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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 Paterson,   pp. 222-236


Page 235

MANUFACTURES OF BELLEVILLE, N. J.
G. De Witt, Brother & Co.'s Brass Wire Works, Belleville, N. J.,
Are the most complete and extensive of the kind in the United States.
They were formerly owned by William Stephens & Son, and were one
of the first brass rolling-mills established in this country. This firm
was for many years largely engaged in making sheet brass, and then
undertook the manufacture of Brass and Copper Wire. The first cop-
per wire used for telegraphic purposes in the United States was
made in these Works, and furnished to Amos Kendall for the line be-
tween Philadelphia and Washington. About 1849, Mr. Gasheric De
Witt, a native of Hudson, New Jersey, and son of an eminent physician
of the same name, became the agent in New York city for Messrs.
Stephens & Son, and in 1857 purchased the entire establishment, asso-
ciating with him his brother Josiah H1. De Witt. They have greatly
enlarged the original works, and by strict attention to the details of
manufacturing, and to the maintenance of their credit by prompt pay-
ments, they have achieved an enviable success.
The manufactures of this firm include all kinds of Brass and Copper
Wire, Sheet Brass, Wire Cloth, Foudrinier Wires, Fine Wire Hope
and Sash Cord, Wire Window Screens, and Dandy Rolls for Paper
Makers. The buildings cover an acre of ground and comprise a rolling
mill, a casting shop, a wire-drawing shop, a weaving department,
painting shop, and carpenter's iuilding.
The processes of manufacturing wire cloth are both delicate and in-
teresting. The ingot is first rolled into the bar, then drawn to the
finest sizes, and then woven into fabrics, some of them being ten thou-
sand meshes to the square inch. The machinery is propelled both by
water and steam, equal in the aggregate to one hundred horse power.
About seventy workmen are employed in the different departments, to
whom $40,000 are paid annually in wages. Among them is one of the
best artists in the country, who is employed in painting Landscapes on
Wire Cloth for Window Screens.
The products of this manufactory are sold to all parts of the United
States, and to Cuba and South America. Every sheet of paper made
must be formed on wire cloth ; while in the South it is extensively
used for straining turpentine, and in California for sifting gold dust.
This establishment was the first in this country to introduce the manu-
facture of Foudrinier wires, so essential to paper makers, and they con-
tinue to be the leading manufacturers of this important article.
Messrs. G. De Witt, Brother & Co. employ in their business a capital
of $100,000, and produce annually about the same amount of fine goods.
Their Sales Wareroom is at No. 90 John street, New York.
235


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