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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 Rochester,   pp. 258-265


Page 263

SENECA FALLS MANUFACTORIES.
Steam Engine and Boiler Works of Wood & Hurlburt. This firm have
effected a revolution in the construction of farm engines, by showing that
they can be made light, compact, safe, cheap, and yet efficient.     Their
engines range from 11 to 20-horse power, occupy a space from two
by five feet to 6 by 7 feet, and cost from $175 to $1700. Recently they
have devoted a good share of their attention to the construction of the
Excelsior Engines, designed expressly for the oil wells. In Utica also are
the extensive Stove works of Wheeler & Bailey, and J. S. & M. i'eckham
established in 1835.    This firm  are also largely engaged in the nanu-
facture of Plows, Cultivators, and other agricultural implements, and
have the exclusive right to " Peckham's Improved Agricultural Fur-
nace," which is adapted for wood or coal.     There are also the Utica
Screw Company (C. Miller, Agent); the Utica Steam            Cotton Mills
(E. Chamberlain, Treasurer) ; the Globe Woolen Company (Robert
Middleton, Agent) ; and the Oneida Brewery, established in 1813.
At SENECA FALLS, which is 1891 miles from Albany, there are several
important manufactories, especially of Pumps, Hardware, and Fire
Engines.
One of the first to perceive and take advantage of the water-power
furnished here by the fall of the Seneca River, and to whom the town
is largely indebted for its present prosperity, is Mr. ABEL DOWNs, who is
still at the head of some of its most important enterprises. 11    is ac-
credited with having introduced the first steam-engine that was used for
manufacturing purposes in the town, and with having made the first of
the many thousands of Iron Pumps that have since been constructed
there.'  For several years the manufacture of pumps was a specialty
(1) A local chronicler says:
"In the year 1840, Abel Downs commenced the manufacture of Pumps in the wing
of the " Old Cotton Factory," subsequently used as a plaster mill, and finally burned
down in the great conflagration of 1853. le erected a small furnace over the river, em-
ploying five men. Only wood Pumps were manufactured. Mr. Downs continued in the
business about two years, and at the close of the second year returned to the mercantile
business, being succeeded in the Pump Factory by Wheeler & Kelley. In the year 1844,
Mr. Downs again engaged in the Pump business in company with J. W. Wheeler and
Smith Briggs, under the firm of Wheeler, Briggs & Co., for about one year, when Wheeler
& Downs purchased the "old stone shop," originally erected by Bement & Co. for a car-
riago manufactory. Into this building their machinery and materials were removed, and
a steam-engine placed in it-the first used for manufacturing purposes in this town-and
there was made the first Iron Pump built in Seneca Falls.
In the year 1846, Mr. Washburn Race, who had recently invented and patented his
since famous Stove Regulator, came into the firm, and subsequently Silsby & Thompson,
who were then in the hardware trade, obtained an interest in the Regulator also. Pre-
vious to the purchase by Silsby & Thompson, the firm in the manufacture of Pumps was
styled Wheeler & Downs-and in the Regulator it was Wheeler, Downs & Race. After
2 63


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