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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 Troy,   pp. 249-257


Page 252

REMARKABLE MANUFACTORIES IN TROY.
The Troy Iron and Nail Factory-H. Burden & Sons, Proprietors,
Is another very large establishment in Troy, and, with the additions
that have recently been made, is now one of the largest in the United
States. Though there was previously a small factory, having a few
Cut Nail machines, near the site of the present mill on Wynant's Kill,
the works may be said to owe all their success and importance to the
present proprietors, and primarily to Mr. Henry Burden, a native of
Scotland, who came to this country in 1819, and who has been con-
nected with the works since 1822.
Few men, now living, have had more experience in the work-
ing of metals than the gentleman mentioned, and none probably
have more faithfully discharged the duty which Lord Bacon has said
every one owes to his profession, by contributing something for its
benefit. He is the author of several very ingenious and important in-
ventions designed to facilitate the working of iron, among which we
may mention a machine for making Spikes, another for making Horse
Shoes, and the Rotary Squeezer for rolling Puddle Balls, now so
generally used both in Europe and America. Burden's Spike Machine,
patented in 1839, will make Spikes -complete, including head and point,
at one operation, at the rate of fifty per minute ; and thus each machine
will do the work of fifty men. Nearly all the tracks of railway in the
United States are fastened with Spikes that were made by this machine,
and that the progress of railroad-building has been thereby accelerated is
evident, for Spikes could not have been made by hand with sufficient
rapidity to supply the demand.   His other invention mentioned for
making Hoese and Mule Shoes, is even still more ingenious in its
nature than that for making Spikes, and in its automatic action and
practical results is entitled to rank in the scale of inventions with Big-
elow's Carpet Loom and Blanchard's Lathe for Turning Irregular Forms.
A rod of iron fed into this machine is converted into Shoes entirely com-
pleted, with creases and countersunk holes (leaving nothing more to be
done except to clean out the holes after being cooled), and each machine
performs in a minute a day's labor of two men. Five of these machines
are now in operation in Burden's Works, with five more in course of
construction, and the number of tons of Shoes manufactured in a given
time may be calculated by assuming the average weight of a shoe to be
one pound, and the product of a machine, if kept supplied with hot iron,
to be 3600 pounds per hour. Mr. Burden is now engaged in perfecting a
machine for Rolling and Welding Bars, which, if successful, as it promises
252


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