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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 Hartford,   pp. 406-423


Page 417

WVouDRI I ANI) BEACH IRON WORKS.
a single primer is thrown under the hammer directly on to the tube by
the action of a lever inside the lock, which moves simultaneously with
the hammer, and never misses capping the nipple just in time, no matter
in what position the piece may be held at the time of firing.
For rapidity of firing the Sharps' Rifle is remarkable if not unrivalled.
In the testing range at the Works, the piece is frequently loaded and
fired twenty-six times per minute. An inexperienced practitioner finds
no difficulty in firing and loading from ten to fourteen shots per minute.
Its simplicity of construction, freedom from accident, and facility of
cleaning, as well as its accuracy and rapidity of firing, have given it a
popularity, both as a weapon of warfare and for purposes of sport, that
places it among the most successful and remarkable of modern inven-
tions.
About 450 men are now employed in these works, and about 30,000
Rifles are produced annually. When the new machinery is in full ope-
fation it is probable the production will be doubled.
Woodruff & Beach Iron Works,
Is the corporate title of a Company incorporated in 1853, and are the
successors immediately of Messrs. Woodruff & Beach, and remotely of
Alpheus & Truman Ianks, who, under the firm-style of A. & T. Hanks,
established in 1821, at the same location, the first Iron Foundry in
Connecticut, known as the "IHartford Iron Foundry."
The works of the Company have for several years been among the
most extensive in New England for the manufacture of Engines and
heavy machinery, and recently large additions have been made to the
foundries, consisting of a centre and two wings, 230 by 63 feet inside
area. The centre will contain a pit capable of holding the mold for the
heaviest castings ever founded, and two immense cranes, with a working
radius of a circle forty-three feet diameter, and a lifting capacity of
fifty tons each. On the river is a dock fifty feet long, sustained on piles,
with a shears the two legs of which are two single sticks each ninety-
eight feet long. This enormous engine rests on two piers of stone sunk
in the river bed twenty feet, and is guyed by cables of wire rope. It is
for loading engines and boilers into the ships which they are afterwards
to propel. It has a capacity for moving masses of seventy-five tons. To
this apparatus runs a railroad from the machine and boiler shops, which
is supported on piles driven through the sandy strata of the earth to the
" hard pan." An addition has also been made to the boiler shops of a
brick structure 125 feet long and 60 feet wide.
417


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