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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 Springfield,   pp. 333-336

Page 334

value than any other in Springfield, with the exception of the Indian
Orchard Cotton Mills, was the Car Manufactory of the
Wason Manufacturing Company.
The construction of Cars is comparatively a new department of
manufactures in the United States, but in consequence of the vast
and rapid extension of railroads it has become one of considerable
magnitude. It is a singular fact that nearly all the companies that have
been organized with a large capital for the prosecution of this business
have not been successful, and those whose manufactories are now the
largest, commenced with scarcely any capital except their individual en-
terprise and experience.
About twenty years ago, Thomas W. and Charles Wason commenced,
on the banks of the Connecticut River, preparing lumber for Railroad
Bridges, and did a small business in repairing and building Gravel and
Freight Cars. In 1846 they advanced a step forward by leasing a lot
of ground on which they erected a shop for making Freight and Bag-
gage Cars, procuring the wheels and most of their castings from a
neighboring foundry. In 1848 the " Springfield Car and Engine Co.,"
which had been organized in the year preceding with a capital of
$100,000, for the building of Cars and Engines, and had erected exten-
sive buildings for the purpose and filled them with machinery, finding
that the business could not be economically conducted under their exist-
ing organization, determined to dispose of their stock ahd tools in the
Car department, and Messrs. T. W. & C. Wason became the purchasers.
In 1851 Mr. Thos. W. Wason became sole proprietor of the works by the
purchase of his brother's interest, and in the latter part of the same year
purchased a foundry for making Car Wheels and other castings. In 1853
he disposed of' one-half his interest in the Car Manufactory to another
person, which established the firm of T. W. Wason & Co., who con-
tinued business as a firm until 1862, when the " Wason Manufacturing
Company" was organized, and incorporated with Thomas W. Wason,
President, George C. Fisk, Treasurer, Henry S. Hyde, Clerk, and L. 0.
Hanson, Superintendent.
This Company is now largely engaged in the manufacture of every
variety of Passenger, Emigrant, Baggage, Freight, Hand, and Horse
Cars, and recently purchased the extensive property formerly owned by
the " Springfield Car and Engine Company," the original cost of which
with the buildings and machinery was over $120,000. The buildings,
eligibly situated near the passenger depot at Springfield, are most sub-
stantially constructed, and cover nearly four acres of ground. They

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