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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 Bridgeport,   pp. 434-439


Page 439

THE WHEELER & WILSON SEWING 'MACHINE MANUFACToRY.      439
ornamented, to correspond with the costly finish of the higher priced
machines, form elegant articles for the boudoir. Among the novelties
in this department produced by this Company, some years since, was a
combination of a Sewing Machine and Melodeon in the form of a small
escritoire or parlor sideboard, which, when opened, presented a set of
piano keys, and after closing and turning back the top, revealed a com-
plete Sewing Machine. Within side doors below were two pedals, one
for the musical and the other for the sewing apparatus, and by chang-
ing her foot from one to the other the operator was able to play either
at sewing or at music as she felt inclined.
This manufactory, vast as it is, will soon be but an appendage or
auxiliary to one still more extensive. The Company are at this time
erecting on an adjacent lot a new factory, of which the main building
will be three hundred and two feet front by two hundred and seventy
feet deep, with an office surmounted by a pagoda dome sixty by sixty-
eight feet, and a Tool room thirty-eight by fifty. All the walls will
be of Croton faced brick, and the roof of tin, supported by wrought-iron
trusses, requiring for these and the supporting columns three hundred
and fifty tons of iron. Though only one story of fifteen feet in height,
one million eight hundred thousand brick will be consumed in its con-
struction and seven thousand panes of glass, besides nine thousand feet
of rolled glass skylights. The floors will be of brick, cement, and tiles,
and the entire structure as nearly fire-proof as architectural skill, with-
out regard to expense, can make it. In this connection we may re-
mark that Wheeler & Wilson have owned and kept on their premises
for some years, a splendid steam fire engine that cost $4,000, and which
is manned by over one hundred of the workmen, who are furnished a
neat and appropriate uniform.
The salesrooms of this Company, 625 Broadway, New York city,
occupying the site of the Art Institute building, are fitted up in a style
of regal magnificence that make them one of the attractions of that far-
famed boulevard. Here visitors may have demonstrated the superior
excellence of the " Lock-stitch," and of the " Rotary Hook" for making
it; and inquirers will also receive a pamphlet of eloquent eulogiums
from the pens of nearly all the great writers whose names adorn
the pages of American literature.
Besides her Sewing Machine manufactories, the list of important
manufactories in Bridgeport includes Hotchkiss & Son's Hardware
Manufactory; the Bridgeport Brass Foundry; the Pacific Iron-works;
the Central Iron-works ; the Bridgeport Iron-works ; the Carriage
Factories of Wood Brothers and Haight & Co. ; the Tomlinson Spring
and Axle Company, and others.


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