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 iron works of the United States,   pp. 475-495

Page 485

The West Point Foundry-R. P. Parrott, Proprietor,
At Cold Spring, New York, was established by Gouverneur Kemble,
who, with others, were incorporated under the name of the West Point
Foundry Association. The first Works were erected in 1817, and were
designed for the casting and boring of Cannon for the Navy and Army
requirements of the United States, official assurances of support and
encouragement having been given, should Ordnance for the government
be satisfactorily made.
From the expiration of the time for which the charter of the Asso-
ciation was given, the Works have been conducted as a private estab-
lishment by one of the proprietors, who leased the shares of the others.
They were carried on in this manner by Mr. Gouverneur Kemble until
1851, and from that date to the present time by Mr. R. P. Parrott,
who bad become connected with the Foundry in 1836, and continued
in it during the lease of Mr. Kemble, upon the expiration of which
Mr. Parrott became the sole lessee, and has conducted the establish-
ment up to the present time, assisted in its management by Mr. Gouv-
erneur Paulding. Mr. Parrott was a graduate of West Point, and
Captain in the Ordnance Department of the United States.
It was found by experience that the Cannon called for were not
ordered in such quantity, or with such regularity, as to give steady
employment, and other work was necessarily sought for. By degrees,
general Castings, Steam-engines and Boilers, and all heavy machinery,
were introduced, with a forging department capable of executing the
heaviest pieces.
Among the products of this Foundry were the Engines of the United
States Steamers "Missouri," and of the well-known " Merrimac," the
Cornish Pumping Engine at Belleville for the Jersey City Waterworks,
and the Pumping Engine of the Dry Dock at Brooklyn. Sugar-mill
Machinery, with Steam-engines, Hydraulic Presses, and Blowing En-
gines of the largest size, have been turned out in large quantities.
Much of this machinery has been exported from the United States,
and has borne a high reputation in competition with that of other
The establishment, though limited originally to a Cannon Foundry
of moderate extent, costing about $90,000, has grown, entirely by the
application of means earned by itself, to one of immense capacity, not
only for Cannon, but heavy Machinery, Steam-engines, and general
Castings and Forgings. The facilities for finishing and fitting up work,
although very large, are exceeded by those for casting and forging, and
at times large quantities of Water Pipes, Wrought-iron Shafts, and
other forgings, have been added to the ordinary work.

Go up to Top of Page