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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 264

of the firm with which he was connected, but gradually other articles,
usually classed as hardware, as Pipe Boxes, Thimble Skeins, Sadirons,
etc., were added to the list, and the works were enlarged to meet the
demands of an increased business.      The DowNs MANUFACTURING COM-
PANY now consume ten to fourteen tons of iron per day, and employ
200 hands.
A few years ago Mr. Downs engaged in the manufacture of Hosiery,
having improved patented knitting machines for the purpose, and has
supplied the United States Government with many thousands of dozens
of half-hose.   This enterprise has culminated in the establishment of
the SENECA KNITTING MILL COMPANY, of which Seabury S. Gould is
President, and Abel Downs, Treasurer, and now extensively engaged in
the manufacture of Hosiery, Wrappers, and Knit Jackets.
Besides the Downs Manufacturing Company, and the Seneca Knitting
Mill Company, there are the following important manufactories at
Seneca Falls:
Cowing & Company's Pump and. Fire Engine Works, established in
1840. This firm, composed of John P., Philo, George, and Marshall
Cowing, manufacture 250 varieties of Polished Cylinder Lift and Force
Pumps, besides Hydraulic Rams, Garden and Green House Engines,
the purchase, the firm in the manufacture of Regulators was changed to that of W. Race
& Co.; but Wheeler & Downs retained the sole interest in the Pump business. Subse-
quently Silsby & Mynderso took an interest in the manufacture of Pumps, and the title
of the firm was Downs, Myndorse & Co., Mr. Wheeler having retired from the business.
At this time Pumps were manufactured of both wood and iron. This continued up to
1851, when Seabury S. Gould purchased the interest of E. Mynderse, and then the firm
was entitled Downs, Silsby & Gould. In the fall of that year Mr. Silsby sold his interest
to his partners, when the present firm of Downs & Co. was formed-being Messrs. Abel
Downs and Seabury S. Gould. Commencing with five men, and melting from one and a
half to two tons of iron per week, the business had gradually increased till in 1S51 the
amount of capital employed was $40,000, working up about four tons daily, and giving
employment to between sixty and seventy men.
In the winter of 1853-4, Downs & Co. built their new works upon the canal and river
where they now are, and their business has gradually increased until the number of men
employed now amounts to two hundred and upwards, their "heats" consuming from ten
to fourteen tons of iron per day. During the year that Mr. Mynderse came into the firm
they had of actual cash capital only $6,000, which has been increased to about $150,000
-and this combined with real estate and machinery would swell the amount to over
$200,000. Their sales in the year 1849 amounted to about $43,000; in 1850 to $70,000;
in 1851 to $100,000 ; and have since increased until they now amount annually to near
Messrs. Downs & Co. make 20 different kinds of Pumps, and upwards of 130 different
sizes. They have gradually become engaged in the manufacture of many other articles
of hardware aside from Pumps, among which are Thimble Skeins, Pipe Boxes, cast-iron
Hand Sleds, Smoothing Irons, Jack Screws, Bench Screws, cast-iron Boot Jacks, iron and
wood cylinder Meat Cutters, and a great variety of other useful articles. They sell
nothing but their own manufactures."

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