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Bishop, J. Leander (John Leander), 1820-1868 / A history of American manufactures from 1608 to 1860 : exhibiting the origin and growth of the principal mechanic arts and manufactures, from the earliest colonial period to the adoption of the Constitution ; and comprising annals of the industry of the United States in machinery, manufactures and useful arts, with a notice of the important inventions, tariffs, and the results of each decennial census
Volume 3 (1868)

Manufactures of New York and Brooklyn,   pp. 119-216


Page 126

126      REMARKABLE MANUFACTORIES OF NEW YORK.
gines. In the plans determined upon, he was not only to use a new
fuel, but a new boiler, and an engine constructed unlike any used in New
York waters. His boat, therefore, embraced much that was new, and
consequently received the name of "Novelty." Dr. Nott, finding that
his projected enterprise would require special arrangements, not only for
its creation, but also to enable him to keep the boat in the proper repair,
decided to purchase the premises then known as Burnt Mill Point, on
the East River, where a small wharf and some farm buildings furnished
all the room he required. One of the engines of the Novelty was in a
great measure built here with limited mechanical resources.  From
time to time the power and tools were added to, and when they were
increased to an extent that enabled work for other parties to be under-
taken, they were applied to such purpose. The place and shop where
this work was being done for the steamboat Novelty, now became known
in the neighborhood as the " NOVELTY WORKS,"-and thus originated
the distinctive name by which it is still known throughout the engineer-
ing world.
At the time these new operations were carried forward, the business
was conducted by the firm of H. Nott & Co., under the superintend-
ence of N. Bliss, formerly of the West, who had recommended the use
of the horizontal style of engine for the boat-the foreman being Ezra
K. Dodd, who afterward was chief engineer of the Novelty. Subse-
quently Thomas B. Stillman had charge of the works, until the year
1838, when John D. Ward, Thomas B. Stillman, Robert M. Stratton,
and C. St. John Seymour, purchased the premises, machinery, tools
and fixtures, and conducted the business under the name of Ward, Still-
man & Co.-the first two of the partners having charge of the mechan-
ical operations, while the two latter-named gentlemen gave their attention
to financial affairs. During the time the establishment was in their hands,
its capacity in machinery and tools was greatly increased, and among
the work turned out were the two ocean steamers, the Lion and the
Eagle, constructed for the Spanish Government, and still in use under
different names. In 1841, the firm of Ward, Stillman & Co. was dis-
solved by the retirement of J. D. Ward, and the establishment was con-
ducted by Stillman & Co. In 1842, a new firm was created by taking
in Horatio Allen, (the gentleman who imported the first locomotive
engine into this country,) and the business was conducted under the
name of Stillman, Allen & Co.-Mr. Seymour having retired. In 1855,
the stock, machinery, tools, patterns, etc., were sold to an incorporated
company, under the title of the Novelty Iron Works, of New York,
whose cash capital is $300,000, by which company the business has been
conducted up to the present time. Prior to the incorporation of this


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