pacific rivers, is 
now to be found there in abundance, its original pro- 
genitors having been taken thither from the Atlantic 
seaboard. California shad exceed ours in size, and 
from their abundance arc cheaper. The striped bass 
(Reecus iineatus), now abundant in California, is also 
due to fish-culture. 

There is no reason to suppose that there will ever 
be any diminutiou in the supply of fish. There is 
no limit as to the area of American waters where edible 
fish are to be found. And, as has been shown, there 
can be no reason why our stock of anadromous fish 
should ever be sensibly diminished. The only ex- 

ception recorded so far, as to the constancy of our 
North American pelagic fish, was the absence of the 
tilefish. It disappeared some time in 1S82, due, it 
is believed, to a sudden change of temperature in 
the deep waters. After ten years of absence, the tile- 
fish {Lophoiatiius chamaieonticeps) has again put in 
an appearance. 

It is needless to dwell further on the present facil- 
ities of transportation, which will undoubtedly be 
increased in the immediate future, nor comment on 
the very much more perfect means which are appli- 
cable to the preservation of all perishable products. 
The catch of 1S95, it is considered, has a value of 



THE development in this country of the prac- 
tical arts pertaining to the hermetical sealing 
of food, now so well known under the generic 
title of canning, is an interesting feature of the com- 
mercial growth of this country. Evolved from the 
Studious and observaiit brain of an humble French- 
man, and tested through years of his plodding expe- 
rience, the new method came amidst the throes of 
the French Revolution, in the year r793, a veritable 
of&pring of the First Repubhc About fourteen 
years later the French government, under Napoleon 
the Great, awarded the discoverer the prize of 
francs, which long before had been offered for a 
method that would preserve alimentary substances 
without robbing them of their natural qualities and 
juices. Nicholas Appcrt, bomin r75o, spent his life 
in brewing, wine-making, pickling, and the making 
of confectionery, Kving over ninety years, and con- 
tinuing to the last to invest all funds he could obtain 
in the prosecution of his investigation in these differ- 
ent lines. He died, in 1841, neglected and alone. 
His children have received some benefit from his 
labors, the title of Chevalier being borne by a de- 
scendant of his to-day, indicating that the cross of 
the Legion of Honor had been awarded to him in 
recognition of his merits. This industry, which has 
now become essentially American, begins, therefore, 
exacdy within the century to which this work ap- 
plies. Appert had obtained financial assistance from 
English sources, and as a result we find that, about 
i8ro, his method was being used in the factories of 
an English firm of purveyors. 

In that year, a patent was granted in England to 
one Peter Durand, for a can, made of tin, to be used 
in hermetically sealing food, the patent also covering 
die use of glass, pottery, and other fit material. In 
the letters patent, it is stated that the new method 
was communicated to him by a foreigner residing 
abroad. Ezra Daggett, who was in the employment 

of this English firm, brought the secret, it is believed, 
to America between 1815 and 1818. In 1819, he 
was engaged in the packing of hermetically sealed 
food by this process in New York dty, in company 
with his son-in-law, Thomas Kensett. The descend- 
ants of Mr. Kensett sdll have some cans of these 
goods in their possession which were put up in 1832, 
as tlie labels show. Salmon and lobster were among 
the earliest goods packed, and oysters also were pre- 
served, according to these labels. In 1825, a patent 
was granted to Ezra Daggett and Thomas K.ensett 
for an improvement in the art of preserving. The 
can was then called a " case," the Label containing 
directions for opening it. 

About the same time that Daggett came to 
America from England, Charles Mitchell arrived in 
Boston from Scotland. He was bom in London, 
there learning the canning business as an apprentice. 
He left London in 1820, and on reaching Boston al- 
most immediately entered the employment of Will- 
iam Underwood, who established the firm of William 
Underwood & Company, in 1833, to hermetically seal 
food. There is a lack of information concemiDg the 
development of the industry during the next twenty 
years, but it was throwing out roots fivm the New 
York and Boston plants. In 1843, the firm of Treat, 
Haliday & Company were canning lobsters in New 
Brunswick, and salmon in Maine. There is a suppo- 
sition that Haliday brought the process from Scot- 
land and joined Treat about 184.0. Already there 
was a known distinction between the French (01 Ap- 
pert) process and the Scotch method. Appert used 
glass vessels only, but the Scotch method required 
the puncturing of the tin after the first cooking, and 
then recooking after the hole was soldered. About 
1846, Wells, Miller & Provost had a packing-house 
in New York, on Front Street, near Peck SUp. ; W. R. 
Lewis & Bro. established a factory at Portland, Me.; 
and E. C. Wright began packing oysteis in Balti- 



more, having obtained his knowledge of the process 
from Thomas Kensett the first At this time cans 
were made by the regular tin-workers, but cappers 
were becoming a regular branch of the business. 

Henry Evans, Jr., a tin- worker by trade, learned the 
process while working as a capper for Wells, Miller & 
Provost In 1848, he went to Eastport to pack 
lobsters for that firm; in 185 1 going to Baltimore 
and later engaging with Thomas Kensett the second, 
who had formed a partnership with Ira Wheeler in 
New York. In 1849, Evans had a factory at New- 
ark, N. J., for Kensett & Company, and here were 
packed supplies of firesh vegetables for Dr. Kane's 
Arctic Expedition. These included tomatoes, on- 
ions, potatoes, and cabbage. Some time after this 
Evans went to the West Indies, where he packed 
for Kensett & Company the first pineapples ever 
packed in that way in those islands. 

About 1850, the business began to develop rapidly, 
and its history is difficult to follow. The oyster 
business of Baltimore and the lobster and sardine 
fisheries of Maine were the principal bases of exten- 
sion. William Numsen & Sons began work in this 
business in Baltimore in 1847; in 1849, they were 
packing cove oysters. Tomatoes, peaches, pears, and 
other articles were put up about the same time, the 
process being applied to nearly all the firesh foods in 
the different canneries. A number of active New 
Englanders located in Baltimore, embarking in the 
zaw -oyster shipping business, and in time many of 
them began hermetically sealing oysters. The widow 
of Thomas Kensett the first sold the secret to Holt 
& Maltby and others, and thus they got into the 
cove-oyster packing. This title of " cove oysters " 
has come to be recognized as the specific name for 
hermetically-sealed cooked oysters. "Cove" oys- 
ters were firom coves famous for the size and quaHty 
of their oysters, which were located on the west side 
of Chesapeake Bay, above the Potomac. The can- 
ning business has given them immortality. 

For the first half of the century the industry was 
obliged to produce all the supplies it needed by hand- 
labor, and even after canneries multiplied, the output 
was necessarily restricted, because of the number of 
hands required and the cost of the goods, based en- 
tirely on hand-labor. This industry is the connect- 
ing link between agriculture and manufactures, the 
can being an essential to the foods in this condition ; 
and the food is the raison d^Stre of the can — useless 
each without the other. The manufacturing lines 
that have received an impulse firom the introduction 
of this industry are those that imite in the production 
of die can, the cases, labels, and canning machinery. 

Previous to 1850 the cans were made by hand, 
usually by cutting out the tin blanks with shears, 
beating the ends into shape with a mallet over a 
former of some kind, and cutting the opening with 
a hand-punch and mallet Originally the opening 
was covered on the flat top by a flat circular piece 
of tin, well soldered down. The first can-making 
machinery we have any authentic record of was 
naturally adapted from such as tinsmiths used, they 
being the first providers of cans for the packers, but 
in 1849 Evans, at Newark, N. J., introduced the use 
of the " Pendulum " press, for making can- tops. This 
same press came to Baltimore in 1851. With this 
press Evans introduced the crease and convex cap. 

The California gold-fever gave a great impetus to 
the canning industry, and the list of the new firms 
that entered the business during the ten years fi-om 
1850 to i860 would be too long to insert here, even 
if it could be made up with accuracy. Two historic 
firms arose just previous to the close of the first half 
of the century — Rumery & Biunham of Portland, 
Me., and Louis McMurray of Baltimore. The former 
was merged at the close of the war into the firm of 
Davis, Baxter & Company, a firm then well estab- 
lished. Later, this became the famous Portland 
Packing Company. 

The Civil War gave another impulse to the in- 
dustry, many of the established firms canning meat 
on government contracts. The canning of milk, 
under the title of condensed milk, resulted in a wide 
extension of the industry as previously carried on. 
Condensed milk, produced by evaporation and pre- 
served with sugar, became a regular article of com- 
merce; large quantities of it were used by the 
commissariat of the United States army. In i860, 
the New York Condensed Milk Company of New 
York was in full operation, Mr. Borden being a 
stockholder of the company. In 1863, William 
Numsen & Sons of Baltimore were handhng such 
large quantities in this same line that they formed 
the Baltimore Condensed Milk Company, in which 
Mr. Borden was also interested. On November 4, 
1856, a patent was issued to Gail Borden of New 
York for this method, and imder the same date 
another for an improved method that dispensed with 
the boiling. 

On April 8, 1862, a patent was issued to I. Win- 
slow of Philadelphia for a new method of preserving 
green com, which was the regular Appert process for 
hermetically sealing goods. Winslow assigned this 
to J. W. Jones, of Portland, Me. It is understood 
that Winslow learned this art in France, when on a 
visit there in 1840. Nathan Winslow of Portland, 



Me., is said to have been the first who commercially 
canned sugar com, and the Winslow Packing Com- 
pany has ever since been famous for its canning of 
this vegetable. There is reason to believe that the 
industry was first carried into the Mississippi Valley 
by the same Henry Evans, Jr., who was in Balti- 
more with Thomas Kensett the second. Evans, 
who was at that time a member of the firm of Evans, 
Day & Co., was returning East in 1873, when he 
happened to He over at Circleville, Ohio. There he 
met Mr. C. E. Sears, who was engaged in drying 
sugar-corn, such as is known as shaker com. He 
found he could purchase cut com, fresh and sweet, at 
a price per can far below the cost of the com in the 
husk at Baltimore. His firm bought largely of it 
that season, besides fitting up a cannery at Circle- 
ville to can it there. The next year, however, the 
cannery was sold to Mr. Sears. This same factory, 
greatiy extended by Mr. Sears, is now owned and 
operated by his widow, Mrs. C. E. Sears, so success- 
fully that in 1894 she packed the largest output of 
sugar-corn of any factory in the West, if not in the 

In the spring of 1864, the business of canning sal- 
mon was begun by the firm of Hapgood, Hume & 
Company, at Washington, Yolo County, Cal., on the 
Sacramento River. In two years, salmon became 
scarce there, and after an inspection tour the firm 
built a cannery at Eagle Cliff, on the Columbia River, 
Washington. This factory began operations in 1867. 
The development of the Pacific Northwest was due 
more to the salmon industry than to any other single 

In 1866, Mr. G. C. Van Camp, of Indianapolis, 
Ind., began packing all kinds of fruits and vegetables 
in six-gallon cans, the goods being sold in the city 
markets by the pint or quart. In 1868, he went 
into the regular canning business, mostly in No. 2 
cans. Mr. G. W. Baker began the canning of sugar- 
com in Aberdeen, Harford County, Md., in 1866, 
and several of his sons still continue in the business. 

Between 1877 and 1885 canneries developed in 
great numbers, Harford county, Md., alone having 
over 400. At the same time firms spread through 
all the States of the West, mainly packing sugar- 
com and tomatoes. There had been many efforts 
to introduce machinery into the packing-houses, but 
it was generally resisted by the employees, led by 
the cappers, on whom depended the proper sealing 
of the cans. This important function had been or- 
ganized into a regular system, one boss capper taking 
the capping of an entire factory and, in some places, 
of several factories. For the sake of having expe- 

rienced cappers in season the firms would keep them 
employed in making cans during the winter months, 
so even the making of cans was largely governed by 
these employees. Machines to do capping had been 
invented, but proved to be unpractical until, about 
1883, Mr. I. H. Cox, of Bridgeton, N. J., introduced 
a hand-capper which proved a success. Very soon 
thereafter machines for all kinds of operations in the 
business were introduced. As machinery multiplied, 
country canneries increased in number because it 
supplied the place of hands, which the rural sections 
lacked. By 1892 the variety of machinery special 
to this industry had increased to such an extent that 
in that year, at an exhibition of canners' supplies 
held in the city of Chicago, in connection with a 
convention of the Western Packers' Association, Mr. 
Buchanan, Chief of the Department of Agriculture 
of the Columbian Exposition, who had been invited 
to see it, stated to the Chief of the Department of 
Machinery that it was extraordinary and novel. Al- 
most every operation was done by machinery, and 
the business of " packers* supplies " has become a 
large one. The introduction of machinery greatly 
reduced the price of goods and increased the output 
Meantime the old, original method of cooking (or 
processing, as it is called) the goods in open kettles 
in plain boiling water was improved upon by adding 
salt to the water to increase its density and thus gain 
greater heat and quicker results. About 1858 this 
was further improved by substituting chloride of cal- 
cium for the salt; and later, steam-kettles, having 
a cover and containing a coil of steam-pipe, were 
patented by A. K. Shriver and G. W. Fisher, both 
of Baltimore, and these have superseded all other 
methods for processing foods. Machinery likewise 
revolutionized the making of cans, until at present 
they are made by hundreds of millions in special 
factories, by '^ systems " that have almost banished 
the use of manual labor in their production. 

The growth of the industry, the multitude of 
firms, the rapid cheapening of the goods, and the 
popularity of the business, which requires hermetical 
sealing and therefore exclusion of the goods from 
sight, made the fixing of grades and terms of sale 
and delivery absolutely necessary. Growing in a 
century from nothing to a vast industry, and pecu- 
liar in its nature, it was entirely without commercial 
rules. The first commercial organization of packers 
of canned goods met at Philadelphia in October, 
1872, but had only a brief existence. In February, 
1883, a Canned Goods Exchange was organized in 
Baltimore, that city then being the great center and 
producer of these goods. Mr. A. L. Scott was its 



first president, and Mr. R. T)mes Smith its first secre- 
tary. The intention was to have regular sales on 
the floor daily, but this plan was abandoned. It, 
however, adopted grades for goods, rules and terms 
to govern transactions, and laid the foundation of 
commercial procedure for the business. 

In 1885 the packers of the Mississippi Valley or- 
ganized in Chicago under the tide of the Western 
Canned Goods Packers' Association, with William 
Ballinger, of Keokuk, la., as president, and L. G. 
Seager, of Gilman, la., as secretary, and this has been 
a successfiil and powerfiil influence in the business, 
imder the guidance of wise and tireless officers. It 
is based on the principle of mutual exchange of pri- 
vate statistics among members. The packers of the 
State of New York organized about the same year, 
with T. L. Bunting, of Hamburg, as president, and 
J. G. Gibson, of Utica, as secretary, with quarterly 
meetings and the statistical principle. Virginia and 
New Jersey organized about two years later, each 

The basis of a national association was laid at 
Indianapolis, in February, 1889, at a meeting of a 
number of representatives of the local associations, 
thus making it of a federal nature ; the plan being 
submitted by Mr. Bunting, of New York. This was 
consummated at a meeting in Baltimore in May of 
the same year, by representatives firom all the minor 
associations. Mr. L. G. Seager, of Gilman, la., was 
chosen its first president, and Mr. £. S. Judge, the 
publisher of " Trade," as secretary. There is no- 
thing of the nature of a trust in the organizations 
of the packers ; they are based entirely on the ad- 
vantage of mutual information and general busi- 
ness rules. 

In 1894, the Peninsula Packers' Association was 
organized at Dover, Del., with James Wallace as 
president and C. M. Dashiell, of Princess Anne, 
Mi, as secretary. The " Atiantic States Canned 
Goods Packers' Association " was also organized in 
the Ian of the same year, at Baltimore, with E. H. 
Thuiston, of Mechanic Falls, Me., as president, and 
H. P. Cannon, of Bridgeville, Del., as secretary. 
These bodies are also members of the National 

In 1894, there were in the United States over 
19^ known canned-goods packing- firms, distributed 
^ong forty-two States and operating about 2000 
^^^^es, of which Maryland had twenty-five per 
^^; Maine, seven per cent; New York, six per cent.; 
^hio, Illinois, and Virginia, three and one half per 
^^ each; California, five per cent.; Indiana, three 
P^ <^t, and the other States ranging firom fifty-six 

factories in Pennsylvania down to one in Arizona. 
The total output of canned goods is computed to 
have been about 700,000,000 cans of all sizes and 
kinds. The principal articles packed are tomatoes, 
com, milk, oysters, corned beef, salmon, sardines, 
peaches, peas, beans, apples, pears, pineapples, small 
firuits, and pumpkins. They are important in about 
the order given, although values of the aggregate 
packs may not run in the proportion of the number 
of cans. 

There is a species of sectionalism about the pack- 
ing, due mainly to climatic influences. Thus, the 
principal corn-packing States are Maine, New York, 
Maryland, Illinois, Iowa, and Kansas. Tomatoes 
are more southern in their trend — New Jersey, 
Maryland, Indiana, Virginia, and Kentucky being 
the heaviest packers, while New York, Ohio, and 
Illinois have the principal milk-canneries. Cove 
oysters are confined to Maryland, Virginia, North 
Carolina, Florida, and Mississippi. Beef has been 
packed in many sections, but the States north and 
west of the Ohio now almost monopolize this line of 
canning. Salmon is now only packed on the Pacific 
Coast, and Alaska is the main source of supply 
for the market, the canneries multiplying there as the 
fish have fled from the over-fishing of civilization. 

Maine monopolizes the American sardine-pack- 
ing, as it does lobster-packing, except what is done 
in Canadian waters. Peaches are packed principally 
in Maryland, Delaware, California, and Michigan; 
Georgia is, however, annually increasing the number 
of her canneries of this fruit. Peas are packed prin- 
cipally in Maryland, New York, Ohio, Indiana, and 
of late in Delaware ; but many of the States in the 
upper Mississippi Valley are steadily increasing their 
output. Beans are of three kinds: string beans, 
baked beans, and lima beans. The first named are 
a heavy but profitiess pack, being put up in all 
sections to fill time between other crop seasons; the 
second have their headquarters in Massachusetts, 
though New York is a strong second, and the arti- 
cle is being added to the list of packers' products in 
canning-houses everywhere. Lima beans find most 
packers in New York, Maryland, California, and 
Ohio; the Pacific Coast furnishing large quantities 
that in a mature state come east to be packed in 
winter as soaked goods. Apples are annually be- 
coming a heavier pack in tin — Maine, New York, 
Maryland, Ohio, Illinois, Iowa, and Kansas putting 
up large amounts, and the industry is spreading to 
the new apple fields of Washington and Oregon. 
New York and California are the principal packers 
of pears, Maryland and Delaware also doing much 



in them. Fineapples, now one of the favorite firuits 
in tin, are packed mainly at Baltimore, Md, but the 
packing of them is extending in all directions. Small 
fruits have declined in the quantity packed till the 
pack of 1894 was probably not over one fourth the 
number of cans put up in a year fifteen years ago. 
California is the great packing region for small 
fruits, but a varying amount is annually put up by 
canners in all sections. Pumpkin is almost entirely 
confined to the Nonhcm Sutes. Soups are packed 
principally in New York and Illinois, but the output 
of this class of goods is being increased by large can- 
neries in several of the other States. There is an 
almost endless line of varieties of canned goods, from 
green figs in Mississippi and Texas to turtlein Florida, 
and dandelions and mince-meat pies in New York. 

The annual aggregate value of these goods amounts 
in an average year to over $71 ,350,000. At 500 cases 

to the car and two dozen cans to the case, they would 
need 58,750 box-cais to carry the pack annually. 
Besides the market it has made for the agriculturist, 
it has made a demand for labor in the cannery and 
its work, which requires at least 400,000 people in 
the height of the season. They would require over 
3,000,000 boxes of tin-plate for the cans, about 
30,000,000 cases, and 700,000,000 labels. Such is 
the business to-day that 100 years ago had just 
been shown to the public in a foreign country. The 
genius of this American republic seized on this idea 
of the humble Frenchman, and has made of it a great 
industry and a new article of quotation in the mar- 
kets of the world. Its vasmess is due entirely to 
the ability of the American workmen to secure and 
consume the good things of life which Heaven sends 
us and genius pres«ves for us in all climates and all 

L'harlls Caki'v, 



THE history ot the wine business in the 
United States is very recent. It is recorded 
that the first attempt to cultivate American 
vines by European colonists was made in Florida. 
Ii is well known that in 1769 the French colonists 
of Illinois, near the town of Kaskaskia, made wine 
from the native wild grapes, and even as early as 
1630 the London Company sent French vineyard- 
isis to Virginia 10 plant vines. Many efforts were 
made in the eighteenth century to introduce the 
tender European rine, and to adapt it to the harsh 
clunate of the Eastern States ; but without excep- 
tion the attempts proved abortive. 

In the nineteenth century there must have been 
several hundred failures in the same attempt, and in 
1851, Downing, writing in the "American Horti- 
cultuiist," said : " The introduction of European 
vines In America for cultivation on a large scale is 
impossible. There is first a season 01 so of promise 
and then complete failure." 

Several of the French settlements in the Ohio 
Valley succeeded in raising grapes to a limited ex- 
tent, and early in the century some Swiss from 
Vcvay planted a town in Indiana and attempted 
the culture of vines on a large scale ; but it proved 
imsaccessful, although a certain quantity of wine 
was produced. The first successful grower was 
Longworth, of Cincinnati, who in the forties and 
fifties raised many grapes and produced some wine. 
It was of his Catawba wine that Longfellow wrote 
his inspiring lines. Many other kinds were tried at 
the time, and while Mr. Longworth lived, a fair re- 
turn was secured, although possibly at too great a 
cost, for Cincinnati is not now a grape center. 
Commercially speaking, wine making was not car- 
ried on to any extent in the Eastern United Stales be- 
fore the Civil War. Underbill, in his vineyard upon 
the Hudson, and a few others, made wine ; but the 
sale was small, although grapes were beginning to 
be produced in abundance. The islands in Lake 

Erie, which were perhaps the first wine -producing 
centers of the Atlantic States, practically began to 
be known about 1857. 

The history of vine cultivation in California is like 
a romance. Where the earliest vines came from no 
man knows ; but, under the famihar cognomen of 
the " mission " grape, the vine was brought sup- 
posedly from Spain by way of Mexico. It was 
cultivated to a considerable extent around the old 
missions which were founded ui southern CaUfomia 
during the second half of the last century. The 
priests planted small tracts close to the missions, 
cared for the vines jealously, and surrounded them 
by high adobe walb. The cultivation was careful, 
and an abundance of fruit was grown, from which 
wine was made. What the latter was can be judged 
from the harsh qualities of the small quantity of 
mission claret made in California to-day. As far as 
can be learned, the product of the vineyards of the 
mission fathers did not enter into the trade of those 
days, which was largely in hoofs, hides, and tallow ; 
but iheir wines were used upon the tables of the 
priests, ser\'ed to the occasional visitors at the mis- 
sions, and dealt out to the immediate retainers of 
each establishment. 

E\'en after the arrival of the American settlers, 
in 1849, as well as of representatives from every 
nationahty on the globe, next to no advance was 
made toward increasing the area of land devoted to 
viticulture until the year 1858, when, through the 
publication of articles devoted to wine growing, in 
the report of the State Agricultural Society and in 
the newspapers, a wide-spread interest was mani- 
fested in vine planting, and the area thus required 
in California was suddenly largely increased. 

Many of the vineyards planted in the years im- 
mediately after 1858 were devoted to grapes for 
table use, and the remainder were almost exclusively 
planted with the old mission grape. The centers of 
production in those days were in southern California 



(in the San Gabriel Valley, and about the old town 
of Anaheim) and in the Sonoma Valley around the 
town of Sonoma. 

Toward 1862 vine planting became almost a 
matter of general enthusiasm. In 1861 Governor 
John G. Downey appointed three commissioners to 
report upon the best ways and means of promoting 
the improvement and cultivation of the vine. One 
of these commissioners went to Europe, and, after 
visiting all the European districts, made an elaborate 
report upon the methods of cultivating the vine, 
making wine, and curing raisins, bringing with him 
on his return 200,000 grape-vine cuttings, with 
rooted vines of every obtainable variety to be found 
in Europe, Asia Minor, Persia, and Egypt. This 
collection embraced about 400 varieties, and in it 
was brought, presumably from Hungary, the Zin- 
fandel, which has been so prominent in the later pro- 
duction of wine in California. 

Between 1870 and 1875 the making of wine had 
so largely increased that the consiunption was more 
than met. As a natural consequence, in compli- 
ance with the laws of trade, there was a great de- 
pression in prices, and many vineyards were rooted 
out. In 1879 the demand again caught up with the 
supply, and there was a new era of vine planting. 
It was not until 1 880 that the great body of viticul- 
turists of that State had begun to believe that other 
varieties of grapes, aside from the old mission, were 
suitable for wine making. Before that time few 
believed that any grape could be as good as the 
mission. Experience, however, has proved that 
California soil is well adapted to the fine varieties of 
European grapes. In point of fact, most of the vine- 
yards there are planted with varieties more hardy, 
more resistant to disease, more consistent bearers, 
and producing finer qualities and greater quantities 
than the mission ever succeeded in doing, even 
under the most favorable conditions. 

Following the persistent efforts of enterprising 
viticultiuists, the great quantity of the wine made 
is now produced from imported varieties, whose 
character is so distinct, and whose quality is so 
superior to wines made from the mission grape, that 
new faith in the future of California wines has been 
born ; and the belief has spread that under proper 
conditions the State makes wine of a high average 
grade, and eventually may rival some of the classic 
growths of the Medoc and of Burgundy. 

The new era began in 1880. In spite of the 
efforts made by wine makers and wine merchants, 
only a limited market had been seciu'ed for Cali- 
fornia wines in Eastern States, plainly shown by the 

fact that the total shipments out of the State by sea 
and by rail in that year were but 2,487,353 gallons, 
valued at $i,343ii7o, while the exports of this year 
(1895) are expected to approximate 15,000,000 gal- 
lons, valued at about $6,000,000. 

In the latter part of 1879, ^^^ ^^ short vintage 
of that year had been gathered in, it was found that 
most of the old stock had been exhausted. Sud- 
denly the price of all kinds of wine went up, and the 
supply was barely sufficient to meet the demands of 
the market. This at once awakened a more general 
interest in wine growing ; but there was a woful lack 
of knowledge on the part of the growers, and only a 
few acknowledged authorities to which to apply for 
information. Numerous newspaper articles ap- 
peared calling attention to the value of viticulture 
in that State, and expressing a desire for the foima^ 
tion of some State institution where such practical 
knowledge might be obtained as was necessary for 
the conduct of this important branch of agriculture. 
Under these circumstances the State legislature took 
the matter up, and in March, 1880, the State Board 
of Viticultiure was created, and provided with funds 
to meet its necessary expenditiures. 

This board has been in existence for fifteen years, 
and under its direction all the standard literature in 
the English language on vine planting, vine culti- 
vation, cellar management, distillation, and every 
branch of vinicultiure and viticulture, has been col- 
lected and published. The wealth of information 
to be found in French, German, and Italian works 
has all been drawn upon and compared with the 
actual experiences in California. Besides this, the 
board has been instrumental in procuring State laws 
promoting the making of pure wines, and in attending 
to matters of national legislation pertaining to the 
wine and brandy interests, and has exercised a 
fostering care over those who intended to plant 
vines, the cellarmen, wine makers, and wine ship- 
pers. Its cost to the State has been nominal com- 
pared with the returns that have resulted from its 

At the present time wine making in California is 
one of the best paying agricultural industries, not 
only in that State, but in the United States. Wheat 
is depressed beyond example ; barley has at present 
a comparatively low value ; wool is scarcely worth 
the cost of shearing; the hop-fields, not only in 
California, but in New York, Oregon, and other 
producing States, are being sadly neglected on ac- 
count of the great cost of picking ; the fruit business 
at best is, particularly in California, one which de- 
pends largely on the failure of the Eastern crop to 



insure good prices for Western producers ; oranges 
are subject to every conceivable sort of fluctuation ; 
while wine is returning a handsome profit to the 

There are two reasons for this. First, not only 
are the producers combined, but there is an era of 
good feeling existing among the shippers without 
parallel, perhaps, in the history of the California 
trade. The second reason is that there is no over- 
production of wine. The shipments to the Eastern 
States, to Central America, Hawaii, Europe, and 
elsewhere, added to the California consmnption 
of about 8,000,000 gallons, more than offset the 
production. No new vineyards are coming into 
bearing, whQe many of the old vineyards are being 
gradually killed by phylloxera. It will take at least 
six or eight years before the wine production of 
California can be materially increased, and for 
that time the wine industry will have to meet 
steadily increasing demands upon it, both in quality 
and quantity. There is, therefore, every prospect 
of an era of prosperity for at least ten years to 

While I have thus far given a history of viticulture 
in California, with which I am particularly familiar, 
it must not be forgotten that there is in the Eastern 
States, particularly in New York, Ohio, Missouri, 
Illinois, Virginia, and Georgia, a most prosperous 
viticultural interest. The viticulturists east of the 
Rocky Moimtains have had to contend with the 
difficulty of using native American vines and their 
hybrids for wine-producing grapes. Considering the 
drawbacks that they have encountered, their efforts 
have been in every way commendable, and their 
wines have a steady sale at remunerative prices. 

Nicholas Longworth, already spoken of, was un- 
doubtedly the leader in American viticulture. Until 
he began his efforts wine was practically unknown 
among Americans in the country districts, although 
a few bottles, having about as much value as goose- 
berry wines, were put up in many families, expressed 
from the grapes which were the progenitors of the 
Isabella, the Concord, or other common varieties. 
Longworth showed that really desirable wines could 
be produced upon American soil, with American 
growers and makers. Becoming rich early in life 
by fortunate purchases of land lying in the city of 
Cincinnati, he retired from the practice of law, his 
ostensible business, about the year 1825, to embark 
in horticultural pursuits. He first tried foreign 
grapes, but unsuccessfully, and then began experi- 
ments with native ones, with which he did not have 
the same difficulty. His first vineyard was a small 

one, but he gradually enlarged it, until he had 200 
acres in grapes. His favorites were the Isabella 
and the Catawba, and from them he produced wine 
of a high marketable value. Since 1865 particular 
attention has been given to grape growing in many 
of the States in the East, there being a large de- 
mand for them for table use, and this incidentally 
has stimulated wine making. There are years in 
which the yield is so abundant that it hardly pays 
the grower to send the grapes to market ; then more 
wine is made. But the bulk of the Eastern crop which 
is intended for wine is grown for that purpose. It is 
carefully handled, and by the best houses is kept 
three years in stock before any is sold. 

The chief grape and wine growing district in the 
East is around Lake Keuka, in the western part of 
the State of New York. This is in the lake district, 
and the vineyards are from 500 to 800 feet above 
sea-level. The natural harshness of the climate is 
so modified by the existence of these large and deep 
bodies of water, fed by natural springs, and rarely 
freezing over, that grape cultiure can be better car- 
ried on there than in much of the region 500 
miles south of them. Every one of these lakes, which 
lie at the end of the Appalachian chain of moun- 
tains, has many vineyards adjacent. Next to Lake 
Keuka come in importance Seneca Lake, Cayuga 
Lake, and Chautauqua Lake. Along the Hudson 
many grapes are grown. In an island in this river 
Underbill propagated the lona grape, long regarded 
as the most valuable kind known. Ohio ranks with 
New York as a wine producer. The soil on Kelley's 
Island and Put-in-Bay, and around Cleveland and 
Sandusky, seems particularly adapted to it. Much 
comes from North Carolina, the Scuppemong being 
principally grown there ; there are admirable wines 
in Missouri, and Virginia is now producing consid- 
erable quantities. No wines come from New Eng- 
land, although possibly they might be grown in the 
sunny valleys of Connecticut ; but New Jersey is 
now making rapid strides in the way of good sound 
wines, fit to compare with good Burgundies. The 
skill of American wine makers has increased. The 
methods of handling the grapes, of caring for the 
newly expressed product, of improved cellarage, 
and of bottling, have all been learned with thorough- 
ness. Although labor is dearer than in Europe, de- 
vices which save much cost have been introduced 
everywhere except to facilitate maturity. This de- 
pends entirely upon age, no artificial method being 
used to hasten that. Neither are there syrups 
introduced to give mellowness or tone. American 
champagnes are now largely used, and when properly 



prepared are much esteemed. Much American wine 
is sold as foreign. 

I am aware that there is a general impression in 
the East, particularly among some wine dealers who 
have heretofore handled only the European product, 
that California should produce but one distinctive 
variety of wine. On this point I wish to quote from 
a work recently published by the State Viticultural 
Commission, and written by Charles A. Wet more : 

"I have found generally that a notion— it is 
hardly fair to call it an opinion— prevails among the 
importers that there is, or should be, one distinctive 
type of California wines in general, and that we 
make some sort of a mistake in not producing a par- 
ticularly distinctive type of California wine. To them 
the well-known characteristics of the vineyard dis- 
tricts of the Old World, such as Xeres in Portugal, 
Bordeaux, Burgundy, and the Rhine, appear to as- 
sume broad territorial significance individually, each 
being in importance equal to the opportunities of 
California. Small places in Europe occupy, in their 
minds, larger places than youthful California. They 
little appreciate the fact that the viticultural area, 
both in latitude and longitude, and in the value of 
climatic and soil conditions, of all the regions where 
grapes are grown successfully in Spain, Portugal, 
France, and Germany, is equally matched, both in 
extent and variety, on the Pacific coast. One might 
as well speak of the one typical wine of all those 
countries of Europe as to think of one wine repre- 
sentative of this coast. 

"Few realize that the western coast of North 
America is practically the counterpart of the western 
coast of Europe, with Great Britain attached to the 
Continent. Every condition of soil and climate is 
here reproduced to compare with Xeres, Malaga, 
the Mediterranean coast of France, the slopes of the 
Alps, the valleys of the Rhine and Rhone, and the 
humid climates on each side of the British Channel. 
In the variations of practical possibilities in viticul- 
ture, every distinction known to the west of Europe, 
from Gibraltar and Nice to Scotiand and the Nether- 
lands, is found on this coast from Lower California 
to British Columbia. Our Algiers is inland in Sonora 
and Arizona, and our Russian Siberia is between the 
Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada. To the 
average New York mind, however, both Los Angeles 
and Shasta appear to be suburbs of San Francisco, 
and as nearly related as Xeres and Malaga, or as 
the Medoc and Sauteme districts, while, in fact, 
they are as far apart as Xeres and Burgundy. 

" To those who do not comprehend this coast let 
me say that every known viticultural condition of 

Europe that has been observed from the Rhine to 
the Mediterranean coast, and even across on the 
northern borders of Africa and eastward toward 
Palestine, can be found here in the territory from 
the Columbia River to the Gulf of California and 
eastward into Arizona. Every known variety of 
European wine-grapes finds somewhere here its 
natural home, and somewhere a place where it can- 
not be successfully cultivated. In some places none, 
in others few, and in others many, just as in Europe, 
are found to prosper. Many mistakes in the at- 
tempts to transplant and adapt have been made, and 
equally many in experimentation with European 
methods ill suited to locality. 

"Our experiences and present conditions are 
similar to what might have been expected if, during 
a single generation, an enterprising people had found 
western Europe impopulated, and had attempted, 
with one common purpose, to establish viticulture 
from the Mediterranean to the Rhine from one 
common nursery of all vines, and without such 
knowledge of the local peculiarities as has been, in 
fact, the growth of generations. Under such a pos- 
sibility we might have had Spaniards cultivating the 
Palomino in the Medoc, Frenchmen trying the 
Medoc in Xeres, Germans essaying the Riesling in 
Languedoc, and Portuguese worshiping port on the 
Rhine, with numerous admixtures of all kinds of 
efforts in all places. The present condition of 
California viticulture is not much different from 
such a supposed condition in Europe, with the ex- 
ception that our producers are far more intelligent 
and better informed as to their mistakes and the 
means of remedying them than European vintners 
generally are as to the causes of any of their present 

"I shall show, however, that progress and im- 
provement in given hues of perfection are not entirely 
subject to the will of producers, even if natural con- 
ditions and knowledge are present. The producer 
who exports is governed by the will of distant 
markets, and California, so far as even the Atlantic 
States are concerned, is yet an exporter, aided only 
by a very limited consumption locally. Even France 
produces one kind of claret for England and another 
for the Argentine Republic ; one kind of champagne 
for Russia and another for America; one kind of 
Burgundy for foreigners and another for Paris ; and 
everywhere in her own territory is satisfied with her 
local wines of every kind and character, without re- { 
course to foreign delicacies. Whenever foreigners 
— and I include New York as among the most 
foreign people we have to deal with — will become 



satisfied with the best that each of our districts can 
produce without any attempt to imitate European 
styles, it will be time for them to complain that we 
do not produce typical California wines; but so 
long as the markets demand styles like favorite 
European brands, so long must California producers 
and dealers make attempts to please them, either 
with ignorantly devised methods and blends, or false 
labels; and so long as our Eastern Atlantic coast 
markets refuse to pay as much for equal quality, 
whether domestic or imported, they cannot expect 
producers to sacrifice quantity for quality in wine 
making to any practical extent." 

The statistics of the production of wines in Cali- 
fornia from 1877 to 1895, and the exports out of the 
State by sea and rail for the corresponding years, 
are as follows : 






Shifmxnt out op Statb 
m Gallons. 















vr* •••• 











XX^ • • • • • 


■ wv^ ........... 







«VW^ - . . . 4. , . i ^ . . 

Yj^*^ * 










> 15,000,000 

•w^^ ........... 


The total consumption of the United States is 
about 36,000,000 to 38,000,000 gallons annually, 
which is supplied as follows: 


California (avenge) 20/xx),ooo 

Other Slates andTerritories 14,000/xx) 

Imported 4,000,000 

Total 38,000,000 

It may be now asked. What of the future? As 
for quantity, we can expect but litde increase in 
California in the next six years. In quality we can 
expect much. Many choice producing sections are 
already well known. The best of foreign varieties 
have been tested in many locations, and their 
adaptability to different situations is thoroughly 

understood. Every year sees some improvement in 
our methods of viticulture, wine making, and cellar 
management. An industrious, intelligent, and ex- 
perimenting class of citizens are bending their 
energies and thoughts to the production of the 
highest types. Lacking the experience that has 
come with centimes of work in Europe, possessing 
a new and rank soil at best, they are seeking to 
overcome every defect which may be found by an 
exacting connoisseur. Financially the prospects are 
excellent. Most of the old stocks of wine have been 
bought up and cleared out of the cellars. Markets 
have been developed in New York, New Orleans, 
Cincinnati, Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Louis, and all 
the leading cities of the country. There is scarcely 
a large city in which our wines have not found a 
market. The drug trade conunends them and the 
brandies in the highest terms. At home we have 
the producers combined and standing for prices that 
will bring them a fair remuneration for their labor ; 
we have the merchants receiving remunerative re- 
turns from their connections all over the country. 

Of the needs of the viticultural industry there are 
but few things to say, though much might be said 
on each topic. We need a national pure wine law. 
We need some amendments to the internal-revenue 
laws which will, at least, place our producers upon 
an equality with the French brandy producers in the 
matter of blending and bottling brandy. 

Concerning the necessity of a general national 
pm^e wine law, it can be said that there is a very 
general movement among all wine-producing coun- 
tries for stricter regulations. The time has come 
when it should be generally recognized by the gov- 
ernments of the world that wine means fermented 
grape-juice, and does not mean a combination 
recentiy given by William Bailey Bryant in his 
" Nineteenth-Centiuy Handbook on the Manufac- 
ture of Liquors, Wines, and Cordials without the 
Aid of Distillation," published by the Industrial 
Publishing Company, of Owensboro, Ky. His idea 
of an imitation of " red wine, cheap," is as follows : 

"Water, one gallon; sulphiuic acid, to the 
strength of weak vinegar; honey, one pint; pow- 
dered alum, one-half ounce; one sliced red beet 
and a half -pint strong tincture of logwood; one 
drop oil of wintergreen dissolved in a wineglassful 
of alcohol ; one half of a grain of ambergris rubbed 
up in sugar ; one pint tincture of grains of paradise. 
Any kind of bright sugar or syrup will answer in 
the place of the honey, and in less quantities. This 
wine, when prepared on a large scale, can be made 
at a very low price, as the honey is the only article 


that is of value, the tincture of the grains of paradise 
being substituted for spirit ; and any quantity of it 
can be prepared at the shortest notice. The color- 
ing is kept prepared in barrels for use. When the 
beets axe added, the mixture is allowed to stand for 
the coloring to become discharged from them for 
several days." 

This book, I believe, is protected by the copyright 
laws of the United States. It is infamous, not alone 
that such a receipt should be allowed to be pub- 
lished, but that we have no national pure wine law 
to prevent the concoction of such a beverage, with 
sulphuric acid and water as a base. I say that we 

need a national wine law, because, tmder the Inter- 
state Commerce Act, no State pure wine law can be 
made operative outside of the boundaries of that 
State, and, as far as I am aware. New York, Ohio, 
and California are the only States which have a 
wine law designed to prevent adulteration and the 
manufacture of imitation wines. One effort was 
made to secure such national legislation, but it was 
defeated, by what interests it is needless to mention ; 
but the effort is to be resumed. Our second need, 
to secure the right to bottle and blend brandy in 
bond, will, I trust, be obtained at the coining session 
of Congress. 



THE extraordinary consumption of alcoholic 
liquors, and the extensive application of alco- 
hol for all purposes, show it to be one of the 
most important substances produced by art. There 
is but one source of alcohol, its production arising 
from the fermentation of sugar or other saccharine 
macter obtained from plants containing either free 
sugar or starch convertible into sugar. It is a vola- 
tile, inflammable, colorless liquid, of penetrating odor 
and burning taste. In commerce, when made from 
maize or other grain, it is called grain-alcohol ; from 
reindeer and Iceland moss, moss-alcohol ; from pota- 
toes and beets, root-alcohol ; and from grapes, wine- 

The discovery of the art of distillation is attributed 
to the Arabian alchemists, the first mention of it oc- 
curring about the eleventh century ; but it was un- 
doubtedly known and practised for centuries before 
by the Chinese. Brandy was named the water of 
life, and one of the early alchemists, in his enthu- 
siasm over the discovery, declares that " this admi- 
rable essence is an emanation from the Divinity ; an 
element oewly revealed to man. but hid from antiq- 
uity because the human race was then too young 
to need this beverage, destined to revive the energies 
of modem decrepitude." Distillation consists in 
converting a. liquid into vapor in a closed vessel by 
means of heat, and then conveying the vapor into a 
cool vessel, where it is reconverted into liquid. The 
posabiliiy of separating substances by vaporization 
is dependent upon the fact that very few substances 
are x'olatile at the same temperature. Thus while 
water boils at 2 1 ao alcohol boils at 1 73°. Strictly 
q)eaking, the spirits are not produced by the act of 
distillation, but are the resiJt of the previous act of 
fennenlalion. distillation merely separating the spirits 
from the mixture in which they already exist. 

A little over a century ago, in J791, the first in- 
ternal-revenue tax on spirits was imposed, being nine 
cents a gallon on spirits manufactured from grain. 

it being estimated that at that time about 3,000,000 
gallons were annually produced from domestic mate- 
rials. This tax, light as it was, was strenuously re- 
sisted by the western counties of Pennsylvania, which 
rose in rebellion, and had to be suppressed by the 
militia of that State and adjacent ones. From 1803 
to 1813 the internal-revenue tax was abolished, after 
which a tax on distillers was substituted for a tax 
per gallon. In 1816 the internal-revenue tax was 
reduced one half, and abolished entirely in 1818, re- 
maining non-existent until 1862, in which year, being 
pressed for money to carry on the war against the 
Southern Confederacy, the nation found a prolific 
source of revenue in tlie taxation of spirits. The fol- 
lowing has been the rate of taxation under the differ- 
ent statutes from 1862 to the present: July i, 1862, 
the tax was twenty cents per gallon ; March 7, 1 864, 
it was made sixty cents; June 30, 1864, it was in- 
creased to $1.50; December zi, 1864, it was fmther 
increased to $i; July 30, 1868, it was reduced to 
fifty cents; June 6, 1872, it was changed to seventy 
cents; and on March 3, 1875, it was fixed at ninety 
cents, where it remained until August i8, 1 894, when 
it was raised to the present rate of $1.10. In 1874 
the revenue derived from spirits from all kinds of 
materials, including fruits, was about $43,000,000, 
of which $2,000,000 was from spirits manufactured 
from fruits. This was $2,000,000 in excess of the 
previous year. The total number of gallons pro- 
duced during 1874 was about 69,500,000. The im- 
mense revenue derived by the government from dis- 
tilled spirits is shown by the fact that during the last 
ten years it has aggregated about $1,000,000,000. 
The progress made in the distilling business during 
the past century has probably been greater than in 
almost any other line of manufacture, ail the latest 
achievements in science having been used to bring 
about such a result. At the dawn of the present 
century distilling was chiefly conducted by farmers, 
who made the crudest product in the crudest way. 



A small ketde and a worm placed alongside his log 
cabin were almost as essential a part of the farmer's 
household equipment as a flail for his grain or a plow 
for his lands. In nearly every family liquor was a 
daily article of consumption, and the brown jug an 
indispensable adjunct to labor on every occasion. 
No commerce was conducted in alcoholic liquors in 
farming regions, each man creating his own supply. 
When one glances at the present immense business, 
with its distillery plants, many of which are palatial 
in their appointments, and some having a daily mash- 
ing capacity of 5000 bushels, the progress that has 
been made appears simply amazing. 

The first product that reached the dignity of a 
place in commerce was so-called rectified whisky. It 
was the crude high wine after it had passed through 
a layer of charcoal, which largely extracted the 
fusel-oil and made a product ready for sale. To 
this were frequently added flavoring extracts, the 
compound then being put into heavily charred bar- 
rels, and a little sugar coloring added to smooth over 
its rankness and fieriness. Thus prepared, it was 
distributed among consumers, and some brands won 
for themselves a considerable demand. Following 
this process a redistilling apparatus was invented, by 
means of which the fusel-oil was more thoroughly ex- 
tracted from the spirits. To make it more palatable a 
certain proportion of old-fashioned Bourbon from 
Kentucky, or rye from Pennsylvania or Maryland, 
was added to give bouquet, flavor, and the appear- 
ance of genuine whisky. This class of goods became 
known as redistilled whiskies, and the proportion 
of these which were sold in commerce as against 
the genuine whiskies of Kentucky and Pennsylvania 
was fifteen to one. In fact, the genuine goods made 
in Kentucky were used by dealers mainly for flavor- 
ing these so-called redistilled whiskies. It may be 
well for me at this point to define Bourbon whisky. 
The name now has a very wide significance. Orig- 
inally it was whisky distilled from Indian com or 
rye in Bourbon County, Kentucky. As its fame 
spread, countless imitations sprang up, so that to- 
day Bourbon whisky may be said to be whisky dis- 
tilled from com or rye after the manner in which it 
is made in Bourbon County. The yield of Bourbon 
whisky was then about three gallons to the bushel. 
It was heavy in body and flavor, qualities which 
made it very valuable in compounding ; but it took 
many years of maturing to neutralize the fusel and 
other essential oils by the action of the atmosphere. 
The process of improvement was slow, and the trade 
recognized the fact that whiskies required at least 
three years or more to attain full maturity and be- 

come ready for consumption. At this stage the sci- 
ence of mashing was greatly improved, increasing 
the yield and lessening the cost of production. This 
had the effect of popularizing Kentucky Bourbons 
among the masses, and instead of being employed 
so largely for compounding purposes they came into 
use on a larger scale as a beverage. It also became 
patent to distillers and dealers that a larger yield did 
not injure the quaUty, but, on the contrary, made 
the whisky finer, as it contained less oils when made 
in quantity, and did not require so much time to de- 
velop its highest maturity. The pressure of compe- 
tition has since induced some distillers of standing to 
sacrifice quality for quantity, and they have resorted 
to artificial means to produce the appearance of de- 
velopment. The whisky which has given Kentucky 
its reputation is that known as sour mash, and there 
are a few distilling firms who are so jealous of their 
reputation that they continue to distil only genuine 
sour mash, yield being a secondary consideration. 
To attain a fine bouquet, with its accompanying 
flavor and body, they eschew all artificial means of 
forcing development, recognizing as an undisputed 
fact that the atmosphere is the only chemist that can 
bring about such results. These firms constitute the 
bulwark which maintains the reputation of Kentucky 
whiskies. The larger number of the distillers look 
merely to the production of a deteriorated cheap 
grade, and the demoralization has taken such deep 
root that it is claimed by some producers that a 
year is all the time that is necessary to fit whiskies 
for consumption. While the production of cheap 
grades has lowered the standard of Kentuckies, it 
has diffused the taste for them among the masses, 
causing the dealers to substitute them for redistilled 
whiskies or so-called "domestics," which are but 
imitations of the genuine article. The present con- 
sumption of whiskies of all grades made in Kentucky 
is estimated at about 25,000,000 gallons per annum. 
The stocks remaining in bond of the product of 
the past four years are 83,000,000 gallons. Of rye 
whiskies, which are mainly produced in Pennsyl- 
vania, Maryland, and West Virginia, there were re- 
maining in bond of the past foiu* years' production 
as follows : Pennsylvania, 23,953,000 gallons ; Mary- 
land, 8,838,000 gallons; and West Virginia, 1,073,- 
000 gallons; to which may be added Tennessee, 
which makes straight wheat whisky, with stocks in 
bond of the last four years amounting to 1,194,000 
gallons. This represents the stocks of so-called 
straight whiskies, although, as above stated, but a 
small proportion of Kentuckies can properly be so 

James E. Pepper. 



The principal States in which ordinary spirits are 
produced are Illinois, with a production for the year 
ending June 30, 1895, of about 21,000,000 gallons, 
of which there are remaining in bond 6,300,000; 
Indiana, with a production for the same period of 
7,000,000 gallons, having 2,800,000 gallons remain- 
ing in bond ; and Ohio, with an output also of about 
7,000,000 gallons, having 4,000,000 remaining in 

I have hitherto confined my remarks almost en- 
tirely to spirits distilled from grain, the product from 
fruits being comparatively unimportant. From its 
greater availability and its cheapness, grain is in gen- 
eral use ; while from fruits, which have a perishable 
nature and are non-available during the greater part 
of the year, there is distilled only a limited supply 
of apple, peach, and grape brandy, the State of Cali- 
fornia producing more than half of the fruit brandy 
made in this country. The total revenue for spirits 
from fniits in 1894 was but $1,287,497. Molasses 
as a distiller's material yields nothing but rum. Of 
late, however, attempts have been made to produce 
pure spirits from that source, but, owing to the diffi- 
culty of eliminating the rum odor from the output, 
the experiment is problematical. There is a very 
small production of rum, which is principally con- 
fined to New England ; and the cheapness of grain 
spirits has tended to reduce the rum product to con- 
tinually smaller dimensions. It is mainly manufac- 
tured for export purposes, very little being used in 
this country, as straight whiskies have superseded 
the once popular beverage. It should be stated 
that common spirits require no aging, being ready 
for manufacturing purposes or for compounding the 
day that they come from the still, and they never 
improve. In most cases, after having been doc- 
tored up to produce the appearance of genuine- 
ness, they are palmed off as true whisky under 
some euphonious title, and frequently they are 
audaciously placed on the market masquerading 
as sour mash. 
In a review of American distilleries it is necessary 

that I should dwell for a moment upon the distilled 
spirits consumed in the arts, manufactures, and medi- 
cine in this country. Of these alcohol and cologne 
spirit take the lead, although high wines, whisky, 
brandy, rum, and gin are also used. Pure alcohol 
cannot be obtained by ordinary distillation alone. 
The rectified spirit or alcohol of the pharmacopceias 
contains nine per cent, by weight of water in the 
United States, sixteen per cent, in Great Britain; 
proof-spirit or diluted alcohol, fifty-four and one 
half per cent, by weight of water in the United States, 
fifty-one per cent, in Great Britain. That alcohol is 
used in some localities as a beverage is undoubtedly 
true, and it is said that fully one half of the alcohol 
that finds its way to the Northwest is so consumed 
by Poles, Norwegians, Swedes, Finns, Htmgarians, 
and Russians. It has been estimated that about 
fifteen barrels of alcohol are consumed as a beverage 
daily in New York City, but it is impossible to collect 
data upon which to found a reliable estimate on this 
point. The foreigners employed in the coal regions 
of Pennsylvania are drinkers of alcohol, and a con- 
siderable quantity is annually disposed of among 
them. A large percentage of the cost of pharmaceu- 
tical preparations arises from the distilled spirits used 
in their manufacture. Concerning the amount of 
alcohol alone consumed in the arts, manufactures, 
and medicine in the United States, the Secretary of 
the Treasury, in his annual report of December 2, 
1 889, estimated it at about 6,000,000 proof-gallons. 
Cologne spirit is used for many purposes for which 
alcohol would be unsuitable, and whisky, brandy, rum, 
and gin form the basis of many proprietary medicines 
and of tinctures and medicinal wines. The amount 
of distilled spirits consumed in the arts and manu- 
factures has been estimated at fifteen per cent, of 
all distilled spirits consmned, which is equivalent in 
round numbers to 12,000,000 gallons. The returns 
in proof-gallons, for the entire United States, of the 
wholesale druggists and manufacturers, eleemosy- 
nary institutions, and retail apothecaries, are given in 
the following summary : 






















Jl^um&ctaren and wholesale druggists . 

S'^^niosynary institatioiis 






















The eleemosynary institutions here referred to 
are dispensaries, homes, asylums, and others of a 
similar character. The above table shows that the 
total quantity of distilled spirits consumed in the arts, 
manufactures, and medicine in the United States dur- 
ing the twelve months ending December 31, 1889, 
was 10,976,842 proof-gallons. The following table 
gives the returns in proof-gallons, by totals for States, 
of all forms of distilled spirits consumed or sold by 
manufacturers and wholesale druggists, eleemosy- 
nary institutions, and retail apothecaries combined. 

The inherent repugnance to paying the heavy tax 
on alcoholic liquors imposed by the government has 
given rise to a large number of illicit distilleries 
throughout the country. Occasionally one of these 
secret stills is unearthed in the large cities, which 
indicates that there are always more or less of them 
in operation at the centers of population. In the 
mountain regions of the country, more particularly 
in the South, a large amount of distilled liquor is 
drunk that never has been recorded in the Internal 
Revenue Department, or paid a penny of taxation. 



States Ain> Tbrritoriks. 

The United States 


Arizona ... 






District of Colombia 





Indian Territory 












Missouri • • • • . 




New Hampshire . . . . 

New Jersey 

New Mexico 

New York 

North Carolina 

North Dakota 





Rhode Island 

South Carolina 

South Dakota 







West V&ginia 




















































^ 5493 









































' ' *8.i35 



































































































































































This criminal branch of the history of American dis- The amomit of spirits withdrawn from distillery 

tilling would make interesting reading on account of warehouses for scientific purposes and for use in the 

its pictiiresque character, but I can only allude to arts in the United States is very small, but increasing, 

it here. For reasons that are obvious, no estimate Thus in the year ending June 30, 1892, there were 

worth having can be formed of the amount of dis* 39i4oo gallons ; in the following year, 54,552 ; and 

tilled liquor in the United States that evades the gov- in the next year, ending June 30, 1894, the amount 

emment tax, but the figures would doubtless reach was about 70,000 — an increase of 15,000 and 14,- 

considerable magnitude. 500 in each successive year. Of the withdrawals 

The daily capacity of grain distilleries in opera- in 1892, 65,000 gallons were alcohol and 4500 

tion February, 1895, was 85,237 bushels, equivalent neutral or cologne spirits, out of a total of 69,700 

to an output of 358,620 gallons ; and in the previous gallons. 

month there was a daily output of 364,559 gallons. The entire production of alcoholic spirits from 

I select January and February as the season when dis- grain in the United States for the last fiscal year, 

tilling is in full operation. In August, 1895, there was ending June 30, 1895, was 80,1 16,374 gallons ; with- 

a daily mashing capacity of 68,454 gallons. August is drawn tax-paid, 74, 200,7 20 *> ^^^ remaining in bond, 

a month in which distillation is almost at a standstill. 138,35 1,894. 

It should be stated here that the official compila- The tax paid to the Internal Revenue Department 

tions as to the number of distilleries are apt to be mis- for the maintenance of the government from alco- 

leading. A very small number of distilleries are prac- holic liquors for the last fiscal year, ending June 30, 

tically turning out the entire output Officially, it is 1895, was $79,862,627, or $5,396,674 less than the 

stated that in February last Illinois had but 1 5 stills previous year. 

in operation, with a daily capacity of nearly 100,000 When one compares these figures, reaching over 

gallons ; while North Carolina is credited with nearly 80,000,000 gallons, and the enormous revenue ac- 

300 stills, with a daily capacity of but 3148 gallons, cruing to the benefit of the general taxpayers, with 

In other words, the number of stills in operation ap- the petty production for private use by farmers a cen- 

pears nominally very large, approaching 1000, while tury back, the unexampled progress must be appa- 

actually the bulk of the output is produced by less rent without further comment. The spirit interest has 

than a tithe of that number. interwoven itself with the life of the nation, so that 

The number of fruit (apple, peach, and grape) dis- it has become one of the most trustworthy sources 

tiUeries registered and operated during the year end- of national income. 

ing June 30, 1894, was 3633, with an average daily The necessityof increasing the revenue has fostered 

capacity of not quite one gallon each. Of these legislation favoring a higher tax, which unfortunately 

North Carolina had 1 1 1 5 stills, or nearly one third tends to bring among the masses inferior goods ; for 

of the whole ; Virginia had 1 230, leaving outside the higher the impost the lower the standard of 

of these two States but 1288 stills. quality must be in order to make up for the increase 

The average quantity of grain used in the pro- in cost. The purpose of every legislator should be 

duction of spirits during the last ten years is about to promote the public health and welfare by mak- 

22,000,000 bushels; in the year ending June 30, 1893, ing it possible for producers to furnish a wholesome 

it reached 29,000,000 bushels, which produced 1 26,- beverage, thoroughly matured, at the minimum cost. 

545)000 gallons. Fully half the grain used is com. To tax it to death does not accomplish this object. 

An important collateral industry is the feeding of It naturally forces the production of cheap imita- 

^(tle and hogs on the distillery slops. During the tions, which are made out of common spirit, and 

y^ ending June 30, 1894, this industry showed the often sold the same day that they are made. That 

«)IIo^rt[ig results : whisky requires several years' time for properly ma- 
turing is universally acknowledged. Those brands 

CATTLE FEED FROM DISTILLERIES. ^j^^^ should be, in my opinion, allowed to be sold 

SS^^"*^* .*".". '*«°^.!^': '"'""°" "^•'5 that can show natural aging, 

j^l^^sc in weight of cattle 14449,516 In European countries alcoholic liquors, such as 

f"*^^ ^^^^fed ^.^f . .... *"'* 25,554 brandy, etc., are allowed to remain in bond until re- 

^^SSl^ •" ^^^^' ofhoa 1^1,748 quired by the trade for consumption. This plan al- 

^?^^^:retse in weight of cattle and ways insures a large stock of matured goods in bond. 

To^P* : t\;.' M. • ; '^S*»^ There is no reason why our government should force 

a^'us mcreaie* lUinois CMitribated . 

V^ooyooo pounds, or about one hall the tax-payment at any given period. 



In order to extend the trade into foreign countries, 
the privilege of bottling whiskies in bond, and re- 
ducing them to such proof as may be required for 
commercia] purposes, should be extended to the dis- 
tillers of this country, as it is in Canada, where the 
government, alive to the interest of its manufactu- 
rers, affixes a stamp to each bottle, thus certifying to 
the genuineness of the contents. This would infuse 
confidence and promote export trade, as well as 
afford an opportunity for oiir citizens to secure a 
genuine and wholesome beverage. The trade in 
Canadian whiskies has been steadily on the increase 
for years, owing to this privilege so wisely conferred 
by the Canadian government. 

The inequality in the conditions affecting our dis- 
tillers as contrasted with those of Canada may be 
better understood when it is remembered that at the 
last session of Congress our government increased 
the tax on oiu* product from ninety cents to $ 
per gallon, and lowered that on foreign spirits from 
$3.50 to $1.80, thus letting down the bars to those 
who already had superior protection from their own 
governments. This was not merely the special privi- 
lege of bottling in bond, but the ruling, in the case 

of the Canadian government, that forbade the impor* 
tation of any whiskies from the United States unless 
in loo-gallon packages. It should be stated that our 
packages run about forty-five gallons, larger packages 
not being found practicable for aging purposes. This 
action of the Canadian government amounts to 
practical prohibition, and results exactly as was in- 
tended, for none of our whisky now finds its way 
into that country. 

The history of the lai^ combination of American 
distillers of alcoholic liquors is too recent and some- 
what too complicated for me to dwell upon at this 
time. I have endeavored to show the enormous 
importance of the distilltng industry not only to the 
government, but to the people of the United States, 
and my conclusions with reference to legislation on 
the subject of distilled spirits are arrived at with a 
sincere desire to foster and assist by inteOigent means 
the progress of one of America's greatest industries- 
Marvelous as has been that progress during the cen- 
tury now closing, it is but reasonable to suppose that 
the record of the next hundred years of our history 
will be such as to reflect the greatest credit upon the 
intelligence and enterprise of American distilleia. 



|EFORE the use of written words the Ups of 
. our Aryan ancestors articulated a sound 
which expressed for them food and drink, 
and the source from which tliese things came. This 
source was the bearded barley of the Himalayas. 
The porridge and the bread of the .\ryans, made 
from the first grain used for common food, were the 
crudest forms from which has sprung the brewing in- 
dustry. It was not until the Sanskrit writers, in their 
eajhest record of the living language, drew the dis- 
linctioQ, that separate words were used to express 
barley, bread, and beer; and even now a euphoni- 
ous ear will catch the similarity in these three words, 
which, though much changed from their Aryan pro- 
totypes, still have a musical resemblance which tells 
us of the kinship of the three. The story of beer is 
therefore as old as the story of humanity. 

In (he most remote antiquity the Egyptians 
IwTwed, as did the Assyrians, and later the Greeks 
and Romans ; and from time immemorial the Teu< 
tonic race have been famous for their skill in the pro- 
dncrion of the beverage for which they praise to-day, 
in poem, prose, and story, in song and eulogy, the 
Oame of the very modem but acknowledged patron 
saint of brewing, Gambrinus. The word for beer 
has been preserved, as the art of brewing has been 
dcreloped, by the Teutons. The Egyptians called 
beer zythum, and the Greeks and Romans, cercvisia,- 
but the word " beer " in some form has always been 
osed 10 express to the Teutonic mind the ancestral 

While the written history of brewing begins with 
Egypt, and the development of the art of brewing 
should properly be accredited lo the Teutons, to 
America must be credited the attainment of scientific 
perfection in the craft, which, like mathematics, has 
become in the United States practically a finished 
science. When the Pilgrim Fathers landed on Plym- 
outh Rock they brought with them from England, 
in addition to the fiery potables they were wont to 

drink,^" and not a man afraid, "—some of the sturdy 
brew of " merrie England," and also a knowledge of 
the brewer's craft, which they soon turned to practi- 
cal use in the land of their adoption. 

The Dutch settlers of New Amsterdam, with their 
long clay pipes puffing clouds of blue smoke, were 
wont to sip from generous tankards the beer of the 
Netherlands, and crack their jokes around the tav- 
ern table, the while they grew fat, sleek, and jolly 
under the gende influence of their beneficent national 
beverage. Good William Pcnn found solace in 
the brew made under his direction for his young, 
peaceful, but aspiring colony ; and farther south, 
in old Virginia, many were the happy gatherings 
where harmony prevailed, and memories of their 
old home far across the sea rose through their com- 
panionable chat, Uke the foam upon the treasured 
musty ale. 

In New England, where the stronger spirits most 
prevailed, our good forefathers passed a law grant- 
ing immunity from taxes and a prize in money to that 
energetic brewer who should brew in a single year 
more than 500 bairels of honest beer ; for, said they, 
not only does this peaceful beverage add to the pros- 
perity of the farmer by giving him a market for his 
grain, but, by supplying to our worthy citizens a bev- 
erage of much milder form, adds much to the temper- 
ance and good order of Massadiusetis Colony, So 
peaceftJly, with full approval, and yet with growth 
most unfortunately slow, an infant industry was 
formed, which in 1795 produced upward of 3,000,- 
000 gallons. 

Legislative enactment, in the varying application 
of intelligence and ignorance, liberality and fanati- 
cism, has, since the days of the Egyptians, hampered 
or caused the expansion of the brewing industry. 
While, prior to 1795, it does not appear that legis- 
lation adverse to the brewing industry was enacted, 
legislation favorable to the cheaper distribution of 
distilled liquors brought the more potent beverages 




to the front, and held in check the brewing indus- 
try, which would otherwise have proved itself more 
powerful in promoting temperance than any organ- 
ized legislative effort. During the administration of 
Washington, Congress, in considering the very first 
federal-revenue law, was impelled by consideration 
of public morality to take cognizance of the impor- 
tance of fostering the brewing industry. But oppo- 
sition from various quarters arose. In 1789 Madi- 
son expressed the hope that the brewing industry 
would strike deep root in every State in the Union, 
and Thomas Jefferson gave expression to the opin- 
ion that "no nation is sober where the deamess of 
fermented drinks substitutes ardent spirits as a com- 
mon beverage." 

In 1 810 the domestic production of malt liquors 
amounted to 5,7 5 4i 73 5 gallons. There were only 
129 breweries in this country, most of them pro- 
ducing ale and porter exclusively. In 1847 ^^ ^'^" 
creasing German immigration brought into America 
not only a demand for their favorite beverage, lager- 
beer, which gave a new impetus to the trade, but 
also a practical knowledge of the craft ; and lager- 
beer breweries began to spring into existence wher- 
ever a sufficient number of Germans had settled 
to make these little local establishments possible. 
Americans sniffed suspiciously at this form of beer, 
which was new to them, and allowed difference in 
race to prejudice them against what was destined 
to be their national beverage. Owing to the 
greater popularity of lager-beer, the production of 
ale and porter at the present time does not exceed 
1,000,000 barrels. 

The modern reformer, when confronted by the in- 
disputable fact that the Germans are one of the most 
temperate of nations, if he be somewhat fanatical in 
his prejudices, blindly closes his eyes, and in his at- 
tack upon what he is pleased to call the moral wrong 
of the production, sale, and use of intoxicating bever- 
ages, forgets to discriminate, and thereby misses in 
many instances the true solution of the whole ques- 
tion, which is such legislation as will make reasonably 
accessible the mildest of the great family of beverages, 
and hold under proper restrictions those which are not 
beneficial in their effects. Long before German im- 
migration had assumed any noteworthy proportions 
the wisest and most patriotic statesmen of our coun- 
try were so alarmed at the increased use of fiery in- 
toxicants that they would have resorted to any legiti- 
mate means to force breweries into existence. 
Therefore, between these conflicting elements, it was 
a constant struggle for existence with the brewing 
industry up to 1862. 

It remained for the exigencies of the great Civil 
War to bring forth such excise meastu'es as should 
put the lighter beverages prominently to the front. 
Heroic meastu'es were taken to raise the revenue 
and save the government from impending disrup- 
tion. The internal-revenue laws came into exis- 
tence. These threw the biuden of taxation heavily 
upon ardent spirits. The passage of these laws in 
July, 1862, was practically the beginning of the de- 
velopment of the present vast brewing industry. It 
was like the breath of new life, and the extraordinary 
advancement of brewing from that day to this has 
been a surprise and wonder to all who have watched 
its history. 

It was in 1862 that the Brewers' Association was 
formed. A moving cause in its organization was a 
desire for self-protection, and yet the fundamental 
principle which brought the American brewers to- 
gether was patriotic, for they associated for the pur- 
pose of jointly aiding the government in perfecting 
the revenue laws relating to malt liquors, enforcing 
by their moral influence the collection of the rev- 
enue without discrimination, and of securing them- 
selves by organization against unjust treatment. To 
its credit be it said that the Brewers' Association has 
never lost sight of its fundamental purpose. Bom 
in the throes of the great struggle for national unity, 
it has served the government faithfully and well, and, 
instead of criticism and opposition, it has evinced 
sympathy and cooperation in the efforts of the gov- 
ernment to establish proper internal-revenue laws, 
and has willingly acquiesced in the payment of this 
species of taxation. 

The War of the RebelUon also brought about a r«- 
markable revulsion of feeling in regard to our foreign 
population and their customs, especially as to the 
Germans and beer drinking. When the war put the 
patriotism of the people to a crucial test the Germans 
were found among the first to rush to arms in defense 
of our country. Old prejudices vanished before the 
bond of sympathy soon warmly established, like mist 
before the sun. This brotherhood established by 
the Rebellion has never died out, but has constantly 
grown stronger, and has cemented us together as 
one race. We have contributed to one another many 
of our habits and peculiarities, many of our cus- 
toms. The habit of drinking fermented beverages, 
which was a characteristic of the Germans, is prob- 
ably the highest contribution to temperance and 
good order which has come to us from any foreign 

The production of beer from the year 1863, ex- 
pressed in barrels, is as follows : 















^574.61 7 

















ENDING MAY i, 1895. 


Albany 364.694 

Baltimore 591.557 

Boston 1,025,948 

Brooklyn 1,941,395 

Buffalo 618,743 

Chicago 2,687,947 

Cincinnati 1, 145,806 

Clereland 429,665 

Detroit 365,215 

LooisTiIle 212,695 

Milwankee 2,208,654 

Newark 1,209,058 

New York 4.732,300 

Philadelphia 1,852,106 

Pittsborg 435,880 

Rochester 554,8i5 

San Frandsoo 500,183 

St. Lonis 1,943,084 

Syracose 252,202 

Toledo 245,609 

Troy 230. 539 

These statistics, showing a development in the last 
century from 2,000,000 gallons in 1795 to 1,030,- 
368,088 gallons in the year 1895, speak more elo- 
quently of the marvelous advance than glowing lan- 
guage. There are now 2 200 brewing establishments, 
by far the greater number making the lager-beer of 
the Germans. They range in magnitude h'om the 
little home brewery of some German garden to the 
^gantic business enterprise with an annual output 
exceeding 1,000,000 barrels. In the earlier years 
^^rewing was carried on exclusively for local markets. 
Within the last thirty years, however, the shipment 
^ beer in barrels from one point to another began, 
2nd now train-loads of the delectable, foam-capped 
"^^gc leave the great shipping cities daily. The 
^PJtal invested in brewing in the United States is 
«K)ut ^00,000,000. The value of the annual out- 
P^ of the industry is $200,000,000. It contributes 

to the support of the United States government, in 
internal-revenue taxes alone, over $33,000,000. The 
local taxes paid by it aggregate over $3,000,000 
more. The development of the bottling of beer 
from nothing to a business which, in one brewery 
alone, amounts to over 42,000,000 bottles annually 
— mostly quarts — is a remarkable evidence of growth. 
Over 50,000 men are directly engaged in the brew- 
ing of beer in the United States. 

These material manifestations of progress by the 
mere aggregation of figures are based upon a deeper 
and broader advance in the application of science to 
the art of brewing. The establishment of brewers* 
schools, where theory and practice could be brought 
into constant association, where experiments could 
be conducted, and where a thorough training could 
be given to brewers' sons who, with an inherited ten- 
dency to skill in the art of their forefathers, desired 
to equip themselves with a higher knowledge of the 
craft, has brought into the field of competition a 
skill in the manipulation of the various processes of 
the brewing industry which has made possible a 
greater advance in the art of brewing since the year 
1870 than had occiured from the time of Queen 
Elizabeth and the days of Shakespeare's Falstaif. 

Only thirty years ago the principles governing the 
production of beer were, as we see, essentially un- 
changed. The interval of seventy years from 1795 
had brought no noticeably valuable advances in the 
art. While it is true that chemistry, physiology, 
and botany, and, above all, the science of mechan- 
ics, passed through great development during the 
first half-century, it apparently meant nothing for 
the art of brewing save a thorough and necessary 
preparation of the various factors which were to be 
the foundation on which should rest the subsequent 
extraordinary progress — a progress destined to make 
brewing one of the most delicately scientific arts of 
manufacture. During the last quarter of a century, 
however, the brewing industry, taking advantage of 
every development of modem analytical investiga- 
tion and mechanical advance, has been subject to 
radical improvements in all directions. It is espe- 
cially indebted to Pasteur, Naegeli, Hansen, Lint- 
ner, and Delbrueck, who have contributed immea- 
surably to the creation of the higher art of brewing. 

The dawn of an unsuspected and unparalleled 
line of improvement in the science of brewing, con- 
sidered especially with reference to the physiology 
of fermentation, appeared with the labors of Pasteur, 
published to the world in his " fitudes sur la Bifere " 
in 1876, in Paris, and later with those of Hansen 
at Copenhagen, concerning the physiology of the 


organisms of fermentation. From time immemorial 
beer had been known as a perishable product, but 
the causes leading lo its spoiling were shrouded in 
deep mystery. Pasteur proved that the diseases of 
beer might be traced to the growth of injurious 
organisms, especially bacteria, and indicated the 
ways and means of preventing these diseases through 
the application of a rational process of wort cooling 
and fermentation. Hansen advanced an important 
step further by proving that the brewer's yeast might 
become, by contact, under given circumstances, with 
similar organisms closely resembling it, more injuri- 
ous than bacteria. He crowned his labora by de- 
veloping and introducing a process of cultivating 
yeast, in absolute purity and in large quantities, from 
a single germ, thereby also preventing the introduc- 
tion of wild yeast into the beer. These improve- 
ments were soon applied upon a large scale in the 
leading breweries of the United States, and brought 
about material changes in their practical operation. 
After the principle of preventing infection had once 
been proclaimed, the old-fashioned open cooler was 
replaced by a suitable closed apparatus, often in- 
geniously constructed, which came up to the high- 
est requirements of the new science. Closely con- 
nected with this was the use of filtered air, rendered 
germ-free, and of sterilized water, so that to-day the 
product of the brewer's art, in its highest and ideal 
perfection, is absolutely protected against infection. 
From the moment it leaves the brew-kettie, passes 
over the coolers, and througli the process of ferment- 
ing and lagering, and up to the moment when it is 
served as a refreshing and perfect beverage, perhaps 
thousands of miles from the place of its production, 
it is protected by constant, accurate, and effective 
scientific safeguards. 

Physiology and theoretical chemistry, hand in 
hand, have made brilliant progress in the science 
of brewing. The most complicated processes in the 
malting of barley, in mashing, and also in fermen- 
tation have been thoroughly explored and have 
come to be perfectly understood during the last few 
decades, and have laid solid foundations for the 
activity of the maltster and the brewer. An impor- 
tant place in this connection must be assigned to 
an invention which has brought about more radical 
changes in the brewery than any other, and which 
alone has made possible the introduction of numer- 
ous other improvements and innovations. This in- 
vention is the ice-machine and the application of 
artificial refrigeration upon a larger scale, Hardly 
twenty-five years ago the imperfect ice-machine of 
Carr^, a Frenchman, was considered a curiosity, 

while to-day the model machines of Linde and De 
la Vergne are common property of all the brewers, 

Americans may now justly claim to produce in 
the United States, not only the best beer, but, as is 
acknowledged by European authorities, the most 
durable beer, in the world. It is a peculiar, although 
incontrovertible fact, that the latest scientific theories 
of brewing, credit for which belongs to European 
investigators, have always found the most rapid and 
complete application and introduction in practice in 
this country. Professor Delbrueck, of Berlin, and 
Professor Schwackhoefer, of Vienna, who were sent 
to America in 1893 by their respective governments 
as authorities upon brewing, for the purpose of study- 
ing American breweries, were agreed in acknow- 
ledging this fact, and in their official reports did 
honor to the American brewing industry as they had 
found it. We have parricular reason to be proud of 
the fact that a special process of fermentation which 
has been in use in this co'untry for years has recently 
been proved by Professor Delbrueck to be the most 
rational process, judged from a scientific standpoinL 
This shows clearly to what an extent the theories of 
European investigators have been practically applied 
in this country before they were ever practically 
adopted abroad. 

It would be going too far to recount all the differ- 
ent improvements to which the science of brewing 
has led us within the last few years. But there is 
one innovation tliat deserves to be mentioned, which 
has attracted attention of late, and which had its 
origin in our own country. This is the collection 
and utilization in its purity of the carbonic-acid gas 
formed during the process of fermentation. This 
process makes it possible to abandon the former 
" kraeusen " process, the old-fashioned method of 
carbonating. The finished product may now be 
charged with the finest natural carbonic-acid gas. 
This collection of the by-product of fermentation 
produces such a superabundance of carbonic -acid 
gas that it may readily be liquefied, and is destined 
to crowd out of the market all other products of its 
kind. As Americans we have particular reason to 
be proud of this achievement, because the solution of 
the problem had been attempted in vain by European 
authorities for many years. 

During a trip covering the year just passed it has 
been the pleasure of the writer to satisfy his curios- 
ity, as never before, by a careful investigation of the 
methods of foreign brewers, and, by taking the 
American method of perfect brewing as a standard, 
to reach certain conclusions which, as an American, 
he is proud to hold 1 first, that while the deep, analyt- 


ical, concentrated, and tireless mind of foreign, and 
especially Gennan, scientistE may, by more pains- 
taking and patient application, have attained for the 
world a better knowledge of the fundamental the- 
ories on which success in the ait of brewing should 
rest, it took the broader grasp, the more nimble and 
daring intelligence, of the American mind, and the 
tremendous energy of American enterprise, to put 
these theories into practical operation; second, there 
is an overwhelming difference in advanced methods, 
to the credit of the American ; third, the American 
schools of brewing are now in the veiy van of scien- 
tific progress, and, even if equaled, are certainly not 

surpassed in the higher technical instruction which 
they give. 

As beer is to become, if it is not already, the 
national beverage of the United States, and as in- 
creasing skill in the art will contribute immeasurably 
to the good health and temperance of the race, it is 
indeed a source of congratulation that the breweis 
of America are fully alive to the responsibility which 
rests upon them, and that they realize in the deepest, 
broadest sense that their own prosperity, their own 
advancement, and their own standing in the com- 
munity depend upon the development of their craft 
to the highest ideal of perfection. 




IT seems almost incredible that tobacco, the dried 
product of a common herb, possessing the 
properties of a narcotic stimulant, and in no 
way necessaiy for man's sustenance, should have 
from its firet introduction progressively increased in 
consumption wherever used throughout the habitable 
globe ; that, despite the opposition of the combined 
powers of the church, the state, and the moralist to 
its use, its consumers being the subject of ridicule, 
persecution, and even mutilation, and itself an ob- 
ject of universal taxation, it furnishes at the present 
time not only one of the largest staples of commerce, 
but provides as well one of the leading manufactur- 
ing industries of mankind. 

The use of tobacco being nowhere mentioned 
prior to the discovery of America, at which time the 
species Nicotiana Tabacum, now almost universally 
grown, was being extensively cultivated by the na- 
tives, it need excite little surprise, when its universal 
use is considered, that the tobacco industry has been 
inseparably connected with the history, growth, and 
prosperity of our country from its earliest settlement 
to the present time, or that the few thousand pounds 
grown and exported by John Rolfe, of the colony 
of Virginia, in i6ia, should have increased to the 
present enormous yield of 500,000,000 pounds per 
aDuum, grown upon an area of 693,000 acres, by 
305,000 planters. About one half of this product 
is consumed at home, and the remainder exported, 
mainly to Great Britain, France, Germany, Spain, 
and Italy. 

The high prices which tobacco commanded upon 
its introduction into England in 1 586 greatly stimu- 
lated its production in the colonies. The foundation, 
however, for the enormous tobacco industry of our 
country was laid through an event which afterward 
proved a most potent factor in the destiny of the 
American Republic In August, 1619, the captain 
of a Dutch man-of-war sold to the planters upon the 

James River, Virginia, twenty negroes (African cap- 
tives), the first slaves introduced into the territory of 
the American colonies. Within the next one hun- 
dred and fifty years the slaves in the colonies num- 
bered over 390,000, scattered from New England 
to Georgia ; and under the stimulus of this class of 
labor the annual exports alone of the staple exceeded 
70,000,000 pounds. 

In Virginia, as early as 1633, tobacco-inspection 
warehouses were established, to which all tobacco 
grown for sale was required by law to be brought 
before the last day of each year, for examination by 
colonial inspectors appointed for that purpose, " who 
shall cause all the badd and ill-conditioned tobacco 
instantlie to be burnt, and the planter thereof to be 
disabled further from plantinge any more of that 
commodite of tobacco." These inspectors, being 
sworn and placed under heavy bonds, were aathw- 
ized to issue formal receipts for accepted tobacco. 
Such receipts by law became a legal tender, and 
under the title of " tobacco notes " were for over a 
century the medium of domestic and foreign ex- 
change, being receivable for all debts, public and 
private, at a value per pound annually fixed by the 
Assembly, the price being based upon quality, sup- 
ply, and demand. The price was therefore uniform, 
whether the tobacco was raised for sale or for use as 
a legalized circulating medium in barter. The pen- 
alty for forging these certificates, as well as against 
inspectors who issued them fraudulently, was death. 

During the year 1 633 the barter price of tobacco 
was hxed at ninepence a pound; but in 1639 so 
great was the over-production and disregard of 
quality that its cultivation was restricted, and all 
debts ordered satisfied in tobacco at threepence a 
pound. Indiscriminate planting was stopped by 
the governor and council of Virginia, with the con- 
sent of the Assembly, and each planter restricted 
to 100 plants, on each of which should be left but 



nine leaves. As late as 1732 tobacco was made a 
legal tender in Maryland, on a basis of value of one 
penny a pound. 

A marked change is shown in the distribution of 
the tobacco crops of the United States during the 
past one hundred and fifty years. In 1750 tobacco 
cultivation was confined almost entirely to Virginia 
and Maryland. In 1840 the product of the eight 
leading producing States, expressed in millions of 
pounds, was: Virginia, 75; Kentucky, 55; Ten- 
nessee, 29; Maryland, 24; North Carolina, 16; 
Missouri, 9 ; Ohio, 5 ; and Indiana, 2 ; while in 
1890 the product was: Virginia, 49; Kentucky, 
222; Tennessee, 36; Maryland, 12; North Caro- 
lina, 36; Missouri, 9; Ohio, 38; and Indiana, 7 — 
the production of Kentucky alone being 33,000,000 
pounds in excess of the other seven States combined. 
Retarded for a time by the War of the Revolution, 
and again, later, by the Civil War, the cultivation 
of tobacco has constantly increased, until at the 
present time its production is the largest in its his- 
tory. Its cultivation has always been confined to 
the belt where it originated — a tract of about 600 
miles in length by 300 in breadth, comprising por- 
tions of the States of Maryland, Virginia, and Ken- 
tucky, the northerly counties of North Carolina, the 
Cumberland Valley in Tennessee, the Miami Valley 
and Ohio River counties in Ohio, and small areas in 
Missouri, Indiana, Illinois, and Mississippi. These 
districts produce nearly all of the manufacturing and 
export tobaccos of the United States, exclusive 
of the tobacco grown for cigars, which is a more 
northerly product. 

The manufacture of tobacco and snuff is, so far 
as known, coeval with its cultivation. The practice 
of snuff taking was observed by sailors sent by 
Columbus to the isle of Cuba on his second voyage 
in 1494. In 1 502 Spanish explorers on the South 
American coast noted the habit of tobacco chewing 
^ong the nadves, and a few years later European 
Qplorers crossing the North American continent 
observed the imiversal custom of pipe smoking 
among the Indians, both as a sjrmbolical and a social 
custom. Small factories were early started through- 
out the colonies to supply, in some form convenient 
^or handling, those localities where either tobacco 
^as not grown or the larger proportion of settlers 
^^ engaged in other pursuits. 

The earliest form of general use, by which each 
nidividual became, as it were, his own manufacturer, 
^ the rubbing and breaking up of tobacco in the 
™d for pipe smoking. As the outside demand 
^^^^^^Bit greater the dried tobacco was rubbed by the 

manufacturer through sieves of various meshes to 
the inch, to suit the convenience and taste of con- 
sumers. This procedure, with improved methods of 
handling, is still the process by which granulated 
smoking-tobacco is made. A machine for mak- 
ing cut smoking-tobacco was described in 1732 as 
located in a Virginia manufactory, the output of 
which was 54,000 pounds per annum. In 1765 the 
manufacture of snuff was in comparatively few 
hands, the product being ground entirely by hand 
through the use of iron mortars and pestles. Before 
the adoption of the Constitution the leading snuff 
industries of the country, which were located at 
New York, Boston, and Philadelphia, had attained 
considerable proportions. 

About the year 1760 the entire tobacco industry 
was revolutionized by the introduction of water- 
power. This in tiun being later replaced by steam 
resulted in the industry becoming centralized in the 
hands of a few manufactiurers. As late as 1794, 
imder a law for the encouragement of manufac- 
turers. State aid was conjoined with private capital 
in New York for the construction of a combination 
mill near Albany, to manufactiure and grind, roll 
and cut tobacco, Scotch and rappee snuff, mustard, 
chocolate, starch, hair-powder, split pease, and hulled 
barley. In this mill all the operations, even to 
the spinning of tobacco, were performed by water- 
power, the tobacco-mill having a capacity of 100,- 
000 pounds per annum. This plant, at that time 
the most extensive and perfect of its kind in the 
country, well illustrates the advance of the tobacco 
industry during the past one hundred years. 

The subdivisions of the industry at the present 
time maintain about 800 factories, of various capa- 
cities, located in all sections of the Union, at least 
4 of which are snuff-mills, each producing annually 
upward of 2,000,000 pounds of snuff; 10 plug- 
tobacco factories, each with an annual output rang- 
ing from 5,000,000 to 20,000,000 pounds; 15 
smoking-tobacco factories, whose annual produc- 
tion varies from 1,000,000 to 5,000,000 pounds 
each ; and 5 factories in each of which are annually 
manufactured from 1,000,000 to 4,000,000 pounds 
of fine-cut chewing-tobacco. In all there are 50 
factories manufacturing over i ,000,000 pounds each, 
and nearly 200 factories producing over 100,000 
and less than 1,000,000 pounds each. 

Manufactured tobacco and snuff were early the 
objects of internal taxation by the general govern- 
ment. Alexander Hamilton, Secretary of the Trea- 
smy, in 1790, recommended a tax of ten cents per 
poimd on snuff, and six cents on other kinds of 



manufactured tobacco, as likely to produce annually 
from $90,000 to $100,000, computing the quantity 
of these articles manufactured as exceeding 1,500,- 
000 pounds, and reasoning that "this, being an 
absolute superfluity, is the fairest object of revenue 
that can be imagined." Acting upon this recom- 
mendation, an act was passed by Congress in 1 794, 
under which snuff and sugar were combined in one 
bill as objects of internal-revenue taxation, the tax 
on the former being eight cents and the latter two 
cents per pound, the import duty being respectively 
fixed at twelve cents and four cents, and the draw- 
back or allowance for export the same as amount 
of internal tax paid. 

In 1795 the internal duty was taken from snuff 
and laid on snuff-mills, for the reason that " the tax 
was difficult of collection and liable to great eva- 
sion"; and "it appearing that a snuff-mill works 
about half the year, — that is, 156 working-days, — 
yielding per mortar an average of forty-five pounds 
of snuff per day, it follows that $561.66 per mortar 
per annum, as the equivalent of eight cents per 
pound, would yield a similar revenue." The tax was 
therefore fixed as follows : every mortar worked by 
water-power, $560 ; every pair of millstones, $560 ; 
every pestle other than that worked by hand, $140 ; 
every hand-pestle, $112; and every mill in which 
snuff is manufactured by stampers or grinders, $2240 
— providing at the same time for a drawback of six 
cents on each pound exported. The internal-rev- 
enue tax on snuff collected for the six months end- 
ing March 31, 1795, at the rate of eight cents per 
pound, amounted to $3887.84^, while for the six 
months ending September 30, 1795, including the 
mill tax, the collections increased to $1 1,662, and for 
the year ending September 30, 1 796, the collections, 
under the law taxing the snuff-mill, etc., aggregated 
$17,124.80. This last system of taxation caused 
great dissatisfaction among manufacturers, since the 
duty was paid on the plant regardless of the quantity 
manufactured ; and as the government paid out for 
drawbacks to some manufacturers an amoimt ex- 
ceeding that received for revenue, the inequality of 
the operations of this law was so apparent that the 
act was suspended in 1 796, and again by subsequent 
sessions of Congress until 1800, when it was repealed. 

During the past thirty-two years the tax on to- 
bacco has proved a source of enormous revenue to 
the government. During this period the contribu- 
tion through taxation of the tobacco industry to the 
support of the general government approximates 
close to $1,000,000,000, being nearly one quarter 
of the receipts from all soiuxes of internal revenue 

between July, 1863, and July, 1895, and nearly ten 
per cent, of the entire income of the government 
from customs, internal-revenue and direct taxes, 
sales of lands, premiums on bonds, and other mis- 
cellaneous sources during the same period of time. 

By the United States internal-revenue laws the 
tobacco industries were divided for purposes of taxa- 
tion into two distinct classes : one the manufacture 
of chewing and smoking tobaccos and snuSs ; the 
other the production of cigars, cheroots, cigarettes, 
etc. The factory production of tax-paid tobacco 
and snuff in the United States for the calendar year 
ending December 31, 1893, exceeded 250,000,000 
pounds, subdivided into plug chewing, 148,000,- 
000; fine-cut chewing, 14,000,000; smoking-to- 
bacco, 76,000,000; and snuff, 12,000,000 pounds. 
Other materials aggregating 70,000,000 pounds 
annually —mainly sugar, licorice, malt, etc. — are 
added in various proportions during the manufacture 
of these products, to suit the taste of consumers. 

The amount of tobacco and snuff exported during 
the same period was 15,500,000 pounds. In addi- 
tion it is estimated that fully 28,000,000 pounds, 
representing the local consumption by growers, es- 
cape taxation. Statistics covering a series of years 
show that the percentage of consumption in our coun- 
try of the various kinds of manufactured tobacco 
and snuff is: plug, 62 per cent. ; smoking-tobaccos, 
27 per cent. ; fine-cut, 7 per cent. ; and snuff, 4 per 
cent. During the past twenty-five years the im- 
proved methods of manufacture introduced in all 
the subdivisions of the tobacco industry have ma- 
terially reduced the cost of production, with a cor- 
responding decrease in price to the consumer. In 
manufactured tobacco and snuff the processes of 
cleaning, ordering, casing, drying, cooling, cutting, 
dressing, flavoring, weighing, packing, stamping, 
labeling, with the additional procedures in the cigar- 
ette manufacture of carding, rolling, wrapping, and 
cutting off, are now generally carried on by machine 
instead of hand labor. 

The general consumption of the product of the 
tobacco industries of the United States has increased 
enormously during the past thirty years. Such in- 
crease has not been relative in its subdivisions. 
Based upon the collections of the internal-revenue 
department, the production of manufactured tobacco 
and snuff during 1863 was 24,000,000; 1865, 37,- 
000,000; 1875, 119,000,000; 1885, 180,000,000; 
and 1895, 259,000,000 pounds. A comparison of 
the reports of the internal-revenue department with 
the last published report for the calendar year end- 
ing December 31, 1892, shows that the consumption 



of plug tobaccos has mcreased during this period 66 
per cent ; fine-cut chewing, decreased i8 per cent. ; 
smoking, Increased 1 1 7 per cent ; and snuS, increased 
aoi per cent. The large number of cigar makers 
who have qualified as tobacco manufacturers for the 
purpose of sorting, sieving, and packing for sale 
their refuse scraps, clippings, and cuttings, accounts 
in a measure for the increased consumption of 
smoking-tobacco. The increase in consumption of 
SDuff from 4,000,000 pounds in 1880 to nearly 
13,000,000 in 1893, due in a large measure to its 
use for dipping purposes, is entirely at variance with 
the generally accepted view of the pubUc that the 
Qse of snuflf is fast becoming a relic of the past. 

During the fifteen years ending June 30, 189s, the 
annual consumption of tax-paid cigars, cheroots, etc., 
increased from 3,683,000,000 to 4,164,000,000, an 
increase of 56 per cent. ; and during the same 
period the atmual consumption of tax-paid cigarettes 
has increased from 567,000,000 to 3,338,000,000, 
an increase of 486 per cent While this increase 
has in both instances been annually progressive, it 
is apparent that the greater increased consumption 
in cigarettes has been at the expense of the cigar in- 

dustry ; for while the production of the former dur- 
ing the years 1894-95 was 370,000,000 in excess of 
the average for the past five years, the production 
of cigars, cheroots, etc., declined 350,000,000 dur- 
ing the same period of time. In addition there are 
annually manufactured for export about 2,000,000 
cigars and 400,000,000 cigarettes. Aside from the 
cultivation, preparation, and handling of the raw 
material, according to the latest available statistics 
the various tobacco industries of the United States 
are carried on by 11,351 establishments, with an in- 
vested capital of nearly $100,000,000, employing 
139423 persons, whose annual wages aggregate 
$53,336,060, using material costing $79,491,309, 
and having miscellaneous expenses incident thereto 
aggregating $33,000,000. 

I have thus endeavored, so far as the space al- 
lotted me would allow, to trace the progress and 
present status of the tobacco factories in the United 
States from the early cultivation of the raw material 
in the colonies to its present extensive production, 
both as the basis for one of our largest domestic in- 
dustries, as well as furnishing one of the largest of 
our staples for export 





SOAP making in the American colonies was 
largely a household art in the beginning. 
The thrifty housewife, utilizing the kitchen 
fats saved in the dripping-pan, made her own soft 
soap for domestic purposes, and even a species of 
hard soap, usually molded in the form of a ball, and 
of a quality that, though considered excellent in 
those days, would scarcely be used by housekeepers 
of to-day. 

If the soap boiler proper, as distinguished from 
the household maker, attained little prominence in 
the early days, soap was still a product the prepara- 
tion of the material for which afforded a flourishing 
colonial industry. So early as 1608, when the sec- 
ond ship sent out from England to the Jamestown 
colony arrived, there were landed a number of 
Germans and Poles, skilled craftsmen, among whom 
were several proficient in handling fat and soap- 
ashes. The superabundant timber of the virgin 
woodlands afforded every advantage to this indus- 
try. In 1621 soap-ashes for export to England 
were worth from six shillings to eight shillings per 
hundredweight, and fifty years later the settlements 
in that part of the country now included in Maine 
and New Hampshire derived their chief wealth 
from the fat and soap-ashes there produced. 

The candle and the tallow dip, then the ordinary 
means of illumination, have always constituted in 
their manufacture a branch of the soap maker's 
business, but in those days it was a far more impor- 
tant one than it is to-day. Newport, R. I., had a 
number of these establishments by the middle of the 
last century. Boston and all New England were 
likewise active in this trade, owing to the large 
whaling interests there, which furnished the sperm- 

Such was the status of the soap industry at the 
beginning of the century which comes within the 
limits of this article. While there were small soap- 
boiling establishments in nearly all the large towns 

by 1795, it is safe to say that they did not produce 
a great deal over $300,000 annually. The balk of 
the product consumed was, as has already been 
stated, home-made. 

The earliest moving cause in the evolution of a 
small and comparatively unimportant trade into a 
great industry was the discovery by Leblanc, a 
Frenchman, in 1791, of his celebrated process for 
the manufacture of soda on a large scale. This 
discovery, although made so early, was not appre- 
ciated in its full significance undl more than thirty 
years later, when chemical manufacturers and soap 
makers began to avail themselves extensively of the 
supply of soda thus cheaply afforded. 

Prior to this latter event, however, the trade 
foundations of the great soap industry of to-day 
were laid by a few persons who were long-sighted 
enough to perceive the future requirements, and 
courageous enough to believe they could fulfil them. 
Among these, one of the oldest, as it is one of the 
largest, in both present and past importance, was 
the establishment of William Colgate, founded in 
1806 in a modest way in the old building in Dutch 
Street, where the warehouses and offices have re- 
mained to this day. Fancy soaps were at this time 
unknown, and the makers of the American product 
contented themselves with a very common grade of 
soap. The same conditions prevailed in both Phil- 
adelphia and Boston ; but so rapid was the advance 
that by 1835 we were supplying all the home de- 
mand, with the exception only of certain of the fin- 
est qualities of soap, the secret for making which 
was possessed by some English or French manufac- 
turer. We were in addition heavy exporters, sending 
abroad, principally to England, nearly as much 
every year as we are bringing in from there to-day. 
The total imports of soap for 1835 were but $36,- 
ai8, while of our home-made product of soap and 
candles there was shipped abroad $534,467 worth. 
In Great Britain the soap industry was hampered at 



this time by a duty originally imposed in 171 1, and 
not repealed witil 1853. Despite this drawback, it 
is interesting to note, as showing the growing com- 
mercial and industrial importance of soap, that dur- 
ing the fifty years which followed 1801 the annual 
production increased from the amount as previously 
stated to over 197,600,000 pounds. 

The increased importance of the soap industry 
thus developed in England, together with the many 
new uses to which the product was soon being put, 
especially as an auxiliary in other manufacturing 
processes, was speedily felt on this side of the water. 
Nevertheless the stimulation manifested itself rather 
in increased production than in improved quality. 

Fifty years ago we were employing substantially 
the same methods and processes that were used in 
England. New England was then the principal 
center of the manufacture for the United States, 
although New York and Philadelphia were gaining 
prominence. At that time filling materials were 
practically unknown, and "settled" soaps were 
merely run into the wooden frames and crutched 
for hours, until rendered thick from cooling, or were 
finished by boih'ng down. The material was ladled 
by hand from the kettles into the frames, or put into 
backets or tubs and carried and emptied into the 
frames. The kettles themselves had cast-iron bot- 
toms, to which a wooden curb was fastened by means 
of cement. The composition of this cement, which 
was used to prevent leakage, was regarded at that 
time as a great trade secret, especially when the 
cement was capable of preventing the leakage for 
some length of time. The waste lye was run off 
through a pipe reaching through the wooden curb 
to a point near the bottom of the kettle. The ket- 
tles were heated by open fire, and the contents were 
kept from burning by stirring them with a long iron 
rod flattened at the end. The lye was made by 
leaching wood-ashes, since the use of caustic soda, 
although dating back to the beginning of the cen- 
t^, had made very slow advances. 

Wiile processes and methods were thus, compar- 
atively speaking, at a standstill during the first four 
decades of the present centmy, the soap industry, 
^nevertheless, steadily advanced in importance, and 
prepared itself for the wonderful development that 
immediately followed the discoveries of Chevreul 
"^ ^841. He demonstrated the true principles of 
saponification, and no later improvement, whether it 
"* in the introduction of the steam processes or in 
the discoveries and uses of the many new vegetable 
*^d animal oils, has been of greater importance, 
^e unpetus thus given is shown in the fact that 

only one year later, in 1842, there were produced 
in the United States alone 50,000,000 pounds of 
soap, 18,000,000 pounds of tallow candles, and 
3,000,000 pounds of wax and spermaceti candles, 
while exports to the value of more than $1,000,000 
attested the preeminence we were gaining in the 
markets of the world. Of the total soap product at 
this time Massachusetts was credited with over 
one quarter, and of the spermaceti she produced 
nearly all. 

Five years later, at the time when our house re- 
moved its factory to Jersey City, the soap industry 
had grown to great proportions. There were many 
manufacturers of soaps and candles in New York 
at this time, and among the more prominent of 
these I recall Enoch Morgan, James Buchan, John- 
son, Vroom & Fowler, D. S. & J. Ward, J. D. & 
W. Lee, Holt & Horn, Patrick Clendenen, John 
Alsop, C. W. Smith & Company, John Taylor & 
Sons, W. G. Browning & Company, Lee A. Com- 
stock, John Buchanan, George F. Penrose, John 
Ramsey, John Kirkman, and John Sexton. The 
manufacture of fancy soaps had already been 
begim, and in 1850 was established on an exten- 
sive scale by our house. Shaving-soap, always in 
great demand in those days, when beardless faces 
were the vogue, was also greatly improved in this 
decade, and many other of the common toilet 
necessities of to-day were either first brought out 
or developed to comparative excellence at this 

In common, too, with almost every manufactur- 
ing industry of importance, the making of soap was 
soon facilitated by the introduction of machinery. 
American ingenuity, always on the alert for labor- 
saving devices, has since been active in this field as 
in others, and the improved and extensive equip- 
ment of the modem factory testifies to its success. 
Manual labor, which was the rule in the earlier days, 
has been replaced in many of the various processes 
by machinery that performs the work more expe- 
ditiously and at a reduced cost. There are specially 
constructed machines designed and adapted for 
almost every step in the different processes of manu- 
facture where their introduction has been either fea- 
sible or of advantage. A technical specification of 
the nature and functions of these machines would 
not only require too much space, but it would be 
tedious as well to the general reader, and is therefore 

There are various sources for the fats used in the 
production of soap. The berries of the soap-tree of 
South America and the West Indies possess excel- 



lent natural qualities for the manufacture of soap, 
and the bark of the Quillaia Saponaria^ from Peru, 
is used in Liverpool for washing woolens. In Cali- 
fornia the roots of the Fhaianjium Pomaridianum 
are found in great abundance, and have the odor of 
brown soap; these are used for washing clothes. 
Different kinds of oils are used in the manufacture 
of soap, these offering different proportions of ap- 
proximate principles of fatty bodies, such as stearine, 
palmitine, and oleine. Different kinds of alkalis 
used to unite with the fats produce soaps of vary- 
ing hardness, soda making a harder soap than pot- 
ash. The hardest soap is made by the use of stearine 
and soda, and the softest soap by the union of 
oleine and potash. Glycerine is often combined 
with fatty acids, since it is broken up by the action 
of the alkali, the glycerine then existing in a free 
state in the soap, or it may be extracted as a sepa- 
rate product. The principal fats and oils used in the 
manufacture of soap are tallow, and palm, rape, 
poppy, linseed, hemp-seed, and olive oils. 

Qlive-oil is used in the manufacture of Castile, 
Marseilles, and other marbled and plain soaps of 
southern Europe. Similar results by similar methods 
are attained in this coimtry. The best oils for mar- 
bled soaps are obtained from Naples. The Spanish 
oils are also valuable for the same purpose. The 
oils from the East are not so rich in stearine, and 
contain a certain amount of green pigment, which 
make them less desirable. Mottled or marbled soaps 
are obtained by sprinkling the surface of the freshly 
made substance successively with lyes less and less 
concentrated. The saponification — which by its 
very Latin derivation shows that the manufacture 
existed among the Romans — is conducted ordinarily 
by boiling the fat with a solution of caustic potash 
or soda. Most fats require a long boiling with an 
excess of alkali, but lard, beef-marrow, and the oil 
of sweet almonds may be saponified merely by an 
agitation with caustic soda at an ordinary tempera- 

Soaps are scented and colored by mixing coloring 
substances and volatile oils or odorous matter with 
them. Sometimes, for the purpose of producing a 
medicated soap, antiseptics, such as carbolic acid, 
creosote, chloride of potash, and sulphur, are mixed 
with the ingredients. A soap for the use of taxider- 
mists in preserving skins is produced by the addition 
of arsenic. A large industry has developed in this 
country in scouring-soaps, which are produced by 
the addition of fine sand or pumice-stone to the 
ordinary soap when in its plastic state. The secret 
of the cleansing power of soap has never been satis- 

factorily explained ; yet while it is generally supposed 
to be due to what is known as "hydrolysis," or 
partial decomposition into free alkali and insoluble 
acid soap, it is probably due, as a matter of fact, 
to the power of the solution to emulsionize fats. 

The processes of soap manufacture are three in 
number, according to the ordinary classification. 
First, there is a process of direct union of free fatty 
or resinous acid and alkalis, a process which is not 
much in use. Second, there is the treatment of fats 
with definite quantities of alkalis, in which the 
glycerine remains with the soap. This is known as 
the "cold process." Third, there is the treatment 
of fats by boiling them with indefinite quantities of 
alkali and lye. The great bulk of soaps is hard 
soap, and this is of three kinds — the curd, the mot- 
tled, and the yellow. The finest quality of the curd 
soap is obtained by the use of tallow, the lye being 
concentrated by the use of close steam till the soap 
is hard. In producing mottled soap, while the pro- 
cess is the same as in the manufacture of the curd, 
darker fats are used, and concentration of the fats 
is not carried to such an extent as with the other. 
When there is a natural mottling of the soap it is 
an absolute guaranty that there is no undue amount 
of water present in it. The artificial motth'ng of 
soap is carried on to a very large extent for legiti- 
mate purposes ; but there are those who practise it 
for the express purpose of fraud. The mottling 
process is largely used for laundry-soaps. Yellow 
soaps contain more or less resin, the finest qualities 
of such soap being secured by the use of Hght- 
colored resin and the best grade of tallow. The 
finishing or " fitting " of yellow soaps requires long 
experience on the part of the manufacturer for satis- 
factory results. The method of finishing all kinds 
of soap is a variable factor, depending upon the 
precise kind of article desired. 

In the production of cocoanut or marine soaps 
the cocoanut-oil is saponified by the use of strong 
lye without salting. After several days of harden- 
ing the blocks of soap are first cut into slabs by 
means of a thin steel wire, and the slabs are then 
transformed into bars. These bars are stamped 
with the name of the maker and the brand of the 
soap, and are then ready for the market. 

The demand for cheap soap has resulted in the 
introduction and extension of a process known as 
"filling." In this various substances designed to 
increase the detergent power of the soap, or to in- 
crease its bulk and weight, thus lessening its power, 
are introduced into the soap after it leaves the 
" copper." This process is also known as " crutch- 


ing." The substances used as adulterants are water, 
talc, clay, chalk, sulphate of baryta, etc. In the 
production of soft soaps impure solutions of potash 
soaps are combined with glycerine in caustic lye, 
which results in transparent jellies. 

In the production of toilet-soaps good curd or 
yellow soap is used as the basis, special precautions 
being taken against the presence of (ree alkali. 
The soap is cut into shavings. It is then partially 
dried, and, coloring- ma tier and perfumes being 
added, the composition is passed several times be- 
tween granite rollers to make it homogeneous. The 
mass is then " dotted," which consists in the use of 
great pressure to form the soap into bars. These 
bars are then cut and stamped. The lower qualities 
of toilet -soaps are generally made by the "cold 
process." Transparent soaps are produced by dis- 
solving good dry soap in alcohol, pouring off the 
clear solution, and then removing the bulk of the 
spirit by distillation. The soap remaining is then 
put into molds, cooled, and preserved for several 
months in warm chambers, until it becomes quite 
transparent. Many kinds of transparent soaps are 
made by the " cold process," the transparency being 
accomplished by the addition of sugar. Glycerine 
is often incorporated with opaque and transparent 
soaps for emollient effects, while for disinfecting 
purposes carboHc acid, cold tar, eucalyptus-oil, and 
other substances are added. The commercial value 
of all soaps depends upon the percentage of fatty 
anhydride present in them. 

Having thus briefly reviewed the technology of 
the soap-manufacturer's art, we return to the consid- 
eration of the historical features of the subject. In 
the decade ending in 1850 the annual production of 
soap and candles had reached nearly $10,000,000, 
and by i860 it had increased to still greater propor- 
tions. Its extent in that year, as well as in each 
succeeding decade, as gathered from the census re- 
ports of the United Slates, was as follows: 

most important phase of this industrial success. 
This is contained in the fact that American soaps 
are strong competitors in the markets of the world. 
Not only do we produce enough and to spare for 
oiu' own wants, but we also send annually great 
quantities to foreign countries. Showing as this 
does the superiority of the American article, it Is 
most gratifying; and the fact that England and 
France are still the most noted producers of toilet- 
soaps does not prevent me from declaring that we 
are producing here at home at the present time arti- 
cles every bit as good, if not better than those 
made abroad, and that it is a question of only a 
short time before our superiority in this direction 
will be as freely conceded as it now is in the com- 
moner grades of soap. The development and pres- 
ent importance of our foreign trade can be gathered 
from the subjoined table, giving the exports and 
imports of soaps by half-decades during the past 
twenty- five years : 












Modem conditions have greatly changed the 
methods of soap manufacturers. Commencing with 
the introduction of the first pressed cakes of laundry- 
soap in this country by B. T. Babbitt, innovations 
and improvements have followed thick and fast. 
Upon the breaking out of the Civil War resin be- 
came very scarce, and other substances were added 
to the soap as substitutes. After the war, when 
resin became plentiful, there was a tendency to 
revert to the old methods of making soap ; but late 




Mat«i«i. Coh- 








« 19.531 




The above figures demonstrate most clearly the 
growth that has been made by the soap -manufactur- 
ing interests, but they do not express another and 

in the sixties the process of hardening resin soaps by 

the use of sal-soda was first introduced by A. Van 
Haagen, at thai rime of Philadelphia. Gradually 



the process of recovering glycerine from waste-soap 
lye was perfected in England, but it has been im- 
proved upon here, so that now refined and chemi- 
cally pure glycerine is made by a goodly number 
of soap factories. The manufacture of soap-powder 
pertains to this same period. White floating soap 
was first put upon the market by Procter & Gamble, 
of Cincinnati. 

The introduction of sapolio also marked a new 
era in the soap business. It was a combination of 
true soap and scouring substances in such propor- 
tions as to increase to the highest point the advan- 
tages of each. The Bath brick of the scullery 
has gone since its advent, and the principle upon 
which sapolio was established is now utilized in 
many forms. Intense competition has burdened 
the business with enormous advertising expenses, 
with all the various ramifications thereon attendant, 
such as the " gift trade " of premiums in crockery, 
glass, lithographic art work, and household novelties. 
While the maker of the housewife's soaps has had 
increased by these things his cost of production, the 
manufacturers of the finer grades have been equally 
alert to keep abreast of the demand for artistic 
wrapping and boxing, with the result that thousands 
of dollars are annually expended for the purely 
esthetic requirements of the business. Despite all 
this, the best grades of soap are now made in the 
United States. In quality, form, and preparation 
they are equal to those made anywhere in the world, 
while along the line of mechanical facilities for oper- 
ating upon large quantities of material with the 
greatest economy of time and labor this country is 
acknowledged to take the lead among the nations 
of the earth. 

Among the great firms engaged in the business 
to-day, and identified with its progress, I might 
mention B. T. Babbitt, N. K. Fairbank & Company, 
James S. Kirk & Company, D. S. Brown & Com- 
pany, Procter & Gamble, and Colgate & Company. 

Thus far I have avoided all mention of perfu- 
mery, notwithstanding the fact that its manufacture 
is sometimes a subsidiary branch in the great soap 
establishments. The subject, nevertheless, is one 
that must properly come up for discussion by itself. 
Under the general head of perfumery are grouped a 
great variety of articles for toilet use, such as cos- 
metics, pomades, toilet powders, oils, depilations, 
dentifrices, sachet powders, etc. In their manufac- 
ture has been developed a business which more than 
almost any other demands the extremest care, taste, 
and experience on the part of the maker. 

The hardy settlers and stem old Puritans who 

first came to America had little use and less dedre 
for the sweet-smelling unguents of the Old World 
dandies. Accordingly it was long before perfumery 
was established as a manufacture here. In the 
proud old Tory days before the Revolution, and in 
the time of the Confederation which followed, per- 
fumery, cosmetics, and the like were necessities in 
the toilet of any person of fashion. The carefully 
powdered hair and cue, the delicately scented shirt- 
frills and handkerchief, were all indispensable to the 
gentleman who wished to appear in good society. 
The supply of these articles, however, was drawn 
almost altogether from abroad, from the great cen- 
ters of England and France. The housewife's rose- 
water, steeped lavender, and kindred preparations 
were generally known, and made by each family in 
quantity requisite for its own needs. As in the case 
of soap, so with perfiunery, it took many years and 
changed conditions to bring the industry from the 
kitchen to the factory. 

There are several methods for the extraction of 
the odoriferous qualities of plants, and for imparting 
them to spirits and oily bodies. For pomades the 
best fat to be procured is the marrow of the ox. 
An inferior source Hes in the mixture of beef and 
veal fat and lard. These are beaten in a mortar, 
melted in a water-bath, and then strained. Before 
cooling the essential oil for the perfume is stirred 
in, or else flowers are thrown in and left to digest 
for several hours. These flowers are then removed, 
the fat is again heated and strained under heavy 
pressure, and fresh flowers are supplied. This pro- 
cess, known as maceration, is continued for several 
days ; the product is then strained. 

For delicate plants such as jasmine, tuberose, and 
cassia, the process employed is known as " absorp- 
tion " or enfleurage. In this process square wooden 
boxes, the bottoms of glass plate, are used. In 
these is first placed a layer of purified lard and suet 
mixture ; freshly gathered flowers are placed upon 
this layer every morning. The boxes are then shut, 
and the grease finally acquires a very strong odor 
from the flowers. For the saturation of oils the 
boxes are supplied with a wire bottom, on which 
cloths are placed after being soaked in the oil 
After being charged the cloths are placed, several 
of them together, under heavy pressure, and the 
perfumed oils are thus regained. For the scenting 
of spirits the process of maceration or of digestion 
with essential oils is conducted in a water-bath and 
by agitation for several days. Perfumed soaps are 
prepared by substituting pomades for the grease in 
the mixture of soda lees. 



The meagemess of the records, and the difficulty 
of distinguishing between the perfumer who dealt 
in imported articles, or at best made but one or two 
special and usually simple scents in limited quantity, 
and the actual American manufacturers, prevent as 
full a history of the early trade as might otherwise 
be given. It is certain that perfumery was being 
made in the United States, and in steadily increas- 
ing quantities, during each of the first four decades 
of the present century. The impetus given to the 
soap industry early in the forties by ChevreuPs dis- 
covery reacted directly upon the production of per- 
fumery. Many Frenchmen, skilled perfumers, had 
come to this country, and were vying with the 
American manufacturers for a trade that was already 
most profitable. Distinctive American scents had 
been introduced and become popular. "Ask for 
Cream of Lily," or " Take nothing but Violet Blos- 
som," were advertisements illustrating the extent lO 
wWch the business had grown. Among the manu- 
facturers in New York at this time — between 1845 
and 1847 — were Thomas Jones, John Lindmark, 
Levi Beals, John Wyeth, Johnson, Vroom & Fowler, 
James Mackey, John Ramsey, William White & 
Company, Robert Reed, and John B. Breed. The 
French element in the trade was represented by 
such houses as J. M. de Ciphlet, F. F. Gouraud, 
August Grandjean, and Eugene Roussel. 

Since then the growth of the trade has been 
great, and its importance is steadily increasing as 
American processes, intelligence, and push bring 
their forces to bear in competition with the great 
established centers abroad. The foreign strongholds 

the native herbs, as at Mitcham in Surrey, where 
tons of peppermint and lavender are often distilled 
at a single operation. In the northern part of the 
United States there are many essences and essential 
oils manufactured from scented woods and herbs, 
such as wintergreen, sassafras, and others. Pepper- 
mint and roses and other flowers from gardens, fruits, 
seeds, and other vegetable products are unlimited 
sources for the production of this fascinating article. 

The delicate scent of flowers has been traced to 
certain oils and ethers which may be elaborated 
from substances possessing even disgusting odors. 
The fetid fusel-oil affords odors which, obtained by 
processes of differentiation, are the same as those of 
fruits. Oils from gas-tar yield bitter-almond odors 
or the essence of mirbane. These are extensively 
used for perfuming soaps, and in many instances are 
regarded as preferable for culinary uses and the 
perfuming of confectionery. Then we have per- 
fumes supplied from animal sources as well as vege- 
table. Among these are musk, civet, ambergris, and 
hartshorn. Ambergris supplies the most ethereal 
odors for use in combination with other perfumes. 
The greatest number of materials for perfumes (this 
being twenty-eight) comes from the south of France. 
Among these are the orange and the jasmine flowers, 
which form the bulk of the product, and also violets, 
roses, cassia, and tuberoses. 

The progress made by the perfiunery industry in 
this country during the last four decades is best 
shown in the following tabulated statement, taken 
from the United States census reports for the years 
noted : 
















Material Con- 


Value of 


1 The statistics for diis year include the manufacture of &ncy soap. 

^ 4e perfumery industry are London, Paris, and 
^c Mediterranean cities of southern France, to- 
E^ther with the rose-growing regions of Turkey and 
**^a, where the manufacture of the ethereal attar 
®^ roses is carried to great extent. Cannes is famous 
w its roses ; Nimes for its thyme, rosemary, astic, 
^^ lavender ; Nice for its violets and mignonettes ; 
^cJy for its lemons, bergamot, and orange perfumes. 
^Q England some essential oils are obtained from 

Of our foreign trade in perfumery there is little 
to be said, except that its condition has been and 
is encouraging. France and England, controlling 
as they do to a great extent the supply of raw ma- 
terial, have long been regarded as rulers of the per- 
fumery market. Nevertheless this country has for 
many years sold abroad nearly as much as it has 
imported. In 1894 the figures show the imports 
to have been of the value of $427,850, while the 




exports were but $327,835, or, speaking roundly, 
$100,000 less. This disparity, however, is not so 
great as it at first appears, owing to the fact that the 
classification of imports includes toilet preparations 
of every description, embracing many articles ex- 
cluded under the export grouping. At home, with 
an annual production at the present time certainly 
amounting to, if not in excess of, $5,000,000, the 
progress of the last quarter of a century is plainly 
evident. Among the great firms active to-day in 
that advance throughout the country are Colgate & 

Company, Lundborg, Lazell, Dalley & 
Theodore Rickseckcr, Solon Palmer, A1& 
£. W. Hoyt & Company, Lanman & ', 
Frederick Steams & Company. Great, 1 
has been the advance made here in bot 
the soap industry, it is safe to predict 1 
extent is not yet reached. An increase* 
wider knowledge of applied chemistry, ai 
opment of internal resources are all tendi: 
us at no distant day in the very van of 
progress in these industrial arts. 

Henry Bower. 



CiOR is a combined effort of the animal king- 
dom, led by mankind, to overcome and sub- 
due, to subject and utilize, the forces of na- 
ture. Labor, in its various relations, assumes forms 
that are both psychical and physical in character. 
Groups, combinations, and subdivisions of these 
fonns exist in the great war of the animal kingdom 
oo the solid, fluid, and gaseous condidons of matter. 
Hence it is that the chemist and chemical manu- 
facture! are called on to organize and array the final 
attack on all known productions of the earth, of the 
water, and of the atmosphere. 

Hk chemical industry of the United States may 
be considered to have been in existence, at this 
time, about one hundred years. In common with 
other leading manufactures, it has reached large 
proportions. Almost every State of the Union has 
chemical establishments of some kind. The indus- 
try is affected for good or bad in quick response to 
the rise and fall of other manufactures. 

Before the Revolution no chemicals were made 
here. From such reports as are obtainable it ap- 
pean that 8000 pounds of copperas were made in 
Vennont in 1810, and a smaller quantity in Mary- 
land in the same year. In tSij alum was made in 
*e latter State. Oil of vitriol was manufactured in 
^^>iladelpbia in 1793. At Baltimore, the manufac- 
tve of chemicals, paints, and medicine began in 
1816. InthecensusofiSao, two chemical establish- 
•"Kots were reported from New York City. 

By 1830 die industry was firmly established in the 
United Sutes, Philadelphia being the center. There 
*^ then thirty firms in the business in the entire 
^'X'Qtry, having a capital of $1,158,000, and produc- 
^ articles valued at $ i ,000,000 per annum. Alum, 
'"Ppetas, and some other articles were manufactured 
•o the almost entire exclusion of the foreign product 
">c list or productions included calomd and various 
"*« mercurial preparations, Glauber's and Rochelle 
"^ tartar emetk, ammonia, sulphate of quinine, 

oil of vitriol, tartaric, nitric, muriatic, oxalic, and 
acetic acids, aqua fortis, Prussian blue, chrome yel- 
low, chrome-green, refined saltpeter, refined borax, 
refined camphor, acetate and nitrate of lead, prussiate 
of pota^, and bichromate of potash. 

The totals for the chemical industry, as reported 
in 1S90, are shown in the following summary: 

Number of eaUbUshmenU reporting 1,616 


Direct investment $168,463,044 

Value of hired property ii2,ogSfl^j 

Miacelluneaus expenses $l3i^Oi343 

Avenge number of employees 43,7oi 

Toml wage* 9tS-3*^fiJ7 

O^ert.firm mmthers, andtlerki: 

Average Dumber 

Total wagci 

All ather emflgyeit: 

Average niunber 37>74^ 


Value of prodncts 9>77i8i 1,833 

The principal products reported, and their quan- 
tity and value, were as follows : 

Product*. Qoajititv. Valub. 

Alum (lbs-) 93fl98.«>8 $i,6i6,7ii> 

Coal-tar prodncts 687,591 

Dyeing and tanning ex- 
incts and sunuc (lbs.) l87#}6,gll 8,857/184 

Gunpowder and other ex- 
plosives « ias,64Sflia 10,993.131 

Fertiliters (tons) 1,898,806 35>5>9^i 

Faints, colors, and var- 
nishes 53,908,351 

Pharmaceutical prepara- 
tions 16,744,643 

Potash and pearlash {lbs.) 5.106,939 I97<S07 

SodM '■ 333.1*4.375 5-433.400 

Snljrfmric »cid 1 " l,384,776fl73 S.'9^78 

Wood-alcohol and acetate 
of lime 1385.4^ 

Chemicals (including all 
adds, basei, and salts 
not heretofore ennmer* 
»ted> a4.75'.974 

All other products 13.018,153 

Total valne $177,811,833 



The most important of all chemical products is 
sulphuric acid, which maintains its supremacy over 
any other known article in promoting the manu- 
facturing interests of the world. By the census of 
1890, 105 establishments were reported as engaged 
in the manufacture of this acid, the production being 
1,384,776,972 pounds. Of this quantity, 581,536,- 
200 pounds, estimated as being worth $2,480,495, 
were produced and consiuned as an intermediate 
product by establishments manufacturing fertilizers. 
Taking this into account, the total value of all sul- 
phuric acid manufactured in the United States dur- 
ing 1890 was $7,679,473, an increase in value of 
109.71 per cent, over 1880, and in quantity of 
348.49 per cent. The large increase in the number 
of establishments and in the quantity produced, to- 
gether with the reduction in price, indicates the 
advance that has been made in general manufactures 
in the United States during the decade intervening. 
Of the 1,384,776,972 pounds reported, 1,009,863,- 
407 pounds were 50^ Beaiun6 acid, 20,379,908 
pounds were 60O acid, and 354,533,657 pounds 
were 66^ acid. Reduced to a uniform strength of 
50^, the total production for the year was 1,567,- 
138,777 pounds. Supposing all of the chambers to 
be running 365 days in the year, we find the amoimt 
of 50^ acid and equivalents manufactured in each 
twenty-four hours to be 4,293,531 pounds, or 2147 

From technical considerations, manufactured 
manures are the next in importance to sulphuric 
acid in the category of chemical productions. The 
total of 1,898,806 tons of these materials produced, 
indicates, by no inaccurate measure, the extent of 
the farming interests of the country. When we 
consider that about 300 pounds of artificial fertilizer 
are commonly used to one acre of land, it is seen 
that 12,658,700 acres were enriched by its use. 
Dr. David T. Day, chief of the Division of Mines 
and Mining, states that 375,000 tons of fertilizers 
were consumed during the last census year in the 
Southern States, leaving 1,523,806 tons as the 
consumption of the Eastern, Middle, and Western 
States. The increase in manufacture over 1880 is 
1 , 1 7 1 ,3 53 tons, or about 161 per cent. These figures 
show that large areas of our country are becoming 
unprofitable to farm without the use of these aids to 
fertilization; and the existence of factories in the 
States of California, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, 
Minnesota, and Wisconsin is indicative of the grad- 
ual exhaustion of soil that was virgin in character 
less than twenty-five years ago. These facts tend 
to show that the time is approaching when none of 

our unmanured soils will yield in remunerative 
quantity. They prove that economies are coming 
into practice in the utilization of material that for- 
merly ran to waste. 

The farmer occupies a reversed position to that of 
the manufacturer of artificial manures. By prodigal 
wastefulness and culpable ignorance he permits im- 
mense quantities of manurial matter to find their way 
to the sea, while bemoaning his lot and sighing over 
the yield of virgin lands in comparison with that 
of his own ; whereas the manufacturer, by the aid 
of chemical skill and mechanical devices, converts 
refuse matter into valuable merchandise. 

The figures presented here yield consolation to 
the farmers of the Atlantic slope. When the not 
distant time arrives for the extinguishment of an 
agriculture that is based on primordial soil, the 
lands of these regions will recover their lost value ; 
for the facts herein submitted tend to show how 
closely fertility is allied to the production of manu- 
factured manures, and this manufacture can be 
carried on most profitably at those points where 
supplies of foreign crude material can be obtained, 
and where seaboard transportation can be made 

The decade between 1880 and 1890 is rendered 
memorable to the chemical industry by the perma- 
nent establishment of the manufacture of soda salts 
in the United States. Previous to that time all at- 
tempts to produce these articles successfully from 
common salt had failed. The causes that led to re- 
peated failure and the consequent loss of large sums 
of money are to be found in the high cost of labor, 
the absence of customs-duties on bleaching-powders 
or chloride of lime, and the exceedingly low rates 
of ocean freight that rule on this class of mer- 

The Solvay Process Company, of Syracuse, N. Y., 
has been founded on the experience and skill of the 
now noted Solvay, of Belgium. But, however satis- 
factory the process may be, it has a drawback that 
affects the production of many articles in the United 
States, — notably bleaching-powders, paper stock, and 
certain chemicals, — inasmuch as all the chlorine of 
the common salt employed is lost, passing away as 
valueless chloride of calcium. Consequently the 
United States remains dependent upon Great Britain 
and Germany for its supply of so important an article 
as bleaching-powder. 

A question of the greatest interest centers in this 
problem — how to overcome this defect in our manu- 
facturing system. The efforts of inventors have for 
many years been directed toward the solution. 



Theory has marked out a number of paths, but 
practice has not yet succeeded in following any of 
these to a satisfactory result. It may be remarked 
that, in addition to bleaching-powders, the important 
chemicals, alizarin, chlorate of potash, and chlorate 
of soda, are not foimd among the salts produced in 
this country, and that these articles, so essential to 
the textile interests, are free from customs-duty. 

The States of the Union often provide chemical 

manufactures relatively to their natural products; 

but the markets for chemicals are situated chiefly at 

such attractive points as the great centers of textile 

manufactiuing, of dyeing and bleaching works, and 

of the oil-refineries and artificial-manure works; 

hence, chemical works are to be foimd principally at 

or near these points. It appears from the report for 

the Eleventh Census on the dyeing and finishing of 

textiles, considered as a distinct industry, prepared 

by Mr. P. T. Wood, that chemicals and dyestuffs 

to the value of $8,407,693 were consumed by the 

248 establishments engaged in this industry, to which 

must be added $1 1,278,970, the value of chemicals 

and dyestuffs consumed during the census year by 

textile manufactiu'ers who do their own dyeing and 

finishing, making a total of $19,686,663 as the value 

of this class of chemicals consumed in the textile 

The leading articles of raw material and their 

derivatives used in chemical manufactures, briefly 

stated, are as follows: 


Raw Matbhial. 

firimsionc or salphor ; 
pyrites containing sal- 


Nitrate of soda. 
S«lt (common). 
Pottth salts. 

^^JjTOoic-iron ores. 
^^ony ores, 
fittmnth ores. 

Iron ores, 

^^"nginese ores. 

Mercury ore*. 




OR Dbrivativbs. 

Oil of vitriol, or salphoric add, 
the most important of all 

Nitric acid and all nitrates. 

Soda ; muriatic add. 

Bichromate of potash, pmssiate 
of potash, and many other 

Salts of nickel, for plating. 

Chromates of potash and soda. 

Alloys ; medicinal salts. 

Allo3rs ; medidnal salts. 

Sulphate of copper, or blue vit- 

Oxide of cobalt. 

Sulphate of iron, or copperas. 

White and red lead ; litharge. 

Disinfectants ; chlorine. 

Calomel; white and red pre- 

dpitate; vermilion. 

Oxide of zinc. 

Chloride of gold. 

Nitrate of silver. 

Raw Matbkial. 

Manufacturbd Articles 
OR Dbrivativbs. 

Innumerable vegetable 

Dyeing extracts ; alkaloids ; 


adds ; and pharmaceutical 





Soap ; oils used in cooking. 



Com and all cereals. 

Glucose; alcohol; starch. 


Explosives; oxalic add; potash; 

acetic acid ; paper. 

Argol or tartar. 

Tartaric add ; cream of tartar. 

Borate of lime. 







Sublimed iodine ; all iodides. 


Lime ; carbonic add. 


Carbonate and sulphate of mag- 




Crude phosphates. 



Soap; glycerine. 

Animal matter, such as 

Prussiate of potash; artificial 

horns, hoofs, and leather. 



Soap; perfumes. 

Coal (bituminotis). 

Ammonia; coal-tar colors; cya- 

nide of potash. 






Alum; soda. 

Silica or sand. 

Silicate of soda ; glass. 


Tin-salts, for dyeing purposes. 

Atmospheric air. 



Gas; hydrogen; oxygen. 

The innumerable variety of combinations made 
of the raw materials named renders it impossible to 
state them in any limited space. The variety of raw 
materials, and of the numberless combinations thereof, 
gives to the chemical industry a unique position. No 
other branch of manufacture can approach it in 
scope, in the necessity for its existence, or in the 
knowledge required for its prosecution. 

The merchandising in chemicals is of a complex 
character, and is based chiefly on chemical tests, 
both of the raw materials and of the manufactured 
articles. The markets of all quarters of the globe 
are scanned, and supplies, in many instances, are 
carried in large quantities, owing to the remote 
points of their production. The chemical industry 
affords one of the largest sources for transportation 
to railroad and water carriers, in raw materials as 
well as in partly finished and wholly manufactured 
stuffs. In many articles the competition of countries 
enjoying low prices for labor is difficult to meet On 
the other hand, through advantages not enjoyed by 
foreign manufacturers, considerable exportation of 
certain chemicals is going on at this time. 

The industries or trades dependent upon the manu- 
facture of chemicals may be enumerated as follows : 


Woolen nuuiafacture. Tunning. 


Soap "■..'""'■ 

Adifidal ice mnnufaclure. 
Pharmsce atical " 

Eleclrical or gdvanic mar 

Artificial manures. Prinling-inks manufacture. 

Oil reliniDg. Paper tnanufaclure. 

Bteadiisg- work < . 

The plant of a chemical works involves the use 
of a larger area of land than is necessary in other 
manufactures, as the buildings adaptable to the 
operations are usually only one story in height, 
nearly all the work being done on the ground floor, 
where large furnaces, grin ding-mills, and engines 
can be placed. This is one reason that the capital 
required for ihe conduct of these manufactures 
seems disproportionate to the value of the products, 
in comparison with other branches of industry. 
In the eyes of one unversed in the art, a chemical 
works may appear to be only a mass of rude furnaces, 
old pots, and rough machinery ; yet the establish- 
ment may contain appliances of the most costly de- 
scription, such as underground flues ; furnaces of the 
most modem construction ; iron castings fashioned 
in innumerable forma and weights; copper vessels, 
coils, and stills ; thousands of fire-bricks and other 
forms of refractory material ; steam boilers of the 
most economical pattern ; lofty chimneys ; powerful 
engines ; expensive pumps ; mills of different kinds 
for the grinding and powdering of a great variety of 
materials ; leaden chambers for acid making, with 
tanks, towers, and accessories of the same metal; 
platinum apparatus and slilU for concentrating sul- 
phuric acid; and chemical earthenware, vitrified to 
resist the action of acids. Indeed, it may be stated 
that a chemical works of any magnitude contains 
and requires every manufacturing apphance used or 
known, excepting those adapted especially to weav- 
ing and printing. 

Skill and scientific knowledge are needed in the 
successful conduct of manufacturing chemistry at 
this time to an extent unthought of by the men who 
were good workers twenty years ago. The com- 
petition of scientific Germany in many departments 
of chemical manufacture has forced the progress of 
an industry that was yet in its infancy two decades 
ago. The laboratory, well equipped with careful 
workers and good apparatus, has become the pulse 
of the whole establishment. Each step in the pro- 
cesses is indicated in the unerring results obtained 
by the analyst and tester, while the huge and costly 

machinery of the factory is the counterpart, to a 
great extent, of the miniature equipment of the 
laboratory. Chemical engineering is an important 
factor in the adjustment of plant to the exigencies 
of the difficult and tortuous operations. Some in- 
stitutions of learning have recognized this fact by 
adding to their curriculum a course of chemical 
engineering. The advance in the manufacture of 
chemicals in the United States during the past 
twenty years has been marked, not by many changes 
of processes, but essentially by the new appliances 
furnished by engineering skill. 

The processes used in making chemicals are al- 
most as varied as are the articles produced, but cer- 
tain leading steps are essential to all, as grinding, 
furnacing, dissolving, separating, evaporation, filtra- 
tion, and crystallization. The laws governing chem- 
ical constitution are closely followed at each step, 
and the processes improved and revised, from time 
to time, by the aid of mechanical contrivances. 
These changes are rendered more and more neces- 
sary as the strong competition of the age sweeps 
away old and unsuitable appliances. 

Many chemical operations demand a long time 
for the production of finished material. Crj-stalliza- 
tion is of slow growth in many instances, and de- 
composition takes place very gradually in others ; 
therefore another reason presents itself for the 
abnormal amount of capital required to carry on 
this branch of industry. Both crystallization and 
decomposition are hastened or retarded by many 
physical conditions ; heat and cold, intense motion, 
and absolute quietude are in their turn called to the 
aid of the chemist. When we speak of crystalliza- 
tion we should bear in mind the fact that by this 
process the great purity of commercial chemical 
salts is obtained— sometimes, it may be, by frequent 
dissolvings and as many distinct crystallizations. 

The chemical industry takes rank as the fourth 
among the great manufacturing divisions of the 
country, the three preceding it being (i) iron and 
steel, (2) woolen goods, and (3) cotton. (It may be 
well to explain that cattle kiUing, the making of 
clothing, and of boots and shoes, and any other as- 
sembling industries are not considered manufacture 
proper.) The chemical industry represents a diver- 
sity of interests such as center in no other depart- 
ment, and it affords to the United States a source of 
activity tor labor, skill, and capital that is highly en- 
couraging to those who have pride in the progress 
of their country. 



IEAD xras known, probably, to the earliest peo- 
ples of the earth. Its use antedates written 
^ history, and its abundant occurrence in nature, 
taken in connection with the ease with which it is 
reduced from its ores, leads archseologists to infer, 
even when little mention and few traces are found, 
ttiat the ancient nations were familiar with its prop- 
odes. Egypt, when the pyramids were building 
and the golden serpent of the Pharaohs still reprc- 
lected living royalty, knew the plumber's meCa! and 
raed it, either as an alloy for her wondrous bronze, 
« in native fonn for small images and amulets. 
TTie armies of Thotmes III. brought it back with 
dinr spoils &om Mesopotamia, and made it into 
ding bullets, the Egyptian slingers using it, as did 
Hk Persiaos, and later the invincible legions of 
Greece and Rome. Babylon used lead to render 
nwiBture-proof the famous hanging gardens ; Troy, 
n Hector fell, and Priam, saved by the most duti- 
tnl of sons, became a wanderer, made images of 
W; and the Phenician mariner, steering his bark 
across the sea by the glittering constellation of the 
IJtile Bear, not only carried it in his hold, consigned 
to the great storehouses of Sidon and Tyre, but the 
'm'Qow tubes of his anchors were weighted with it 

Greece and Rome knew lead as well as wc of to- 
^- Conquered Britain yielded to the Roman not 
o'llythe "imperial tenth," but her immense stores, 
"^produced thousands of tons, and which Rome 
^'^uned, in fee forceful, and took. Spain also 
yidded the Romans thousands of tons, and the 
"•'''« of the Urals were works of antiquity when 
^^ was a chOd. Nearly every land on earth 
^oondmore or less lead within its borders, and the 
^'^% of this metal in a small way was almost uni- 
™m1 it the time America loomed up before the 
^oropean imagination as the world's El Dorado. 
Naturally so base a metal as lead was not the 
'^^ treasure of the adventurous minerB and 

metallurgists who first struck their picks into Amer- 
ican soil. Gold and silver they sought, and if for 
many years they found Htlle, their search at least 
developed many mines and regions, as perhaps the 
too easy discovery of the yellow metal they coveted 
might not have done. 

The first American lead discovered, by white men 
at least, was in 1621, in the vicinity of FaUing 
Creek, near Jamestown, the original English settle- 
ment in Virginia. Iron-smeldng works had been 
erected by the London Company, and an expert 
metallurgist named John Berkeley was put in charge. 
Berkeley, in addition to his services rendered to the 
company, did a little prospecting on his own account, 
which developed the existence of a vein of galena 
—the sulphide and commonest ore of lead. He 
worked this secretly, and supplied his neighbors with 
lead for bullets and other purposes; but cupidity 
caused him to keep the location of the vein a secret, 
so that when, a year or two later, he was killed by 
Indians, his secret died with him, A few years 
later a friendly Indian disclosed the location of the 
old mine, and the lead deposits of Virginia have 
been worked more or less ever since, although the 
output has never been very great. Lead was also 
early discovered in Connecticut and Massachusetts, 
and by the middle of the last century valuable work- 
ings were open in New York State. The lead-mines 
of the East, however, have never been of such im- 
portance as those of the great central and Western 
regions of the Upper Mississippi and in Missouri, 
which were early developed by the French. The 
lead-fields of the Galena district, comprising portions 
of Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin, which have been 
among the most productive in the world, are believed 
to have been first discovered and worked by an 
Indian trader named Nicholas Perrot, who explored 
from the Canadian settlements of the French as far 
as the river Des Moines during the last of the seven- 
teenth century. By 1690 the Indians living in the 


regions about Galena were smelting and selling lead 
to the French tradere. The region contiguous to 
the present city of Dubuque, which was one of the 
richest lead districts in America, was also first worked 
by a Frenchman, Julien Dubuque, who settled 
among and made friends with the Sacs and Foxes 
in 1774, just prior to the Revolution. 

The Indians in 1788 granted to Dubuque the 
mine he had discovered, known as Prairie du Chien, 
and in 1796 the grant was confirmed by Baron de 
Carondelet, the French govern or- general of the 
tract called Louisiana, which included the present 
States of Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, 
parts of the States of Kentucky, Tennessee, and 
Illinois, and all the broad lands to the westward. 
Dubuque worked his' mines until his death, in 1809, 
when the Indians, after burying him with tribal cer- 
emonies in a massive leaden coffin on the great bluff 
which bears his name, reclaimed them from Du- 
buque's creditors, and held possession until their 
removal from the district, in 1832, by the United 
States government. Dubuque's heirs at once claimed 
the property, but the government ejected them ; and 
legal squabbles kept the status of the district in a 
most uncertain condition until 1847. 

The mine La Motte, upon the head waters of the 
St. Frands River, a great lead property, was also dis- ' 
covered by a Frenchman, the famous adventurer and 
explorer, M, de la Motte-Cadillac, who founded De- 
troit. La Motte discovered the celebrated Golden 
Vein sometime between 1715 and 1719; but authori- 
ties differ as to the precise year, William H. Pulsifer, 
in his " Standard Notes for a History of Lead," seem- 
ing to incline to the former date. The lead-fields in 
the vicinity of Potosi, Mo., were discovered about 
1720 by Philippe Francois Renault, and in 1763 
the extensive fields known as Mine i Burton were 
discovered by Francis Burton, who in 1798 granted 
about one third of his claim to Moses Austin. The 
latter erected improved furnaces for smelting, sunk 
the first shaft ever seen in a lead-im'ne in that dis- 
trict, and began the manufacture of shot and sheet- 
lead. Around this industry grew up the town of 

The condition of the lead-mining interests of the 
country in 1795, when the century of which this 
paper properly treats began, was as oulhned above. 
Minor workings in the Eastern States, while they 
produced but a comparatively small output, were the 
only really American interests. 

France and Spain, with their respective territo- 
ries of Louisiana and Florida, had jurisdiction over 
nearly all the valuable mining lands of the lead 

region ; and even in those districts where the United 
States had acquired rights, the mining privileges 
were usually in tlie hands of the FrencJi and Indians, 
who recognized their value and were slow to part 
with them. The Indians, in particular, made the 
rich surface sheets of galena a source of continual 
profit. Their methods of smelting were crude in 
the extreme, consisting usually of a small hole dug 
in the ground and lined with rocks. This was usu- 
ally located on a side-hill, botli for the purpose of 
getting a strong air-draft, and also in order that a 
smaU tunnel connecting with the bottom of the 
furnace -hole might be dug, through which the 
molten lead could run off when the galena and fuel 
were thrown in and fired. Rough pigs, run in a 
scooped-out hollow of the earth itself, and weighing 
about seventy-five pounds, were usually made by 
the Indian squaws and taken to the trading-posts 
for barter. This method of smelting was wasteful, 
but with the practically unlimited supply it made 
httle difference, and almost any man who foimd 
either a pocket of the " float " mineral or a small 
vein could mine and smelt it roughly himself. .As the 
surface deposits became exliausted, and the miners 
had to go deeper, while at the same time improved 
and economical methods of reducing the ore became 
necessar>-, more capital was required and the works 
became more extensive. 

There is probably no ore that reduces more readily 
than galena, yet at the same time the volatility of 
the molten lead permits great loss from careless 
methods. The composition of the ore, which, as 
before stated, is a sulphide, is about eighty per cent, 
of lead, frequently carrying more or less silver, and 
sometimes nickel, cobalt, or antimony, with about 
seventeen per cent, of sulphur. Simple roasting 
suffices for its reduction, the sulphur combining at a 
low temperature with the oxygen of the air, and pass- 
ing off. This is, in its simplest statement, the process 
by which lead is extracted from tliis ore ; and either 
open furnaces with strong draft, or reverberatory 
furnaces, are used. Unfortunately a considerable 
quantity of the lead passes off in fumes from the 
furnace. In remedying this, some of tlie modem 
smelting- works have found it profitable to build a 
very long funnel-pipe, through which the fumes 
from the furnace are passed before they reach the 
air. During this passage they are cooled, and a very 
appreciable quantity of lead in the form of powder 
is deposited along the pipe. 

Another and great discovery was not made in this 
country until 1838, when cerusite, or the lead car- 
bonate, was foimd by the American miners to be 



reducible and a valuable ore. This ore, previously 
thrown away by tlie miners, who called it "dry 
bone," was found in large quantities, and its utiliza- 
tion very greatly increased the annual output during 
the decade following. Under this stimulus, and the 
litigation over the more important lead regions hav- 
ing been settled, the output of the mines in the 
Galena district jumped from 664,530 pounds in 1825 
to 54,494,856 pounds in 1845. The decade between 
1840 and 1850 witnessed the high-water mark of the 
lead interests in America up to the time that the 
Western lead-fields were opened. The rich prop- 
erties of the Mississippi and in Missouri yielded 
plenteously, and in iheir eagerness the mine owners 
allowed themselves to glut the market, with the in- 
evitable result that prices fell and the entire lead 
industry received a. set-back from which it was some 
years in recovering. The Jasper County lead-fields, 
which have built up the town of Joplin, Mo., were 
also discovered during this decade, in 1848. Oper- 
ations were carried on in a small way, but no general 
attention was attracted to tliis district until a dozen 
years later, when, in three years, 17,500 tons were 
produced from these mines. Since then the annual 
output has been as great as 1 7,765 tons, and in one 
year (1884), the disastrous one for all lead interests, 
as little as 3665 tons. 

American lead-mines held but a poor third place 
among the productive fields of the world, however, 
until well into the seventies. England and Spain 
each produced greater quantities of lead than the 
United States in 1877 : but the development, about 
this time, of the great Western deposits of argentif- 
erous galena, which had been discovered in 1864, 
changed all this. This rich region, neglected on 
account of its inaccessibility to a market, suddenly 
took on life and activity with the extension of the 
railroads through the territory. In 1877 the Eureka 
district was turning out nearly 20,000 tons of lead 
annually ; the Utah lead-fields, worked by the 
Mormons, were producing 15,000 tons annually so 
early as 1873, and by 1877 the output had increased 
10 17,000 tons for the year. Colorado was a year 
later in showing respectable results for her workings, 
but by 1883 the output of the mines of that State 
amounted to tlie tremendous total of 70,557 tons. 
This marvelous increase was largely due to the 
cerusite deposits at Leadville, which were first 
worked in 1878, and from which fully one half of 
(he total lead production of the State was derived. 

These Western lead ores were, almost without 
exception, very rich in silver. While silver in small 
quantities is found in all galena, and has been ex- 

tracted even from the ores of the Mississippi and 
Missouri lead regions in quantity ranging from six 
to twenty ounces per ton, it was only in the Western 
mines that the precious metal was found in quan- 
tity sufficient to make the lead a by-product so far 
as relative values were considered. So little was 
thought of lead, in fact, that in the earlier days, 
when transportation was more difficult and expen- 
sive, the ore was cupeled at the mines, and only the 
silver brought to market. For this reason the lead 
output has been more or less dependent upon the 
silver market, but this is beginning to change. 
Lead itself has gained a place in the useful arts and 
manufactures that cannot be ignored, and its supply 
must be maintained. Owing to this tlie production 
of the American mines has been developed to a 
point far in excess of the figures of twenty years 
ago. The year following Uie development of the 
Western argentiferous deposits the United States 
was producing as great a quantity as was England 
in 1872, when she was the great lead miner of the 
world. Less than ten years later the annual output 
of the American mines had reached a figure greater 
than the combined production of England, Spain, 
and the United States in 1872, and the increase was 
steadily maintained. 

In the foreign commerce of the nation lead has, 
within the past five years, come to play a far more 
important part than it ever did before. In 1885 
the imports of lead and its manufactiu^es were only 
$486,436, and the exports $123,466. In 1S90 the 
figures had only increased to $657,658 for the 
imports and $182,412 for the exports ; but the very 
next year saw a marvelous advance, which has con- 
tinued ever since. The importation of silver-bear- 
ing ores, containing much lead, has also become an 
important matter, and until the silver repeal bill was 
passed, and the " bull " days for that metal ceased, 
Mexico had a great interest in that direction. The 
figures for the past five years, excluding 1895, for 
which full reports are not yet published, are as 
follows : 


890 TO 1894. 


LiAD, Ann Manu- 
FACnias or. 







The exports during the same period show only 
a comparatively slight gain, having ranged from 
$182,412 in 1891 to $638,636 in 1894. 



During the sixty-five years between 1825 and 
1890 the production of the lead-mines of this coun- 
try amounted to the almost incredible total of 
5,314,794,000 pounds, or, expressed in the briefer 
figures of commerce, to 1,662,397 tons. The pro- 
duct, as summarized for the same period by the 
demi-decades, will give, if ihe previous explanation 
of causes is borne in mind, the best illustration of 
conditions, rise, and progress in the lead industry 
that can be drawn. Up to 1873 lead was almost 
entirely obtained from the no n -argentiferous ores of 
the Missouri and Mississippi regions; but after 1875 
the table specifies the relative quantities from the 
two grades of ore. The figures given are in the 
standard short ton : 



iSas .. 

1845 ■■ 
1850 . . 











In the production of the 161,754 tons of metallic 
lead in 1890 the smelting and refining works em- 
ployed 6131 men, to whom was paid in wages for 
the year $4,228,634.15, This sum, together with 
$5,154,682,04 paid out for supplies and materials, 
and other charges incidental to the carrying on of 
the business, brought the total expenditures for the 
year to $11,457,367.25. 

Between lead crude, and cast or hammered into 
some required form, and lead manufactured, chemi- 
cally changed, and metamorphosed, there is a great 
break in rime. The chief of all the products of lead 
manufacture is, of course, the carbonate, which was 
the psmithium of the Greeks, the cernsa of the 
Romans, and is the white lead of to-day. As a 
pigment and base for colors it finds its chiefest use, 
its well-known body and opacity and ready assimi- 
lation with linseed-oil, which is the best of all vehicles 
for coloring-matters, making it tlie best substance 
roan has yet discovered for this purpose. Other 
important lead products are litharge, the yellow 

substances h; 
recent date. 

protoxide ; minium or red lead, which is a combina- 
tion of the protoxide with a peroxide ; orange mine 
or orange mineral, made by heating white lead ; and 
lead acetate or sugar of lead. There are several 
other forms in which lead combines, but the sub- 
stances already given are those of most importance 
in the arts. 

In point of antiquity the oxides seem to have 
been longer used than the white lead, no traces of 
which are found in the wall-paints of the Egyptians, 
Hindus, or other ancient peoples ; whereas the 
oxides are found to have been used both for the 
glazing of pottery and in colors. ^Vhite lead was 
first brought into extended use by the Romans ; and 
Rhodes, the manufacturing center of antiquity, was 
the place from which the finest was obtained. Ro- 
man women used the ceruse as a cosmetic— a use it 
also found among the Athenian belles ; and minium 
was used as rouge. In these peculiar uses, despite 
the well-known injurious qualities of lead, the same 
2 remained up to a comparatively 
rVhite lead was also used by the 
Romans as a body for their paints, and both it and 
its manufacture are described by such ancient writ- 
ers as Theophrastus, about 300 b.c. ; Vitruvius, who 
wrote about two hundred years later ; and Pliny and 
Dioscorides, who filled respectively the records of 
the two succeeding centuries. These writers all 
agree in stating that white lead was produced by 
placing sheets of lead in pots with vinegar or wine 
lees, and allowing them to stand. This fails to 
accoimt for the presence of the carbon dioxide 
necessary to the reaction which converts the lead 
acetate to the carbonate ; but it is certain that this 
substance was present, for the product was unques- 
tionably white lead. During the dark ages, and up 
so far as the sixteenth century, there was but little 
use for white lead. About the latter date its manu- 
facture was begun in Holland by what is now known 
as the " Dutch process." This process, however, 
can scarcely have been original with the Dutch, 
since Theophilus, a monk who wrote about the tenth 
century, describes it very exactly, and the Saracens, 
Italians, and Spaniards are all said to have used it 
With the addition of stable litter banked around the 
jars, in which small bits of marble are also placed, 
the Dutch process differs in no way from that de- 
scribed by Pliny, who says: "The lead is thrown 
into jars filled with vinegar, which are kept closed 
for ten days ; the sort of mold which forms upon 
the surface is then scraped off. and the lead is again 
put into the vinegar until the whole of the metal is 


- " r< ^ 



The Dutch process, whether it dates from Amster- 
dam or Rhodes, has ever since, however, been the 
one which, in its elemental principles, but with 
improvements and technical modifications from time 
to time, has proved the best and most profitable. 
Holland became skilled in this manufacture, and 
England had already established it firmly upon her 
own tight little island at the time when the century 
under discussion opened. America, on the other 
hand, had not one establishment for the manufacture 
of white lead. What white lead was used during 
the eighteenth century came from England ; but the 
primitive habits of the community in those early 
days caused paint to be regarded not only as a 
luxury, but, furthermore, as a useless one, since tim- 
ber was far too plentiful and cheap to require pres- 
ervation at the expense of paint. Neither inside 
nor out were the buildings of the early colonial 
townspeople painted, and the log cabins of the 
settlers needed little such adornment. After the 
Revolution, however, more luxurious customs and 
greater pretensions were indulged in by the citizens 
of the new Republic, and the use of paint became 
general in the cities. For the body of this paint all 
the wb'te lead had to be imported from England. 
The English product at this time was most imblush- 
^ttgly and heavily adulterated, and prices were more 
than high. So great did the demand become, and 
^ profitable the business to the English manufac- 
turers, that when the manufacture of white lead was 
Pi'oposed and conmienced in the United States, the 
niost desperate attempt, resorting to means beyond 
^^^m the lawful limits, was made to ruin the new 
^^Xierican industry. Had it not been for the War 
^^ ]8i2 and the consequent shutting out or British 
?^>ci(is, it is highly probable that the white-lead in- 
^^^istry would have been delayed for many years in 
^^^^ hemisphere. 

*The original manufacturer of white lead in the 

^«>ited States was Samuel Wetherill, of Philadelphia, 

^Ixo was also one of the earliest woolen, cotton, and 

K^^xaeral chemical manufacturers. This enterprising 

^^ntleman, who was one of the most prominent 

"^^onbers of the Pennsylvania Society for the 

Eiricouragement of Manufactures and the Useful 

^^*^ which was established in 1787, began the 

^*^^Jiufacture of white lead early in the present cen- 

^^^^. Concerning the exact year authorities differ, 

""^^some so widely as to place it in 1789,— but Mr. 

^^^^Isifer, to whose " Notes for a History of Lead " 

•^ lave before referred, takes the authority of a 

descendant of Mr, Wetherill, and dates the first lead 

^^^annfactory in the United States from 1804. 

Shortly after the factory was.* opened a young Eng- 
lishman applied for work. A'nigbf or.tyj9 ^^'^r ^^e 
factory was destroyed by fire, and Qie-^Jb'ifpIg ^ng- 
lishman left that very morning for England. - jSLQgsftr.. „ 
always connected the two events. About 1809 At > 
factory was rebuilt, and then began the bitterest 
struggle any two great conunercial interests here and 
in England ever waged. British lead was put on 
the market at a price that was absolutely impossible 
for the American maker to quote. The War of 
181 2 saved Wetherill from ruin, and imder the im- 
petus thus given the industry grew rapidly for a few 
years, its growth being still further aided by the 
development of the recently acquired lead regions 
that Louisiana, as purchased from the French, in- 
cluded. By the census of 18 10, Wetherill's factory, 
which was the only one in the country, was credited 
with an annual product of 369 tons. Red lead was 
also produced in small quantities, but the imports of 
these two products exceeded the domestic produc- 
tion as two and one half to one. In Philadelphia, 
where the industry began, the second factory in the 
country was started by John Harrison, at the Ken- 
sington Works, about 1810. In the latter year the 
manufacture of white lead was begun at Pittsburg 
by Adam Bielin and J. J. Stevenson. A second 
factory in the same town was started, but proved 
unsuccessful after a year or two. Meantime an 
Englishman named Smith appeared in Philadelphia 
as a manufacturer of white lead, and all five of these 
firms were struggling against the English manufac- 
turer when the War of 181 2 came to their relief. 

All of these early manufacturers employed, so far 
as can be learned, the Dutch process, as previ- 
ously described. Certain patents for improvements 
upon it were taken ; but the bmning of the Patent 
OflSce has destroyed all record of them, except that 
Samuel Wetherill devised and secured a new and 
better method "for setting the beds or stacks." 
Stable litter as the source of the required heat was 
in universal use. Various new and speedier methods 
for the manufacture of white lead than those pro- 
vided by the Dutch process were invented, and in 
1814, Welch & Evans, of Philadelphia, patented 
one by which granulated lead, placed in revolving 
lead-lined barrels partly filled with water, was 
groimd by attrition, oxidized by the air, and carbon- 
ized by the addition of burning charcoal. A factory 
for the manuf actiu*e of lead by this process was built 
soon after by a Mr. Richards, who had succeeded 
the Englishman Smith. The venture, like all sim- 
ilar ones, proved unprofitable. 

The price of white lead before the War of 181 2 



was from ten tO^tw^tV debts per pound. American 
manufacturers mpinly used the imported pig-lead, 
and_tlre."i^^iijieSilc supply was small. When the im- 
■ .^rtaticfli of the foreign pig-lead was suspended by 
: fiiS war, the price of the native metal took a great 
Jump. The Western lead-fields, however, were 
either undeveloped or, as in the case of the rich 
Galena district, stiil in the hands of the Indiana ; and 
a great scarcity of the metal resulted, which caused 
the price of white lead to advance to thirty cents a 
pound. The profit inevitably suggested by these 
figiu'es, together with the general resiunption of 
business that came after peace was declared, gave 
a fresh impetus to the white-lead industry. During 
the next twenty years many new works were estab- 
lished, and older ones extended. By 1830 there 
were twelve establishments in the country, of which 
eight were east of the AUeghanies. These factories 
were not turning out over 3000 Ions annually, and 
as the price of white lead, following a temporary 
glut of the pig-lead market, had dechned to nine 
cents per poimd, the total value of the year's output 
was but a little over $500,000. 

One of the great advances made in the manufac- 
ture of white lead in this country came about two 
years after this, when Augustus Graham, a promi- 
nent New York manufacturer of white lead, discov- 
ered, by obtaining employment as a common work- 
man in one of the great English factories, the secret 
of the use of spent tan-bark instead of stable litter 
as a means of obtaining heat and carbonization. 
This knowledge worked a considerable change in 
white-lead manufacture, and by 1840 the annual 
product had increased about sixty-six and two thirds 
per cent, in the whole country. Prices, however, 
had advanced but little, white lead being quoted at 
only a cent a pound more than in 1830. The sud- 
den bursting forth into prosperity and productivity 
of the mines in the Galena and Missoiu"! lead 
regions, which occurred during the fifth decade, had 
an immediate effect upon the white-lead industry. 
The supply was unlimited, but the question of trans- 
portation was a serious one. Waterways were, of 
necessity, considered the only freight routes avail- 
able, and Europe was far nearer to the Eastern 
cities than those towns situated to the westward of 
the great bar of the AUeghanies. From the Mis- 
souri lead-fields, and the Galena region as well, the 
pig-metal was boated down to New Orleans, and 
there transhipped by vessel to New York. Not 
only was it a long journey, but it was a costly one 
as well ; and in some sections, not readily within the 
distributive field of New York or the large coast 

dties, other means were adopted. At Buffalo, 
especially, I recall the method of transportation by 
which the Galena district pigs were landed at the 
factories of the corroders. The manufacturer had 
to keep an agent at the mines, and buy daily, as 
auctioned off, the product of the day's smelting. 
When an agent had thus purchased a sufficient 
quantity he secured a caravan of prairie-schooners 
drawn by oxen, and started it across the open prairie 
to the nearest settlement and lake port, Milwaukee, 
where the lead was shipped in sailing vessels and 
taken to Buffalo. 

The ten years preceding and those during which 
the Civil War was raging marked no important ad- 
vance in the lead industry. The introduction of the 
manufactured zinc oxide as a substitute for white 
lead, together with the advance in the price of 
metallic lead under the strong influence of the war- 
time demand, checked the use of the manufactured 
product until the return of better times at the con- 
clusion of the war. Furthermore, adulteration, 
which had long been regarded as permissible by 
while-lead makers, came to the condemnation it 
deserved, and the purer product developed by iliis 
sentiment had its immediate effect in raising the 
manufactured lead in the public estimation. It was 
about this time, also, that " sublimed lead " came to 
be introduced for use as a substitute for white lead. 
The discovery resulted from certain unsuccessful 
experiments made by two gentlemen named Lewis 
and Bartlett, in the direction of an improved and 
speedier process for manufacturing white lead. It 
is a singular fact that the manufacture of white lead 
is one of the few of the useful arts in which modem 
science has so far been able to make little appreci- 
able advance. The monkish presbyter Theophilus, 
in the ninth century, knew, as did the Rhodians 
before him, and the Dutch nearly seven hundred 
years after him, the basic principles of the manufac- 
ture of white lead ; and if the empirical knowledge 
of that early day has been replaced by formulated 
knowledge, it still has accomphshed but little to 
recompense its added learning. Englishmen, French- 
men, Germans, and all other nationalities have ex- 
perimented with the subject abroad, and Americans 
have invented and patented at home, but all to no 
purpose. The original Dutch method, with certain 
improvements in detail and manipulation, seems 
destined to survive this century, as it has the many 

The white-lead production of the United States, 
as followed by decades from 1810, while it can only 
be given for much of the time in approximate 


amounts, is still sufficienily exact to show the steady 
growth which has brought it to prosperity and prom- 
inence in the industrial affairs of 'the nation. As 
accurately as can be obtained, the figures are : 













1^:::; .:,.: 



The lead oxides, of which a considerable quantity 
is annually produced in the United States, were, like 
white lead, first manufactured in the western hemi- 
sphere at Philadelphia, where, before the War of 
1811, there were at least three establishments. 
Their manufacture has changed little during the last 
one hundred and fifty or two hundred years, during 
which time they have been recognized products of 
the English factories, and have also been made in 
Holland, and to some extent in France, In making 
red lead, which is, perhaps, the most important of 
the oxides, the method is simply to heat litharge in 
ft reverberatory furnace, which immediately changes 
it from yellow 10 red. In this country this method 
b the one commonly employed, although some 
works substitute a botde-shaped iron cylinder for 
the reverberatory furnace. Red lead and litharge 
ire usually manufactured at the white-lead works, 
ind there are but few separate establishments for the 
exclusive manufacture of the lead oxides. Orange 
mine or orange mineral, a form of lead oxide pro- 
duced by heating white lead, is another of the use- 
ful products of the metal ; and the valuable astrin- 
gent known in medicine as sugar of lead, and 
chemically as acetate of lead, being obtained by the 
simple treatment of lead with acetic acid, and with- 
out the presence of carbon dioxide, is still another 
product well known to the commerce of to-day. 

The personnel of the white-lead industry since its 
establishment in 1804 has been an interesting one, 
and has included many men of the rarest business 
abilities and most unswen'ing integrity. For a com- 
prehensive summary of it up to within ten years 
I acknowledge my indebtedness to the author of 
" Notes for a History of Lead." According to this 
authority there were, outside of those firms already 
mentioned, only two established during the second 
decade — the Cincinnati Manufacturing Company in 
1815. and Barney McLennon's works, in the same 

city, in 1820. Dr. Vanderberg, of Albany, was ex- 
perimenting with its manufacture by improved pro- 
cesses in New York in iSzo; and ten years later, 
having come back from experiment to the old-time 
Dutch process, he, together with David Leavitt and 
John and Augustus Graham, under the title of the 
Brooklyn Wliite-Lead Works, were operating suc- 
cessfully. This company was incorporated in June, 

1825. Another Brooklyn firro of early establish- 
ment was the Union White-l.ead Company, started 
by the Messrs. Cornell about 1827. The Salem 
Lead Company in 1824, and Francis Peabody in 

1826, established the white-lead industry in Salem, 
and Robert McCandless and Richard Conkling 
established works in Cincinnati during this same 
decade. In 1830 there were about a dozen white- 
lead factories in the United States, and eight of 
these were east of the AUeghanies, including, besides 
those just mentioned, Lewis & Company, Wetherill 
& Sons, Harrison & Brothers, of Philadelphia, and 
Hinton & Moore, of New York, who also handled 
large quantities of the imported article. During the 
next decade there were started the Boston Lead 
Company, in 1831 ; Great Falls Manufactiuing 
Company, in 1832; Jewett, Sons & Company, at 
Saugerties, in 1838; Gregg & Hagner, at Pittsburg, 
in 1S37; and Reed & Hoffman, at St, Louis, in 
1837. This latter establishment, taken shortly after- 
ward by Henry T. Blow, became in later years the 
Collier White- Lead and Oil Company. 

From 1840 to 1850 was a period of the most 
rapid growth for the white-lead industry. Among 
the larger works established during this decade 
were: the Atlantic White-Lead Company, of New 
York, founded by Mr. Robert Colgate ; John Jewett 
& Sons' Staten Island works ; the Great Falls Manu- 
facturing Company, changed by Batelle & Renwick 
to the Ulster White-Lead Company ; Suffolk Lead- 
Works and Norfolk Lead Company, of Boston ; the 
Forest River Lead Company, of Salem, successors 
to Francis Peabody ; Thompson & Company, of 
Buffalo; B. A. Fahnestock & Company, of Pitts- 
burg ; Eagle White-Lead \Vorks, at Cincinnati ; and 
William Glasgow, Jr.'s, works, at St. Louis. 

The succeeding decade saw less increase than the 
one preceding. William Wood and T. J. McCoy 
look the Eagle Works, of Cincinnati; the Niagara 
White- Lead Company started at Buffalo, and Wilson 
Waters & Company at Louisville. This was but a 
lull, however, that was to give place to renewed 
activity. From i860 to 1870 there were founded, 
among others, such great establishments as the St. 
Louis Lead and Oil Company, which succeeded the 



O'Fallon White-Lead and Oil Company in 1865 ; the 
Southern White-Lead Company, established by 
Piatt & Thomburg in the same year; Goshom 
Brothers, who secured the McCandless establishment 
in Cincinnati, and afterward organized it as the 
Anchor White- Lead Company; the Eagle White- 
Lead Company, also of Cincinnati; the Shipman 
White-Lead Company, organized at Chicago by 
D. B. Shipman ; J. H. Morley's works, at Cleveland ; 
Haslett, Leonard & Company, who succeeded 
Waters in Louisville; Lewis & Schoonmaker, of 
Louisville, who later sold out to T. J. McCoy and 
the American White-Lead Company; the Western 
White-Lead Company, in Philadelphia ; the Cornell 
Lead Company, which succeeded the Niagara 
Company, at Buffalo ; foiu* branch establishments 
of Fahnestock & Company, at Pittsbiu*g; Hall, 
Bradley & Company, of New York and Brooklyn ; 
the Salem Lead Company, a new company organ- 
ized by Mr. Francis Brown at Salem; and the 
Maryland White-Lead Company, which was estab- 
lished in Baltimore in 1867. In Cincinnati Fred- 
erick Eckstein became interested in the business of 
Townsend Hills. 

Since this period there have been comparatively 
few large establishments founded. Even so early 
as 1870 the tendency toward consolidation rather 
than individual extension was already noticeable, 
and the two largest of the plants founded during the 
succeeding decade were both absorbed by the older 

The manufacture of white lead in former years 
had been very profitable, which had induced the 
building of an unnecessarily large number of facto- 
ries in difiEerent sections of the coimtry, which in turn 
brought on severe competition, and many of the 
factories became unprofitable. In order to lessen 
this competition various devices of association were 
successively tried, and failed, until at last, in 1887, 
a number of factories came together in an associa- 
tion practically similar to the then existing Standard 
Oil Trust. The association, however, was unsuc- 
cessful, and in 1889 my friends H. H. Rogers and 
the late Charles M. Pratt, both of whom had had 
large experience in the lead and paint business, 
knowing that I was about to retire from my associa- 
tion with the Standard Oil Company, called my 
attention to the fact that the National Lead Trust 
were desirous of my becoming interested with them. 
At that time the suggestions were declined, because 
of the totally inadequate capital of the existing 
concerns, the extreme and foolish capitalization, 
and the disorganized condition of the management. 

Subsequently arrangements were made by which 
other great factories of the coimtry, consisting of the 
John T. Lewis & Brothers Company, Philadelphia ; 
the Salem Company, of Boston; the Atlantic 
Company, of Brooklyn ; the Collier and Southern 
Companies, of St. Louis, including the Southern 
Company, of Chicago, and the Maryland Company, 
of Baltimore, were acquired. These properties 
came in, necessarily, on the same basis of capitali- 
zation as in the preceding organization. The writer 
then became president, and shortly thereafter 
acquired the important works of Armstrong, Mc- 
Kelvy & Company and the Davis-Chambers Com- 
pany, at Pittsburg ; and by the end of that year the 
then National Lead Trust manufactured about 
eighty per cent, of the coimtry 's production of white 
lead, seventy per cent, of red lead, fifteen per cent 
of linseed-oil, ten per cent, of sheet-lead, nine per 
cent, of lead pipe, and sixty per cent, of lead ace- 
tate, together with sundry other of the important 
manufactures of lead. These, together with the 
large smelting and refining plant at St Louis, 
smelters at Socorro, N. Mex., and Leadville, Colo., 
and sampling-works in different parts of Mexico, 
were included in the great organization with which 
the lead industry of this country entered upon the 
last decade of the century. 

The real work of consolidation, sifting out, and 
practical organization may be said to have then 
fairly commenced. Many small factories operating 
in a desultory way, with frequent stoppages, were 
closed for good ; works in favorable localities, and 
capable of producing the best results in any one 
direction, were devoted to this branch, enlarged and 
improved, and the best class of employees selected 
and taken to the more important works. New 
machinery and more healthful appliances were at 
once put into use. Schools for mutual education 
among the more important manufacturers were 
organized, and the expert knowledge of each placed 
at the service of all. 

Efforts to reduce the unwieldy capitalization cul- 
minated successfully in 1891, when the Lead Trust 
was dissolved, and a new company, organized imder 
the laws of the State of New Jersey, with a capital 
of $15,000,000 preferred and $15,000,000 common 
stock, took its place. Before the organization of 
the National Lead Company all the floating debt of 
the various corporations included in it had been 
paid oflf, and soon after its organization the large 
mortgages which had existed upon some of the 
works were liquidated, and the National Lead 
Company enjoys the unique position of never hav- 


ing boiTowed a dollar. Economics have been intro- 
duced in eveiy department, and the character of all 
[Danufactured products marvelously improved, and 
at the same time placed upon the market at prices 
lower than ever before known, and the fact demon- 
strated that honest management in a combination 
of interests is of greater advantage to the share- 
bolder for profit, and to the pubhc for cheapness, 
ihan an unintelligent system of piratical competition. 

With practically the same methods as those em- 
ployed by the ancients, the industry has risen, 
through the sheer executive intelligence of the 
present age, until it has assumed the proportions 
seen to-day. Less than a century old, the lead 
industry in America ranks with that of any nation 
in the world; and from our boundless mineral 
resources will probably some day be drawn the 
greater part of the world's supply. 




THE early history of salt making in this coun- 
try is veiled in much obscurity. The prin- 
cipal centers of population on the Eastern 
coast were in great measure supplied with the arti- 
cle imported from England, the price of which was 
exorbitantly high, and during times of disturbance 
with the mother country was almost unattainable, 
In the early part of the eighteenth century small 
saline plants were established along the Atlantic 
coast from Massachusetts to Virginia, and salt was 
made directly from the water of the sea, either by 
direct open-air evaporation in broad vats, or in 
smaller kettles with the aid of artificial heaL For- 
tunately fuel was plentiful and cheap, and, as the 
process was simple in the extreme, special experience 
and skill were not requisite. Almost every family, 
therefore, on the seaboard was its own salt maker, 
just as, within the writer's recollection, people resid- 
ing at a little distance inland were their own soap 
makers and candle makers. 

\VhiIe those living on tlie coast could always ob- 
tain sufficient salt without difficulty, the settler ad- 
vancing westward could not carry with him a very 
abundant supply, owing to his lack of capital and of 
means of transportation. As he penetrated the wil- 
derness, however, he came in contact with the In- 
dian and the beast of the forest, to whom salt was 
just as necessary as to civilized man. From them 
he soon learned the sources of iheir supply, and, 
locating at one of the "licks" or brine springs, set 
up his kettle, poured in his brine, and lighted his fire. 
In a short time he could thus prepare a supply of 
salt sufficient for his needs during several months. 
These brine springs were found at various localities 
in neariy all of the Middle and Western States in- 
vaded by the early settler, but none of them was as 
rich in saline constituents or as ample in supply as 
those which were found in the country of the Onon- 

Upon the coast, salt making, by both solar and 
artificial heat, was extensively pracdsed until after 
the War of iSia. The restrictions on our com- 
merce being then greatly rehcved, salt from foreign 
countries was more freely imported; and this, to- 
gether with increasing supplies from the Onondaga 
district, led to tlie reduction in price to fifty cents per 
bushel, and even less. It was then found cheaper 
to buy the salt from merchants than to continue its 
manufacture in the primitive manner at the coastwise 
stations. These, then, were gradually abandoned, 
and the Eastern and Middle States obtained their 
supply almost exclusively from the two sources 
above mentioned. This could hardly be otherwise 
when we consider that the water of the ocean con- 
tains only about two and one half per cent, of sail, as 
against the brines of the Onondaga salines, which 
held in solution from fifteen to seventeen per cent, 
of the precious substance. With salt selling, at the 
present time, for six or seven cents a bushel, the use 
of the word " precious " in such connection may 
seem extravagant ; and yet salt, absolutely essential 
as it is to human life, has been in former times and 
among certain peoples the general unit of value, and 
has even, further, served the purposes of a circulat- 
ing medium. 

The American salt industry proper dates back to 
just beyond the last decade of the last century, when 
the State of New York, with enlightened foresight, 
purchased in 1 788 from the Indians the Onondaga 
salines, embracing an area of about 15,000 acres. 
In the winter of 1 789 and 1 790 Nathaniel Loomis 
made 600 bushels of salt on the State reservation. 
Others followed, and in 1797 the State deemed this 
infant industry of sufficient importance to put in 
force laws and regulations regarding the control and 
management of salt making in this field, a Superin- 
tendent being appointed to see that they were prop- 
erly carried out. During the first year the product 



of this field amounted to about 25,000 bushels, equal 

to 700 tons, of 2000 pounds each, of what is now 

graded as common fine salt. 
The general arrangement made by the State with 

salt makers was to lease them the groimd, on which 
the lessees erected the necessary structures. The 
State then pumped the brine and delivered it to the 
boilers, who paid a royalty of one cent for every 
bushel of salt obtained from the brine. Even with 
the early methods of salt making then in vogue 
(chiefly boiling in kettles) the manufacture was very 
profitable, and many were induced, on this account, 
to undertake it. This led to the rapid development 
of the field, and a corresponding increase in the 
output, which as early as 1820 amounted to about 
13,000 tons. At about this time it is stated that the 
manufacture of solar salt was commenced on the 
State lands ; but I fail to find any estimate of the 
quantity produced until 1841, in which year 6000 
tODS of solar and about 87,000 tons of the other 
grades were accoimted for to the State. The pro- 
duction of salt steadily increased until 1862, when it 
amounted to about 56,000 tons of solar and 200,000 
tODs of other grades. From this time there was a 
gradual diminution in the product of fine salt, which 
altered the proportions theretofore existing, until in 
18S0 84,000 tons of solar and about 155,000 tons 
of odier grades were being made. Since 1 880 there 
has been a further falling off in the output, and the 
oflfidal figures for 1894 indicate a production of 
about 66,000 tons of solar and less than 25,000 tons 
of other grades. The seemingly immense output of 
the Onondaga or Syracuse district would doubtless 
have become still greater had it not been for the 
devebpment of a field in Michigan, which soon sur- 
puied its older rival in the amount of its output, and 
JWtcrially restricted the territory in which the latter 
could compete to advantage. The second impor- 
^t blow given to the Onondaga industry was the 
devebpment of the western New York salt-field, in 
Wyoming, Genesee, and Livingston counties, em- 
l^^^cing what is known as the Warsaw and Genesee 
^Jittricts, the latter being in Livingston County and 
Bering on the Genesee River. In these districts 
salt of various grades is made by evaporating the 
'^c with artificial beat, the amount of solar salt 
^^ insignificant As an offset to this, four large 
**^ have been sunk, three in Livingston and one 
^ Genesee County, from which immense quantities 
of salt have been brought to the surface in lumps 
* blocks, some of which are reduced by grinding 
^ smaller sizes. The output of this field increased 
^*^ 16,000 tons in 1885 to 324,800 tons in 1893. 

The evaporating-works in western New York pos- 
sessed a great advantage over those near Syracuse, 
as they were able to obtain brine holding from 
twenty-three to twenty-five per cent, of salt, which 
in practice meant that two tons of fuel would pro- 
duce as much salt there as three tons would at Syra- 
cuse. As a partial offset to this, Syracuse, by its 
location on the Erie Canal, was enabled to trans- 
port its product to the seaboard more cheaply than 
its rivals. Despite this slight advantage in freight 
rates the fine salt industry at Syracuse has been 
obliged to yield the field to competitors in other 
places, and with no present prospect of revival in 
this branch of its trade. 

The Michigan salt-fields, which were the second 
of any importance to be developed, possessed the 
very great advantage of cheap fuel, using, in most 
cases, sawdust, chips, slabs, and other refuse from 
the liunber-mills. The first salt made in Michigan 
on a commercial basis was in i860, and during the 
last half of that year 560 tons were made. This was 
increased in 186 1 to nearly 18,000 tons, and the out- 
put gradually augmented, until the maximimi point 
(about 550,000 tons) was reached in 1887. Since 
then there has been a somewhat lessened product. 
Besides the Michigan fields there were other impor- 
tant regions discovered in the West. The Kansas 
field was opened with a product of about 22,000 tons 
in 1888, increasing to 178,000 tons in 1893. In 
California the product, which was almost wholly solar 
salt, increased from 30,000 tons in 1886 to 41,000 
tons in 1893. During the last two years, however, 
finer grades of salt have been manufactured in that 
State. In Ohio there are several salt plants, the 
principal one of which, at Cleveland, enjoys excep- 
tional facilities in the way of cheap water transpor- 
tation for its product. The output of the State for 
1893 amounted to about 70,000 tons. In Utah the 
production of salt increased from about 15,000 tons 
in 1883 to nearly 200,000 tons in 1892, dropping 
back in the following year to about the output of 
1883. This was due to the shutting down of the 
silver-mines, which had drawn their supply of salt 
from this district. 

The development of the salt industry in Louisiana 
reads ahnost like a romance. About eighty years 
ago, a Mr. Marsh, desiring to obtain a well of fresh 
water on an island of his, known as the Petite Anse, 
after digging a few feet, found instead a well of brine. 
By evaporating this he obtained considerable salt, 
and upon exploring his possessions farther he discov- 
ered a bed of rock-salt about fifteen feet beneath the 
surface. This salt was mined in the usual way, and 




as' the surface of the rock was further exposed, vari- 
ous aboriginal relics, such as stone axes and other 
implements, were brought to light, showing that the 
same mines had been worked hundreds, perhaps 
thousands, of years before. The Louisiana salt 
deposit has never been an important factor in the 
American trade, except during the War of the Re- 
bellion, when the Confederate States, shut off from 
purchases in the Northern market, drew largely on 
these mines, running the price up to $30 and even 
$90 a ton. At the present day it probably does not 
command over $2. During the past ten years the 
annual output of the Petite Anse mine has varied 
from 25,000 to 50,000 tons. In addition to those 
above mentioned there are a few other localities in 
which salt has been manufactured on a commercial 
scale, but the output is too limited to demand sepa- 
rate mention. The United States reports give the 
total production of salt for the year 1893 as 1 1,8 16,- 
772 barrels, equivalent to 1,654,040 tons; but in 
my judgment New York is credited with 1,000,000 
barrels more than the facts will warrant. 

Salt is obtained in this country in several different 
forms and ways. From the mines it comes in blocks, 
and from strong brines it is obtained by evapora- 
tion or boiling by solar or artificial heat. Boiling is 
conducted under four distinct systems: (i) in long 
wooden troughs containing steam-pipes (these are 
called grainers, and the system is distinctively Ameri- 
can) ; (2) in large open pans of iron or steel, with 
direct heat beneath them ; (3) in large vacuum pans 
in which the brine is boiled at a comparatively low 
pressure ; (4) heating in closed tubes, at a tempera- 
ture much higher than that at which brine boils under 
ordinary atmospheric pressure. As the writer is a 
manufacturer using two of the above-named systems, 
he deems it improper in this place to comment on or 
discuss the merits of the methods adopted by others. 
Boiling in kettles was at one time an important fea- 
ture of the Syracuse field, but has never been gen- 
erally adopted elsewhere. 

The grades of salt prepared for market in the 
United States comprise rock, solar, common fine, 
and common coarse, which are not artificially dried 
after manufacture ; and so-called " dairy" salt, which 
is dried and either sifted or ground. The term 
"dairy" salt is generally used in too comprehen- 
sive and loose a sense, and is made to include salt 
prepared for table use rather than for the dairy. A 
strict dairy salt specially prepared for the use of but- 
ter and cheese makers is the most expensive grade 
manufactured, selling for a little over half a cent a 
potmd at the works, and costing the consumer about 

one cent a pound, including package, at most points 
east of the Mississippi River. For table use this 
price seems too high, for neither merchant nor con- 
sumer will pay it. The greater part of the table salt 
used in this country is sold by the manufacturers on 
a basis of about $3 a ton. At $5 a ton there are 
comparatively few buyers, and at $10 a ton (half a 
cent a pound) there are none. (These are car-load 
lots, free on board, and exclusive of the cost of bar- 
rels, sacks, or other packages.) This is especially true 
of large cities like New York and Chicago, while in 
smaller cities and country towns the merchants are 
more generally willing to pay higher prices, thereby 
securing better qualities of the article. For a strict 
dairy salt there is but little market in New York City, 
this point not being a distributing center for this 
grade. Chicago, however, takes large quantities of 
the best qualities. From that city it is distributed to 
the large creameries and cheese factories of the West. 

The uses of salt are manifold. Many, perhaps, 
look on it simply as a condiment, or as a preserva- 
tive of food, butter, cheese, beef, pork, and so on. 
Its other uses, however, are extensive and important 
Hide salting, bottoming of ships (to prevent decay 
of the wood), acid making (muriatic), and salt-cake 
(used in the manufacture of glass), soda-ash, bleach- 
ing mixtures, soap making, and silver smelting, all 
make their demands on the salt deposits of the 
country. The farmer also feeds it to his stock and 
spreads it on his land. 

The salt industry of the United States has had its 
ups and downs, and history repeats itself wherever a 
new location is selected for its development In the 
Onondaga region salt making was for many years 
highly remunerative, attracting capital so freely that 
in course of time upward of 100 firms or corpora- 
tions made this the seat of their operations. The 
inevitable result of this was a general fall in prices, 
the profit on each bushel of salt becoming smaller 
and smaller. To meet this each operator increased 
his output to the limit of his resources, thus aggra- 
vating the difficulty, until finally it became a ques- 
tion of the survival of the strongest ; the only alter- 
native being a combination of all interests imder 
one efficient management. The manufacturers of 
fine salt solved the problem of existence many years 
ago by pooling their interests, forming in i860 the 
American Dairy-Salt Company. This concern for 
twenty years or more received reasonable returns 
on its investments, but when called on to compete 
with the stronger brines of Michigan and western 
New York was obliged to yield to the inevitable, 
and some three years ago these interests were put 



las of a receiver. The manufacturers 
of coarse salt at Onondaga in like manner formed 
a combination, under which their plants are still 

In Michigan the vast and rapid development of 
the territory led to a combination of a majority of 
the manufacturers, under the name of the Michigan 
Salt Association, which controlled ail sales and fixed 
all prices. This was well enough until western New 
York entered the field. The manufacturers of this 
district wanted the trade that formerly had been sup- 
plied by Syracuse and Michigan, and made prices 
sufficiently low lo attract a great deal of it. Not 
content with this, they entered into the most intense 
competition among themselves, until the price was 
brought down so low that some were forced to the 
wall. Here also attempts were made to harmonize 
the diverse interests and place prices on a just and 
equitable basis, Selfishness, dishonesty, and ineffi- 
cient control rendered these attempts nugatory. Of 
the Kansas field the same story might be told, and 
no one field has yet found an effective means of con- 
trolling the industry in its own district. 

When we consider that any one of the States of 
New York, Ohio, Michigan, and Kansas is capable 
of supplying, and desires to supply, the entire coun- 
try, we need not be surprised that a good article of 
common salt may be bought at almost any of the 
manufactories in our country for about $2 a ton. 
The superintendent of the Onondaga Salt Springs, 
in his last report to the legislature of the Slate of 
New York, correctly expresses the situation in tlie 
following words: "The past season has not been 
remunerative to those engaged in the manufacture 
of sail." A similar expression could, we believe, be 
justly employed in connection with the salt industry 
of the entire country. The Ohio field, with enor- 

mous resources in both salt and money, also wants 
its share of the business. The general outlook for 
the salt industry, therefore, is not very encouraging. 
Two attempts have in recent years been made, by 
drawing in the aid of foreign capital, to consolidate 
tlie native salt interests. The first effort failed ; and 
the second, when on the verge of fruition, came to 
grief in consequence of the failure of certain land 
speculations in South America. 

Foreign competition was for many years held in 
comparative check by a moderate duty on the im- 
ported article. For a little over a year, however, sail 
has been admitted free. The effect has been a very 
decided increase of importation and a corresponding 
decrease of home manufacture. As the domestic 
prices were already very low, there was very Utile 
appreciable gain to the consumer, and some of the 
works have shut down, and their employees have 
been deprived of this means of gaining a hvelihood. 
Without having accurate figures on which to base an 
opinion, I hazard the estimate thai about twenty per 
cent, of our salt operatives have been thrown out of 
employment, while the wages of the remainder have 
been reduced by about the same percentage. The 
sums thus lost to the American artisan have gone in 
part lo the middlemen ; and in part to the salt work- 
ers of England, the coastwise inhabitants of southern 
Europe, and the negroes of the West Indies. It may 
be stated that at the present time the salt factories 
of England are getting from $2.50 (ten shillings) to 
over $3 (thirteen shillings) per ton of 2240 poimds 
for common salt. As the freight from Liverpool to 
American ports is less than half the freight from the 
New York State fields to the seaboard, the removal 
of the duty places our workers at a great disadvan- 
tage, and has absolutely compelled the reduction of 
wages. Comment is needless. 




THE history of the biscuit industry in America 
for the past one hundred years is the story 
of a phenomenal development from an 
almost complete obscurity to the wide-spread and 
weJl-known conditions of to-day, Perhaps no other 
single industry is so far-reaching in its sources of 
supply, or enters into so many homes with its per- 
fected product, as that under consideration. Great 
difficulty is experienced in procuring early statistics 
in relation to the biscuit business, as those who were 
engaged in it during the first part of the century 
have all passed away and have left no written 
records. Tradition, therefore, is responsible for 
almost all our early information. 

The name " biscuit," derived through the French 
from the Latin, means " twice baked," and had, 
according to Gibbon, its origin in the fact that the 
military bread of the Romans was twice prepared in 
the oven. As applied to tlie product of bakeries, 
this term was brought from England to America, 
and came into general use here probably not much 
earlier than the middle of the centtuy. In Europe 
all articles of food in the shape of small cakes made 
from flour, with sweetening or flavoring added, have 
always been and still are called " biscuits." Goods 
of this variety, however, were at first unknown in 
the United States, and the term generally applied to 
the first crude productions made of plain and un- 
sweetened dough was " cracker." This latter name 
has ever since retained its significance in tliis coun- 
try in connection with the plain, usually crisp, 
unflavored grades of goods, which last, however, 
when introduced much later into Europe, were there 
all absorbed into the generic title "biscuit," the 
name " cracker " falling into disuse. We have grad- 
ually adopted to some extent in America this more 
sweeping classification, but the distinction between 
the specific name "cracker" and the general term 
" biscuit " it is well to bear in mind. 

The first cracker produced in the United Stales, 


so far as known, was pilot or ship bread, a large, 
round, clumsy, crisp affair, which supphed the 
demand of the merchant marine for an article of 
food that would, unlike ordinary bread, keep for a 
prolonged period. Subsequently another variety 
was originated, the cold-water cracker, which differed 
from the first chiefly in its smaller size, more com- 
pact texture, and greater hardness. For a long time 
these two crackers were the only goods known to 
the trade. They were both made of unleavened 
dough (flour and water and a httle salt), mixed and 
kneaded by hand ; and each cracker was rolled out 
and shaped separately before being placed, one at 
a time, on a long-handled sheet-iron shovel or peel, 
and transferred in order to the floor of the oval- 
shaped tile oven then in use. It was not until some 
time later that raised or fermented dough was used 
in the manufacture of crackers, and it is only within 
the past fifty years that any great variety has been 

The first cracker bakery in the United Slates of 
which we have any trustworthy record was that of 
Theodore Pearson at Newburyport, Mass., in 179a. 
His specialty was the pilot or ship bread already 
spoken of, and in that quaint old town the manu- 
factiu-e is still carried on, the name Pearson having 
long been a household word in all that pan of the 
country. At Milton, Mass., in 1801, Joshua Bent 
erected his first oven, which doubtless was a small 
affair, as it was carried on no more than three days 
in tlie week by himself and family, the product then 
being loaded into his wagon and sold in the sur- 
rounding towns. This was the beginning of the 
baking of the celebrated " Bent's water- cracker," 
which has achieved a more than national reputation. 
A little later, in 1805, Artemas Kennedy, a great- 
uncle of Frank A. Kennedy, estabUshed himself at 
Menotomy, now known as Arlington, Mass., after- 
ward moving to Westford, and finally to Milton. 
The elder Kennedy died in 1832, and in 1834 one 



of his sons, Jason, started a similar enterprise in 
Charlestown. Jason's cousin, also named Artemas 
Kennedy, who was his foreman, came in 1840 to 
Cambridgeport, Mass., and conmienced baking for 
himself. Continued success marked the business 
until 1 86 1, when Mr. Kennedy died, its conduct de- 
volving upon his son, Frank A. Kennedy. 

In Boston the oldest recorded bakery was that of 
Richard Austin, who started in Ann Street about 
1830. He was succeeded by his brother Thomas 
in 1843, and the business continued under various 
titles, in which the names of both J. £. Fowle and 
A. L. Graves appeared at different times, until it 
came, in 1885, into the hands of J. W. Austin, a 
descendant of the first Austin, who still carries it on. 
At a later date came several other firms of promi- 
nence m New England, among them Thurston, Hall 
& Company, of Cambridgeport ; John S. Carr, of 
Springfield ; Parks & Savage, of Hartford, Conn. ; 
C. D. Boss, of New London, Conn. ; and the New 
Haven Baking Company, of New Haven, Conn. 

In New York City the oldest existing firm is the 
house of Treadwell & Harris. Ephraim Treadwell, 
the founder, began business in 1825. About this 
date, and during the quarter-centiuy following, the 
feins of Robert Spier, Erastus Titus, John T. Wil- 
son, C. T. Goodwin, J. Bruen, and J. Parr were also 
in business in the same city ; but none of them is 
now in existence. Later, in 1850, Garrett B. and 
Edwin 0. Brinckerhoff started business on Madison 
Street, removing, in 1857, to Elizabeth Street, where 
ihe Brinckerhoff branch of the New York Biscuit 
Company is still carried on. At Albany, N. Y., 
Mcher & Larrabee established themselves about 
i860. In 187 1 the firm name was changed to 
E. J. Larrabee & Company, which gained and still 
nuintains a most enviable reputation. Mr. John 
Hohnes, an Englishman, entered their service in 
1870, and in 1877 formed in New York City a 
partnership with G. H. Coutts, under the firm name 
of Holmes & Coutts. The famous brands of this 
^^ at once forced their way to the front, and 
gave their owners both fame and fortune. A little 
^er J. R. Vanderveer and D. M. Holmes erected, 
2lso in New York City, a model establishment, and 
in a few years made their names recognized as manu- 
«cturers of the highest grade of goods. 

Meanwhile, following the lead of New England 
^ New York, other bakeries were springing up all 
over the coimtry. It would be impossible to present 
^y adequate list of these, and the mention of the 
allowing more important firms must sufl&ce : Het- 
fieW & Ducker, of Brooklyn ; Walter G. Wilson and 

A. J. Medlar & Company, of Philadelphia ; James 
Beatty (since gone out of existence), J. D. Mason, 
and J. R. Skillman, of Baltimore ; Haste & Harris, 
of Detroit ; the Margaret Bakery, of New Orleans ; 
C. L. Woodman (no longer existing), D. F. Brem- 
ner, and the Dake Bakery, of Chicago ; Gameau, 
Dozier & Company (later known as Dozier & Weyl), 
of St. Louis, and S. S. Marvin & Co., of Pittsburg, 
Pa. These and many other smaller houses joined 
in the race for recognition and competed with one 
another over the country, sending their represen- 
tatives from Maine to Oregon and from the lakes 
to the Gulf, besides exporting no small quantity 
of goods to parts of South America, Africa, and 

Turning our attention at this point to the mechan- 
ical processes employed in the manufacture of the 
goods which the foregoing names represent, we 
discover in the twenty-five years dming the middle 
of the centiuy a development no less remarkable 
than rapid. Until about 1840 machinery in the 
biscuit business was almost unknown, all the goods 
being worked up and put into the oven one piece 
at a time by hand. As the demand increased a 
machine was finally invented which rolled out the 
dough, already prepared by hand, into a thin sheet 
This sheet, passing along on an endless belt or 
apron, was cut into the required shape by a stamp 
rising and falling automatically. In this way about 
a dozen crackers were cut out at a time, and it be- 
came possible to bake five or six barrels of flour a 
day — an important increase over the preceding aver- 
age rate of one barrel. Except in size and capacity 
the ordinary cracker-machines of to-day differ but 
little from the first crude invention. The machines 
for making fancy goods, however, were of a later 
date and of correspondingly greater variety, and 
must not be confounded with those used for making 
the plain, unsweetened crackers. 

In 1849 the discovery of gold in California, and 
the consequent demand for crackers as a suitable 
article of pioneer food, proved a marked stimulus 
to the biscuit trade. Up to about this time the first 
machines had been turned by man-power. Gradu- 
ally horse-power and then steam-power were intro- 
duced, and the capacity of the various existing' 
plants enlarged. The War of the Rebellion gave a 
second great impetus to the industry, and the old- 
time flat-tile ovens being taxed beyond their capacity 
to meet the increased demand for hard bread for 
the use of the army and navy, a mechanical reel 
oven, consisting of a series of long iron pans revolv- 
ing in a framework, similar in action to the Ferris 



wheel, the whole located in a large brick oven- 
chamber, was invented, and practically revolution- 
ized the cracker business. This change at once 
caused the capacity of a single oven to jump from 
the earlier rate of six barrels to twenty-five or thirty 
barrels of flour a day. The size of these reel ovens 
has been gradually increased, until at the present 
time almost all the large plants have a daily capacity 
of from forty to fifty barrels per oven. 

Commensurate with the growth of the business 
was the increase in the variety of goods produced. 
In 1840 but five kinds of crackers were known, 
these being the original pilot-bread, the hard cold- 
water cracker, the soft or butter cracker, the square 
soda, and the round sugar-biscuit; the last three 
differing from the others in containing shortening, 
butter or lard, and in being the product of a fer- 
mented dough. This fermentation or raising greatly 
increased the lightness and softness of textiure of the 
cracker, and in consequence rapidly met the approval 
of the public. It will be noticed from the above 
statement that, with the exception of the sugar- 
biscuit, no sweet or fancy biscuits were manufactiured 
here at that time. In England, however, fancy 
cakes of several kinds were on the market; and 
some years before the War of the Rebellion the two 
large English firms, Huntley & Palmer, and Peak, 
Frean & Company, began sending different lines of 
their fancy biscuit to America. They established 
agencies in nearly every large city of the Union, 
even as far west as California, and their goods were 
sold in all the principal retail grocery houses in the 
United States. Recognizing the growing impor- 
tance of this new line of trade, but unable to procure 
any machinery in this country to supply it, Belcher 
& Larrabee, of Albany, already mentioned, sent to 
England in 1865 for the necessary cutters and 
machines to compete with the foreign imports. 
Their attempt was successful from the start, and 
thus began in America the production of sweet or 
fancy biscuit, which, gradually extending, has be- 
come at the present day the most profitable element 
of the biscuit industry. Shortly after the above 
date American mechanical skill started into action, 
and soon H. J. McCollum, of New York, and 
Denio & Roberts, of Boston, the only prominent 
makers of bakers* supplies at that time, were equip- 
ping the various plants with machinery which, at less 
cost, rivaled in capacity and operation that of Eng- 
land. In consequence the importation of English 
goods decreased, and the American varieties, being 
equally good, almost entirely took their place. 

Encouraged by this success at home, several 

American firms, among them being Holmes & 
Coutts, Wilson of Philadelphia, and F. A. Kennedy, 
made an attempt about 1880 to introduce into 
England and France some of our brands of xm- 
sweetened goods ; for it will be remembered that in 
Europe unflavored biscuit — or plain crackers, as we 
call them — was at that time utterly unknown. For 
a time this attempt proved successful ; but the two 
large English firms above referred to, finding a 
growing demand for these new importations, sent 
men to the United States to study the processes and 
the grades of flour used here. The result, as may be 
expected, was but the complement of their earlier 
experience with their own specialties in America. 
The English ovens soon produced all the grades 
of common crackers exported from here, and the 
American trade, in consequence, declined. Nor has 
it been possible since that time to revive it to any 
great extent, owing to the almost prohibitory com- 
petition of foreign cheaper tin packages in which 
the goods must be placed to be shipped, and cheaper 
labor. American goods are, however, still exported 
in medium quantities to Africa and South America, 
while in many of the large cities of Europe some of 
the specialties of a few firms can be found. 

Glancing over the development of recent years, 
we see a progress and a growth that it is almost 
impossible to analyze. Originative skill and strict 
business application have produced machine after 
machine and established system after system, by 
which the industry, though perhaps still somewhat 
short of perfection, has reached a high rank in the 
scale of magnitude and efficiency. A great many 
of the processes involved have been practically rev- 
olutionized, in almost all instances machinery taking 
the place of the former hand labor. As an instance, 
the dough, which until twenty years ago was mixed 
and kneaded by hand in long boxes, is now entirely 
prepared in large iron mixers by means of a revolv- 
ing paddle, some of these machines being capable 
of handling as much as twelve barrels of flour at a 
time. Machines, also, to produce an almost endless 
variety of fancy cakes and biscuits have been in- 
vented and introduced, resulting in an ever-increas- 
ing list of new goods. When Joshua Bent first 
established his bakery at the beginning of the cen- 
tury only two kinds of crackers were known. To- 
day the number reaches in the aggregate at least 
500 different grades and varieties. Some of the 
greatest successes in this increase have been the 
result of accident, while others are the perfection 
of long and costly experiment. In this connection 
must be mentioned the names of J. H. Mitchell, of 

Frank A. Kennedy. 


Philadelphia ; Ruger, of Buffalo ; H. J. McCoUum 
and Fowler & Rockwell, of New York; and Roth 
& McMahon, of Chicago, all manufacturers of 
bakers' supplies aiid machinery, and each taking 
a part in the invention and development of the 
mechanical processes introduced. And the end is 
not yet. New specialties are constantly being pro- 
duced by the various competing firms, and the skill 
and ingenuity of all those directly interested are 
constantly taxed to bring to life some new combina- 
tion of dcUcacies, while a host of artists is kept 
active in originating attractive and suitable labels 
and coverings for the various packages in which the 
goods meet the public. To give some slight idea 
of the magnitude of the biscuit business as it stands 
to-day, a few statistics may be of interest. Before 
giving these, however, it will be necessary to add a 
short account of the recent organization of the bis- 
cuit industry, 

In 1890 three large companies were formed, 
comprising together nearly all the largest and most 
prominent plants in the country. The first of these, 
the New York Biscuit Company, includes the lead- 
ing houses of New England and New York, with 
an immense factory in New York City, the largest 
and most complete in the United States. The build- 
ing is 600 feet long, aoo feet wide, and rises six 
stories in height. Forty ovens are its complement, 
whh an aggregate daily baking capacity of looo 
barrels of flour. The second is the American Bis- 
cuit and Manufacturing Company, with one factory 
in New York City, but doing its principal business 
in the West and South. The third is the United 
States Baking Company, its largest factories situated 
in Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. These tliree 
companies represent an aggregate capital of $25,- 
000,000, and in 1894 their consumption of flour 
approximated 1,400,000 barrels. A foiulh, some- 
what smaller, company, the National, has since been 
formed, which has plants situated respectively in 
Denver, Colo., Cedar Rapids, la., Des Moines, la.. 
Rock Island, III, and New Orleans, La. 

Although these four companies represent almost 
all the important plants, it is safe to assume that 
their consumption of raw material and consequent 
product is not above one half the total in the United 
Slates, for in nearly every large city and town from 
Easlport to California can be found independent 
bakeries, each with one or more ovens. In the 
manufacture of biscuit, flour is, of course, the most 
prominent item ; and the importance of this fact to 
the farmer can be gauged when we calculate that in 
order to supply the needs of all the cracker bakeries 

of this country during the past year at least 2,800,- 
000 barrels of flour were required. Reckoning five 
bushels of wheat to a barrel of flour, and twenty 
bushels to the acre, we find that the above figure 
means the product of no less than 14,000,000 bush- 
els or 700,000 acres. But flour, though the most 
important, is by no means the only raw material 
of cotaequence used in the biscuit business. The 
following figures are taken from the report for the 
year 1S94, and, though rough, are as close an ap- 
proximation to the actual amounts of materials other 
than flour as it is possible to estimate : 






5 milk. 





pounds honey from Cobe, Florida, Cfllifomi^ »nd 


raisins from ihe 

figs from Smjrna 

Mediterranean wd Cali- 




'' fsjflS 

nlmood Dots. 





s ei tract vaniUa. 



s jeQies. 

oil pf lemoD and a 




cream of taitai. 





To these figures must be added the following, 
which enable the finished goods to properly reach 
the consumer: 10,000,000 wood boxes; 7,000,000 
barrels; tin to the value of $250,000, made into 
cans and packages; logellier with 5000 tons of 
paper and pasteboard. To handle all these mate- 
rials and prepare the product for market an army 
of workers is required. For all the heavier labor, 
mixing and baking, men are employed ; but the 
packing, labeling, and some portions of the fancy 
or iced work are done by skilful-fingered girls. 
Traveling salesmen visit every portion of the country 
for orders, and in the large cities drivers by the 
hundreds, with handsome wagons, make daily and 
weekly rounds, supplying the trade with the factory 
product. The New York Biscuit Company alone 
has 2500 operative,"!, besides 350 salesmen and 
drivers ; and the total number of hands engaged in 
the various processes of the biscuit industry in the 
United States will probably reach not less than 


Not a frei^t-train or steamer of any principal 
line bul carries these goods over the country. Not 
a yacht skims along our shores, not a vessel crosses 
the ocean, without canying biscuit in greater or less 
variety in its store-room. Not a hotel would think 
its menu complete without the after-dinner coffee 
with crackers and cheese. Not a picnic party 
would arrange for an outing without calling upon 
the grocer for its supply of biscuit. Not an after- 
noon tea, luncheon, or other social function would 
be complete without the dainty novelties so lavishly 

supplied by our leading bakeries. When we add to 
this the daily home consumpdon, and the constantly 
increasing exports to the West Indies, Central aad 
South America, which are following closely on the 
growth of political alliances between the American 
republics, the value and importance of the biscuit 
industry to the country is appreciated. No field 
affords better opportunity to intelligence, genius, 
and business enthusiasm. The century which is 
closing has recorded great achievements, but that 
which lies ahead is equally full of promise. 



THE utilization of one waste product does 
more to enrich the worid than an increase of 
many millions of dollars of product in some 
old and well established industry. Perhaps there is 
> single thing that more forcibly illustrates this 
truism than the utilization of the once despised 
cotton-seed. In the process of ginning seed-cotton 
the result is a little more than two pounds of seed 
tor every pound of cotton produced; and forty 
ytars ago, aside from the small amount of seed that 
might be reserved for the next season's planting, and 
such small quantities as were consumed by the cattle 
on the plantation, there was absolutely no use to 
which it could be apphed. At the gins the great seed 
heaps grew, as the sawdust heaps rise to-day around 
the portable sawmill, until, as a last resort, the gin 
sould be moved from the base of the seed mountain 
" had reared up to itself. Thus was cotton-seed, in 
'840 and 1 850, a source of actual expense and an 
fincmnbrance. That there was an oil that might 
'>* made useful contained in the cotton-seed was 
'">o*n,of cotu-se, ever since 1783, when that august 
■nd venerable body, the London Society for the 
Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures, and Com- 
merce, first called public attention to it. The real 
"alue of this oil, or a method for its extraction, was, 
oowever, not known to the society ; and while it 
declared that the seed-calte resulting from the manu- 
facture of the oil was good cattle-food, and though 
uie society offered gold and silver medals of reward 
^or the first successful process of making the oil and 
^^e, it never had occasion to bestow its honors. 
Laier on, when the seed of the Egyptian cotton was 
'DiiDduced into Europe, the manufacture and re- 
"ungof the oil was begun and carried on quite ex- 
^fiively. The use of the product for food purposes 
*3s iilso learned abroad before any advance what- 
*^had been made by this country in that direction. 
"Oie dilatoriness of Americans in availing them- 
"'VBof this great wasted asset was undoubtedly due 
lotht [act that the South, where cotton was king, was 

not a manufacturing community, and had neither 
taste nor inclination to develop along any but agri- 
cultural lines. Her population, further, embraced but 
few of the operative class needed for the labor of the 
manufactory. The first recorded attempts in this 
country to extract the crude cotton-seed oil were 
made at Natchez, Miss., in 1834, and at New Orleans 
in 1847. Both were complete failures from the 
standpoint of practicability, and it was long a 
lugubrious jest with the late Mr. Frederick Good, 
of New Orleans, who was active in the second at- 
tempt, to show a small bottle of the crude cotton- 
seed oil, which he stated had cost him juat $1 1,000. 
Abroad the seed of the Egyptian cotton continued 
to be used more or less successfully, and experiments 
— rather desultory in their nature, perhaps — were 
continued on this side of the water. The greatest 
difficulty encountered by the pioneers in this field 
was the total lack of appropriate machinery. Fore- 
most as Americans have been in the invention of 
mechanical appliances, they were singularly back- 
ward in developing machinery for the expression of 
the cotton-seed oil. At the time now under discus- 
sion each mill that was attempted had its own 
mechanical ideas, and these were uniformly crude 
and unsuccessful. In fact, the introduction of im- 
proved or even fairly practicable methods of extract- 
ing and refining cotton-seed oil did not come until 
some of the -American manufacturers— notably Mr. 
Paul A!dig6, of New Orleans— had visited the great 
European works, including those at Marseilles, and 
patterned from them, in the early years after the 
Civil War. 

Prior to this, however, the industry had gained a 
foothold on a small scale, and crude cotton-seed oil 
was put on the market in limited quantities. Its ap- 
pearance as a domestic product dates from about 
1855, and to Mr. Paul Aldigd, of New Orieans, later 
one of the most prominent cot ton -seed- oil manufac- 
turers in the country, is due the credit for the first 
successful attempt at crushing the seed in a mill. He 




had to contend with many difficulties, not the least 
of which was procuring the cotton-seed. The 
wealthy planters of those ante-bellum da3rs, when 
their cotton crop was picked, ginned, and baled, 
were quite disposed to regard the business as com- 
pleted. To be troubled about selling the waste 
seed product of the gins was not worth their while ; 
and as the small planter did not exist to any extent, 
it was more than difficult to secure the needed seed. 
It was harder to get one ton then than it is to get 
one hundred to-day. Furthermore, the transporta- 
tion facilities for bringing in the seed from the out- 
lying districts were of the poorest. These obstacles, 
together with crude machinery and little knowledge 
concerning the valuable by-products to be obtained 
from the manufactiure of the oil, all operated to keep 
the industry at the lowest point. 

Singularly enough, it was in the tight little Yankee 
State of Rhode Island that the first firm foothold for 
this peculiarly Southern industry was obtained. A 
mill was started at Providence, R. I., in 1855-56, 
and the seed was shipped from the South, principally 
from New Orleans. While but a small affair com- 
pared with the huge works of to-day, this mill con- 
tinued to be operated until the outbreak of the 
Civil War put an end to Southern seed shipments. 
During the years of war that followed, the cotton- 
seed-oil industry made little headway here, although 
abroad it was rapidly coming into prominence. 
There were a few small mills and refineries in the 
cities along the Mississippi, notably at Vicksburg 
and New Orleans; and after the blockade of that 
river began to shut off supplies, their product came 
into demand as an illuminating oil, despite the fact 
that it could not be bmned in chimney-lamps. In 
the accumulation of the seed-cake resulting from 
this blockade, which prevented all exportation, the 
South first came to use it, in default of anything 
better, as a food for cattle. It had never been 
used for such a purpose here before, although it had 
been exported, and its valuable properties were well 
known on the continent of Europe. The hulls, also, 
were discovered at this time, in the same forced 
way, to be good food-stuff for cattle, and their use 
for this purpose, in a limited way in the South, dates 
from this time. These hulls, mixed with a certain 
percentage of the meal of the seed-cake, make a 
compact form of fodder, and were used in the timber 
regions and other localities where hay was hard to 
obtain and difficult to transport. 

It is not many years ago that every cotton-seed 
mill in the country utilized, as far as possible, its 
hulls for fuel to operate the mills ; but this demand 

fell short of the production, and the larger mills were 
put to an expense for hauling the hulls away or for 
erecting furnaces to convert them into ashes. Grad- 
ually the value of the hull became known to the 
dairyman, and then to the feeder of stock for the 
butcher, till at the present time practically all the 
hulls produced are utilized as cattle-food, and that 
which was only lately an expense to the crusher has 
become a source of revenue. 

This and many other most valuable by-products 
were, however, almost unknown here until after the 
war had ended. In New Orleans and at Vicks- 
burg the crushing of the seed was continued in a 
small way during the years between i860 and 1^5, 
when peace, with the consequent return of the 
people to their agricultural pursuits, again brought 
larger crops and increased activity. In 1 866 there 
were in the whole United States just seven mills for 
the crushing of the cotton-seed. Though the diverse 
usefulness of the cotton-seed oil was manifesting itself 
almost daily in some new form, the growth of the in- 
dustry was comparatively slow. Twenty-six mills in 
1870 increased in the next ten years to only forty- 
five. These represented a capital invested of 
$3,862,300, through which was turned out an 
annual product valued at $7,690,921. In wages 
the cotton-seed mills in 1880 paid out $880,836 to 
3319 employees, and the value of the material con- 
sumed by them in the processes of manufacture was 
$5,091,251. These figures, while of respectable 
amount, considered with due allowance for the 
short time the industry had been known, stiU sink 
into insignificance by contrast with those represent- 
ing its condition to-day. The fifteen years that 
followed 1880 have seen the most wonderful change 
in the status of the cotton-seed-oil business among 
the commercial and industrial interests of the coun- 
try. While the total product of the country in 1880 
was less than $8,000,000, that of a single concern, 
the American Cotton Oil Company, ten years later, 
was over $20,000,000, and 5000 employees were 
carried on the rolls of this one company. 

One of the great factors in this wonderful growth 
has been the continued bringing to light of new uses 
and value for the product What the discovery 
of the by-products of petroleum did for that min- 
eral oil was done for cotton-seed oil, when the 
manifold uses of the refined product began to be 
understood. As an oil, that of the cotton-seed 
possesses in high degree all the properties conunoa 
to the best vegetable oils, with the exceptions that 
for household illmnination, or as a lubricant, it can- 
not be used to advantage. As ordinarily known ia 



the phraseology of the market, refined cotton-seed 
oil is of four varieties, viz., summer and winter 
yellow, and summer and winter white. From the 
summer yellow are derived many valuable products. 
The well-known lard compound, "cottolene," and 
similar products, which have so largely superseded 
hog-lard for cooking purposes, take a great deal of 
this grade of oil, the bulk of which, in fact, may be 
said to be consumed in culinary channels. When 
cheaper than tallow, " summer yellow " is also used 
in great quantity in the manufacture of laundry and 
toilet soaps, and a large amount of it, made from 
selected crude oil, is exported for use abroad in the 
making of butterine, a substitute for butter much 
used in Holland, Belgium, France, and other £iu:o- 
pean countries. This grade of oil is of the finest 
quality, and in many places has supplanted olive-oil 
as a dressing for salads or the general uses of the 
table. Druggists find in it a reliable and excel- 
lent substitute for olive-oil in many preparations 
for external application, such as salves and lini- 
ments. Not being inflammable, cotton-seed oil is 
used by the salt manufacturers to float on top of 
their tanks, and the paper makers find a similar use 
for it. By a process of bleaching, " summer yellow " 
is converted into " summer white." " Winter yel- 
low" and "winter white" will stand a cold test at 
32O Fahrenheit, without chilling. These oils are 
prodaced fix>m the summer oils by extracting a large 
percentage of the stearine contained therein. Winter 
oils are largely used as a substitute for whale and 
hrd oils in miners' lamps, and considerable quanti- 
ties are used in foreign countries. Cotton-seed soap- 
stock, as known to commerce, is the residuum of the 
lefining-kettle, and is utilized in low-grade laundry 
soaps and in wool-scouring soaps. 

Besides these uses of the refined oils, the crusher 
<rf cotton-seed sees his product and by-products 
Wng him returns from various other sources. The 
cotton-seed cake, or solid residuum of seed remain- 


H after the expression of the oil, finds sale as cake, 
pnnapally in Great Britain; but by far the larger 
potion of the cake is converted, by grinding, into 
cotton-seed meal, which is of such high repute at 
home and abroad, both as a food for cattle and 
sheep and as an ingredient of ammonial fertilizers, 
^ the entire production finds a ready sale. The 

^tcrs" or short staple cotton, ranking relatively 
^ of about half- value with " middling cotton," is 
Mother by-product which the cotton-seed crusher 
gains through a careful reginning of the seed. 

The process of extracting the ofl from the cotton- 

seed is a rather complicated one in its preparatory 

stages, but is simplified to the last degree by the em- 
ployment of machinery at each and every step. The 
seed, on reaching the mill, is first screened, to re- 
move sand, dirt, bolls, and foreign substances, and 
finally a draft of air is used to complete the cleaning 
process. The seed is now ready for the linters, 
which machines are an elaboration of the ordinary 
cotton-gin; and whatever staple remains upon the 
seed is stripped off in passing through them. From 
the linters the seed passes to the huller, a high- 
speed cutting-machine, which cuts it up most thor- 
oughly. The hulls, by screens and beaters, are now 
separated from the meats, which latter are, by screw- 
conveyers, conducted to bins contiguous to roller- 
crushers, and as fast as required are passed through 
the crushers, where the mass is reduced to a uniform 
consistency, and is known to millmen as " uncooked 
meal." The first step is cooking this meal, which is 
done in steam-jacketed kettles. When heated to a 
proper degree the meal is drawn from the kettles, 
formed into cakes, enveloped in camePs-hair cloth, 
and placed in boxes of an hydraulic press, when by 
the application of proper pressure the crude oil is 
speedily extracted. The solid residue remaining in 
the press-box is the decorticated cotton-seed-oil cake 
of commerce. 

In the practical methods by which these mills 
are supplied and operated all the improvements of 
modem industrial enterprise have been laid under 
tribute. In the distribution of the oil product, tank- 
cars on the railroads and tank-steamers on the high 
seas are used for transportation in bulk; and the 
American Cotton Oil Company, in its immense ex- 
port business to Rotterdam, has a tank-steamship 
capable of carrying 4200 tons of oil in bulk, thus . 
saving the heavy item of cooperage. This steamer 
can thus carry, without injuring, even the finest 
quality of the food-oil, which is in great demand 
in Holland and Belgium. As an evidence of the 
amount consumed there it is shown that Rotterdam 
alone imported in one year, recently, no less than 
8,356,676 gallons of cotton-seed oil, of which 
5,973,760 were from this country. The diversity 
of the industry requires factories other than the 
crude-oil mills, as refineries, lard and cottolene plants, 
soap factories, cotton-ginneries, cotton-compressors, 
and fertilizer-mixing establishments. The supply for 
all these is derived directly from the crude-oil mills, 
which in their turn are operated immediately from 
the raw material, in providing which there has grown 
up a most important branch of the agricultural sys- 
tem of the South. 

With the development of the industry in later 



STARCH is a white pulverulent substance 
composed of microscopic spheroids, which 
are, in fact, sacs containing amylaceous mat- 
ter. These microscopic panicles vary in size and 
form, and exist in many plants. Chemists name 
three kinds of starch — one found in cereals, another 
called inuhn, and a third called lichen-starch. They 
are all insoluble in cold water, alcohol, ether, and 
oils, and, with the exception of inulin, are converted 
into sugar by dilute sulphuric acid and by diastase. 
The first-named forms with hot water a mucilaginous 
solution, which, when cold, is the starch used by the 
laundress of to-day ; it is tinged blue by iodine. The 
second forms a granular precipitate when its solution 
in boiling water ts allowed to cool, and is tinged a 
fugitive brown by iodine. The third, by cooling the 
concentrated solution, gives a gelatinous mass, with 
clear h'quid containing very little starch floating over 
il ; its jelly becomes yellow with iodine. Starch is 
fotmd in wheat, rye, barley, oats, buckwheat, rice, 
com, millet, pease, beans, potatoes, arrowroot, and 
other plants, and varies greatly in quantity under 
different circumstances. 

The making of starch had a very ancient origin, 
for it is spoken of by Pliny, in the first century a.d., 
as being made from wheat on the island of Chios. 
Very little is said of it by modem writers, however, 
until the time of the reign of Queen Elizabeth, when 
its use became almost a necessity for stiffening the 
enormous ruffs wom by the queen and her court. 
So scarce and exclusive was the article at that time 
that its use was forbidden by English law except for 
the purpose just mentioned, and by perfumers in 
making the hair-powders then in vogue. The Greeks 
made starch from wheat for food about the beginning 
of our era, and potatoes formed a considerable source 
of starch-supply early in the sixteenth century. 

As the manufacture of cotton goods increased, and 
especially after the development of calico printing, 
there was a greatly enlarged demand for starch, and 

as the early restrictions upon its manofacture were 
removed, inventors and experimenters turned their 
attention to its cheaper and better production. 
Crude methods for making it became generally 
known, and it was produced in small quantities in 
many families for home use. New sources of sup- 
ply were also discovered, and gradually took their 
proper place in the general economy of the industry. 
The importance attaching to these is indicated by the 
fact that in 1796 the British Society of Arts gave a 
medal to Mrs. Gibbs, of Portland, for her discovery 
of Arum maculatum as a soiu'cc of starch. But for 
many years the principal source of the article was 
wheat or potatoes. 

One hundred years ago there was not a starch fac- 
tory in all our broad land except the domestic ones, 
where our great-grandmothers grated the potato and 
washed the starch out of the pulp. This was then 
strained and left over night to settle ; in the morning 
the water was poured off, and the starch removed 
from the vessel and dried in the sun, being then laid 
aside to be used as occasion required. The oldest 
process of manufactiuing wheat-starch in the United 
States consisted in steeping the grain in water until it 
was soft, when it was passed through a malt-mill, or 
between rollers, and again mixed with water. Fer- 
mentation then set in, forming lacdc and acetic acids, 
which disintegrated the cellular structure of the ker- 
nel and hberated the starch granules. These were 
collected by repeated washings and precipitations, 
the process being continued several days, the gluten 
putrefying and giving off a very foul odor. The 
sugar and a portion of the starch were converted 
into alcohol, and a part of this into lactic and acetic 
acids, which dissolved the gluten that had escaped 
putrefaction. Thorough washing removed the solu- 
ble matter, and the starch left behind was dried and.-.. 
prepared for market. The other method, known air^^ 
non-femienling, is of French origin, and consisted icra 
kneading wheat-ffotu' into dough with water,and their=i 


washing in a fine sieve in a stream of water as long 
as the passing water continued milky. The starch 
in suspension and the sugary portion in solution 
were caught below the sieve, and the gluten nearly 
all remained behind in a sticky mass. What passed 
through was left to ferment twenty-four hours in 
an oven at 680 Fahrenheit, and a little leaven was 
added, or ihe skimmings of a former operation, to 
hasten the process. The portion of gluten carried 
through with the starch was thus separated and re- 
covered by skimming. The starch was then treated 
like that otherwise produced. This last-described 
method gave a product of about fifty per cenl. of 
the weight of flour, while by the firel process it was 
only thirty-five or forty per cent. Most of the 
gluten was saved in a condition to be used for food 
by mixing it with potato or other substance. The 
starch thus produced, while good for some purposes, 
lacked the required strength for fine laundry-work, 
was not clear and pure white like the modem pro- 
duct, and, being made from wheat, was compara- 
tively costly. The removal of the gluten was never 
perfect, causing endless annoyance and perplexity 
to the laundress when it came in contact with her 
hoi irons ; and it was by these, or still more crude 
and costly methods, that nearly all the starch was 
produced down to about the year 1841. 

The uses to which starch is put are numerous. 
Not only in the laundry and kitchen do we find it, 
but also in many of the leading manufactories of 
the day. It is used largely in the manufacture of 
textile fabrics, in calico printing, paper, confection- 
ery, breadstuffs, paint, wood filling, etc. 

The manufacture of starch from potatoes in 
this country ts now confined principally to the 
New England States, Maine having forty-four 
factories. There are sixty-four factories engaged in 
this branch of the starch industry of which 1 have 
knowledge, these factories consuming 1,814,513 
bushels of potatoes, producing 24,008,352 pounds 
of starch per annum, requiring 1536 horse-power, 
and employing 659 hands for about three months in 
each year. The capital invested is $355,765, and 
the value of the annual product, $854,697.33. Cull 
potatoes are largely used. Potato-starch is used 
almost entirely by manufacturers of textile fabrics. 

The wheat-starch industry early in the century 
gave promise of great importance, the annual output 
of this commodity continuing to increase until 1842, 
when the discovery and perfection of the process for 
the extraction of starch from Indian com, by Thomas 
Kingsford, turned the attention of manufacturers to 
this cereal as a source of starch supply, and many 

wheat-starch factories were remodeled thereafter to 
use Indian com. The first wheat-starch factory of 
which I have knowledge was that started by Edward 
and John Gilbert at Utica, N. Y., in 1S07, which 
factory continued until about 1849, when it was re- 
modeled to use Indian com. The business was given 
up and the plant abandoned in 1859. In 1817 a 
wheat-starch factory was started by Thomas Bamett 
at Philadelphia, Pa., which was removed to Knowl- 
ton. Pa., in 1879, and there continues in operation. 
The next wheat-starch factory was operated by 
George Fox in Cincinnati, O., in 1824, at which 
time but five bushels of wheat were consumed in the 
weekly output. The business gradually increased, 
until 500 bushels per week were required to meet the 
demand. This factory began the manufacture of 
starch from Indian corn in 1854. In 1S37 William 
Colgate & Company started a wheat-starch factory 
in Jersey City, N. J., where they had a very suc- 
cessful career in this branch of the starch industry. 
Their plant was altered into a corn-starch factory in 
1842, and continued in the manufacture of starch 
from the latter-named grain until 1865. In 1843 
Colgate & Wood (Charles Colgate and JuUus J. 
Wood) began the manufacture of wheat -starch at 
Columbus, 0. There are but five wheat-starch fac- 
tories in this country at the present time of which I 
have knowledge. These factories have an aggregate 
capital of $195,000, the annual production being 
8,31 2, 000 pounds, valued at $346,000, requiring 250 
horse-power, and employing 88 hands. The capa- 
city of these factories is 1077 bushels of wheat per 

As early as the year 1841, while Thomas Kings- 
ford was superintending the wheat-starch factories of 
William Colgate & Company in Jersey City, N. J., 
where he had been employed since thespring of 1832, 
he clearly saw the objectionable features of both the 
methods of manufacture and of the product, and in 
his study to remove them became convinced that in 
our ripe Indian com lay the future source of abun- 
dant starch that would in every way excel all others 
if it could be separated from every substance foreign 
to its nature. He imparted his conviction to his em- 
ployers, the result of which may be inferred— manu- 
facturers and capitalists are seldom ready to aid in 
the experiments of investigators. They thought that, 
at the best, the prospects of success were doubtful. 
They were making money, and why should they not 
continue manufacturing starch from wheat instead 
of taking up a wild project ? He talked with other 
starch makers of that day, who ridiculed the idea, 
and declared it to be impracticable and visionary. 


Satisfaction with present conditions is always a foe 
to advancement. The more he thought of the sub- 
ject the more his mind was imbued with the behef 
tliat ultimate success awaited him. The history of 
his experiments is deeply interesting. 

In the year 1841, at the Colgate factory in Jer- 
sey City, N. J,, he began a series of experiments to 
test his theory, following substantially the processes 
in use in the factory. He first soaked a quantity 
of Indian com-meal, and then washed it through a 
fine sieve, hoping thus to secure the starch ; but it 
remained only com-meal. He then obtained some 
shelled com, soaked it several days in lye lo soften 
the grain, and endeavored to reduce the kernels to 
pulp with a mortar and pestle. This done, he washed 
out the starch, or endeavored lo, from the other con- 
stituents ; but this attempt also failed. He then tried 
a wooden screw -crusher, with which, and the use of 
several solutions, he endeavored to extract the pure 
starch; but again failure attended him. His next 
mechanical contrivance for reducing the com to 
pulp was a paint-mill, but the final result was the 
same— he failed to effect a separation of the starch. 
He then soaked another quantity of com, and passed 
it between the rollers of an old sugar-mill, borrowed 
from a grocer ; but the rust on the mill discolored 
and spoiled his product. Still persistent, he procured 
a pair of granite rollers, mounted them on shafts in 
a frame, and by passing the com repeatedly between 
them, obtained a clear pulp. When this was strained, 
washed, and settled by the process with which he 
was familiar in the manufacture of wheat-starch, he 
found it so mixed with gluten, albumen, woody fiber, 
and other impurities, that he could not effect the 
separation desired. Mr. Kingsford now continued 
his experiments with various kinds of acid, hoping 
to produce the long-sougiit separation of the pure 
starch from all the other constituents of the grain, 
but without success. He then made a solution of 
wood-ash lye, the use of which also failed, as did 
other similar experiments. Almost discouraged, but 
siil! stimulated with a desperate hope of ultimate 
success, he ground up another quantity of com and 
treated it with a solution of lime. Again success 
evaded him. But he was now nearing his triumph. 
He had thrown the first lot, treated with a lye solu- 
tion, into a receptacle, and to this, in his discour- 
agement, he added the last quantity, upon which he 
had experimented with hme, and left them to be 
thrown away with the results of many former fail- 
ures. On entering the room a few days later to put 
it in order, he proceeded to empty the tub, and to 
his great joy and surprise found at the bottom a 

quantity of beautiful white starch, thoroughly sepa- 
rated. Continuing his work, he rapidly perfected 
his process, and in 1842 produced his first quantity 
of marketable starch. Mr. Kingsford fully realized 
the importance of his discovery, although liis most 
sanguine anticipations could scarcely have led him 
to hope for the great success that followed. Corn 
was then vastly cheaper in comparison with wheat 
than it is at the present day, thus promising lower 
prices and greater profits, as well as increased de- 
mand (or the new starch. He freely exhibited his 
product to buyers and consumers, as well as to his 
employers, and there was only one verdict : it was 
incomparably superior to any other starch. Now 
he did not have to ask for financial aid. William 
Colgate & Company were ready and anxious to 
make any in\'estment necessary to establish the 
manufacture if they could share in the profits, and a 
business engagement was accordingly effected, under 
which Mr. Kingsford was to superintend all the 
operations and devise the necessary machinery for 
the manufacture, at the same time retaining the 
knowledge of his process for himself. None of 
the starch-making devices formerly used in the 
factory could be utilized, and he set himself to the 
work of inventing and building special machinery 
for the new process. The task was successfully 
accomplished, the manufacture began, and the new 
starch soon reached consumers in comparatively 
large quantities. It met with prompt and universal 
favor, and soon crowded the former starches from 
the market. 

In 1846 the firm of T. Kingsford & Son was 
formed by the association of Thomas Kingsford and 
his son Thomson. They erected a small factory at 
Bergen, N. J., and there the manufacture of tiie 
Kingsford starch was successfully inaugurated. As 
the knowledge of the superiority of this starch spread, 
and the rapidly increasing demand became known, 
capitalists came forward with propositions for in- 
vestment in the business. This resulted, in 1 848, in 
the incorporation of an organization st>-led the 
Oswego Starch Factory, and the removal of the 
business to Oswego, N. Y., where suitable factory 
buildings were erected. Unfailing water-power, a 
pure water-supply for manufacturing purposes, and 
good shipping facilities were the chief advantages 
secured by this change of location. In i85oThoma.s 
Kingsford became impressed with the conviction 
thai, by following processes somewhat different from 
those employed in making laundry starch, a food- 
substance might be produced from corn, which 
would be free from the objections inherent in com- 


q^^lI, extremely nutritious, and at the same time 
juic^^ to the most delicate or infantile stomach, 
gynplanting arrowroot, sago, tapioca, and similar 
farixx^ceous foods. He immediately began a series 
of ^:7Cperiments, which resulted in the discovery and 
pr<»c3 action of the now universally known corn-starch 
(or food purposes. From 1841 the demand for 
con^-surch continued to increase, leading to the 
(sia.t>lishment of many plants ; but the concentration 
Qf tirte starch interests into fewer hands has within 
the past few years resulted in the cessation of work 
in seventeen factories. There are at present sixteen 
factories engaged in the manufacture of starch from 
Indian com in this country, with an aggregate capa- 
city of 29,000 bushels of com per day, producing 
206,673,000 pounds of starch annually, valued at 
$8,738,895. In this branch of the industry there 
is, at present, an invested capital of $8,450,000; 
11,740 horse-power are required, and 2219 hands 
are employed. In i8gi a combination or trust was 
foimed, composed of many of the starch companies 

in the United States, and called the National Starch 
Manufacturing Company. The manufacture of 
starch may be counted among the leading industries 
of this progressive nation, and a large proportion of 
the product is annually shipped to, and finds a ready 
market in, foreign countries. 

Like other industries, the growth of starch manu- 
facture has kept pace with our ever-increasing pop- 
ulation. In 1880 there were 139 factories engaged 
in the manufacture of starch from potatoes, wheat, 
and corn. Ten years later there were but 80 
factories, which would seem a falling oft of the in- 
dustry. But a carefully prepared table of facts 
concerning the subject shows a marked increase in 
the number of hands employed, quantity produced, 
and value of annual product. A brief simimary 
shows a total of 2966 hands employed in potato, 
wheat, and corn starch factories, utilizing 13,526 
hoTse-power, producing 238,993,352 pounds of 
starch annually, valued at $9,939,592.33, and em- 
ploying $9,000,765 capital. 




k Y the coaction of thought and energy are all 
things developed from nature. The quick- 
whirling, sharp-pointed stick of hard wood, 
brought in contact with resisting hard wood, gener- 
ated by friction the heat which gave primitive man 
his firet spark of fire. That primitive man who, with 
energized thought, produced the first spark of fire was 
a greater inventor than any who followed him up to 
the day when man harnessed electricity to produce 
the same spark of fire. How similar their methods, 
— action and reaction ; the positive and negative 
poles of the battery : the whirling armature of metal 
coming in contact with metal, generating the heat- 
fluid that is distributable by proper conductors : yet 
how great the step in mechanics between the two — 
one base and rudimentary, the other the perfection 
of mechanics I 

It has been written that "human culture may be 
said to have begun with fire, of which the use in- 
creased in the same ratio as culture itself." The 
ancients regarded fire as a sacred element, and, 
when once produced, it was watched, replenished, 
and cared for with a religious zeal by virgins, who 
were scourged if they permitted it to expire. 

To the development of mechanics and chemistry 
we owe our progress physically; and while some 
branches of industry may attract more attention 
than others on account of their importance, it would 
seem that all have traveled along at about the same 
pace and made about the same progress, the match 
industry, like its neighbors, only keeping step to the 
music of the rapid march of industrial affairs. The 
progress made in the methods of producing fire 
quickly was for several centuries exceedingly slow, 
taking into consideration the fact that phosphorus 
was discovered in the eighth century by an Arab 
named Bechel, Owing, perhaps, to lack of proper 
chemical and mechanical appliances at that time, it 
dropped from sight, and was rediscovered in 1669 
by Brandt. Both Bechel and Brandt discovered it 

in liquid human refuse after it had been changed 
by keeping. Later it was procured from human 
bones, and still later from all kinds of bones ; and 
now it is extracted by electricity from mineral 
phosphates. It is exceedingly strange that, while 
its properties were well known for several centuries, 
its apphcation to matches dates back only a little 
over half a century. It would be hard work to 
compute accurately the value to the human race of 
the introduction to general use of this useful little 

It is estimated that five matches per day are used 
for each man, woman, and child in the United States, 
and that fifteen seconds are required to consume a 
match, while the time required to produce the same 
number of fires by the best-known methods before 
matches were invented would have been ninety 
hours per annum for each person. The difference 
between the two methods would figure out a saving, 
at five cents per hour, of over $270,000,000 per 
annum to the people of the United States. 

The original discovery of the ignition of phos- 
phorus and sulphur by friction was made by God- 
frey Haukwitz in 1680. About one hundred and 
fifty years later. Walker, of Stockton-on-Tees, in- 
vented the friction-light. Two or three years prior to 
that the famous instantaneous-light boxes were in 
use. These were called Eupyrions and Prome- 
theans, and consisted of slicks of wood tipped with 
sulphur and chlorate of potash, which ignited on be- 
ing dipped into sulphuric acid. These instantaneous 
lights retailed at a very high price. The lucifer or 
improved friction-match succeeded them in 1833, 
The first patent granted in the United States for a 
friction-match was to Alonzo D. Phillips, of Spring- 
field, Mass., October 24, 1836, and the manufacture 
in this country began in the same year. 

The splints were whittled out by hand at first, 
and continued to be made in a crude way until 
1842, when Reuben Partridge patented the first 




^Unt-cutting machine. The discovery of red or 
anMHphous phosphorus was made by Schrotter, a 
Gemian, in the early fifties ; and one of its earliest 
users was Herr Lwidstrom, of Jonkoping, the 
original Swedish safety-match manufacturer, in 
1855-56. A history of this industry in 1856 states 
that it had reached gigantic proportions in Sweden, 
Geraiany, and England. In the latter country there 
was an average daily output of 40,000,000 matches 
in that year. To-day the Diamond Match Com- 
pany's largest factory, at Barberton, O., has facilities 
for turning out 100,000,000 matches per diem. 

HLow quickly, in the familiarity of conmion use, 
iias the little match lost its merited consideration as 
an important factor in human events, and how litde 
do ^^e realize its importance in commercial affairs! 
There are consumed in the United States 115,200,- 
000, coo matches per annum, which, if put end to 
end, would reach a distance of over 4,000,000 miles, 
or span the earth 170 times. Allowing eleven 
matohes to the inch in width when put side by side, 
they would make a band around the earth fifteen 
inches wide. 

There are annually consumed in the production 
of xnatches in the United States, and in casing them, 
over 40,000,000 square feet of pine lumber one inch 
thick ; 8000 tons of strawboard and paper are used 
in l>oxing and wrapping them for market ; 3,500,000 
pounds of paraffine and brimstone are used for 
saturating the ends of match-sticks ; and 6,000,000 
pounds of chemical compound are used for match- 
heads. About $7,000,000 are invested directly in 
the match business, and $5,000,000 are invested in 
lumbering and manufacturing enterprises, owned and 
operated by the match manufacturers to supply them- 
selves with materials used in the making of matches. 
The annual product is delivered to the consumer for 
**^iit $7,000,000. In the match business proper 
^^vx 2200 people are employed, and as many more 
^^ employed in the manufacture of material for 
"itches. The aggregate wages paid amount to about 
^'> 500,000 per annum. 

I'he production of matches has been attended 

^tli a great amount of misery which is incidental 

^^ the business. People of scrofulous or delicate 

^J^titution who are brought in contact with phos- 

PHorus in handling matches, or who daily inhale the 

tOiues of phosphorus, are frequently attacked by a 

^ost distressing disease called necrosis of the bone. 

it usually attacks the lower jaw-bone ; when it at- 

^^^^ the upper jaw-bone death is almost certain. 

iti the early history of match making the business 

^"^ conducted in the crudest way possible to 

imagine. It was driven by competition into the 
hands of the poorer classes of people in London 
and in the larger cities of the continent of Europe. 
The manufacture was in cellars ; and so nmnerous 
became the cases of this most loathsome disease 
that the different governments drove the manu- 
facturers out of the cellars and ordered that they 
work in better-ventilated buildings. Despite the 
growth of the business the evolution of machinery in 
the manufacture has very much lessened the number 
of people employed, and reduced the danger of this 
disease to the minimum. 

From whittling out match-splints in 1833, when 
matches were first invented, there has followed a 
mechanical development (the several steps of which 
would be more interesting to the specialist than to 
the general reader, and will not be dwelt upon in 
this paper), until now the most perfect and modem 
machinery is used in their manufacture. The opera- 
tion of these machines may be described as follows : 
The wood from which the match-splints are made 
is pine plank, two inches thick, which, after being 
thoroughly dried, is resawed into lengths from one 
and seven eighths to two and one half inches, repre- 
senting the length of the matches to be made. The 
knots and cross-grained parts are cut out of the 
blocks, and only good straight-grained lumber is 
used. These blocks are then put into the automatic 
feeder of the machine, the paraffine and composition 
for the head of the match having been properly 
prepared and placed in their respective receptacles, 
which are so arranged that they can be replenished 
from time to time without stopping the machine. 
The knives or dies that cut the match-splint from the 
block are so placed in the head-block of the machine 
that when the splints are cut they are separated by 
a quarter of an inch, and placed or set in cast-iron 
plates made into an endless chain by link attach- 
ments. At each revolution of the machine forty- 
four matches are cut and set, the machine making 
from 175 to 250 revolutions per minute, its rapidity 
depending on the length of the match and other 

From the cutting end of the machine the endless 
chain moves along over a drying or heating block 
prepared for this purpose, where the match-splint is 
heated to a degree nearly equal to that required to 
melt paraffine, so that the paraffine may not chill 
on the stick when the splint passes through it, but 
that the end may be thoroughly saturated. The 
chain continues to move on in its course to the com- 
position rollers, where the match receives its head ; 
thence on in a circuitous route, passing back and 



forth, coming in contact with blasts of cool, dry air 
for a period of one hour and a half, when it returns 
to the place of beginning, just before reaching which 
the matches are punched out of the chain by an 
automatic device into small paper or strawboard 
boxes varying in size, capable of containing from 65 
to 500 matches, the boxes having been fed into the 
machine by an automatic device with such regularity 
that one might almost truthfully say that the matches 
were counted into the boxes ; the chain continuing 
along to take other match-splints on their roimd, to 
be made complete matches and dropped in turn into 
other boxes. These boxes of matches pass from the 
machine to a rotary table, around which sit from two 
to four girls, who take the boxes, place the covers on 
them, and then pack them into cases. 

The machines require just enough manual help to 
feed them the raw material and to take care of the 
manufactured product, and are so nearly perfect that 
it does not seem possible for much further develop- 
ment to be accomplished. The world is indebted 
for the present perfection, first, to the policy of the 
Diamond Match Company, which has kept em- 
ployed, since its organization in 1881, a corps of 
expert inventors and mechanics for the invention 
and improvement of its machinery, at an expense 
of at least $50,000 a year; second, to the inventors 
themselves, chief among whom are E. B. Beecher 
of Westville, Conn. ; McClintock Young of Fred- 
erick, Md. ; J. P. Wright of New Haven, Conn. ; 
Joseph Baughman of Akron, O. ; Charles Palmer of 
Akron, O. ; and John W. Denmead of Akron, O. 
The writer has occasionally added a thought in this 
development, especially as to the architecture of 
factories best adapted to match manufacttire, and 
so arranged as to bring the danger from the use of 
phosphorus down to a minimum. 

Coincident with this development of machinery 
for the manufacture of matches has been that of 
machinery for the manufacture of paper and straw- 
board boxes used in the match business, a large 
part of which machinery has been the creation of 
E. B. Beecher. Its operation is as follows : A roll 
of strawboard of proper width, lined with white or 
colored paper, is placed in the machine, which takes 
it and scores the board for the comers without cut- 
ting or breaking its fiber. The strawboard is then 
glued by an automatic device and folded into an 
endless tube, passing on in that form through print- 
ing-presses that print three sides of the tube. It is 
then cut into proper lengths. Passing on in the 
machine, it is sanded on the fourth side, which 
makes the rubbing surface for the ignition of the 

match. This forms the cover or outside of the 
boxes ; these covers are turned out from the machine 
at the rate of 450 per minute. The boxes proper are 
made in a similar way, by machinery which folds and 
glues them in shape. 

The immense saving to the world by the intro- 
duction of machinery for making match-boxes is in- 
dicated by the following facts : There are now used 
in the manufacture of matches in the United States 
at least 2,000,000 paper or strawboard boxes per 
day, which, if made by hand, as the greater part of 
them were twenty years ago, would require at least 
1 500 people ; while now it requires to operate the 
machines that make these boxes not over 75 people. 
Besides this great saving of labor, a great saving in 
the use of strawboard and paper for labels, paste, 
etc., has followed the introduction of machinery, ma- 
chine-made boxes being much lighter and stronger. 
A fiuther economy has been achieved in the space 
required for the manufacture of boxes. Strange to 
say, in England and parts of the Continent hand- 
made boxes are largely used, the material for them 
being weighed out and charged to people who call 
for the work and take it home to complete, returning 
the finished boxes to the factory in due time. This 
work is taken at prices which indicate, at least, that 
it is not done in brownstone houses. It is one of 
the strange sights to be seen in London and Liver- 
pool, this giving out of material for match-boxes to 
the poorer classes of people. It is at once pictu- 
resque and disgusting. " May human life never be 
so cheap in America," is one's first thought on wit- 
nessing it. 

Nature has queer ways of working out her prob- 
lems. Perhaps it is this very cheapness of human 
life abroad that has prompted the better fed and 
housed Yankees to inventive habits. Certain it is that 
they have made greater progress in match making 
than any other people on earth. To-day the largest 
match-making firm of England or the Continent is 
using match machinery invented by Americans over 
thirty years ago, while Americans are using machi- 
nery that is making a saving in labor over that referred 
to of seventy-five per cent. The Diamond Match 
Company is now constructing in Liverpool, England, 
the largest match factory in the world, for the intro- 
duction of the latest and best-known methods for the 
manufacture of matches. It would not be strange 
if, with the cheap labor and the saving in cost of 
material, chemicals, etc., some of the products of 
these works should reach the eastern shore of this 
continent. Such has been the evolution of the 
match industry, with and without protection. 



The effect of this automatic machinery of the 
match industry is easily summed up. In 1880, be- 
fore the organization of the Diamond Match Com- 
pany, there were in existence throughout the 
United States over thirty match factories, employ- 
ing about 4000 people. The total product of all 
these factories at that time was 2,200,000 gross per 
annum, which constituted at least ninety-five per 
cent, of all the matches that were consumed in the 
United States, there being but very few imported ; 
while now, with a much smaller number of people 
employed, four times as many matches are pro- 
duced, the greater part of which are consumed in 
this country. Manufacturers' prices of matches 
have been reduced from fifty to seventy-five per 
cent. The consumption of matches has been in- 
creased much more than in proportion to the in- 
creased population of the United States, this result 
being largely due to the low prices at which they 
are sold. 

A very large portion of the material used in the 
composition for the heads of the matches in this 
country is imported. Chlorate of potash, of which 
there are consumed in matches in this country 1,500,- 
000 pounds per annum (besides several millions of 
pounds that are used for other purposes), is all im- 
ported—not one pound of the article is made in the 
United States ; and the same is true of some other 
chemicals used, notwithstanding that they could be 
prepared here as cheaply as in Europe, barring the 
difference in the price of labor. With a judicious 
system of protection to those American industries 
which need it there is no reason why, in a few 
decades, we can not only be self-sustaining and 
independent as a manufacturing and commercial 
people, but be able to compete for the trade of the 
world on an equal footing ; though we cannot ex- 
P^t to command for a long time yet much of the 
^e of other countries. The civilized nations of 
Ae world are each encouraging home industries by 
protective tariffs on such articles as require their 
fostering care, and are especially appealing to the 
P^otism of their people to patronize home indus- 
^cs. The sooner that the American people learn 
^ foreign coimtries buy of us only such articles as 
*^ are forced to buy, so to speak, the sooner they 
will be prepared to save to themselves the great- 
^ market on earth — that of their own country. 
Although we may pride ourselves on the great 
P^pess that has been made in the physical and 
commcrdai development of our country, there seems 
to be plenty of work yet to do. 
*^c writer visited match factories last year in 

Belgium, Germany, Italy, France, and England, 
and he was unable to discover any material pro- 
gress made by these different people beyond the 
processes in vogue in America twenty-five years 
ago. Of course, the people of those countries have 
not had the stimulus of high wages to prompt them 
to the use of labor-saving machinery. In Italy the 
writer visited a match factory where several hundred 
people were employed at wages that in our country, 
with our habits of Hving, would not furnish even the 
common necessaries of life. A large number of girls 
worked for wages not exceeding nine cents per day, 
and the most that was paid to girls in this factory 
was one franc per day. The writer's attention was 
naturally attracted to these people. One of the girls 
had on a knit blouse, so open and loosely knit as 
to disclose the fact that the wearer had a chemise 
underneath ; a calico skirt, hooked together at the 
waist over the blouse ; and a cotton underskirt that 
showed itself in spots. Her legs were bare, as re- 
vealed by the shortness of the skirt, which did not 
reach half-way below her knees; and on her feet 
were wooden sandals. The effect of the whole was 
plainly to outline her rounded contour. Such a 
costume would not be recommended to New York's 
four hundred, but it was none the less suggestive of 
comfort, as the weather was warm. It is probable 
that the whole outfit did not cost one dollar. Like 
their sisters of high society, some of these girls were 
better dressed than others. 

If to do the greatest good to the greatest number 
be an economic principle, then the American people 
should be thoroughly satisfied with their match sup- 
ply, matches being so cheap that they are often used 
for kindling-wood without materially affecting the 
expenses of the household. Such results could only 
be obtained by the best methods of manufacture 
and distribution. Before the business of manufac- 
turing matches in the United States was so thor- 
oughly organized by the Diamond Match Company 
matches were made by over thirty different com- 
panies, many of which did not know the first 
principles of the manufacture of good matches. 
Notwithstanding competition was then very sharp, 
the bulk of the product was sold at about three 
times the present price of matches, and in many 
cases the goods were utterly worthless. 

The expense of conducting the business in those 
days was enormous, comparatively, and, of course, 
increased the price of the goods. In the city of 
Chicago five separate stores were maintained, with 
all the expenses incident to such establishments; 
and in other cities of the country there were stores 





in proportionate number to the amount of goods 
sold. Moreover, each manufacturer had from one 
to five traveling salesmen tramping over the country 
at large expense, not less than from $2000 to $3000 
per annum each. The system has been so revolu- 
tionized that one store in each of the larger com- 
mercial centers supplies the public need for matches, 
with greater facility than in the olden times, and 
very few traveling men are now found necessary in 
this line of business. The public have received the 
benefit of these economies. 

To still further lessen the expense of the produc- 
tion of matches, the management of the Diamond 
Match Company has adopted a policy, so far as it 
has been practicable to do so, to make the company 
as self-supplying and independent as possible, they 
having invested several millions of dollars in manu- 
facturing many of the articles used in the making of 
matches, and in pine forests, and large mills for the 
reduction of pine-trees to lumber for splints by the 
most economical methods, in order that all possible 
waste may be avoided. These investments could 
be profitably made only by a company using such 
large quantities of these several articles as are used 
by the Diamond Match Company. A compre- 
hensive system of factories to supply the want 
of matches has been advantageously distributed 
through the country. Nearly all of these factories 
have been modernized and brought up to a very 
high standard of efficiency. While concentration of 
capital in this business has brought down the num- 
ber of factories to about twenty, the match business 
is in no sense a monopoly, and many times more 
people are now interested directly in the business 
than were before the Diamond Match Company was 
established in 1881. The company is rather in the 
nature of a cooperative company (although regularly 
chartered), in which every important person in the 
business 6x>m time to time, as he comes on the stage, 
is aided to the ownership of stock in the company. 
The liberality of the management in this particular 
has wedded to the business a corps of very able 
yoimg men in each and every branch of their 
different factories and stores. 

The difference between this company and a 
monopoly is illustrated by a comparison of it with 
a monopoly in the same line of business. The 
French government runs the match business as 
a government institution. The revenue or profit 
derived from it is somewhat over $4,000,000 per 
annum. The cost of matches to the French peo- 
ple is quite four times what is paid for better 
goods in America. The "Pall Mall Gazette" of 

recent date describes this monopoly in the following 
language : 

"Those who have had occasion to travel much 
beyond Calais of late cannot fail to have been 
struck by the fact that, since the French match 
makers struck, matches in France have, in an 
imusually large number of instances, been found 
capable of doing so. The ' Matin ' supplies an ex- 
planation of this phenomenon. The matches that 
have been striking were all made in Belgium. Dur- 
ing the strike the French government has been 
drawing its supplies from Ghent It appears Ghent 
can supply this sort of matches at j£^ 4s, 2d, per 
1,000,000, whereas the match-wood turned out by 
the French factories costs not less than j£$ Ss, 4//. 
for about the same number of misfires. So the 
' Matin ' has been moved to make a little calculation. 
And, according to this, it would seem, if France 
were to give up the business altogether, close her 
factories, pay the hands to do nothing for the term 
of their natural lives, and run the Belgian articles, 
she would net an annual profit of ;^8ooo. This 
sounds very nice, and Mr. Ribot could do with the 
money, and there would not be nearly as many bad 
words about. But then, as another Paris journal 
points out, the thing would be unpatriotic, and when 
patriotism wants a light it will probably have to go 
on using those words, or learn the two-stick trick to 
get one." 

One is a monopoly, run by the operatives, not by 
the owners ; the other is a company largely owned 
by operatives, who carry on the business for their 
own benefit, the result being economies whereby the 
public is greatly benefited. 

One of the greatest achievements of the Diamond 
Match Company was its last winter's lumbering 
operation, conducted by J. H. Comstock, who or- 
ganized a force of men in October, and between the 
I St of October and the ist of April cut 185,000,000 
feet of lumber in logs, having at one time in the 
woods over 6000 people and 1200 horses. The 
expense was over $600,000. This work was made 
necessary by the extensive fires of last fall in order 
to save the lumber. Such is the advantage of capital 
in preventing waste. 

The writer, who has had forty years* experience 
in the match business, has not only seen it wonder- 
fully developed, but he has been equally impressed 
with other lines of development that have had an 
effect on it. The method of distribution of matches, 
in the early fifties was by canal or wagon — at leasC: 
in the West, when there were but very few railroads 
in Ohio and west of Ohio, and the roads then run- 



niog would not transport matches, which were con- 
g'dered too dangerous. 

It was only in the eariy sixties that railroads be- 
gan to cany matches. The writer has been in every 
county in Ohio with a wagon, also in a large portion 
of Michigan, Indiana, West Virginia, and western 
Pennsylvania, on the mission of parceling out to the 
country stores small lots of matches, for which he 
did not always get cash. In fact, all cash was the 
exception, and the business was chiefly done in what 
then was called "barter"; that is, matches were 
traded for calico, cotton cloth, boots and shoes, tea 
and coSee, sugar, candles, and everything else that 
was useful in the home and could in turn be traded 
off to the hands in payment of labor. The cash 
received in those days for matches went to buy 
lumber, brimstone, phosphorus, and other chemicals 
used in their manufacture, which were all imported, 
with the exception of lumber. It was very little cash 
that labor received in the West " in those good old 
days." There was one notable exception when cash 
was paid out to hands, and that was when a circus 
was in town, the amount required being twenty-five 
cents per head. And all went, if it took the last 

The evolution from these methods to those of to- 
day is quite as remarkable as the evolution in 
mechanical development. Strange it is that a con- 

dition of trade could exist such as existed in this 
country in the fifties, when there were produced 
from the mines of the country so many, many 
millions of dollars of gold, all going out to foreign 
countries in the purchase of merchandise which we 
were unable to manufacture. 

Prominent among the men who have developed 
the manufacture and distribution of 1 1 5,200,000,000 
matches per annum (so that no person shall want 
for matches in the United States if willing to pay a 
very moderate price for them) are found William 
Gates (deceased), Frankfort, N. Y. ; George Barber 
(deceased), Akron, O. ; D. M. Richardson (de- 
ceased), Detroit, Mich.; John K. Robinson, Chi- 
cago, 111. ; E. B. Beecher, Westville, Conn. ; L. W. 
Beecher, Westville, Conn. ; James Hopkins, St. 
Louis, Mo. ; William H. Swift, Wilmington, Del. ; 
Joseph Swift, Wihnington, Del. ; M. Daily, Phila- 
delphia, Pa.; William M. Graves, Chicago, IlLj 
George P. Johnson, New York City ; E. G. Byam, 
Boston, Mass. ; J. C. Jordan, Portland, Me. ; James 
Eaton (deceased), Utica, N. Y, ; Henry Stanton (de- 
ceased), Syracuse, N. Y. ; James Clark (deceased), 
Oshkosh, Wis.; William H. and J. H. Moore, 
Chicago, III. These last two gentlemen became 
largely interested in the business in 1889, and have 
aided greatly in bringing it up to its present com- 
mercial importance. 


^k^^!^! !3^ ^^l^^^b l^ 1^ ^^^^ a^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^^ J^ 1^ 1^ 1^^^ ^^^^^ 



THE use of ice as an article of commercial im- 
portance dates from early in the present cen- 
tury. It is to the people of America above 
all Others that the credit must be given for its rapid 
development as an industry, hardly less phenomenal 
than the progress of steam, the improvement of the 
printing-press, and the introduction of electric and 
Other inventive industries. 

Prior to the beginning of the present century we 
learn little as to the use of ice. Dating back to the 
days of Job, we find him singularly oblivious to his 
opportunities when the Lord called his attention to 
" the treasures of the snow," " the treasures of the 
hail," "the ice," and "the hoar-frost of heaven." 
Galileo seems to have been equally inappredative, 
notwithstanding that he is accredited with having 
been the first to observe that "ice is lighter than 
water ; hence it floats." In the early ages of Greece 
and Rome it is shown to have been used, snow in the 
days of Seneca having been sold in the shops and 
peddled upon the streets of Rome. The snow thus 
used was collected on the dry plains of Hannibal's 
camp on the ancient Mons Albanus, where pits were 
dug, cone-shaped, about fifty feet deep and twenty- 
five feet in diameter at the surface, then filled with 
snow, and beaten down as hard as possible, the pit 
having been first lined with straw and prunings of 
trees. The extreme bottom of the pit was obstructed 
by a wooden grating, in order to form a drain ; and 
more prunings being added, a thatched roof was put 
on, and a door, well covered with straw, left at the 
side, through which entrance could be effected for 
the purpose of cutting out with mattocks the ice thus 
formed. In the East Indies a somewhat analogous 
example appears, the pits there, however, being about 
thirty feet square by two feet deep, lined with sugar- 
cane or the stems of dried Indian com about a foot 
thick. In these pits shallow earthen dishes are placed, 
which are filled at dusk with water that has been 
boiled, which readily freezes during the night; and 

at sunrise hundreds of laborers carry the thin sheets 
of ice thus formed to deep pits, ramming them down 
to force them to congeal into a solid mass. Id 
China a like method is pursued. 

In the reign of Henry III. of France, toward tbe 
close of the sixteenth century, tbe use of snow for 
cooling liquors at tbe tables of the wealthy became 
somewhat general, and its sale near the end of the 
seventeenth century was made a profitable trade in 
some parts of that country. From that time to the 
early part of the nineteenth century little progress was 
made in developing the use of ice, although some 
experiments were made in increasing refrigeration 
by mixing saltpeter and snow with ice, and in coa- 
gealing by cold various juices, creams, and other 
luxuries. I refer to tbe original manuscript of an 
article prepared for tbe United States census of i88o 
for thus much of " ancient history," as, strange to 
relate, the literature of the business may be said to 
be still in its infancy ; and the absence of accurately 
compiled statistical infonnation from tbe various sec- 
tions of our own country, as well as others, prevents 
such a r^sum6 as can be given from property con- 
veying a clear idea of the magnitude of this won- 
derful outgrowth of American enterprise. 

When Daniel Webster moved to Marshfield in 
1S35 and cut his own ice, he had seen but the birdi 
of this new child of nineteenth -century progress, and 
but little of its infancy, for it had not then developed 
into youth. The year 1805 may be taken as mail- 
ing the first stage of its life, if we except the ship- 
ment made from New York in the year 1799 by» 
gentleman in Charleston, S. C, who chartered a ves- 
sel for a cargo which was cut on a pond near Canal 
Street, in the city of New York. In 1805 Marti- 
nique's hot sun destroyed the frigid cargo of 130 tons 
which had gone to its shores from Yankeedom in 
the little brig Favorite to assuage the sufferings on 
that fever-swept island. The ill results of dutt ex- 
periment, by which $4500 were lost, only temporaiily 



disheartened its originator, Frederic Tudor, son of 
Judge William Tudor, who as a colonel had served 
on the staff of General Washington. The brig 7h- 
deni^ two years later, carried Mr. Tudor's second 
shipment from Boston, which arrived in Havana, 
but likewise proved unprofitable. The War of i8i 2 
caused a cessation of his efforts, and not until the 
year 18 16, after obtaining a concession from the 
Spanish government securing a monopoly in Havana, 
did he again venture to export from Charlestown, 
Mass., cargoes of ice to the South. Their success- 
ful sale justified further ventures to other Southern 
ports on our coast, and the Stars and Stripes for suc- 
ceeding years waved over many an American ship 
freighted with frozen crystals which found a wel- 
come in home and foreign ports as far as the East 
Indies. In 181 7 and 18 18 the trade was extended 
to Charleston and Savannah; in 1820 to New Or- 
leans; in 1833 to Calcutta; in 1834 to Rio Janeiro. 
An illustration of the progress of ice exportation is 
furnished in the following table : 



















•"jw •••..•••#•••... 

In this latter year shipments had covered ports in 
the West Indies, South America, Ceylon, Calcutta, 
Bombay, Madras, Batavia, Manilla, Singapore, Can- 
ton, Mauritius, and Australia. In 1842, Gage, Hit- 
tinger & Company, of Boston, entered the field as 
exporters, and introduced American ice by the bark 
Shnn to the people of London. Mr. Lander, of 
Salem, followed them in this trade. In 1872 ship- 
OKnts had increased to 225,000 tons, and thus the 
tnde continued until the year 1880, when the ex- 
tnordinary failure of the ice crop opened the field in 
tropical countries for manufacturing ice. In that 
3r«rthe shipments by 1735 vessels from the Ken- 
>Kbec alone amounted to 890,364 tons. 

Thus the irrepressible American was different 
^ Job and Galileo ; he saw his opportunities and 
"^ the most of them. In a few years the business 
^^28 hegon in Eastern cities, notably in New York, 
^^it has since attained the most gigantic propor- 
**WK. Previous to the introduction of Croton water 
*^ 4at dty, the earliest efforts at gathering ice, ex- 
^^pting die first shipment in 1 799 to South Carolina 

before referred to, were directed by a few butchers 
desirous of preserving meats for the wants of the 
small population. Their ice came from what was 
known as Sunfish Pond, on the outskirts of the city. 
In the year 1826 some ice was cut on Rockland 
Lake, the purity of this water particularly commend- 
ing it. This ice was conveyed from Rockland Lake 
landing in a rude box, set upon a truck with wheels 
cut from logs of wood, to the sloop Contractor^ com- 
manded by Captain John White, and from the sloop 
it was trundled around ashore in a one-horse cart 
until sold. Later the steamboat that made a trip 
firom Haverstraw and return in two days brought 
all the supply to the city customers. As in Boston, 
these pioneers thought ice could not be kept above- 
ground, and therefore stored it in a large hole twenty 
feet square by fifteen feet deep. Then followed the 
building of stone houses at the old red fort, Hubert 
Street, in New York City, and another at the foot of 
Christopher Street. This plan of storage was event- 
ually abandoned, owing to the waste ensuing from 
firequent exposure of the ice while loading wagons. 
Thereafter followed, as the business grew, the erec- 
tion of storehouses at the lakes and other places where 
ice was first gathered; these storehouses varying 
greatly in size, but ordinarily built about 100 or 150 
feet in length by 36 to 40 and 50 feet in width, and 
containing rooms more or less in number for the 
separation of the ice. These rooms in some of the 
States are each called a house, although all are 
under one roof ; while elsewhere an aggregation of 
rooms is designated a house. Thus an owner of a 
twelve-room house is spoken of in one section of 
the country as owning twelve ice-houses, and in 
another section as owning one house. The storage 
capacity of houses ranges from 10,000 to 90,000 
tons, 30,000 tons being a fair average acconmio- 
dation ; and the total storage of natural ice for mer- 
cantile use may be safely estimated for the whole 
United States at 10,000,000 tons. 

A lack of unity of interest and harmony in the 
trade, and a tendency to overestimate rather than 
underestimate the magnitude of individual opera- 
tions, have resulted in promoting incorrect opinions 
as to the storage capacity, the consumption, and the 
capital invested. Thus, in some cases, chartered 
companies have been erected upon fictitious value, 
arbitrarily fixed without reference to intrinsic or 
market value, often comprising sums stated as con- 
sideration for " good-will," a rather valueless com- 
modity in many cases. Shorn of these values, how- 
ever, an estimate taken from the best information 
at hand, and firom actual inspection of most of the 



large centers where the business is conducted, results 
in fixing the entire capital engaged in the ice busi- 
ness of the United States, inclusive of that invested 
in manufacturing ice, at not less than $30,000,000 ; 
and the production for commercial use at about 
1 5,000,000 tons, about one half of the crop gathered 
being available for use, the waste by melting and 
chipping amounting to fifty per cent. No pro- 
vision, however, is made in this estimate for the 
business conducted in the small towns and villages 
of the country, of which it is impossible to obtain 

To move this great body of ice requires a large 
fleet of vessels — saiHng vessels for export, and 
mostly ice-barges and other boats for the home 
trade. The railroads also, in many sections, are 
largely used for transportation, more particularly in 
the West, where the value of the ice dealers* patron- 
age has been recognized in rates that make it pos- 
sible for dealers to use cars in transportation profit- 
ably ; whereas in the East this has generally been 
found to be impracticable, except where the railroad 
company has entered into competition with ice deal- 
ers to build up its own freight by controlling owner- 
ship of the ice plant. In the year 1878 large 
quantities were shipped in train-load lots by the 
Knickerbocker Ice Company, of New York, to 
Cincinnati and other cities in the West and South, 
twelve gross tons weighing out ten net tons, much 
to the surprise and admiration of buyers in those 
cities for the skilful packing. Ice was railroaded 
afterward in the same year to St. Louis from Maine 
— a longer distance; but the experiment was not 
repeated, owing to a waste of fifty per cent. The 
large fleets of ice-barges traversing the Hudson by 
day and night, in tow of steam-tugs, during the 
season of navigation, which is limited to an average 
calculated during fifteen years at 268 days, form a 
picturesque scene familiar to tourists on that river ; 
and the great storage-houses so numerous on its 
banks between Rondout and Coxsackie have awak- 
ened their wonder, equipped as they are with ele- 
vators and chains, stored away during the stun- 
mer, but which in winter run to the music of steam- 
power with the white blocks of crystal from the 
water to the interior of the houses. The electric 
power has not yet been put in service there, except 
for light while working at night. The movement 
of the large stock of ice required for New York and 
adjacent cities must of necessity be made in the 
limited period for water transit, the record of fifteen 
years showing a closing of navigation on the Hud- 
son an average of ninety-seven days in the year. 

Over 1500 wagons and 3000 horses are in use for 
the distribution of ice in the cities of New York and 
Brooklyn alone, and the weekly pay-rolls in these 
two cities for laborers engaged in such work amount 
in the stunmer with the leading dealers to about 
$25,000 per week. To the yearly pay-rolls must be 
added the cost of towing, loading, and discharging 
barges, dock and stable rents, repairs and mainte- 
nance of boats, wagons, ice-houses, and other things 
in which the deterioration from usage is rapid, and it 
will be foimd questionable whether any other indus- 
try retiuns out of its receipts so large a percentage 
to the people from whom the revenue is derived. 

The manufacture of ice-tools and machinery, as 
a necessary adjunct of the ice business, is made a 
specialty by some dealers in this country, who thus 
have attained not only a national but an interna- 
tional reputation for excellence of work. Mr. 
Nathaniel Wyeth, of Boston, who constructed the 
first double-walled modem ice-house, has the 
credit, in connection with Mr. John Barker, of the 
same city, of inventing many of the ice-tools, now 
numbering over seventy, which supplemented the 
primitive ax and hand-saw used in the early years 
of the business. The Norwegians were the first 
foreigners to recognize the advantage of American 
ice-tools and machinery, after the invention of ice- 
plows in the year 1839 (although the patent clear- 
ing-tooth was not invented until the year 1872); 
and it was not many years after the exportation of 
ice was shown by Americans to be practicable that 
certain of those Northmen visited this country to 
learn the method of harvesting, storing, and ship- 
ping, which business dealers in that country have 
since largely pursued. Some cargoes of Norwegian 
ice have found a ready market in the city of New 
York in seasons of scarcity, the first cargo arriving 
in the year 1880. 

The production of cold by artificial means has 
attracted attention from a much earlier date than is 
generally supposed. The existence of porous day 
vessels for cooling water in Egypt, Arabia, China, 
and other Eastern countries would indicate that this 
method antedated the use for like purposes of even 
ice itself, notwithstanding ice was already prepared 
in natiure's own laboratory. In the southern part 
of the eastern hemisphere, where ice could not be 
found, the earliest process was the plunging of wine- 
bottles in water to lower the temperature of the 
wine ; then succeeded the plan of wrapping them in 
wet cloths, thus appl3ang the principle of evapora- 
tion, a principle still in existence combined with the 
use and solution of saline substances. When snow 



could be procured it was substituted for water, and 
eventually the application of sail was found to 
hasten evaporation. The use of ether was also 
known as productive of cold by evaporation shortly 
after its discovery ; and in India it was common, 
owing to ihc cheapness of niter, to use a solution of 
niter and water also as a cooling mixture for wine. 
The becarros of Malaga and the alcarrazas of Spain 
are but modernized developments of those coobng 
vessels which the Saracens introduced, and faithfidly 
attest the antiquity of the practice of artificial means 
of refrigeration. The record of early experiments 
for mercantile uses starts with the Italians in the 
sixteenth centmy. Lord Bacon later took some in- 
terest in the matter ; and the record of the resiJts of 
the experiments of Mr. Walker, of Oxford, England, 
in 1795, contains highly interesting tables of many 
freezing mixtures. Professor Leslie, of England, 
produced a considerable degree of refrigeration on 
the principle of including in the exhausted receiver 
of an air-pump sulphuric acid, a substance rapidly 
absorbing vapor. Later experiments were made 
by Frencli and German inventors. The ether- 
machine followed, being patented in Connecticut in 
1850; but a serious danger arises from the use of 
ether, owing to its liability to explosion in case of 
leakage. Other machines have been made using 
liquefied ammonia, and others sulphurous acid and 
various frigorific mixtm-es. More progress in these 
has been made by manufacturers in this country 
than elsewhere, particularly in the commercial use 
of cold air for refrigeration in breweries and places 
where cold air only is required, but with more 

varying success in the production of ice itself for 

consumption, except at points remote from the 
soiu'ces of natural ice-supply. Thus in the South, 
and notably at points away from the coast, machine- 
made ice has been handled to better advantage than 
the other ; but the cost of manufactiuing such ice, 
even without the additional cost of making a chem- 
ically pure article, precludes the prospect of ever 
bringing it profitably into competition with ice 
formed by nature's own hand. 

America may well be proud of the ice industry, 
and may well claim its parentage. It brings com- 
fort to the afflicted, it puts sweetness and purity in 
tiie place of decay, and by wasting gives up its own 
life to save lives greater and more valuable. It 
promotes the honest investment of capital, and feeds 
and clothes laborers by the thousands. On the 
fields adjacent to the city of New York alone it 
tinds employment in the harvesting season for from 
I to men, and in its distribution during 
summer for nearly 5000 men. The cost of harvest- 
ing goes to the laborer, thence to the merchant; 
the costly plants set as jewels among the farm lands, 
wherever located, reduce the taxes of other land- 
owners ; and thus all classes reap a benefit from the 
money which stores, moves, and distributes the crop. 
It is a productive industry in the fullest sense, and as 
" blessed is he who makes two blades of grass grow 
where one grew before," so should this industry, in 
all the glory of its productive power and beneficial 
results, be fostered and classed among the thousand 
things which stir the pride of the American people 
in this nineteenth century. 





JAMES PARTON, in his " Life of Hiomas Jef- 
ferson," says of Dr. Joseph Priestley: "It is not 
true that no public memorial of Dr. Priestley 
has been erected. Every soda-fountain is his 
monument; and we all know how numerous and 
splendid they are. Eveiy fountain, too, whence flows 
the home-made water of Vichy and Kissingen is a 
monument to Priesdey ; for it was he who discov- 
ered the essential portions of the process by which 
all such waters are made. The misfortune is, how- 
ever, that of the millions of human beings who quaff 
the cool and sparkling soda, not one in a thousand 
would know what name to pronounce if he were 
called upon to drink to the memory of the inventor. 
And really bis invention of soda-water is a reason 
why Americans should join in the scheme to honor 
his memory. He not only did all he could to assist 
the birth of the nation, but he invented the national 

"Soda-water," or, more correctly, carbonated 
water, which is simply a mechanical mixture of car- 
bonic-acid gas with water, was first made by Professor 
Venel, of Montpellier, France, whose researches 
were laid before the French Academy of Sciences tn 
1750, by mixing two drams of soda and "marine" 
acid in a pint of water contained in an ordinary 
glass bottle. Carbonic acid was discovered by the 
Belgian chemist, Van Helmont, in the early part of 
the seventeenth century. He coined the word 
" gas " to designate it. Lavoisier named it carbonic 
acid, and Priestley, in r767, produced a carbonated 
beverage by pouring water briskly back and forth 
between two small vessels held in a layer of carbon 
dioxide on the top of the fermenting mass in a brew- 
cry vat at Leeds, England. Bergman, the Swedish 
chemist, in 1770 generated carbonic-acid gas from 
chalk by the use of "vitriolic acid," and invented a 
generating apparatus for the purpose. In 1810, 
Simmons and Rundell, of Charleston, S. C, were 
granted a patent for saturating water with " fixed 

air." John Matthews, of New Yoric, in 1831 began 
the manufacture of soda-water, and apparatus with 
which to make it, and may fairly be termed the 
father of soda-water as it is known in the United 
States. Matthews, who learned his business in 
England under Bramah, manufactured generattHS 
of cast-iron lined with lead, in which be produced 
carbonic add from marble-dost and oil of vitriol, 
purifying it by passing it through water in a purify- 
ing chan^>er, whence it was conducted into fountains 
of cast-iron lined with block-tin, in which the gas 
was combined with water by means of a revolving 
agitator, or by rocking the fountain, which, for this 
purpose, was mounted by means of trutmiona in a 
cast-iron frame. His dispensing apparatus was a 
simple draft-tube projecting from a counter, beneath 
which the fountain was incased in ice, or the fonn- 
tain and draft-tube were connected by means of a 
coil of pipe placed in an ice-box; the syrups for 
sweetening and flavoring being kept in glass bot- 
tles on the counter. Subsequendy these bottles 
were mounted on a caster, and later they were in- 
verted, mounted in rings npon a marble slab, and 
stopped from within by a valve upon the end of a 
rod which projected through a hole in the top of the 
inverted bottle. 

The apparatus for manufacturing soda-water de- 
scribed above, with various modifications and im- 
provements, is that most generally used to-day 
throughout the United States, and nearly all manu- 
facturers use marble-dust and sulphuric add for the 
production of carbonic-acid gas. 

In 1844, A. D. Puffer, of Boston, began the 
manufacture of soda-water apparatus, and probably 
about the same time A. J. Morse, who in his day 
was one of Boston's leading coppersmiths, took up 
this branch of manufacture. Puffer invented the 
first cooler for soda-water upon which a patent was 
granted, and Morse manufactured a vertical copper 
generator and portable cof^ter fountains or tanks 



for holding and transporting the beverage. In 
1847, William Gee, of New York, who had been an 
apprentice under Matthews, estabh'shed himself in 
business. He was an ingenious mechanic, and pat- 
ented many minor devices in soda-water machinery 
and apparatus. 

To G. D. Dows, an Englishman, who carried on 
a drug business in Boston, belongs the honor of in- 
venting and patenting the first marble soda-water 
apparatus, the protot3rpe of the modem soda-foun- 
tain. He began business in 1854. His apparatus 
was a marble box, containing a coil-pipe cooler for 
soda-water, and metal containers for S3nrups, and an 
ice-shaver, in which a block of ice was shaved into 
snow, the syrups and soda-water being drawn in 
a tumbler previously partly filled with shaved ice. 
This i^paratus was distinguished by a row of silver- 
plated syrup-faucets, upon each of which an eagle 
was perched, serving as a lever for opening the 
^ucet His soda draft-tubes were provided with 
nozzles of soft rubber, which served to retain the 
gas in the water while being transferred to a water- 
bottle held against the rubber nozzle, the water 
being subsequendy poured from the bottle into a 
tumbler containing the ice and syrups. 

Later he invented the first double-stream soda 
draft-tube, which delivered the soda direcdy into the 
tumbler, thus doing away with the use of the bottle. 
This draft-tube furnished a fine forcible stream which 
stirred up the ice and syrup, and was provided with 
a "spoon " pivoted in the edge of the nozzle, which, 
when the tumbler was pressed against its projecting 
end, was forced beneath an inner nozzle, breaking 
the force of the fine stream and producing a large 
stream without force, which retained gas in the 
water without intervention of the water-bottle. 
Dows exhibited his apparatus at the Paris Exposi- 
tion of 1867, and received medals and high com- 
mendation. About this time he established a branch 
house in London, which is still in existence. He 
was the first to manufacture a fine article of bottled 
ginger-ale in this country, and much of that now 
manufactured is made upon his formula. Among 
his early customers were Z. S. Sampson, of Court 
and Hanover streets, Boston, and Orlando Tomp- 
kins, who kept a drug-store at the comer of Wash- 
ington and Winter streets, and who was the father of 
£ngene Tompkins, proprietor of the Boston Theater. 

In 1863, being in need of a soda-fountain for use 
in my drug-store in Somerville, Mass., I invented 
and patented an apparatus styled the ''Arctic," 
which subsequently attained a wide popularity, and 
led me to abandon the drug business to engage in 

its manufacture. Although a crude machine judged 
by modem standards, it was considered to be in 
advance of any in the market at that date. Its . 
peculiar features consisted of cylindrical metal cool- 
ers, which possessed the advantage of producing soda- 
water of so low a temperature that the use of shaved 
ice, which had the effect of driving off the gas 
from soda-water drawn upon it, could be dispensed 
with. The symp-containers were placed in the rear 
of the marble box, and connected with the syrup- 
faucets by means of coolers passing beneath the ice, 
producing chilled symps. S3nrup-faucets bearing a 
star and liberty-cap, doubtless remembered by many 
readers, distinguished this apparatus, which was 
noted for the coldness and consequent good quality 
of the beverage drawn from it. 

My first catalogue was issued in 1864 from a little 
factory at 11 Haverhill Street, Boston, and was 
illustrated with woodcuts made by Kilbum, Boston's 
leading wood-engraver. It is curious to read in 
this book, in the light of subsequent developments, 
the statement of a conservative dmggist: "Folks 
don't drink soda nowadays." Among my first cus- 
tomers were Henry C. Choate and John I. Brown 
& Son, leading druggists of Boston, and Southmayd, 
the leading confectioner of the city; also Ellis F. 
Miller, of Hanover and Union streets, a location 
which is still one of the leading soda-water stands 
of the city. 

About this time Puffer introduced his apparatus 
with the " magic " draft-tube, from which soda-water 
and a variety of S3nrups were drawn through the 
same nozzle. This apparatus attained a wide pop- 
ularity, and is known to New-Yorkers through its 
use by the celebrated Hudnut. During the years 
1864, 1865, 1866, and 1867 my business extended, 
covering a wide range of territory; Frederick 
Steams, of Detroit, F. E. Suire & Company, of 
Cincinnati, then the largest retailers of soda-water in 
the country, and Charles Lippincott, the largest 
soda-water manufacturer in Philadelphia, being 
among the users of and dealers in the "Arctic." 
The Lippincott business, which was established in 
1832, subsequently took up the manufacture of 
marble soda-water apparatus, becoming one of the 
leading manufactining houses in the line. 

At this time, E. Bigelow, of Springfield, Mass., 
was manufacturing an apparatus which had at least 
one excellent feature— the "wonder" cooler, sub- 
sequendy purchased, with other effects of the Bige- 
low Manufacturing Company, by John Matthews, 
on the failure of the company. The Bigelow 
apparatus was supplied with a piston-style faucet, 



which proved unsatisfactory and went into disuse 
when this company discontinued business. The 
Bigelow apparatus was in use by Hegeman & Com- 
pany, of New York, in 1865. 

In 1854, and subsequendy, many inventions of 
both the elder and younger John Matthews were 
patented; among others the measuring syrup-tank 
of glass, still used by their successors. William Gee 
invented and patented the two-wheel soda draft- 
tube, the pipe-lined coupling, a blow-off cock for 
generators, and other devices, which subsequently, 
by purchase, became the property of the Matthews 
concern. This ingenious mechanic received a pat- 
ent for the combination of a force-pump with a 
soda-fountain, for forcing water into the fountain 
against pressure, thus preventing the waste of gas 
consequent upon opening the fountain to refill with 
water ; and this invention is the basis of the present 
splendid machine for filling portable fountains made 
by the Matthews Company. Another of his inven- 
tions is the draft apparatus of silver plate, made 
popular by Huyler, the confectioner, and used at all 
his stores. This apparatus, known as the " Monitor 
Crystal Spa," and made by the Matthews Company, 
consists of a central cylinder containing coolers and 
syrups, surrounded by a revolving caster supporting 
an array of glass syrup-bottles. Gee's manufactur- 
ing apparatus was used by the celebrated Dr. Han- 
bury Smith, of Union Square, New York, and his 
bottling apparatus by Comstock, Gove & Company, 
of Boston. John Matthews is referred to in the 
New York " Evening MaO," in 1868, as the " Nep- 
tune of the trade," and is stated to have the largest 
house in the business, employing 100 men and car- 
rying on no less than sixteen distinct trades, the 
factory at First Avenue, Twenty-sixth and Twenty- 
seventh streets, where it is still located, supplying 
everything in the soda-water line, from a quart of 
syrup to a $1400 apparatus. 

In 1868 my apparatuses were already being imi- 
tated by rival manufacturers, and from that time on 
the competition has been sharp. The first departm^e 
from the square white marble box was made by me 
in 1869, when the cottage style was introduced, and 
the design patented. Colored marbles were used in 
this design, the Tennessee, Vermont, and New York 
State marbles being used in addition to the white 
Italian. In this year I introduced the patent revolv- 
ing tumbler-washer, and began the use of block-tin 
syrup-cans, which were a great advance in purity 
and durability over the syrup receptacles of copper, 
glass, and earthenware previously in use. In this 
year, also, I had the satisfaction of selling one of 

my fountains to Copeland & Tarbell, of Boston, 
who had at that time the finest confectionery estab- 
lishment in the United States. 

Joseph Hindermyer, of Philadelphia, was one of 
the early manufacturers of soda-water apparatus, 
and many ingenious devices originated with him. 
Among his appliances which came into general use 
was the ground-plug syrup-faucet, which, with many 
improvements and modifications, is still used by the 
majority of manufacturers of soda-fountains. At 
this time there were 1200 of my fountains in use, 
and I opened my first branch at Maiden Lane and 
Nassau Street, New York. In 1873 the first hot- 
soda apparatus was patented, and in 1874 a sliding 
valve, double-stream draft-tube, and the cup-cooler, 
the latter still being used in all apparatus of my 
make. In 1874, also, the first patent was granted 
under which the Matthews steel fountain was man- 
ufactured. The introduction of the steel fountain 
marked an era in the business, it being a vast im- 
provement over the so-called portable cast-iron foun- 
tains, or even the lighter copper fountains, once so 
common and now so seldom seen. 

The Centennial Exhibition at Philadelphia af- 
forded an opportunity not to be overlooked for ad- 
vertising the soda-fountain and popularizing soda- 
water as a beverage, and the exclusive privilege 
of serving it within the groimds was secured by 
Charles Lippincott & Company and myself for the 
sum of $50,000. The business done was enormous, 
and, although not profitable in itself, proved a valu- 
able advertisement. Puffer in this year invented the 
arc, a small silver-plated counter apparatus, which 
has proved very popular ; and Gee invented a self- 
closing acid-valve for carbonic-acid-gas generators. 

Matthews in 1878 invented the solid-plunger 
syrup-piunp, which, with modifications, is still ex- 
tremely popular with bottlers of soda-water ; and in 
1880 the "sublift" s)rrup-valve for glass syrup- 
tanks, provided with measuring chambers, which 
form the distinguishing feature of this make of dis- 
pensing apparatus. In 1881 Matthews was granted 
the first of a series of patents for filling portable 
fountains with soda-water, which formed the basis 
of the so-called "new system" now coming into 
general use. Puffer in 1 88 2 invented and introduced 
the revolving water-gauge, and the same year intro- 
duced the patented pressure-regulator, a useful device 
for preventing breakage of botdes when being filled 
with soda-water, lessening danger to operators from 
flying fragments of glass, and improving the uni- 
formity of beverages. Roger Scannell, of Boston, 
in 1884 patented the first spray-carbonator, a simple 

James W, Tufts. 


and efficient device for combining gas with water 
without mechanical agitation. 

An era of the business was marked again in 1885 
by the invention of the drawer syrup-can, which 
was patented and introduced by me. This syrup- 
can, which differs from all that have preceded it in 
being horizontal and located betow the ice-chamber, 
has become so popular that it has practically driven 
every other form of syrup-can from the market. 
Numerous patents have been granted upon imita- 
tions of it, and several suits for infringements are 
now before the courts. The heat-regulator used on 
my hot-soda apparatus was invented and patented 
in this year. 

In 1886, Harry Robertson, of New York, pat- 
ented a spray- carbonator containing some ingenious 
automatic features, which is manufactured by Wit- 
teman Brothers, of New York. In 1887, William 
P. Clark, of Medford, Mass., invented the latest of 
a series of double-stream draft-lubes, which were for 
many years, and are still, used exclusively on my 
fountains. This tube, which is a nice piece of 
mechanical construction, may be entirely taken 
apart without the use of a wrench, and draws alter- 
nately line and large streams of soda by slight move- 
ments of a lever. Luther W. Puffer patented the 
non-clogging blow-off cock for generators in 1SS7, 
and F. Hazard Lippincott patented a removable 
glass syrup-jar, with a simple and ingenious device 
for detaching the cock from its lever by simply lift- 
ing it with the jar in removing the latter. 

Early in 1891 the proprietors of the four largest 
concerns engaged in the manufacture of soda-water 
apparatus came together and organized the Ameri- 
can Soda-Fountain Company, which purchased from 
the owners, at fair valuations, the four businesses 
represented. The company is capitalized at $3,7 50,- 
000, one third of which is first preferred stock, 
bearing six per cent, dii-idend ; one third second 
preferred stock, bearing eight per cent, dividend ; 
and one third common, which to date has paid ten 
per cent., while a surplus of $300,000 has been laid 
aside. The company conducts its four branches as 
separate and distinct businesses under the old firm 
names of James W. Tufts, A. D. Puffer & Sons, 
Charles Lippincott & Company, and the John 
Matthews Apparatus Company. It has recently 
acquired by purchase the Harti Manufacturing 
Company, of Chicago. The stock of the American 
Soda-Fountain Company is held by some 800 differ- 
ent owners. 

The Harlt Manufacturing Company patented and 
introduced in 1891 a drawer-can which is dropped 

before withdrawing. This patent has already be- 
come a source of litigation, two suits for infringe- 
ment having been brought under it. Henry Carse, 
of Rock Island, 111., in 1892 patented a carbonating- 
machine for combining carbonic-acid gas and water 
by the spray process, which was introduced by the 
Hartt Manufacturing Company, and has attained 
considerable popularity. The Low Art Tile Com- 
pany, of Chelsea, Mass., took up the manufacture of 
soda-fountains in 1891, abandoning its older busi- 
ness of manufacturing tiles for architectural and 
decorative purposes, and produced the first apparatus 
incased entirely in tiles. 

F. H. Lippincott in 1893 patented the first tilting 
syrup-jar, which was closely followed by a similar 
device invented and patented by Herman Hoff, of 
the Harlt Manufacturing Company; and the same 
year I patented the "Cataract," the latest and most 
improved form of spray-carbonator. In this machine 
gas is admitted under high pressure to a vertical 
chamber, through a regulating valve which maintains 
a imiform pressure ; by means of a pump, water is 
forced into the top of this chamber through a plate 
perforated with hundreds of tiny holes; and a 
revolving agitator in the lower part of the chamber 
completes the combination of gas and water. The 
quantity of water is governed by the action of a 
small vessel hung in knife-edge bearings and counter- 
balanced, the water flowing and ebbing in the vessel 
as its level varies in the mixing chamber, and gravity 
causing the vessel to rise and fall as its weight varies 
with the changing flow of water. The rock-shaft, 
upon which the vessel and its counterpoise arc 
mounted, carries a belt-shipper, and its movement 
ships the driring-belt of the pump from the fast to 
the loose pulley, and vice versa, thereby alternately 
stopping and starting the pump. The action of this 
machine is entirely automatic, and adapts its output 
to the demand made upon it by the bottlers, work- 
ing equally well whether supplying one or six bot- 
thng tables. I have recently completed for the 
Charles E. Hires Company, of Philadelphia, a 
machine consisting of three of these carbonators 
mounted in battery with two generators of the larg- 
est size, which is capable of supplying eighteen bot- 
tlers and turning out 3600 dozen bottles of beverage 
in ten hours. This is probably the largest machine 
in the world for the manufacture of soda-water. 

Besides the patents described, hundreds of others 
have been granted for soda-water machinery, the 
American Soda-Fountain Company alone owning 
nearly aoo live patents. In addition to those men- 
tioned previously in this article, there are scattered 



throughout the country numerous other concerns 
manufacturing soda-fountains, among which may be 
mentioned Otto Zweitusch, of Milwaukee ; Bennett 
& Gompers, o( New York; and the Robert M. 
Green Company, of Philadelphia. Wrought-iron 
portable fountains are also manufactured by the 
Iron-Clad Can Company, of Brooklyn. 

The amount of capital invested in the business is 
hard to estimate, and also the number of people 
employed. The capital of the American Soda- 
Fountain Company has already been stated, and this 
company employs nearly looo hands, in addition 
to a force oi about 125 traveling salesmen. The 
number of soda-fountains in use is estimated at from 
50,000 to 60,000. Fully this number have been 
made and sold by the various concerns now forming 
branches of the American Soda- Fountain Company, 
and of these the majority are still in use. The dis- 
pensing fountains, which are generally made from 
foreign marbles, many being of rare Mexican onyx, 
vary in value from $100 to C 10,000 each, bottling 
outfits of cast-iron and copper ranging at about the 
same values. The business annually done by the 
users of these fountains takes about the same range, 
though in exceptional cases it is much larger. 
Plows, who until recently was the leading dispenser 
in Chicago, sold $24,000 worth of carbonated bev- 
erages in a single year. 

Without doubt the large consumption of this 
wholesome and agreeable beverage has an influence 
in promoting temperate habits among the people of 

the United States, by lessening the consumption of 
alcoholic drinks. That ±e use of soda-water in- 
creases largely year by year is shown by the annual 
sale of several thousand of the practically indestruc- 
tible steel fountains used as portable containers. As 
a source of profit the soda-fountain contributes 
largely to the prosperity of its owner, and no retail 
drug or confectionery store can lay claim to be well 
appointed that is not supplied with one. The busi- 
ness of manufacturing soda-water apparatus is in a 
prosperous condition, and its prospects for the future 
are bright, although competition has forced prices 
to such a point that profitable business can be done 
only upon a large scale, involving the investment 
of enormous capital in plant and labor-saving 

The cost of selling and collection is large, and 
payments are made in non-negotiable lien notes, and 
it is only by making them in vciy large numbers that 
soda-fountains can be profitably manufactiured. 
The collateral branches, which include the manufac- 
ture of fruit-juices, flavoring extracts, syrups, bot- 
tlers' supplies, and the silver-plated furnishings of 
the soda-water counter, are in a flourishing condi- 
tion. In conclusion I may say that soda-water, 
which a few years ago was a novelty and luxury, is 
now looked upon as a necessity, and bottled waters, 
plain and salted, as well as ginger-ale and similar 
sweetened carbonated beverages, arc now commonly 
found upon the tables of a large percentage of our 



ONE hundred years ago ihcre were no textile 
mills, as we now understand the term, in the 
United States. Whatever our people did in 
the way of manufacturing their own clothing was 
mostly done in the household ; the spinning-wheel 
and the hand-loom were utensils as familiar in the 
old-fashioned kitchens as the pots and kettles of the 
housewife. The homespun garments worn by our 
forefathers were fashioned out of wool grown on the 
home farm, carded by hand-cards, washed in tubs, 
spun and woven by hand, fulled and finished at home, 
cut up and sewed— all by the joint labor of husband, 
wife, sons, and daughters. The finer clothes worn 
in those days were all imported ; and as the colo- 
nies grew and muhiphed, and their consumption of 
English textiles increased, the manufactiurers of the 
mother country foresaw a wondrous new market 
opening up before them. The desire to retain and 
increase that market for textiles, in the manufacture 
of which England already led the world, was far more 
prominent among the causes leading up to the Amer- 
ican Revolution than the historians of that event have 
yet discovered. 

The homespun garments of colonial days were 
plain in weave, and wore like iron ; their ingredients 
were indicated in the name commonly applied to 
the cloth— "linsey-woolsey." It was a fabric of 
woolen weft, woven on a linen waip. Linen was 
much more commonly produced in the household 
than cotton fabrics, and wool was 
all other fibers combined. Cottc 
commodity in colonial America un 
Revolution. It possessed a value 
wool, and sometimes very much higher. What little 
of it was used prior to the nineteenth century was 
mostly imported from the Barbadoes. 'When Samuel 
Slater started the first American cotton-mill at Paw- 
tucket, in 1793, he insisted upon using cotton from 
the Indies, because of the poor quality of the cotton 
then raised at home. No one dreamed, when the 

til long after the 
equal to that of 

"Shipping and Commercial List and New York 
Price Current " first made its appearance, that Amer- 
ica was destined to become the cotton -producing 
country of the world ; nor did Slater's little mill 
of 250 spindles, which had then been in operation 
live years, give signs that it was the gemi of an 
American industry which would consume annually 
within 100 years more cotton than all the world was 
then growing. The historj' of the textile industries 
during the colonial period is nowhere suggestive of 
the development which confronts and amazes the 
student at the close of the nineteenth century, who 
finds them, with their subsidiary industries, employ- 
ing more capital and creating a greater value of 
annual product than any other group. 

Our forefathers realized how important it was 
that the colonist.s should learn to clothe themselves. 
They resorted to all sorts of expedients, some of 
which smack strongly of state socialism, to overcome 
the difficulties in the way. They offered bounties 
to increase the number of sheep and promote the 
growth of flax. In Massachusetts laws were passed 
making it compulsory that each family should spin 
a given quantity of yam every year, under penalties 
of heavy fines. Gradually the household textile in- 
dustries assumed an importance which alarmed the 
mother country, and the Lords of Trade attempted 
by various restrictive orders to prevent and harass a 
development which threatened to destroy the colo- 
nial market for the chief products of British indus- 
try. Parliament passed an act in 1774 — which was 
shortly after the Arkwright inventions had inaugu- 
rated the modem factory system— forbidding the 
exportation, under heavy penalties, of any of the 
machines used in the cotton, silk, woolen, or linen 
manufactiu-e. One smiles, in recalling this statute,— 
which remained in force, with certain modifications, 
until 1845,— at this evidence of a puerile hope that 
the English people could keep the fruits of inventive 
genius bottled up in their little island, so long as she 




permitted her sons to carry their brains across the 
water. Slater brought his spinning machinery in his 
head ; in the same way Arthur Scholfield, three years 
later, brought the first wool-carding machine, which 
he built and put into operation at Byfield, Mass., in 
1794, thus fixing the date of the beginning of the 
factory manufactiu-e of wool, by machinery operated 
by power, in the United States. American machi- 
nists and inventors did the rest. 

It is not to be denied, however, that this English 
statute did retard, embarrass, and make trebly diffi- 
cult the early development of our textile factories. 
At the founding of the newspaper whose century of 
existence is celebrated in this voliune, the American 
textile industries were easily one hundred years be- 
hind those of Great Britain. 

It would be interesting, if space permitted, to 
follow the evolution of this household industry, by 
slow and gradual steps, into the highly organized 
factory system which marks the close of the nine- 
teenth century. First came the neighborhood full- 
ing-mill, utilizing the friendly services of the adjacent 
stream, and relieving the housewife of the labor of 
fulling and finishing the cloths and blankets accu- 
mulated by the busy shuttle diuing the long winter 
evenings. Then the carding-machine was added to 
the fulling-mill ; the farmers for miles about brought 
their wool to be converted into rolls ready for the 
spinning-wheel. After Slater had successfully ap- 
plied the Arkwright invention to the spinning of 
cotton at Pawtucket, here and there throughout 
New England little mills gradually appeared which 
spun both cotton and woolen yams by water-power. 
Hand-looms were still used in all these mills until 
1 81 3, when Francis C. Lowell's invention of the 
power-loom led to the building of the Waltham 
cotton factory by the Boston Manufacturing Com- 
pany, and the American textile mill first took on 
the characteristics which have since increasingly 
distinguished it. 

Power spinning and weaving machines were rap- 
idly applied to the manufacture of woolens, and it 
began to be seen that the household manufacture of 
textiles was disappearing before the greater economy 
and efficiency of the factory system. The transition 
was not rapid, and the ups and downs of our first 
textile mills were numerous and discouraging. The 
outbreak of the War of 181 2, and the non-intercourse 
acts and Embargo which preceded it, were the most 
potent factors in completing the transition. The total 
suspension of importations threw our people suddenly 
upon their own resources for their entire supply of 
clothing. Cotton-mills and woolen-mills were quickly 

built. High prices and the promise of quick f ortimes 
drew many men with little or no knowledge of manu- 
facturing into the business. 

All went well enough imtil the war ended ; then 
collapse and ruin followed apace. The work of 
laying the solid foundations of textile manufactur- 
ing had all to be done over again. Imported cot- 
tons and woolens again invaded the market with a 
rush, and the domestic manufacturers found it im- 
possible to compete with them either in quality or in 
price. Labor was tmskilled and hard to get ; know- 
ledge and experience were sadly wanting ; machinery 
was clumsy and defective ; the coimtry was poverty- 
stricken, and trade and the national finances thor- 
oughly demoralized. Then first began the great 
battle in Congress, which has waged more or less 
intermittently ever since, for the protection of the 
domestic manufactiures by means of tariff laws. 
The Tariff Act of 1 816— the first of the series in 
which the principle of protection was recognized 
in the rates fixed as a distinct purpose of the law, 
conjointly with the raising of revenue — was much 
more favorable to the cotton than to the wool 
manufacture, because it applied the minimum prin- 
ciple to cotton cloths, which was in effect a specific 
duty of six and one quarter cents a yard, while the 
simple ad valorem rate of twenty-five per cent, was 
applied generally to woolen goods. 

From the date of that law the cotton manufacture 
began a healthy development, and it naturally grew 
much faster than the wool manufacture. The later 
tariffs were in hke degree, as a rule, more favor- 
able to cottons than to woolens; partly owing to 
this fact and partly to other causes, such as the 
much more delicate, complicated, and expensive 
operations incident to the latter, the cotton manu- 
factiure has, at all times except during the Civil 
War, shown a greater prosperity, and on the whole 
a more rapid development, than its sister industry. 
But in both industries for many years it was an up- 
hill struggle against great odds. Few fortunes were 
made ; many were lost ; and the courage and tena- 
city of those early textile manufacturers are worthy 
of a better eulogy than any yet written. 

Since the year 1850 the development of our tex- 
tile industries has been pretty accurately recorded 
by the Federal census, and it is therefore possible to 
measure, from that date, the degree and the char- 
acter of the development. To give the reader a 
bird's-eye view of the growth of American textile 
mills in the last fifty years I reproduce here a table 
prepared by me for the Eleventh Census, in which 
the statistics of the three principal textile industries 


are presented chronologically in comparison with of the country, we have an additional product, as ^ 
one anotlier, and in a form more condensed than I shown fay the Eleventh Census, of $413,012,516; | 
have seen it elsewhere given. This table offers making tiie total value of the products of our textile J 
nearly everything in the nature of statistics with mills, when they finally reach the marltel, the enor- ■ 
which it is necessary to burden this paper. mous sum of $1,134,971,778. This total is the H 


1850 TO 1890. 1 


NUMW. 0- 


AvBHAGi Num... of E«- 


Cost OF 


VALuk or 
















Dyeing and Ijoishing lextilet . . . 

1 Combined textiles 























H Ujreing and finUhiflj: textiles... 

W Combined teidleB 














, 7.817,559 
' 99.539.992 





Silk manufaclore 

Dyeing and finishine textiles. . . 

Combined lexlilea 








= 174.659 







192,090,1 10 


Dyeing and finishing textiles . . . 
Combined tectiles 



















Silk niMiufacture 

Dyeing and finishing textiles. . . 

Combined leitiles 


4.1 14 






1 IndudcA honery uid knit (fiKxLs. 

proc™. <rf djrd^g ^d finishing ^ p.™. 

Here we find, in the half-century, a growth in largest in value of any single line of related indus- 
the value of products from $118,769,971, in 1850, tries. The total most nearly approaching it is that 
to $721,949,262, an increase of nearly six times, and of the iron and steel industries, the multiform varia- 
not less than ten times if it were possible to mea- rions of which reveal a value of products, when 
sure this product by quantity instead of by value, aggregated from the census tables, of $1,096,163,- 
Even these figures convey an inadequate idea of 056. These two industries include, therefore, two 
the relative importance of our textile mills in the ninths of the total value of all the domestic manu- 
industrial economy of the nation, for these mills factiu-es reported by the Eleventh Census ; and those 
supply the materials for a great group of subsidiary of the textile mills and the factory products grow- 
factory industries, such as the wholesale clothing ing out of them are equal in value to one ninth of 
manufacture, the shirt manufacture, etc. When we all our manufactures. Figures of this magnitude 
aggregate these, and add to thera the value of the bring us face 10 face with the true relative impor- 
products of the linen, jute, hemp, and bagging mills tance of our textile mills in the industrial economy 






of the nation. Few people realize how vast and 
how varied it is ; for they do not stop to think that, 
next to the food question, nothing comes so closely 
home to all the people as the question of what they 
shall wear. 

The decrease in the cost of goods during the 
period covered by this table has been one of the 
most striking phases of the development. Unfor- 
tunately it is not a phase which statisticians have 
learned to measure in figures. This decrease in the 
cost of textile goods is due in some measure, of 
course, to the decreased price of the raw materials 
from which they are made ; but in even larger mea- 
sure is it due to the remarkable advance in the meth- 
ods of manufacture — to the new and more perfect 
machinery employed, in the invention of which 
American mechanical genius has contributed cer- 
tainly as much as any other people, and perhaps 

All the fundamental inventions in spinning ma- 
chinery were of English origin; so was the comb- 
ing-machine and the power-loom. The English 
have a remarkable record in this respect, and the 
French and the Germans have also done much in 
the invention of labor-saving textile machinery. But 
the American record siurpasses them all, in my judg- 
ment. The wool-carding machinery of all countries 
owes its chief improvement over the machines of a 
century ago to the invention of John Goulding, of 
Worcester, Mass., whose patent, dated 1826, dis- 
pensed with the splicing-billy and produced the end- 
less roll or sliver. Michel Alcan, the distinguished 
French writer, describes it as "the most important 
advance in the wool manufacture of the nineteenth 
century." '* It was not a step," he says, "but a flight." 

The modem cotton-spindle, making 10,000 revo- 
lutions a minute, is an evolution of our own me- 
chanics. General Draper, in his interesting paper 
on " The History of Spindles," has shown that the 
saving effected by the new forms of spindle invented 
and adopted in the United States since 1870, when 
5000 revolutions a minute were the average speed, 
has been more than equal to the capacity of all the 
warp-spinning machinery in use in this country in 
that year. He adds the interesting fact that "to- 
day more than three times as much warp-yam is 
spun in the United States as in 1870, a rate of in- 
crease without parallel since the earliest introduction 
of the cotton manufacture." 

The Lowell loom was the first successful applica- 
tion of power to the weaving of cotton, the Cromp- 
ton loom to the weaving of fancy woolens, and the 
Bigelow loom to the weaving of carpets. " Not a 

yard of fancy woolens," wrote Samuel Lawrencei 
" had ever been woven by power-looms in any coun- 
try until it was done by George Crompton at the 
Middlesex Mills in 1 840." Every carpet ever woven 
was woven by hand until Mr. ^igelow's power-loom 
revolutionized the industry. Beyond these funda- 
mental machines the American mechanisms for ex- 
pediting processes, for automatic devices, for dispens- 
ing with intermediate help, have been so numerous 
that they have completely transformed the modus 
operandi of textile mills throughout the worid. These 
mechanisms are more generally in use to-day in the 
best American textile mills than in those of any 
other country. So far as mechanical equipment is 
concerned, our best mills, whether cotton or woolen, 
are fairly equal to the best in any foreign country. 

It does not follow that textile manufacturing is 
done here, as a rule, with equal economy in cost; 
some of the reasons for this may be pointed out 
later. In stmctural equipment the modem Ameri- 
can mill is in some respects superior to the average 
foreign mill. It is not so massive a stracture, nor 
so solidly built, we using brick when the English 
generally use stone ; but in the lightness and airiness 
of its rooms, in economy of arrangement, and in 
general completeness of equipment and care for the 
comfort and convenience of the operatives, it is 
generally superior. Since Mr. Edward Atkinson's 
successful efforts to introduce the slow-combustion 
construction, the liability to loss by fire is hardly 
greater, as the insurance statistics show, than it is 
abroad. Of course there are left many old-fash- 
ioned mill stmctures, built long ago, and often of 
wood, to which these remarks do not apply. But 
the lesson is fast being learned by our textile manu- 
facturers that in these days of close competition and 
small profits successful manufacttiring requires that 
buildings shall be of the latest design and the most 
approved arrangement, and machinery shall be not 
only modem in make, with every latest improve- 
ment, but must also be kept in perfect condition by 
constant renewal. Many parts of the machinery re- 
quired for the equipment of our textile mills are still 
necessarily imported from England, because not 
made, or less perfectly made, in the United States. 
This is true of some varieties of cotton machinery, and 
of most of the preparatory machinery of the worsted 
manufacture. Our machine manufacturers have 
been advancing as rapidly in recent years as the 
textile mills themselves, and the time cannot now 
be far distant when every new mill built in America 
will be equipped throughout with American-made 



The American textile mills now supply practi- 
cally every variety of fabric made in the world, 
with the exception of linens and the very finest 
grades of other fabrics. In a single branch of tex- 
tile manufacturing — flax — our efforts have been a 
failure by the test of experience, and are likely to 
continue a failure. But three establishments mak- 
ing linen goods reported to the last census, showing 
a capital of $900,000, and products valued at $547,- 
378. These products were chiefly thread and twine, 
the latter for use in the shoe manufacture. Except 
crash goods, there are now no linen fabrics of any 
moment manufactured here. Great sums of money 
have from time to time been invested by daring 
manufacturers in constructing plants for the manu- 
facture of linen fabrics. The result has invariably 
been disappointment and failure. If the obstacles 
were of a kind that ingenuity and perseverance could 
overcome, they would have been conquered. These 
obstacles are climatic in the first instance, flax being 
a fiber which requires more moisture than any other 
for its successful manipulation. Again, there is dif- 
ficulty in obtaim'ng a home supply of suitable raw 
materiaL Years of high protection have failed to 
persuade the American farmer into growing flax for 
fiber. The care, the skill, the trained labor required 
to grow and separate the best quality of fiber, dis- 
courage him, and the absence of any considerable 
home market removes the inducement which tariff 
protection would otherwise afford. The history of 
the linen manufacture in other countries seems to 
establish the fact that it is the one textile manufac- 
ture likely to remain segregated in a few localities 
like Holland and Ireland, where the fiber is grown 
on the ^t, where the climate is peculiarly adapted, 
ud where the help has acquired an expertness bom 
of genenitions of experience. Moreover, linen is 
the one textile the consumption of which has not 
^)preciably increased with the growing perfection 
of textile machinery. The quantity of linen fabrics 
i&ade to-day is hardly larger than a century ago. 
The other fibers, less difficult to handle, more sus- 
^tible to cheap manipulation, continually encroach 
upon its uses. 

Tunimg from this single failure, we find extraor- 
dinary success in every other department of textile 
iQannfacturing. Perhaps the most striking contr^t 
to our experience with linen is that afforded by the 
dk mantifacture. At first sight it would appear 
^ this must be the particular textile industry which 
^d not flourish in America. Since the whirlwind 
of q)ecalative excitement over the culture of the silk- 
worm which swept New £ngland in the thirties, and 

wrecked the fortunes of many too credulous farm- 
ers, we have settled down to the conviction that Amer- 
ica cannot grow raw silk in competition with China, 
Japan, and Italy. Moreover, the silk manufacture, 
like the linen, has always been highly specialized 
and localized. The city of Lyons, in France, had 
well-nigh monopolized the manufacture, so far as it 
had escaped from the hand processes of the £astem 
nations. The skill and taste of generations have 
been concentrated upon the production at these cen- 
ters of fabrics which in beauty of design, in richness 
of coloring, in delicacy of workmanship, alone among 
the fabrics made by modem machinery, rival the 
splendors of medieval textile art. £ngland has for 
centuries struggled in vain to place her silk manu- 
facture on equal terms with it. Nevertheless we 
have built up in America, in the last forty years, a 
silk industry which among machine-using nations is 
second only to that of France, and is to-day supply- 
ing our people with the bulk of the silken fabrics 
consumed by them. 

We owe this great achievement largely to the 
energy and the genius of the Cheney family, father 
and sons, of South Manchester, Conn. The Cheneys 
began the manufacture of spun silk about forty years 
ago. About the same time, John Ryle, sometimes 
called the father of the American silk industry, had 
become superintendent of a little silk-mill in Pater- 
son, N. J., which he afterward purchased and grad- 
ually enlarged. At first sewing-silks only were made, 
then ribbons were added, and in 1842 Mr. Ryle 
built a number of looms for silk piece-goods — the 
first to be successfully operated in America; and 
the industry in all its branches has since developed 
so rapidly there that Paterson, which calls itself 
the Lyons of America, now occupies to this indus- 
try the same relation that Fall River does to the 
cotton manufacture, and Philadelphia to the wool 

Diuing the Civil War the high duties stimulated 
the silk industry and diversified its product. The 
making of plain grosgrain dress silks was then 
started, and at the present time brocaded silks and 
satins are manufactured on a large scale; indeed, 
there is no form of fabric into which silk enters 
which is not now produced in great variety. Espe- 
cially noteworthy has been the recent development 
in the manufacture of silk plushes and all varieties 
of upholstery goods. The value of home-made silk 
goods was in 1880 just about equal to the foreign 
value of the goods imported. In 1890 the product 
had so grown that it was more than double the 
value of the imports, and more than double the 



value of the product in 1 880. Mr. Briton Richardson, 
the secretary of the American Silk Association, has 
recently compiled statistics which show that in the 
five years since the census of 1890, the rate of in- 
crease has even accelerated. He points to one mill, 
erected in Paterson since that date, which is already 
the largest silk-ribbon mill in the world. There are 
other mills in that city, notably that of the Pioneer 
Silk Company, which is an outgrowth of the little 
mill operated by John Ryle, and now covers an acre 
and a half, which can nowhere be surpassed either 
in size or in completeness of eqmpment. 

The cotton manufacture must, on the whole, be 
taken as the textile industry which best illustrates 
the possibilities of this group of manufactures in the 
United States. The number of cotton-spindles in 
operation in 1894 is estimated at 17,126,418, and 
this nimiber has been considerably increased in 1 895, 
particularly by new mills in the Piedmont region of 
the South. The manufacture is there conducted 
under so many advantages — particularly the cheap- 
ness of fuel and labor — that careful students of 
economic conditions predict that the manufacture 
of the coarser grades of cotton goods is destined to 
gravitate more and more to the Southern States. 

New England, and especially Massachusetts 
(which is the largest cotton-manufacturing State, 
containing 7,160,480 out of the 17,126,418 spindles 
in operation), has done much to hasten and facilitate 
such a transfer by the enactment of harassing labor 
laws and by excessive taxation. She possesses no 
natural advantages for this particular industry, and 
her manufacturers have looked with some apprehen- 
sion upon the rapid growth of the industry in the 
South, chiefly through the aid of New England capital. 
Thus far there has been no diminution in her machi- 
nery capacity, but, on the contrary, a steady increase, 
which, while relatively smaller than the increase in 
the South, continues to be actually greater. This 
is due primarily to the increased production of the 
finer grades of goods in New England, and, secon- 
darily, to the rapid development of the country, with 
its enlargement of a market in which the South can 
share largely without injuring New England. Never- 
theless the economic forces at work are of such a 
character that eventually a marked change in the 
geographical status of the industry seems inevitable. 

From the national point of view, the important 
fact is that the growth of the American cotton manu- 
facture for the last twenty years, both relatively and 
actually, has been greater than its growth in Great 
Britain, which reported at the last enumeration a 
total of 45,270,000 spindles. The whole of the re- 

mainder of Europe operates less than 30,000,000 
spindles. These statistics place the American cot- 
ton manufacture second only to that of England, 
and reveal a steady gain even upon the island which 
manufactures cotton for all the world except the 
United States. The American market for American 
cottons constantly expands with the growth of our 
own country, while our foreign markets show little 
gain. The English market as steadily contracts, as 
English and native capital builds new cotton-mills in 
India and Japan for the supply of the vast markets 
of the East. The influence of this increasing com- 
petition, under circimistances which greatly handi- 
cap English manufacturers, is apparent in the values 
of the stocks of the Oldham Limited Companies, as 
they are quoted to-day, and in the gloomy talk of 
Lancashire manufacturers when they forecast the 
future. On the other hand, our own cotton manu- 
facturers, as they emerge from the prolonged busi- 
ness depression, face the future with hope and 

The casual student of first-class English and 
American cotton-mills, while he will observe certain 
differences, will not be able to detect any point of 
superiority in the former over the latter. He will 
find the English mills much more closely specialized, 
and he will find a larger proportion of them engaged 
upon the finer grades of goods. He will observe, 
also, that in the Engh'sh mill mule-spinning is the 
predominating method, especially for fine numbers; 
while in the United States ring-spinning strongly 
predominates. In 1870 the proportion was neariy 
equal between the two systems in American mills, 
there being reported by the census of that year 
3,694,477 frame-spindles and 39437,938 in mules; 
in 1890 there were 8,824,617 frame-spindles and 
5,363,486 in mules; and subsequent development 
has accentuated this disparity. This is due to the 
extraordinary advances, already alluded to, in the 
mechanism of the ring-spinning frame, advances 
which are wholly of American origin, and which 
greatly cheapen the cost of production by increasing 
the product in proportion to the increased speed of 
the spindle. In mule-spinning, also, great advances 
have been made during the last fifteen or twenty 
years. Whichever method is employed, the develop- 
ment of the industry has reached that stage where 
success depends upon the closest attention to the 
mechanical details of manufacturing. The margin 
of profit in print cloths, for instance, has come to 
depend upon the saving of a fraction of a cent in 
the price of a pound of cotton, and the economy of 
another small fraction of a cent in converting that 



cotton into yam and cloth. To realize these frac- 
tions, which mean profit or loss, machinery must be 
kept in the highest state of efficiency. 

The improvements in spinning have been so rapid 
since 1870 that most of our large corporations have 
been compelled to replace their spinning-frames at 
least twice in that interval. The bulk of the frames 
now in operation have been introduced in the last 
ten years, and are of the highest efficiency. A similar 
statement can be made regarding no other branch of 
textfle manufacture ; and it is probably true that if 
the American woolen-mills had been forced, as the 
cotton-mills have been, to abandon machinery as 
soon as it became in any degree obsolete, their abil- 
ity to face foreign competition would be more nearly 
in keeping with that shown by our cotton manufac- 
turers. The conditions we have been narrating have 
thrown the cotton manufacture more and more into 
the hands of large corporations, which now almost 
universally conduct it. The wool manufacture, on 
the other hand, while it numbers some of the great- 
est corporations in the land, is stiU largely in the 
hands of individuals and partnerships, and the bulk 
of the mills are comparatively small in capacity. 
The more recent tendency in the wool manufacture, 
for obvious reasons, is strongly in the direction of 
the corporate form of management. 

The quantity of fine cotton goods made in Ameri- 
can mills continues to be very small in comparison 
with the whole production. Mr. Edward Stanwood, 
the expert who made the cotton report for the 
Eleventh Census, calculated that only 6.31 per cent. 
of the value of the total product could properly be 
classified as " fine or fancy woven goods " ; and it 
follows that the bulk of our consumption of this 
class of cottons is still imported. In other words, 
there is ample room remaining for the further and 
higher development of the American cotton manu- 
facture. Into this field we are entering with char- 
acteristic Yankee energy. Within comparatively few 
years mills have been successfully established in New 
England which spin yams as fine as Nos. 1 50 or 
200 ; and there are mills at New Bedford, Taunton, 
and elsewhere which make, in bewildering variety, 
fabrics as delicate in texture and as artistic in design 
and coloring as any which reach this country from 
the machine-using nations of Europe. 

The range of products made in American wool 
factories is as wide as the multiform uses to which 
this most valuable of all the fibers is put. They 
divide themselves naturally into four great groups, 
leaving the hosiery and knit goods out of the classi- 
fication: woolen-mills, worsted-mills, carpet-mills, 

and felting-mills. There are the various sub-classi- 
fications of spinning, weaving, dyeing, and finishing 
mills, although, as a rule, all these separate processes 
of the manufacture of wool continue to be carried 
on jointly in this country, as the related parts of the 
one operation of manufactiuing. In this statement 
is embodied the chief point of difference existing 
to-day between the woolen-mills of America, and, 
in fact, all our textile mills, and those of England 
and the Continent. The reasons for it lie on the 
surface of things. The fact remains that American 
textile mills can never expect — the great body of 
them, at least — to successfully compete with foreign 
mills on terms which are fairly equal, apart from the 
difference in wages, until they have passed through 
the same evolution and approximated to the same 
methods which prevail abroad. 

In so saying I am not passing a wholesale criti- 
cism upon our mills or their management. In the 
wool manufacture, as in the cotton and silk man- 
ufacture, we have many establishments which, in 
completeness of stmcture, in perfection of machi- 
nery, in all the details of mechanical equipment, 
and in sagacity of management, are nowhere in 
the world surpassed. Indeed, it is only in this 
country that we find, on a very large scale, textile 
mills in which are performed all the separate pro- 
cesses for the manufacture of great varieties of 
goods. Elsewhere they have learned that tlie great- 
est economy and the best practical results are secured 
by specializing the processes. Thus in Bradford, 
England, are enormous establishments which do 
nothing but comb wool into tops, either on commis- 
sion or for sale. Other great mills do nothing but 
spin tops into yam, and generally they confine their 
operations to a limited variety of yams. Still others, 
buying their yam, devote themselves exclusively to 
weaving. And, finally, a fourth class of establish- 
ments take the woven goods and dye and finish 
them for the merchants, who are the men who find 
the ultimate market for all the specialists who have 
been thus employed upon the goods. 

In this specialization of the different branches of 
the work exists the characteristic distinction between 
the American and the foreign textile mills of to-day. 
Such investigation as I have been able to make of 
the two methods convinces me that the English is 
far superior to the American, and that ultimately 
we must gravitate into the former, if we are to cut 
any figure in competition for the world's markets. 
The manufacturer who devotes his whole energies 
to one particular thing, and studies to do that one 
thing as cheaply and as well as it can be done, can 



do it better and more cheaply than the manuf actuper 
who is doing half a dozen different things at the 
same time. This is not a theoretical deduction, but 
an axiom founded upon prolonged experiment and 
experience. I have talked with manufacturers in 
Bradford who have* tried both methods, and who 
say there is always a gain in economy when the 
weaver buys his yams, instead of spinning them 
himself. Obviously the English method requires a 
smaller investment in plant, secures a simpler and 
more perfect autonomy in operation, involves less 
waste, and avoids the accmnulation of superfluous 
raw material. 

The American woolen-mill was evolved from con- 
ditions which rendered this specialization originally 
impossible. It was situated in some isolated spot, 
drawn thither by a superior water-power, with no 
raikoad to facilitate quick transportation, and was 
necessarily a complete mechanical entity, however 
crude its machinery. In a word, it must perform 
under one roof all the processes necessary to con- 
vert the greasy wool into the finished cloth ready 
for the market. Thus there sprang up all over the 
country little woolen-mills, each one independent in 
itself ; as the country grew some of these little mills 
became large mills ; other large mills grew up beside 
them ; gradually we had centers in which the wool 
manufacture predominated; but conditions were 
long in appearing which tended to that specializa- 
tion of processes which has marked the English 
method from the very introduction of automatic 
machinery. It followed that the American mill 
owner, even of a small mill, was compelled to make 
a variety of goods, in order to use up advanta- 
geously all the grades of material which grew out of 
the sorting of his wool. Naturally he could not 
produce a variety of products as cheaply and as 
successfully as he could have manufactured one 
particular line upon which his whole attention was 
centered. These habits of manufactiuing, forced 
upon us originally by the logic of the situation, are 
tenacious. Wc have been slowly breaking away 
from them, but it will be years yet before it is pos- 
sible to fully outgrow them. In Philadelphia, which 
is the largest center of wool manufacture, the pro- 
gress of the evolution is very perceptible. There 
they have top makers, yam makers, dyers, and fin- 
ishers, who do nothing else. And the result is ap- 
parent in the large number of small manufacturers 
in that city. The small amount of capital required 
to equip a little weave-shed permits enterprising 
superintendents and operatives to start in business 
for themselves. The comparative cheapness of pro- 

duction under such conditions enables them to hold 
their own against the big establishments with unlim- 
ited capital at their back. 

The bulk of the small wool-manufacturing estab- 
lishments in the United States are woolen-mills 
proper, as distinguished from worsted-mills. It is 
noticeable that the number and product of these 
woolen-mills decrease from census to census as the 
worsted manufacture gets more firmly established 
here, and the more popular worsted fabric comes into 
wider use. But there are certain lines of woolen 
goods in the manufacture of which American 
mills have earned a world-wide preeminence, and 
in which they are nowhere surpassed. Prominent 
among them are flannels and blankets of every grade 
and variety. The American wools are peculiarly 
suited for these goods, and for many years past our 
American mills have practically supplied the home 
market. Other mills make a specialty of woolen 
dress-goods for ladies' wear with equal success. The 
bulk of our woolen-mills are, however, engaged upon 
the manufacture of cloths for the million — cassi- 
meres, beavers, satinets, cheviots, etc., the cheaper 
grades which enter into the consumption of the 
wholesale clothing-houses, goods in which, under 
the weight duties of recent tariffs, our American 
manufactiurers have controlled the home market, 
and of which their production has been enormous. 
Many of these goods are woven upon a cotton 
warp, and into some of them enters more or less of 
the revamped wool known as " shoddy." We have 
much to leam, however, in the handling of this class 
of materials, before we shall equal the expertness of 
foreign manufacturers. It is to the success of our 
manufacturers in producing a handsome, durable 
cloth at cheap prices, that our people chiefly owe 
their reputation of being the best-dressed people on 
the globe. 

The worsted manufacture was late in getting lodg- 
ment in the United States, and has been slow in as- 
smning proportions commensiu^te with its impor- 
tance abroad. Early in the forties there were two 
or three large worsted-mills erected in New England 
for the production of worsted fabrics or stuff goods 
for women's wear ; but the manufacture made litde 
headway until after the close of the Civil War, and 
it was not imtil about 1870 that we began making 
men's- wear worsted goods. Since then the develop- 
ment of the manufacture along both hues has been 
phenomenal. In 1890 we made over 73,000,000 
yards of worsted dress-goods, valued at over $76,- 
000,000 ; and we have to-day three or four nuUs, of 
the most modem equipment, which turn out these 




goods in larger quantities than any foreign establish- 

In the manufacture of fine men*s-wear goods, 
both in woolens and worsteds, a few of our mills 
have been equally successful ; their products sell side 
by side with the best makes of foreign goods, not- 
withstanding the lingering prejudice among fashion- 
able Americans that only foreign-made cloths are fit 
to wear. Another obstacle is the high cost of labor, 
which counts against us more strongly in fine-wool 
goods than in the cheaper grades, or in cottons and 
sQkSy because of the much greater care and skill and 
labor that must be bestowed upon their finishing. 

The manufacture of felted wool is comparatively 
small here and elsewhere. Thirty-five American 
mills produced a product valued at $59329,381 in 
1890, and the importations are comparatively in- 
significant in volume. Felted wool was the earliest 
form into which this fiber was manufactured, the 
primitive races discovering, before they learned 
to spin and weave, that peculiar characteristic of 
wool which causes it to mat together, by the appli- 
cation of heat, moisture, and pressure, into a firm 
and smooth textiure, susceptible of a great vari- 
ety of uses. Modem machinery has utilized this 
peculiarity for many purposes which, while limited, 
are economically important. Table-cloths and floor- 
coverings, and hats for men's and women's wear, are 
the most ordinary ; but they are also used for shoe- 
Hnings, sheathing materials, polishing purposes, etc. 
The hat manufacture, formerly confined to wool for 
its raw material, has found that fur is better suited 
for this use ; and the processes of manufacture are 
so different from those employed in spinning and 
weaving mills that the hat-manufacturing establish- 
ments, in which the United States has always been 
preeminent, are not ordinarily classed among the 
textile mills. 

Perhaps our most notable achievement in the tex- 
tile line has been in the carpet manufacture. Be- 
yond question the United States is the greatest 
carpet-manufacturing nation in the world; if we 
leave out of account the hand-loom productions of 
Ac Eastern countries we excel all others not only in 
Ac quantity of our production, but in the variety of 
our carpets, in the excellence of design and work- 
°^^"whip, and in general adaptability to popular 
oceds. One hundred and seventy-three American 
^^^'pct-mills produced in 1890 carpets and rugs 
to the value of $46,457,083, employing 11,223 
P<>wer-looms. Their production included two- and 
Afee-ply ingrains, Brussels, moquettes, tapestries, 
▼dvets, Smjrnias, and the higher grades of Axmin- 

sters and Aubussons. This product represented an 
aggregate of over 76,000,000 square yards of car- 
peting, which enter into the annual consumption of 
the American people. The popular reason assigned 
for this unique development is the general prosper- 
ity of our people, the high wages earned permit- 
ting families of all grades of life to indulge in the 
luxury of floor-coverings to an extent elsewhere \m- 
known. Stimulated by the lucrative market thus 
offered, American manufactiurers have made larger 
and more important contributions to the mechanism 
of the carpet manufacture than those of all other 
nations combined. 

The real development of the machine industry 
dates from the successful application of power to 
the weaving of ingrain carpets by the late Erastus 
B. Bigelow, of Boston, in 1844. Subsequently he 
invented Jacquard looms for weaving Brussels and 
Wiltons, which produced carpets pronounced by the 
jury at the London Exposition of 1851 to be "bet- 
ter and more perfectly woven than any hand-loom 
carpets that have ever come under the notice of the 
jury." A still later invention of Mr. Bigelow's was 
for weaving tapestry carpets. His inventions are at 
the base of all the power-loom carpet-weaving now 
done in Europe. Subsequent inventors have greatly 
improved them, and have added new inventions, 
such as those for weaving Axminsters, and Smyrna 
rugs. By their skill and enterprise the American 
carpet manufacturers have not only retained the 
control of their own market, except in the matter of 
the Eastern hand-made rugs, but they have in some 
instances successfully forced their products upon the 
European markets. 

In one other branch of the textile industry pro- 
gress in the United States has outstripped the world 
— the hosiery and knit-goods manufacture. More 
machine-made knitted goods are turned out annually 
here than in all other coimtries combined. The 
explanation is somewhat the same as in the case of 
carpets. Our people wear more imderwear than other 
people ; they are not only obliged to wear more for 
climatic reasons, but they can afford to wear more ; 
and the general desire for personal comfort in wear- 
ing apparel results in an enormous distribution of 
the products of these mills. The beginnings of the 
industry are well within the lifetime of many manu- 
facturers still living. Until 1832 the knitting of 
socks and stockings remained mostly a household 
industry — the only form of textile work which the 
machine had not wrested from the housewife. In 
that year Egbert Egberts successfully applied the 
principle of knitting by power, at Cohoes, N. Y. 



His machine was simply the square stocking-frame 
of William Lee adapted to power. From that adap- 
tation dates a revolution in underwear, which had 
previously consisted wholly of flannel, fashioned and 
sewed at home, according to the individual needs. 
The revolution gathered momentum gradually, as 
invention after invention — almost all of American 
origin — perfected the knitting-machine; but once 
the new industry was fairly and firmly established, 
it spread with amazing rapidity. In the decade 
between i88q and 1890 the number of knit-goods 
mills doubled, and the value of the annual product 
jumped from $29,167,227 to $67,241,013. 

The great variety of goods made facilitates the 
tendency, peculiar to this industry, toward the build- 
ing of comparatively small mills, requiring but mod- 
erate capital; and it happens in consequence that 
these mills spring up all over the country, and can 
now be found in nearly every State. Many of them 
employ only cotton as a raw material; others use 
chiefly wool ; and still others manufacture what are 
known as merino knit goods or mixed goods — cot- 
ton mixed with wool in proportions varying from 
fifty to seventy-five and ninety per cent, of cotton, 
according to the particular market sought. The 
tendency to the larger use of cotton in these goods 
is perceptible, not necessarily because of greater 
cheapness or a desire to adulterate, but because the 
liability of wool to shrink, and its excessive warmth, 
lead many to prefer undergarments in which cotton 
is an equal or predominating material. 

In 1858 Mr. E. E; Kilboume invented a machine 
for automatically knitting full-fashioned underwear ; 
and this machine has gradually wrought a second 
revolution in the industry. The amount of hand 
labor now done is reduced to the minimum — to the 
mere sewing on of buttons, so to speak. 

Having said much in this paper about the enter- 
prise and mechanical ingenuity of American textile 
manufacturers, I may be pardoned for concluding 
with an allusion to an obvious deficiency, as applied 
to the industry as a whole. They have left little 
to be desired in the direction of cheapening textile 
products without deteriorating quality. They have 
built and equipped mills which rank with any in the 
world. They have planted on this continent ma- 
chinery enough to supply all the textile wants of 
our people, except in a comparatively few lines of 
very fine fabrics. They have managed these mills 
with rare business sagacity, and as a rule with nota- 
ble financial success. They have taken one specialty 

after another which had never been attempted here, 
and transported its manufacture from across the 
water, literally inventing anew the necessary machi- 
nery, as in the case of braids and plush goods, 
when they could not obtain it otherwise. They have 
taken these several textile industries, which have been 
localized and specialized in Europe for generations, 
and in less than half a century have made them 
one of the chief comer-stones of our national wealth. 
They have contributed far more than their share to 
the mechanical development which makes the labor 
of a single operative stand for that of a regiment of 
hand- workers in the eighteenth century. They have 
failed only in contributing their equal share to the 
artistic side of textile industry. They have been 
imitators instead of originators, although justice 
compels us to add that there are among them many 
striking and gratifying exceptions to this rule. But 
American-made goods do not bear, generally speak- 
ing, any distinctive artistic characteristics which 
distinguish them as American-made ; and, generally 
speaking, they are inferior in this respect to the best 
products of foreign looms. 

All this is natural— natural to a new country in 
which utility everywhere predominates over the or- 
namental. The next great forward step in our tex- 
tile manufactures must be in the artistic rather than 
the mechanical direction, for there we recognize its 
weakest point. In the designing of patterns, in the 
use and application of dyes, in all that goes to im- 
part to fabrics the artistic element, to lift the manu- 
facture into an art, our textile mills are still far 
from the top of the ladder. This deficiency is not 
in any sense peculiar to the textile industries. It is 
an educational deficiency in which our people as a 
whole may be said to share. It is incidental to a 
crude country of limited facilities in art directions. 
What needs to be done is to supply those facilities ; 
and the time is at hand when our manufactures 
should themselves take the initiative in that work. 
All over Europe there exist technical schools for the 
training of textile workers, — weaving-schools, de- 
signing-schools, dyeing-schools, — in which those who 
manufacture goods are trained by the best instruc- 
tors ; and the result is not only better workmanship, 
but more beautiful and more artistic tissues. We 
have but one such institution in America — the Phila- 
delphia Textile School, which is doing a noble work 
in elevating the standard and educating the taste of 
American manufacturers. We need more like it, 
need them badly, and need them at once. 




, HUNDRED years ago very few woolen car- 
pets were in use on Manhattan Island. A 
. few wealthy people had Turkish rugs, and 
some ingrains were imported ; but they were so rare 
that children were cautioned to tread lightly on them 
when permitted on state occasions to enter the car- 
peted room. No carpets were made here, except 
■' rag carpets," the striped combination of rags and 
list which the Knickerbocker housewives wove at 
home, and which are still made in small quantities 
both in farm-houses and in factories. The first car- 
pet dealers in New York of whom we know any- 
tiiiiig were J. Alexander & Company, whose adver- 
tisement in Parker's " New York Gazette ; or, TTie 
Weekly Post-Boy," on Monday, June 30, 17601 
reads as follows: 

"J. Alexander & Company have removed their 
store 10 Mr Haynes's house on Smith St., where 
Mr Proctor, watch-maker, lately lived, where they 
sell Check Handkerchiefs, linens of different Isinds, 
Lawn and Minonets, Scot's Carpels, broad and nar- 
row cloths, Shoes of d liferent kinds, made shirts. 
Hats, Stockings, with several othei 
Scot's barley and Herrings. Also 
of Old Madeira Wine in Pipes." 

In the toUowing year they offered for sale Turkey amount e 

many millions. It was not until many years after 
carpets were first used in the colonies that the man- 
ufacture was introduced here, and the colonies had 
then become the United Stales. In 1791 William 
Sprague began to make Axminsters in Philadelphia. 
One of his first productions was a pattern which 
represented the coat-of-arms of the young Repubh'c. 
The carpet was probably not wonderful, but it has 
achieved fame, not so much on account of the fact 
that it was our first attempt, as becatise tt was the 
first article to which the principle of tariff protection 
was applied. Alexander Hamilton was Secretary 
of the Treasury, and in a report on manufactures 
sent to the House of Representatives in 1791 he 
recommended that a duty of two and one half per 
cent, be laid on carpets. To quote his own words : 
"To which the nature of the articles suggests no 
objection, and which may at the same time furnish 
a motive the more to the fabrication of them at 
home, toward which some beginnings have been 
made." (December g, 1791.) The proceeds of 
this duty he proposed to use as a bounty to encour- 

joods ; Eine's age the growth of wool in the United Slates. 

choice parcel Early in the century the manufacture of ingrains 
was begun, and has continued steadily increasing 

carpets, and two years later stale that they " have 
imported some English and Scot's carpets and Hair 
Cloth for Stairs and Passages." They were then 
located " in the house right opposite Mr Donald 
M orison Ship Chandler House, betwix the Fly 
and Burling Slip." Judging from their advenise- 
ments in the papers of the day, they were not only 
the pioneers in the carpet business, but also the 
originators of the modem department store. 

From this lime on the use of carpets began to 
increase and the business to grow, until, according 
to the city directories, there were last year 304 firms 
engaged in the sale of carpets in New York and 
Brooklyn, the amount of capital invested being 

Probably the first ingrain mill 

in the United Slates was that of George M. Con- 
radt, who came to this country from the kingdom 
of Wiirtemberg, and settled in Frederick County, 
Maryland. The factory was a stone building, and 
was still standing not many years ago. The carpets 
were made in a hand-loom on a drum having rows 
of pegs somewhat like the cylinder of a music-box. 
This drum worked the harness, Jacquard's great 
invention was made in 1800, and soon after began 
to be applied to the weaving of carpets in this 
country. Among the early mills was one owned by 
Henry Burdett, which was located at Medway, 
Mass. Alexander Wright was the superintendent, 
and the concern is notable as having been the start- 



ing-point of what became later the great corpora- 
tion known as the Lowell Manufacturing Company, 
whose carpets afterward were the standard goods of 
the country. In 1825 Wright endeavored to gain 
information touching the jealously guarded secrets 
of the Jacquard machine, then in use in the manu- 
factiure of ingrains in Philadelphia, which city seems 
to have been the second starting-point for the man- 
ufacture of ingrains. He was unable to gain access 
to the mills, and sailed for Scotland, whence he 
soon returned with the best looms he could procure. 
He also brought over with him William and Glaude 
Wilson, to aid in operating the machinery. Glaude 
Wilson was a skilled mechanic, and devised improve- 
ments in the Jacquard loom, simplifying its con- 
struction and rendering it more certain in operation. 
He resided many years in Lowell, and lived to see 
the Lowell Company become one of the most im- 
portant manufacturing establishments in the country. 

While the Medway experiment was going on, a 
charter had been granted to the Lowell Manufactur- 
ing Company, and on February 22, 1828, its organ- 
ization was completed. In those days directors' 
meetings were held at seven o^clock in the evening. 
Whitney, Cabot & Company were appointed to 
build the mills, employ the labor, and afterward sell 
the goods. The Medway mill and machinery were 
sold to the Lowell Company, which kept the looms 
in operation in that place imtil its own factory at 
Lowell was finished. Alexander Wright, referred 
to above, was the first superintendent. For a long 
time the enterprise was regarded as an experiment, 
and many believed that the demand for carpets 
would not justify paying for the skill necessary to 
make them. The hand-looms of those days were 
by no means as perfect as the hand-looms of our 
time. The Lowell Company, however, persevered, 
and ingrain factories continued to spring up in va- 
rious parts of the country. The progress was slow, 
and with the exception of the Hartford Carpet 
Company, then operating as two separate concerns, 
very few of the firms which afterward became 
famous started until many years later. 

E. S. Higgins & Company began to manufacture 
ingrains in New York in 1841. Alexander Smith 
began at West Farms in 1844. Robert Beattie 
started in New York in 1840. John Bromley did 
not set up his looms in Philadelphia until 1845. 
This city now has some of the finest factories in 
existence, and its production is larger than that of 
all the rest of the country combined. More yards of 
ingrain carpets are made there than in any other city 
in the world, and the goods range from the highest to 

the lowest grade. The imports from England and 
Scotland continued to be heavy in spite of distance 
and duties, as up to 1850 hand-looms only being 
in use, the product of these and the other mills using 
these looms was necessarily very limited, and we had 
to overcome the prejudice against domestic goods. 

Meanwhile Alexander Smith and J. G. McNair 
had devoted much time and labor to the invention 
of a patent process for weaving tapestry ingrains. 
They succeeded in producing a carpet which filled 
a want of the times for a strong and durable fabric 
in which a large variety of color could be introduced. 
The Crossleys, of Halifax, England, purchased the 
rights to the invention, paying a royalty of a penny 
a yard for England. Templeton, of A)rr, paid j£2oo 
and a like royalty for Scotland. The goods became 
enormously popular, and Stephen Sanford, of Am- 
sterdam, N. Y., also secured the right to manufac- 
ture them. The fame of the carpets spread so rap- 
idly that it did much to stop the importation of 
foreign ingrains. 

Erastus B. Bigelow, a young medical student of 
Boston, who was but twenty years of age, had seen 
somewhere the manufacture of coach-lace by hand. 
He was without mechanical training, and, in fact, 
had never read a book on the subject ; but in forty 
days after he took up the idea he perfected a power- 
loom by which coach-lace weaving could be done. 
At a single stroke he so reduced the cost of weav- 
ing this class of goods that what had previously cost 
twenty-two cents a yard was reduced to three cents. 
This invention brought him into notice, and he set 
to work to devise a power-loom for ingrain-carpet 
weaving. Before the year was out he succeeded. 
At this time eight yards a day was the product of 
the ingrain hand-loom. Mr. Bigelow's loom at once 
increased the product to ten and twelve yards, and, 
after some defects had been remedied, rolled it up 
to twenty-five yards a day, thus stimulating succes- 
sive inventors of power-looms, such as Duckworth, 
Murkland, Crompton, and others, who have multi- 
plied the result, so that the product now reaches to 
from forty to forty-five yards a day, although the 
hoiurs of labor have been materially shortened. 

But Mr. Bigelow did not rest here. In 1848 he 
set to work to invent a power-loom for the weaving 
of Brussels and tapestry carpets. At this time the 
product of a long and hard day's labor for a weaver, 
including a boy to draw the wires, was seven yards 
of Brussels carpet. At once Mr. Bigelow raised this 
to over twenty-five, some modem machines now 
getting fifty-five yards of production in a day. Prior 
to the perfecting of this invention, he had, with his 



brother, Horado N., organized the Bigelow Caxpet 
Company, which has the honor of being the original 
power-loom manufacturer of Brussels and Wilton 
carpets. The company has been very successful, 
and now ranks among the foremost concerns in the 
world. The Crossleys, of England, promptly pur- 
chased, at a cost of ;^2o,ooo, the right to use the 
Bigelow loom in^ England ; and A. & E. S. Higgins, 
of New York, and the Roxbury Carpet Company, 
of Massachusetts, also secured the exclusive use for 
the United States for tapestry and velvet during the 
term of the patent. Mr. Bigelow, of course, reserved 
the right to manufacture Wiltons and Brussels on 
his own loom. It has been my experience, in a 
connection of over thirty years with the trade, that 
the Wiltons, velvets, Brussels, and tapestries made 
at that day by these establishments would compare 
favorably in durability of wear and stability of color 
with the same grades of any country in the world. 

The success of Mr. Bigelow's looms stimulated 
others to like inventions. The manufacture of 
Axminster and moquette carpets by hand in foreign 
countries was one of the slowest of trade processes. 
In this two men and a boy were employed at one 
loom, and could make but one and one half yards of 
French moquette in a day. In i860, Alexander 
Smith and Halcyon Skinner, of Yonkers, invented an 
Axminster and moquette power-loom which was per- 
haps more striking in its ability to increase the produc- 
tive capacity of labor than was that of Mr. Bigelow. 

This was the beginning of a second era in the 
trade. The invention increased the production to 
about eleven yards per day, the loom being attended 
by a girl. Its merits were imiversally conceded, 
and foreign and domestic manufacturers were glad 
to pay large royalties for its use. The Alexander 
Smith & Sons Carpet Company became one of the 
most famous in the world, and its plant in Yonkers 
is to-day the largest of the kind in the country. 
How thoroughly American invention and American 
mechanical skill have gained control of the home 
market can easfly be imderstood from a few figures, 
which I present as follows : 

In the year ending June 30, 1870, there were 
entered at the port of New York alone body Brus- 
sels and tapestry Brussels valued at $1,355,832 ; in 
1894 there were imported in the entire United States 
body Brussels and tapestry Brussels valued at $58,- 
208. In 1870 the manufacture of carpets in the 
United States amounted in value to $21,761,573 ; 
in 1890 the value of the carpets made in the United 
States was $479770,193. 

The number of firms engaged in the various de- 

partments, with the approximate number of power- 
looms employed, was last year as follows : 









Brussels and Wilton 

Tapestry and velvet 

Axminster and moquette. 

These firms were capable of producing 100,000,- 
000 yards, of the value of $50,000,000. There are 
also many hand-looms on ingrains, and many man- 
ufacturers of damasks and Venetians, Smyrna and 
other rugs and mats. 

On the artistic side the improvement has been 
equally great At the outset most of our designs 
were copied or adapted from foreign patterns. It 
was only a few years ago that a foreign manufac- 
turer, to whom I showed a sample of the first piece 
of tapestry produced by Stephen Sanford, remarked, 
after examining the fabric closely, " Well, you may 
be able to manufacture the goods, but you can't 
design them." In less than five years from that 
time, the same gentleman, on his way to Canada to 
sell goods, proposed to me to exchange samples, 
that he might take orders from the American pat- 
terns. After looking through his line I thanked 
him, with the assurance that I could find nothing 
there that could compare favorably with the dis- 
carded designs of last season's patterns of our 
domestic manufacture. In the fully eqiupped 
studios of the Bigelow, Lowell, Smith, Hartford, 
Higgins, and the Philadelphia companies a large 
proportion of the designers are Americans, and the 
proportion is steadily increasing. The American 
dealer of to-day has to overcome very little preju- 
dice against either the fabric, color, or pattern of 
American carpets, and it is long since I have heard 
a customer ask, " Is it English? " 

Were I able to give the exact amount of money 
expended each year, from the time the wool leaves 
the sheep's back until the carpet reaches its resting- 
place upon the floor of our homes, to be trodden 
upon, beaten, and sometimes abused, notwithstand- 
ing the fact that there is no article which goes so far 
to make the home comfortable and attractive, the 
figures would be astonishing. The people employed 
in designing, manufacturing, and selling this article 
to-day would form a sufficient population for a 
young republic, with abundant capital to carry on 
the government. 

The skill and inventive genius in carpet manufac- 



tones have so built up the home industry of the 
United States as to give emplo3rment to a vast army 
of operatives, and reduced the cost of the manufac- 
tured article to such an extent that the humblest 
citizen is enabled to have a floor veil carpeted with 
fabrics that are attractive, and even artistic; and, 
with the thrifty housewife, the addition of a rug or 
two upon the carpet and a good lining underneath 
is necessary, in her estimation, to sustain her status 
as one of the social leaders in her humble sphere. 

In no other time and no other country has such 
comparative luxury been within the reach of modest 
means. The white and well-scrubbed floor of the 
Holland frau, the poUshed oak and tiling of France, 
Germany, Italy, Austria, and the Other countries of 

continental Europe, have given no precedent for the 
American indulgence in carpets ; and even England, 
outgrowing the rush and straw strewn floors of the 
time of Erasmus, has not yet learned to fill the great 
gap between the velvet pile carpets of the homes of 
the nobility and the bare boards of the Whitechapel 
tenements. It is in this respect that the United 
States stands forth preeminent. There are carpets 
for all, and from the days when the grandmothers 
wove their rag carpets, to the present, when a far 
superior article is turned out from nearly every fac- 
tory in the country, at a cost cheaper even than that 
of the home-made article, there have been few Ameri- 
can homes too poor to enjoy the comfort of neat and 
pretty floor coverings. 



THE infancy of this industry was marked by In a great fire, July 30, 1794, seven ropewalks 

great feebleness, but perhaps not more so were destroyed ; and the selectmen provided that no 

than the average of American manufactures, more should be constructed in the heart of the town, 

Rope making formed one of the principal branches and tendered the use of the low land west of the 

of business from the early days of the colonies, and Common, where six others were at once constructed, 


a ropewaik appears to have been first set up in 1642 
in Boston, Mass., twelve years after the town was 
founded. In this connection it is interesting to note 
that in 1638 Boston was "rather a village than a 
town, consisting of no more than twenty or thirty 
houses." Prior to that time nearly every kind of 
rigging and tackle for vessels was brought from 

With the building of the first ship in Boston, the 
lyiai, of 160 tons, and probably on account of its 
construction, John Harrison, a rope maker, was in- 
vited to Boston from Salisbury, " on mocon of some 
gentlemen of this town," and he set up his ropewaik 
or " rope-field," ten feet ten inches wide, on the land 
adjoining his house on Piu-chase Street, at the foot 
of Summer Street, The work was done in the open 
field. Posts were set in the ground firmly enough 
to permit the suspension of cords and rope of no 
inconHderable circumference, 

Harrison was granted a monopoly of the business 
until 1663, when permission was granted to John 
Heyman to "set up his posts," but with "libertie 
onely to make fishing lines " ; but even this license 
was found so to interfere with Harrison— who was 
now advanced in years and had a family of eleven 
persons — that it caused him to fear tliat he could 
not support them, and Heyman's permit was ac- 
cordingly withdrawn. An additional argument em- 
ployed to bring about tin's revocation was the 
scarcity of hemp! After Harrison's death rope- 
walks multiplied in number, and at the West and 
North Ends of the town in sixty years there were 
fourteen ropewalks. In 1793 the industry was 
thrii-ing, no doubt greatly fostered by a bounty 
granted by the General Court. 

20 to 24 feet wide and 900 feet in length. These 
were also destroyed by fire in 1806. Five were re- 
buih, and were all once more burned in i8ig. The 
elder Quincy, in the first year of his mayoralty, 
with his usual energy and sagacity, promptly re- 
moved all of these, with marked improvement to 
the neighborhood, and the land was purchased for 
$55,000 on February 35, 1824. 

So much tor the early beginnings of this industry. 
It is with a smile that we read that " in the Federal 
procession of 1788 the men employed in this in- 
dustry outnumbered any other class of mechanics in 
Boston," and that in 1794 "over fifty men were 
employed in this branch alone." The work in the 
old ropewalks, although done mostly by hand, was 
in some cases supplemented by horse or water 
power. The workmen resented the employment of 
any hands who had not served a regular apprentice- 
ship at the trade, and there was bitter opposition to 
the introduction of machinery. 

Besides the ropewalks previously mentioned, 
Nantucket had, in the height of her prosperity, 
three, none of which now exists. Newburyport 
had a good-sized ropewaik for those days. There 
was one at Castine, Me. One was on Broadway, 
New York, before the Revolution, and others were 
found in other parts of the country. Early in the 
century Samuel Pearson owned and operated one 
in Portland, Me. His two sons, Samuel and 
George C. Pearson, having learned llie trade with 
their father, were afterward interested in steam 
plants at and near Boston. Still later they started 
the Suffolk Cordage Company, which grew into the 
Pearson Cordage Company, now one of the largest 
mills in the country. 



Shortly after the death of his father (Samuel), 
Mr, Charles H. Pearson, who had been identified 
with him and the other son, became connected with 
the Boston Cordage Company, and still laler with 
the Standard Cordage Company. Mr. Samuel 
Pearson made many inventions in rope-machines 
and in regulators for spinning, 

Mr. A, L. Tubbs, of California, bought most of 
the machinery in one of the old Boston mills and 
shipped it to California. He started the business 
on the Pacific coast, and at the present day controls 
the two or three factories now located there. 

Up to about 1850 it was the custom to import 
spun yarns to be made into cordage. Thes« yams 
were chiefly spun by Russian serfs, and could be 
furnished for less money than similar ones made 
here; but the introduction of improved machinery 
gradually cut off these importations, and hardly any 
spun yarns were bought after 1865. 

The period between 1830 and 1850 witnessed the 
starting of what may be termed the modern factory, 
in distinction from the crude and primitive mode 
of manufacture before existing. The difference be- 
tween the two methods was this : In the old- 
fashioned ropewalk the twisting of libers was done 
by a man walking backward down the walk, spin- 
ning from the hemp round his waist, the twist being 
imparted from a wheel turned by a boy. The pos- 
sible length of the rope could thus be no greater than 
the length of the building or ground. Longfellow's 
description, in his poem on " The Ropewalk," is too 
fine to be omitted, even in a commercial article : 

" In that building, long and law. 
With its windows nil arow. 

Like the port-holes of b hulk, 
Hnmim spiders spin and spin. 
Backward down their threads so thin 

Dropping, each a hempen bulk. 

" At the end, an open door ; 
Squares of sanshine on the floor 
Light the long and dusky lane; 
And the whirring of a wheel, 
Dull and drowsy, makes me feel 
All its spokes arc in my brain." 

In the modem factory the twist is imparted by 
rapidly rotating machinery similar to that used in 
cotton and woolen mills, making it possible to spin a 
rope of several thousand feet in length on an upright 
apparatus occupying but a few square feet. For 
some purposes, however, the ropewalk rope, as it is 
called, is still held to be superior to that manu- 
factured by the other process. AVhen rope was 
made without use of the ropewalk it was 

to call it "patent cordage," to distinguish it from 

the old style of ropewalk rope, and the name is still 
used by some firms. 

The inventions and patents of most consequence 
and in most general use are those of John Good, of 
New York City, whose spreaders and breakers did 
away with the use of lappers, and whose nipper and 
regulator on spinning-machines have given universal 
satisfaction, although with the perfecting of " prep- 
aration machinery " the use of a regulator has in 
many instances been discontinued. 

The era of the largest mills commenced in 1878, 
after the invention of the self-binding han-ester. 
Among the factories started during the period 
alluded to were Sewall, Day & Company of Boston 
{183s); Pearson Cordage Company of Boston; J. 
Nickerson & Company of Boston; Weaver, Filler 
& Company of Philadelphia {afterward and at the 
present day Edwin H. Filler & Company) ; Plym- 
outh Cordage Company of Plymouth, Mass. ; 
Hingham Cordage Company of Hingham, Mass. ; 
New Bedford Cordage Company of New Bedford, 
Mass. (1842); Baumgardner, Woodward &: Com- 
pany of Philadelphia ; J. T. Donnell & Company of 
Bath, Me. ; William Wall & Sons of New York City ; 
Lawrence Waterbury & Company of New York ; 
Tucker, Carter & Company of New York; Eliza- 
bethport Steam Cordage Company of New York; 
Thomas Jackson & Son of Easton, Pa. ; J. Rinek's 
Sons of Easton, Pa, ; and John Bonte's Sons of 

The demand for cordage in those days being 
largely for export and the use of ships, it will be 
noticed that the manufacture was mainly confined 
to Atlantic seaports. In later times, with the de- 
cline of American shipping, the substitution of wire 
for hemp standing rigging, and especially after the 
great demand for binder twine, all this was changed, 
and factories rapidly multiplied in the West, Peoria, 
Miamisburg, Akron, and Xenia taking an important 
part in the business. 

As late as the year 1843 the total quantity of 
Manila hemp manufactured in the United States 
was only 27,820 bales or 7,511,400 pounds. This 
amount of hemp could, in 1895, easily be brought 
from Manila in three sailing-ships or in two steam- 
ers—the latter capable of making the voyage in fifty 
or sixty days by the way of the Suez Canal to 
New York, Boston, or Philadelphia. Moreover, 
one of half a dozen of the larger mills in the 
country could, in 1895, manufacture the whole 
quantity of Manila hemp used in the year 1843 in 
tlie space of fifty days, by running night and day. 


In 1863 the business had increased to five times 
its size in 1843. With the War of the Rebellion 
came a great demand for cordage ; and as hemps 
rapidly advanced in price, in common with a!l other 
staples, it was an era of great prosperity for the cord- 
age industry. Orders were so numerous that it was 
deemed a favor to a customer to supply him ; and it 
is wilhin the knowledge of the writer that the profits 
of one Eastern factory during that epoch amounted 
in one year to $510,000, nor was its experience at 
all exceptional. 

It was in i860 that the first importations of Sisal 
hemp were made. Commencing with the manufac- 
ture of about aoo tons in that year, its use rapidly 
extended, and it became in a few years an important 
factor in the trade. In ten years its importation 
amounted to 3500 tons, in twenty years to 13,000 
tons, in thirty years to 34,000 tons, and in thirty-five 
years to 50,000 tons. 

With the extension of the business and [he in- 
crease of factories, both In number and importance, 
there was found to be a necessity for some regula- 
tion of the prices of cordage. The first agreement 
between the cordage manufacturers was entered into 
on February 23, 1861, the object being to correct 
certain abuses which had prevailed among firms 
engaged in the trade. Weekly meetings were held 
by the manufacturers in their respective cities, and 
opportunity afforded for any complaints or any 
suggestion about the condition of trade and the 
regulation of prices. The object, as stated by one 
of the Eastern manufacturers, was "to look each 
other in the face and maintain prices." Various 
amendments were from time to time made in this 
agreement of 1861, but in July, 1874, a careful re- 
vision was made and the manufacturers pledged 
themselves, " as men of honor and integrity," to the 
true and faithful observance of the rules. A stronger 
agreement was made in April, 1875 ; but complaints 
of underselling, answered with various excuses, were 
frequent, and, there being no pecuniary penahy, the 
ingenuity of the manufacturers finally hit upon what 
was known as the " pool system." This went into 
operation on January i, 1878. The business was di- 
vided among the manufacturers in proportions which 
seemed just, and when the business of one concern 
exceeded during any month the proportion which 
its share bore to the total business done according 
to the returns, it would pay in so much per pound 
on the excess. In case a concern fell short it would 
be a recipient to that extent. 

It was supposed that this arrangement would act 
as a preventive to tlie cutting of prices, and it un- 

doubtedly had that effect to some extent. The 
novelty of the plan was also in its favor, and on the 

whole it worked well enough amply to repay the 
great amount of labor expended in securing its 
adoption. The percentages ranged from eleven and 
one fourth to one per cent. 

In 1880 the amount of the pool was reduced from 
two cents to one cent per pound, and in June of 
that year to one-fourth cent; in January, 1881, the 
pool was abohshed. In April, 1883, it was deemed 
best to reestablish it, and on the 28th of June the 
proportions were again agreed upon for three years. 
At the expiration of that time the new concerns 
which had grown up were taken into tlie associa- 
tion, and after much labor, lasting from February to 
July, 1885, a new pool was formed, and the propor- 
tions as fixed by the committee were accepted. 

No one who was present will ever forget the 
magnificent banquet given at Long Branch, on the 
29th of July, 1885, to Ihe members of the associa- 
tion, by the Hon. Edwin H, Filler, of Phfladelpina, 
who, as president for many years, had been untir- 
ing in his efforts to unite the members and preserve 
harmony. Equal honor should be awarded to 
Mr. Frederick Davis, of Sewall, Day & Company of 
Boston, and to Mr. D. B. Whitlock of New York, 
for many years secretary of the association, who 
died in 18S8. 

In April, 1887, before the expiration of the time 
agreed upon at the formation of the last pool, it 
was broken up ; and the next event of great interest 
was the formation and incorporation of the National 
Cordage Company. This was composed of the four 
leading concerns in New York Cily ; and although 
their circular, dated August i, 1887, announced that 
their " large facilities and long-established reputation 
were a guaranty that they could fulfil all that they 
promised to do," yet the successful accomplishment 
of their aims would have demonstrated that the age 
of miracles was not wholly past, Tlie projectors 
were, no doubt, sanguine enough really to believe 
that it was possible to control the product and prices 
of Manila and Sisal hemp, but the attempt was a 
failure. An effort was made to subsidize the houses 
and brokers engaged in the trade, but they did not 
remain subsidized, and the scheme would not work. 
In some remarks made by the writer. May 37, 1886, 
in the Old South Church, Boston, at a meeting 
called to discuss the Morrison tariff bill, he said: 
" The day of monopolies in this country is past, and 
there is no danger but that the competition among 
ourselves, with the wonderful and ever-increasing 
labor-saving appliances and economical devices of 




the present day, will keep down prices, in our own 
products at least, to a reasonable point." 

Thus it was with the attempt alluded to. The 
time had gone by for any such arrangement to be 
more than temporary, and measures to undermine 
the project were taken by those who did not pro- 
pose to give up their individual judgment in pur- 
chasing raw material; and it is not strange that, 
with the immutable laws of trade working in their 
favor, these measures were at once and continuously 
successful. The National Cordage Company was 
in the position of a whale attacked by swordfish. 
The whale was only one organization, and was cum- 
bersome and unwieldy ; the swordfish were numerous 
and extremely lively in their movements, and the 
result of the conflict was what might reasonably 
have been expected. The whale was exhausted by 
his attempts to maintain his ground, and what was 
bad rapidly became worse. In January, 1890, the 
National Cordage Company made an attempt to 
have all the manufacturers outside of their organiza- 
tion join them. But no one who joined the National 
knew the terms made with his neighbor, and it was 
not long before distrust and suspicion ruined the 
whole project. On the 4th of May, 1893, the 
National passed into the hands of receivers, al- 

though they had paid eight per cent, dividends from 
1 89 1 on their preferred, and from nine to ten and 
one half per cent, on their common stock, dividends 
having been declared on both three days before 
their failure. 

It is too early to write the history of the United 
States Cordage Company, which organization suc- 
ceeded the National Cordage Company. Circum- 
stances scarcely controllable by any one resulted in 
disaster, and, in fact, its career was never much 
more than a continued liquidation. A fall in the 
prices of raw material, unexpected and unprec- 
edented, together with other misfortunes, cul- 
minated in the appointment of receivers, June 3, 

For the future the prospect is brighter, and with 
lower fixed charges, strict economy, judicious pur- 
chases of the raw material as needed, a substantial 
cash capital, and especially with the stock of binder 
twine in the country practically used up for the first 
time in five years, we may hope that the interest 
on the bonds may be easily earned and the industry 
again give fair results. 

The figures given below are the aggregate of the 
sworn returns of rope delivered by the members of the 
United States Cordage Manufacturers' Association. 







Gkamd Total. 


Home Trade 









Home Trade 









Home Trade 























































Gkand Total. 




Benjamin C. Clark. 

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^M THE 493 

Canada ig included in the years 1S91, 1893, and product amounts to $11,000,000. The figures given 
1.S94, but not before, on manila. In 1890 and 1891 below were collected with much care, and will give 
New Zealand added zo, 000,000 pounds to the con- an approximate idea of the growth of this industry, 
sumption for each year; 189J, 30,400,000 pounds; Other fibers, such as Russian and Italian hemps and 
1893, 32,000,000 pounds; and 1894, 10,000,000 jute, have at times been used to a considerable extent, 
pounds. but the writer beh'eves that the figures he has col- 
There are about 10,000 spindles in this industry lecled practically give what is needed for statistical 1 
at the present time, two thirds of which are ample purposes, 
to supply tlie wants of the country. The annual Early figures of this trade are as below : 

UNITED STATES, 1S43 to 1877. 



















7.5 11 -400 





























7,5 11400 











35.634.1 S5 


5 ".987466 " 


Us. , 


a; . 


























1 y^ 

W X^. / 





THERE is probably no tndustiy in which the 
advance in scientific attainments and busi- 
ness methods during the last one hundred 
years has been greater, or has wrought more impor- 
tant changes, than in the manufacture of leather; 
and there is likewise no product except those of agri- 
culture, the application of which to the uses of man- 
kind is of greater antiquity. From the earliest period 
known to history the skins of animals, however 
crudely prepared, have contributed to the necessities 
and comforts of man, and, at the present day, there 
is no product which contributes more luxury to en- 
lightened humanity than " hides and leather." Dr. 
Campbell, in his " Pohttcal Survey of Great Britain," 
aptly says : " If we look abroad on the instruments 
of husbandry, or the implements used in most me- 
chanic trades, or the structure of a multitude of 
engines and machines; or if we contemplate at 
home the necessary parts of our clothing,— breeches, 
slioes, boots, gloves,— or the furniture of our houses, 
the books on our shelves, the harness on our horses, 
and even the substance of our carriages, what do we 
see but instances of human industry exerted upon 
leather? What an aptitude has this single material 
in a variety of circumstances for the relief of our 
necessities, and supplying conveniences in every 
state and stage of lifel Without it, or even without 
it in the plenty we have it, to what difficulties should 
we be exposed I" 

The art of tanning is one of very great antiquity, 
and it is difficult to resist the temptation to refer, 
however briefly, to the fact that the ancient Egyp- 
tians inscribed on their tombs tableaux which referred 
to the tanner ; that the Jews, after the exodus, prac- 
tised the knowledge learned of the subjects of the 
Pharaohs in preparing the rams' skins for the service 
of the tabernacle ; that in the sepulchers of ancient 
Mexico there have been found bronze leather slices 
^milar to the Egyptian, indicating a knowledge of 
leather working by a. people possibly coeval with 

those of the Eastern continent. For hundreds of 
years there appears to have been no mailed im- 
provement in the tanning of leather, although there 
are evidences of attempts to beautify it, for there 
are specimens of embossed leathers made by the 
Moors centuries ago. There is no accurate way of 
ascertaining the nature of the preparation by the 
ancients, but they subjected the skins to some treat- 
ment to prevent putrefaction. There is probably 
no vegetable growth containing tannin which has 
not been tried and found favor; but of all these 
oak-bark has held undisputed sway as the best tan- 
ning agent for many years. 

It is only within the last sixty or seventy years 
that the manufacture of leather has taken great 
strides, and, like many other industries, its advance 
was made by the energy, inventive genius, and bosi- 
ness ability of the American people. Originally the 
small tanners depended for hides upon the stur- 
rounding country. With the advent of the canal, 
and later the railroad and steamship, together with 
the application of chemical science, the tanner of 
to-day is dependent upon no one country or any 
special animal for his raw material, for the birds of 
the air and the creatures of the ocean assist in con- 
tributing to his needs in the present age. Hides, as 
the term is accepted to-day, can be divided into 
three classes : (i) hides proper, comprising the skins 
of the larger animals, such as those of oxen, cows, 
and horses ; (2) kips, or the skins of small or year- 
ling cattle, exceeding the size of calfskins; (3) sidns, 
including those of calves, sheep, goats, deer, pigs, 
seals, and various kinds of fur-bearing animals, which 
latter, of course, usually retain their hair after 

The heavy hides are converted into sole, belt, and 
harness leather. Calfskin is a principal material for 
the manufacture of upper leather for shoes and 
boots, and is much used for bookbinding. Sheep- 
skins are used for a variety of purposes, such as Im- 



ings for shoes, bellows, whips, aprons, cushions and 
covers, gloves, women's shoes, etc. Goatskins are 
used almost exclusively for gloves and ladies' shoes. 
The morocco leather, so extensively made until 
recently, has almost entirely given way to the 
"glazed kid" of the present day. Hogskins are 
useful for saddle-leather, traveling-bags, etc. Dog- 
skins, being thin and tough, are valuable for gloves. 
Porpoise-skin, on account of its durability, is used 
for shoe-strings. It may be interesting to note that 
among the other creatures who contribute their 
skins to the tanner are found the buffalo, kangaroo, 
alligator, deer, hippopotamus, elephant, rhinoceros, 
walrus, and even the shark. 

From the best records obtainable, it appears that 
the first tannery in this country was operated about 
the year 1630, in Virginia; and a year or two later 
the first tannery in New England was estabhshed in 
the village of Swampscott, in Lynn, Mass., by Fran- 
cis Ingalls, who came from Lincolnshire, England. 
The vats used by him were filled up in 1825. The 
industry was much encouraged by the colonial 
authorities, and there are many records of laws made 
regulating the manufactiure of leather and the saving 
of skins for the tanners, under heavy fines for non- 
compliance. In 1646 a law was made in Massa- 
chusetts prohibiting the exportation of raw hides or 
imwrooght leather, under heavy penalty alike to the 
shipper and the master of the vessel. It is a fact, 
and probably a consequence of these laws, that in 
a little more than twenty years, or about 1651, 
leather was relatively more plentiful here than in 

A noted leather manufacturer, who left a consid- 
erable impress upon the business in the beginning 
of the period covered by this work, was Colonel 
William Edwards. He commenced business in 
Hampshire in 1790, before he was twenty years of 
age, and sent the first tanned leather from there to 
Ae Boston market in 1794. He began a series of 
improvements in the mechanical branch of the art, 
which were adopted and extended by others, and 
infused a greater spirit of enterprise into the business. 
His new ideas in mechanism and in the arrangement 
of the tannery were among the earliest and most 
important of the advances in leather manufacture. 
Probably the first incorporated company in the 
business was the Hampshire Leather-Manufactiuing 
Company, of Massachusetts, established in 1809, 
with a capital of $100,000, chiefly owned by mer- 
chants of Boston, who purchased the extensive tan- 
neries of Colonel Edwards and his associates at 
Northampton, Cunnington, and Chester. These 

works had a capacity of 16,000 full-grown hides a 

In 1 8 10 tanneries were established everywhere, 
the bark being cheaper by far than in England; 
and 350,000 pounds of American leather were 
annually exported, although some particular kinds 
of English leather and morocco were imported. 
The value of all the manufactures of hides and skins 
at this time, according to the census of 18 10, was 
$17,935,477. The actual amount was probably 
over $20,000,000, as this census was very crude and 
incomplete. Only the manufactiu-es of the loom, 
including wool, flax, hemp, and silk, exceeded in 
importance and amount at this time those of hides 
and skins. The business increased gradually and 
steadily until, in 1840, there were about 8000 tan- 
neries in the United States, with a capital of $16,- 
000,000, and emplopng about 26,000 hands. In 
1850 the capital employed was over $20,000,000, 
and the value of the product of hides and skins 
alone was $38,000,000, which in i860 had in- 
creased, including morocco and patent leather, to 
$72,000,000. In 1870 there were 7569 establish- 
ments, emplopng 35,243 hands, whose wages 
amounted to $14)505,775 ; the capital engaged was 
$61,124,812, and the product was valued at $157,- 

The number of establishments making leather was 

enumerated so differendy by the census of 1890 and 

that of 1880 that the statistics do not furnish a 

reliable basis of comparison. In the census of 1880 

the enumerators evidently included all the small 

tanners and curriers, making an aggregate of 5424 

establishments. In 1890 they as certainly included 

only the large establishments, for they report 1596. 

The figures of 1880 are the more nearly correct. 

THE LEATHER INDUSTRY, 1880 to 1890. 


Number of employees 

Wages paid 

Cost of material used . 
Value of product 



* 34.865 





The very great difference between the two years 
in the cost of material used and the value of product 
is attributable to the remarkable decline in prices, 
which were at a maximum in 1880 and at a mini- 
mum in 1890. 

It will be observed that the number of persons 
employed was a litde larger in 1880 than in 1890. 
The explanation of this is found in the introduction 


of machinery, making fewer hands necessary to per- 
form ihe same service. Long after all other im- 
portant industries had been revolutionized by the 
troduction of machinery, tanning and leather tnai 
facturing continued to be done by manual labor. 
Inventions in this line were generally frowned upi 
Formulae and processes had been transmitted from 
father to son for generations, and it was considered 
impossible to make leather in any other way. 
While these barriers have been gradually removed, 
and inventive genius appreciated, yet it is only 
within the last ten or fifteen years that the most 
radical changes are recorded and the old traditions 
done away with. 

Among the first patents taken out for the appli- 
cation of a special process in the manufacture of 
leather was one, in 1823, by which the tanning 
liquor was forced through the skin by hydrostatic 
pressure. A modification of this was introduced by 
William Drake, in 1831, by which two skins were 
sewed together, the liquor being put in the vessel 
thus formed, and allowed to remain until the tanning 
was completed. In 1836 a patent was issued for 
suspending the hides in a close vessel, from which 
the air was removed by an air-pump, and the con- 
version of hides into leather much accelerated. To 
enumerate the patents would require too muchspace ; 
but I give below the dates when the first patent was 
issued for each of the details which enter into leather 
manufacture, and also the number of patents in each 
item up to the present time. The total is approxi- 
mated, as I have not at hand the records of the last 
several years. 


Leather Patents. — Coniinutd, 

PunroBi Fa> w 

Processes >nd ap^ratus for 
leaching and making eilracia 
from tim-bBrk 


Processes emnloying apparatus 
for lanning lealher 

Leather -splitting machine 

Un hairing- machine 

For rolling leather 

Scourine uid setting machine . . 

Tanners^ vats and handling ap- 
pliances .... . . 

Machines for boarding and grain- 
ing leather 

Compoands for depilaling hides 

For Seshing-machines 

Componndi for bating hides and 

Whitening, boffing, and shaving 

Datb of FiasT 

July 19, 1794 

July 9, iSoS 
July 9, t8oS 

July 12, iHii 
Oct. 19, 181Z 

Nov. ai, 1831 

Jan. 9. 1834 

March 25. 183s 

Tune 30. 1836 
June 17, 1837 

Feb. 3. 1838 

May 10. 1838 

Compounds and miierials for 
tannine and lawing leather and 
prepanne raw hities 

Processes \ot tanning leather. . . 

For cnrrying leather 

Machines for stoning, polishing, 
finishing, glassing, glazing, 
Aiming, creasing, and dicing 

Compounds for coloring an j pol. 
ishing lealher 

Methods for manufacturing 
enamel ed,j spanned, ind patent 

For stuffing leather 

For pebbling leather 

For employing mineral sob- 
stances fun- tawing hidei and 

For slretching lealher 

Bark-rossing machinet 

For preserving hides 

Machines for shaving or mohing 

leather of uniform thickness . . 

Apparatus for blacking leather . 


Striking-oat machines 


July iz, 183S 
Aug. I, 1838 
Aug. 1, 1S38 

March 15, 1845 
Ocu 9, 1847 

Ian. 9, .|SS 
Feb. 6, |8SS 
May 6, iSj6 

Aug. 4. I8S7 

Feb. 8, 1859 

Jan. 9. (863 

Sept. II, 1866 

Sept. 24, 1867 
Sept 30, 1 8 70 
Aug. z8, 1877 
March 27, 1883 

The number of cattle killed in the United Stat« 
whose hides fiunished raw material for the tanner 
not recorded prior to 1868 ; but since that rime the 
Department of Agricuhure has a cattle census takeS' 
each year. As the number killed is about one 
fourtii of the total, the following figures are approx- 
imated. The number of cattle (cows and steers) 
killed in the United States in 1868 was 5,100,0 
1870, 6,400,000; 1875, 6,800,000; tSSo, 8,300,- 
000; r885, 11,000,000; 1890, 13,200,000; 1894, 

The imports of all kinds of hides and skins into 
the United States from 1821 to the present time 
(year cndingjune 30th from 1850 to date; prior tO' 
1850, September 30th) were valued as follows: 


Not duiified 



Not dassilied 






No hides were imported and none were wanted 

until about 1815 ; the largest tannery in the United 

Sta^tes at that time turned out 10,000 hides a year. 

The imports and exports of tanned leather in the 

lasC twelve years are shown to better advantage by 

being placed side by side, and no better illustration 

cajcx be given of the superiority of the American 

article, and the progressiveness and persistence of 

tlx^ American manufacturer: 












.An interesting phase in the history of any industry 
for the past one hundred years is developed in the 
ooQsideration of the duties levied from time to time, 
^und the changes made by the government during 
tiisu period. In the leather industry this subject is 
embraced in the following : 


of the time required. This has been accomplished 
wholly by mechanical improvements. Experiments 
are constantly being made, however, and it is be- 
lieved the day is not far distant when sole-leather 
will be turned out in as many days — perhaps hours 
— as it now takes weeks. In the lighter skins the 
change has abready been radical. About 1880 Don- 
gola kid was first put on the market, being the 
result of a discovery by James Kent, of Gloversville, 
N. Y., which completely revolutionized the manu- 
facture of kid or morocco. As far back as 1856 the 
system of tanning or tawing by the use of chromium 
compounds was discovered by a German chemist; 
but all the early experiments failed because the tan- 
nage could not be made permanent. A remedy 
was finally found in hyposulphite of sodium, by which 
the tannage was made lasting. The discovery of 
the remedy and its successful application were made 
in Philadelphia, and were the means of creating in 
that city within five years what is to-day the largest 
and best equipped leather manufactory in the world. 
The future of the great leather industry is depen- 
dent entirely upon skill and a knowledge of chemical 
and scientific principles. Upon these depend the 






?S« (MardiV. ! ! 
X (December) 


Raw Hides 
AND Skins. 













(All Kinds). 

10 % 

35 % 

28 % 
26 % 








8c. per lb. 




























In the gathering of statistical information for this 

^^*^cle I am much indebted to Mr. F. W. Norcross, 

^^ the " Shoe and Leather Reporter " of New York. 

The various tannages are oak-bark, hemlock-bark, 

^^^iion, Dongola, alum, chrome, combination, elec- 

^^^<^ sumac, and gambier, in addition to which there 

'^^V'c been experiments without number. In the 

^ajinage process of sole-leather almost the only 

^Hange which has taken place is a slight diminution 

acceleration and cheapening of the tanning process. 
Our leather manufacturers must aim to be more 
than good machinists; they must be practical and 
thorough chemists. Already they have done much ; 
and to one who knows them, and what their broad- 
minded and progressive efforts have done for hides 
and leather, the future of that industry can never be 
in doubt. It will take its place far up in the ranks 
of the great industrial enterprises of America. 




THE rubber industry in the United States can 
hardly be said to have had any real and tang- 
ible existence until the discovery of the pro- 
cess of vulcanization, a little over fifty years ago. It 
may, however, prove not uninteresting to go back a 
half-century earlier, to the very beginnings of rubber 
history in this country ; for the first half-centiu'y 
of this industry, though it achieved little else than 
failure, is, perhaps, fully as instructive as the last 
half-century, which has been marked with such 
constant and conspicuous success. 

The first rubber ever imported into this country 
was brought into Boston in the year 1800. By a 
singular coincidence, Charles Goodyear was bom 
this same year — the man who was destined to con- 
vert this useless sap of the Southern forests I'nio a 
product that should contribute in a thousand ways 
to the comfort and wealth of humanity, and to the 
progress of science and an. While rubber was un- 
known, prior to this time, in the United Stales, it was 
by nomeansaproductof recent discovery. Columbus 
found the natives of South America using it ; and the 
Spanish soldiers, who followed in his wake, smeared 
their cloaks with the Hquid gum, to make them 
waterproof. French savants, visiting the New World 
in the earlier pari of the last centiuy in quest of 
scientific information, took back accounts of the 
strange forest-trees whose sap could be molded into 
shoes which were as flexible as leather and as im- 
pervious to water as metal. 

It was not, however, until 1770, that rubber was 
utilized in any civilized country; ihen a few pieces 
of it were sent to England to be used by artists for 
erasing pencil-marks. It is a singular fact that 
rubber derives its name from this trivial circum- 
stance, the name "India" coming either from the 
fact that it was gathered by the Indians of South 
America, or, possibly, because some of ihe early im- 
portations into Europe came from India. 

It may not be uninteresting to lake a hurried 
glance at the nature of this substance, its origin, and 

the method of its collection. Rubber, in its crude 
stale, is the sap of a tree which grows in great 
luxuriance in hot chmates and in locahties that are 
subject to annual inundation. This tree grows 
chiefly in Central and South America, western 
Africa, British India, and the Indian Archipelago. 
Two thirds of the rubber product of the world, how- 
ever, comes from the Amazon region, and is known 
as " Para " rubber, deriving its name from the city 
of Para, at the mouth of the Amazon River, whence 
it is exported. The botanical name of the South 
American species is Siphania Elastua; of which 
there are several varieties, ranging in height from 
forty to eighty or ninety feet. 

The methods of gathering differ somewhat in the 
different countries. For instance, in Peru and in 
Central America the destructive method of felling 
the tree is pursued, cutting it into pieces, and 
letting the sap run into a hollow, from which it 
is gathered. The method in vogue along the Ama- 
zon, briefly, is this : Shortly after the rainy season is 
over— that is, in midsummer— the rubber gatherers 
take to their canoes, paddle up the tributary streams 
of the Amazon, build their httle huts, and then start 
into the forest, making small incisions, with a little 
hatchet made for the purpose, in the bark of the 
rubber-trees, cutting each tree in a half-dozen or 
more places, according to its size. Beneath each 
incision a small clay cup is placed, being made to 
adhere by a daub of clay. Later in the day, the 
gatherer goes his rounds and empties the contents 
of each cup into a calabash, or earthen jug, which 
he carries back to camp. Then, building a fire of 
palm-nuts, he dips a wooden paddle into the ad- 
hesive sap and cures layer after layer in the dense 
smoke, continuing this process until the lump of 
cured rubber at the end of his paddle becomes in- 
conveniently heavy, when it is cut open and put 
aside, ready for shipment. The sap of the tree, be- 
fore it is cured, has the color and the consistency of 
milk. Its color as it comes to this market is gener- 



aUy a dark brown, the change being effected by the 
smoke to which it is subjected in curing. 

The first rubber imported into this country, in 
1800, came in the form of bottles, and was looked 
upon simply as an interesting curiosity. During the 
next twenty years, sea-captains coming from South 
American countries were constantly bringing with 
them specimens of "gum elastic," as it was then 
more generally called, not as an article of com- 
merce, but simply as the strange product of a distant 
land. It was natural, however, that a material so 
pliable and elastic and so impervious to water 
should suggest to the active American mind great 
possibilities in the way of usefulness. But it was 
not until 18 13 that this activity had any palpable 
lesult In that year a patent was granted to one 
Jacob Hummel, of Philadelphia, for a gum-elastic 
varnish; of which, however, there seems to have 
been no further mention. Some ten years later, in 
1823, a Boston sea-captain, coming from South 
American ports, brought with him a pair of gilded 
rubber shoes which excited the greatest interest. 
Two years later, 500 pairs of rubber shoes, made by 
the natives along the Amazon, were brought into 
Boston, this time without the fantastical refinement 
of gilding. They were exceedingly thick, clumsy, 
and unshapely shoes, and yet they sold readily, 
bringing from $3 to $5 per pair ; for, with all their 
heaviness and awkwardness, it was found that they 
were a secure protection against dampness. This was 
the entering wedge for the Para rubber shoe. The 
next year more came, and each year the number in- 
creased, until during the next fifteen years probably 
over 1,000,000 pairs of these shoes were brought 
into this country and sold at these very considerable 

It naturally suggested itself to a great many en- 
tciprismg minds that if rubber, when crude, had so 
little value (such lots as had already been imported 
^ sold at five cents a pound), and when manu- 
factured into shoes commanded so high a figure, 
there must be an excellent profit in rubber manu- 
facture; and so people began to study the rubber 
problem. Among them was Mr. Chaffee, a manu- 
facturer of patent leather in Roxbury, Mass. It oc- 
curred to him that if he could manufacture a leather 
^th a varnish of rubber, which would give not only 
a smooth and finished surface, but would render 
^c leather impervious to water, he would have 
a material of obvious usefulness. He began to ex- 
P^cnt This was in 1831. He soon discovered 
mat by dissolving the crude rubber in spirits of 
^>cntine and adding a quantity of lampblack, he 

obtained a varnish which, when spread over leather 
or cloth, gave a hard, smooth, impervious surface. 
He was enthusiastic over his discovery, and so were 
his friends. A company was formed, and the Rox- 
bury India-Rubber Company, the first to engage in 
rubber manufactiu-e in the United States, was organ- 
ized and received its charter in 1833. The prospect 
for a very large and lucrative industry appeared 
most promising. They began to make not only 
rubber-coated shoes, but rubber cloth, rubber life- 
preservers, and various other articles. Other com- 
panies were started in 'the vicinity of Boston and 
New York, and several millions of dollars were in- 
vested in this enterprise. In fact — to borrow a 
modernism — rubber "boomed"; for here was a 
new product made of the sap of a forest-tree, the 
supply of which was inexhaustible, and the uses of 
which, when manufactured, promised to be almost 

In the winter of 1834, President Jackson visited 
Boston, and the managers of the Roxbury Company, 
having an eye to a good advertisement, presented 
their distinguished visitor with a suit of rubber 
clothes, which he put on — the day being rainy — and 
wore as he rode on horseback through the streets of 
Boston. It may well be imagined that the fame of 
india-rubber was notably increased thereby, and the 
demand for these goods became greater than ever. 

Charles Goodyear, who was then a bankrupt 
hardware merchant of Philadelphia, had read about 
this wonderful new product and was greatly in- 
terested therein. Bom in New Haven, the son of 
a Connecticut manufacturer, he had acquired by 
inheritance and by association a very considerable 
inventive ability. He had been in partnership with 
his father, conducting a branch store in Philadelphia 
for the sale of their Connecticut-made hardware ; 
but owing to an over-extension of credits the firm 
had become insolvent, and Goodyear, then a young 
man but a trifle past thirty, found himself out of 
business and out of health, with a large load of 
debt upon his shoulders. He thought he saw in 
this new product, then being put upon the market, 
an opportunity to retrieve the family fortunes. Ac- 
cordingly, on his next visit to New York he called 
at the office of the Roxbury Rubber Company and 
examined some of their goods, and particularly their 
life-preservers. He showed so much intelligence, in 
some improvements he suggested, that the agent, 
struck by his perspicacity, confided to him that the 
whole rubber industry, notwithstanding its seeming 
prosperity, was but a bubble that must burst — that 
the rubber shoes, and blankets, and coats, which the 



factories had sent out in such large quantities were 
being daily returned to them, as the rubber melted 
and stuck in summer, and stiffened and cracked in 
winter. The man who could remedy these diffi- 
culties, said the agent, had a fortune in his grasp. 
Goodyear went back to Philadelphia determined, if 
possible, to solve the rubber problem. 

It was a singular augury of the years before him 
that his first experiment in rubber was begun in a 
debtors' jail. Here, with a little lump of rubber, 
and with no other tools than his fingers, he began 
those experiments which were to continue until his 
death, some twenty-seven years later, and which, 
though for the most part carried on under circum- 
stances of the utmost privation, were destined to add 
hundreds of millions to the wealth of the world. 

The agent of the Roxbury Rubber Company proved 
a true prophet, for the great rubber industry which 
had sprung up so rapidly soon came to naught. 
The boots and shoes, and rubber clothing, and other 
articles made of the wonderful new product did not 
stand the test of actual service. The factories were 
soon closed and the investment proved an utter loss. 
But this general disaster did not discourage Good- 
year. In a certain sense he was assisted by the ab- 
solute collapse of the enterprise, as it made crude 
rubber so apparently useless and so cheap tliat even 
a bankrupt in a debtors' prison could get all he 

From this time, in 1835 and 1836, when in the 
entire industrial vocabulary there was no other word 
so despised as "rubber," until twenty-five years 
later, the history of the rubber industry in the United 
States is little else than the personal history of 
Charles Goodyear. There are many other names 
connected with rubber development, but they are 
all simply incidental; the one persistent, potent 
force was Charles Goodyear. Taking up the rub- 
ber problem as a possible means of papng his 
debts, he became so absorbed in the pursuit, so 
dominated by it, that from that time to the day of 
his death it was the one all-engrossing purpose of 
his life, from which no straits of circumstances, no 
distress of physical pain, no enticements of wealth, 
could serve to swerve him. It is impossible in the 
limited scope of this article to follow Goodyear 
through the ten years of trying and unceasing 
labors which were ultimately crowned by the dis- 
covery of the vulcanization process. They were 
ten years of groping in the dark, ever getting a 
little nearer to the light. Three different times he 
thought he had reached the goal — first, when he 
mixed his crude rubber with magnesia; second. 

when he boiled this compound in quicklime and 
water; and third, when he washed the surface of 
this mixture with nitric acid ; but each time apparent 
success soon turned into complete and disheartening 
failure. It was six years from the time he began 
his experiments before he discovered that the two 
things necessary to make rubber an article of prac- 
tical utility under all conditions of heat and cold 
were sulphur and heat. This discovery was made 
by accident — but it was such an accident as befell 
Columbus when he discovered America; it was 
only such an accident as could befall a man who 
had given his whole thought, his whole time, his 
whole being, to one subject for many years. 

How he was sitting by the kitchen stove expound- 
ing his theories to his incredulous neighbors, and in 
the enthusiasm of his gestures struck a handful of 
rubber and sulphur against the hot stove, thus ac- 
cidentally discovering the secret of vulcanization, 
has been told and retold so often that it need not 
be repeated here ; and yet this wonderful discovery 
that heat was the thing that rubber needed to make 
it insensible both to heat and to cold — a discovery 
which meant to Goodyear the triumphant solution 
of the problem which had remained for so many 
years unsolved — signified so little to his friends— 
indeed, the entire community was so weary of the 
whole rubber question, and men of means viewed 
the subject with so much suspicion — that it was not 
until two years later, in 1840, that he was able to 
interest any one in his new system of vulcaniza- 
tion. In that year he secured the assistance of two 
New York capitalists and built a factory in Spring- 
field, Mass. Here, four years later, he took out a 
patent for preparing rubber by the process of vul- 
canization, and began to sell licenses for the manu- 
facture of various articles under this patent. The 
license to manufacture rubber boots and shoes was 
sold to Leverette Candee, of New Haven, the 
founder of L. Candee & Co., a company which 
has continued to the present time an important 
factor in the American rubber footwear industry. 
The license to manufactiu-e rubber gloves he granted 
to the Goodyear's India- Rubber Glove Manufactur- 
ing Company, of Naugatuck, Conn. The license 
to manufacture door-springs, which seemed a very 
trivial branch of the industry, but which later grew 
to considerable proportions, was granted to Daniel 
Hodgeman, of New York ; and various other licenses 
for the manufacture of other goods were given out 
under his patent to different companies, which im- 
mediately began the manufacture of rubber goods 
under these licenses. All branches of the rubber 

Charles L. Johnson. 


s as we find it in this country' to-day took 
their permanent rise from the date of Goodyear's 
patent. Several other companies, in addition to the 
Candee Company, bought licenses to manufacture 
boots and shoes ; among them Ford & Company 
(now the Meyer Rubber Company), and the New 
Brunswick Company, both of New Brunswick, N. J., 
and the Hayward (which later grew into the Col- 
chester Rubber Company), and the Goodyear's 
Metallic- Rubber Shoe Company, of Naugatuck, 

Mechanical goods, and especially belting, began 
at this time to receive considerable attention. Some 
rubber garments were also made. An immediate de- 
mand for the poncho— a blanket for horsemen, with 
a hole in the center for the rider's head— came from 
the far Southwest and from Mexico ; and various 
druggists' sundries also began lo find their way into 
the market. With the discovery of hard rubber the 
field of rubber's usefulness was still further largely 
extended. The prosperity of the early rubber com- 
panies which took their rise from Goodyear's patent 
in 1844, was sufficient to warrant them in paying 
Daniel Webster, who defended the patent in a seven 
years' lawsuit— , finally adjudicated in 185a,— a fee 
of $35,000— the largest legal fee that had at that 
time been paid in this country. 

Still it was the day of small beginnings, for we 
find that the importations of crude rubber at Salem, 
Mass., to which port the greater part of the rubber 
then imported was brought, amounted in 1851 only 
to 334,000 pounds, in 1851 to 1,961,000 pounds, 
and in 1854 to 2,055,000 pounds. In i860 the 
boot and shoe industry had a yearly output of only 
1,100,000 pairs, at a valuation of $795,000. 

The Civil War gave a great impetus to the rubber 
industry. This was particularly true of the clothing 
branch ; blankets were needed for the soldiers, and 
the government gave out large contracts. The 
attempt was made, and with some success, to con- 
struct rubber pontoons to be used in military opera- 
tions. The boot and shoe industry increased rapidly 
with the other branches of rubber manufacture, 
so that, from an output in i860 of the value of 
$795,000, the yearly output in 1870 had increased 
to $8,000,000. 

The manufacture of mechanical goods took a 
rapid start shortly after the war. This was owing lo 
a considerable extent to the great increase of rail- 
road building at that time. The railroads called for 
large quantities of packing, and for hose to be used 
in conveying steam and gas. The impetus given 
to manufacturing in general made an increased de- 

mand for rubber belting. The first rubber belt was 
patented in this country in 1&36, but this particular 
branch of the rubber industry reached no consider- 
able size until after the war, when rubber belting 
was in demand for mills, factories, and elevators, 
and especially for all outdoor machinery. It pos- 
sessed several advantages over leather belting; its 
lower price, the greater friction between the belt 
and the wheel, and the fact that it was not affected 
by exposure or by moisture. The rubber mechan- 
ical goods industry has increased constantly from 
the lime of the war to the present day, until now it 
covers a vast variety of articles. 

The making of rubber tires for bicycles, and to a 
growing extent for other vehicles, took its rise about 
fifteen years ago with the solid tire. That gave way 
to the cushion tire, which some five years ago was 
displaced by the now universal pneumatic tire. It 
is estimated that at least 6,000,000 pounds of rubber 
are now annually used in the making of bicycle tires. 
Next in importance to rubber tiring — which stands 
next to hose, belting, and packing— comes the mak- 
ing of rubber mats. This industry has enjoyed a 
constant and rapid growth, until we, have mats for 
floors and for stairs, pitcher-mats for tables, and 
coin-mats for counters— and all in an infim'te variety 
of design. They have lately come into vogue in 
the form of tiles, which can be laid in ornamental 
mosaics, and are particularly adapted to ship use. 

The introduction and rapid growth of the type- 
writer industry has consumed a constantly increas- 
ing quantity of rubber in various details of type- 
writer construction. The humble carpet-sweeper 
consumes, it is said, over $100,000 worth of rubber 
yearly in the bands that encircle it to keep it 
from injuring furniture. Several hundred thousand 
pounds of rubber are used each year by one com- 
pany alone in the manufacture of jar rings. The 
making of pencil erasers consumes a large quantity, 
and there is a large annual output of goring, in 
which rubber thread is used. A quarter of a million 
dollars' worth of rubber is used in this country each 
year in the making of cushions for billiard -tables. 

Probably the most widely extended branch of 
rubber manufacturing— existing to some extent in 
almost every civilized country — is the making of 
rubber stamps. This is a large industry in this 
country. Then the item of rubber balls is a very 
considerable one. One firm alone makes over 
$100,000 worth a year of tennis-balls, and it has 
several competitors. The making of base-balls and 
foot-balb, and the various foot-ball accoutrements 
in which the player arrays himself, consumes con- 



fiderably over $i|000y000 worth of rubber each 

"Iliere arc, in short, to-day, some thirty companies 
making rubber mechanical goods, with an aggre- 
gate capital of about $20,000,000, employing 4000 
men, and having an annual output valued at from 
$18,000,000 to $20,000,000. Our export trade 
in mechanical goods amounts to something over 
$1,000,000 a year. 

The attempt to utilize the waterproof properties 
of the caoutchouc gum in the manufacture of cloth- 
ing was one of the earliest directions which rubber 
invention took. In England this branch of the in- 
dustry has received more attention than any other ; 
but in this country very little was done in this de- 
partment of rubber manufacture until the Civil War, 
and the great demand to which it gave rise for rub- 
ber coAts and blankets. After the war rubber coats 
continued to lie made, but they were chiefly of 
a heavy sort and almost solely for men; women 
continued their vain attempt to protect themselves 
Against the rain l)y the use of heavy woolen garments, 
most inaccurately called ** waterproof." These gave 
way about twenty years ago to the light gossamer 
garment, whicli was at first very popular. But ex- 
cessive competition resulted in such deterioration of 
quality as seriously to affect its popularity. About 
twelve years ago the manufacture of mackintoshes 
for l)oth men and women was started in this country. 
Some garments had been imported from England, 
but they were not found perfectly suited to our drier 
climate* The American mackintosh has grown 
constantly in excellence and in general esteem, 
until now there are some twenty factories engaged 
in this branch oi manufacture, mth an investment 
of $6,ooo,ooo« and an annual output amounting to 
alH>ut the same sum« Of the se\*eral companies 
making rubl>er ganuents, the American Rubber 
Ct^ini^ny, Camlmiigei>ort« Mass.» leads with a 
daily cai^city of 1500 garments. 

Another impl^rtant branch of the rubber industry 
in the United States is the making of druggists* sun- 
dries. I1ie pioneer in this industry was the Union 
Rubber CiHiiivany^ Kvatev! in Hariem. It derived 
its license direct fixwi Gvxxiyear, and began to 
manufactUT^ druggists^ sundries eariy in the fifties, 
making syringes, water-bottles, bandages. air-puUows, 
air-cushions, and a x^rietr oC <vther druggists* 
aiticks. The atvytniier^ now so generaDy in ose^ 
was a later \levek){^inent« and came into vogoe per- 
haps a doien jnean a^v We do a fair export 
httsmess m ceitain vazienes v^ draggists" sandrie& 
TVere are mim mi companies engaged m diis 

branch of the business in this country at the present 
time, with a capital of between $4,000,000 and 
$5,000,000, and with an annual output of about 

The hard-rubber industry, while somewhat distinct 
from the soft-rubber industry, may properly be in- 
cluded in the scope of this article. After Goodyear 
had brought his vulcanization process to a fair degree 
of perfection he turned his attention to the making 
of hard rubber, in which he was greatly assisted by 
his brother Nelson, who in the year 1851 obtained 
a patent for the production of hard rubber. Hard 
rubber differs from soft rubber in its composition 
— containing a much larger proportion of sulphur — 
and in the degree of heat used in vulcanization, 
which is considerably higher than that at which 
soft rubber is vulcanized. The first article made in 
hard rubber to any considerable extent was the comb. 
It is said that Goody ear's first experiments in this 
line made his combs cost twenty times as much as the 
ivory combs then in use ; but the rubber comb has 
now practically displaced all other kinds. Probably 
five hundred varieties of rubber combs have been 
made since the beginning of this industry. 

For twenty years after the invention of hard rub- 
ber two companies practically enjoyed its monopoly 
— the India- Rubber Comb Company and the Ameri- 
can Hard- Rubber Company; but other companies 
entered the field after the expiration of the Goodyear 
patent, and now there are four large companies, em- 
ploying 2500 operatives, having an aggregate capital 
of $4,000,000, and a yeariy output of over $3,000,000 
in value. The principal articles of manufacture are 
combs, syringes and syringe fittings, fittings for 
pipes, buttons, harness trimmings, and various desk 
articles, such as ink-wells, penholders, and rulers. 
We do a small export trade in this branch. 

It is the boot and shoe industry, however, that 
has led in robber manufacture in this country from 
the very first. In fact, for many years the boot and 
shoe industry used the great bulk of the rubber im- 
pcNTted into this country ; but the later development 
of other branches c^ the rubber business has been so 
large that now the boot and shoe industry compiises 
probably not over forty per cent c^ the rubber 
manufactured in the United States. 

From an annual output in 1S60 of the value of 
$795«ooo« the valne of the rubber boot and shoe 
prodnct grew in 1S70 to $$,ooo.ooc, in iSSo to 
$16^000,000, and in 1890 to $24,000,000. There 
are now a dotcn or more large factories engaged in 
die manufactoFeofrabbcr boots and sboe& Therare 
die American Robber CompanT, Cambridge, Ifjiss. ; 



the Boston Rubber Company, Boston; the Boston 
Rubber Shoe Company, Maiden, Mass. ; L. Candee 
& Co., New Haven, Conn. ; the Goodyear*s Metallic- 
Rubber Shoe Company and the Goody ear's India- 
Rabber Glove Manufacturing Company, Nauga- 
mck. Conn. ; the Jersey, Meyer, and New Brunswick 
Rubber Companies, located at New Brunswick, 
N. J. ; the Lycoming Rubber Company, Williams- 
port, Pa. ; the National India-Rubber Company, 
located at Providence, R. I. ; and the Woonsocket 
Rubber Company, with three factories in Rhode 
Isl^md — two at Woonsocket and one at Millville. 
Tlie combined daily capacity of these companies is 
I S 0,000 pairs of boots and shoes, they employ 
^S*^^^ workmen, and their aggregate capital is 
^4.5,000,000. Their aggregate annual output in 
X 3^5 will equal 40,000,000 pairs of boots and shoes, 
V3lued at $29,000,000. 

In Europe there are some eight factories manu- 
fajoturing rubber boots and shoes— two in England, 
one at Paris (owned and managed by Americans), 
t^o in Germany, and three in Russia. The aggre- 
ga.te daily capacity of these eight companies does 
not exceed 30,000 pairs, as against the 180,000 
pairs which the American factories can daily pro- 
duce. The boots and shoes made by the European 
factories are uniformly heavy, and present few 
v^arieties in widths, sizes, or shapes; while the in- 
dustry has been carried to such an extent in this 
coiantry that several of the larger companies make- 
baking into consideration all the different shapes and 
s>«cs— fully a thousand varieties of rubber footwear. 
There are several reasons why this country has so 
Si^eatly outstripped Europe in the making of rubber 
^^oots and shoes. In the first place, labor being 
'^iuch higher here, we have had a greater incentive 
^oir making inventions and improving our machinery. 
Sec:ondly, the great body of the working-people in 
^l^is country are better able to afford the luxury of 
'■^iDber footwear than they are in Europe, so that the 
d^^nand is vastly greater here. In Europe rubbers 
^^■■^ worn only by the well-to-do ; here they are worn 
^'y every one, the yearly average consumption being 
^ I>air of rubbers to every other person. Then pos- 
Sil:>ly our cUmate, with its more intense winter se- 
^^rrity, has had something to do with our greater 

^e have as yet done comparatively little in the 

^^ay of exporting rubber boots and shoes, our annual 

^^ports in this line rarely exceeding $300,000. 

*^e reason has been chiefly that the American 

^dnand has been so large and has so constantly 

^creased that our manufacturers have not yet 

felt the necessity of looking for a broader field. 
They have consequently made no effort to appeal to 
foreign buyers by making rubbers particularly suited 
to their local conditions. The rubbers which we 
export go chiefly to England, the Continent, Japan, 
and China. 

A very important event in the history of the 
rubber boot and shoe industry in the United States 
occurred in the fall of 1892, when the United States 
Rubber Company purchased nearly all of the large 
rubber footwear interests in the United States. This 
centralization of the rubber industry has already 
resulted in conspicuous economies; for while the 
different factories have remained under their former 
individual management, they have shared their in- 
dividual advantages in common, the patents and 
secret processes of one factory becoming the prop- 
erty of all. In this way all the improved methods, 
a part of which each factory enjoyed before, are 
now shared equally and fully by all the different 
factories. There has been also a great saving in 
the matter of purchasing crude rubber, a large single 
purchase being made at a great advantage over a 
number of smaller scattered purchases. In reducing 
the necessity of carrying large stocks, in diminishing 
the duplication of a vast number of expensive lasts, 
and in various other ways, marked economies have 
been effected, while at the same time the quality of 
the goods has been more uniformly excellent than 
heretofore. The combination of all that was best in 
the methods of the different companies has proved 
a potent agency in advancing the rubber footwear 
industry in this country toward the universal goal of 
all industrial enterprises — better product at a lower 

The entire rubber industry in the United States, 
in its five important branches, — footwear, mechan- 
ical goods, clothing, druggists' simdries, and hard 
rubber, — consumes considerably more than one half 
of the rubber manufactured in the world. The 
consumption of rubber in this country increased 
from 9,830,000 pounds in 1875 to 17,835,000 
poimds in 1880, and 31,949,000 pounds in 1890; 
while the consumption of crude rubber in 1895 will 
aggregate fully 36,000,000 pounds. To this large 
amount must be added the rubber which is obtained by 
the reclaiming process, which has now been brought 
to such a state of perfection that very little rubber 
goes to waste, old rubber articles being collected 
and subjected to a process which eliminates from 
the compound everything but the rubber. This re- 
claimed rubber is serviceable in several branches 
of manufacture, and is largely used in certain 



mechanical goods, in which the product is bene- 
fited rather than impaired by its use. It is probable 
that the amount of this reclaimed rubber used 
annually in this country equals 25,000,000 pounds, 
making the total yearly consumption of rubber 
60,000,000 pounds. The rubber industry in the 
United States in 1S95 is ten times what it was in 
i860, three times what it was in 1870, and has 
doubled since 1880. There are $85,000,000 of 
capital invested in the various branches of rubber 
manufacture in this country, and the value of the 
yearly product is fully $75,000,000, while 150,000 
people depend upon it for their support. 

Almost the entire rubber output of this country is 

used at home, our exports amounting, all told, to 
less than $3,000,000 a year ; but with our improved 
machinery and superior methods of manufacture, 
it is only a question of time — even though we pay 
nearly seventy per cent, more for our labor than 
is paid in Europe — when our export trade should 
assume large proportions. As soon as American 
manufacturers feel the need of a larger market, and 
will sufGciently direct their attention to foreign fields 
to make the boots and shoes best adapted to climatic 
conditions and local preferences, there is no reason 
why our export trade should not reach an importance 
more nearly commensurate with the large dimensions 
of our home consumption. 



JUDGED from the value of its product in dol- closely that in many cases it is impossible to detect 
lars and cents, the wall-paper industry ranks the difference. In this work they are most con- 
very low in the list of American manufactures, scientious, not permitting the smallest detail to be 
Considered apart from its monetary value, how- slighted. This attention to artistic accuracy neces- 
cver, it assumes an importance tiiat can hardly be sarily renders the work very laborious and expensive, 
over-estimated, due to the refining influence it exerts The rates of wages paid in Europe are low, how- 
in decoration and home adornment. Wall-paper has ever, when compared with those paid in this country ; 
l:>ecome the key-note in the decoration of a room ; otherwise the prices of such goods would be almost 

ives the tone. Carpets and furniture are sub- 
sidiary. Criticism is chiefly directed to the wall- 
paper. The design must be perfect, and its coloring 
Iiarroonious. In fact, wail-paper has become prac- 
tically indispensable in furnishing a room. It is now 
the custom to paper the walls of new houses as soon 

prohibitory. The high measure of skill acquired in 
the manufacture of these goods is due in great de- 
gree to the fact that several generations of one 
family follow the same occupation, the son receiving 
instruction in the art at an early age, and succeed- 
ig the father in identically the same line of work. 

as completed, instead of submitting to bare white This state of proficiency is seldom met with in this 
'vralls as formerly ; and builders find that they can country, where the opportunities of advancement are 

more readily dispose of houses whose walls 
papered, and can, furthermore, obtain a better price 
for them, especially if there has been a reasonable 
exercise of taste in the selection of the paper. An- 
other point in its favor is the fact that it can be 
•quickly applied, the annoyance incidental to the 
cjecoration of a house being reduced to a minimum 
Khrougb its use ; and time is always an important 
factor with the American people. It is, furthermore, 
a not unhealthf ul agent, the ingredients entering into 
its manufacture being mainly wood-pulp and pure 
<:Iay; and, being comparatively inexpensive, it can 
fce replaced easily and as often as desired. 

Unquestionably the industry had its origin in 
<rhina centuries ago. Europe commenced making 
■Vall-paper about the beginning of the last century, 
the goods produced being mainly imitations of tapes- 
tries and various fabrics which had, previously to 
that, been employed in covering walls. In fact, the 
best goods produced in Eiu'ope at this day are imi- 
tations of tapestries, velvets, silks, cretonnes, and 
leather hangings. In these classes of goods Eu- 
ropean manufacturers have reached a 
of perfection, imitating any particula 

. high slate 
fabric so 

great that the young man is not willing to follow 
in the footsteps of his parents, but strives to improve 
his condition and, if possible, establish a business of 
his own. This brings about a scarcity of skilled 
labor which is seriously felt by every manufacturer 
having advanced ideas, and which retards the pro- 
gress of the business to a large extent. A more 
liberal provision on the part of labor organizations 
for apprentices is absolutely essential to secure the 
best results. Low wages have, to a certain extent, 
acted against the progress of the wall-paper industry 
in Europe. They have caused manufacturers to re- 
tain primitive methods that are in strong contrast 
with those used in this country, where labor is better 
compensated, and where, in consequence, inventive 
minds have been at work to overcome, by improved 
methods and increased production, the higher rate 
of wages paid here. 

According to the best authorities wall-paper was 
first manufactured in this country about the year 
1790, so that a retrospect of the business for the 
last hundred years practically embraces the entire 
Ufe of this industry here. Those who introduced die 
industry were two Frenchmen, Boulu and Charden, 


in association with John Games, who had been the 
American consul ai Lyons, France, followed shortly 
after by WUliam Poyntell, and by John Howell and 
John B, Howell, fadier and son respectively, who 
bad formerly conducted a similar business in Eng- 
land. The Howeils established themselves at Al- 
bany, N. Y., but in a very modest way, their factory 
being a few rooms In the rear part of their dwelling. 
However, the amount of space required was not 
great, as the method of manufacturing was very 
crude, and the volume of business coirespondingly 
small. Paper was at that time made only in sheets, 
and had to be joined before being printed. Color 
was then applied by means of a brush lo form the 
background of tiie design, and the latter was subse- 
quently printed upon the paper from wooden blocks, 
as many blocks being used as there were colors in 
the pattern, each block having a part of the pattern 
upon it in one color. One block was printed the 
whole length of the paper before the next color was 
applied. It should be stated that this method of 
printing by means of blocks still prevails, but only 
in connection with designs which, on account of 
their dimensions, or through some other peculiarity, 
cannot be printed on the cylinder-machines that 
have practically supplanted block or hand work, as 
it is termed. The method of applying color to the 
background by means of a hand -brush has, however, 
been done away with altogether. 

It does not appear tliat any other factories were 
established until about the year iSio, at which time 
a man named Boriken was engaged in the business. 
The Howell firm had meanwhile sold out their Al- 
bany business to Lemuel Steel, and, after a short 
experience in New York City and Baltimore, had 
finally, in the year tSao, located at Philadelphia, Pa., 
where they have been established ever since, the 
present owners comprising the third and fourth gen- 
erations engaged in the business. 

It was not, however, until 1844 that any decided 
advance was made in the growth of the industry. 
About that lime paper in continuous lengths came 
into more general use, and the necessity of joining 
sheets together was obviated. In that year, also, 
the first machine for printing wall-paper was im- 
ported from England and introduced into the 
Howell factory. While very crude, as it printed 
only a single color, it had a stimulating effect on the 
business, inasmuch as it enabled goods to be pro- 
duced at a largely reduced price, and increased the 
volume of the business considerably. As near as 
can be ascertained, the entire production of wall- 
paper in the United States at that time did not ex- 

ceed $250,000. The second printing apparatus was 
imported from England in 1846, this one printing 
six colors. Machines were subsequently built in 
this country, at first by the machinists connected 
with wall-paper factories, but after a time a specially 
of this class of work was made by William Waldron, 
of New Brunswick, N. J. He was succeeded by his 
son, the present John Waldron, whose conscientious 
attention to the machinery requirements of the wall- 
paper trade has, during all this period, secured to 
him the bulk of the business in this line. Being of 
a highly practical mind and very observant, he has 
been quick to perceive possible improvements, and 
has, furthermore, been able to render practical the 
ideas of others. 

The printing-machine of to-day is imquestionably 
a great improvement on that originally imported into 
this country, although the principle of its operation 
is practically the same. It is cylindrical in shape. 
The paper passes over the cylinder, the pattern 
being printed on it by means of rollers on which the 
design has been placed, each roller representing one 
of the colors used in the design. These rollers are 
registered so accurately that as the paper, in passing 
over the revolving cylinder, reaches one of them, it 
leaves the impression on the paper, and the succeed- 
ing rollers follow in regular order. The paper is 
hung up by an automatic process as it leaves the 
machine, and passes into drying-racks which are 
usually several hundred feet in length, after which 
it is rolled up in lengths of eight to sixteen yards, 
and is ready for market. 

While the printing-machine is necessarily the most 
prominent feature of the business, yet other factors 
have contributed largely to the progress made by 
this industry. Among them are the grounding- 
machines, which furnish the background color to 
the paper; the bronzing-machines, which apply 
bronze powders to certain of the goods; the em- 
bossing-machines, which give various textures to the 
goods after they have been printed ; the pressing- 
machines, which are used to make goods showing 
the design in relief; the machine or contrivance 
that is used to hang up the paper after it leaves the 
printing-machine ; and a host of similar deWces that 
enable the manufacturer to produce novel effects 
and manufacture the goods more rapidly than be- 
fore, and at a lessened expense. U is these con- 
trivances that have led to the tremendous progress 
achieved by this industry in the last fifty years, and 
more particularly within the last twenty years (the 
pace having been accelerated each year), which 
have enabled ns to become independent of foreign 


inufacturers, and, notwithstanding a. reduction in 
duties on wall-paper, have caused a continued fall- 
ing off in imports, so that at the present lime impor- 
tations of wall-paper are simply nominal. 

The improvements referred to have, however, 
not been so radical at any lime as to enable us cor- 
rectly to apportion to each individual the credit to 
which he is entitled. They were such as were called 
for by the exigencies of the moment, slight at the 
time, but cumulative, and enabling the industry 
eventually to attain its present state of perfection, 
The most notable are as follows: (i) Soon after the 
introduction of the printing-machine one McKeman 
invented a contrivance for festooning the paper 
automatically as it leaves the printing-machine and 
passes on to the drying-racks, This was undoubt- 
edly a long stride in the process of making wall- 
paper, inasmuch as the speed of the printing- 
machine could be increased to the full capacity of 
the drying-racks connected with it. (i) The single 
(or continuous) process of making wall-paper was 
introduced about the year 1S70. Formerly the 
ground color had lo be applied by one machine, 
after which the paper was dried and rolled up and 
next passed through the printing-machine to receive 
the impressions of the design thereon. In the con- 
tinuous process the paper passes through the machine 
which applies a ground color for the design, and 
then passes through a drying apparatus that is 
termed a " hot box," or into drying-racks, and then 
automatically passes into the printing-machine which 
applies the colors of the design, saving a double 
handling of the goods and involving less waste. 
(3) Tlie method of applying bronze powders to wall- 
paper automatically was introduced about tlie year 
1872, although, as it was conducted in secret for 
some time by one or two firms, the discovery may 
have been made at an earlier date. This method 
reduced largely the cost of making bronze (other- 
wise termed gold) papers, and led to an increased 
demand and output of them. {4) The next and 
most recent discovery was the application to wall- 
paper of bronze powders in a liquid state ; that is, 
mixed with an adhesive material (made from potato- 
starch) of sufficient density to keep the bronze 
powders in solution without impairing their luster. 
This was first placed upon the market about 1882, 
and as the new process enabled the use of as many 
different shades of bronze as there were colore in 
the design, the opportunity was afforded for produc- 
ing many new and brilliant effects, and for supersed- 
ing in a large measure bronze or gold goCKls made 
by the former method. 

AVhile, as before stated, it would be diJScult to 

apportion to each individual the credit to which he 
is entitled for his share of the improvements to 
which attention !ias been directed, yet mention 
should be made of those who may properly be 
termed the pioneers of the business, and who by 
their energy and individuality have left their imprint 
on its history. The firm of Howell & Brothers has 
already been mentioned, and ranks as the oldest 
now in existence. Next among the firms that made 
a distinct impression on the business was that which 
was founded by Thomas Christie about tlie year 
1835, and which had a most successful career until 
its dissolution in the year 1881. Mr. Thomas 
Christie, in connection with a Mr, Robinson, started 
his factory at Poughkeepsie, N. Y., and subsequently 
removed lo a larger factory in Twenty-third Slreetj 
between Tenth and Eleventh avenues, New York 
City. Of the firms now existing that had their 
beginning about the time that wall-paper printing- 
macliines were introduced are Janeway & Company, 
New Brunswick, and the Robert Graves Company, 
New York and Brooklyn. The firms of William 
H. Mairs & Company and Frederick Beck & Com- 
pany, New York, began shortly thereafter, and all 
of these achieved decided success. They comprised 
men of ambition, perseverance, and the strictest in- 
tegrity, and their success is but the result of these 
quahties. Among the firms who, for a greater or 
less period, claimed the attendon of the trade were 
those of Josiah Bumstead, of Boston, Mass., and J. R. 
Bigelow & Company, of Boston, Mass. ; and Whiting 
& Young, of New York City. Mention should also 
be made of those firms which, though established 
more recently, possess a distinct individuality, have 
been highly successful, and whose future career is 
assured. Prominent among these are Warren, Ful- 
ler & Company, Wiliiam Campbell & Company, 
M, H. Birge & Sons, Henry Gledhill 8c Company, 
and Janeway & Carpender. This list might be 
extended indefinitely, for there are many others 
whose work and standing in the trade deserve 

While the mechanical part of the business has 
made vast strides, there is yet another feature tliat 
outranks it in importance, and that is the artistic 
element. The American people have a constant 
craving for something new, and the manufacturer is 
taxed to the full extent of his powers to satisfy this 
demand. On no industry does this demand fall 
more heavily than on wail-paper manufacture, and 
by no occupation has the demand been more fully 
satisfied, To meet this call it has become necessary 


to produce an entirely new line of goods each year. 
Imagine, then, the labor and expense necessary to 
reach this ever-heightening standard, the number 
of designers necessary to produce annually several 
thousands of designs, each entirely distinct from the 
other. But American enterprise is equal to every 
exigency. Formerly it was the custom to reproduce 
foreign styles of wall-papers, hut we have outgrown 
that, and have distinct styles and methods of our 
own. VVe produce elaborate schemes of decoration, 
combining proper treatment of wall and ceiling so 
that perfect harmony of color will prevail. We 
offer these schemes of color and treatment not only 
in expensive grades, but in the cheapest grades as 
well This makes it easy for the dealer or for the 
consumer to insure a well -decorated room, and one 
that cannot justly be subject to criticism. Talent of 
a high order is necessary to secure such results, and 
the staffs of the various manufacturers contain men 
of exceptional capacity, whose training and experi- 
ence entitle them in the highest sense to the title 
of artist. The exhibit of the National Wall-Paper 

Company at the World's Fair at Chicle bears 
testimony to this fact, and the award of a gold 
medal is a recognition of the merit there displayed. 
Statistics as to the growth of the industry are 
necessarily defective, but, according to the most 
trustworthy information obtainable, the following 
table gives some idea as to the progress made in 
the wall-paper business: 






















Such is the record of the wall-paper industry at the 
present day. While its growth in the past has been 
remarkable, its growth in the future must be even 
greater, as the advantages of the use of the product 
become more apparent 




William Steinwav. 



FOR the introduction of the pianoforte, to 
which such an ennobling, educating, and 
progressively fascinating mission was in- 
trusted, America is indebted to Europe. This in- 
strument was invented almost simultaneously by 
Christophale, of Italy, about 1710, and Gottlieb 
Schroedter, of Germany, wilhin a few years of that 
date, and was greatly perfected by Silbermann, of 
Strassburg, shortly afterward. The pianoforte did 
not coroe into general use until the beginning of this 
century, in either America or Europe. In London 
it was for the first time publicly played in the 
Covent Garden Theater in the year 1767. John 
Jacob Astor, of New York, imported from Lon- 
don the first pianofortes as early as the year 1784. 
They were small four and one half to fi^-e octave 
square pianos, having eight legs. Their tones were 
feeble and tinkling. Each piano had his own name 
on the name -board. 

The few pianos which were used in the United 
States at the close of the last and the beginning of 
the present century were imported. In a short time, 
however, the trying climate of North America, with 
its ever- recurring dry land winds, its severe winters, 
and the general heating of houses by stoves and sub- 
sequently by hot-air furnaces exerted its destructive 
influence upon these instruments, which had been 
constructed for the comparatively uniform and moist 
European climate. Again, the great distance be- 
tween the American settlements, scattered over so 
vast an extent of territory, with wretched roads, made 
it next lo impossible to effect necessary repairs, even 
if trained and skilful piano repairers had been ac- 
cessible ; therefore to keep the instruments in any- 
thing approaching a playable condition was only 
possible in the largest cities. As a natural conse- 
quence pianos were articles of luxury, accessible only 
to the wealthy. 

It was quite natural, then, that as the demand for 
pianofortes gradually increased, the enterprise of 

American manufactiu-ers should have been directed 
toward their production here, The first successful 
attempt at building pianofortes was made in Phila- 
delphia about the year 1790, by an American named 
John Hawkins. In the year 1802 he sailed to 
London, taking with him two upright pianofortes 
which he had manufactured, and exhibited them in 
London. One of these original instruments, pre- 
served for over eighty years, was exhibited at the 
International Inventions Exhibition, South Kensing- 
ton, London, in 1885, and there was personally ex- 
amined by Mr. William Sleinway, who could not but 
admire the ingenuity of this pioneer of pianoforte 
making in .\merica. Drum and fife and military 
music were imitated in this instrument, which, though 
of no practical utility, showed great inventive genius. 

There were one or two more manufacturers in 
Philadelphia at the close of the last century and the 
beginning of the present one, but not until the close 
(1815) of the second war between England and the 
United States was the industry of pianoforte mak- 
ing taken up as a distinct American manufacturing 
feature. From the close of that war till about the 
year 1825, a great business depression prevailed in 
Great Britain. In consequence a number of young 
and skilled English piano makers and artisans emi- 
grated to the United States and began manufactur- 
ing pianofortes. Among them were Robert and 
William Nunns, Geib, Stoddard, Morris, and others. 
Pianofortes were gradually extended in compass 
from four and one half and five octaves to six oc- 
taves; but up to about the year 1830, none were 
larger than six octaves, all being of square form. 

About 1815 the first steps of improvement in 
American piano making may be traced. In that year 
the first successful attempts were made to give the 
body of the instrument more durability and c 
creased power of resistance against the "pull "of the 
strings, by the application of a full frame of cast-iron 
in place of one of wood, which had before been used. 



The object of this brief synopsis is to describe the 
enormous dimensions to which the manufacture of 
pianos has grown in the United States, and the ex- 
cellence which has been attained, making the Amer- 
ican piano a standard which has been recognized by 
all Europe for a number of years. Consequently, 
only those inventions can be mentioned which, by 
their practical and lasting value, have aided materi- 
ally in the development of this branch of art indus- 
try. It must be mentioned, however, that a careful 
search of the records of the United States Patent 
Office from its beginning has revealed the fact that 
a large number of most interesting inventions have 
there been filed, which, though impracticable in 
themselves, prove that for nearly one hundred years 
there has existed a constant and earnest endeavor to 
improve the manufactiure of pianofortes in North 

In the year 1825, Alpheus Babcock, of Philadel- 
phia, obtained a patent for the construction in a 
square piano of a cast-iron ring, somewhat resem- 
bling the shape of a harp, for the piurpose of increas- 
ing its power of resistance to the "pull" of the 
strings. By this invention the principle was first 
practically introduced of casting the iron hitch-pin 
plate in one piece with that portion which supported 
the wrest-plank. 

In the year 1833, Conrad Meyer, of Philadelphia, 
exhibited at the fair of the Franklin Institute in that 
city, a six-octave square piano which was constructed 
with a full cast-iron frame, substantially the same as 
that used at the present time. This original instru- 
ment, still in perfect condition, was exhibited by 
him, together with his new pianos, at the Centennial 
Exhibition of 1876. The successful introduction of 
this full iron frame was aided to a great extent by 
the excellence of the quality of American iron and 
the perfection to which the art of casting had already 
attained in the United States at that period. It 
may be mentioned here that as far back as the War 
of 181 2, cannon using thirty-two-pound and even 
forty-eight-pound balls had been successfully cast in 
the United States and effectively employed in that 
war, while in Eiurope nothing heavier than eighteen- 
pounders were known. 

By the year 1837, Jonas Chickering, of Boston, 
who was bom in 1800 and died in 1853, had greatly 
perfected the application of the full iron frame in 
square pianos. It was indisputable that the iron- 
frame pianos thus made stood better in tune than 
those previously constructed ; but one great defect 
was that they had a thin and disagreeably nasal 
character of tone. For this salient reason the new 

invention soon had quite as many opponents as ad- 
mirers, so that until the year 1855 all the New York, 
Philadelphia, and Baltimore pianoforte manufactur- 
ers made no attempt to utilize it In fact, before 
1855 not one of the prominent manufacturers out- 
side of Boston employed the full iron frame in the 
construction of his instruments ; but all the piano- 
fortes manufactured in Boston at that time had a 
full cast-iron frame, of which the wrest-plank bridge 
was a portion. Across the acute edge of this iron 
bridge were laid the strings, which were generally 
exceedingly thin. The action used in these pianos 
was, without exception, what is styled the " English 
action," having a somewhat " dragging " touch. 

In New York, on the contrary, the instruments 
made were provided only with a small cast-iron 
hitch-pin plate, and the "French action" had a 
more direct and prompter touch. They differed 
from the Boston pianos in possessing a much fuller 
and more powerful tone, though at the same time 
with a quality which was less singing. The New 
York piano makers succeeded in giving their instru- 
ments the capacity of standing in tune more per- 
manently than had been previously accomplished, 
by a greater solidity of construction and a heavy 
wooden bracing of the case, and more particulariy 
by the use of a solid bottom or bed of wood fully 
five inches in thickness, which, however, to some 
extent marred the elegant appearance of the instru- 
ments. By degrees a new difficulty manifested itself 
in the instruments thus made, for, as their compass 
gradually extended and finally reached seven or 
seven and one-third octaves, it was found impossible 
to obtain the necessary power of resistance against 
the " pull " of the strings, even by the most solid 
construction of the case, if wood alone was the 
material used. 

At that time (1850-55) the principal pianoforte 
manufacturers were the Chickerings, Lemuel Gilbert, 
Hallet & Davis, Woodward & Brown, of Boston ; 
Nunns & Clark, Stoddard & Monis, Bacon & 
Raven, Horatio Worcester, John B. Dimham, J. C. 
Fischer, Light, Newton & Bradbury, Albert Weber, 
Adam Gale, Hazelton Brothers, Steinway & Sons, 
and Haines Brothers, of New York ; Conrad Meyer 
and Schoraacker, of Philadelphia ; Knabe & Gaehle, 
of Baltimore ; and Boardman & Gray, of Albany. 
There were a number of minor manufacturers in 
New York and Boston and their vicinity, but with 
few exceptions their firms became extinct many 
years ago, and other successful manufacturers— 
Decker Brothers, George Steck & Company, Ernest 
Gabler, Kranich & Bach, Sohmer & Company, and 



Others— took their places. In the year 1849 * Ger- 
man named Mathushek, who was a highly skilled 
piano maker, was engaged in John B. Dunham's 
piano factory. Mr. Dunham was one of the suc- 
cessful piano manufacturers then established in New 
Vork. Mathushek had invented the so-called 
"sweep-scale" (increasing at the same time the 
compass from seven to seven and one-third octaves 
in square pianos), which greatly improved the power 
of tone, but also increased the size of the instrument 
and weakened its durability by narrowing the so- 
prano part of the wrest-plank. 

The Steinway family had arrived in New York on 
June 9, 1850, and the father and three sons (among 
them William Steinway, then a lad fourteen years 
of age) worked for nearly three years in different 
New York piano factories, familiarizing themselves 
with the requirements and tastes of the American 
musical community. Though possessing a reason- 
able amount of capital, they did not start in business 
for themselves until the fifth day of March, 1853, 
when, with cautious modesty, they placed their first 
shop in a rear building at 85 Varick Street, remov- 
ing in 1854 to 88 Walker Street, New York. In 
1855 they succeeded in constructing an overstrung 
square piano with a solid front bar and full iron 
trame, the latter covering the wrest-plank, the wrest- 
plank bridge, however, being made of wood. With- 
out describing in particular the novelty of the 
instniment, it may be said that for the first time the 
oveistrang plan — that of placing the bass strings 
obliquely across all other strings in the shape of a 
^an — was successfully introduced. The results 
achieved by this novel construction were in every 
way most successful. The instrument, by the 
^inanimous verdict of the jury, received the first 
prize, a gold medal, at the exhibition, in 1855, of 
the American Institute at the Crystal Palace in New 
York. This was located at what is now known as 
Bryant Park, and was destroyed by fire in 1858. 
The new method of construction immediately be- 
<^e the standard for all American manufacturers 
and soon after for all other countries, and has re- 
^''^ed so ever since. 

As stated before, nearly all the pianos made in 
^e United States up to the year 1856 were square 
P^^os. Jonas Chickering, one of the leading pio- 
^^^ of American piano manufacturing, in 1840 
^Jistnicted the first American grand piano, success- 
'^y introducing the iron frame. A small piano 
Dianufacturer named Buttikoffer, a former workman 
^ Erard, of Paris, France, also made Erard fine 
Pianos entirely of wood ; but the demand for grand 

pianos was so limited that the great pianist Thal- 
berg, who arrived in the United States in the year 
1856, brought with him two Erard concert grand 
pianos for his concert tour throughout the coimtry. 
In 1859 Steinway & Sons made a great improve- 
ment by successfully introducing into grand pianos 
the overstrung system, which was secured to them 
by United States patent dated December 20, 1859. 
At the same time several other standard piano 
makers of New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and 
Boston commenced the manufacture of this kind of 
instrument, all of them with the overstrung system. 
Overstrung grand and square pianos were exhibited 
by Steinway & Sons at the World's Fair of 1862, in 
the Crystal Palace, London, taking a first-prize medal ; 
and again overstrung grand, square, and upright 
pianos were shown by them at the great International 
Exposition of Paris in 1867, these being crowned 
by a first grand gold medal and the unanimous in- 
dorsement of the international jury. Messrs. Chick- 
ering, of Boston, also exhibited parallel-stringed 
grand and upright pianos and overstrung square 
pianos, and were also awarded a gold medal, so that 
America's triumph in the piano department was 
literally overwhelming. 

The overstrung system was at once imitated by 
nearly all of the prominent manufacturers of Europe, 
and has ever since been known as the " Steinway " 
or " American system " ; and the supremacy of the 
product of all first-class American piano makers has 
been conceded by the musical public of both con- 
tinents. The importation of pianofortes from Europe 
into the United States not only practically ceased, 
but since that time the export of the American pro- 
duct to all parts of the civilized world has steadily 
increased, notwithstanding the somewhat higher 
prices. It must also be added that, practically 
speaking, almost all important novelties and inven- 
tions by which the tone and durability of all three 
styles, grand, square, and upright, have been en- 
hanced and increased within the last half-century, 
have been made by American pianoforte manufac- 
turers, all being imitated in Europe as soon as the 
details became known. 

It may be interesting to state here that, up to the 
year 1850, England and France produced more 
pianofortes than all other countries, and supplied the 
European continent as well as the outlying colonies. 
Since that date there has been a marked change in 
that direction. Germany, which undoubtedly has, 
with America, the most skilled piano manufacturers 
and workmen, has nearly kept pace with the United 
States in the quantity of pianos manufactured, and 


Gennan piano makers were iovariably the first to 
see the importance of American inventions and im- 
provements. Only one old liouse in Paris and one 
old house in London still adhere Co the antiquated 
system of parallel strings. All others have adopted 
the American overstrung system and fuU cast-iron 
frame. As far as can be judged, Germany, produc- 
ing 70,000 pianos annually, has the largest export 
of pianofortes of any country in the Old World, 
especially in the cheapest class of instruments ; and 
there is no doubt that Germany, although making 
at the present time more pianofortes than all other 
European countries combined, is surpassed by the 
United States of America, which, on a careful 
and conservative estimate, produce annually from 
80,000 to 90,000 pianofortes. 

The manufactiu-e of pianos in the United States 
was formerly confined to the following four cities; 
first. New York ; second, Boston ; third, Baltimore ; 
fourth, Philadelphia. Within a dozen years Chicago 
has stepped in, and now has become third in the 
number of pianos annually produced. The list is 
now: first, New York; second, Boston; third, 
Chicago ; fourth, Baltimore ; fifth, Philadelphia ; 
and successful pianoforte manufacturers have also 
located in other large cities of the United Stales, 
such as Buffalo and Rochester, N. Y., Cincinnati and 
Norwalk, O., and Erie, Pa, 

In Europe the manufacture of square pianos 
practically ceased about the year 1855, and only 
grand and upright pianos were thereafter made. In 
the United States, as mentioned before, the square 
pianoforte was, up to the same time, ahnost exclu- 
sively manufactured, and sales of grand pianos were 
about as scarce as angels' visits. 

During the years 1844 and 1845 a French man- 
ufacturer named Henri Herz, who at the same time 
was a first-class pianist, traveled through the United 
Slates, giving concerts in the larger cities. He had 
brought with him a number of French upright 
pianos, and during his stay in this country imported 
many others. These were readily sold, but within a 
few years aU succumbed to the influence of the cli- 
mate and became total wrecks, from the fact of hav- 
ing been made from wood alone. This caused such a 
deep-rooted prejudice throughout the country against 
upright pianos that they became absolutely unsalable, 
and up to the year t866 fully ninety-seven percent, 
of all the pianos which were annually made in the 
United Slates were square pianos. In that year 
Steinway & Sons succeeded in completing a system 
of manufacture for upright pianos which produced 
instruments that were fully as beautiful in tone and 

as diuable for use as the square and grand pi 
This was speedily followed by other standard Amer- 
ican piano makers, some of whom made improve- 
ments of their own ; and within a few years thereafter 
a complete revolution in the piano industry took 
place, so that the situation of to-day is exactly the 
reverse of what it was less than thirty years ago. 
The manufacture of square pianos has now almost 
entirely ceased. The annual production of Ameri- 
can pianofortes consists of about ninety-five per 
cent, uprights, less than two per cent, squares, and 
a htde more tlian three per cent, grand pianos. 
There is no question that by the year 1900 not a 
single square piano will be manufactured in the 
United States or any other part of the world. 

Setting aside, then, the effects of the business de- 
pression of the year 1893, and, to some extent, of 
1894, which fell with very much greater severity 
upon other branches of manufacture than it did 
even on pianofortes, American piano manufacturers 
have every reason to feel proud of the results 
achieved by tliem. There has not only been steady 
progress in the number of the pianofortes produced 
by them, but the art of piano making in the United 
States has been elevated to the highest perfection — 
a fact which is recognized all over the world. 

Quite a number of good European pianos were 
exhibited at the Centennial Exhibition in Philadel- 
phia in 1876, and at the Columbian World's Fair in 
Chicago in 1893 ; but none of them were sold, and 
all of them had to be reexported. No grand piano 
of foreign make has ever been publicly heard in the 
United States since the advent of Thalberg, now 
nearly forty years ago ; but many Ameri- 
can concert grand pianos have been, and are at 
present publicly used in the art centers of Europe 
by the greatest artists. Besides, the five largest 
piano manufacturing concerns in the world are 
located in the United States. They are: two at 
New York, one at Chicago, one at Boston, and the 
fifth at Baltimore. This is indeed a proud and 
unique position, and American piano manufacturers 
have no reason to complain of anything in their in- 
dustrj', with one exception, as follows : 

In 1850 the overwhelming majority of piano 
artisans were of American nativity, while since that 
lime, and now for many years, almost all of them 
are either foreign-bom (mostly German) or the 
direct offspring of foreign-bom parents, who, by 
permission of the employer, are taught a certain 
single branch of the business by their fathers. This 
is much to be deplored, for American boys, many 
of them extraordinarily intelligent and ingenious, are 


practically kept out of this important industry 
through what might be called the force of circum- 
stances. As far as can be learned there is now no 
effective apprentice law in force in any of the States. 
This is very different from the conditions existing in 
Europe, Take, for instance, Germany. After hav- 
ing been released from school, say at ihe age of four- 
teen or fifteen years, a boy is apprenticed to a master 
mechanic for six or seven years. It is true he receives 
his board and lodging, but he has to pay, say, $ioo 
lehrgeld (learning money), in order to indemnify the 
" boss " for the time lost in instructing him, or for the 
defective workmanship and spoiled material which 
may result from his unskilfulness. 

No American boy would be willing to be placed 
in the position of an apprentice for six or seven 
years, although that is the only way in which a busi- 
ness can be acquired thoroughly in all its branches 
and details. Thus there is no guaranty to any 
employer that a boy, after one or two years spent in 
learning a branch or subdivision of a business, will 
not leave him and shift for himself. To enact laws 
compelling a lad who is growing up to remain with 
an employer and make up in the later years of his 
apprenticeship the losses he has caused in the litst 
years does not suit American ideas, and probably 
never will. Still this matter should engage the at- 
tention of all those interested in social problems, for 
our American boys are second to none in intelli- 
gence and practical ideas. And this, too, is one of 
the chief causes of the sad fact that in no civihzed 
country are there so many young men who are un- 
skilled as in the United Stales. 

In 1850, when William Steinway, then aged 
fourteen years, arrived in New York, a very lamen- 
table state of affairs prevailed in the pianoforte 
and other manufacturing industries. The city was 
still suffering from the effects of the cholera epidemic 
of 1849; there was but little ready money in the 
country, much being of tlie "wildcat" order; there 
were no saiving, planing, or other labor-saving 
machines to do the hard work required in piano 
manufacture, nor were there any elevatore ; all 
heavy loads having to be carried up and down staiis 
on the shoulders of the artisans. 

The despicable " truck " system prevailed through- 
out the country. The skilled workman was not 
paid his hard-earned wages, which were from $6 to 
$10 a week: but he would receive, say, from $1 to 
$3 of his weekly earnings in cash, and some of the 
rest in orders on grocers, tailors, and shoemakers. 
The remainder would be retained by the employer, 
who acted as a self- constituted savings-bank for his 

employees, without paying interest, and sometimes J 
not even paying the principaL William Sleinway, ■] 
at the age of seventeen years, lost all his savings of ' 
$300 by the bankruptcy of his employer, William 
Nunns, b 1853. There were piano factories and 
other manufacturers who each were thus constantly 
owing over$ioo,ooo in wages to their workmen. By 
the year 1 860 this reprehensible " truck " system had, 
however, entirely ceased throughout the coimtry. 

The Civil War, between i86t and 1S65, also I 
caused the piano manufactiuers great hardsliips and j 
struggles. They lost nearly all their claims against ' 
piano dealers in the South ; there was no immigra- 
tion to speak of; skilled artisans were scarce, many 
of them having gone to the war; and in February, 

1862, the workmen in New York instituted a strike 
for higher wages, in which they were perfectly justi- I 
fjed. The currency had then depreciated, and all ] 
the necessaries of life and rents had risen enormously j 
in value. The workingmen's demand for ten per 
cent, was readily granted. In May following they ' 
again demanded ten per cent, more on the increased ' 
wages, which was also acceded to. But in October, 

1863, they had formed a large society, the Piano- 
Makeis' Union, and suddenly demanded an aug- 
mentation of twenty-five per cent, on the twice- 
increased prices, being in all a raise of fully fifty per 
cent, on the original rates. This was simply impos- 
sible for the employers to grant, the more so as no 
increase whatever had as yet been made in wages 
in (he same occupation in Boston, Baltimore, and 

For the first time in the history of piano manu- 
facture the twenty-three piano employers were driven 
together by necessity, and met at Ittner's Hotel, 
where it was resolved to resist the demands of the 
employees. A committee of seven manufacturers 
(of which William Sieinway was a member) was 
elected to receive the committee of fifteen who 
represented about 3000 world ngm en then on strike. 
The spokesman of the employees first demanded the 
increase of twenty-five per cent., with payment for 
all the time lost by the strikers, and then announced 
the program mapped out by the leaders of the 
strike as follows: 

" Gendemen bosses, we, the piano makers of New 
York, will now assume control of the piano business. 
You shall no longer be permitted either to engage 
or dismiss any workman without our consent. You 
must pay us full wages irrespective of bad or good 
limes. You must all pay the same wages, must not 
undersell one another, and must every Saturday af ter> 
noon submit your books to our inspection, so that j 


we may satisfy ourselves that you have strictly car- 
ried out our instructions. Now, gentlemen bosses, 
what can we report to our union as your response? " 

The employers' committee were simply stupefied, 
when one of the manufacturers, Albert Weber (who 
died in 1879), a very quick-wilted man, observed: 
" Gentlemen employees, your demands are exceed- 
ingly moderate ; but in your very modesty you have 
omitted your most important point." 

The spokesman of the employees inquired, " Well, 
and what might that be ? " 

" Simply this," returned Mr. Weber ; " that every 
Saturday afternoon, when you have looked over the 
manufacturers' books, the employees shall go a- 
bowling, and that the bosses should be made to set 
up the tenpins for their workmen." 

A deafening and unanimous roar of laughter fol- 
lowed this sally. It was the right word at the right 
time. The ice had been broken, and both parties 
were conciliated. Half an hour later a compromise 
was effected, that fifteen per cent, (instead of 
twenty-five per cent.) increase was to take place in 
wages, all other demands by the employees being 

The truce, needless to say, did not last long ; the 
strike broke out anew in February, 1864, and was 
completely put down, after a struggle of nine weeks, 
by the unflinching resistance of the United Piano 
Manufacturers. Another strike in 1872, to reduce 
the daily hours of work from ten to eight, was also 
defeated, and since then but few and brief strikes 
have occurred. One partially successful occurred in 
1880. Those in 1S86 and 1890 both brought de- 
feat to the strikers. As a general thing a much 
kindlier feeling between employers and employees 
gradually arose, and has existed for a number of 
years past. 


it-plank bridge, 
of a 

square pianos. 
1833. Conrad Meyer, of Philadelphia, 

TratDC in aijuare pianos, except wn 
".""led of wood. 

sl-plank bridge (i 
pianos) of iron, all in one piece — an imporlant in- 
vention, allhough his application for a patent was 
nn justly rejected for alleced want of novelty. 

1840. Jonas Chickering, snccessTul patented construction of 
the full iron frame with agratte bar in grand pianos. 

1849, Mathnshek (with John B. Dnnham), invention of so- 
called " sweep-s<ile " in sqniire pianos, the compass 
of which he at the same lime saccessfiilly extended to 

nvcniion by Sleinway & Sons, of New York, of th« 
overslrUDg system and its iron frame, placing the 
strings in form of a fan, in sqaare pianos, 
nvenlion by Sleinway & Sons (United States patent, 
December 20, 1859) of the overstrung system, with 
its strings in fanlikc shape, and novel construction of 
Ihe iron frame, in grand pianos : also the sqnue grand 
piano and novel agratfe bar (United States patent, 
November ig. 1859). 

nvenlion (United States patent) by Decker Brothers, 
of New Vork, of novel wresl-plank construction, in- 
creasing capacity lo stand in lane, in square pianoi; 
also novel apparatus to veneer round comers in 
square- piano caiies. 

nvenlion {United States patent, Jnne 5, 1866) by 
Sleinway Sc Sons of double iron frame and patent 
resonator (controlling tension of sounding-boards) in 
upright pianos. 

□vention (United States patent, August 16, 1868) by 
Sleinway & Sons of tubular metallic aclion-frame in 
grand and upright pianos. 

nvenlion (Unilal States patents, March IJ, 1870, bd<1 
August 15, 1870) by George Steck & Company, of 
New Vorlc, of the self-supporting, independent iron 

nvenlion by Sleinway & Sons (United Slates patent. 
May iS, 1S73) of the iron cupola and pier frame; 
also the grand duplex scale (United Slates patent. 
May 14, i872)._ 

year Mr. Hanchett, oj Syracuse, N. V., brought 
out (United Stales patent) a novel apparatus for pro- 
longing Ibe lone. 

nvenlion by Sleinway & Sons (United Slates patents, 
October 20, 1S75) of conceit grand with cafo J'atltv 
bar all cast in one piece, and design thcreuC. 
nvenlion by Steinway& Sons (United Stales patents, 
May 21, 1878), bending into form ihe entire case 
of grand pianos, composed of a series of continnonc 
veneers ; also lone-pnisalor in grand pianos ; also rafo 
d'aslro bar in upright pianos. 

nvenlion by George Steck & Company (United States 
patent, January 7, 1879) of further improvements in 
self-supporting, independent iron frame. 
nvenlion by George Steck & Company (United Slates 
patent, October 18, 1881) of further imptovemcnts in 
self-supporting, independent iron frame. 
nvenlion by Sleinway & Sons (United Stales patent, 
March 31, iSSj) of double cupola troo frame in grand 

nvenlion by Henry Ziegler (nephew of William Stein- 
way), of Sleinway & Sons (two United Slates patents 
of November 21, 1893), of the grand piano with raf^ 
a'aslre bar in upright form. 

improvemenl by George Steck & Company in self-sup- 
porting, independent iron frame in nprighl pianos. 
nvenlion by Henry Ziegler, of Sleinway St Sons 
(United States patent. Jonuary 8, 1S95), of iron 
frame with iaf^t J'astro bar and suspended wrcsC- 
plank io grand pianos in upright form. 

After a careful and conservative estimate, it ap- 
pears that there are now engaged in the production 
of pianofortes and their component parts upward of 
200 manufacturing concerns established in the 
UnitedStates,representing a capital of over$4o,ooo,- 
000, and giving employment to about 40,000 skilled 
artisans; to say nothing of the many millions of 
capital invested in, and the many thousands of peo- 
ple employed by, houses engaged in the sale of diese 
and other musical instruments. 

Next to pianofones no class of American musical 


instruments has attained the prominence of the 
American reed-organs, the manufacture of which 
toolc distinct shape about the year 1850, commenc- 
ing with melodeons in small square-piano shape, 
produced in great excellence by the late George L. 
Prince, of Buffalo, N. Y., Carhart & Needham, of 
New York City, and many other makers. These 
readily gave way to the superb reed-organs of 
Mason & Hamlin, of Boston, Mass, ; the Estey 
Organ Company, of Bratlleboro, Vl, ; Burdett, of 
Erie, Pa. ; the Fort Wayne Organ Company, of 
Fort Wayne, Ind. ; and others too numerous to 
mention. Besides the interior capacity and the 
quahty and quantity of tone, a variety of musical 
effects and the imitation of wind-instruments, as well 
as exquisite external workmanship, were introduced 
by these and other manufacturers. In good season, 
even before American pianofortes were exported, 
shiploads of these line American reed-organs were 
sent to Europe, especially to Great Britain, Sweden, 
Norway, and other Protestant countries. Of late 
years, however, the importance of this branch of 
industry has diminished almost in the same ratio as 
the general interest in pianofortes has increased, the 
latter instrument becoming more and more popular. 
As the manufacture of the piano from year to year 
increased, the pianoforte, with its larger compass and 
its greater variety of expression, allowing full scope 
for the individual touch and for novel musical 
effects, has gradually taken the place of the organ. 
It has become the most welcome instrument in the 
American home and family circle, being especially 
fitted for accompanying the voice. Of late many of 
the standard manufacturers of American reed-organs 
have also gone into the manufacture of pianofortes, 
and several have been very successfuL 

Formerly, with the exception of banjos and man- 
dolins, all small string and wind instruments had to be 
imported. All this, by the constantly growing perfec- 
tion of the American manufacture of these articles. 

has been so greatly modified that llie importation of 
these instruments does not now cut very much of 
a figure. At the present lime fine harps, violins, 
guitars, flutes, and all kinds of wind-instruments are 
successfully produced in the greatest perfection by 
American manufacturers in all the larger cities of the 
country. They have greater durability, especially 
against climatic effects, than the imported articles, in 
which wood plays a part, can ever possess. Many 
millions of capital and thousands of skilled artisans 
are engaged in the manufacture of small musical 
instruments, and of lale Chicago seems to make llie 
greatest progress in this direction. Lyon & Healy, 
of that city, produce excellent small musical wind- 
instruments in large quantities, and their haips, 
which are of superb quality, are unexcelled by the 
best ones made in Europe. The latter are unable 
to withstand the effects of our severe North Ameri- 
can climate for any reasonable lengtli of time. 

C, G, Conn, of Elkhart, Ind., and of Worcester, 
Mass., also produces most excellent brass wind-in- 
struments in very large quantity. Vocalions, an 
English invention by Sir Bailey Hamilton, were first 
produced, and have been brought to high perfection, 
by Messrs. Mason & Risch, Worcester, Mass. jColi- 
ans are also extensively manufactured and sold. 
^V'ithin a few years autoharps, manufactured by 
Alfred Dolge & Sons, of Dolgeville, N. Y., have 
come into great favor, and are extensively produced. 

The construction of church organs during the 
past fifty years has also reached large proportions in 
the United States. Everything is now manufac- 
tured, from the largest cathedral church organ down 
to the small portable pipe church organ. They arc 
of the finest quality. 

In all classes and kinds of musical instruments 
American ingenuity has achieved great triumphs 
and introduced many improvements, adding to the 
quality, and especially to the durability of the article, 
so that the importation of them has almost ceased. 





FHOM the earliest times of which there has 
been any historical record, mankind has uti- 
llied wheels as a means of transportation. On 
the great sculptured stones now in the British Mu- 
seum, taken from the ruined city of Nimrod near 
Nineveh, can be seen, besides the innumerable war 
chariots, cans drawn by oxen, and carts drawn by 
men. The writer made a drawing of one of the 
latter kind, which shows very good construction. 
The wheels have six spokes and are well propor- 
tioned; probably they were about forty-two inches 
high. The body is framed up with posts and a top 
rail, and the spaces are filled with handsome wicker 
work. There is an arched guard over the wheel to 
protect the latter from contact with the overhang- 
ing load. The cart is loaded with logs of wood. 
On another slab is shown the king's chariot, with 
an elegant canopy over the royal head. This 
chariot carries, besides the king, the charioteer and 
an arms-bearer. In Biblical history the chariot is 
very frequently referred to, those of the great army 
of Pharaoh being engulfed in the Red Sea. It is 
worth noting that the word "carriage" was at one 
time used in the sense of goods or baggage, and we 
find in the New Testament, " After those days we 
took up our carriages and went up to Jerusalem." 
The Greeks and Romans were, of course, familiar 
with the horse-drawn vehicle, and in the story of the 
Trojan war we find Achilles dragging the body of 
Hector around the walls of Troy lashed to his 
chariot. Carriages without wheels were used as late 
as the seventeenth century, when they were known 
as litters, having shafts behind and before which 
were supported upon the backs of the horses. The 
litter was but a form of the sedan chair, itself a spe- 
cies of carriage. If we look for a carriage with 
wheels but without horses, we find it in the jinrikisha 
of Japan, a unique vehicle drawn by man-power. 
The ancient chariot, with all its splendor of deco- 

ration, was but a two-wheeled cart without springs, 
and this, the starting-point in the evolution of the 
carriage, we find among many barbaric peoples, the 
wheels being formed of solid wood rendered cir- 
cular when nature formed the trees from which 
they were made. Even the triumphal and funeral 
cars of early history were but springless carts; 
and ages of progress lie between a gorgeous 
chariot of the C^sars and a modem buggy. 
Queen Elizabeth's wonderful state coach, with its 
highly ornamented and canopied body, was without 
springs. It was a sort of triumphal car, for State 
parades. Her usual mode of locomotion was by 
water or on horse-back. 

The various forms which the modem carriage 
has assumed appear to be almost limitless. The 
old-time stage-coach has developed into the fash- 
ionable drag or tally-ho; the post-chaise and the 
curricle are no more; but there are still left to us 
innumerable forms of vehicles, of which the Ameri- 
can buggy is perhaps the most useful and represents 
the highest development of the carriage-builder's 
art. Many of the forms came to us from England, 
notably the brougham, named for Lord Brougham. 
The landau takes its title from the town of the 
same name in Germany, where it was first made. 
A few specimens of the Irish jaunting-car have 
found their way to America, where they serve to 
remind us of the active nation with which they are 
popular. The hack as a name is solely American, 
but is of course a lineal descendant of the English 
hackney coach. 

Carriage building, as an art, began to be devel- 
oped in all parts of Europe about the middle of the 
seventeenth century. Steady but slow progress was 
made in all the great cities, and some almost elegant 
forms are shown in the old prints, profusely deco- 
rated. The running parts, however, were very im- 
perfect The first relief from the jolting of the dead- 


axle carnage was accomplished by suspending the 
body of the carriages on long leather thorough- 
braces stretched from upright iron jacks which stood 
up from each end of the running part. The next 
improvement was made by transforming these stiff 
iron jacks into spring jacks, and by making them of 
steel plates. Finally, in the early part of our own 
century, the spring jack was given a bold, sweeping 
curve, and the beautiful C spring evolved. The 
Collinge axle now in common use all over the world 
^as perfected almost loo years ago, and the elliptic 
spring, the best of all springs, was invented at about 
the same time. It was early in the eighteenth cen- 
tury that the post-chaise came into use for journey- 
ing, and the hackney coach and hackney cab came 
to take the place of the sedan chair in the great 
cities. This created quite a war in London between 
the watermen and the chairmen on the one side, 
S-nd the coaches on the other. 

In very old times the post-chaise had a small 
l>ody hung very high on its leather straps ; the wheels 
were very high and far apart, and the driver rode the 
■wheel horse. In later times this uncouth post-chaise 
developed into the elegant chariot, perhaps the most 
perfectly formed carriage ever built. This carriage, 
■w^th its gorgeously draped coachman's seat, as well 
3s the full coach similarly mounted, is now only seen 
at royal receptions and other state occasions in the 
*^a.pitals of monarchical countries. As with other 
inventions, the evolution of the carriage has taken 
place by fits and starts, the greatest progress hav- 
'^g been made during the present century, and the 
"dd in which that progress occurred having been 
*^*»e United States of America. 

The volume of business done by American car- 

ufacturers in 1795 was exceedingly small. 

^chnical knowledge was not wanting, however, for 

_ "^ere were many shops which had been established 

*■*-* colonial days, where fine carriages were occasion- 

^'^'y built, and many imported French and English 

ides repaired. But business languished for 

^k of customers. Before the War of the Revolu- 

■*^u the rich shipping merchants of Salem, Boston, 

^^^ewport, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and 

■latleston lived in good style, as was common in 

^^*^se monarchical times, and imported in their own 

^^^»ps coaches, chariots, and phaetons, from England 

,^"**^ France. Repair shops sprang up in all the 

^^^■Se towns and cities, and skilled workmen came 

'^t*! England, Ireland, and Scotland, finding ready 

***ploymeni on their arrival. 

A. curious bit of history, clearly showing the use 
'^' Carriages in New York City in 1770, came to the 

writer's knowledge some yeara ago fi^jm the late 
George W. VV. Houghton, who embodied the facts 
in a lecture delivered before the New York Historical 
Society. The old record, which he somcwliere dis- 
covered, gives a list of fifty-nine owners of carriages; 
and the vehicles mentioned were twenty-six coaches, 
thirty-three chariots or post-chaises, and twenty-six 
phaetons — in all, there were eighty-five vehicles. 
The names of the owners were Cadwallader Colden, 
Daniel Horsmanden, John Watts, Oliver De Lancey, 
Joseph Reade, Charles W. Apthorp, Colonel Roger 
Morris, Henry Cruger, John Cruger, James De Lan- 
cey, the widow of Governor James De Lancey, the 
widow of William Walton, the widow of Judge John 
Chambers, the widow of James McEvers, the widow 
Lawrence, Mrs. Waddell, Andrew Elliott, William 
Bayard, Nicholas Bayard, PhiUp Livingston, John 
Livingston, Robert G, Livingston, Walter Ruther- 
ford, Gerardus Beekman, Colonel Eeekman, Na- 
thaniel Marston, John Marston, Rev. Dr. Ogilvie of 
Trinity Church, Anthony Rutgers, Jacob Le Roy, 
David Johnson, William Axtell, Miss Lodge, Leon- 
ard Lispenard, Samuel Verplanck, Lawrence Kort- 
right, David Clarkson, John Van Cortlandt, Robert 
Murray, James Jauncey, Dr. William Brownjohn, 
Dr. Jonathan Maliet, Thomas Tiebout, Jacob Wal- 
ton, John Watkins, Nicholas Gouvemeur, John 
Aspinwall, Hugh Wallace, Isaac Low, A. Van Cort- 
landt, Gerardus Duyckinck, General Gage, John 
Read, Archibald Kermedy, Thomas Sowers, Captain 
John Montressor, John Leake, Abraham Montier, 
and Ralph Izard. Many of these names are familiar 
to the New Yorker of to-day, the prestige of the old 
families havitig kept pace with the march of events. 

It will be observed that there were but three styles 
of carriages known among the old aristocracy, and 
they were all for town use. No similar records are 
to be found in other cities, but there are many ancient 
relics of grand chariots now to be found in Boston 
and vicinity, still preserved in the stables of the old 
families as curiosities. One fine old chariot-body is 
now at the writer's factory, sound and serviceable. 
It was used by the owner's grandfather in Lon- 
don in 1793. The wheels and running-gear long 
ago disappeared, but the body is now being fitted 
with an elegant set of runners, and, when the first 
snow comes, will enter upon a new career of use- 
fulness, completely rejuvenated as a stylish winter 

The effects of the struggle for independence, and 
the hard times which followed, so impoverished the 
people that there was but little use for carriages of 
luxury in the early days of the present century. 


The tendency of all classes was essenrially demo- 
cratic, and rigid economy was esteemed a great 
virtue. This state of things was not favorable for 
the makers of fine carriages; but, fortunately for 
them, all well-to-do people required something to 
ride in, and that took the form of the two-wheeled 
chaise, immortalized by Dr. Holmes. These were 
in great demand as the country grew prosperous, 
and were built in large numbers in Boston, Salem, 
Worcester, Pittsfield, West Amesbury, Mass., New 
London and New Haven, Conn,, as well as in Wil- 
mington, Del., and Philadelphia. They had enor- 
mously high wheels, and the tops were stationary, 
being supported on iron posts. Curtains of painted 
canvas or leather covered the sides and back. 
These chaises were often built without dashers or 
aprons in the earlier times, but in later years they 
had falling tops and were gay with silver plate. So 
universally was this style of carriage in use that 
most carriage-makers were known as " chaise-mak- 
ers," as the old sign-boards of fifty years ago plainly 
indicated. Chaise-making throve mightily, and up 
to about 1840 it seemed that nothing could ever 
fully supplant the favorite old two-wheeler. But 
the buggy, which had been struggling for existence 
for several years, began to come to the front. 

The chaise had been for generations of nearly 
the same form, no radical changes having been 
tolerated; but the buggy came in a muldtude of 
forms, as it was new and without any recognized 
standard of shape to hamper the fancy of the 
builder. At last the door was open for novelties, 
and has since been still wider open, with no signs 
of being closed again. 

The buggy is purely American in its origin, and 
is without doubt the greatest achievement of Ameri- 
can carriage- makers. The body may be of any 
form, but the running part is always of the same, or 
nearly the same, type. Its common-sense construc- 
tion is wholly unlike the work of any other country. 
It is simpler, hghler, stronger, and cheaper than 
any other style of vehicle, and is so admirable in 
all respects ihat it is not hkely to go out of use for 
at least another century. 

In tlie eariy days of this century of progress a 
great stimulus was given to the carriage and wagon 
trade by the advent of the grand old stage-coach. 
It was elegant in form, gay with paint and gilded 
scrollwork, and when starling out on its journey, 
rocking on its tough thorough-braces under its 
load of passengers and baggage, with its team of 
four or six Morgan horses, it was an inspiriting sight. 
It has been said that the stage-coach was unknown 

in America prior to 1810, but this is a mistake. In 
1776 John Hancock stole away from his duties in 
the Continental Congress to Tamfield, Conn., where 
he married the beautiful Dorothy Quincy, and look 
her on a wedding journey to Philadelphia by stage- 
coach. The incidents of the journey, including the 
upsetting of the coach, are duly set fotUi in the 
record of William Bant, attorney to Governor Han- 
cock. It is also related that Mrs. Hancock took 
a simUar journey with her son, who was but two 
weeks old, to join her husband in Philadelphia. 
This was in 1778. The roads, however, at this 
early date, were little better than bridle-paths, and 
the chief resource for journeying was the saddle. 
In 1791 there were but 1905 miles of post-roads 
in the States, and in these roads were many bottom- 
less sloughs, and corduroy bridges consisting of 
round logs laid crosswise over swamps, sometimes 
for long distances. As the government and local 
authoriues improved and extended tlie roads, some 
sort of public conveyance followed. 

In New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania the 
great Conestoga wagon, bro a d-w heeled, and with 
huge canvas-covered body, was drawn over the 
rough roads by six or eight horses or oxen for the 
transportation of freight and passengers. This 
wagon was the prototype of the famous "prairie 
schooner," or emigrant wagon, of later times. 

Government roads, called military roads, were 
buiit across the mountains of Virginia, connecting 
the East with the valley of the Ohio ; also through 
the great forests of Maine to the town of Houlton 
on the New Brunswick frontier, and in many other 
parts of the country. They were for postal and mili- 
tary purposes. On all these were quickly estab- 
lished thriving stage lines, and the business grew very 
rapidly. Capital was freely invested in the varied 
interests direcdy and remotely connected with the 
innumerable lines which radiated from all the chief 
towns and cities in the country; and the investments 
paid good dividends. 

The cairiage-maker, the harness-maker, the hotse- 
breeder, and the jolly old country tavern-keeper, 
with his good dinners, his well-stocked and well- 
patronized bar, all seem to have been prosperous 
and happy in the good old slow-going time. 

Stage-coaches and wagons were built in many 
places at the time I write of. Salem, Mass., was 
eariy in the field. Osgood Bradley, of Worcester, 
was a large builder ; the Troy coach, of Troy, N .Y., 
was very famous in its day ; but a little later, and 
still more famous, came the Concord coach, of Con- 
cord, N. H. The founder of the house of .\bbott, 



Downing & Company, now the largest wagon-buOd- 
ers in New England, whose work is known through- 
out America as well as in South Africa and Aus- 
tralia, was Louis Downing, who moved to Con- 
cord firom Salem, Mass., in 1815. There he began 
the manu&cture of coaches and wagons ; and after 
dglity years, this old house is still in the full tide of 
active business. 

So great was the coaching business from 18 10 to 
al>oiit 1845, that in addition to the builders hundreds 
of smaller shops derived their chief income from 
repairing and painting these fine old road coaches. 
After the War of 181 2, trade and commerce en- 
tered upon a new career of prosperity. The ship- 
ping merchants were piling up wealth; manufac- 
turing, which had grown strong by the fact that 
the war had thrown us wholly on our own resources, 
mras opening up new sources of wealth, and again 
stylish carriages for city use were in demand. Fine 
coaches and chariots, hung on C springs, and made 
grand with the hammer-cloth coachman's seat, were 
l>uilt in all the large cities. Boston had two well- 
equipped shops for this kind of work; New Haven 
and Bridgeport were active and growing ; Newark, 
N. J., became celebrated for its fine productions, 
and New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Wil- 
'liington, Del., were supplying their own wants, and 
so^ng the seeds of greater development in later 

About this time a considerable export trade grew 
^P with the West Indies. The carriages shipped 
^Here were known as volantes, and were large two- 
'^•'heeled vehicles with immensely long shafls. The 
"^heels were placed so far in the rear of the vehicle, 
**^ order to give greater freedom of access, that 
^^e shaft horse had a very large share of the weight 
n his back. In addition to this, the overloaded 
carried the postilion, while the leader did 
^^*^ost of the hauling. These carriages were shipped 
*^y the sugar and molasses merchants of the nor- 
^•iero cities to the planters of the West Indies, in 
^^^^traiercial exchange for their product, which was 
^^I^^edily converted into rum, then in great demand 
^^ home and abroad. Thus the carriage-maker 
^^^yed his part in the interchange of conunodities^ 
trade flourished, 
farmers' wagons and carts had been made in 
^ry village in the country since the earliest time, 
^^t wagon-making as a great business began with 
^*^^ development of the Western States. First came 
^e large emigrant wagon, and after that the lighter 
^^^^ wagon, and, later still, wagons for the great 
^Veiland current of emigration, which flowed like 

a mighty river from the East to the gold-fields 
of Cahfomia. HappOy for the emigrants, the 
wagon-makers of the West were equal to the oc- 
casion. Great factories quickly grew up, stimulated 
by this additional demand, and among the rest the 
great house of Studebaker Brothers, which had its 
origin as far back as 18 13, now came to the front, 
reorganized and ready for business. This firm, 
now the largest wagon and carriage manufacturers 
in the world, was just in time to take a leading part 
in supplying the government with army wagons for 
the western regiments in the Civil War. It was due 
to the thorough equipment of the wagon-makers of 
the country that the armies of the North were better 
and more properly supplied with the means of trans- 
portation than any army in military history. Wagon- 
building is so vast in its proportions that when one 
visits such an establishment as that at South Bend, 
Indiana, he wonders where purchasers can be found 
for so many vehicles, a wagon being produced every 
ten minutes in this one factory. 

The older men of the present generation of car- 
riage-makers have witnessed a great change in the 
extent as well as in the method of manufacturing. 
In the early years of the century, business in the 
old carriage towns was done on what is called 
the "dicker" system. Woodworkers, blacksmiths, 
trimmers, and painters, each did business on his 
own account, and swapped parts, as they termed it, 
the final settlements being made in finished car- 
riages. The dealer in materials also took carriages 
in payment. The workmen were paid with orders 
for goods, and money was almost unknown in all 
the various transactions. The old operators, who 
did business in this way, used to say that the plan 
was much safer than the cash system, there being 
fewer failures, and less danger of getting involved in 

By and by the small operators with their little 
shops went the way of all old-time things, and well- 
organized factories succeeded them. Then a mul- 
titude of inventions in machinery were eagerly taken 
up and utilized. Larger and larger grew the fac- 
tories, more and more perfect the machinery, until 
the present time, when the limit of quick methods 
and cheap production seems to be well-nigh reached. 
But the end is not yet 

Much the larger number of carriages built in the 
great factories where machinery is employed are 
built in duplicate by the million, and are sold to 
the million at exceedingly low prices. Of course, 
there are many qualities among the vast variety of 
vehicles built by the new processes, and many 


grades of stock enter into their composition. As 
in all other manufactures, the price is a very fair 
indication of quality. One might think that in the 
rush for low prices of both builders and buyers all 
really good work would be superseded by low grades, 
and that the tendency would be steadily downward 
in quality ; but such is not the fact. Fine work — 
I may say superb work, that which taxes the high- 
est skill and care of the best designers and mechan- 
ics — is still in great demand, and will probably con- 
tinue to be for all time. 

There are many builders of high-grade work 
widely known by the public, of whom I should be 
glad to speak, and who are distinguished for their 
excellent productions; but I will name only one, 
easily the first in this or any other country — Brew- 
ster & Company of New York. A visit to this great 
establishment — of which a!l American carriage- 
builders are justly proud — will show the apprecia- 
tive observer to how high a degree of perfection, 
beauty, and completeness modem carriage-building 
has attained. 

In 1872 the leading carriage-makers of the coun- 
try formed an association called the " Carriage 
Builders' National Association. " The good that 
this organization has accomplished by means of its 
annual conventions can scarcely be estimated. All 
trades which have similar associations know the 
value of good fellowship and good feeling among 
competitors instead of the old-time jealous antago- 
nism. Very early in the history of the association 
the decay of the useful old apprenticeship system 
was recognized; and as a substitute for this past 
method of training workmen a fund was raised by 
subscription for a technical school, to be established 
in New York City, to teach the science of carriage 
drafting and construction. This school has been a 
great success. Under able teachers a large number 
of talented young men have graduated, well equipped 
to take charge of the constructive department in 
our factories. Thus scientifically trained foremen 
and whirling machinery now very largely take the 
place of the skilled workmen who formerly occupied 
our benches, each working by his own methods, 
carefully guarded, in which there was more of the 
rule of thumb than of science. 

It is fortunate for the graduate of the technical 
school when, in addition to the knowledge gained 
in the course of his studies, he has the inborn fac- 
ulty of producing new and beautiful forms; that 

keen sense of fair proportions and graceful lines 
which is the necessary qualification of a designer. 
Few things fashioned by human skill are more beau- 
tiful than a fine carriage; none but a true artbt in 
his line is fit to determine its form, and none but an 
expert mechanic, painstaking and honest, is fit to 
supervise its construction. The hght-weight car- 
riages now required, the tremendous strain and 
rough usage which they must undergo without a 
sign of weakness, require the most carefully selected 
stock and the most watchful care in all the details 
of mechanical arrangement. 

The volume of business done by all the carriage- 
makers in the country is clearly shown by the last 
census report, from which the following figures are 
taken : 


Number of eslablishmenls 4.S7I 

Number of workmen employed ^iSM 

Number of all other emploTecs S^iS^S 

Officers, firm-members, uid eletk* 6,069 

Capital employed $93^55^57 

MiscelUneoQs eipeoses 5,495,171 

Wages of workmen 34^7,827 

W^es of other employee! 28,971^(01 

Wages ofaSicers, tirm-metnber«, and clerks .... 5,715,426 

Value of all products 101,680,341 

Cost of materials 46,021,769 

Value of road eart* 6,074,173 

Value of buggies 27,345,540 

Otber light carriages 13,109,983 

Broughams, coaches, Victorias, etc 4,279,73s 

Other heavy carriages 2,973,89s 

Light and heavy spring wagons, etc 12,640,339 

Farm wagons and carts 14.146.70a 

Repairing 18,610,366 

It will be seen from the above figures that the 
value of buggies manufactured was double that of 
any other style of carriage or wagon, and more than 
one fourth of the total product. 

That the volume of business done in the carriage 
trade at the present time is fully equal to the wants 
of the community is evident from the exceedingly 
sharp competition among builders and dealers. The 
business, however, will certainly continue to grow 
as fast as the increased capacity of the purchasing 
class can be made to absorb the increased producL 

Given that prosperity which our country and her 
beneficent institutions insure us, if wisdom rules, a 
continued advance will be made, a wider and wider 
market will be open to us, greater novelties will be 
forthcoming to tempt the lovers of new things, 
greater perfection will be attained, and a greater 
number of our hard-working fraternity will find good 
employment »*ith satisfactory returns. 







FROM the earliest period in history, the inven- 
tive genius of man has been applied to the 
work of providing safe receptacles for the 
storage of treasure, jewels, and otlier valuables. 
The developmeni has not been so rapid as in some 
other industrial interests, but it has kept pace with 
the demands of ihe commercial world, and the 
evolution from the strong-box to the mammoth 
chilled-iron and steel vaults, absolutely fire-proof 
and burglar-proof, seems to have reached the high- 
est stage that science and art can impart to the 
wonderful mechanism of American safe-building. 

In the early days of Egypt the organization of 
government had attained a point of perfection 
which made its treasury an important interest, and 
the moneys obtained by the tax-gatherers upon the 
industries of the country were carefully guarded in 
securely- built treasure-houses fastened with locks of 
elaborate design and construction, From the keys 
which have been found in the ruins of Thebes it 
would appear that the ancient Egyptians were ac- 
quainted, even at this early period, with some of 
the principles which have been supposed to be dis- 
tinctive in modem improvements in locks — for ex- 
ample, that of tumblers which hold the bolt fast 
until it has been moved by the key. Locks rudely 
constructed upon this principle were also to be 
found in many European communities during the 
middle ages, although its use by our modern safe- 
makers has been comparatively recent. 

The discoveries in Pompeii and elsewhere have 
shown that among the Romans locks of intricate 
workmanship were known; and in Great Britain 
keys have been found which date back to the Ro- 
man occupation of that countrj-. Among the Chinese 
the art of lock-making has for a long time been well 
understood, and the locks there constructed upon 
the principle of the famous Bramah lock, invented 
in England in 1784, were made of wood from early 

dmes. In these the tumblers were made of different 
lengths to fit the sizes of the wards in tlie keys. 

During the middle ages chests for the safe-keep- 
ing of valuables were ordinary articles of furniture 
in houses. Some were very elaborately made, 
strengthened with ironwork of various kinds, and 
furnished with locks which were frequently deco- 
rated in very artistic ways. These chests, which 
were really the safes of that period, were protected 
by bands of iron. The burglar's skill and cunning 
had not then attained to its present perfection, and 
a modem " cracksman " would laugh at the provi- 
sions then made for the security of \'aluables. The 
oaken chest, or strong-box of that time, seems to 
have been considered the acme of security. In 
1707 such a chest was made and used for the safe- 
keeping of the crown jewels of Scotland, and when 
the Royal Commissioners desired to examine them 
they were obliged to force open the chest, because 
no keys could be found thai would open the locks, 
and no " expert " could pick them ; yet they can be 
picked to-day by an ordinary expert locksmith in 
three or four minutes with a simple piece of bent 
wire. These safes or chests were often reinforced 
with iron bands and knees, and made lo look more 
formidable with sharp-headed spikes or similar de- 
vices. No attempt seems to have been made to 
construct these articles to resist fire or heat, or to 
render them to any degree fire-proof, until between 
1835 and 1835. 

About that dale the Yankee inventive genius 
produced an oaken chest that was a great im- 
provement on the old style, and many of the old- 
time business houses in New York and Boston still 
have in their offices specimens of these first efforts 
of the inventive genius of America in the " fire- 
proof" safe line, A body of solid oak plank three 
or four inches thick, saturated with an alkali, was 
covered with sheets of thin iron. Bands of iron 


were crossed and recrossed over these plates and 
secured to the body with large round-headed iron 
nails. This made a very formidable-looking affair, 
and with its immense key, weighing sometimes over 
a pound, was considered thoroughly fire and bur- 
glar-proof. As a fire-proof safe when new it would 
probably stand a severe test of two or three hours. 
In the great fire of 1835, which destroyed a large 
pOTtion of the lower part of New York Ctly, hun- 
dreds of these safes were shown to be worthless in 
a severe conflagration. 

\Vith the advent of paper money and the com- 
mencement of our modem commercial activity, 
wealth began to assume a more portable form ; 
large values began to be possible in conveniently 
small packages, and the necessity was soon made 
apparent for improved methods in safe-making. 
The oaken box defended by iron bars, which had 
done duty as a burglar-proof safe during the last 
century, began in the early years of the present 
century to be replaced by boxes covered entirely 
with iron. The Hall Safe and Lock Company, of 
Cincinnati, have in their possession a safe formerly 
used by the Marietta Bank, and made in New York 
City in 1807, which is constructed of oak plank 
two inches thick, bound together by iron straps, and 
thickly studded with small nails. It is fastened by 
an ordinary hasp and padlock. 

About the year tSjo the attention of safe-manu- 
facturers, mechanical engineers, and inventors was 
directed toward making safes absolutely fire-proof, 
for the preservation of money and valuables. The 
first attempts appear to have been made in France. 
The safes were made with double walls, the space 
between them being filled with a non-conducting 
substance, a composition. This idea was quickly 
taken up in the United States, and in 1843 the first 
patent was issued to Daniel Fitzgerald, who had 
conducted experiments on his own account in the 
same direcrion. Fitzgerald had been a workman 
engaged in grinding plaster of Paris. A simple in- 
cident had suggested to his mind an improvement 
in the construction of fire-proof safes. Being in the 
habit of washing his hands daily in a tin basin, he 
one day desired to warm the water, and, placing 
the basin over the fire, discovered that it did not 
heal rapidly; and, after stirring the fire, he threw 
out the water, and discovered that a thin scale of 
plaster of Paris had gradually formed in the bottom 
of the basin. This he scraped out, and found that 
the water heated rapidly. He concluded that if a 
safe were filled with plaster of Paris it would be 
8 good protection from fire, and he immediately 

secured a patent and began the manu& 
first so-called Salamander Safes. 

In a short time, as the business grew, he needed 
much more capital, and Mr. Azor S. Marvin was 
induced to engage in the business with him. A few 
years later Mr. Silas C. Herring also secured a right 
to manufacture safes under this patent Mr, Fitz- 
gerald's patent was subsequently assigned to B, J. 
Wilder, and the safes manufactured under it were 
known as the " Wilder Patent." In these the space 
between the walls of the safe was left vacant, 
reliance being placed upon the non-conducting 
properties of the air thus enclosed to preserve the 
contents from heat. Other substances, which had 
also a high non-conducting power, were proposed 
for filling the space left between the walls, and 
numerous patents were granted for various com- 

But other inventors were also at work upon the 
problem of fire-proof safes, and asbestos, mixed with 
plaster of Paris, clay, alum, fire-clay, mica, and chalk 
were each used with eflfect, and were proclaimed in 
turn absolutely fire-proof. The intense heat, how- 
ever, to which safes have been subjected has demon- 
strated that none of these fillings was absolutely 
safe. Another plan, invented by Prof. A. K. Eaton, 
of New York, consisted in using pure alumina, and 
he also introduced the idea of using steam as a non- 
conductor. Experiments showed that as long as 
any steam was produced no excessive heat reached 
the articles in the safe ; but the objection to this is 
found in the dampness to which the contents of the 
safe are subjected. 

Protection against burglars is in modem days re- 
garded as of very great importance in the building 
of safes. The modem burglar has the thorough 
experience of a practical mechanic, together with a 
full comprehension of the details and theory of safe- 
making. During the present centurj' great atten- 
tion has been given both to lock-making and lock- 
picking. The invention of the Bramah lock was 
regarded as a step of great importance. The lock 
abandoned the use of wards, and other improve- 
ments introduced into its mechanism enabled it for 
a long time to retain its reputation as a lock that 
could not be picked. It was finally picked, how- 
ever, in 1851, by a Mr. Hobbs, by what is known as 
the " tentative process." Subsequently the worlt 
of picking the lock became comparatively easy. 

The next important lock invented was Chubb's, 
which was introduced in England in iSiS. This 
was also picked with ease by Mr. Hobbs, A lock 
made by Mr. Pyes was placed in the London exU- 



bition in 1 851, but it was picked by Linus Yale, Jr., 

of Philadelphia, by what he called the " impression 
process," The father of Mr, Yale then patented a 
luck which was regarded as absolutely safe, but it 
was finally picked by his son. The inventors per- 
severed, however, and tlie modern lock- combinations 
are such as to defy the skill of the most accomplished 
or ingenious burglar, while the conslrucdon other- 
wise renders them absolutely fire-proof. The lesd- 
mony of E. B- Denison, the celebrated lock-makci 
of London, demonstrates the superiority of Ameri- 
can-made safes over those produced anywhere in 
the world. He says: "The American safes are 
vastly superior to any we have ever seen made in 
England; and on the whole tlie United States are 
evidently far ahead of us in the manufacture of both 
good and cheap locks." 

The method of construction used in the modem 
safes makes them impregnable to any appliance in 
use by the most expert burglars. The doors, which 
are generally the weak point of a safe, are con- 
structed of plates so dovetailed, and fitting corre- 
spondingly into the jambs, that the wedge, the most 
effective implement used by the burglar, is powerless 
against them, while the accuracy with which they 
5t offers no opportunity for any crevice into which 
nitro- glycerine or any other explosive fluid or sub- 
stance can be introduced. The body of the safe 
being also constructed of alternate plates of iron, 
welded iron, and steel, carbonized and decarbonized 
steel, and crystal steel, fastened together by bolts 
from the inside, effectively prevents them from being 
forced by sledge-hammers, jimmies, jackscrews, or 
other mechanical devices. Their fire-proof qualities 
are also secured by fiUings of concrete which make 
them absolutely proof against fire and damp. 

But in addition to the building of safes much at- 
tention has been paid in recent years to the manu- 
facture of burglar-proof bank vaults and chests. 
Among the specialties employed in their construc- 
tion is a material made from Franklinite ore found 
in Sussex County, N. J., which possesses a hardness 
exceeding that of the finest tempered steel. This 
metal, often presenting the appearance of crystal- 
lized silver, is so interwoven with wrouglit-iron rods 
that it can be battered until bent without being 
broken, and at the same time the combination of 
wrought and crystallized iron is such that, in any at- 
tempt to drill, the tool will pierce the soft metal faster 
than the hard, and, consequently, working sideways, 
will soon have its point fractured and broken off. 

A first-class banker's chest consists of three casings 
of one- fourth-inch v/rought iron with angle 

casing of one- fourth- inch steel bars, a casing of onc- 
fourth-inch wrought bars, with angle of solid corners, 
a casing of patent crystallized iron two inches thick, 
with wrought-iron rods cast tlirough it, and project- 
ing rivets on each side, so that the entire thickness 
is three and one fourth inches. Such a safe will not 
only overcome any drill or cutting-tool, but is also a 
restraint against sledging or battering, which has 
always been the weak point in safes in which hard- 
ened metal lias formed an integral part. Many of 
the vaults in use in this city are receptacles for 
enormous sums of money and other valuables, the 
safety of which is rendered absolutely secure by the 
modem methods employed in their construction. 
Thesafetyofhundreds of millions of treasure against 
the depredadons of the most expert burglars, and 
also from loss by fire, is thus assured. One of 
the most important factors in securing absolute 
safety for valuables in bank safes and vaults has 
been the introduction of the combination-locks, the 
evolution of the " tumbler " principle already al- 
luded to. The mechanism in these locks exhibits 
the highest skill. Each one is practically unlimited 
in the number of combinaHons upon which it may 
be set, thus rendering it absolutely impossible for 
any person, other than the one who knows the com- 
bination, to open it. In recent years a valuable 
addition has been introduced in the shape of chro- 
nometer or time locks. The mechanism and adjust- 
ment of these are as fine as the work of the most 
expertly constructed watch. Three movements are 
usually inclosed in a single case, so that, should one 
or even two of them get out of order, the remaining 
one would still unlock the ponderous doors at the 
hour appointed for them to be opened. Bank offi- 
cers have in the past been compelled in some in- 
stances to unlock the door of a safe at the point 
of a burglar's revolver, under threat of death, but 
the chronometer combination has effectually pre- 
vented robbery in that way, as no human agency 
can open the doors of the safe or vault until the 
time on which it is set has expired. 

The construction of the modern office building of 
fifteen or twenty stories has induced safe-manufac- 
turers to build the framework of safes much thicker 
than was formerly the case, and to make use of 
greater quantities of fire-proof filling, so that the safes 
may withstand a fall from an upper floor to the 
cellar, and also the crushing weight of heavy walls 
and machinery. 

There are at present about ten leading firms and 
corporations in the United States engaged in the 
manufacture of safes, vaults, etc. They give em- 


ployment not only to mechanics, who are mostly of 
a very high class in the factories, but, in addition, 
large numbers of salesmen, draughtsmen, and others 
are connected with the work, aggregating upward of 
5000 people, and producing annually in the neigh- 
borhood of $10,000,000 worth of work. The 
capital invested in machinery, plants, etc, for the 
production of this work approximates $6,000,000. 
Some of the principal manufacturing companies 
are located in the West, principally in Cincinnati : 
those include the Hall Safe and Lock Works, the 
Mosler Safe Company, the Diebold Safe Company; 
and in the East the Herring Safe Company and 
the Marvin Safe Company of New York, and the 
Farrel Safe Works and Remington Safe Works of 
Philadelphia. These companies all noanufacture 
first-class work, and it is due to their energy and 
business activity that the American safe is the stan- 
dard for the entire world. No foreign safes are 
imported to this country. 

The immense superiority of the American over 
the European safes was shown in the great safe test 
at the Paris Exposition in 1S67. An American safe 
was pitted against an English safe of one of the 
leading manufacturere of that country ; the Yankee 

workman opened the English safe in less than three 
hours, while it took the Europeans more than dou* 
ble that time to open the American safe. 

At the Centemiial Exposition in 1876, the difier- 
ence in the qualities and improvements shown in 
the American safes over the European exhibits was 
very marked, while the European safes were found 
to be but slightly in advance of those produced 
soon after the World's Fair in London, in 1850, and 
were about on a par with the safes produced in the 
United States twenty-five years previous. The 
American safes, in both fire-proof qualities and bur- 
glar-resisting devices and construction, were so far 
superior to all others that the foreign safes did not 
receive a single medal, or even honorable mentioiL 

Naturally the recognized security o&ered by Amer- 
ican safes opens the market of the world to the 
products of this important branch of industry. Not 
only throughout Great Britain and her colonial de- 
pendencies, but throughout Europe, Asia, Afiica, 
and Mexico, the American safe-manufacturer finds 
customers ; and great as is the volume of the trade 
to-day, the possibiUties of the future cannot be fore- 
shadowed with anything approaching accuracy, al- 
though its steady growth is a 




THE American sewing-machine is the sewing- 
machine of the world. Not only is this 
true aa to the machines used for domestic 
purposes, but of machines used in manufacturing for 
stitching all kinds of textile fabrics and leather, in- 
cluding special machines for working buttonholes, 
eyelets, overseaming, embroidery, etc. It is, how- 
ever, proper, in writing a brief history of the incep- 
tion and invention of the sewing-machine from its 
begiiming down to the advent of the first American 
sewing-machines which were of practical value as an 
article of commerce and trade, that we refer to what 
had been done in other countries in the way of in- 
venting and producing sewing-machines. 

The first sewing-machine of official record is that 
of Thomas Saint, on which a patent was granted in 
England, July 17, 1790. It is not known whether 
more than an experimental machine was made ; only 
the drawings on file in the English Patent Office, to- 
gether with a full description of the machine in the 
specifications of tlie patent, are in evidence to show 
to what extent success was attained. Enough is 
shown in the drawings and description to demon- 
strate thai it corresponded more nearly to the form 
and mechanical arrangement of the first successful 
American productions of 1850 than did any of the 
several machines made diuing the intervening time. 
Knight says in his "Mechanical Dictionary": "The 
overhangingarm, vertically reciprocatingneedle, con- 
tinuous thread, and automatic feed, were patented 
in England fifty yeare before Greenough's [machine] 
and sixty years before the Singer attained its excel- 
lence," This indicates ihat subsequent inventors 
from 1790 to 1850 eitlicr did not have knowledge of 
Saint's invention or did not choose to profit by it. 

The first sewing-machine of official record that was 
put into operation is that of BarthWmy Thimonnier, 
patented in France in 1830. This machine was so 
far a success that in 1S41, it is said, eighty of them 
were made, and used in making clothing for the 

French army, and were destroyed by a mob, as had 
been the Jacqiiard loom and other labor-saving 
machines years before. Thimonnier made another 
attempt in 1848 to introduce his machines in France, 
and a mob again defeated liis efforts. He took out 
a patent in the United States, September 3, 1850, 
but his machine had no important features that were 
of value as compared with the sewing-machines of 
that date. 

Several patents on sewing-machines were taken 
out in England and the United States up to the year 
1846, but none of them contained the essential fea- 
tures necessary for success. September 10, 1846, 
Elias Howe, Jr., took out a patent in the United 
States on a machine that had new and important 
features, and that placed his name among the great 
inventors of this age of inventions. Prior to Howe 
all the sewing-machines patented made the chain 
or tambour stitch, or attempted to imitate sewing by 
hand, making what might be called the backstitch. 
They used a short thread with a common needle 
that was passed through the material and pulled 
out with pincers, or else a needle with an eye in 
the center, passing it through the material and 
making the same stitch as is common to workeis 
in leather. 

The chain-stitch was produced by Saint, Thimon- 
nier, and others, and might properly be called a 
knittetl stitch, as they used a continuous thread 
direct from the ordinary spool, and tlie stitch was 
formed the same as in knitting. Howe used an 
eye-pointed needle and a shuttle, passing the shuttle 
through a loop of the needle-thread and producing 
a lock-stitch alike on both sides of the material, with 
the lock or intertwining loops of the two threads 
pulled to the center; this might very appropriately 
be called a woven sritch in contradistinction 
chain or knitted stitch. 

There is a general impression that Howe invented 
the eye-pointed needle, but this is not true. The 




eye-pointed needle was invented many years before, 
and was extensively used in France for the purpose 
of working by hand, in a chain-stitch, the name of 
the manufacturer on the ends of broadcloths. It 
was also used in chain-stitch sewing-machines. 

Howe's invention consisted of the combination 
of the eye-pointed needle with a shuttle for forming 
a stitch, and an intermittent feed for holding and car- 
rying the material forward as each stitch is formed. 
The mechanical device for the feed was called the 
" baster-plate," and the length of the seam sewed at 
one operation was determined by the length of this 
plate. The material to be sewed was hung by pins 
to the " baster-plate " in an upright position, and if 
the seam to be sewed was of greater length than the 
plate it was necessary to rehang it on the plate, which 
was moved back to position in the same manner as 
a log is carried back and forth in a saw-mill. 

It is not claimed that any machines made after the 
model of the original Howe machine were ever put 
into practical use. Mr. Howe, in his application for 
an extension of his patent, only claims to have made 
three machines, one being the model deposited in 
the United States Patent Office, and the other two 
he retained and claims to have used in sewing the 
seams for two suits of clothes, one for himself and 
the other for Mr. Fisher, the assignee of one half of 
the patent. Mr. Howe also relates that, not meet- 
ing with any success in obtaining adequate capital 
in this country, he sold the other half of his patent 
to his father for $1000, and went to England, where 
his right for a patent had been sold to William 
Thomas for ;^25o. He engaged to work for Mr. 
Thomas at ^^3 per week in perfecting and adapt- 
ing the machine for work in the corset factory of 
Mr. Thomas, in London. He was not successful in 
this, and was arrested for debt and took the " poor 
debtor's oath." Through the kindness of the cap- 
tain of an American packet he was enabled to send 
his wife and children back to the United States. 
Later he took for himself steerage passage for Bos- 
ton, where he found that sewing-machines had been 
made during his absence that infringed his patent. 
He then obtained a reconveyance of the half -interest 
previously conveyed to his father, and commenced 
suits to enforce his rights in Boston and New York. 
In the latter city he found I. M. Singer & Company 
making and selling machines, they setting up in the 
courts, in justification of their right to make machines, 
the claims of Walter Hunt, who established the fact 
that he made a sewing-machine with an eye-pointed 
needle and a shuttle that made the lock-stitch pre- 
vious to the year 1834, but failed to apply for a pat- 

ent on it or to produce a machine made at that 

Mr. Howe further sajrs that the suits brought by 
him in New York were fought with the utmost vigor 
and pertinacity by I. M. Singer & Company ; but the 
courts decided that Hunt's invention was never com- 
pleted in the sense of the patent law and did not 
in any way anticipate the patent granted to Howe. 
I. M. Singer & Company submitted to the decree of 
the court, and July i, 1854, took out a license under 
the Howe patent, and paid him $1 5,000 in settlement 
of license on machines made and sold prior to that 
time. Howe then purchased the other half -interest 
of his patent, and his success in the Singer suit 
made it comparatively easy for the enforcement of 
his legal rights with others. He obtained an exten- 
sion of his patent in 1 860 for seven years, and again 
applied for another extension in 1867, setting up 
that he had received only $1,185,000, that his in- 
vention was of incalculable value to the public, and 
that he should receive at least $150,000,000 for it 
His second application was very properly denied. 

In 1853 Amasa B. Howe, an elder brother of 
Elias Howe, Jr., commenced the manufacture of 
sewing-machines under a h'cense from his brother 
Elias, in which he infringed the Bachelder, Wilson, 
and Singer patents. Under subsequent arrangements 
he obtained the right to use those patents, and the 
machines were called the " Howe sewing-machine." 
This gave an erroneous impression to the general 
public as to what was really the original Howe sew- 
ing-machine. The facts in regard to it came out in 
after years, when Elias Howe, Jr., made an attempt 
to manufacture sewing-machines that were very like 
those made by Amasa B. Howe, and endeavored to 
appropriate the name of Howe as a trade name for 
the machines he manufactured. A suit brought by 
Amasa to establish his right to the word "Howe" 
as a trade name proved successful, the decision of 
the court being that Amasa B. Howe was the on- - 
ginal inventor and proprietor of the trade-maik of ^ 
" Howe " as applied to sewing-machines. 

The next invention patented that covers a funda 

mental and important feature was that of JohoK^ 
Bachelder, patented May 8, 1849. Bachelder's ma — -i 
chine was the first to embody the horizontal tabl^^. 
with a continuous feeding device that would sew an] 
length of seam. His invention consisted of an endl< 
leather belt set with small steel points projecting 
through the horizontal table and penetrating the 
terial to be sewed, carrying it along intermittently 
a proper time to meet the action of the needle. 

To Allen B. Wilson must be awarded the hig^i 



if praise as an inventor, and for the ingenuity 
displayed in constructing and improving the sewing- 
machine. His patent of Novemberii, 1850, covered 
the invention of the moving feed-bar, with teeth pro- 
jecting up through the horizontal table or plate of 
the machine, in conjunction with a presser-foot com- 
ing down on the material to be sewed, and holding 
it in position for the action of the feed-bar. His 
patents of August iz, 1851, and June 15, 1852, for 
improvement in a feeding device, and for a revolv- 
ing hook for passing the upper thread around the 
bobbin containing the under thread, gave to the 
world a feed that would admit the sewing of a 
curved seam, which has become almost universal in 
the sewing-machine, while the revolving hook is a 
marvelous piece of ingenuity and mechanical skill. 

It is to be regretted that Wilson did not receive 
ail adequate reward for his great inventions. In his 
petition to Congress in 1874 for a second extension 
of the three above-named patents he stated that he 
did not receive anything above his ex-penses during 
the fourteen-year term of his original patent ; that 
owing to his impecuniotu condition he was obliged 
to sell a half-interest for $200 ; that for the seven- 
year term of the extension he had only received 
$137,000: and that he had no stock or interest in 
any company manufacturing sewing-machines at that 
date ; which statements were verified by his original 

The sewing-machine constructed by Allen B. Wil- 
son was small and light, and only adapted for domes- 
tic purposes in the ordinary sewing for a family, or 
on very light fabrics in manufacturing. It used a 
vibratory arm for carrying the eye-pointed needle, 
which was curved to meet the arc of the circle de- 
scribed by the motion of the arm. 

In 1873 the Wheeler & Wilson Manufacturing 
Company produced its first machine, with horizontal 
bed and overhanging arm attached thereto, using a 
needle-bar with perpendicular action and carrying 
a straight needle. Its vibratory arm was actuated 
by a cylinder-cam on the shaft under the table of the 
machine. This defective and cumbersome mechan- 
ism was not a success and was superseded by a rock- 
shatc in the overhanging arm. This was again dis- 
placed by substituting the revolving shaft, as used in 
the original Singer machine, and giving motion to 
the needle-bar and the upper thread "take-up" in 
the same manner as applied on the Singer machines 
at the present day. 

In 185a Mr. Isaac M. Singer visited Boston for the 
purpose of promoting the manufacture of a machine 
that he had invented for carving wood. His atten- 

tion was there called to a sewing-machine made by 
Blodgetl & Lerow, after the model of the Howe 
machine. That night he worked out in his mind a 
machine differing materially in shape, form, and 
mechanical construction, and made a rough draft of 
his conception, showing its advantages over the plan 
of construction of the Rrst and only sewing-macliine 
he had ever seen or heard of. 

The feasibility of his plans being apparent to Mr. 
Orson C. Phelps, the owner of the machine-shop, and 
to Mr. George B. Zieber, who had previously been 
interested in the machine for carving, an agreement 
was entered into by which Singer was to furnish the 
plans, Phelps to do the work in his shop, and Zieber 
to put in $40 in money to pay for materials and ex- 
penses. It is a matter of well -authentic a ted history 
that the first machine was made in eleven days, and 
that " it went to work at once," and was the most 
perfectly organized sewing-machine for practical use 
that had been made up to that time. 

Thus was created a sewing-machine that in its 
size and the mechanical construction of its arm and 
table serves as model for ninety-five per cent, of all 
the sewing-machines that are being made through- 
out the world to-day. It had the horizontal table, 
with a continuous feeding device coming up tlirough 
an aperture in the table; an overhanging arm at- 
tached to the table ; a horizontal shaft in the arm 
giving motion to a needle-bar acting perpendicularly 
and carrying a straight eye-pointed needle ; a hori- 
zontal shaft under ihe table of the machine, and di- 
rectly connected with and driven by the upper shaft, 
giving proper motion for moving the sliuttle back 
and forward, and an intermittent motion to the feed- 
wheel, which was an improvement over the Bachelder 
feed, as it was constructed of iron, with a corrugated 
surface that did not penetrate the fabric or injure 
its surface. It also had a presser-foot to hold the 
fabric down to the feed-wheel, which had a yielding 
spring that would permit of passage over seams, or 
would sew different thicknesses without requiring 
any change in its adjustment. This important fea- 
ture had not been shown in any other machine up 
to that time. The yielding spring presser-foot was 
claimed by Mr. Singer in his original application for 
a patent on a sewing-machine; but this claim was 
disallowed because there was a question as to who 
was the iirst to invent this important feature, although 
the idea was undoubtedly original with Singer. 

The construction of the original Singer machine, 
with its straight horizontal shaft in the overhang- 
ing arm, easily admitted enlargement and extension, 
thus gaining increased space for handling the work. 



As an indication of its capabilities in this respect it 
may be stated that at this time there are over forty 
distinct classes of machines made by The Singer 
Manufacturing Company, that vary in size and ca- 
pacity from the smallest for domestic purposes to a 
machine having a bed eighteen feet in length and 
capable of stitching canvas belting of any practica- 
ble width and up to one and one half inches in 
thickness. Mr. Singer did not confine his efforts to 
his original machine and the lock-stitch, but in 1854 
he invented a " latch imdemeedle," and constructed 
a machine making the single-thread chain-stitch; 
and the same year he produced a machine for em- 
broidering, using two threads and making a double- 
thread chain-stitch, with a very ingenious mechan- 
ism for throwing another thread back and forth in 
front of the needle and producing an ornamental 

In 1856 he brought out a machine making the 
lock-stitch, but discarded the wheel-feed and used 
the " Wilson four-motion feed " ; so that the name of 
Singer, as applied to sewing-machines, did not des- 
ignate any particular type of machine, or a machine 
making any one kind of stitch, or using either of 
the well-known feeding devices. He also turned 
his attention to making attachments for the sewing- 
machine, in the way of binders, rufflers, etc. 

The machines of prior date to Singer, and many 
of them for a long time after, used either a vibratory 
arm and a curved needle or a vibratory arm and a 
needle-bar carrying a straight needle. It is obvious 
that a machine constructed on either of these prin- 
ciples could not be enlarged without destroying its 
effectiveness. The shorter the arm, the greater the 
curve of the needle, and the more contracted the 
space for turning and handling the work ; the longer 
the arm, the more liability to spring and affect the 
proper action of the needle, and the more power re- 
quired to propel the machine and drive the needle 
through the material to be sewed. 

We have now reached a period where the inven- 
tors had discovered the essential features of a sewing- 
machine and made them mechanically practicable. 
The time had arrived for active and practical busi- 
ness men to take hold of it and make the discovery 
of value to the world at large. A new industry had 
sprung into existence, the product of which was not 
only to be of great importance in itself, but was also 
to work a revolution in many branches of manufac- 
turing industry. 

The men who came to the front and duly appreci- 
ated the magnitude of the prospective business were 
Mr. Natlianiel Wheeler of the Wheeler & Wilson 

Company, Mr. Orlando B. Potter of the Grover & 
Baker Company, and Mr. Edward Clark of I. M. 
Singer & Company. Mr. Nathaniel Wheeler became 
a partner of Allen B. Wilson in 1851. Mr. Wheeler 
brought with him energy and ambition that soon 
developed into superior business ability. This, with 
fine presence and engaging manners, enabled him to 
obtain financial aid from some of the leading capi- 
talists of Connecticut, his native State. His great 
tact in the way of bringing before the pubUc, by ad- 
vertisements and otherwise, the fact that sewing by 
machinery could be practically accomplished in the 
household gave the invention of Wilson an enormous 
sale, and its manufacture at Bridgeport, Conn., soon 
became one of the most important manufacturing 
industries in that city. 

Mr. Wheeler became prominent in banking and 
other business interests, and received political honors 
from both city and State. He was president and 
general manager of the Wheeler & Wilson Manufac- 
turing Company from its organization down to the 
date of his decease, in January, 1894. 

Mr. Orlando B. Potter was president of the Grover 
& Baker Sewing-Machine Company, a corporation 
organized under the laws of Massachusetts, with its 
factory located at Boston. Mr. Potter, however, 
recognized the fact that New York was the metropo- 
lis, and the proper place for him to establish himself 
and the headquarters of his company. 

The inventions of William O. Grover and William 
£. Baker were of prime importance in some of the 
sewing-machines of early date, but the great feature 
was the " Grover & Baker stitch." It was formed 
by interlocking the upper and lower threads on the 
under side of the material, and producing on the 
knitting principle a double chain-stitch. This com- 
pany also made a few machines using a shutde 
and making the regular lock-stitch ; but Mr. Potter 
became imbued with the belief that the Grover & 
Baker stitch would be the stitch imiversally used in 
family sewing and nearly every branch of manufac- 
ture, and he apparently directed his efforts to that 
end. That he had committed an error became evi- 
dent, as the sales of the Grover & Baker machines 
decreased, while those making the lock-stitch were 
increasing in much greater proportion. 

In 1875 Mr. Potter sold out the business and all J 
the effects of the Grover & Baker Sewing-Machine ^ 
Company to a company making lock-stitch sewing- - 
machines. The demand for the Grover & Baker '^ 
machines became so small that their manufacture ^ 
soon ceased, and the name of the Grover & Baker ^^ 
machine and stitch soon passed out of existence. - 



The merits of a double chain-sdtch are in its elas- 
ticity, and in using the imder thread direct from 
the commercial spool without rewinding. Machines 
making a similar stitch have been made since that 
time for use in the manufacture of knit goods, bags, 
etc., where an elastic seam is required, and the stitch 
is also used in machines made by the Singer Company 
for sewing the seams in carpets. 

After Mr. Potter's graceful retirement from the 
sewing-machine business he showed his faith in the 
progress and growth of his adopted city. New York, 
by large investments in real estate. He became in- 
terested in politics, being twice elected to Congress, 
wbere he was very prominent and an important mem- 
ber of some of its leading committees. 

The complex and important litigation of the early 
d^ys of the sewing-machine required the employ- 
ment of the very best legal talent of that period ; and 
soon after the establishment of the business of I. M. 
Singer & Company in New York, in the early part 
of 1851, they employed Messrs. Jordan & Clark as 
their attorneys and counselors. The senior mem- 
ber of that firm, Ambrose L. Jordan, was at that 
time attorney-general of the State of New York, 
^Qd the affairs of that office so engrossed his atten- 
tion that the junior partner, Edward Clark, took in 
charge the new clients. They were unable to pay 
the fees and costs of the extensive litigation in which 
they were involved, and Mr. Clark accepted an in- 
terest in the firm to secure payment for his services 
*^<i the advances he had made. Mr. Singer recog- 
"^^i^ed the legal ability and business sagacity of Mr. 
^^^k, and proposed that they should buy out the in- 
terest of the other partners, Mr. Clark taking charge 
^^ the legal and financial branch of the business, 
^hile Mr. Singer gave his attention to the manufactur- 
es and improving of the sewing-machine. In March, 
' ^53, they consunmiated this arrangement ; and from 
^*^at time up to the incorporation of The Singer Manu- 
^*<^turing Company, in April, 1863, Mr. Clark had 
clxafg^ of the financial and commercial branch of the 
and directed the affairs in litigation. That 
Conducted both of these important parts of the 


^^^iness with success is well attested by the remark- 
"le growth of the first and the well-protected inter- 
^^^ of the latter. 

^r. Clark at an early day appears to have fully 
^^**^prehended the value of the sewing-machine as an 
'^^^cle of trade and commerce. His policy always 
^^^t^nplated the diffusion of the business in every 
r^^^^ction, following the most direct method of plac- 
es its products in the hands of the consumer. He 
^^ only established agencies throughout the United 

States, which were conducted by agents employed 
under salaries, but he gradually extended a system 
of agencies throughout Europe and all other parts 
of the civilized world. In 1856 he originated and 
inaugurated the S3rstem of selling sewing-machines 
on the renting or instalment plan, and this method 
has been adopted and extended throughout the 
offices of the company all over the world. This 
system has been extended by others to the sale of 
nearly every article of merchandise, from a family 
Bible to a railway-car, and has proved of inestimable 
benefit to mankind. 

Mr. Clark continued to take an active interest in 
the business of The Singer Manufacturing Company, 
holding the office of president of the company from 
1876 down to the day of his decease, in 1882. He 
was a large owner of real estate in the city of New 
York, being one of the first to construct a building 
for residences on the French system. Among the 
notable buildings of this class erected by him are the 
" Dakota " and the " Van Corlear." 

Mr. Clark was of a very modest and retiring dis- 
position, and never permitted himself to be brought 
prominently before the public; and although he was 
at the head of one of the largest mercantile enter- 
prises in the world, his natural tendency for associa- 
tion was with the members of his profession. If 
occasion called he had an easy flow of rhetoric, and 
with a pen his diction was pure, terse, and to the point. 
These qualities, with clear logical reasoning on legal 
questions, and an inherent love of equity, would have 
insured him high standing had he continued in active 
practice at the bar, or he would have graced with 
ornate dignity the bench of a court of last resort. 

After the validity of the patent of Elias Howe, 
Jr., had been fully established, he commenced a 
system of licenses to manufacturers of sewing- 
machines, demanding the exorbitant price of $25 on 
each machine, without any regard to its merits. In 
his application for a second extension of his patent 
he states that his first license was granted May 18, 
1853, and that up to July, 1854, he had granted 
fifteen licenses " for the general manufacture and 
sale of sewing-machines.'* As Howe's imperfect 
and impractical models did not contain the features 
essential to practical sewing-machines, the result of 
operation under his licenses was suits and counter- 
suits by the owners of the more important patents, 
and great distrust and unrest on the part of all pur- 
chasers of sewing-machines. 

In 1856 the owners and controllers of the 
Bachelder, Wilson, and other fundamental patents 
brought about a coalition, in which they included 


Elks Howe, the Wheeler & Wilson Manufacturing 
Company, the Grover & Baker Se wing-Machine 
Company, and I. M, Singer & Company ; thus form- 
ing the famous "sewing-machine combination" in 
which were pooled all the patents of the essential 
features of the sewing-machine in such a way as to 
protect the interest of each of its members in an 
equitable manner, and enable other mamifacturcre 
to continue in the business by the payment of only 
one license-fee to the combination. Under this 
arrangement any manufacturer who had a. meritori' 
ous machine that was not an offensive imitation of 
the machine of some other licensed manufacturer 
was granted a license, the rate being uniform to all, 
and much less than the excessive and exorbitant 
license previously demanded by Elias Howe, Jr. 

There was no pooling of any other interest in 
the combination excepting that of the patents ; no 
restrictions were placed on the price at which tlie 
machines were to be sold, either at wholesale or 

retail, but the maricet was open to fair competition 
on the merits of the several machines, and the result 
was to be the " survival of the fittest." The com- 
bination continued in existence with Mr. Howe as 
a member until the expiration of the extended term 
of his patent in 1867, and was then continued by 
the other members in interest until the expiration of 
the Bachelder patent in 1877. 

No record or estimate was made as to the num- 
ber of sewing-machines manufactured prior to the 
date when Howe began to grant licenses, but from 
that time to the termination of the combination a 
report was made at stated p^ods by all licensed 
manufacturers. Unfortunately some of the lecords 
of the combination were destroyed by fire, and only 
a partial list, showing the number of machines made 
from 1853 to 1877 by each of the several manufac- 
turers, can be furnished. Enough, however, is shown 
in the tabular statement appended to indicate the vol- 
ume of business from year to year during that period. 

Naui of MANurjtcruRH 















■Wheeler & WUton Mfg, Co. . . 








■ 6.™ to) 




■fht Sin« MsnubcluHnj ci, 
Grover ft Biker S. M, Co. . . 





















Kilos I 






Mjlooo <■) 
















A. R Haws'" " " 

mucox gTcibbi SewiD[-MiciiiH'C(L !! 

WUBn (W. GJ 




Dmw " " " .... 

ffiU :: - : :::::::;:;: 


ii.rit « 



MeK.r^-i.ii.Mi;to^ j^: :: ■,;;': ; 


.,6^ "■ 



ceDnomii ::;:::::' 



From the beginning to the end of the combina- sewing-machine, and patents covering devices of 

tion there was an army of would-be infringers and more or less utility are constantly being granted, 

imitators who kept up a constant howl on any anti The annexed list shows the number of patents issued 

all occasions, claiming that the existence of the by the United Slates for sewing-machines and acces- 

combination tended to retard the improvement of scries, from the first to J. J, Greenough, dated 

the sewing-machine, and that the public were the February 2\, 184?, down to September 10, 1895, 

sufferers thereby. It is now nearly twenty years the total being 7439. Of this number there were: 

since the expiration of the last important patent on se^,i„g_machit.« making ihe chain-siitch 433 

a fundamental principle of the sewing-machine, and Sewing-macliincs mnking Ihc lock-sl[tch 661 

it is a notable fact that two of the companies thai Sewing-mKhines for siiiching leather 431 

were members of and formed the combination in F«dmg devices (or sewing-machines 316 

„ , ., , , . .., . Machines for norking bntlonholes 448 

iSib are the only manufacturers, with one or two ,, , . , . , 

■^ ' Machines (or sewing 00 butlona 33 

exceptions, that have shown any marked improve- Miscellaneous parts of sewing-machines 2.950 

ment in the sewing-machine proper over those of Attachments, rufHers, hemmers, corders, etc ,., i,5a4 

twenty-five years ago, or who now produce machines Cabinet cases and tables 473 

that are capable of being run by steam or other Motors : foot. hand, siean.. air. and electric 170 

power at the high rate of speed, and doing the grade This classification is a continuation in part of the 

of work, that is required in the factory use of sewing- system adopted and used in Knight's " Mechanical 

machines at the present day. Dictionary," comprising patents on sewing-machines 

It may be said that the patents issued to Howe, issued up to March 10, 1875. It is not a complete 

Bachelder, and Wilson cover all the fundamental oraccurateclassification,asitenumeraleseachpatent 

principles of the sewing-machine. If we divide the only once, classifying it according to its most im- 

various machines into two classes, the " dry thread " portant feature, although it may cover several other 

and ihe " wax thread," it appears that the number of minor features of the sewing-machine which may 

patents covering all the essential elements in the have been embodied in the same patent. For in- 

fijBt-named class do not exceed ten, and an equal stance, the original Howe patent covers the combi- 

number those in the other. Reference will be made nation of the eye-pointed needle and the shuttle for 

later to important inventions in machines using wax forming the stitch, and also the very important 

tiiread, and only employed on leather in the manu- device for feeding the material to meet the proper 

facture of boots and shoes, harness, etc. action of the needle and shuttle ; yet it is entered in 

The inventive genius of the age is actively en- the hst but once, atid then simply as a sewing- 
gaged in the production of new developments of the machine making the lock-stitch. 


SntAL ri.T. N.M.. lHV.HT.OM. 




U both eniii. 




. .March 4. . . . . B. W. Bean Short thread, running stitch, ordinary hand -needle, cloth crimped 

into ridges for passage over the needle. 
G. H. Corlisa " Sewitig Engine." Short thread. Siraiiat to Greenoogh's. 

. Jaly 22 J. Rodgers Rnnning stitch. Similar to Bean's. 

.SepLlO EUAS Howi.jr Eyt-peinUd netdU in 

tinuSM! thriadfroi 


, , Nov. 28 ..... J. A. Bradshaw Lock-stitch, reciprocating shuttle. 


..Feb. 6 C. Morey & J. B. Johnson Chain-stitch. JorAn/ nm/i^. 

. .May 8 J. S- Conanl Chain-stitch. 

. .May 8, . J. BacHeloer ... ... Twe or mart tkrtads,(liam-sliUk,ceHtinuinis feeding dt 

tttilt, and everkanging arm. 
. . .S. C. Blodgell & }. A- Lerow . .Lock-stitch, shuttle rotating in « lateral annular 
,__j L 1, -^-igbaster- 

feed by endless rotatiDg bi 

■vice, Aoritontat 

:. ConcinaOQS 









7,296 ^ril 16 D. M. Smith Running stitch, short thread. 

7*369 May 14 O. L. Reynolds Chain-stitch. 

7,022 .... Sept. 3 B. Thimonnier, Sr Chain-stitch. 

7*659 Sept 24 ... . J. Bachelder Chain-stitch. 

7,776 Nov. 12 A. B. Wilson Lock-stitch^ vibratory shuttle pointed at both ends^ recifrocatsng 

7,824 Dec. 10 F. R. Robinson Short thread. 


ti Feb. II W. O. Grover & W. E. Baker . Chain-stitch^ two or more threads, 

>2 Aug. 5 W. H. Akins & J. D. Felthousen . Lock-stitch. 

8,294 Aug. 12 1. M. Singer Lock-stitch, yS'^-te^A^r/, thread controller. 

8,296. . . Aug. 12 A. B. Wilson Lock-stitch, rotary hook^ for carrying upper thread euvund 

containing under thread. 







. April 13 1. M. Singer Lock-stitch, thread controller, and tension device. 

.June 15 A. B. Wilson Lock-stitch, rotary hook. Four-motion feeding bar, 

June 22 W. O. Grover & W. E. Baker. . .Chain-stitch, two threads, 
uly 20 C. Miller. Back-stitch, vibratory shuttle. 

. Oct. 19 O. Avery Chain-stitch, two needles, two threads. 

. Nov. 2 C. Hodgkins Chain-stitch, two needles, two threads. 

. Nov. a J. G. Bradeen Short thread, running stitch. 


9,556 Jan. 25 F. Palmer Feeding device. 

9,<92 . .Feb. 22 W. H^ohnson Chain-stitch, two needles, two threads. 

9,641 March 29 T. C. Thompson Lock-stitch, magnetic shuttle and race for keefMng shuttle in contact 

with race. 

9,665 April 12 W. H. Johnson Goth holder and feeding device. 

9,679 . . April 19 W. Wickersham Sewing leather, barbed needle, two threads. 

10,344 . . . Dec 20 H. L. Sweet Binder, for binding hats, etc. 

10,354 . . . Dec. 20 S. C. Blodgett Chain-stitch, two needles, two threads. 


















.Jan. % , . 
.March 7 
.March 7 
. March 7 
. March 7 
April 4 . 
.April II 
.April II 

.May a. . 

May 9. . 
. May 9 . 

May 9 . 
. May 9 . 
.May 30. 
.May 31. 
. May 31 . 

June 27 

July 4.. 
.July II . 
.Aug. 8 

.Aug. 15 
Aug. 22 
.Aug. 22 
.Aug. 22 
.Aug. 29 
.Aug. 29 
.Sept. 12 
.Nov. 7 
.Nov. 14 
.Nov. 21 
.Nov. 28 
.Nov, 28 
Nov. 28 
.Dec. 12 
Dec. 12. 
.Dec. 19. 


. S. C. Blodgett Hemmer, for sewing umbrellas. 

,W. H. Jolmson Chain-stitch, one thread, needle feed, 

, C. Miller Buttonhole, two threads. 

.W. Wickersham Sewing leather, chdn-stitch,/zevii//<///;f,/nv/tffB/iSf/fmB(f^iilr>il^ 

. C. Hodgkins Chain-stitch, two threads. 

.W. H. Akins Cop for shuttle, 

S. T. Parker Lock-stitch, transverse reciprocating shuttle, 

.], Harrison, Jr Lock-stitch, reciprocating shuttle. Upper and under thread con- 

I. M. Singer Chain-stitch, two threads ; embroidery attachment carryitig third 


. S. Coon Lock-stitch ; reciprocating shuttle, thread controller. 

. H. Crosby, Jr Lock-stitch ; revolving hook, thread controller. 

, C. Hodgluns Feed-wheel movement. 

O. Avery Chain-stitch, two needles, and two threads. 

.1. M. Singer Chain-stitch, one thread; latch undemeedle, lifting presser foot. 

.1. M. Singer Lock-stitch, shuttle-thread controller and tension. 

. M. W. Stevens & £. G. Kinsley. . Lock-stitch, reciprocating shuttle in cylinder bed, wUhfeed-wkeeL 

Walter Hunt Lock-stitch, reaprocating shuttle. Needle feed. 

. W. Butterfield Chain-stitch, waxed thread for leather. Barbed needle, wheel 

. G. A. Leighton Chain-stitch, two threads. 

.A. Swingle Sewing leather, chain-stitch, one thread. 

. S. H. Roper Short thread, luickstitch. 

. E. Shaw Sewing leather. 

. M. Shaw Sewing leather. Clamp-guides. 

S. S. Turner Sewing leather. Single mread, chain-stitch. 

.J. B. Nichols Binder and folder. 

. S. S. Turner Sewing leather, wheel-feeding device. 

. P. Shaw Wheel-feeding device. 

. D. C. Ambler Lock-stitch, two needles, overseaming for felling lap-seami, 

. D. Harris Lock-stitch, upper-thread controller. 

. C. Parham Lock-stitch, shuttle carrier. 

.T. E. Weed Thread controller. 

. O. G. Boynton Binder. 

.T. J. W. Robertson Lock-stitch, stationary shuttle. 

W. Lyon Feeding device. 

.G. W. Stedman Chain-stitch. 

.A. B. Wilson Feeding device. 





1S42 to 1855 As per preceding list 70 

1855 to 1867 Expiration of Howe's patent 843 

1867 to 1877 End of sewing-machine combination and expiration of Bachelder patent a,!^ 

1877 to 1887. 

1977 to 
1887 to 

Sept, 10, 1895 

Tbtal 7^9 

The large number of patents indicates that inven- 
tors have not been idle or neglected the sewing- 
machine. But there is something required aside from 
the mere invention. The inception of the original 
idea is only the first essential ; it is equally necessary 
to have the place and opportunity to experiment, 
and to get the machine into practical operation and 
test it on the class of work it is required to do. 

In the larger factories of the present time the 
experimental department is one of the most impor- 
tant and expensive. Here the inventor's idea is 
carefully wrought into form and receives preliminary 
tests of its efficiency. After carrying it to what 
^cems to be a perfect condition, involving months, 
^d sometimes years, of patient toil and disappoint- 
^^t, the machine or attachment is then sent to 
various factories engaged in the class of work for 
^^ich it is intended, and there it is put to the sever- 
^^ tests of practical use. If its operation appears 
^o l>e satisfactory, then a special plant of machinery 
^ installed to make this new machine, attachment, 
^^ part, so that it can be perfectiy duplicated in any 
'^'iniber required. After all this expensive prepa- 
'^^on and experiment, the invention may soon be 
'^^laced by something better and be abandoned. 
Rotable instances of this are shown in the develop- 
ment of the Goodyear machine for stitching soles to 
^'^oes. It was a matter of several years of devoted 
lat>or before the inventors succeeded in getting this 
***^chine to perform satisfactory work, and within 
^e past year improvements have been made that 
'^^der a change from the old to the new machines 

*I*he same can be said of the latest production of 

^^ Singer Company for sewing breadths of carpet 

^^cther. The older machine is propelled by hand- 

^^^^"^er, and the operator walks along by the side of 

^^ distended breadths, working the machine, and 

^^^^g some skill and labor in getting the carpet 

y *^peiiy matched and stretched. The new machine 

operated by mechanical power, and is constructed 

^^ as to hold the carpet in position by means of 

^^nips, that also assist in matching the figures prop- 

^V, and then stretch it so that it will lay perfectiy 

i ^t on the floor after it is sewed. The littie sewing- 


machine, which passes along on a track in proper 
position to do the sewing, is propelled by electric or 
other power. It starts and stops by means of auto- 
matic devices that work in conjunction with the 
clamps that match and hold the carpet in position. 
When it arrives at the end of the seam it unlocks 
itself from the forward motor-power and grasps 
another, that takes it quickly back to place of be- 
ginning. The production of the hand-machine is 
equal to that of eight or ten hand-sewers ; but the 
new power-machine has a capacity eight or ten times 
greater than the hand-machine, and one operator 
can handle the increased quantity of carpet with 
greater ease and less labor. There is no royalty on 
the product of this machine, but it is sold outright, 
as are all machines made by the Singer Company. 

Under the tide of " motor " are classed devices 
for driving a sewing-machine by hand and foot 
power, and engines to be attached to the machine 
and propelled by water, steam, air, and electricity. 
The sewing-machines prior to Singer had no arrange- 
ment for applying power for driving them except 
the common hand-crank. This required the use of 
the right hand, and only the left hand could be used 
for arranging and guiding the material to be sewed. 
The machines were put on a bench or table of home 
construction. Singer, in traveling about exhibiting 
his original machine, utilized the box in which it was 
packed for shipment as a table, and conceived the 
idea of using a treadle similar to that employed on 
the old spinning-wheel, and having a pitman attached 
to the handle on the driving-gear to assist him in 
working the machine. He used an ordinary door- 
hinge as a fulcrum for the treadle, which was longer 
than the depth of the box, and projected therefrom. 
He therefore placed the hinge about where the in- 
step of the foot would be, and attached the other 
half of the hinge to the box, and thus found that he 
had a rocking motion on the treadle that aided in 
securing uniform motion to the machine. He soon 
discovered that, with the addition of a balance-wheel 
on the upper shaft for increasing the momentmn 
when the machine was once in motion, he could run 
it by foot-power with his rocking treadle, operated 
by heel-and-toe motion, and so have the use of both 


hands for guiding and arranging the material. This 
was a great gain in utilizing the machine, and he 
soon after produced an iron stand having a rocking 
treadle constructed for the use of both feet. Mr, 
Singer did not realize that he had made a great and 
important discovery, and failed to apply tor a pat- 
ent. He was very much chagrined after having 
used the invention for two years and thus debarring 
himself from a patent, to be informed of his over- 
sight by a rival manufacturer. 

Many devices have been made for driving the 
sewing-machine by foot-power since that time, the 
latest being the revolving treadle with the bicycle 
movement ; but none of them have been as good 
as the rocking treadle. Backus, in 1874, made a 
water-motor that had some sale ; Ericsson made an 
air-engine in the same year ; and a number of small 
steam-engines and a great many devices using 
springs, weights, etc., have been tried, but no effi- 
dent motor has been successfully put on the market 
until the development of the use of electricity for 
power. The " Diehl electric sewing-macliine motor " 
can be directly connected to the main shaft of a 
sewing-macliine, and is a great success on account 
of its convenience, compactness, and effectiveness. 
In its smallest form, for driving individual machines, 
the field-magnet is secured to the arm of the machine, 
the armature being carried inside a brass wheel 
which acts as a balance-wheel. The rheostat is at- 
tached to the ordinary foot-power table or cabinet 
case, and is connected by a pitman with the treadle, 
so that the machine may be started and slopped and 
the speed regulated as desired by pressing the foot 
on the treadle. The versatile inventor of this motor 
has made a notable demonstration of the uses of 
electricity by applying it to the operation of a sew- 
ing-machine drop-cabinet and its contents tor the 
purpose of public exhibition. The cabinet stood in 
a show-window on Broadway, and, apparently of its 
own voUtion, the cover of the case opened, the 
sewing-machine was elevated from its receptacle 
under the tabie, the doors to this receptacle were 
folded back, and the machine began operation at a 
high rate of speed. After a few minutes this oper- 
ation ceased, the machine descended to its former 
position, the cabinet was fully closed, and became 
an elegant and useful table, appropriate to the most 
ornate furnishings. 

For the factory operation of sewing-machines 
there are ingenious devices for their stable support 
on tables which are made in sections, carrying the 
shafting, and so arranged as to be readily con- 
nected in longer leng:ths as desired, and adjusta- 

ble to any unevenness of floor. These tables arc 
made for the operation of one or of two rows of 
machines from one line of shafting, which is so 
carried beneath the tables ihal it is easily adjmted. 
The tables have a thick wooden top that may be 
entirely flat, or it can be provided with convenient 
work-holding troughs. In point of convenience, 
cleanliness, safety, and economy these tables leave 
nothing to be desired, for they seem lo satisfy all 
requirements in these respects. In the matter of 
power transmission from the shaft lo the machine 
there are several devices to enable the instant stop- 
ping and starting of the machines. The use of 
electricity has demonstrated the feasibility of at- 
taching the electric motor directly to a shaft for 
transmitting power at the point where it is needed. 
Much economy is gained by this method over the 
old system of successive countershafting and belting, 
with its dangers, its expense, and the loss of efficiency. 
The idea! system will have been reached when the 
motor is attached to the head of each sewing-ma- 
chine, so that all objects intervening between the 
source and the subject of power, other than the wire 
for the electric current, can be dispensed with. 

The reports 10 "the sewing-machine combina- 
tion" of the sales of sewing-machines during the 
four years 1873-76 show a total of 2,303,941, the 
average for each year being about 576,000. As 
these reports terminated with the year 1876, we have 
no other information as lo the extent of sewing- 
machine manufactiue since that time than what is 
indicated by the United States census reports of 1S80 
and 1890. The total value of production reported 
at the census of 1880 for one year was $13,863,188, 
the census of 1890 showing a value of $11,813,147. 
These figiu^es indicate that the average number of 
machines made annually during the last twenty years 
has been from 500,000 to 600,000. 

A comparison of the census reports of 1880 and 
1890 shows a decrease of fifty per cent, in the num- 
ber of establishments engaged in the manufacture of 
sewing-machines, but also shows that the number of 
persons employed was about the same, and that their 
average wages increased about ten per cent, during 
the decade. In 1880 the average wages were $485, 
and in 1890 they were $567 per annum, thus show- 
ing the class of labor employed to be of a very high 
order. The reports, at the census of 1890, from 
fifty-six establishments showed the employment of 
gi2i operatives, whose wages amounted to $5,170,- 
555. The market value of their product was $ia,- 
823,147, so that the cost of their labor constituted 
forty per cent, of this value. 


The rable on pp. 536 and 537, relating to exports 
of sewing-machines, shows the value of such exports 
to have exceeded $67,000,000 during ihiriy years, 
1865-95, ^^ annual average during the last ten 
years exceeding $2,500,000. This sum does not, 
however, adequately represent the foreign use of 
the American sewing-machine, because American 
establishments are extensively engaged in the manu- 
facture of these machines in other countries. An 
active foreign demand for the American sewing- 
machine was developed during the Civil War, 1861 
—65, and the value of machines exported during 
the year ending June 30, 1865, was nearly $2,- 
000,000. The foreign selling-price per machine 
was less than the domestic price, but the high 
premium on foreign exchange and the depreciated 
United States currency made the business fairly 
remunerative at that time. As previously stated, 
the cost of labor in the manufacture of a sewing- 
machine is forty per cent, of its total cost at the 
present time; but during the period from 1861 to 
1865 wages did not increase as fast as the value of 
the currency decreased, and thus the machine could 
be sold at a price in specie very much below its 
value in United States currency. 

Upon the gradual restoration of that currency to 
its normal specie value, however, the rates of wages 
were not reduced to correspond to their increased 
purchasing power ; on the contrary, these rates have 
Steadily increased, as has been shown. Thus the 
cost of the domestic manufacture became too high 
to enable competition in the world's markets with 
the numerous imitators who were manufacturing 
in Great Britain and on the continent of Europe. 
Therefore some of the American manufacturers 
established factories in foreign countries, and sup- 
plied them with American machinery and tools for 
producing facsimiles of the machines made by these 
manufacturers in the United States. 

The " American system " of making all parts of 
the finished product completely interchangeable has 
been carried to its highest development in the 
manufactiu'e of sewing-machines, every piece being 
made to gauge and tested before assembling. In 
□ branch of manufactiu-e has the use of automatic 
machines and tools of fine precision become more 
essential than in this. The special tools required to 
make the various parts of some of the many varieties 
of sewing-machines often require greater inventi^'e 
talent and ingenuity than that displayed in the ma- 
chine produced. 

The Singer Company have continued the manu- 
facture in foreign countries of duplicates of the ma- 

chines made in this country ; and the factories erected 

by this company at Kilbowie, near Glasgow, Scotland, 
are equal in capacity to the factories at Elizabethport, 
N. J., and have produced about 400,000 machines 
annually during the past four years. The total 
number of all the machines made by I. M. Singer 
& Company and their successors. The Singer Manu- 
facturing Company, from 1853 to October i, 1895, 
is 13,150,000, and of this number 5,877,000 have 
been made in factories located in foreign countries, 
but under the direct control and management of the 
American company. 

The average value of the exports of sewing-ma- 
chines, including cabinet-work and parts of sewing- 
machines, from the United States, indicates that 
about 150,000 machines are exported annually; and 
it is a fair estimate that the total number of Ameri- 
can sewing-machines sold annually in foreign coun- 
tries, including those made abroad, is equal to the 
sales in the United States by all the American com- 

The export of sewing-machine cabinet-work is 
a matter of considerable importance, because the 
United States easily surpasses all other countries in 
the wealth of its woods for this purpose, in the in- 
genuity of its cabinet-makers, and in the efficiency of 
its woodworking machinery. The different climatic 
conditions of other countries and continents do not 
admit of finishing the woodwork in this country ; but 
it is cut "in shape" and exported "in the white," 
so that it can readily be put together and finished 
where it is to be used. 

The number of tables and cabinet-cases for foot- 
power stands, and of cases for hand -machines, ex- 
ported by the Singer Company aggregate about 
694,000 annually ; of this number the cases for 
hand-machines constitute about seventeen per cent. 
The proportion of hand to foot-power machines used 
in Europe and in Asiatic countries is far greater than 
in the United Stales, where the operation of a sewing- 
machine by hand is very exceptional, and usually 
confined to those crippled and physically unable to 
apply foot-power. The great difference in social 
conditions is largely accountable for this peculiarity, 
and the increased use of the hand-machine in Europe 
is also largely due to the itinerant character of the 
urban population, who find the tables and stands an 
impediment in their constant moving from house to 

The most remarkable industrial development fn 
connection with the sewing-machine has been its di- 
versification and adaptation for use in a great variety 
of manufactures, which have thus been enabled to 



Compiled from Statistics of the United States Treasury. 

no data for the year 1866. 



Austria Hungary — 









Sweden and Norway. 



Gkbat Bkitain 

BxinsH NoKTH Amrrica. 
Bkitish Australasia 

Wbst Indies: 

British West Indies 


Santo Domingo , 


Dutch West Indies 

Danish West Indies and I>en< 


French West Indies 

Puerto Rico 


Centrai. America. 

South America: 
British Guiana. 
French Guiana 
Dutch Guiana. 




















as. 784 

















































































































330, X99 














































X 14,436 









x877* X876. 







































































East Indies. 
All Other.. 










































Totals by years 


x.650,340 1,657,942 















3, 161 











• • • • • 








■ ••••• 















X 7.444 



































CounLED FBOM Statistics of thk United States Treasurv. 


















FOB 30 YkUO. 













































■38. M> 


















■ ,iJ«.o37 


































































8.3. ..5 










■ 3,t34 
















































.31. Mi 






66, .43 


















3*.. OS 







60. »8 




























59,. 77 







91, M* 






















■ 3.6.8 

































16..681 , 

91.63. ' 











». .47,873 










E the quantity, quality, and value of their pro- 
duct, and to cheapen its cost to the consumer. 

In the census reports relating to the principal 
manufactimng industries that use the sewing-machine 
largely, the figures show that the total value of their 
products in 1890 had increased about seventy-five 
per cent, from 1880. These census figures are given 
in a tabular statement which is appended, and which 
contains comparative data for seventeen classes of 
industry in the operation of which the sewing- 
machine is an important factor. These industries 
employed 66r,ooo hands in 1890; they had about 
$437,000,000 invested in machinery, tools, and 
implements of all kinds, and the value of their 
product approjcimaccd one thousand million dollars 

introduced, and demonstrated that neater and more 
uniform work could be done on the machine. The 
result was the concentration of the scattered home 
industry into convenient factories, and the use of 
steam-power for driving the machines. The use of 
machines for stitching the uppers suggested the need 
of machines for sewing on the soles, and in 1861 
the machine known as the McKay, under patents to 
L. R. Blake and others, was first put into successful 
operation. The time and money put into experi- 
ments on this machine, and the large amount of 
work which it performed, caused the owners of tlie 
patents to place a royally on each pair of shoes 
sewed on it, as the only way to obtain a fair remu- 
neration for their invention. The value of tlie inven- 
tion to its owners may be estimated when it is stated 

Awnings, tenls, and alls < 

Beg^i other than paper \ 

Bookbinding ) 

Boots and shoes (factory product) < 

Qothing (men's) < 

Qothing (women's) 1 < 

Corsets J 

Flags and banners \ 

Fntnishing goods (men's) 

Gloves and mittens 

Hats and caps, not inclnding wool hats 

Hat and cap materisls 


Rubber and eUslic goods 

Saddlerf and hsimess 


Horse clothing 





























27. '93 













6^94- 705 









37.3 ".599 







n the Beam bt 1890 

In no branch of manufacture has a greater revo- 
lution occurred than in boots and shoes. The fitting 
of the uppers was formerly accomplished by sending 
them out in small quantities to be sewed and stitched 
by hand in the homes of the operators. The hand- 
workers bought sewing-machines when they were 

that as many as 900 pairs of shoes have been sewed 
on one machine in one day of ten hours ; that tJie 
average license was at the rate of two cents per pair ; 
and that over 350,000,000 pairs of shoes had been 
made on it up to the year 1877 in the United States, 
and probably an equal or greater number in Europe. 




The McKay machine made the chain-stitch with 
a waxed thread. The outer sole was stitched to 
the inner sole by removing the last and placing the 
shoe on an arm similar in its general appearance to 
the hmnan arm, with elbow bent to hold up the 
hand and swing around on the shoulder-joint, so as 
to bring the needle and awl in the overhanging arm 
into position above the shoe, to take up the thread 
irom a very ingeniously worked undemeedle in the 
.ann inside of the shoe. The awl also had a lateral 
movement, and acted as a feed to move the shoe 
:f orward as each stitch was taken. This very useful 
.2nd meritorious machine has been superseded to 
some extent by the Goodyear machine, which makes 
^e lock-stitch with waxed threads and sews on the 
sole in the same manner that it is done by hand. In 
llie Goodyear process the last is left in the shoe, and 
llie welt is sewed to the inner sole and upper by a ma- 
crliine making the chain-stitch, that not only does the 
s^iTinng, but also draws the upper tight on the last 
greatly assists in " lasting " and giving proper 
pe to the shoe. The outer sole is then sewed to 
welt in a manner that successfully imitates the 
best of hand-work. The Goodyear machines 
sold on a royalty plan based on their production. 
The next sewing-machine of great importance 
for working buttonholes, and was made under 
^ents to Vogel, Humphrey, and others. After 
3^^<sus of experimenting the Union Buttonhole 
^^^Miiine Company produced a machine that was a 
in its line. It worked buttonholes that had 
peculiar " purl " of the best hand-made button- 
to which they were superior in strength and 
The manufacture and sale of this machine 
not profitable to the Union Buttonhole Machine 
^>mpany, and in 1867 it passed to the Singer 
^>mpanyy and by that company was still further 
roved and became a great success, having a 
:^e sale in the United States and Europe. 
The Reece buttonhole machine was brought out in 
it is a wonderful organization of machinery, 
has had a large sale on the royalty plan, making 
^^ery remunerative to the owners of the patents. 
3)tiring the early years of the sewing-machine, its 
by clothing manufacturers was confined to the 
action of the medium grades, the custom tailors 
^Dwing a great prejudice against machine sewing. 
This prejudice gradually disappeared as it became 
S^parent that seams made on the machine were 
^lal to the best handwork, and the sewing-machine 
^iu)w in general use for making the finest garments. 

The enormous increase during ten years in the 
factory production of clothing is remarkable, and it 
may fairly be claimed that the development of this 
industry has been coincident with the invention of 
special appliances and attachments adapting the 
sewing-machine for factory operation in the per- 
formance of all stitching processes, including button- 
hole and eyelet making, attaching buttons, staying 
seams, etc. 

The concentration of clothing manufacture into 
factory operation has effected greater economy in 
the marketing of the cloth, especially the cheaper 
fabrics, such as jeans, shirtings, denims, etc. These 
are now sent from the mills where they are woven 
directly to the manufacturers of clothing, shirts, 
overalls, etc., thus saving the cost of commissions 
and handling, formerly incurred through the whole- 
saler, the jobber, and the retailer to the local tailor 
or housewife. Several hundred sewing-machines are 
sometimes operated in a single power plant for the 
manufacture of clothing. 

By the use of improved methods for cutting to 
standard sizes in great variety, well-fitting garments 
are now as easily obtained in "ready-made" as 
in " custom " clothing. By the use of the sewing- 
machine they are as well made, and are furnished to 
the wearer for what the material formerly cost him. 

Economies of equal importance have been effected 
in many other industries in which the sewing-machine 
is the principal element of productive force. 

While these industries have thus been enabled 
to more than double their output diuing the last 
decade, the population of the country has only in- 
creased about one quarter. It is evident, therefore, 
that the quantity of sewing done in the home has 
been greatly reduced, and that domestic burdens 
have been correspondingly lessened ; also that the 
cost to the consumer of the products of the sewing- 
machine has been reduced, all of which may fairly 
be claimed as the results of inventive genius and 
executive ability in the field of sewing-machine 
manufacture, its development and improvement. 

In the preparation of this article the writer has 
received invaluable information and assistance from 
Mr. John F. Elliott, who has been intimately con- 
nected with the sewing-machine industry in many 
capacities for nearly forty years; and much credit 
must be awarded him for the research and inves- 
tigation which have given this brief history whatever 
of value it may possess. 




BLOCKS were among the first articles of a 
complicated constniction which were made 
' in America. In 1765 there was in Grafton, 
Mass., a remarkable family named Willard, all of 
whom were clock-makers. There were three bro- 
thers, named Benjamin, Simon, and Aaron. The two 
former removed to Roxbury, Mass., in 1771, and 
established themselves there as clock-makers, on 
Roxbury Street, at the " Sign of the Clock," where 
Simon remained over seventy years, dying at the 
age of ninety-six. He was the best workman and 
the most ingenious of all the Willards, as he not 
only made several kinds of clocks, but invented a 
number of machines for various other purposes. 
He was only thirteen when he made his first clock, 
all the work being executed by him, thus showing 
the character of the boy. There was no machinery 
in those days by which labor could be saved, and 
everything was filed out from the rough. Some- 
where in the latter part of the last century or the 
early part of the present, he invented and patented 
the " timepiece," so called, which very soon super- 
seded the tall eight-day clock, which before was the 
only method of recording time. He was also the 
inventor of perambulators for accurately measuring 
distances, cook-jacks, alarums, chimes, etc. He 
made many turret clocks for public use in Boston, 
New York, and Philadelphia, as well as one for the 
University of Virginia. In Virginia he became 

clocks, great and small, are just as good, after the 
lapse of a century, as when they left his hands. 

Aaron, a younger brother of ihis family, set- 
tled in Boston, Mass., building what, for the times, 
was a large establishment, on Washington Street, 
Boston Neck, near the Roxbury line. His particu- 
lar branch of business was the tall striking clocks for 
halls. These he manufactured almost exclusively; 
they were of excellent workmanship, and stood 
every lest. His clocks were largely sold in Virginia 
in exchange for Haxall flour, a trade which proved 
very advantageous to him. He died at about the 
age of eighty-five. The fourth Willard, Aaron, Jr.. 
was also a clock-maker, being the son of the one 
just mentioned. He was bom in Boston, Mass., 
and was taught clock-making by bis father, after- 
ward setting up in business not far from where 
his father was located, and there making various 
forms of clocks for common and extra use. His 
business was not large, no more than four or five 
workmen being employed, the most of whom were 
apprentices. The shop he occupied was thirty by 
fifty feet, and one story high. 

My connection with clock-making commenced 
at the age of sixteen, in 1S29, under the in- 
struction of Aaron Willard, Jr., with whom I 
served an apprenticeship of five years. The aggre- 
gate production of Mr. Willard in money value 
would not exceed $8000 per annum. During my 

intimately acquainted with Thomas Jefferson, our five years of apprenticeship not a single tower or 

third president, and James Madison, our founh hall striking clock was made by us, although now 

president, corresponding with them for years. Jef- there are hundreds, if not thousands, of these kinds 

ferson had a strong mechanical turn of mind, and of clocks made every year. In 1875 there was only 

liked to divert himself with curious problems. 
lard made and set up the clocks in the United 
Stales Senate Chamber and in the House of Repre- 
sentatives, performing the latter labor after he was 
seventy-five years of age. He never considered 

a small amount of such work done, as compared 
with what has been accomplished during the last 
twenty years. Then there were only a few dock- 
makers scattered throughout New England, — mostly 
in Connecticut, — whose united production only 

profit, the quality of work being everything. His amounted 10 a few thousands of clocks yearly, while 



Pnow Uiereare numerous clock factories of 
size, filled with the most ingenious labor-saving 
machinery. The demand then was limited to the 
United States alone ; now we have the whole world 
for a market, and the demand and supply run into 
millions every year. Then the forms, styles, and 
finish were few ; now they are almost innumerable, 
it seeming impossible to conceive of anything novel. 
Clocks were then often set by the noon sun-dial, 
but now we make ihem to run so close to true 
time that we sometimes think the sun has gone 
wrong. The tower-clock business has had a won- 
derful growth in the past thirty years, and more have 
been made and put up in that time than during all 
the preceding period from the time of the landing 
of the Pilgrims at Plymouth. Some that I made 
fifty years ago are now running, being still in good 
working order. 

I went in business for myself, as a clock-maker, in 
1840, continuing up to 1882, when I retired from 
active industry, During that time I manufactured 
various kinds of clocks, many being specially de- 
signed for halls, churches, offices; also electric watch 
clocks, tower clocks, etc, I began in a shop not 
over thirty feet square, and ended with a number 
of buildings, one of which was one hundred and fifty 
feet long, seventy feet wide, and seven stories high. 
The clock-manufacturing companies are not very 
numerous in the United States, not exceeding 
twenty-five in all; but iheir size and facilities are so 
great that it does not take long to flood the market 
when they are all in operation. I commenced the 
clock business single-handed, but later employed 
fi-om 100 to aoo hands. The amount of capital 
invested in clock-making in 1795 is very much a 
matter of conjecture, as well as the amount of yearly 
production at that time, but it is probable the 
former did not exceed $, and the latter could 
not have been over $ 

The most extensive clock factories at the present 
time are located as follows : New Haven Clock Com- 
pany, New Haven, Conn.; Waierbury Clock Company, 
Waterbury, Conn. ; Seth Thomas Clock Company, 
Thomaston, Conn.; J. E. Ingraham Clock Com- 
pany, Bristol, Conn.; Gilbert Clock Company, Win- 
sted, Conn.; Phelps & Bartholomew Clock Com- 
pany, Ansonia, Conn.; E. M. Welch Clock Com- 
pany, Forestville, Conn.; E. Howard Clock Com- 
pany, Boston, Mass.; F. Knoeber Clock Company, 
New York City ; Ansonia Clock Company, Brook- 
lyn. N. y. Their combined capital in i860 was 
about $885,000, and production about $2,300,000, 
The combined capital in 1892 was $5,550,000, and 

the production in that year, $10475,000. No suf- 
ficient data exist before i860 to make any satisfac- 
tory estimate of the capital invested or the amount 
of yearly production; but it can be seen that for the 
last thirty years there has been a large and con- 
tinued increase of capital and production, and it is 
fair to believe that it will continue to grow. 

Watchmaking did not exist in the United Stales 
as an industry in 1795. There were watchmakers, 
so-called, at that time, and there are great numbers 
of the same kind now, but they never made a 
watch; their business being only to clean and repair. 
Watchmaking, as a business, was not started in the 
United States until 1850. Its commencement on 
a comprehensive and systematic method was the 
result of many deliberations during the yeare 1848 
and 1849, between Mr, Aaron L. Dennison and 
myself. Mr. Dennison was a first-class watch re- 
pairer, none being better, and he knew from expe- 
rience that there was no proper system employed in 
the manufacture of watches. In watches purporting 
to be of the same size, of the same makers, there 
were no two alike, and there was no inierchangea- 
bility of parts. Consequently it was " cut and try," 
by which a great deal of time was wasted, and many 
imperfections resulted. Mr. Dennison being a 
watch repairer, and myself a clock-maker, we made 
a good combination to systematize watchmaking, 
and to invent labor-saving machinery for producing 
perfect and interchangeable parts. With such views 
and intentions, we began the watch business in the 
spring of 1850, building a factory in Roxbury, Mass. 

It is almost needless to say that we met with 
many obstacles. We were told by importers and 
dealers in watches that we would never be able to 
carry out our plans, and that our project would be an 
utter failure. Some of our friends even told us we 
were crazy to attempt such an undertaking, but we 
were Yankees, both of us, and had a sufficient quan- 
tity of the proverbial " grit," and at least believed 
in ourselves, even if others did not have so much 
faith. We could not import and use foreign help, 
unacquainted with our methods or tools, so we had 
to instruct our men from the beginning. There 
were many times when we felt that the predic- 
tions of the importers would prove true, but per- 
severance, money, and brains conquered. The 
financial problem was a hard matter to solve, as the 
unbelief in our success was universal. Frequently 
it was difficult to raise the necessary funds to carry 
on the work. This struggle was continued for six 
years before the tide turned. The company's best 
friends during that time were Samuel Curtis and 



Charles Rice, both of Boston. Without the finan- 
cial assistance of these gentlemen, watchmaking 
would probably not have existed at the present time 
as an organized industry in the United States. This 
may seem to be a sweeping statement, but no one 
can conceive the trials and tribulations that Mr. 
Dennison and m3rself endured. We hear and read 
about going through purgatory, but that must be a 
species of pleasure compared with what we expe- 
rienced at that time. 

We were trying to establish under one roof an 
industry embracing at least a dozen distinct trades. 
Such a thing had never been done before, and we 
were still further handicapped in our undertaking by 
having only inexperienced assistants. We had to 
teach ourselves first, and then teach others, making 
our progress slow and expensive; and there was 
much bad work that we were obliged to throw 
away. We did not know how to make a jewel, or a 
dial, or a tempered hair-spring, or to do proper 
watch-gilding or to produce a mirror polish on steel. 
Each one of these operations was a feat of which 
the ways and means had to be studied out and 
worked over until, after many attempts, one at last 
would be successful. 

All the tools to make the different parts, after 
being designed or invented, had to be made in the 
factory by the machinists then employed, under our 
own supervision, in order to have them perfect and 
durable. Attempts were made to have them exe- 
cuted outside, but it was impossible to get them 
constructed carefully. When it is understood that 
if many of the parts of a watch are one five thou- 
sandth of an inch thicker or thinner, longer or 
shorter, larger or smaller, than the proper sizes, the 
watch will not run well, it will be seen at once that 
the tools must be as near perfection as possible, to 
produce the exact and uniform sizes needed. It 
was more than three years before the establishment 
had fairly and fully started in the business of making 
watches, and then it was found that it would re- 
quire ten times as much room as had been provided, 
and we set about building a very much larger factory 
at Waltham, Mass., where the American Waltham 
Watch Company's works now stand. We removed 
there in 1854. The company remained at Waltham, 
making watches, until 1857, when it met with finan- 
cial reverses, and the property was sold to Royal E. 
Robbins in settlement of its affairs. Up to that 
time the watch factory had been under the name 
and style of the Boston Watch Company. I then 
returned to the first factory at Roxbury, when a 
new company was formed as successor to the Boston 

Watch Company. It was entitled the Howard 
Watch and Clock Company, and had a nominal 
capital of $150,000. It was necessary to begin at 
the bottom and make all tools anew. Mr. Dennison 
left me in the early part of 1857, but after Mr. Rob- 
bins bought the factory at Waltham, Mr. Dennison 
was employed by the new company for two or three 

During the War of the Rebellion the Waltham 
Watch Company became a great financial success 
as well as a mechanical one. At that time the {me- 
mium on gold increased the price of watches so 
much that very large dividends were paid, which 
occasioned the establishment of several new watch 
factories in different parts of the coimtiy. Nearly 
all the companies were obliged to increase their cap- 
ital from two to four times the amount originaDy 
believed to be necessary before they were success- 
ful, while several never did succeed. 

Previous to 1853, many thousands of En^^ish and 
Swiss watches were imported into the United States 
yearly. At that time the American manufiaurturers 
had begun to control the market, and in a few years 
more the importation of English watches had gen- 
erally declined. At present this trade is of little or 
no account. The importation of Swiss watches was 
also very much reduced at the same time, but the 
Swiss have in the last five years regained a part of 
their trade by adopting American methods and ma- 

In 1866 the American market was not only mostly 
supplied with American watches, but extensive offices 
were also opened by the American Waltham Watch 
Company in London, where their watches met with 
ready and extensive sales, the business continuing to 
this day. An attempt was made several years ago 
to introduce the American plan of watchmaking 
into England, a set of American machinery being 
set up there, but it did not prove a success. There 
was also a plant started in Switzerland by two 
Americans about the year 1869, to be carried on in 
the American manner. The machinery was all made 
here and sent over. A plant was started in the 
West a few years since, which had a lingering life, 
after a while being moved to San Francisco. It did 
not succeed there, so it continued its journey to 
Japan, where it is a fixed institution, and soon will 
be in competition with Americans in their home 
market. This will be hard to meet, as a workman can 
live there on four cents a day and get rich on eight 
cents a day. It would sometimes seem that Amer- 
icans are altogether too good and accommodating, 
desiring to let the whole world know what they can 


>, ftad just how they do it. On the other hand, I 
do not believe they care to leam of the Japanese 
how to live on four cents a day. 

A well and properly made watch has wonderful 
qualities as a macliine, considering the labor it has 
to perform and the length of time, if treated with a 
very little care, it will continue to do its work. It 
is conceded that every person in the world has a 
distinct individuality, and it is just so with every 
watch that is made. Some of the parts are so mi- 
nute that, although you suppose you have them all 
alike, the fact is that no two have been made with- 
out some little variation, having an appreciable effect 
on its action as a timekeeper. That is where the in- 
dividuality comes in. The lowest or medium, grade 
watch may be found, occasionally, to be keeping bet- 
ter time than some of those which have had a great 
deal of time spent on them to make them as nearly 
perfect as possible, yet if you take the latter in 
pieces, and thoroughly examine them in all the parts, 
you cannot find any cause for the defect. Therefore 
I say that each watch has an individuality of its 
own, as all human beings have, and we must make 
the best of such a condition. Does any one ever 
consider the amount of labor that is performed by a 
watch during its lifetime, which is fifty years at 
least? In its daily duties the balance vibrates 
t8,ooo times each and every hour, 432,000 rimes a 
day, or 157,680,000 times a year. The hair- 
spring makes the same number of vibrations and an 
equal number of ticks from the escapement. The 
first thought would be that the machine would be 
worn out in a year, but this does not prove true. If 
it is a good watch you can multiply 1 57,680,000 by 50, 
which would give 7,884,000,000 pulsations, and yet 
the watch will still be in good condition. This is a 
wonderful record, considering the small amount of 
food that has been consumed by its constant action. 
I say food, for whatever labors must be fed, and the 

watch lives on about sixteen inches of mainspring 
every twenty-four hours. It is cheap feeding, how- 
ever, as the spring is not digested, but only the 
power which is stored in it, which costs nothing to 
renew daily. Thus it goes on, with very little care, 
year after year.having no palsied hands, no wrinkled 
or care-worn face, no failing heart-beats, but with 
the same vitality as ever. 

The people of the United States are to be con- 
gratulated on the successful establishment of such 
an important industry as watchmaking within their 
borders, on such a magnificent scale as at present, 
and with so great a future before it There have 
been wonderful strides in tlie last twenty years in 
the ijuantity and quality of the movements. There 
has been so much improved automatic machinery 
that the cost of production has been greatly reduced, 
at the same time that the quality has been improved. 
At the present time there are no key-winders made, 
but all are stem-winders and stem-setters. They are 
also nearly all made so that if the mainspring should 
break, while wound up, no damage would happen to 
the train, which is an advantage over all othera. 

The principal watch-manufacturing companies do- 
ing business on an extensive scale, at the present 
time, are located as follows : 

The E. Howard Wnlch Company Boslon, Mass.. . 1850 

American Wallhani Watch Company. .Wahham, Mass. 1859 

Elgin National Walch Company Elgin, III 1864 

Illitiois Waich Company Springfield, 111 . . 1S70 

Rockford Waieh Company Rocktord, 111 . . 1874 

United States Watch Company Waltham, Mass. 1883 

Trenlon Watch Company ... Trenton, N. ;.. . 1883 

Hatnilion Walch Company Loncasler, Pa.. . 1893 

The combined capital of the above at the com- 
mencement of the business, as nearly as can be as- 
certained, was $1,501,110. Five years later the 

yearly sales were $3,379,344- The capital in iSgi 
was$io,55o,ooo, and sales in ihat year, $15,838,817. 



THOSE who tcU in these pages the story of 
the progress of a century in the many lines 
of life's activities, record a history of achieve- 
ment which, for growth in volume, in character, 
and in method, is marvelous and un equaled in the 
history of any other nation or of any other lime. 
But all who write will concede that the American 
type-writer has been a factor in the growth and 
progress of other lines of commerce, and it must be 
admitted that had the American type-writer come 
into being in the early part of the century, instead of 
toward its close, a greater advancement would have 
been recorded in every particular line of industry, 
because of the assistance which the type-writer 
would have rendered. 

The type-writer, world-wide in its use, is essen- 
tially and almost entirely American. True, the 
idea of reducing the manual labor of writing, so far 
as the records show, first occurred to an Englishman. 
The earliest patent on mechanical writing was 
granted to an Englishman nearly two hundred years 
ago. He thought that there might be an easier 
method of writing than that practised by his fore- 
fathers ; but the machine which he devised did not 
prove to be practicable. One hundred and fifty years 
elapsed between the first and the second English 
patents on writing- machines. The Englishmen are 
slowly awakening, for there have been issued up to the 
present time 375 English patents for improvements 
in type-writing machines. Many of these have, of 
course, been granted to American inventors, and 
those which have been granted to Englishmen have 
made no mark in writing-machine history : for no 
machine has yet been made in England, nor, for 
that matter, anywhere outside of the United States, 
which has found any extensive sale, or which has 
equaled, in any way, any one of the leading Ameri- 
can type-writers. 

^Vhile oiu- English cousins slept, and while they 
have been rubbing their eyes and partially awaken- 

ing, American genius and ingenuity have been at 
work. Beginning in 1836, when the first American 
patent on a type-writer was granted, patents were 
taken out at an average of about one a year for 
forty years. Our early American inventors were, 
however, not very successful in their attempts to 
produce a practical writing- machine. For thirty 
years nothing of especial value was evolved, or, if 
any practical machine was, during that period, in- 
vented and patented, the faith and the capital 
requisite for commercial success were not enlisted in 
its behalf. We can, therefore, not fairly date the 
beginning of the history of the type-writer as & 
factor in commercial life further back than the 
patent granted in 1868 to C. Latham Sholes (now 
deceased), who was then collector of the port of 
Milwaukee, and an editor, a scholar, and a man of 
genius. His inventions, patented in 186S and later, 
formed the foimdaiion of the first American type- 
writer, and covered a basic principle upon which all 
successful type-writers have since been made. Since 
the patent was issued to Mr. Sholes some laoo 
American patents on type-writers have been issued, 
including, it would seem, every conceivable modifi- 
cation which can be made in such an instrument, 
and yet no one has devised any plan of constructing 
a machine on a better principle than that invented 
by Mr. Sholes. 

In discussing the American type-writer and the 
type-writer business, therefore, we may be said to 
be considering the whole field of the type-writer in- 
dustT)', for our American type-writer manufacturers 
have no competition from abroad, either in home or 
in foreign markets. We are discussing, too, a busi- 
ness which has grown from nothing in twenty years. 
The first type-writer was offered for sale in 1875: 
but so few were made and put in use in that year 
that it may properly be said that the beginning of 
the business dales from the introduction of the 
machines at our Centennial Exhibition held in Phil- 




adelphia in 1876. Shall we be able to show that 
within twenty years the type-writer has won its way 
into usefulness and popularity to an extent such as 
justifies the assignment to it of a place in these 
pages among the iirst one hundred American Indus- 
tries? Let us see. 

When the type-writer made its bow and offered 
itself as a candidate for public favor, il was looked 
upon as a plaything rather than as an instrument of 
genuine utility, as a toy rather than as a practical 
labor-saving implement. It wrote in those days 
with capital letters only, and though the work which 
it produced was a great improvement over the illeg- 
ible chirography of many lawyers and business men, 
objection was nevertheless raised to it on account 
of its monotonous appearance. Notwithstanding 
these objections, the early machine, cumbersome 
and unsatisfactory as it was, was accepted as a 
helper by men whose business required an amount 
of writing which was irksome ; and 3000 or 4000 of 
them, writing capitals only, were made and sold 
within three years from the first introduction of the 
machine, and before the makers had worked out a 
plan for constructing a machine which should write 
with both capital and small letters. The sale of 
3000 or 4000 machines by no means established the 
business upon a firm basis, nor did it even result in a 
general acceptance of the machine itself as a useful 
article. While a few men here and there used the 
type-writer with acknowledged advantage in their 
work, just as a few of the older boys of that time 
used and appreciated the bicycle (velocipede) of a 
quarter of a century ago, the great majority of busi- 
ness and professional men failed to see any real 
merit or advantage in it. Even after the machine 
writing both capital and small letters was, in 1878, 
presented to the public, the type-writer salesman 
was generally looked upon as offering an article of 
no real merit ; and the men who have been from 
fifteen to twenty years in the business well re- 
member the discouragements and rebuffs whicli 
they met in their endeavor to show business men 
that a writing -machine was a useful adjunct to a 
business office. Even the judges of some of oiw 
courts refused to accept type-written documents, 
strange as such a thing may seem in these days, 
when it is a rare exception to find any legal docu- 
ment not written with a type-writer. 

But this condition of public sentiment could not, 
and did not, long prevail. The type-writer had 
merits which could not be permanently ignored. 
From its inception there were a few men connected 
with it who knew its usefulness and realized its pos- 

sibiiities, and they pinned their faith and their future 
to it, and never wavered nor lost faith in it during 
the half-dozen years of its early history, when the 
skepticism and the opposition of tile people who 
might have used it with profit made the cost of sell- 
ing the machines much greater than the profit 
realized upon them. So much was this the case 
that, when the first 10,000 machines had been sold, 
not only had no money been made in their manu- 
factiffe and sale, but the business had been con- 
ducted at an actual loss of something like $250,000. 
It will, perhaps, serve no useful purpose to narrate in 
detail the history of the struggles of the invention 
during the first half-dozen years after its introduction 
upon the market, and the names of the men who, 
during that period, labored to make it a success. 
Some of them were men of marked ability who had 
achieved success in other lines of trade. 

Men of equal faith and energy, with steadfastness 
of purpose and the benefit of the experience of those 
who had preceded them, came later, and to these 
new men fell the control of the sale of the machines. 
New plans for the education of the public were 
adopted. Advertising was done in a more systema- 
tic and a more extensive manner. The public was 
given to understand in an emphatic way that the 
day of doubt was passed, and that the type-writer 
was a mechanical and a commercial success. The 
wheels began to revolve more rapidly. The growth 
of the business became more marked. Americans 
believe in success. We like to buy of successful 
houses. Convince us that an article is useful and 
that it has passed the experimental stage, and we 
adopt il. The latest ideas, the most improved 
methods and machinery, are none too good for us. 
We revere the memory of our fathers, but we are 
willing to use better tools than they had, and not, 
like some of our foreign cousins, adhere to the cala- 
mus, the stylus, or the quill, because they were used 
by their ancestors ; and so when the writers in busi- 
ness and in the professions once realized that the 
type-writer would lighten their labors, the machine 
found ready sale. 

Then began the competition; for as soon as 
success attends the manufacture or sale of any 
article in this country, just so soon does some enter- 
prising American devise a modification or a substi- 
tute for the original article, and he launches it upon 
the market in the hope of getting a share at least 
of the profits of the business. At first, competition 
came slowly. When the first machine, the Reming- 
ton, had been on the market ten years, two compet- 
itors were in the field. Since tliat time several new 



machines have been launched each year, until now 
they aggregate, taking them all, about loo. Per- 
haps this statement ought to be modified. About 
100 have been at one time or another on the market 
during the past ten years; but the law of the sur- 
vival of the fittest has been in operation, and the 
manufacture of eighty or more of them has been 
discontinued. The mention of the names of the 
machines which have thus come and gone can 
hardly prove of interest. They have had their day. 
We shall see them no more. Let them rest in peace. 
Neither is it the purpose of this article to particular- 
ize the machines which have survived. Is it not 
better to group them together and to treat them as 
a whole, showing what they have unitedly accom- 
plished in the two decades since the leader made its 
appearance upon the market ? 

Gradually, the usefulness of the type- writer began 
to be appreciated. First the professional stenog- 
raphers — court reporters — took it up. Then the 
lawyers saw that the reports furnished them by the 
court reporters were more legible when written with 
the type-writer than with the pen, and they became 
purchasers. Commercial men still held aloof. They 
thought it might be all very well for legal docu- 
ments, but not for business correspondence. The 
mercantile agencies realized the great usefulness of 
the machine, and they began to use it in their offices, 
scattered over the world. Presently the machine 
was found in the counting-room of the leading dry- 
goods house in America, and other houses in the 
same line of trade followed the example. One after 
another the principal houses in each branch of 
manufacture and of trade realized that a type-writer 
could be made useful, and adopted it. A list of the 
early users of the t)rpe-writer would show that those 
who were the first to appreciate its advantages were 
then, and are still, the leaders in the professions and 
in commerce. When once the leaders had com- 
mitted themselves to it, the smaller concerns followed 
in that, as they usually follow in other things. 

Until 1880 the sale of the machine suffered for 
lack of skilful operatives. Business colleges, schools 
of commerce, and similar institutions were then pre- 
vailed upon to engage in the work of qualifying 
young men and yoimg women for employment in 
the use of the type-writer. The schools helped 
greatly the type- writer business, and the type- writer 
people helped the schools. The increased adver- 
tising and soliciting of salesmen, as one machine 
after another made its appearance upon the market, 
brought the machine more prominently to the notice 
of business and professional men. Curiosity was 

awakened, then interest aroused ; investigation fol- 
lowed, then purchase. By 1885 the permanence 
of the machine as an institution, and its prosperity 
as a commercial enterprise, were assured in America. 
From that date until the present the business has 
had a steady growth, uninterrupted in its yearly in- 
crease, except by the temporary set-back due to the 
commercial depression of 1893 and 1894, from which 
it is now rapidly recovering. Starting with 1000 in 
1880, increasing to 5000 in 1885, the sales had 
reached the respectable figures of 60,000 per year 
in the early part of 1893, exclusive of the many 
thousands of low-priced machines which were annu- 
ally sold, and which are not considered in this arti- 
cle except to give them credit for the work they do 
as educators, used, as most of them are, as toys, but 
serving a useful purpose by convincing thousands of 
people of the value of a better machine in the actual 
business of life. 

As this article is not intended to be a detailed 
history of the type- writer as an invention and as a 
business, but rather to show its origin and what it 
has accomplished, few names are mentioned and few 
figures given. Commercially it occupies no mean 
position among our business enterprises. Beginning 
within a very few years, it has grown from nothing 
until it now occupies ten acres of factory-floor space, 
and furnishes employment in its manufacture and 
sale to 15,000 people; but those who derive their 
income and their livelihood directly from their con- 
nection with the manufacture and sale of the 
machine are few compared with those who are fur- 
nished employment through its use. Let us consider 
the changed conditions regarding its popularity. 
For years rejected and its usefulness denied, it has 
worked its way by its own merit into every profes- 
sional office and every counting-room of prominence 
in the land. It is foimd in every State and national 
capitol, and even in the Vatican. It figures in 
every political movement, and the first step in any - 
political campaign is the opening of a headquarters ^ 
and the installation of a corps of type-writer opera — 
tives and machines. One of the first articles ulmt: 
furnishing a new office or in starting a new business^ 
is a type-writer. Even if there be no work for it tco 
do, it is put in to give an appearance of business <^ 
Considered a few years ago as fit for only the mosr-^ 
unimportant documents, it is now used for the mosr.^ 
important work of the American and foreign govemMri 
ments. Nearly 2000 machines are used in th».^ 
offices of the government departments at Washin gcg 
ton, and it has been formally adopted for govenrrra 
mental use in England and her colonies. Franc 



Gennany, Russia, and, indeed, in nearly every 
country on the globe. Many of our States have 
placeii laws upon their statute-books legah'zing its 
work. Judges who once objected to it now require 
that it be used in the production of all papers sub- 
mitted to them. It is used for drawing deeds, for 
writing wills, for state and diplomatic correspon- 
dence. Even foreign noblemen and potentates have 
adopted it. The Queen of Madagascar has her 
lype-writer; the khedive of Egypt has his. The 
czarina of Russia acts as secretary for her husband, 
the czar, and does her work on the type-writer. 
The httle machine, once so unpopular, has invaded 
the realm of fashion. Our English cousins were 
more slow to admit the propriety of using the type- 
writer for personal correspondence, but merit and 
usefulness have won. Among the wedding gifts to 
Princess May of Teck was an American writing- 
machine. The acknowledgments of the wedding 
presents of another one of the royal family were 
written upon a type-writer, and llie Prince of Wales 
himself has recently brought Marlborough House 
up to date by the introduction of an American 
writing-machine. A representative of one of the 
leading American manufacturers has been decorated 
by a foreign ruler with a distinguished order, in 
token of his appreciation of the ingenuity and value 
of the American writing- machine, which is used ex- 
tensively by his Excellency's government, and even 
by his Excellency in person ; and the leading firm 
of American manufacturers has received the appoint- 
ment from her Majesty, and his Royal Highness the 
Prince of Wales, of contractors to her Majesty's 

So much as to its present popularity at home and 
abroad. Now what has it accomplished? It has 
made itself a factor in the increase of business in all 
lines of trade. It has enabled a telegraph operator 
to supply at one writing every newspaper in New 
York with the news of the day. Its speed has re- 
sulted in an abbreviation of the original Morse sys- 
tem. By the use of the new code the capacity of a 
telegraph wire is doubled, resulting in great savings 
to the telegraph companies. It has shortened the 
number of hours during which a business man is 
confined to his correspondence, and has given him 
a greater portion of the day to devote to other 
things, to the advantage of his business. It has 
improved the correspondence itself, so that letters 
are more easily read and the contents more quickly 
grasped. The greater legibility of its work prevents 
many errors and consequent loss, The head of a 
Wall Street house, overloaded with a certain slock, 

and desiring to realize upon a little of it without 
affecting the value of the rest, sent a message to his 
broker on the floor of the Exchange : " Sell quietly 
looo shares." Illegible handwriting made the mes- 
sage read, "Sell quickly looo shares." The hasty 
sale demorahzed the market, broke the price, and 
the house failed. Had the message been type-writ- 
ten the failure would not have occurred, It has in- 
creased the trade of those who have used it, and 
has driven the fogies out of business, or compelled 
them to adopt it. It has educated the public in 
spelling, in punctuation, in capitalization, and in 
paragraphing, to a great degree. Compare business 
letters of twenty years ago, all of them written by 
hand, with business letters of to-day, nine tenths of 
them written on a type-writer, and observe the im- 
provement in these respects. It has lessened the 
laboring hours of thousands of men, giving them 
more lime for recreation, and perhaps lengthening 
their lives. It has in a measure solved the problem 
of women's work. It has opened an avenue of 
genteel and profitable employment to an army of 
educated women. 

To those who are permitted to look back over 
their connection with the business from its infancy, 
and recall the struggles and discouragements of the 
first few years, its present popularity is naturally a 
source of pride; but even more gratifying is the 
contemplarion of the vast army of young people 
who, as the outcome of those struggles, have found 
congenial and profitable employment. To fully 
impress upon the reader what the type-writer has 
accomplished in this respect is no easy task. One 
writing-machine company, realizing the mutual ad- 
vantage which would result, began in 1883 the work 
of finding employment for type-writer operatives. 
Employment bureaus were established in the princi- 
pal cities of the country, and have been continued 
until now, at a cost of many thousands of dollars, 
serving without charge both employers and em- 
ployees. If the young people— mostly women— 
who have found employment through the agency of 
this one house could march through one of our city 
streets, shoulder to shoulder, from curb lo curb, it 
would require from daylight to dark for them to 
pass in review. Would the size of this army be 
more easily comprehended if the number is men- 
tioned ? Here, then, it is— 70,000. 

What, loo, of the earnings of the legion of yoimg 
people who, by means of the type-writer, not only 
support themselves, but in many instances contrib- 
ute to the support of others ? The entire amount 
paid as wages to operatives has been found lo be 


$1 50,000,000 yearly — a sum greater than the customs 
receipts of the United States ; greater than the cost 
of maintaining the army and navy or the entire 
civil list of the government ; a sum equal, in fact, to 
the entire cost of the public schools of the nation. 
This vast amount of money has been earned without 
corresponding loss of employment by any other 
class, and may certainly be said to have added an 
equal amount to the wealth of the nation. 

Who deserves the greatest credit for these accom- 
plishments? A measure of credit must be given to 
those who first conceived the idea of decreasing the 
labor and of increasing the speed and legibility of 
writing ; but this credit must be divided among 
many persons. Credit is also due to the men of 
business acumen who, taking up the enterprise when 
the crust of opposition had been broken, used their 
ability, their money, and their energy in establishing 
the business firmly in public favor and confidence, 
and made it profitable. Space will not be taken to 
discuss those whose inventions have added to the 
value of writing-machines, but who were not pioneer 
inventors in the field ; nor those who, having in- 
vested their money, devoted their time to getting 
a. share of the profits of the business, after the 
leaders in its introduction had demonstrated that it 
was an enterprise which could probably be embarked 
in with profit. 

Above all others, credit seems due to three men, 
all of whom have finished their work and entered 
into their reward : James Densmore, who, when the 

idea was unpopular, invested several thousands of 
dollars, ^all that he had, — and who, when he had 
used aU of his own means, had the faith and the 
courage to borrow from others many thousands 
more, all of which he spent in converting the public 
to his ideas ; George W. N. Yost, Mr. Densmore's 
lifelong friend, who with no less faith worked with 
him from the beginning, and who possessed in a re- 
markable degree that enthusiasm and tenacity of 
purpose required to overcome public prejudice; 
and William O. Wyckoff, who believed in the ma- 
chine from the time he saw the first crude model, 
and was among the very first to use and Bell it, and 
who, with better business ability than either of the 
others, had not only the faith to invest his money in 
the enterprise at the dawn of its history, in spite of 
the protests and the ridicule of his friends, but had 
also that prescience which told him that sooner or 
later the whole civilized world would want type- 
writers. When the hour came it foond him ready. 
Dropping all other tasks, he put into the work all 
that he had of means, of energy, and of enthusiasm, 
with results so magnificent as to command umversal 
wonder and admiration. 

To revolutionize commercial methods; to give 
employment even indirectly to hundreds of thou- 
sands of young people; to add annually to the 
nation's wealth hundreds of millions of dollars, are 
no mean accomplishments. These results have been 
attained through the instnunentality of the Ameri- 
can type-writer. 

Albert A. Pope. 




THOUGH the idea of man-power locomotion 
ia an old one, its practical development is a 
modern achievement. Wliat appeare to be 
a machine of the hobby-horse type is illustrated in 
a stained-glass window of the old English church at 
Stoke Pogis, whose graveyard is famous as the scene 
of Gray's " Elegy " and the final resting-place of the 
poet's remains. This window bears the date 1642, 
but as no records throw fmlher light on the subject, 
it must be taken as an isolated point in the history 
of wheeling, or perhaps be considered merely t!ie 
strange product of an artist's imagination. 

Within the space allotted to this subject it would 
not be of advantage to describe, even in outline, the 
crude devices which appeared during the early ex- 
perimental period ; yet iheir number and variety are 
of interest as showing how persistent inventors were 
in their search for a vehicle with which the muscular 
force of the human body could be used to such ad- 
vantage as to secure an easier and more rapid tran- 
sit than was attainable on foot. 

The first rudimentary bicycle of which we have 
a fairly satisfactory record was a machine used by 
Baron von Draise, of Mannheim -on -the- Rhine. It 
was of great service to him in the performance of 
his duties as Master of the Forests of the Grand 
Duke of Baden. From him it took the name 
" draisine," though the claim of priority in inven- 
tion has been questioned, as a wheel of the same 
type— the c^Wrif&re— was exhibited in 1S16, in the 
Garden of Tivoli, a favorite Parisian resort of the 
day, The construction of this machine was very 
simple, consisting of two wheels in line, connected 
by a perch on which the rider sat, and to the fore 
end of which the front-wheel fork, bearing a cross- 
bar for steering, was swiveled- The rider propelled 
this contrivance by quick thrusts of his feet upon 
the ground, but on down grades they were held 
up and the machine allowed to coast. Johnson's 
pedestrian curricle, brought out in England in iSiS, 
35' 5- 

was an improvement in detail over the draisine or 
c^l^rif&re, and at once came into favor under the 
names of " dandy -horse " and "hobby-horse." In 
1819 machines of this kind were introduced into 
New York, where people took kindly 10 them, riding 
them on the Bowery, through the parks, and even 
speeding them on the dechne 10 City Hall Park. It 
was during this year that W. K. Clarkson was granted 
a United States patent fur an improvement in the 
velocipede. Little or no progress was made for a 
number of years after this, but a great problem was 
successfully solved by Lallemont, a Frenchman, who 
hung cranks to the front axle of the modified form 
of the hobby-horse, so that the machine could be 
propelled entirely by the feet and steered by the 
hands. Lallemont's machine, the original "bone- 
shaker," was exhibited by hjs employer, M. Michaux, 
at the Paris Exposition in 1865, but little attention 
was attracted by the improvement in driving-gear. 
The next year, however, Lallemont worked his pas- 
sage to America, where he at once built a wheel, 
and aroused considerable interest by riding it through 
the streets of New Haven. In November, 1866, a 
joint patent was granted to Lallemont and Catrol, 
and this is the first one in the United States show- 
ing the two-wheeled velocipede with foot-cranks — 
in fact, the first complete patent actually obtained 
anywhere for such a machine. 

This vehicle consisted of two wooden wheels, of 
nearly equal size, one before the other, shod with 
iron tires and surmounted by a wooden perch, from 
which projected downward, near its rear end, two 
arms on either side of the rear wheel, each pair of 
arms meeting at the end of the hub and forming a 
bearing for the axle. A similar device projected 
from the fore end of the perch on either side ihe 
forward wheel, furnishing bearings for its axle, and 
arranged with a pivot in the perch near the upper 
end, so that, by means of a handle-bar above, the 
front wheel could be turned to the right or left in 



Steering the machine. The perch was curved down- 
ward in the middle part, and from a joint near the 
front forks, backward to a joint over the rear wheel, 
extended a straight steel spring bearing a saddle 
about midway between and above the two wheels. 
From this position the rider could place his feet upon 
the balanced pedals on the cranks connected with 
the front axle, the latter being fixed in the wheel. 
Thus seated, he started the machine in motion with 
his feet on the ground, and then put diem on the 
pedab and propelled it. This was certainly a better 
contrivance than any other yet brought out, but, al 
best, it was clumsy and awkward, and lacked the 
important features which were essential for the suc- 
cess of a practical road vehicle. The application of 
power was disadvantageous, as the thrust, instead 
of being directly downward, was forward and down. 
It required several times as much propelling force 
as is used on the modem bicycle. Historically it is 
a rare curio, and as such is preserved in the collection 
owned by the Pope Manufacturing Company. 

The popularity of die velocipede in America 
reached its height about 1869 or 1870, and the 
makers who had gone into this line of work had all 
they could do to supply the demands of the trade. 
The " Velocipedist," a journal devoted exclusively 
to the new interests, was issued, and a book written 
on the sport; and yet— so suddenly come the 
changes of public sentiment— two years later these 
machines had entirely disappeared, save here and 
there one in the hands of a boy. The reason for this 
short-lived popularity was the fact that the carriage 
builders who put out these wheels neglected to use 
proper bearings and such other devices as would 
have made riding more easy and enjoyable. Some 
steps looking to improvement in this direction were 
taken, however. C. K. Bradford, an American, had 
suggested the use of rubber tires, and experiments 
were tried with larger front wheels and antifriction 
bearings. In point of fact, one of our carriage 
manufacturers made velocipedes of a type similar to 
the high or ordinary bicycle, but the improvements 
came too laie to save the trade, so that in 1870 he 
was caught with his store-rooms well stocked with 
these wheels, and no market for the goods. 

The Franco- Prussian War retarded for a time the 
progress of cycling interests in France, though 
during that period there was a slow and steady 
growth in England, and the United States Patent 
OfSce reports show that our inventors were earnestly 
endeavoring 10 solve the problem. Meanwhile the 
use of wood gradually disappeared, giving place to 
wire spokes, steel hubs and felloes, and the tubular 

backbone, handle-bars,