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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 253

BURDENS' IRON AND NAIL WORKS.
to be, is destined, by its economy of labor, to effect a revolution in the
manufacture of iron.
The Works of this firm comprise two extensive Rolling Mills, dis-
tinguished as the Old Mill and the New or Steam Mill, two Forges, a
Spike Factory, a Nail Factory, Foundry, Pattern Shops, etc. The old
factory, situated on Wynant's Kill Creek, is a stone-and-brick structure
550 feet long, 140 feet wide, and has 24 furnaces in all, seven trains of
rolls, and five Horse Shoe machines. All the operations of making bars
from the pig, bloom and scrap, are carried on in this mill, but the most
novel and interesting feature is the manufacture of Horse and Mule
Shoes to which we have alluded, and of which thirty-eight different sizes
and patterns are made, ranging in weight from 6 ounces to 2 lbs.
10 ozs. Adjacent to the rolling mill is the Spike factory, where are ten
machines constantly employed in making railroad and ship spikes, and
boiler rivets.  The manufacture of nails, formerly very extensively
carried on at these works, has been discontinued. The motive power
of this mill is supplied by an immense water-wheel 60 feet in diameter,
the largest wheel of the kind in the country-the next largest being
that of the New York Belting and Packing Co., at Newtown, Conn.,
which is fifty feet in diameter.
In 1862, Mr. Burden purchased land having a front on the Hudson
River of about a mile and a quarter, extending eastwardly to the Hudson
River Railroad, and proceeded to fill up the low land at an expense ex-
ceeding one hundred thousand dollars. On this the firm erected a brick
forge 400 feet long and 100 feet wide, and a rolling mill 300 feet by 100
feet-works that in convenience of arrangement, abundance of light and
air, and freedom from oppressive heat, are not surpassed, if equalled, by
any in the United States. There are in these works 36 furnaces (to
which the blast is conveyed by pipes under ground), and it is proposed
to double the number as rapidly as they can be erected. The motive
power is supplied by magnificent engines built by the Corliss Steam
Engine Company at Providence. The product of this mill is exclusively
merchant bar iron. Improvements are in progress which, when finished,
will render the present works, extensive as they are, the mere nucleus
of what they will then be.
As many as 1500 men have been employed by this firm at one time
in their mills, and the sales in 1863 amounted to nearly $1,800,000.
Mr. William F. Burden is now the Superintendent and active manager of
the works.
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