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Chesebrough Manufacturing Company,

Most Famous Product - Vaseline

Location of Chesebrough's Facilities

Chesebrough had two locations in Brooklyn:

  1. Between Richards and and Dwight, Delevan and Verona. This is where Vaseline was made.

  2. At the foot of Sullivan near the Buttermilk Channel

The 1869 map shows an unlabeled structure on Richards between Delavan and Ewen (later Verona).

The 1868 City directory listed Thaine & Hudson "oil manufacturers, "Delevan" and Richards

A 1870 article in the Brooklyn Eagle reported a fire at the oil factory of Wm. W. Thain corner of Richards and Delavan Streets.

Aug 27, 1870: Shortly before 3 o'clock Andrew Dooley an employee of "William A. Wood's oil factory, at the corner of Richard and Delavan streets, Red Hook point" discovered gas leaking from a still. He was unable to stop the leak. Fearing a fire he ran to the loft where about $2,000 of fancy pigeons were kept. He tried but failed to release them before an explosion occurred. The pigeons were killed, Dooley was injured, and the factory burned. Loss of building and pigeons amounted to $19,000 - uninsured.

The location on the 1880 map was listed as "Oil Works" and on the 1886 map as "Cheeseborough vaseline".

In the fall of 1885 it was noted in the Brooklyn Daily eagle that "Cheseboro" Manufacturing was in the process of building a "very extensive addition" at the corner of Richards and Verona streets. The structure was L shaped with 50 feet on Richards street and 150 feet on Verona "thus extending a length of 100 feet and a width of 25 feet to the main building." Part was two story and part was three story.

In 1886 the Chesebrough Manufacturing Company was located between Richards st., Dwight st. Verona and Delavan sts. Chesebrough made Vaseline, a popular home health care item. Differences in building size and location between the 1880 and 1886 map indicate that the building was enlarged during that period. The older buildings were on the Delavan Street side with the new additions on the Verona street side. It appears to have been enlarged again between 1886 and 1899 (as seen on the 1899 map.)

The section of the "works" on the Richard Street side is no longer standing. In 2012 a section on Dwight and Verona is apartments.

By 1861 Robert Chesebrough had a facility on Ferris Street near Dikeman.


Robert A. Chesebrough, who later developed Vaseline, was in Red Hook from at least September 1861 when a large fire occurred at the Kerosene Oil Works "occupying the entire block of ground between Dikeman and Ferris on Red Hook Point." The buildings were of brick with a number of wooden sheds wood and contained large quantities of highly flammable material. The wind was blowing and carried the cinders a great distance endangering other buildings and the docks. Large quantities of oil were lost as well as some machinery. The firemen could not save the building but did prevent the fire from spreading. The factory was owned by Mr. R. "E." Chesebrough. (Brooklyn Eagle Saturday, September 28, 1861).

1856: A fire at the American Oil Works corner of Sullivan and Ferris was quickly extinguished - damage $100 - not insured.

In 1860 a lost and found notice listed a reward given at "the Franklin Coal Oil works foot of Sullivan street"

1860: Fire at the oil works of Newton & Co. corner of Sullivan and Ferris caused little damage. Loss about $300 - no insurance.

1867: A fire caused "by an overflow of an oil cistern coming in contact with a gas burner" occurred at the Crystal oil works corner of Sullivan and Ferris, belonging to Mr. Christopher. Damage $50.

1867: "John Cosgrove a workman in Christophers's Crystall oil works corner of Sullivan and Ferris carelessly placed a lighted candle near the still." An explosion ensued and John Cosgrove was badly burned. Damage to the property $8,000 - not covered by insurance.

1873: A fired at the oil works of Robert A Chesebrough at the foot of Sullivan street was caused by over heating a kettle of tar. There was little damage. No insurance.

An 1880 map shows several smallish buildings on Sullivan near the Buttermilk Channel labeled "oil works". The largest building is 100 feet by 25.

1877: OIL FIRE IN SOUTH BROOKLYN at the "Cheeseborough" Manufacturing caused by an explosion of the gasoline still. Other stills caught fire. The fire burned for some time - dammage $10,000.

1885: A lamp exploded in the office of the Chesebrough Manufacturing Co., foot of Sullivan. Damage $200.

The 1886 map shows an "oil works" on Sullivan west of Ferris. It is not labeled by name. There are less buildings indicated on this map than on the 1880 map. There is only one building which appears to be about 100 feet by 25 and is in the same location as the building on the 1880 map.

In 1887 a well dressed woman attempted suicide by jumping off the dock at the end of Wolcott street. She was rescued by some local workmen and taken "to the engine room of the vaseline works near by"

1888: Chesebrough Manufacturing at the foot of Sullivan, proposed to add a story to their building, cost $1,200.

An 1898 shows two brick and a metal covered building between Sullivan and Wolcott near the Buttermilk channel. It is not labeled. There are also some wooden buildings (probably sheds) in the ares.

1889: Chesebrough had plans to build a two story brick building 30X34 feet, at the foot of Sullivan, cost $1,700.

1897: May 2, Edward Harrigan a worker at Chesebrough manufacturing foot of Sullivan was badly scalded when he fell in a tank of hot water.

1898: A map shoes the same 100 by 25 feet brick building that was on the 1880 and 1886 map plus an additional brick building, plus a metal tank and and a metal covered building.

A map thought to date to 1900 shows "Chesebrough Mfg co's Oil Refinery" on Sullivan west of Ferris.

1900 map, showing a much more elaborate compound than the earlier maps and clearly labeled "Chesebrough Mfg. co's Oil Refinery". I love it that this complex, which contained such flammable material and had such a history of fires, is surrounded on two sides by a lumber yard.

The buildings are still shown on a 1907 map - labeled "oil refinery". Chesebrough had left Red Hook in 1904.

1901: A description of the Atlantic Dock Property west of Ferris and southwest of Sullivan included a perimeter with the "land now or late of the "Cheeseborough" Manufacturing Company". Cheseborough and Vaseline

In an article in Petroleum Age written in 1920 by Robert A Chesebrough he states that he:
"began the distillation of crude oil in Brooklyn from the mines located on the Kiskitninetas River near Pittsburgh in 1858, and continued it until the large output of petroleum in 1861, and he is therefore expert on the subject. From 1861 to 1863 when the by-products of petroleum, such as gasoline, naphtha and the heavy distillates had little sale, instead of running down the still to coke, which was generally the rule of all the oil companies, he used all the products outside of the kerosene for fuel oil in boilers and oil stills and it is probable that he was the first to use oil as fuel. His foreman, Osterhoudt, who was a mechanic of the first class, invented the first oil burner that was probably ever used."

Robert Chesebrough was a chemist and may have started his business ventures clarifying the oil of sperm whales. Sperm whale oil was used in oil lamps. This process became obsolete for two reasons: the over fishing of whales and the discovery of petroleum in 1850. Kerosene, a petroleum product, replaced sperm oil as a source of fuel in lamps.

By 1858 Robert Chesebrough was distilling kerosene and lubricating oils from channel coal. He is credited with being the first to use crude oil under burners and stills in the oil refining process.

By 1870 Chesebrough Manufacturing was located on Richards street between Verona and Delavan. There is an unlabeled building on the east side of Richards streets between Verona and Delavan on the 1869 map of Red Hook.

The first Vaseline factory was opened in Red Hook Brooklyn in 1870. Robert Augustus Chesebrough got his patent for Vaseline in 1872. However, he is reported to have discovered the healing effects of a byproduct of the oil when in the oil fields in Titusville, Pa. in 1859. (Petroleum was "discovered" in Titusville in 1850.) According to the Vaseline web site he was making Vaseline in Brooklyn by 1870. Chesebrough aggressively marketed his product though advertisement and free samples. He traveled from town to town where he would give demonstations of his product reportedly first burning his skin with acid or fire and then using the miracle cure Vaseline!! He claimed he spent over half a million dollars introducing the produce and another half million building his plant. He said the product caught on around 1876 and was a big success by 1880. According to The New York Chronology: The Ultimate Compendium of Events, People, and ... By James Trager, 2003, Chesebrough was still making kerosene and lubricating oils until 1881.

Chesebrough was helped in his search to develop Vaseline by the chemist, Charles Edmond Fougera, a Frenchman, who died in Brooklyn in 1889. See Fougera below.

VASELINE, or mineral jelly, the Paraflinum molle of the British Pharmacopoeia, a commercial product of petroleum which is largely employed in pharmacy, both alone and as a vehicle for the external application of medicinal agents, especially when loeal action rather than absorption is desired, and as a protective coating for metallic surfaces. "Vaseline" is a registered proprietary name (coined from the German Wasser, water, the Greek oil, ελαιο, and the termination -ine), and is strictly applicable only to the material manufactured by one company (the Chesebrough Manufacturing Company), but it is commonly applied in a generic sense. As met with in commerce, vaseline is a semi-solid mixture of hydrocarbons, having a melting-point usually ranging from a little below to a few degrees above 100° F. It is colourless, or of a pale yellow colour, translucent, fluorescent, amorphous and devoid of taste and smell. It does not oxidize on exposure to the air, and is not readily acted on by chemical reagents. It is soluble in chloroform, benzene, carbon bisulphide and oil of turpentine. It also dissolves in warm ether and in hot alcohol, but separates from the latter in flakes on cooling.

The process employed by the Chesebrough Manufacturing Company in the manufacture of vaseline is said to consist essentially in the careful distillation of selected crude petroleum, vacuum-stills being used to minimize dissociation, and filtration of the residue through granular animal charcoal. The filters are either steamjacketed, or are placed in rooms heated to 120° F., or higher. The first runnings from the filters are colourless, and when they become coloured to a certain extent they are collected for use as a lubricant under the name of "filtered cylinder oil." (B. R.)

(Encyclopaedia Britannica: Or, A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, and ..., Volume 27, 1902)

Chesebrough received several patents including one in 1865 for purifying petroleum by simmering it down in open kettles and then filtering it through hot bone black.

1874: In a report on Industry other than Agriculture Chesebrough Manft Co makers of Vaseline had $35,000 invested in Petroleum.

In 1881 Chesebrough operated under Standard Oil Trust. They resumed independent operation in 1911.

1881: It was stated that U. S. patent No 127,568 granted to Robert A Chesebrough in 1872 covered the manufacture of vaseline the petroleum jelly. In 1881 the validity of the patent was called into question. It was argued that Chesebrough owned the name and was entitled to any patents on the machinery used to manufacture the product. However, whether the process of refining petroleum into jelly was patentable was another matter. The use of animal charcoal to deodorize and decolorize organic substances had been know for centuries. Heating the petroleum to keep it in a liquid state for filtering was claimed to be a known process in filtering fats. Finally the use of steam coils for heating was a know process. There were numerous suits over the years on the issue of the patentability of refining petroleum into jelly, including a suit between Chesebrough and Charles Toppan of Boston. Two of Chesebrough's employees testified that the process for making vaseline had been the same since 1867. Chesebrough won the suit.

In November 1883 a severe wind storm struck New York City and blew the iron roof off the "Cheeseborough" Manufacturing Company's five story plant at Richards and Delevan streets. Forty "girls" were at work bottling vaseline "When the iron roof from the fount building, which is higher than the rear extension where the girls were working, fell there was quite a panic, and the young women made a rush for the door, and nearly squeezed themselves to death." No one was hurt. The roof landed on the building next door. (Brooklyn Eagle Tuesday, November 13, 1883)

Mr Chesebrough's factory does not seem to have been the best neighbor. In May 1883 "Cheesebrough" Manufacturing was using pipes "for conducting oil for the manufacture of vaseline from Richards, Sullivan and "Delavan" streets". It was claimed that the pipes "sometimes burst and the oil flooded the streets and was offensive to the neighborhood."

1884: Alderman Curran introduced a resolution that the Chesebrough Manufacturing Company take up pipes it used to convey oil under Sullivan Richards and Dalavan streets. He claimed the company was never permitted to lay them and that they frequently burst and the oil flowed out causing a nuisance to the neighborhood. It was said that the pipe was laid four years before and was used to transport an oil mixture from ont part of the business to another.

Mr. Jesse Johnson, counsel for Chesebrough said the pipes were laid with a permit and were used to covey oil used for the manufacture of vaseline - no gas was generated - therefore there was no reason for them to burst.

In 1946 a "Red Hooker" reminiscing about the old days remembered:

"the little creek into which the vaseline factory dumped its waste. Nobody ever floated a raft across it or made the swim. It was too messy, even for little boys."
Mention was made again in 1951 of the ditch used by the vaseline factory to flush their surplus water into the salt tide water. (BE)

Two men, William Quinn, "the engineer", and James Cline, were severely burned on the hands and feet while putting out a fire at the vaseline works on Richard and Delevan in September 1884. The property was only slightly damaged. (BE) November 11, 1884, Tuesday,

"A fire, the origin of which has not been ascertained, broke out about 11 o'clock last evening in the Chesebrough Manufacturing Company's sheds, on Delevan-street, near Richards, Brooklyn. The business carried on by the company is the manufacture of vaseline. A number of workmen were engaged in the sheds at the time of the fire, but all of them escaped. The flames spread rapidly, but by pumping the oil out of the tanks into the vacant lots near by the workmen and the firemen together were able to prevent the fire from extending to the company's principle buildings on the opposite side of the street. The entire loss is estimated at $6,000." New York Times November 11, 1884
The Chesebrough annual report for 1883 indicated that the company had assets in real estate, merchandise, goods etc of $166,888.95, patents and trade marks $248,820.69 and cash $84,230.36. Debt was listed at $28,500. Interestingly the company listed the exact same numbers of assets in January 1885. (BE)

In 1884 Edmund Fougera described the process of making Vaseline:

"The manufacture of vaseline is quite simple. When the lighter liquids, gases, etc., of the petroleum oil have been distilled over, the remaining product, the tar, is placed in a large open iron boiler, which is suspended over a hot fire in the open air until deodorized; then it is allowed to cool. In a hot-air chamber (about 50°*), arranged in rows, are large inverted tin cones filled with bone-black; upon these the deodorized tar is poured. At the end of a few hours, the tar comes through in a state of "white vaseline;" after awhile, the bone-black becomes partially exhausted, the product is no more "white," but "blond," and as the operation progresses, the bone-black becoming weaker in its absorbing powers, the "blond" passes into a "red." Thus we have white, blond, and red vaselines. This mode of manufacture constitutes the American process."

American Druggist, Volume 13

*This must be 50° Celsius = 122° Fahrenheit.

The temperatures required to process the Vaseline must have made it very hot work in the Chesebrough factory. There was no air conditioning.

July 21 1885 was apparently an exceptionally hot day. The Brooklyn Eagle listed victims of "sunstroke". Several people suffered convulsion and some actually died. The police assisted laborers and others to hospitals or their homes.

"Philip Matterson, living at Columbia and Luguer streets, and John Loudon, of same address, who were working together at the vaseline works at Delevan and Richards streets were prostrated simultaneously at 3 P. M. and taken home in a carriage by fellow employes. Loudon's case is said to be critical."
In August 1885 the Rev. Hugh Hand of the Roman Catholic church of the Visitation petitioned the Board of Alderman of Brooklyn to stop the extension of the Vaseline factory at Richards and Delavan Streets claiming that :
"It will be dangerous to life and property and detrimental to public health, as the material manufactured there is of an explosive nature".
He further stated that there had been two explosions at the factory within the previous six months which injured several employees. The matter was referred to the Department of Health.

In November 1885 there was extensive building going on in south Brooklyn. Houses were going up and factories and warehouses were being enlarged. At the corner of Richards and Verona an ell shaped addition was being constructed at the "Cheseboro" works. It was 50 feet on Richards street and 150 feet on Verona. Part of it was to be two stories and part of it was to be three stories. In October 1886 it was again mentioned that Chesebrough, at the corner of Richard and Delevan was erecting "a brick building 150x49 and three stories for a vaseline factory." (BE)

In 1886 Standard Oil, a processor of vaseline, was named in an article about fouling Newtown Creek and the East River with a thick sludge, a byproduct of their oil refineries. "Standard Oil and its dependencies refused to go to the expense of removing the sludge acid in some harmless way." (BE) Newtown Creek separates Brooklyn from Queens. While this does not constitute the Red Hook neighborhood it is an indication of lack of regard for the environment that seems to have prevailed in many of these late 19th manufactures.

In February 1887 there was a strike in progress that effected "Cheeseborough" Manufacturing at Delovan and Richard streets. Originally it was said that 70 men when out on strike the morning of February 5th. The day before they had

"been put to work unloading a coal boat at the foot of Verona street".
But on the 5th they refused to continue unloading the coal.

84 striking workers were said to have a "belligerent attitude" toward scab workers. As a result the company sought the assistance of the police for protection. "The company announced that they would hold the city liable for any damage that might be inflicted." A platoon of police were sent to protect the company but the scab workers were left to their own devices. Several non union workers were assaulted. John Hagan of Henry Street was badly beaten. The assailant, John Wright, was fined $10. (BE)

A coal handler's strike in 1888 involving employees of Chesebrough sheds some light on the neighborhood which was described as "an exceedingly rough one, and a large crowd of striking longshoremen, coal heavers, etc. gathered and by threats and intimidations prevented the coal from being discharged." (Annual report of the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the State of ..., Volume 5 By New York (State). Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1888)

Many of the Cheseborough workers refused to work during the strike and to handle "scab" coal. The company hired new workers who were "armed and protected".

150 workers asked for reemployment and the discharge of the new employees. Employees of the firm wrote to Robert Cheseborough

Mr. Robert Cheseborough:

We, the employes of the Chesebrough Manufacturing Company, acting under instructions of, would respectfully submit to you the following statement:

  1. We are living in a ward mostly comprised of workingmen and citizens, in which your works are situated, who are in full sympathy with us in our present cause.
  2. Your employes went out for no personal grievance. We could not tolerate the responsibility to use non-union coal.
Whereas, If we remain at work the lives of ourselves and families would be made miserable and dangerous, and detrimental to your interests and ours. Therefore, you will see at a glance the position in which we are placed. In consideration, we, therefore, as a committee appointed by your employes, would respectfully ask for a conference, as we think the matter has not been placed before you in the right light. The committee now awaits an answer.

Yours respectfully.

(Annual report of the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the State of ..., Volume 5 By New York (State). Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1888)

The New York State Assembly reported that the 30 day strike of 79 Vaseline workers was unsuccessful. They all lost their positions. Loss in wages $3,950. Loss to employer $15,000. Chesebrough wrote a letter to the mayor of Brooklyn:
""We would call your attention to the fact that our works are practically in a state of siege, the few faithful men remaining in our employ being intimidated and threatened with injury, and even death if they continue in our employ. To protect our men, we are obliged to lodge the greater part of them in the factory, and have their meals furnished them. I respectfully ask you to proviae us with adequate police protection, as at present it is insufficient, and our works are in danger and our men exposed to injury. Without any grievances as to wages or otherwise, our men deliberately struck work in a body. To this, I have no objection to offer, as I consider that they have a perfect right to do as they choose, but I respectfully present that it is not lawful for them to threaten and intimidate the remaining faithful ones. Please take notice, that in case of damage we shall hold the city of Brooklyn responsible to us."

Documents of the Assembly of the State of New York, Volume 9 By New York (State). Legislature. Assembly

1888: Superintendent E. G. Brown of the "Cheeseborough" Manufacturing Company on Richards street said the plant was using sixteen and thirty-two candle power incandescent lamps.

He thought the lamps could be maintained for 25 cents per night per lamp.

1889: Chesebrough had a display of their vaseline products at the Universal Exposition in Paris. Uses for vaseline were: in the preparation of salves, pomades and cerates, in the process of absorbing the delicate odor of flowers in making perfumes, waterproofing leather, prevention rust on metals. The company refused to rehire as a group and rehired on a person to person basis.

In January 1889 Chesebrough employees enjoyed the "their third annual ball" at Saengerbund Hall (Smith and Schermerhorn Streets).(BE)

In April 1889 an explosion occurred on the canal boat Richard Reed "lying at the commercial Wharf, Atlantic Dock". The boat was loaded with "a cargo of black bone* consigned to the vaseline works, corner of Richard and Delevan (BE)

*Black bone is a charcoal made from animal bones and used as a filter. It is used to refine both petroleum jelly and sugar.
1890: Richard Clark, age 30, fell 35 feet to his death while at work at the vaseline works at Richards and Delevan in February 1890. (BE). The company was censured "for not properly protecting the lives of its employees" (BE)

By 1891 the Chesebrough plant employed 250 men and 130 "girls".

1891: Chesebrough was listed with three Babcock and Wilcox boilers - 401 H. P.

1892: By 1892 Petroleum Jelly had become a very popular consumer item and Chesebrough had a virtual monopoly under the name Vaseline. They were selling vaseline in 5 pound tins at ten cents per pound. Middle men would repackage it is smaller quantities and add there own labels. There were accusation that the product was sometimes altered in the process. Other chemical companies were demanding the right to make the product and call it vaseline. It was argued Vaseline was a trade mark name and that Chesebrough had the exclusive right to it.

In May 1893 Edward Harrigan age 29 and employee of Chesebrough fell into a tank of hot water and was badly scalded (BE),

1893: Vaseline vs. Petrolatum. The issue was discussed in several pharmaceutical journals with Chesebrough stating that Petrolatum was a worthless imitation of vaseline and potentially harmful to the patients whose doctors prescribed it. A circular published by Chesebrough insulted druggists by stating;

"This action has encouraged the manufacture of worthless imitations of our product, which are sold to the druggists, the vast majority of whom neither know nor care anything about their quality, and the result is a confusion of ideas among physicians and failure of benefit to the patient."

1894: A 15 year old employee of Robert H. Ingersoll and Brother, watch makers, stole perhaps as many as 100 cheap nickel watches. He sold them at "Cheseborough's" at Bowne and Richards streets. It was claimed that 80 Chesebrough employees paid 30 a piece for the watches. The watches were worth about 75 cents a piece. An accomplice was Ashton Miskinnen*, the 15 year old son of the engineer at the vaseline works.

* Nothing comes up on Ancesty of LDS for this surname.


Pharmacists are in a flurry over the action of the Chesebrough Manufacturing Company to prevent infringing on their trademark, "Vaseline." Their method of preventing the sale of "Vaseline" substitutes was characterized by many druggists as petty, and unworthy the name and fame of this large and wealthy corporation. Men were sent to ask for and purchase specimens of "Vaseline" throughout the city. In some instances petroleum jelly was sold under the label "Vasaline," or "Vaselene," or "Naseline." In others, the bottles were labeled "Petrolatum," or "Petroleum Jelly," but were sold when "Vaseline" was asked for. A few stores purchased "Vaseline" in bulk, bottled and labeled it "Vaseline." All received summons from the attorney of the Chesebrough company to appear in the Supreme court within twenty days and answer the charges of infringement. They (pharmacists) were also notified that they could compromise the matter by paying a sum varying from $1 to $15, and promising and agreeing not to sell any "Vaseline" imitations, or again infringe the rights of the Chesebrough company. Many pharmacists, desirous of avoiding litigation, paid the sum demanded and signed the agreement. Others refused, and declared their intention of fighting the company's right to interdict the sale of "petrolatum." The matter was taken up by the New York City branch of the Interstate League. Mr. Julian B. Shope, as attorney for the Chesebrough company, presented their side of the question at a meeting of the league, and endeavored to have them officially endorse the action of the "Vaseline" concern. A resolution to that effect was tabled. At a meeting of the German Apothecaries' Society, Mr. Shope made another unsuccessful effort to have the "Chesebrough plan of campaign" endorsed. On May 5, at another meeting of the Interstate League, a resolution was adopted declaring it the sense of that body "that the druggists and physicians of the United States should use and prescribe only the product recognized by the U. S. Pharmacopoeia, namely, "petrolatum." Copies of this resolution are to be sent to every pharmacist, physician, medical and pharmaceutical association in the country.

Western Druggist, Volume 16

T. J. Barnaby thought it would be proper for the League to send an official notification to all members pointing out the fact that it is illegal to use the word "vaseline" on any petrolatum not manufactured by the Chesebrough Mfg. Company. He related his experiences with the vaseline people, and intimated that the agents of the company had tried to entrap him into selling petrolatum for vaseline by their method of asking for the article. He objected to the Chesebrough Mfg. Co.'s treatment of the retail trade and had now decided to keep no more vaseline, but to use hereafter the petrolatum of the U. S. Pharmacopoeia. A spirited discussion ensued in which every member took part. The action of the Cheseborough Company in engaging men to spy upon the members was disapproved of. Some were in favor of taking a determined stand against the use or sale of any proprietary article which is to be found in the U. S. Pharmacopoeia under a legitimate title. It was ultimately resolved to take no action in the matter of indorsing the Chesebrough Company's campaign against members; but instead the following resolution, introduced by M. F. Bender, treasurer, was unanimously adopted. The resolution reads:
"Inasmuch as the New York County Branch of the Interstate Retail Druggists' League does not admit that any of its members have substituted Petrolatum for "Vaseline," it is moved as the sense of this branch that further discussion regarding the advisability of indorsing the action of the Cheseborough Company in their attempts to protect their copyright, be abandoned ; and as a rider to this motion, it is further resolved that the New York County Branch request the National body to communicate with the different State pharmaceutical associations and the American Pharmaceutical Association advising that petrolatum responding to the tests of purity of the United States Pharmacopoeia be officially considered equal in all respects to the proprietary substance named "vaseline," and that the physicians and the pharmacists of the country be so notified through the journals published in their interests."
The resolution was favorably commented upon by all present and seemed to afford general satisfaction.


The membership list was increased at this meeting, and before Colonel Robert A. Chesebrough was seen in his office in the Chesebrough Building on State street. When handed a copy of the resolutions adopted by the New York Branch he scanned it carefully and was visibly affected. "This is what I might have expected," he said; "for twenty years I have worked to perfect 'Vaseline' so that physicians might be placed in possession of a medicinal ointment base of undoubted purity; but the druggists of the country seem to have consistently opposed and interfered with my efforts." "It only needed this," he exclaimed bitterly, "to give me a foretaste of the treatment I may expect to receive from druggists." He slapped the paper viciously with the back of his hand and threw it angrily from him. "The whole trouble," be said, "dates back to the appearance in the Pharmacopoeia of a formula purporting to produce vaseline. Here Col. Chesebrough produced a copy of the 1880 edition o f the Pharmacopoeia, and read the article Petrolatum. I reminded him that he was reading from an old edition of the Pharmacopoeia and that the description of the general appearance of a petroleum jelly was not a formula. He would not listen to this, but proceeded to defend his actions in compromising suits. He told of numerous cases where he had paid all of the legal expenses connected with the commencement of suits, and indignantly repelled the charge having used undue severity in prosecuting offenders.

American Druggist and Pharmaceutical Record, Volume 24

By 1896 it would appear that employee relationships at Chesebrough had improved somewhat.

The Chesebrough Manufacturing Company, at Verona and Dwight streets, in 1896 established a lunch room and wardrobe for their female employees. The lunch room covers about 40 x 50 feet of floor space and is about 15 feet high. There are numerous windows on two sides of the room. Conveniently arranged, without crowding, are six long tables with benches. Upwards of 100 workers assemble here at noon to enjoy the dainties that are prepared for them at home.

On the side of the lunch room are 100 lockers. One locker is apportioned to two persons.

The company details a girl to look after the cleanliness of the place.

Wages are paid during illness in some cases, but it is not an established rule. Four or five male employees receive such benefit in the course of a year.

(Annual report of the Commissioner of Labor, Volume 1 By New York (State). Dept. of Labor, New York (State). Board of Mediation and Arbitration, New York (State). Bureau of Industries and Immigration, New York (State). Bureau of Labor Statistics)

In 1896 Oliver Willcox was superintendent at the Chesebrough Vaseline Works. In June 1889 Oliver Willcox was listed as having received a patent "Oliver Willcox Brooklyn assignor of one-half to R. A. Cheseborough, New York bottle washing machine." Patent US5413132 - Parts cleaner with rotating carriage parts cleaning system for cleaning workpieces includes a washer drum for receiving a rotating parts carriage. The rotating carriage includes a ... Issue date, Original Assignee, Title. US404141, Nov 16, 1888, May 28, 1889, OLIVER WILLCOX. US841299, Sep 24, 1906, Jan 15, 1907, BOTTLE-WASHING MACHINE ...

1897: American Gas Light Journal, Volume 66

"The Brooklvn Fire Brick Works will make an important addition to bone black reburning benches in the plant of the Chesebrough Manufacturing Company, corner Richards and Delevan streets, Brooklyn, N.Y."

1897: Chesebrough Manufacturing Company was granted a permit to lay a single track railroad on Commerce Street from the Atlantic Dock Basin to Richards street "three blocks, to transport coal and other merchandise required at their works"

. 1899: Some brass valves were removed from Chesebrough Manufacturing at "Delevan" and Richards streets causing several hundred dollars worth of damage. Samuel Goodman a juck dealer was found in possession of the missing items.

In April 1900 the "Cheesebrough" works was storing bundles of animal bones encased in burlap along Richards Street. Small mountains of these bundles of bones were collected to make bone black used in refining the vaseline. (BE)

1901 Architectural record, Volume 10 By American Institute of Architects list of recent buildings by Harry Alexander Engineer and Contractor - Chesebrough Mfg Co. - Vaseline Works Dwight and Sullivan Brooklyn

1901: In 1904 Robert A Chesebrough Robert A. Chesebrough "filed a petition in the district court of the United States for the Southern District of New York, May 23, 1902, to recover the sum of $600 from the United States alleged to have been paid to the collector of internal revenue for the second district of New York for the purchase of certain internal-revenue stamps to be affixed to a deed for the conveyance of real estate." No right of recovery was found. There had been another tax issue in 1886 when the judgement was in favor of the Commissioners of Taxes and Assessments for the City of New York.

1904 Chesebrough Manufacturing moved from Brooklyn to a larger plant in Perth Amboy, New Jersey. Over a period of months the buildings that covered the entire block north of Coffey Park were emptied. Before the works were closed they employed about 300 to 400 people mostly women and "girls". Many of the employees followed the company to Perth Amboy, but others did not. Since a large number of the people employed at the vaseline works lived in the neighborhood the removal of the plant was a big lose to the area. Reasons for the move included tax incentives. The Brooklyn Eagle made this interesting note: "Then there is the possibility of the employees being handled more easily when removed from the city."


R.A. CHESEBROUGH RETIRES.; Quits Presidency of Standard Oil Subsidiary Because of Age Limit.

Robert A. Chesebrough, for thirty-three years President of the Chesebrough Manufacturing Company, the vaseline manufacturing concern, with headquarters at 17 State Street, has left the Presidency of that company, his place having been taken by Oswald M. Camman, his nephew, former Vice President.

New York Times May 25, 1909

1933 Robert Chesebrough died September 8, in Spring Lake, New Jersey after a short illness. He was 96. He was buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx. He longevity was attributed to his claim that he ate a spoonful of Vaseline every day.

Robert A Chesebrough

Robert Augustus "Chesebrough" Biographical dictionary of American business leaders, Volume 1 By John N. Ingham
CHESEBROUGH, ROBERT AUGUSTUS ( January 9, 1837-September 8, 1933). Petroleum products manufacturer, Chesebrough Manufacturing Company. Born in London, England, son of Henry Augustus Chesebrough and Marion Maxwell Woodhull, both of whom were native Americans. His ancestors had come to America in 1631 founding Stonington, Connecticut. His grandfather, Robert Chesebrough, founded the Fulton Bank in New York City. Robert A. Chesebrough was educated in private schools in New York and at the Friend's Academy. In 1850 he began the refining of crude oil distilled from cannel coal in Brooklyn, New York. By 1861 he had turned his attention to the manufacture of kerosene and lubricating oils. He was the first to use crude oil under burners and stills for refining oils. In 1870, while experimenting with petroleum, he produced a petroleum jelly which he called "vaseline," registering the name as a trade-mark. In 1875, he organized the Chesebrough Manufacturing Co. of which he was president until 1908 and which began the manufacture of kerosene and lubricating oils, but after 1881 confined itself to the sole manufacture of vaseline, a toilet preparation which enjoys an extensive sale at home and abroad. In 1881 Mr. Chesbrough erected the office building known as the Chesebrough Building at 24 State Street in New York City. In the Battery district, with his son, William H. Chesebrough, he transformed plots covered by old warehouses, saloons and tenements into an important steamship and office center... He as also influential in moving the immigration center from the old Castle Gardens to a new station at Ellis Island, and got the erection of a new U. S. Customs House on the Bowling Green.

..........He married Margaret McCredy of New Rochelle in 1854. They had four children.

Henry A Chesebrough was in the dry goods business. Robert A Chesebrough's children were: Robert M. William H, Fredrick W and Marion.

As stated in his bio Robert Chesebrough was "also influential in moving the immigration center from the old Castle Gardens to a new station at Ellis Island". His motives were NOT to improve the immigrant's experience, but rather to clean up the appearance of the Battery where he had made major real estate investments.
  • "He vigorously opposed the use of Castle Garden as an immigrant depot by the state, and to his continued efforts is directly traced the action of the general government in taking charge of the department and removing it to Ellis Island."

    The National cyclopaedia of American biography: being the history ..., Volume 3, 1893

  • "The removal of the immigration boats from Castle Garden to Ellis Island, also materially detracted from the Battery's advantages to the class which had found its most valuable vocation there. The first product of these several influences was the Chesebrough Building, at State and Bridge Streets. Then came the Battery Place Building at State and Whitehall. The Maritime Building at Bridge Street is another step in the modernization of the section."

    Metropolitan, Volume 21, Issue 6, 1905

  • "The removal of the immigrant station from Castle Garden to Ellis Island in the harbor grew very largely out of his vigorous efforts in that direction. The Battery Park is now no longer flooded with unattractive strangers and emigrants, as in former years."

    The City of New York page 139, Hall, Henry, America's successful men of affairs, ROBERT AUGUST CHESEBROUGH, 1895-96, Columbia University Libraries Digital Collection.

  • "More than Twenty years ago Robert A. Chesebrough purchased the block front on State Street between Bridge and Pearl Streets, then occupied as an old warehouse, which had been partially destroyed by fire. Against the advice of many friends and real estate experts in particular, he rebuild the old warehouse into offices and found the the superb outlook attracted more tenants than could be accommodated.

    In 1896* Mr. Chesebrough presented a petition to Congress asking that the immigration Bureau be removed from the Battery, and it was due chiefly to his efforts that it was removed to Ellis Island. Immediately after its removal the neighborhood was freed from the abhorrent features created by it and began to improve."

    New York Times March 12, 1913.


    • *A 1916 New York Times article gives the year as 1890, not 1896. This makes more sense as Ellis Island opened in 1892.
    • The original Chesebrough building at Battery Park was torn down and replace with the Battery Park Building. A new Chesebrough building was erected in 1897 at 13-19 State Street, Battery Park. That building was torn down in 1966.
    • Also spelled Cheeseborough, Cheseboro, and Cheseborough
    • Vasoline is still make by Chesebrough-Ponds
Robert A Chesebrough wrote poetry. A stanza from A REVERIE written in 1864
Science tells of earthly matter,
Naught is ever wholly lost;
Though its atoms widely scatter,
In tumultuous changes tost;
Somewhere in the vast Creation,
Will be found each minute grain,
Changed in form, remote in station;
Still the total bulk, the same.

1901: Robert A Chesebrough, "the millionaire vaseline manufacture of Manhattan" caused amusement among his friends and acquaintances by befriending a stow away on a ship that Chesebrough was traveling on.

The article says that his friends were "laughing up their sleeves". This expression indicates a secret and perhaps unkind kind of humor. A few days after the ship had left Liverpool the captain discovered a 15 year old stow away boy. The young man was a sorry sight, "covered with dirt and grime". All the passengers felt sorry for him. The captain put the young man to work and apparently he worked so diligently during the voyage that Chesebrough offered to take care of him once they arrived in New York. The office manager bought the young man a new set of clothes, including shoes and a hat. Chesebrough was so impressed with the transformation that he gave the young man a few dollars to support himself. The boy worked for a few hours and then disappeared, never to be seen again. "Mr. Chesebrough maintained a dignified silence whenever the subject was brought up." (BE)

Charles Edmund Fougera

Charles Edmond Fougera has an association with Robert A Chesebrough from at least the early 1870 until Fougera's death in 1889.
Mr. Fougera was born at Chateauroux, Department de l'Indre, France, on May 236, 1821, and came to New York in 1846. He was a graduate of the University of France and of the New York College of Pharmacy, and was a member of several pharmaceutical, philanthropical and scientific associations in this country and abroad. The foundation of his fortune was laid at 80 North William street, where he established in 1849 the business of importing French and other foreign medicinal preparations, in addition to manufacturing his own pharmaceuticals. The house is still in existence under the name of E. Fougera & Co. In conjunction with Mr. Robert Chesabrough, President of the Chesebrough Manufacturing Company, Mr. Fougera introduced vaseline. And in 1869 founded the retail drug store on the corner of Atlantic avenue and Clinton street. Brooklyn, which was subsequently sold to the present owners.

Obit in various publications

Charles Edmond Fougera died April 22, 1889. He was buried in Greenwood Cemetery.

Charles Edmond Fougera had a pharmacy on the corner of Atlantic and Clinton. He also build a six story apartment house with 40 "suites" of 8 rooms each, and 8 large stores at the same location.

E Fougera and Company is still in business. They made/makes white petroleum jelly which "compares to Vaseline". In 1882 they were manufacturing fine toilet soaps, in 1893 one of their products was Quina-Laroche*, a tonic to "combat STOMACH AFFECTIONS, loss of APPETITE, MENTAL DEPRESSION, ANEMIA, etc., and in 1895 they were manufacturing muscle strengthen ointment.

* Quina Laroche contained alcohol and cocaine.
American Druggist 1884: Circa 1876 Mr. E. Fougera of New York and Mr. Charles Lancelet, a French chemist, "experimented on a then new and quite interesting product which since received the fanciful name vaseline." In 1874 "after many trials and dangerous experiments, owing to the gaseous distillates, Robert Chesebrough of New York, succeeded in deodorizing and discoloring this tar residue and gave it the name "vaseline."

American Oil and Gas Historical Society September 2012

Photo Maggie Land Blanck, September 2012

The building on the north west corner of Seabring and Richards is on the 1886 map but not labeled. It is labeled on the 1904 map as Chesebrough Mfg. Co. storage.

There are multiple images of Robert August Chesebrough on the internet.

To see images of the mansion Chesebrough owned at Madison Ave and 71st street, Manhattan go to Beyond the Gilded Age

Seacroft, home of Robert A Chesesbrough, Spring Lake, New Jersey

Vaseline ad 1881, Collection of Maggie Land Blanck

The Chesebrough Factory - Richards, Dwight, Delevan Verona Streets

Red Hook 1940 Collection of Maggie Land Blanck

Red X marks the old Vaseline factory. It borders on Coffey Park. The RC church of the Visitation can be seen on the left.

The entire block between Richard, Dwight, Verona and Delavan was eventually taken over by Chesebrough Vaseline works. The 1898-99 map shows multiple buildings in this block with the lable "Chesebrough Man' F' G witten along one side . The section marked with the red X no longer stands. The buildings on Dwight street is still standing as is one on Delavan near Dwight.

1880 map - Richard street to the left (west) - Delavan to the (north)

It was listed on another 1880 as "oil works"

1885 map - Richard street top - Delavan right - Verona - left

The works has about doubled in size between 1880 and 1886.

1898-99 map - Richard at top - Dwight street at bottom - Verona left - Delavan right

The red buildings are of brick and the blue are of metal (or at least with a metal roof).

More or less the same buildings are listed at the same location under Chesebrough manufacturing on the 1903 map.

On the 1907-08 map America Stopper is listed at the east end of the block formed by Dwight, Richards, Verona and Delavan. Also listed in the middle of that block on the north side is"Engineering Works and closer to Richards "Motor Car Equipment".

The 1916 map shows America Stopper, A. Sickle Eng. Works, and B. L. M Motor Car Equipment at this location. The Chesebrough buildings on Richards are numbered but not named.

Dwight Street between Delavan and Verona, in 1904 - America Stopper, in the 1970s- Monarch Luggage

A building now containing the signs America Stopper/Monarch Luggage is located on Dwight Street between Verona and Delevan. The 1800 map of this area shows no buildings between Delavan and Verone on Dwight, nor any buildings on either Delavan or Verona near Dwight. The 1886 map shows a building covering a block of six 21x25 feet lots at the corner of Verona on Dwight. No company name is given. No buildings are listed facing either Verona or Delavan. By at least 1898 this property was in the hands of Chesebrough Manufacturing.

On the 1916 map the entire corner encompassing Delavan, Dwight and Verona contains several large buildings. The America Stopper Company is listed on Verona Street.

America Stopper co. of Brooklyn was incorporated in March 1899 to manufacture bottles and stoppers. (BE)

In June 1901 the American Stopper Company was at 249 Willoughby, Brooklyn and at Bridgeton, N. J. with business offices at 7-9 Warren Street Manhattan.

In 1903 American Stopper Company makers of tin boxes was advertising from 166 Water Street, Brooklyn.

In 1902 it was stated that the America Stopper Company was the major competitor of the America Can Co.

The 1904 maps shows buildings but no company name on Dwight between Verona and Delevan.

In 1904 American Stopper Co., 19 Verona St., Brooklyn, N. Y. listed the following officers

C. E. E. Whiteley, President and Treasurer.
Edmund Hoffman, Vice-President and General Manager.
Benjamin Treacy, Secretary.
R. H. Ismon, Assistant Treasurer

American Stopper Co. moved to 15 Verona Street in 1904 and was listed in directories in 1904, 1907, 1911, 1914 and 1915.

American Stopper Co., 3 Verona St., Brooklyn, N. Y., formed three years ago. They have been compelled by rapidly increasing business to move three times, and each time into larger quarters. They are now located in their own factory, an illustration of which accompanies this article. The new plant has a floor space of over two acres and a daily capacity of over one million containers. Its ability to successfully handle large orders was demonstrated when it took the Cascaret contract which alone amounts to over thirteen million boxes each year. It has also furnished such boxes as Runkel's Chocolate, Huyler's Chocolate, Vaseline, and Sanitol. In the quarters which it just left, it had no great difficulty in filling orders, but it is laying the foundation for a great future, and expects to double the volume of its business before the end of the present year.

(The Pharmaceutical era, Volume 31 May 12, 1904)

The American Stopper Company, 4 Verona street, Brooklyn, N. Y., make an excellent stopper box with a perforated cover, which is most suitable and attractive for putting up toilet powders. Druggists would do well to send for their samples of stock talcum boxes.

(American druggist and pharmaceutical record, Volumes 54-55, 1909)

American Can. co. Stopper Factory Verona and Dwight Streets manufacturers of Tinware, Stamped and Enameled Ware, Cans employing 225 Italian females.

(Brooklyn, Volume 1 By Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, Associated Builders of Kings and Queens Counties, 1918)

The Pharmaceutical era, Volume 31, April 1904

American Stopper Company 15 VERONA STREET, BROOKLYN, N Y

The Largest makers of TIN BOXES Outside of the Trust



The foremost corner in this images is at Verona and Dwight. The longest side of the complex is on Dwight. This was probably the building that was shown on the 1886 map.

In 1903 The Packages Vol 6 wrote:

independent companies began making boxes, attracted by the very fact that prices had been raised, and to-day, after two years, about 75 independent concerns are said to be engaged in the industry. The largest is the American Stopper Co., also in Brooklyn. It had never made tin boxes until two years ago, but was manufacturing a patent stopper for glass cans. When it was found that the same machinery could be utilized in making tin consumers, the company immediately entered the field. The story of its success, as told recently by the advertising manager at the company's office, is interesting in its advertising and business phases.
And further:
One of these new concerns is the American Stopper Co., 3 Verona St., Brooklyn, N. Y., formed three years ago. They have been compelled by rapidly increasing business to move three times, and each time into larger quarters. They are now located in their own factory, an illustration of which accompanies this article. The new plant has a floor space of over two acres and a daily capacity of over one million containers. Its ability to successfully handle large orders was demonstrated when it took the Cascaret contract which alone amounts to over thirteen million boxes each year. It has also furnished such boxes as Runkel's Chocolate, Huyler's Chocolate, Vaseline, and Sanitol. In the quarters which it just left, it had no great difficulty in filling orders, but it is laying the foundation for a great future, and expects to double the volume of its business before the end of the present year.

Three years is a short time in which to build up so large a trade, and their success is due not alone to the quality of the cans and boxes which they turn out, but to their business methods. They realized early in their existence that they were not in a position to dictate terms and prices to their customers, and that the average business man has a dislike of red tape, so they reduced their prices to the lowest point permitted by good work, and have simplified their business methods --st as much as their increasing business has permitted. They attend strictly to their own business of making the best tin containers that can be made, aud selling them to their customers at the lowest prices, and they are not afraid to tackle their largest competitor in tltVcontest for any order, no matter how large, how high the grade of work required, or how short a time in which the order is to be filled.

1909 "The American Stopper Company, 4 Verona street, Brooklyn, N. Y., make an excellent stopper box with a perforated cover, which is most suitable and attractive for putting up toilet powders." (American druggist and pharmaceutical record: Volumes 54-55 - Page 32)

America Can acquired America Stopper in 1915.

Photo Maggie Land Blanck, August 2012

Monarch Luggage, Dwight Street between Delavan and Verona, 2012

This most likely represents the building on the 1886 map.

Photo Maggie Land Blanck, August 2012

American Can Company Stopper Factory Verona Street

American Can Company Stopper Factory 20-30 Verona Street Year: 1892-1911 Architect: E.G. Brown and Others Original use: Bottling of Vaseline and manufacture of can stoppers (A Preservation Plan for Red Hook, Brooklyn)

In 1909 the Annual record of assessed valuation of real estate in the city of ... - Page 55 listed Section 2, Volume 5, Block 523 between Richards and Dwight Streets between Delevan and Verona Streets

"Cheseborough" Manufacturing Com 220x250 value $77,160
American Stopper 200x200 value $95,500
Arthur Stickle? 50x100 value $3,000
Unknown 50x100 value $2,400
Note: The page is fuzzy and hard to read, especially the numbers.


The American Stopper Co.. Dwight and Verona Sts., Brooklyn. N. Y., has awarded a contract for the construction of a factory. It will be four stories high, 140x80 ft., of reinforced concrete.

(American machinist: Volume 37 - Page 334)

Arthur Tickle Engineering

"A Sickle and Arthur Stickle" listed in the 1909 report and on the 1916 map a was actually Arthur B. Tickle.

Arthur Tickle of Brooklyn received a patent for a rotary engine in 1889.

Arthur B. Tickle born c 1865 in Canada was the founder of Arthur Tickle Engineering Works Inc.. The company was listed as Arthur B. Tickle, 21 Delevan Street, Brooklyn, New York was still in business at that address in 1957 as evidenced by a calendar offered on eBay in June 2012.

Authur Tickle was listed at 78 Delevan Street in 1905.

In 1910 Arthur Tickle Delavan Street Brooklyn offered for sale two 75 ton brine coolers "good as new".

In 1918 Mrs. Lillian Tickle was renting a workshop and storage building on Delevan Street east of Richards to Author Tickle. Lillian Tickle was Arthur Tickle's wife.

In 1918 Arthur Tickle Engineering Works Delevan "Avenue" broke ground for a two story shop 100x100 to cost $30,000 and to be used partly for storage.

In 1922 Arthur Tickle Engineering Works Engines advertised: Boilers, Forgings and Casting, Steamship work a specialty, 21 Delevan Street, Brooklyn.

During both WWI and WWII Arthur Tickle Shipyards Built or Repaired U. S. Navy Auxiliary Vessels: Arthur Tickle Engg. Wks. Arthur Tickle Engineering Works Brooklyn N.Y.

Alfred A. Tickle, age 62, son of Arthur Tickle died in 1955. In the obituary it was said that Arthur B. Tickle founded his business in 1905. The plant had been expanded from an original 50x100 feet structure to a 145,000 square foot plant. "During both World Wars merchant ships and war vessels were repaired or converted at the company's yards." (BE)

Arthur Tickle born circa 1865 in Canada was still alive in 1940.

Monarch Luggage

On the building facing Dwight Street between Verona and Delevan is the sign "Monarch Luggage, Inc.". A 2012 google search of Monarcg Luggage gives an address at 5 Delevan St Brooklyn, NY 11231 USA

Monarch is a registered trademark used for Suitcases, Shoulder Bags, Tote Bags and Garment Bags For Travel, Luggage and Handbags and owned by Monarch Designs, Inc., Monarch Luggage Company.
Monarch Luggage Co. Inc. 5 Delavan Brooklyn, 11231 (mfg to whl rtl) 1970, directory.

Monarch Luggage, a wholesale luggage distributer, relocated in 1999.


Delevan/Delavan the spelling was not consistant.

Other Related Web Sites

For more information on Robert A Chesebrough and Vaseline see Cosmetics and Skin

For more information on compacts made by the Amercian Stopper Company go to Collecting Vintage Compacts

Employees of Vaseline

Chesebrough was one of the major employers in Red Hook. Many of the workers lived locally. Men supervised the workers, refined the oil, made the vaseline, and moved the crates of merchandise. A few of the male workers I found listed themselves as carpenters. Women were employed to bottle the vaseline. Most appear to have been young and single, or at least single. All of the female names mentioned are preceded by "Miss".

In 1887 and 1889 there were several events sponsored by Chesebrough that were covered in the Brooklyn Eagle. Most of employees listed (both male and female) had extremely common Irish surnames.

There are some indications that several members of the same families worked for the company. Dan (Daniel) Ryan, Senior and Junior, were active members of several events, as was George J. Ryan and J Ryan. Daniel McCarthy, Denis J McCarthy and Kate McCarthy were also active. See McCarthy below. Charles Osterhoudt, his daughter Lillian and his brother Jeremiah all worked at Chesebrough.

In July 1889 75 female employees of Chesebrough Manufacturing were treated to a picnic excursion to Greenwood Lake at Warwick Woodlands in Orange County, New York. They took the steamer, Clara, from the foot of Williams street and crossed to the Erie Station in Jersey City, New Jersey. From there they went by train on the New York and Lakewood Railroad. The danced, sang, ate ice cream and swam. A three way swimming contest of a distance of 25 yards between Miss Lizzie Wolf, Miss Nellie Hamilton and Miss Lillian Osterhoudt was won by Lizzie Wolf. She was judged the best swimmer in both speed and style. They left the lake at six in the evening, arriving in Jersey City at eight. They were back to Brooklyn by nine o'clock. Attendees included Bella Thornley*, **, Lizzie Wolf, Nellie Hamilton*, Lillian Osterhoudt**, Lizzie McLaughlin**, Bella Wilson**, Maggie Clan, Maggie McCormack**, Mamie Fogarty**, Minnie Casey, Delia O'Keeffe**, Mamie O'Connell*, ** (Mary?), Amy Johns, Kate Curran**, Maggie Nolan, A DeDuex (LaDoux?)**, Bessie Lanyon**, Lucy White, Maggie Kennedy*, Annie Woods, Mamie Culligan**, Annie Kannaugh, Kate Considine (Constantine??)**, Annie McCaffrey (and her sister Emma**), Kate Kenney, Kate McCarthy*, Maggie Dougherty, Mamie Rourke, Annie McNulty, Rosa Burns, Mamie Dooley**, Kate Haskins, Lizzie Dolen, Kate Lewis, Kate Mangan, Delia Dooley**, Annie McConnell, Mamie Ledwith (Ledwood**), Julia Tully, Mamie Nolen, Hannah Manning, Nellie Geary, Lizzie Cullen, Kate Cherry, Lizzie Kenwood, B. Hanley, Mamie Kennedy**, Rosa Smith, Kate Bracken, Kate McGuire**, Josie Baker, Lizzie, Baker, Ellen Colligan (Nellie and her sister Mamie**), Mamie Shaughnessy**, Mamie Gee and Julia Clark. The group was escorted by Mr. Thomas J. O'Connell who also attended the annual Chesebrough employees dance in 1889.

*They attended the annual Chesebrorough employee's ball in 1887. **They attended the "mens" picnic in 1889.

1887: About 100 couples attended the second annual vaseline makers ball at Saegerbund Hall. The officers of the Ball were Thomas O'Connell, Michael O'Donnell, Timothy O'Connel, Daniel McCarthy, Daniel Coakley, William Lou[n]don, and John Fitzgerald.

In January 1889 the Chesebrough Association, with a membership of about 60 people, held its third annual ball at Saengerbund Hall on Schermerhorn street. Officers of the association were: G. F. Morton, Edward Maloney, D. J. McCarthy, James J. O'Brien, Joseph Burke, D. J. Ryan, George J Ryan, Louis Bostrom, and Patrick Cline. Mr. and Mrs. George F Mott "president" led the grand march.

1889: A Picnic was also held for the male employees of Chesebrough at Bay View Park. The event began at 2 o'clock and ended at midnight. The festivities included; a six inning baseball game between the single and married men (the married men won 11 to 5), games for prizes, a "foot ball" match between the married and single men (the married men won again 5 to 3). The games included rolling the bone black can filled with 350 pounds of sand, a one mile dash, a sack race. there was dancing in the evening.

1891: According to a state inspection Chesebrough Manufacturing 31 Delevan vaseline, 83 women 40 under 20 years old, 60 hours for minors, 5 hours on Saturday

1894: According to a state inspection Chesebrough at 31 Delavan street, Brooklyn, employed 15 males, 165 females of whom 80 were under 20, the hours of work for minors was 60 per week with a 5 hour day on Saturday.

The jars would have been fitted with a cork stopper. I think the carpenters may have been employed to make crates for shipping - similar to this crate.

In the late 1800s and early 1900s fancy cream and "vaseline jars" with silver tops were advertised in stores like Wanamakers. One must have transfered the Vaseline from the makers bottle to a fancy vanity top bottle. In 1889 Vaseline cost 4 cents a bottle (for how many ounces?).

Charles Osterhoudt (1840-1898), his daughter Lillian (c1868-) and Jeremiah Osterhoudt (c 1825 - )

Cheseborough "foreman, Osterhoudt, who was a mechanic of the first class, invented the first oil burner that was probably ever used." Note: I do not know the first name of this Osterhoudt, but I suspect that it was Jeremiah.

Jeremiah Osterhoudt was born circa 1824 in Ulster to Mathias Osterhoudt and Sarah Dubois

1850 Saugerties: Matthew Osterhoudt 56, justice of the peace, Sarah Osterhoudt 54, Wm H Osterhoudt 32, Jeremiah Osterhoudt 26, tinman, Caroline Osterhoudt 19, Charles Osterhoudt 14

Jeremiah was in Brooklyn by 1863 when he registered for the Civil War draft.

1866: Jeremiah Osterhoudt patented a tin can with a key opener.

1876: Jeremiah Osterhoudt, 172 Partition, Occupation: Superintendent, Publication Title: Brooklyn, New York, City Directory, 1876

1877: Jeremiah Osterhoudt Oil, Richards and Delevan, Publication Title: Brooklyn, New York, City Directory, 1877

1880: Delevan streeet, street, Jerimiah Osterhout M 52 New York, United States, works in oil factory, Wife Sarah Osterhout F 50 Connecticut, United States, Daughter Carrie Osterhout F 23 Connecticut, United States, Son John H. Osterhout M 21 New York, United States, engineer, Daughter Jennie Osterhout F 16 New York, United States, Daughter Emma Osterhout F 11 New York, United States, Daughter Eva Osterhout F 11 New York, United States, Son Frank Osterhout M 8 New York, United States

1882: Jeremiah Osterhoudt 31 Delevan superindentent, Charles engineer, h 75 Verona, John engineer, h 31 Delevan

1899: Jeremiah Osterhoudt 56 57th Occupation: Superintendent Publication Title: Brooklyn, New York, City Directory, 1899 1892: Jeremiah Osterholdt, 68, foreman, Sarah, Carrie, Jennie, Emma, Eva, Sadie, Frank, brick layer, William brick layer, julia, Mary

Charles Osterhoudt was born circa 1840 in Ulster New York.

1868: machinist 26 Partition, city directory.

1867: Hannah Osterhoudt Birth Date: 08 Sep 1867 Birthplace: BIRTH CERTIFICATES, BROOKLYN, KINGS, NEW YORK Father's Name: Charles Osterhoudt Mother's Name: Hannah Shaw Indexing Project (Batch) Number: C71517-5 System Origin: New_York-ODM GS Film number: 1324344

1875: Brooklyn, Partition street, brick two family value $5,500, Charles Osterhoult M 35, born Ulster Co., plumber, Wife Hannah Osterhoult F 30, Daughter Lillian Osterhoult F 8, Son Matthew Osterhoult F 5, all born Ulster co.,

1881: 75 Verona, machinist

1882: Charles 75 Verona engineer

1883: Charles supt h 75 Verona, Jeremiah supt h 1951/2 8th street

1884 75 Verona, Plumber

1886: 75 Verona, engineer

1887: C M Osterhoudt was a committee member at the Chesebrough's annual employee's ball.

1898: Death, Charles Osterhould January 31, 1898

1892: Osterhoudt, Hannah 45, Lillie, 21, Hattie 18, no occupations

1889: Lilliam Osterhoudt was listed in 1889 as attending the Chesebrough woman's excursion to Greenwood Lake.

1921: Hannah Osterhoudt Birth Year: abt 1845 Age: 76 Death Date: 1 Sep 1921 Death Place: Kings, New York, USA Certificate Number: 14572 - buried Greenwood Lot 29725 Section 134

1893: ???? Lillian May Osterhoudt Gender: Female Marriage Date: 30 Jan 1893 Marriage Place: Kings, New York, USA Certificate Number: 1187 - Harry C Humphries

Jeremiah Osterhoudt received a patent in 1891 assignor for Robert A Chesebrough

1870: Ward 12 Brooklyn, Jeremiah Osterhoudt 45, oil refiner, Sarah Osterhoudt 38, Carrie Osterhoudt 14, John Osterhoudt 12, Janet Osterhoudt 7, Emma Osterhoudt 1, Eva Osterhoudt 1

OSTERHOUDT ANNIE 1937-02-25 4362 62+
OSTERHOUDT FRANK 1902-05-30 29725 134+
OSTERHOUDT HANNAH 1921-09-03 29725 134+
OSTERHOUDT JOHN H. 1885-11-21 5499 2+
OSTERHOUDT LOUISE A. 1923-08-14 10190+
OSTERHOUDT LUTHER L 1977-07-22 664 118+
OSTERHOUDT SARAH 1920-03-27 29725 134+
OSTERHOUDT SARAH A. 1917-03-11 29725 134+
OSTERHOUDT THERESA 1993-05-10 664 118+

Edward G Brown

E. G. Brown listed as the superintendent of Chesebrough in 1888. He attended the annual dance in 1889 with his wife and daughter.

1850: Ward 4, Edward Brown 30, bookkeeper, Louisa Brown 28, Louisa J Brown 4, Edward G Brown 8, Lemuel H Brown 0

1860: Ward 3, Edward Brown 40, (word) keeper, $5,000 Louise Brown 30, Edward G Brown 18, car conductor, $500, Louise Brown 15, Lemuel H Brown 9, Lilla Brown 5, Mary Dougherty 19

1880: 4th place, John E. White 37, carpenter, Louisa White 34, Milton E. White 11, Louisa Brown 61, mother in law Virginia Brown 32, sister in law, Lemuel H. Brown 27, brother in law, pilot ferry boat, Edward G. Brown 37, brother in law, commercial traveler [salesman] Virginia Brown 12, niece, George Brown 6, nephew, Jessie Brown 2, niece

1892: 11th street, Ward 22, Edward G Brown, age 48, vaseline, Virginia Brown 23, George Brown, 17, Jessie B Brown age 14, Louise J Brown age 72 Emiline Franklin age 82

1923: Edward G Brown Birth Year: abt 1843 Age: 80 Death Date: 7 Nov 1923 Death Place: Kings, New York, USA Certificate Number: 19818

The McCarthys, John V. (c1873-1911), Daniel (c1871-), Dennis (1868- ) and Kate (1870-)

1911: Obit of John V McCarthy 11 Luquer street. He was born in the 12th ward, employed by "Cheseborough" Manufacturing for 21 years*, widow, Helen Kelly, three daughters, Mary, Helen, and Grace, on son, John. Five brothers: Dennis, a fireman at Eugenen co. #154, James, Stephen, Daniel, and David, and two sisters, Etta and Mrs. John Malone. Member of the congregation of St. Mary Star of the Sea. Buried Holy Cross. McCarthy, John V 36, Nov. 24, 1911 22127

*About 1890.

John V McCarthy was the son of John (dob c 1848) cooper, and Julia McCarthy (dob c 1848) both born Ireland. They had: Denis, Kate (Catherine), Daniel (died), John, Mary, Johanna, James, David , an other Daniel, Stephen (according to the obit the rest were in the censuses), Julia (Julietta/Etta)

1875: Columbia Street, John Mccarty M 38, cooper, Julia Mccarty F 27, Son Dennis Mccarty M 7, Daughter Catherine Mccarty F 5, Son Daniel Mccarty M 4, Son John Mccarty M 2

1880: Columbia street, John Mccarthy 34, cooper, Ireland, Julia Mccarthy 32, Ireland, Dinis Mccarthy 12, Kate Mccarthy 10, Daniel Mccarthy 9, John Mccarthy 7, Mary Mccarthy 5, Johanna Mccarthy 3, James Mccarthy 1, children born Brooklyn

1887: Daniel McCarthy treasurer of the annual dance committee.

1889: Kate McCarthy attended the annual lady's picnic. She also attended the dance. D. McCarthy, single also attended the dance. Denis J. McCarthy was on the dance committee. Mr. and Mrs. Denis J. McCarthy attended the dance. As did Mr. Daniel McCarthy and Mr. and Mrs J McCarthy.

1892: McCarthy, John 44 cooper, born Ireland, Julia 44 born Ireland, John 19 laborer, James 12, David 9, Daniel, 7, Julia 3.

1910: 11 Lequer street, multifamily, John McCarty M 35 New York, married 13 years, driver trucks, Wife Nellie Mccarty F 34 Ireland, 5 children 4 living, Daughter Mary Mccarty F 12 New York, Daughter Helen Mccarty F 9 New York, Son John Mccarty M 6 New York, Daughter Grace Mccarty F 1 New York

1920: Second place, renting, widow, born Ireland, immigrated 1894, Nellie Mccarthy 43, no occupation, Mary Mccarthy 19, typest, Helen Mccarthy 17, bookkeeper, paper office, John Mccarthy 16, stenographer, steamer office, Grace Mccarthy 10

Dennis (1868- )

1905: Graves End Ave., McCarthy, Dennis, age, 37, fireman, Annie, 32, John 14, Veronica 10, Raymond, 6, Dora, 5, Irene 3, Julietta, sister 16

1910: Dennis J Mccarthy M 42 New York, fireman, fire department, Wife Annie Mccarthy F 37 New York, 10 children 5 living, Son John H Mccarthy M 18 New York, machinist iron works, Daughter Cathrane V Mccarthy F 14 New York, Son Daniel R Mccarthy M 11 New York, Daughter Cora Mccarthy F 9 New York, Daughter Annie N Mccarthy F 7 New York, Sister Juliette Mccarthy F 20 New York, Brother-in-law Michael W Fagan M 36 New York, married 14 years no children, engineer, public schools

Joseph Dowling (c 1838-1915)

1915: Nov 8, Joseph Dowling age 76, of 821 Avenue N died of apoplexy, born Kings co, Ireland, for many years in the employ of the Chesebrough Manufacturing company. Survived by a daughter Mrs Timothy Cornell and two grandchildren. Mass R. C. church of St. Brendan, buried Calvary Cemetery,

1875: 5 family brick, Joseph Dowling M 37, pattern maker, Wife Margret Dowling F 32, Daughter Sarah Dowling F 2, Brother Michael Dowling M 52, iron foundry

1876: Joseph Dowling Residence Year: 1876 Street Address: 120 Van Brunt Residence Place: Brooklyn, New York Occupation: Pitternmkr Publication Title: Brooklyn, New York, City Directory, 1876

1880: Van Brunt, street, Joseph Dowling M 40 Ireland, carpenter, Wife Margaret Dowling F 39 New York, United States Daughter Sarah Dowling F 7 New York, United States servant, Rebecca Scullen F 45 New York, United States

1880: Joseph Dowling Residence Year: 1880 Street Address: 120 Van Brunt Residence Place: Brooklyn, New York Occupation: Carpenter Publication Title: Brooklyn, New York, City Directory, 1880

1892: Dowling, Joseph, age 53, carpenter, Sarah age 19

1900: Dowling, Joseph, King street, born May 1838, Ireland, age 62, widowed, carpenter, immigrated 1845, naturalized, Sarah daughter age 25, cashier wholesale grocer

1910: Timothy Cornell 37, manager grocery store, Sarah Cornell 35 Margaret Cornell 0 [4/12] Margaret Cornell 72, mother, Mary Cornell 39, sister, operator, ladies underwear, Corneluis Cornell 44, brother, engineer office building, Mabel Cornell 28, sister in law

Patrick Gorman

1933: March 3, Patrick Gorman age 92, who was for many years connected with the "Cheesebrough" Manufacturing Company died of heart disease after a short illness. He was born in Ireland a resided in Brooklyn for 68 years. He was survived by two sons: John P Gorman former vice president of Edbro Realty company and Philip Groman retired fireman. Our Lady of Angled buried Holy Cross.

1900: 4 Third place, one family, Head Patrick Gorman M 68 Ireland, forman, mfg., Wife Annie Gorman F 58 Ireland, Son John Gorman M 24 New York, typesetter, Son Phillip Gorman M 23 New York, day laborer, Brother Mathew Lawles M 28 New York, brother, straw (word) manufacturer, Sister Josephine Lawles F 20 New York, sister, Brother Edward Lawles M 25 New York, brother, day laborer, Wife Blanch Lawles F 26 New York, wife, Daughter Katherine Lawles, age 0, daughter

1905: 2nd or 3rd place, Patrick Gorman M 60y Ireland, Wife Anastasia Gorman F 61y Ireland, Son John Gorman M 29y United States, Son Philip Gorman M 27y United States, Daughter Francis Gorman F 25y United States, Granddaughter Anastasia Gorman F 4y United States, Grandson Philip Gorman M 0y 2m United States (LDS wrong page comes up)

1910: ward 6, Third place, Philip J Gorman 30, fireman, Anasthasia Gorman 9, Philip Gorman 5, Francis Gorman 29, wife, Francis Gorman 2, Regina Gorman 0, [5/12] Patrick Gorman 65, father, John P Gorman 32, brother, machinist shop,

1920: 15th street, Philip J Gorman 40, engineer, fire department, Frances Gorman 39, wife, Anastasia Gorman 18, daughter, stenographer, trust co., Philip Gorman 14, son, Frances Gorman 11, daughter, Regina Gorman 10, daughter, John Gorman 4, son [4 2/12] Patrick Gorman 76, father, widowed, immigrated 1863, naturalized 1870, no occupation,

1933: Patrick Gorman, Age: 92, Death Date: 2 Mar 1933, Death Place: Kings, New York, USA, Certificate Number: 5278

John Bennett White (1845-1908)

According to his widow's obit, he was a forman at Chesebrough for 25 years.

1870: Ward 22, John E White 28, builder, $10,000 $1,800, Louisa J White 23, Milton E White 1

1875: Brooklyn Ward 22, 2 family frame, Jno White 22, no occupation, Louisa J White 24, Milton White 6, Wm E White 30, brother, real estate, Geo W White 20, brother, dentist, White Anna -, 52, widow

1880: 4th place, John E. White 37, carpenter, Louisa White 34, Milton E. White 11, Louisa Brown 61, mother in law, Virginia Brown 32, sister in law, Lemuel H. Brown 27, brother in law, pilot ferry boat, Edward G. Brown 37, brother in law, commercial traveler [salesman] Virginia Brown 12, niece, Govenere Brown 6, nephew, Jessie Brown 2, niece

1880: They were listed twice, 13th street, Ann M. White 58 John E. White 38, at home, William White 36, real estate, George W. White 24, dentist, Louisa White 36, daughter in law, Caroline White 18, granddaughter, Milton White 11, grandson, William White 2, grandson, plus a servant and a boarder.

1887 Mr. John E White attended the annual ball.

1889: John White was on the committee for the annual Chesebrough ball. Mr. and Mrs. John White attended the ball.

1892: White, John 47, carpenter, Louise J. 42, Milton, 23, dentist

1900: Spencer Street, John E White 56, carpenter, Louise White 53, Milton E White 29, dentist.

1908: Death of John Emmett White, age 63, January 7, 1908, Cert #616

1910: White, Louise 61 and Milton 41

1915: Death of Louise J White age 63 mother of Milton E White, dental surgeon, died of Bright's desease, widow of John Emmett White who died in 1908 and who for 25 years was the forman at "Cheeseborough". She had a sister, Lila De Nyse, two brothers, Lenuel and Graham Brown. At the time of her death Milton was ill with ptomaine poisoning.

The probate indicate that her only surviving child was Milton. $500 in cash and real estate valued at $3,000, 203 Spencer Ave.

John A. O'Neil[l]

According to his obit he was the chief engineer and night superintendent at Chesebrough for over 40 years.

1885: John O'Neil an employe in the "Gasoline Oil Works at Richards and Delavan streets" was badly burned at about three o'clock in the morning of June 16 when a a lighted lamp he was carrying ignited gasoline vapor released from a tank. A fellow worker, John Fitzgerald, ran to his assistance and was also badly burned. The building suffered about $600 damage.

1889: Mr. and Mrs J O'Neill attended the annual dance.

1892: O'Neill, John 47 born Ireland, Engineer, Catherine 37, Michael 11, Timothy 9, Mary 7, Charles 3, Kate 1

1900: Ward 12, "Laquer" street, John O'Neill M 54 Ireland, stationary engineer, immigrated 1868, Wife Catherine O'Neill F 41 Ireland, immigrated 1873, Son Michael A O'Neill M 19 New York, clerk hardware, Son Timothy O'Neill M 17 New York, cotton broker, Daughter Mary G O'Neill F 15 New York, Son Charles O Neill M 11 New York, Daughter Katheline O Neill F 8 New York, Son John O Neill M 5 New York

1905: Ward 12, LaQuer st a page is missing or out of order the listing starts with Michael son: O'Neill, Michael son, 23, lawyer, Timothy, son, 21, fireman, Charles, 15, son Kate, daughter, John, son 1923: John A O'Neil home 67 1st place, born in Ireland, resident of Brooklyn for 50 years, father of Lieut. Timothy O'Neil NYFD, Charles O'Neil, John J. O'Neil and Katherine, grandfather of 5 . Also father of the late Michael O'Neil. Chief engineer and night Superintendent for 40 years at "Cheeseborough". Buried Holy Cross.

Ida Bennett

Ida Bennett age 19 was listed in the 1880 census as working in Vaseline Factory.

1880: Partition street, Mary age 59, Charles, son 27, butcher, Daniel son 24, carpenter, William, son age 21 laborer, Ida age 19 in Vaseline Factory. Next to them was George W Bennett, 36 carpenter and his family George worked at Brooklyn Fire Brick.

John Hagan (could be Hogan)

1887: John Hagan a non union man, address 702 Henry st., was beaten on his way to work at the vaseline works on Richards street. At the trial Hagen stated that he had been employed at the vaseline since February 16, 1884.

No John Hagan listed in the city directories circa 1887 on Henry street.

John Wright

1887: John Wright a union man, address 252 Hamilton, charged with assaulting John Hagen. He was convicted and fined $10.

No John Wright listed circa 1887 in the city directories on Hamilton ave.

George W. Peterson (1854-1887)

1887: George W. Peterson, 107 "Luqueer" st, who was an employee of the vaseline works accidentally shot himself in the head and died. He may have been drunk at the time. He left a widow, Lillie. Peterson's father, Martin, said his son had been employed by "Cheseborough". He claimed that during the strike the company had give each of its non union members a revolver with which to protect themselves should they be assaulted by union strikers.

1855: New York Ward 4, Martin Peterson 35, Denmark, Mary Peterson 27, Christina Peterson 5, Jane Amilia Peterson 3, Wm George Peterson 1, Maryan Wheton 57 boarder

1860: New York Ward 7, Martin Peterson 40, (word) lighter, Mary Peterson 30, Christine Peterson 11, Jane A Peterson 9, George Peterson

1870: Ward 6, Martin Peterson 50, lamp lighter, $8,000, $1,000, Denmark, Mary J Peterson 40, Christina Peterson 20, Jane A Peterson 18, George W Peterson 16

No George Peterson listed circa 1887 in the city directories on Lequer street.

1875: Ward 6, Martin Peterson M 55, Denmark, no occupation, Wife Mary Peterson F 45, Son George Peterson M 21, no occupation, Son John Peterson M 18, Daughter Mary Peterson F 17, Daughter Emma Peterson F 12

1889: Died Mary J wife of Martin Peterson.

Stanford Clarence Lewis

Stanford Clarence Lewis was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1846. His father, Stanford J. Lewis was a prominent wholesale dry goods merchant.

He was educated in the public schools and graduated high school at age 19. He came to New York where for a while around 1882 he was Vice-President and Treasurer of the Chesebrough Manufacturing company. He was listed as a trustee of the company in 1883.

George F Mott

1887: Mr. George F. Mott and his wife attended the 2nd annual Vaselin workers ball.

George F. Mott was listed as "President" at the 1889 third annual Chesebrough employee's ball.

1888: George F. Mott home 31 Delaven Foreman Publication Title: Brooklyn, New York, City Directory, 1888

1888: George F Mott was a member and officer of the Progressive Council No. 46.

1888.89 & 1890: h. 46 Smith, asst. supt.

1887 Vaseline makers ball, floor manager.

1891: foreman home 157 Warren

Charles Coudert

Charles Coudert of Coudert Brothers. Charles Coudert was listed as a trustee of the company in 1883.

COUDERT, FREDERIC RENE - Lawyer, 100 Broadway, New York City; residence, 158 West 58th street. Born in New York City, March 1, 1832. (Son of Charles Coudert.) Educated in private schools and at Columbia College ('50). Admitted to the Bar in 1852. Degree of LL.D. from Seton Hall College in 1880, LL.D. from Fordham College 1884, J.U.D. from Columbia College, 1887. (Married.) Receiver Union Pacific Ry. Co.; director Central Branch Union Pacific Ry. Co., National Surety Co, New York Security and Trust Co., and Washington Life Insurance Co.; trustee American Surety Co., Emigrant Industrial Savings Bank, and St. Patrick's Cathedral. Knight of the Legion of Honor of France. Officer of the Crown of Italy and of the Order of Bolivar of Venezuela. Member Lawyers', Manhattan, Barnard, University, Metropolitan, Catholic, Nineteenth Century, Democratic, University Glee and Patrla Clubs, Association of the Bar of the City of New York, Down Town Association, and American Geographical Society. (1900)

COUDERT, FREDERIC RENE, Jr. - Lawyer, 100 Broadway, New York City; residence 28 West 15th street. Director Baron Mf'g Co., Chesebrough Mf'g Co. (Consolidated), and Lawyers' Surety Co. Member University, Manhattan, Fencers' and Lawyers' Clubs, and Association of the Bar of the City of New York. (1900)

Joseph J. Almirall

Trustee of Chesebrough in 1883.

John D Archbold

Trustee of Chesebrough in 1883.

Thomas E Hearn

1884: Thomas E Hearn 536 Clinton Publication Title: Brooklyn, New York, City Directory, 1884

Thomas E Hearne was a committee member for the 1887 annual ball.

The death of Thomas E Hearn of 247 7th street, who was separated from his wife, who published in the papers in 1892. Hearn was, in fact, not dead. He had married about 16 years before, had two children and was the foreman at the vaseline works on Richard street. The Hearns did not get along. About 1890 their persistent arguing let to Mrs. Hearn mortgage the furniture, pocket the cash and leave. She left the children behind. Hearn had a sister, Mrs. Beck, at 329 9th street.

No Thomas Hearn on 7th or 9th street in the city directories circa 1892.

John London (or Loudon)

1885: John London overcome by heat at the vaseline works on Richard Street.

Philip Waterson (or Matterson)

1885: Philip Waterson overcome by heat that the vaseline works on Richards street.

Oliver & James Freeland (J. F.) Wilcox (or Willcox) and William H. Willcox

1880: Warren place, James F. Wilcox M 45 New York, United States, bookkeeper in factory, Wife, Julia S. Wilcox F 40 Pennsylvania, United States, Son, William Wilcox M 15 Pennsylvania, United States, clerk in office, Daughter, Mary E. Wilcox F 12 Pennsylvania, United States

1885: J. F Wilcox secretary of the Vaseline Works on Richard Street.

1885: Mr. Oliver Willcox superintendent of the bottling department of the Chesebrough Manufacturing Company was given a surprise present of a colossal clock of bronze and Italian marble from the employees of his department. Thomas J. O'Connell made the presentation. In attendance were: Miss B. Thornley*, N. Hamilton*, Ida Riley, K Hanley, L. McLaughlin, D Cullen, M. Burns, M. Winters, T. Zelia, A Johns, R. McVey, M. Nolan, M. Roueke, D. O'Rouke, A.LeDane* [Ledoux], B. Langon, M. Howard, C. Johns, S. Farrell, M. Dowd, M. Kent, A. Meroia,, M. Daniels, M. Matthews, A. Fitzgerald, J. Taylor, H. Consondine*, A. McCaffery*, N. Tovers, E. McCaffery*, L. Osterhaudt*, M. Kennedy*, E. Taylor, K. Shudtlaff [Stuthoff?], E. Halleren, J. Connoly. A. Rainsey, M. O'Rourke*, K. Curran*, K McCarthy*, Mr. [Mister]. E A Scovell, Wm. Nelson, W. Lynce, J. Robertson, M. Osterhaudt*, Fred Graw, R. Gill, J. Ashton, M. O'Rouke, J. McKillon, T. Thompson and J Mauder.

Note: *Several of these people were present at the annual dance in 1889 and the picnic in 1889. As well as the dance in 1887.
1887: J Freeland Willcox. 31 Delevan h 24 Residence Place: Brooklyn, New York Occupation: Treas Publication Title: Brooklyn, New York, City Directory, 1887

1880: Warren place, Oliver Wilcox M 40 New York, United States, chemist vaseline factory, Wife Annie Wilcox F 38 Pennsylvania, United States, Son William Wilcox M 14 Pennsylvania, United States, at school, stuttering, Son Oliver Wilcox M 7 Illinois, United States, suffering from nervous disability

1889: Oliver Willcox of Brooklyn was an assignor of one-half a patent to R. A. Cheseborough for a bottle washing machine.

1889: O. Wilcox was listed as an assistant superintendent in the article about the annual ball. 1892: Oliver Wilcox, age 53, chemist, Mrs. Anne Wilcox, 50, Wme E 24, Oliver 20

1894: Freeland and Oliver Willcox of Brooklyn spent their eight consecutive summer with their families in Fort Hamilton in a large furnished rented house by the shore.

1900: Brooklyn, Oliver Wilcox M 63 New York, chemist, Wife Annie Wilcox F 59 Pennsylvania, Son William Wilcox M 30 Pennsylvania, Son Oliver Wilcox Jr. M 27 Illinois, Niece Annie Baker F 16 New York, Boarder Frank Seaver M 25 New York

1901: December 4, New York Tribune: James F Wilcox, age 77, for many years the secretary of the Chesebrough Manufacturing Company died at his home 83rd street and 10th avenue Brooklyn. He was born in Philadelphia. He lived in Brooklyn for 30 years. He was survived by a widow and one child.

1905: Willcox, Oliver 81st street with his family chemist.

1905: 83rd Street, Julia Willcox, head age 65

1910: Brooklyn Ward 30, 81 street, Olive William 72, chemist manufacturing vaseline, Annie G Willcox 68, William E Willcox 45, no occupation, Oliver M Willcox 38, no occupation, Annie W Baker 24, niece, John C Barry 25, boarder,

1896: William Huntington Willcox, age 32, single, died of kidney trouble, at the summer home of his parents. He was born in Philadelphia and had been in Brooklyn since 1879. He was a cashier at the "Cheeseborough" Manufacturing Company. His father, Freeland, was secretary of Chesebrough. His uncle Oliver was superintendent of the Brooklyn plant. Willcox was an old and prominent Connecticut family.

William H Willcox, Age: 31, Death Date: 26 Aug 1896, Death Place: Kings, New York, USA Certificate Number: 15833

Authur James McGeorge

Superintendent at Chesebrough in 1895 and 1897.

1910: Manhattan, Head Arthur J Mcgeorge M 44 England, chemist, labatories, Wife Philomena Mcgeorge F 39 France, Daughter Jessie Mcgeorge F 2 New York, Servant Lydia Paulson F 26 New York

Richard Clark

1887: Richard Clark was a committee member for the second annual Chesebroough ball held in 1887.

1889: Richard Clark was a committee member. Mr. and Mrs R. Clark attended the 3rd annual Chesebrough employees dance.

1889 Richard clark was on the committee for the annual mens' picnic.

1890: Richard Clark age 30, home Clinton near Nelson, died when he fell from a 35 feet high balcony at the Vaseline Works on Richards street. A trial was held and the jury censured the company for not providing adequate protection for their workers. Richard Clark Birth Year: abt 1859 Age: 31 Death Date: 16 Feb 1890 Death Place: Kings, New York, USA Certificate Number: 3064

Greenwood: CLARK RICHARD C.1890-02-19 5499 2

No Richard Clark listed on Clinton in the 1889 city directory.

James Watson

James Watson assautled on his way to work at the vaseline works in 1886.

William Quinn

1884: William Quinn, 267 Van Brunt engineer was burned on the hands and feet when he helped put out a fire at the vaseline works.

Frank Quinn played on the single men's baseball team at the 1889 picnic. He was also in charge of the games.

James Cline

1884: James Cline, 62 Walcott street were burned on the hands and feet when he helped put out a fire at the vaseline works.

Vincent Zella

1888: Vincent Zella, 200 Conover, laborer, Brooklyn

Vincent Zella help organize the annual picnic in 1889. Mr. and Mrs. Vincent Zella attended the annual men's picnic in 1889.

Mr. V. Zella also attended the 1889 annual ball.

James Hogan and his son, Daniel

1894: July 16, James Hogan of 893 3rd Ave Brooklyn, hit his 19 year old son, Daniel, over the head and fractured his skull. Both Hogans worked at the vaseline factory in Red Hook. They had argued because Daniel wanted to keep more than $1.00 of his wages. Daniel beat up his father. Later when Daniel had fallen asleep his father crept in and hit him.

1892: James Hogan, laborer, age 40, born Ireland, Fannie age 39 born US, Daniel 16, clerk, James 11.

Edward Harrigan

1893: Edward Harrigan age 29 fell into a tank of hot water at Chesebrough and was badly scalded.

Bessie (Elizabeth) Lanyon

Bessie Lanyon born circa 1870. Bessie Lanyon attended the Chesebrough annual women's picnic and the annual men's picnic in 1889.

In 1887 Edward Lanyon was a committee member of the 2nd annual Vaseline ball.

1875: ward 12, Edward Lanyon 46, Mary Lanyon 45, Mary Lanyon 17, Emma Lanyon 9, Eliza Lanyon 5, no occupations, 1880 Census: Dikeman Street, Edward Lanyon 51, ship carpenter, born England, Mary Lanyon 50, Mary Lanyon 22, in chemical works, Emma Lanyon 14, Bessie Lanyon 10, all born England

1896: Elizabeth Lanyon married Harry T. S. Smith on September 22, 1896 in Brooklyn cert. #4794.

1885: Emma Lanyon married Dewitt Clinton Nov 18, 1885 Kings cert. #3759.

1910: Metuchen, Middlesex, New Jersey, Harry T S Smith 38, traffic manage pumping station, Bessie A Smith 40, born England, Irma L Smith 12, born NY, Lester W Smith 8, born, NY, Edward A Langan 80, father-in-law, born England, ship carpenter

1930: Metuchen, NJ, own $10,000, Harry T Smith 59, traffic manager, machining co., Elizabeth A Smith 60 Irma S Lampartaro 32, married, William S Lampartaro 3 [3 8/12]

Thornley, Thomas and his daughter Isabelle (1860-) and Katherine Consodine & Katherine Kenney

Belle Thornley was listed at Chesebrough in 1885, 1887 and 1889. She was the referee at the ladies picnic in 1889.

Kate "Considine" was at the ladies picnic in 1889 and later lived with Bella Thornley in Perth Amboy. At the 1889 men's picnic she was listed as Miss Kate "Constantine".

Miss Kate Kenny was listed at the mens's and lady's picnics in 1889 and was living with Belle Thornley in Perth Amboy in 1920.

1860: Ward 12, Thomas Thornley 34, day laborer, $400, Charlotte Thornley 32, John J Thornley 12, George Thornley 6, Anna Thornley 4, Louisa Thornley 3, Jane Thornley 8/12,

1870: Brooklyn Ward 12, Thomas Thornley 48, oil refiner, Charlotte Thornley 43, George Thornley 16, butcher, Annie Thornley 14, Isabella Thornley 9, Willie Thornley 8, Charles Thornley 3, James Martin 23 carpenter

1880: multi family 385 VanBrunt, Thornley, Thos, age 55, oil refinery, Charlotte, 52, both born England, Isabelle, 20, dressmaker, Chas 13

1887: "George" Thornley and his wife attended the 1889 dance.

1892: 12th Ward, Thornley, Charlotte, 65, born England, groceries, Thomas 44 butcher, Isabelle, 32, forelady, Anne Wallace, 36, Isabella L Wallace 12, Charles Wallace 44, seaman born Scotland

1900: 385 Van Brunt, Head Chalotte Thornely F 73 England, widow, Son John Thomas Thornely M 53 England, butcher, Daughter Isabella Thornely F 40 New York, forelady

1905: 385 Van Brunt, Widow Charlotte Thornley F 77y England, widow, storekeeper, Daughter Isabella Thornley F 45y United States, singel, forelady, Widow Annie Wallace F 49y United States, widow, servant, Daughter Mable Wallace F 12y United States

1920: Perth Amboy New Jersey: Anna Wallace 64, head, widow, Mabel Wallace 26, daughter, single, clerk office, Isabel Thornley 60, sister, single, Katherine Consoline [Consodine], 53, boarder, single, Katherine Kenney 50, boarder, single, forelady store, all born New York, all with appropriate ethnic parentage.

1927: Bella Thornley Residence Year: 1927 Street Address: 234 Brighton av Residence Place: Perth Amboy, New Jersey Publication Title: Perth Amboy, New Jersey, City Directory, 1927

1930: Perth Amboy, Thornley, Bell own $7,000, age 70, occupation none, Wallace , Mabel age "28", niece, born single.

1940: Peth Amboy, Bella "Thorneley" F 80 New York Niece Mabel Wallace F 44 New York

Rosa Smith

1900 census: 108 King street, Ward 12 Elisabeth Smith 51, widow, 5 children 4 living, born Ireland, Andrew Smith 23, boiler maker, James Smith 16, truck driver, Rosa Smith 19, Vaseline packer, Nellie Smith 22, no occupation

Mary and Margaret Leffey

1900: 61 Sullivan street, Ward 12, Mary Leffey 44, widow 8 children 3 living born Ireland, Mary I Leffey 23, Vaseline packer, Margarett Leffey 22, Vaseline packer Kate Leffey 14, at school

1880: Dikeman Street, John Leffey 30, longshoreman, born Ireland, Mary A. Leffey 26, born Ireland, Mary A. Leffey 7, born New York Margaret Leffey 5 Patrick Leffey 3 Sebina Leffey 9m

Mary and Ellen Shea

1900: 143 Williams street, Ward 12, James Shea 50, born Ireland, river junk man, immigrated 1872, naturalized, Kate Shea 46, born Ireland, 10 children 8 living, immigrated 1872 Mary Shea 27, Vaseline packer, Ellen Shea 25, Vaseline packer, Thomas Shea 23, river junk man, John Shea 21, boatman, Lizzie Shea 16 James Shea 13 Florence Shea 2, children born New York

1905: 119 Conover street, James Thea 50, boatman, Kate Shea 48 Thomas Shea 27, day laborer, Mary Shea 33, packer of can goods, Elizebeth Shea 21 James Shea 18, day laborer, Florence Shea 7, school

1910: 119 Conover street, James Shea 60, junk man river boat, Kate Shea 54, Mary Shea 38, labeling grocery house, Thomas Shea 32, longshoreman docks ships, James Shea 23, longshore,man, docks ships, Florence Shea 12

1883: James Shea 1883 99 Imlay Speculator PUBLICATION TITLE: Brooklyn, New York, City Directory, 1883

1888: While securing his boat at the South Central Pier of the Atlantic Dock, James Shea junkman age 50 of 99 Imlay street, fell and fractured his left leg.

John Muldoon

In a Brooklyn Eagle article of May 17, 1888 John F. Muldoon of 98 King st was listed as a candidate for the Brooklyn police force. He had been a night watchman at the Chesebrough's vaseline factory and a laborer in Thompson's coal yard. It appears that he continued to work as a watchman at various places in Brooklyn.

The Benefits of Vaseline

Samuel Colgate and the Colgate company had the exclusive rights to the distribution of Vaseline. In the mid 1870s he launched a campaign touting Vaseline's use with four to five grains of salicylic acid with to kill sperm without injuring the uterus or vagina. At the same time Colgate was president of an organization that opposed birth control by contraception. It was/is NOT a good method of birth control.

Vaseline was claimed to have healing properties, would make you hair grow, keep ones skin clear and cure dandruff. Other claims: Vaseline spray increases the respiratory functions of the lungs. Taken internally Vaseline was good for coughs. Vaseline was soothing for burns.

Work Hazards

In addition to high heat, fire, burns, and explosions there were other accidents like falls. In 1906 in the Perth Amboy plant Lilliam West had two fingers crushed under a gasket machine.

A fabulous source of information from the Brooklyn Daily Eagle (1841-1955) and Brooklyn NY Daily Star (1898-1933) and other New York newspapers is Tom Tryniski's Old Fulton Postcards

If you have any suggestions, corrections, information, copies of documents, or photos that you would like to share with this page, please contact me at maggie@maggieblanck.com

Liquor Stores Red Hood mid to late 1800s
Red Hood Industry mid to late 1800s
Life in Red Hood mid to late 1800s

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© Maggie Land Blanck - Page created February 2013 - branch of an original page created 2004 - Update May 2015