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 520

fifty feet, and are located on the south side of Summit street, between
Madison and Jefferson streets.  Another large edifice, situated on
Lynn street, is devoted to the storage of the Leaf Tobacco used in
the manufactory, as are also several extensive sheds located in the
vicinity of the corner of Cherry and Summit streets.
In the manufactory there are eleven first-class Cutting Machines,
capable of cutting eleven thousand pounds of Chewing, or eighteen
thousand pounds of Smoking Tobacco per day, all operated by an
engine of about twenty horse-power. Ordinarily the number of
hands employed averages from one hundred and twenty-five to one
hundred and fifty. The revenue tax paid by this establishment is
probably larger than that of any other house in the West, amounting
in 1865 to $250,322.81. The value of the goods sold the same year
was $560,400. The leading product of the establishment is Bright
Chewing Tobacco, but it has achieved an enviable reputation in the
manufacture of Smoking Tobacco of all kinds.    Some of the best
brands of Chewing, among which may be mentioned " C. Bronson's
Indian Brand," have attained a widespread celebrity, and are found in
the hands of the trade in, all parts of the country. Mr. Bronson at
first disposed of his goods through the instrumentality of travelling
agents, who drove about the country in wagons; but, as his business
increased, and the popularity of his goods became firmly established,
he found it necessary to dispense with this inadequate mode of dis-
tribution and avail himself of the facilities afforded by modern im-
provements. Besides being a man of indomitable energy, and excellent
business qualifications, Mr. Bronson is possessed of considerable me-
chanical ability, and to him belongs the credit of inventing some of
the most valuable improvements made in cutting and handling Tobacco.
To his discernment and example the West owes its high position in
this department of trade; for soon after he commenced the manufacture
of bright goods, his style was copied, and his system followed by other
enterprising men in the various cities of that section ; and now, the
West not only supplies its own demand, and that in an article pecu-
liarly adapted to its requirements, but also furnishes the greater por-
tion of the same material consumed elsewhere.
On January 1st, 1866, Mr. Bronson retired from active business,
having sold his establishment and trade to his brother David Bronson
and Charles R. Messinger. These gentlemen, having graduated under
the supervision of the former proprietor, are well qualified to sustain
the exalted prestige of the house, and, judging by their sales during the
first year of their occupancy of the premises, they are destined to add
materially to its popularity and usefulness.

Go up to Top of Page