University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Digital Library for the Decorative Arts and Material Culture

Page View

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)

The great tobacco manufactories,   pp. 511-532

Page 519

McAlpine & Co. Upon the withdrawal of Mr. French, which occurred
in 1865, Mr. McAlpine, perceiving that the business was becoming too
large for a single management, called to his aid Mr. John H. Reid as
special partner, with whom he is now associated, the title of the firm
continuing as before.  Though permanently established when Mr.
McAlpine entered upon his duties here, it was not until he had
assumed entire control that the house attained its greatest popularity.
From 1862 until the present time, its career has been onward and up-
ward, and to-day it is entitled to rank with the best establishments of
the kind in the United States.
Combined with a thorough knowledge of the Tobacco trade in all
its branches, great aptitude for business generally, quick perception,
and a resolute will, Mr. McAlpine possesses in an eminent degree that
faculty of determining future results from the symptoms of to-day-in
other words, of knowing just when, where, and in what manner to
make a venture or investment-which faculty enables him to control,
rather than follow events; and to the judicious exercise of this rare
gift may be attributed, in some measure at least, his remarkable suc-
cess as a manufacturer and business man.
The Works comprise quite a number of buildings, and cover an area
equal to seven or eight city lots, having a frontage of fifty feet on
Avenue D, by one hundred and fifty feet on Sixth street. About three
hundred persons are employed in the various departments.
In the Western States, within a few years, the manufacture of Fine
Cut Chewing Tobacco has taken root and made considerable progress.
One of the pioneers in this branch, in the West, was
C. Bronson, of Toledo, Ohio,
Who commenced the business in 1836, in Centreville, St. Joseph
county, Michigan, and whose establishment, up to 1847, was the only
one west of Detroit where this article was made. His capital at the
commencement was quite limited, and the machinery of his factory was
of the simplest kind, being operated entirely by horse power. In 1851
he removed to Toledo, Lucas county, Ohio, and there founded the
Works which bear his name, and which have become quite famous.
Mr. Bronson was the originator of bright Fine Cut Tobacco, and to
this valuable discovery, it may be assumed, he mainly owes the signal
success which has attended his efforts. The Bronson Tobacco Works
comprise three handsome and substantial brick buildings, each five
stories high, with a frontage of eighty and a depth of one hundred and

Go up to Top of Page