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Lidgerwood Manufacturing (Iron Works), Brooklyn

Ferris between Coffey (formerly Partition) and Dikeman Streets

Lidgerwood Manufacturing was (is) a world famous maker of hoists and boilers. It manufacturing works were located on Ferris street in Red Hook Brooklyn from at least 1882 until 1927. They had offices at 96 Liberty Street, Manhattan.

Lidgerwood Manufacturing (or Iron Works) was not designated as such on the 1880 or 1886 Ward 12 maps. Later maps show that it was located at the intersections of Dikeman, Coffey (formerly Partition) and Ferris. The 1886 map does show a large brick building on the north west corner of Partition and Ferris but does not identify the structure. Lidgerwood Manufacturing was show between Dikeman and Coffey (formerly Partition street) on a 1898-99 map of Ward 12. See maps below.

Lidgerwood Manufacturing Co., manufacturer of steam and electric hoists, boilers and suspension cableways, was founded in 1873 in Brooklyn. The company employed 800 men in 1883 when it was planning a move to Newark, New Jersey. The move was motivated in part to obtain more space and in part because there was "too much government" in Brooklyn. (American machinist, Volume 26, 1883)

They must have changed their minds because in in 1883 they had their "new shops" at the corner of Dikeman and Ferris " in good working order". They were working 100 men during the day and 25 at night. The United States Electric company supplied lights for the night workers.

The Preservation Plan for Red Hook lists Lidgerwood Manufacturing Co. 84 Ferris St, Year: 1882, Architect: J.V. Beekman*, Original use: Manufacture of machinery. The buildings address is still 84 Ferris Street.

*John V. Beekman was a member of the firm and a long term supervisor at the works.

1892: "the company have purchased twenty lots opposite their present works, where additional shops, storage etc will be erected. The present works in South Brooklyn cover an entire block and are conceded to be the finest of their kind in the United States".


Lidgerwood in the press

1874: Lidgerwood Manufacturing Co at 165 Pearl Street New York was advertising hoisting engines and mining machinery.

1876: No. 159,066. John V. Beekman, of Brooklyn, N.Y., assignor to the Lidgerwood Manufacturing Company, of New York city, for "Rotary engines." - Application filed 15th September, 18/4. (The Commissioners of Patents' Journal By Great Britain. Patent Office)

1880: An 1880 map shows an unlabeled brick building on the land later occupied by Lidgerwood. It does not have the footprint of the building that still stands on the spot today. It would appear that the building that stands there now was built circa 1882 as indicated by the 1882 building permit listed in the American Architect and Architecture.

1882: Brooklyn Building Permits Dikeman St. s.s. between Ferris and Partition sts one story black smith shop cost $3,000 owner, Lidgerwood Manufacturing co 96 Liberty st, New York architect J. V. Beekman builders, P. Carlin and sons and J Martin (American Architect and Architecture, Volume 12)

1884: Lidgerwood Manufacturing had a fire at their factory in Brooklyn in 1884 and lost a portion of their patterns (wooden models or templates of the various machine parts).

"By the fire at the foundry in South Brooklyn, N. Y., on the 28th of February last, the Lidgerwood Manufacturing Company lost only a small portion of the large amount of patterns belonging to them. The various newspapers in New York and vicinity reported the loss from $50,000 to $70,000, whereas the total loss did not exceed $6,000, the fire occurring in a room where, fortunately, very few patterns had been stored. The company lost no time in making new patterns, commencing the following day with a large force of pattern-makers, and have at this writing made such progress that they will very shortly have new patterns equal to those which were destroyed. By the wise system adopted by this company of always keeping on hand a number of castings of the various hoisting engines manufactured by them, no delay has been occasioned in filling orders or building engines for stock."

(The Manufacturer and Builder, Volume 16 edited by Peter Henri Vander Weyde, William Henry Wahl)

1884: Lidgerwood Manufacturint Co., steam engine makers ft* Elizabeth street Brooklyn (J.A. Berly's Universal Electrical Directory and Advertiser By Jules Albert Berly)

*foot

1885: Thomas Wright age 29, an employee of the Lidgerwood Manufacturing company in Red Hook died when he was oiling a machine and became caught in the belting.

1886: In July 1886 Mr. W. V. Lidgerwood, a manufacturer in South Brooklyn, launched a beautiful, $20,000, steam pleasure yacht the Speedwell from the Erie Basin. The Lidgerwood family lived on Speedwell Ave in Morristown, N. J.

1888: June 2, 1888 (See illustrations below)

THE LIDGERWOOD MANUFACTURING CO. HOISTING ENGINES AND BOILERS - THE GORTON HEATER.

In the illustrations on our first page we have endeavored to bring before the mind a correct idea of the plant, and the methods of prosecuting the work, in one of the largest and best equipped modern establishments especially devoted to the manufacture of hoisting engines and boilers.

The works of the Lidgerwood Manufacturing Company, which we take as a type, are near the Atlantic Basin, at the foot of Dikeman Street, Brooklyn. The main machine shop is 75 by 200 feet in size, and, with its gallery and two wings, affords a floor space of 28,750 square feet. The erecting shop covers a ground space of 50 by 228 feet, and with its gallery affords 17,500 square feet of floor room. The boiler shop is 50 by 290 feet, the blacksmith shop 45 by 90 feet, the Gorton heater shop 25 by 100 feet, and the storage shop 45 by 100 feet. Power is supplied by two engines, connected, but which may be readily disconnected, when either one will afford sufficient power for the entire establishment. All of the departments are completely fitted out with powerful traveling cranes, and the equipment in lathes and boring and turning machines of the latest patterns is designed to more than meet every possible demand. In every branch of the business, attention has been constantly directed to securing uniformity as well as perfection of work through the employment of machinery ; and in milling machines there are several of novel construction, especially designed for the work of the company, who have made something of an innovation on ordinary machine practice in the extent to which they carry the work of machine milling.

The engines made by the company present too great a variety for us to mention them all in detail, but their single and double cylinder friction drum portable hoisting engines, with the latest improvements, constitute a representative type of a large part of their business. In the latest patterns of these engines, embodying the results of many year's experience, especial care has been taken to have them simple in design and construction, and well proportioned throughout in accordance with their cylinder power. The cylinders are of extra quality charcoal iron, the steam and exhaust ports being of ample size and designed for high speed, with D slide valve, the valve and valve seat having a scraped fit. The valve and piston rods are of steel, and the crosshead is of the locomotive hanging type, fitted with composition gibs having extra large wearing surfaces and easily adjusted to take up wear. The connecting rod is of best Ulster iron, and the drum and crank shafts are of the best quality of wrought iron, and calculated to be of ample strength for any possible requirement. The crank wheel is counterbalanced, and is forced on the crank shaft by a special press. The bearings are large and fitted with anti-friction metal. A winch head is placed on the outer end of the drum shaft, and a band fly wheel on the crank shaft, for pumping, sawing. etc.

The friction drums of these engines have many improvements for which patents are held and owned by the company. The frictional hold is effected by the engagement of segments of hard wood, bolted on the inner surface of a spur wheel, to make a hollow inverted double cone, with corresponding coneshaped flanges at one end of the drum. The spur wheel is actuated by a pinion on the crank shaft, and is ordinarily in constant motion. The drum is loose on its shaft, on which it has long bearings, and is free to revolve without sensible resistance, but the coneshaped flange at one end of the drum is thrown into friction contact with the wood-lined spur wheel by a slight lateral motion of the drum, effected by means of a lever, screw, pin, cross key, and collar, and released by means of a spiral spring interposed between the friction surfaces. The great power afforded by this construction is obvious, being such that a very slight pressure will hold the drum against any load the engine can hoist. The end thrust caused by the lateral movement of the drum shaft is taken up by a thrust hearing and screw collar. The friction wood is secured to the inner surface of the spur wheel by bolts and nuts in such way that it can be always kept tight without trouble.

The drums are extremely durable, having been in constant use for years without requiring renewal, and the entire machine leaves nothing to desire in the quickness of its operation and the ease with which it can be managed. This is particularly exemplified in pile driving, when compared with the work done by any clutch and brake engine. The rope is made fast to the hammer, and passes up over the sheave and down around the drum. When the hammer is raised to the desired height, the drum is released, the rope then overhauling the freely revolving drum as the hammer falls, it being entirely within the discretion of the operator, without a moment's delay, to give either short quick blows, or long and heavy ones, from the entire height of the pile-driving frame. This class of engine has now largely superseded all others for such work, hammers of twice the weight formerly employed being now commonly used, without damaging the heads or splitting the piles, and enabling the operator to give many more equally powerful blows in a minute. The quickness with which piles are driven thereby is generally very surprising to foreign workmen, and the export demand for these engines is large and growing.

In general hoisting work, as the weight is raised to the desired height, the moving of the lever and the operation of the spring loosens the hold of the friction drum, as required for ordinary lowering purposes, but foot brakes are preferably to be used therefor, as saving wear on the friction drum, and allowing the use of the engine for other purposes when a weight is to be held. These foot brakes can at any time be readily applied to an engine not having them, and some of the styles of engines are fitted with ratchets and pawls which may be thrown in and left with a load suspended.

The double cylinder engines are similar to those with single cylinders, except that they have the special feature of having no centers, the engines being connected at an angle of 90°, thus rendering them much easier to start and handle, single cylinder engines being sometimes caught on centers in handling heavy work. Double friction drum engines, with either single or double cylinders and reversible link motion, are supplied in various patterns specially adapted for quarrying, dock and bridge building, etc., whereby two derricks can be operated, or one drum can hoist a pile in pile driving, while the other handles the hammer. Double drum and double end hoisting engines are made in several varieties calculated to run at different speeds, and a style of portable hoisting and power engine is made to be housed, if desired, when, but for its larger wheels, it somewhat resembles a small dummy engine for street railway use.

Perhaps the most efficient machine ever built for mining operations is the large mining and tail rope hoisting engine made by the company, and specially adapted for double track inclines or double shafts in mines. It has double friction drum and brake and reversible link motion, both drums being loose and independent of each other, so that they may be thrown in and out of gear with the engines in motion, or one drum may be lowering while the other is hoisting, or both may be thrown into gear and the engine used as a regular reversible engine, one load being hoisted while the empty cage is being lowered. This is done with the minimum of friction and wear on the engines, and the great desirability of such independence of drum action, particularly on inclines or in mine shafts, will be at once obvione to all engineers and workmen experienced in mining operations.

Space will not admit, however, of such reference as would do justice to the great variety of engines made by the company. Work for which they have a regular demand they keep always in stock, their manufacture being carried on according to the duplicate part system, from complete sets of gauges and templates, which insures absolute accuracy. Instead, therefore, of building each engine separately, they are always ready, on receipt of an order, to send the parts to the erecting shop and set up the particular engine called for, after which the engine is thoroughly tested, being set up and run with steam on before being shipped. This system not only reduces the cost of production, while necessarily calling for the highest degree of accuracy, but it enables a user of these engines to obtain at any time, without delay, any special part of an engine which may give out, from wear or accident. The standard character of these engines has been recognized by different departments of the United States government, in their specifications for contractors, in which, in many cases, it is stipulated that engines furnished shall be equal to those of the Lidgerwood company. They have been on the market now some eight years, and there are over 4,500 of them in use, being employed in every part of the world.

The manufacture of boilers specially adapted for these various engines constitutes an important portion of the business of the company, as they make also marine boilers of all kinds, horizontal return tubular boilers, stationary and portable locomotive boilers, upright tubular boilers, and any kind of work in this class which may be called for. The shells, unless otherwise ordered, are made of CH No. 1 shell iron, of 50,000 lb. tensile strength, and the tube heads of the best flange iron, all of brands tested and known to be reliable, steel being used in place of iron when ordered. All of the boilers are hydraulic riveted, every rivet being subjected to exactly thirty-five tons pressure. The bracing and staying is of ample strength to allow a large factor of safety. The edges of sheets are planed off true and smooth, and the seams are thoroughly calked inside and outside. The tube heads are flanged on formers specially made for the purpose, the tube holes being drilled to size and the tubes carefully fitted, being usually driven in with a maul and then expanded. The fittings are complete, strong, and substantial, of good design, being made by special tools. The tests include a practical steam test to the guaranteed working pressure of 100 pounds, and a hydrostatic test to a pressure of 160 pounds, and every boiler must be found perfect under such pressure before being sent out. As relating to a branch house of the Lidgerwood Manufacturing Company, we illustrate in one of our first page views the large Gorton heater shop of the Gorton 85 Lidgerwood Company. These heaters have been many years before the public, and have had a large sale, which, with the extensive facilities of the company for their manufacture, afford the best evidence of their high character. These house-heating boilers are for private residences, schools, public buildings, etc., and are unlike any other boiler for such purposes. They combine improvements attained through many years practical experience in satisfying the demands of a large trade. They are side feed boilers, built on the plan of an upright tubular boiler, and are self-feeding as well as surface burning, being adapted for use either way. The coal reservoir is between the lower outside surface of the boiler and the water leg, and the tubes are directly above the fire, the heat passing up through them to the top and thence down on the outside between the boiler and jacket to the smoke pipe in the back. The boiler is designed to generate steam in the most economical and effective manner, the tubes being placed as thickly as will admit of proper circulation, and its evaporative efficiency is calculated as fully equal to that of the return tubular boiler. The coal reservoir is designed to hold sufficient coal to last from twelve to twenty-four hours without refilling, and the grate is low in the center, so that the coal will gradually feed down from the outer surface as it is needed, and distribute itself at a uniform depth over the surface of the grate, the fire being always directly under the tubes. The grate is of the shaking and dumping type, its outer or main part resting on ball bearings, so that it can be easily shaken, and the center part being independent and arranged to swing to one side for removing clinkers or dumping the fire. This boiler can be used with efficiency and economy for circulating hot water, as well as for making steam.

The general offices and salesrooms of the company are at No. 96 Liberty Street, New York, and No. 159 Friend Street, Boston.

(Scientific American)

1889: Lidgerwood Manufacturing proposed to add a one story frame extension 88.4x24.5 to shop on Dikeman, Ferris and Partition cost $550. (BE)

1889: In 1889 Lidgerwood Manufacturing bought a property on Dikeman near Ferris with plans to build a one story brick building 229. x 50, to cost $20,500. 1889: The "works for the Lidgerwood Manufacturing Company were located at

"the foot of Dikeman Street, South Brooklyn being practically on the water front, and are midway between the Atlantic and Erie Basins. The main machinery shop is-75 by 200 feet in size, and with its gallery which extends the entire length on either side, and two wings, affords a floor space of 28,750 square feet. The erecting shop covers a ground space of 50 by 200 feet. It also has a gallery and altogether affords 17,500 square feet of floor room. The boiler shop is 50 by 290 feet, and the blacksmith shop, 45 by 90 feet while the storage shop measures 45 by 100 feet. Power is supplied by two engines, connected, but which may be readily disconnected, when either one is capable of supplying sufficient power for the entire establishment. All the departments are completely fitted out with powerful traveling cranes, and the equipment, in lathes and boring and turning machines of the latest pattern, is designed to more than meet every possible demand. In every branch of the business, attention has been constantly directed to securing uniformity as well as perfection of work, through the employment of machinery."

Improved Hoisting-Engines for Mines. (The Colliery Engineer ..., Volume 9)

1890: The Lidgerwood Manufacturing Co. of Chicago, Boston and New York opened a branch "house" in Portland Oregon.
The Lidgerwood Manufacturing Company, of Chicago, Boston and New York, have just opened a branch house at Portland, Oregon, in charge of Mr. Joseph M. Arthur, which will be located at Nos. 1,3, 5 and 7 North First street, that city. Here a stock of all sizes of their famous hoisting engines will be carried, and customers in that locality will now be enabled to deal direct with the manufacturers. Under the able direction of Mr. Arthur this branch will grow to mammoth proportions. Those dealing with this gentlemen may be sure of courteous treatment and prompt and careful attention to their wants. The demand for Lidgerwood hoisting engines for all hoisting purposss continues at high water mark.

(The American Engineer, Volumes 19-20)

1891: In May 1891 the company was proposing to "add a story of brick to machine shops on Dykeman street, near Ferris, and make other alterations, at a cost of $2,000."

1891: Engineering News the Linderwood Manufacturing co of New York, Chicago and Boston are enlarging their present works in Brooklyn, N.Y. and have just opened a branch office in Pittsburg. (The American Engineer, Volumes 21-22)

1892:

The Lidgerwood Manufacturing Company, with headquarters at 96 Liberty street, New York City, have established a branch house in St. Louis for the sale of their standard hoisting engines, at 610 North 4th street, and 609 North 3rd street, under the management of M. Chas. W. Melcher, a gentleman of well-known ability and enterprise. The Lidgerwood Manufacturing Company is one of the busiest and most prosperous concerns in the United States, and have sold over 8,000 of their famous engines.

(The Mechanical news, Volume 21)

1892:

IMPROVEMENT IN BUILDING DAMS. A telegraphic dispatch to the New York Herald, from Austin, Texas, June 7, says regarding a big raise in the Colorado river: "During the terrific storm of fortyeight hours duration, which prevailed west of this town, the Colorado river rose five feet in five minutes, and within three hours it rose twelve feet. In the mountain gorge above the city to-night it is twenty-five feet above low water mark. The big excavation for the foundation of the dam being constructed across the river was flooded and the cofferdam swept away. Many fields are submerged and the loss will be great." This dam is being constructed with a great suspension cableway, which being suspended above the river on towers on a bank the flood did not affect it in the least. Had trestle-work been put in to build this dam it would have been swept away at a great loss to the contractor. The cableway was designed by T. S. Miller, M. E., and furnished by the Lidgerwood Manufacturing Co., 96 Liberty street, New York. It is the largest one ever erected, being 1,350 feet span, 2 inch main cable. Bernard Corrigan is the contractor.

LARGE INCREASE OF PLANT. It is always pleasant to tell a tale of progress and prosperity, and the fact that such a happy condition of affairs is deserved, lends additional gratification to the moment. We refer to the exceedingly profitable business already done this year by the Lidgerwood Manufacturing Co., the prominent hoisting engine manufacturers, and to the fact that the largely increased call for their specialties has made it necessary to have still greater manufacturing facilities. To keep abreast of the demand the company have purchased twenty lots opposite their present works, where additional shops, storage houses, etc., will be erected at once. The present works in South Brooklyn, N. Y. cover an entire block, and are conceded to be the finest of their kind in the United States.

(Stone; an Illustrated Magazine, Volume 4)

Note: No new building for Lidgerwood show up on the 1898 map.

1897: Ad

Hoisting and Conveying Machinery
LIDGERWOOD MANUFACTURING CO,
Manufacturers of
Improved Hoisting Engines,
Stationary and Marine Boilers for
All Purposes, Cableways
Office and Salesroom
96 Liberty street New York

Greater New York Representative Business Firms - Fulton NY Old Post Cards

1900: In 1900 the Lidgerwood Cableway "a Hoisting and Conveyance Device" advertised their offices at 96 Liberty street, New York with branches in Chicago, Pittsburgh, Portland, Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Cleveland and London, Eng. and "works" in Brooklyn


The Lidgerwood cableway ... By Lidgerwood Manufacturing Company
LIDGERWOOD TRAVELING CABLEWAY USED IN EXCAVATION OF DRY DOCK AT NEWPORT NEWS, VA.

1901: Lidgerwood agreed to a nine hour day for 10 hours wages before their workers went out on strike in 1901.

1902: In August 1902 journeyman blacksmiths and their assistants were on strike at the Lidgerwood and 21 other iron works in or near New York City. There was fear that the blacksmith's, co-workers, the boiler makers would join the strike effectively shutting down all production. It was estimated that 2,000 blacksmiths and helpers were on strike in Brooklyn alone. Boilermakers employed at the Morse firm in Brooklyn earned $2.30 to $3.25 for an eight hour day. Rumor was that the strike would be settled quickly. (BE)

1906: In 1906 Lidgerwood connected to Brooklyn Edison electricity with 520 hp in motors, 100 lamps and 1,000 incandescence. (Electrical world, Volume 49)

1907: In July 1907 the Lidgerwood Society held their 12th annual games at Ulmer Park. Six events included dashes and runs for boys, men and girls.

1910: January, John Hedges Lidgerwood, age 80, vice president and treasurer of the Lidgerwood Manufacturing Company, of 96 Liberty Street New York died at his residence on Speedwell Ave Morristown. The company was said to have plants in Brooklyn and Newark.

1926: Brooklyn Edison Co purchased the main plant of the Lidgerwood Manufacturing Company at the waterfront at Dikeman, Coffey and Ferris streets. The purchase price was reported to have been about $150,000.

1927:

"The area coordinator's assistance was requested by the Federal Traffic Board in the movement of 30 cargo and 3 warping winches from the Erie Basin plant of the Lidgerwood Manufacturing Co., Brooklyn, to the Fleet Corporation warehouse at Hoboken. The total weight of the winches was 220,000 pounds. Army transport lighters handled the winches without cost to the Fleet Corporation."

(Report, Volumes 1-6 By United States. Bureau of the Budget)

1929: The Lidgerwood Manufacturing Company sold its former boiler shop on Wolcott Street, between Ferris and Conover Streets, to John G. Brown.


Growth of Lidgerwood as Seen on the City Maps

There are some unlabeled buildings indicated on the 1869 map in the block between Ferris, Partition and Dikeman and the Buttermilk Channel, but they do not correspond to the position and shape of the buildings on the 1886 map. The 1880 map also shows a small unlabeled brick building in this block. There are unlabeled brick buildings on 1886 map. One of these buildings may be the building indicated on the 1880 map. The position and approximate size are the same, although the outline is slightly different. The buildings are still standing in 2013.

1880 City Map, New York Public Library

1880: "214" show the block bordered by Ferris, the Buttermilk Channel Dikeman and Partition (later Coffey streets). Manhattan Chemical north of Dikeman and The German America Stores south of Partition (Coffey).

1886 City Map, New York Public Library

1886: Between 1880 and 1886 a large building had been added between Dikeman and Partition several lots west of Ferris. Buildings had been added at the corner of Ferris and Partition and Ferris and Dikeman.

1898 City Map, New York Public Library

1898: Between 1886 and 1898 more additions were made. The red buildings are of brick and the yellow buildings are of wood. The clear area indicated open space

1903 City Map, New York Public Library

1903: Between 1898 and 1903 the wooden structure in the west end of the building had been replaced and enlarged by a brick structure.

The numbers "I", "II" and "III" indicated the number of stories. Specifically the number III indicates an addition of a story on the original building that ran from Partition to Dikeman. The number of stories of the buildings was not indicated in the earlier maps.

The two large "one" story buildings were as tall or taller than the two story building. They contained one story of greater height. The "main" building with the monitor roof was taller than the two story building that ran along Partition (Coffey) street.

Notice also the tracks from the building to the street and across to the lot cater cornered to the main works.

1916 City Map, New York Public Library

1916: The complex is virtually unchanged from 1903. However, there are multiple wooden structures on the cater cornered lot. Most likely it was storage for the company. The exterior image below shows several structures on this lot.

Undated City Map, New York Public Library

This map is not dated but must reflect the building prior to 1898 (as show on that map).

The fabulous thing about this plan is that it identifies all of the components of the works.


Exterior Images

Lidgerwood was build in the American Round Arch style. Also known as Romanesque revival it was an outgrowth of the German Rundbogenstil introduced to American with the German diaspora to America in the early 1800s. The German Rundbogenstil and Reflections of the American Round-Arches Style by Kathleen Curran

Other Red Hook buildings in this style were: Pioneer Iron Works, Worthington Pump, The Brooklyn Clay Retort

This image shows the Main Works of the Lidgerwood Manufacturing Company Dikeman, Coffey, Ferris and Wolcott Streets Brooklyn New York. The buildings had multiple windows on the front and sides of the buildings, multiple sky lights and a monitor roofs with clerestory windows which combined to let in as much light as possible during the daylight hours. The monitor and numerous windows also let in fresh air and ventilated the building.

This rather romantic images shows not only the Lidgerwoood factory but the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan skyline. It also shows the houses on the east side of Ferris street where my husband's paternal grandmother, Gerturde Kettler, was born in 1889.

The Brooklyn Bridge was finished in 1883. The Statue of Liberty was dedicated on October 28, 1886.

The amount of smoke coming from the chimneys suggested that this was a very prosperous business.
The complex from a Scientific America article of 1888.


The complex from Lidgerwood catalogue 1889 (Google Book)

The three largest components of the complex are basilica like structures with monitors. The building in the north west corner of the complex also has sky lights. As does the long two story building on the south west side of the complex.

Key components of an iron works were: foundry, forge, machine shop, erecting shops, boiler shops, power house, production sheds offices, pattern storage, drafting rooms and chimneys. These components were separate for a variety of reasons - a main consideration being fire prevention.

Some of these components of the Lidgerwood Iron Works can be identified in the above image:

  1. The Main Machine Shop: The main machine shop (also called the production shed) was located near the boiler (or power) house for the convenient transfer of power to the machines which were run on belts. Lidgerwood's machine shop was the large building near the middle of the block that runs the entire length between Partition (Coffey) and Dikeman streets. There is an interior image of the Main Machine shop in a Scientific American article of 1888 - see below.

    In the machine shop metal parts were modified by a machinist using power driven tools. The machine shop was often located near the boiler house, the erecting shop and the forge.

  2. Power House: Due to the danger of explosion the boiler or power house was in a small freestanding building of which only the largest chimney of the complex is visible in this view. The power house and chimney was built of noncombustible material - probably fire brick. The boiler was probable fueled with coal. This could have been a two story building with coal storage on the upper floor.

  3. Flanging Department: The flange shop was where iron plates were bent to fit various parts of boilers. The image from the Scientific American of 1888 showed flanging required an open pit fire - probably fueled with charcoal. It would appear that the flange shop contained several fire pits or forges. I would assume therefore that the flange shop had a chimney.

    The two possible candidates in this image are:

    • The L shaped building fronting on Partition (Coffey) and Ferris where the large and small chimneys are visible.
    • The building with the two chimneys at the north west corner of the complex.

    I would suggest that the "L" shaped building is the more likely.

    The men it the Scientific American image are using large mauls.

    Hand-Flanging. - The flanging of an iron or steel plate should be done with wooden mauls, bending the plate over a cast-iron former. The blows should be quick, light, and distributed over as large a surface as possible in the shortest time, avoiding anything like short bends in turning the flange. The heating, when done in an ordinary open flange fire, must of necessity be local; there will be required, therefore, the greatest care in working. As the flanging approaches completion by successive stages of heating and hammering, care must be exercised that the plate, if of steel, is not ruined by splitting or cracking, which may be induced by internal strains.

    The operation of hand-flanging is one requiring skill and judgment on the part of the workmen, - first, in the matter of heating, during which, if done in an open fire, as is usually the case, there is liability of overheating portions of the plate while other portions are not hot enough to insure the best working; second, in working down a hot sheet to the edge of the cast-iron former, the flange must be left true and accurate, free from lumps and wavy edges. Should the latter occur, the flange must be reheated and worked down with sledges and flatters until the entire edge is true, even, and accurately dimensioned. Attention must also be given to the flat portion of a flanged plate, to see that it is in presentable as well as in workable condition. Buckling is likely to occur, because the operation of flanging the edges subjects them to alternate strains of compression and elongation, much of which is transmitted to the centre portion of the plate.

    (Boilers and furnaces considered in their relations to steam engineering By William Miller Barr, 1898)

    The size of the flange shop depended on the amount of work being done.

  4. Gorton Heater Shop: Lidgerwood made Gorton Heaters - steam heaters for homes, school, chuches, etc.

    The Scientific America article shows the "Gorton Heater Shop". It is difficult to determine much about this shop from the image.

  5. Blacksmith/Forge: The building in the lower right near the corner was the forge/blacksmith shop where iron was heated then beaten or hammered into the desired shapes. This is indicated by the small chimneys where the forges were located on the inside of the shop. The forge typically had a monitor roof for light and ventilation and was located near the main work shop and/or the foundry. There is an interior image of the forge in a Scientific American article of 1888 - see below.

  6. Boiler shop: The Scientific America article shows the "Boiler Shop". It is difficult to determine much about this shop from the image, except that it is rather large. The boiler shop was an "erecting" shop specially adapted to the riveting of large steam boilers. The boiler shop was located near a power source. The boiler shop was a very noisy place to work.

  7. Erecting Shop: The Scientific America article shows the "Erecting Shop". It is difficult to determine much about this shop from the image, except that it is rather large and very similar to the main machine shop. The image with the article does show sky lights. Which would mean that the erecting room in 1888 was the building at the north west corner of the complex.

    The "erecting" shop was where the assembly of the products was completed. It was generally fitted with cranes to move large and heavy parts and equipment. Many companies had more than one Erecting shop.

    It must have been located near an exit to the street so the final products could be trucked away.

  8. Offices where usually in a free standing building or in a section of the main building where supervision of the work could occur. Main offices were most likely on the ground floor. Drafting rooms ordinarily would be located in an area that was well lighted and as dust and dirt free as possible.

  9. Patterns were a very important part of the iron manufacturing process. Patterns of wood were made for each major part of a machine. The pattern workshop and storage were located in a separate area away from the potential danger of fire. The pattern storage are might have been on a second floor.

  10. The Yard: The yard was used for storage. Frequently yards were uncovered. The yard of Lidgerwood was roofed at some point.


The red arrows indicate the original structures. A letter dated February 6th, 1897, available on the internet shows, depicts this image (or a very similar imager) of the works.


Letterhead from correspondence of July 23, 1914.

By around 1898 time Lidgerwood also owned the buildings in the block east of Ferris and north of Dikeman and south of Wolcott. The 1886 map shows that block pretty much empty.

According to the undated map (which must be circa 1898) this block contained an iron clad wood structure on the north east corner of corner Dikeman and Ferris that housed a dynamo engine. The major part of the building was one store with an upper 2nd and 3rd floor at one end. On the south side of Wolcott was another iron clad wooden building with steel support columns and a trussed roof covered in corrugated iron. This large building contained various motors, a riveting tower, a furnace, and was labeled "electric boiler shop". There was also a brick lumber storage building and a brick building for pattern storage. The property also contained numerous wooden sheds with corrugated iron roofs used mostly for storage of things like coal, iron, and sand. It property also contained a wagon shed, a paint house, and eclectic hoisting engine shed, a wheelwright's shop, a rigger's shed, and a carpenters shop.

All of these building can be seen in the above illustration. The dynamo engine house has a chimney. The electric boiler shop has multiple smaller chimneys. The pattern storage building is just east of the dynamo engine house.


New York Public Library, undated map


Photo Maggie Land Blanck, 2014


Photo Maggie Land Blanck, 2014

These two photos may be of the Lidgerwood "iron clad" wooden structure that housed the the electric boiler shop seen in the 1914 Lidgerwood letter head and the 1898 [?] map. The current Google map shows a structure similar in size, shape and position to the 1898 [?] map at this location.


New York Public Library, "Brooklyn: Ferris Street between Dikeman and Coffey Streets"

COOK ELECTRICALLY = Lidgerwood building. To the right are the German American Stores.

"Ferris Street (rear of "Cook electrically" building, a Brooklyn Edison Company building) between Dikeman (left) and Coffey Streets (right). In the foreground is the Buttermilk Channel. August 6, 1937. P. L. Sperr."

In February 1926 the Edison Company bought at a cost of $700,000 an 11 acre plot on Ferris at the East River - between Sullivan, Walcott, Dikeman and Coffey. It covered four square blocks (three of them vacant) and one which contained the building of the Lidgerwood Manufacturing Co. It was to be the site of a new generating plant.

In 1927, 1936 and 1937 the Brooklyn Edison Company and the New York & Queens Electric Light & Power Company were advertising that cooking electrically was cheaper, cleaner, cooler, more accurate, more dependable, and more uniform that "traditional methods."

The buildings in 2013 as shown on Google maps. The monitor roofs are gone. The large court yard at the west end has been closed in. The facade of the building at the corner of Ferris and Dikeman has been changed, although the rear part of that building is the same.


Photo Maggie Land Blanck, August 2012

This building can be seen in "Main Works of the Lidgerwood Manufacturing Company" above. This is the southern facade of the building show in the 1886 map and the above image. This front faces on Coffey street. The shape of the facade, the bulls eye window (or oculus), and the pilasters was typical of other buildings of the time in Red Hook. This is most certainly the original facade of the 1882 building.

The basilica form brick construction with central large doorway, side windows, a bulls eye window, clerestory widows, skylights, corbeled brickwork near the roof line and pilasters, was typical of the late nineteenth century industrial work shops in the American Arch Style. I have read that the oculus was included for light and ventilation. How much more light and ventilation could it have afforded in a building full of windows? The oculus was a common feature of industrial buildings of this period. I believe it is a nod to the oculi and Rose widows of the basilica churches of Europe and was part of the iconography of the American Round Arch Style. See Rose window From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia and Aquileia From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Other buildings which still remain in Red Hook with this configuration are:


Lidgerwood 2013 - photo by Maggie Land Blanck

This is the outside of the main works room. The brick treatment and the pilasters are consistant with the front of this building and the other two built at the same time. This side of the building forms part of the enclosure of a small yard.


Lidgerwood 2013 - photo by Maggie Land Blanck

This images shows the back and side of the older building that is on the corner of Ferris and Dikeman. The multiple small chimneys show in the 1889 view of the complex indicate that this was the forge.

Under the red overhang is a kind of "gateway" into the complex and the court yard. The red construction was added at a later date and houses the tin lined "office".

Another view of this part of the complex shows the "gateway" and the "office" added between the two buildings. It also shows a second story addition to the original building which ran between Partition (Coffey) and Dikeman street.


Photo Maggie Land Blanck, August 2012

This is the facade of the building on the corner of Ferris and Partition (Coffey). Notice the similarity to the facade of the building facing Coffey street. This image concurs with the 1886 map of the building at the corner of Ferris and Partition (Coffey) which shows a L shaped building part of which completely covers two 25 by 100 feet lots and part of which half covers three 25 by 100 feet lots for a total facade on Ferris street of 125 feet.

The part of the building the right had three chimneys as seen in the 1889 view of the works.

The eyebrows over the windows, the pilasters and the brickwork near the roof line and over the large door opening is the same in both facades.


Photo Maggie Land Blanck October 2013

Part of the complex facing Dikeman Street. It is difficult to see in the above image but this building is studded with iron star braces.


Lidgerwood 2013 - photo by Maggie Land Blanck

This is the interior of the room on the other side of the wall in the photo above. It was being used as a photo or video studio, hence the black "stage".


Interior Images



Scientific American June 2, 1888 - The Lidgerwood Manufactoring Company New York Hoisting Engines and Boilers Gorton Heaters.

1. General view of works. 2. Main Machine Shop. 3. Flanging Department. 4. Gorton Heater Shop. 5. Blacksmith Shop 6. Boiler shop. 7. Erecting Shop.

I bought this image in 2012 on eBay. Unfortunately it was lost in the mail and never made its way to me. I am still trying to get a better copy - Hopefully to pull out more detail. This image came from Scientific America 1880-1889

The proportions of these rooms were give in the Scientific America article of 1888. Main machine shop 75x200 feet with gallery and two sings, Erecting shop 50x 228 with gallery, Boiler Shop 50 x 290, Blacksmith 45 x 90, Gorton heater room 25 x 100, and storage 45 x 100

Lidgerwood Main Machine shop 2013 - photo by Tim Gregorio

This is the main room of the oldest building that goes from Coffey to Dikeman streets.

In 1888 this room was reported to have been 75 feet by 200 feet with two wings and a gallery. A "third" story was added to the northern end of the building, perhaps in 1891 when it was reported that brick story was added to the machine shop on Dikeman street.


Lidgerwood Main Machine shop 2013 - photo by Maggie Land Blanck

The lighter wood on the ceiling covers the old monitor roof (which has been removed) and most of the skylights. Wooden trusses support the ceiling. The sky lights may have been added after 1888 - they are not shown on this building in the 1888 Scientific American article images.


Lidgerwood Main Machine shop 2013 - photo by Maggie Land Blanck

In this image the tracks and beams that allowed the heavy machinery to be moved around can be seen. Traveling cranes were used to move large pieces of equipment and finished products. Just below and to the right of the light is a wheel on a track. It is connected to the beam that is marked "2 TON". Below the "2 TON" is a light green area that appears gridded. This is actually a window into what must have been an office of some sort.


Lidgerwood 2013 - photo by Maggie Land Blanck

This is the inside of the bull's eye window on the main facade facing Partition (Coffey Street). Clearly this window let in little light and had no practical function. Why was it added to the facade of this building? The Brooklyn Clay Retort and Pioneer Iron Works buildings have a similar window.


Lidgerwood 2013 - photo by Maggie Land Blanck

Most of the windows have been closed with brick, cinderblock or wood. There were some of the few which still had glass in them in 2013. This door and windows are in the inside courtyard of the western most structure which is a later addition to the complex. They are, however, similar to the windows with multiple panes shown in the Scientific America images of 1888.


Lidgerwood 2013 - photo by Maggie Land Blanck

This window is boarder up on the outside but the glass was left exposed on the inside.

Most of the complex is comprised of very large rooms with lots of windows - now closed up. There were remains at least three lavatories as indicated by the outlines one the walls of urinals, sinks and toilets.
Lidgerwood 2013 - photo by Maggie Land Blanck

There was what might have been some sort of a lunchroom or locker room on an upper floor. Along one wall were small toilet rooms. The room, which was of a generous size, was covered with wainscoting and had a tin ceiling.

Another room on a second floor at the opposite side of the complex also had wainscoting and a tin ceiling.

There were radiant heaters throughout the building.


Lidgerwood 2013 - photo by Maggie Land Blanck


Lidgerwood 2013 - photo by Maggie Land Blanck

This room, which shows one type of heater in the building, is completely lined with embossed tin. This was a later addition and sits between two of the oldest buildings over what appears to be the main entrance to the complex. See outside images above.

Pattern Storehouse

A wood (or metal) pattern (which was a replica of the object to be cast) served as a model for a machine part. Sets of patterns were usually stored in a isolated fireproof part of the building behind iron doors.

Where was the pattern room at Lidgerwood? It was noted that some of their patterns burned in 1884.


Gorton Heater

Gorton Heaters were used in homes churches, schools etc.


Google book - The Gorton house-heating boilers ...: Catalogue of 1890-1891 By Gorton & Lidgerwood Co., New York, catalog 1890-1891

Gorton Heater


Lidgerwood Hoisting Machinery


Lidgerwood Hoisting Engine for Mines 1882


Lidgerwood Hoisting Engine 1889


Lidgerwood Hoisting Engine ad 1898

There or a lot of images on the Internet of Lidgerwood steam logging and hoisting machines.


Thanks

I wish to thank Tim Gregorio who invited us to tour the building with him and get some insight into this wonderful old factory and its workings.


The Lidgerwood Family

1910: Obit of John Hedges Lidgerwood
"John Hedges Lidgerwood was born in New York. He lived in Morristown since he was sixteen years old. He married a daughter of the late Judge Stephen Vail of this town. Judge Vail started the Speedwell Iron Works here in 1812 and in 1858 Mr. Lidgerwood began learning the iron business at Speedwell. He was employed there when Alfred Vail and Prof. Morse were working on their telegraph."

The Sun January 2, 1910 Old Fulton NY Post Cards

"John H. Lidgerwood, vice-president and treasurer of the Lidgerwood Manufacturing Company, died at his home in Morristown, N. J., on January 1. Mr. Lidgerwood's connection with the firm dates back to its inception. He entered the employ of the historic Speedwell Iron Works, Morristown, N. J., in 1858, and later, upon the organization of the Lidgerwood Manufacturing Company, he became associated in its management, which he pursued until the time of his death. Mr. Lidgerwood was 80 years old."

(American Machinist, Volume 33)

"John H. Lidgerwood, vice-president and treasurer of the Lidgerwood Mfg. Co., died Jan 1 at his home in Morristown, N. J., at the age of 80 years. He was born in New York city and when 16 his parents removed to Morristown, where he made his home until his death. He early entered the employ of the Speedwell Works, among the most important of the earlier forge and machine shops, and later assumed the management. In 1873 the Lidgerwood Manufacturing Co. was formed. It took over the business of Lighthall & Beekman who had started the manufacture of a rotary engine and hoisting engines in Brooklyn near the site at present occupied by the company's main works. The hoisting-engine business grew rapidly, beginning with a demand for pile-driving engines, then extending to engines for freight handling and finally to engines for service in every field where heavy weights are lifted or quantities of material are handled. The Speedwell Works developed the special business of manufacturing coffee and sugar machinery. For the better handling of the latter business, W. V. V. Lidgerwood, president of the company, removed his headquarters to London. This left John H Lidgerwood in immediate control of the business of the Lidgerwood Manufacturing Co. and the development of its operations to the present proportions."

(Mining and Engineering World, Volume 32)

John H. Lidgerwood John H. Lidgerwood, vice-president and treasurer of the Lidgerwood Manufacturing Company, died in his eightieth year on January I, at his home in Morristown. N. J. Although he had been confined to the house for several months by neuritis, his death was entirely unexpected. Mr. Lidgerwood was born in New York City. When he was 16 years old, his family removed to Morristown, which has been his home ever since. His mother, then a widow, married Judge Stephen Vail, proprietor of the Speedwell Works of Morristown. The Speedwell Works were among the most important of the earlier forge and machine shops. In them were built the engines for the "Savanah," the first steamship to cross the ocean. It was in these works, also that Morse, assisted by Alfred Vail, constructed his first electric telegraph. Upon the retirement of Judge Vail, the management of the works was taken by his son George Vail, who later was succeeded by Mr. Ligderwood. In 1873 the Lidgerwood Manufacturing Company was formed. It took over the business of Lighthall & Beekman who had started the manufacture of a rotary engine and hoisting engines in Brooklyn near the site at present occupied by the company's main works. The hoisting-engine business grew rapidly, beginning with a demand for pile-driving engines, then extending to engines for freight handling and finally to engines for service in every field where heavy weights are lifted or quantities of material are handled. The Speedwell Works developed the special business of manufacturing coffee and sugar machinery. For the better handling of the latter business, W. V. V. Lidgerwood, president of the company, removed his headquarters to London. This left John H. Lidgerwood in immediate control of the business of the Lidgerwood Manufacturing Company and the development of its operations to the present proportions. Mr. Lidgerwood is survived by his wife, two sons and four daughters."

(Power, Volume 32)

John H. Lidgerwood left his wife an annual annuity of $15,000 and his business to his sons, John H. Lidgerwood Jr. and James G Lidgerwood.

John Hedges Lidgerwood married Harriet Bethia Vail Cutler (b. No. 10, 1835) on May 15, 1860.

MARRIED 1860: Lidgerwood--Cutter--In Morristown, N.J., May 15, at the Church of the Redeemer, by Rev. S. Cornell, Mr. John H. Lidgerwood, of the firm of John H. Lidgerwood & Co., of this city, to Miss H.B.V. Cutter, grand-daughter of Stephen Vail, Esq., of Morristown, N.J."

NYC Marriage & Death Notices 1857-1868 - The New York Society

The had:

  1. Mary Vail Lidgerwood in 1861

  2. William Vail Lidgerwood in 1863

    According to his 1893 passport he was 5ft 7 inches, brown eyes and dark brown hair.

    1902: Died suddenly June 2, 1902 in London William Vasil Lidgerwood, son of John H Lidgerwood and Harriet Baril Cutler of Morristown , N. J., at the home of his uncle, Wm. Van Vleck Lidgerwood.

  3. Harriet Bethia Vail Lidgerwood in 1866

    She did not marry.

  4. Florence Van Vleck Lidgerwood in 1870.

    She did not marry.

  5. Grace Majorie Lidgerwood in 1874

  6. John Hedges Lidgerwood in 1876. John Hedges Lidgerwood Jr. Mech. Eng. Morristown, was a 1899 graduate of Steven's Institute in Hoboken. He did not marry. He made multiple trips to Europe. According to his WWI Draft Registration he was tall, of slender build, with brown eyes and brown hair.

  7. James Graeme Onslow Lidgerwood in 1879 James Graeme Lidgerwood marred Edith Duryee Hull daughter of Harris Tucker Hull in Morristown in 1906.

    1930: South Street, Morristown, own $30,000, James G Lidgerwood 52, manufacturer cable wire, Edith H Lidgerwood 50, Jean G Lidgerwood 14, William Lidgerwood 12, Ruth Carstensen 30, servant, Margaret Therkildsen 36, servant, Elizabeth Savander 45, servant

    1931: James G Lidgerwood vice president and treasurer of the Lidgerwood Manufacturing company of Liberty street New York and Frelinghuysen ave Newark committed suicide by shooting himself in the head. He was survived by a widow and two children, William and Jean. His brother, John H Lidgerwood, was the president of Lidgerwood. (The Sun, November 30, 1931, Fulton NY Post Cards)

    Obit of William (son of James) Lidgerwood

1870: Morristown New Jersey, John H Ligerwood M 40y New York, $12,00, manufacturer of machinery, Hatty Ligerwood F 34y New Jersey, $20,000, $30,000 Mary Ligerwood F 9y New Jersey, William Ligerwood M 7y New Jersey, Harriet B Ligerwood F 4y New Jersey, Florence Ligerwood F 7m New Jersey, Jennie E Williams F 32y New Jersey, Sarah C Williams F 2y New Jersey, Edith Williams F 1y New Jersey, Anne Lindsly F 40y Ireland, servant, Meridith Gibbons F 24y Ireland, servant, Mary Singleton F 17y Ireland, servant

1880: Morristown, Self John H. Ledgerwood M 45 New Jersey, United States, manufacturer machinery, Wife Harriett Ledgerwood F 45 New Jersey, United States, Daughter Mary Ledgerwood F 19 New Jersey, United States, Son William Ledgerwood M 16 New Jersey, United States, Daughter Harriett Ledgerwood F 13 New Jersey, United States, Daughter Florence Ledgerwood F 10 New Jersey, United States, Daughter Grace Ledgerwood F 7 New Jersey, United States, Son John Ledgerwood M 4 New Jersey, United States, Son James Ledgerwood M 3 New Jersey, United States, Other Margaret Kemble F 40 New Jersey, United States, servant

1910: Speedwell ave., Lidgerwood, Harriet, widow, age 75 five children 4 living, own income, Harriet, daughter 42, Florence daughter 39, John H. Son age 34, manufacturing company, all single, 7 servants.

1920: Morristown, Speedwell Ave., John H Lidgerwood 43, single, manufacturer machinery, Harriett B Lidgerwood 53, sister, single, Florence W Lidgerwood 50, sister, single, Dehlia Mckarney 33, servant, Hulda Lundberg 54, servant, James Kellogg 69, servant, Julia Muller 53, servant


Some Lidgerwood Employees

1897: Lidgerwood Manufacturing Co.. 96 Liberty St. Wm. V. V. Lidgerwood. pres.: John H. Lidgerwood, v. pres. and treas.: Walter L. Pierce, secy.; John V. Beekman, supt. Manufacturers of Hoisting Engines, Boilers, Suspension Cableways. Logging Machines and Railroad Rapid Ballast Unloader. (The Mine, Quarry and Metallurgical Record of the United States, Canada and ... By Mine and Quarry News Bureau, 1897)

1904: Lidgerwood Mfg. Co. (N. Y.) (William V. V. Lirlgerwood. Pres.; Walter L. Pierce, Sec.; John H. Lidgerwood, Treas. Capital, $50,000. Directors: Willlam V. V. & John H. Lidgerwood, Walter L. Pierce, George H. Harriman. John V. Beekman, 06 Liberty 1904 (Polk's (Trow's) New York Copartnership and Corporation Directory ..., Volume 52)

John V. Beekman (c. 1842-1916)

John V. Beekman was an inventor who worked for Lidgerwood and was the long term supervisor for the works. He received several patents for Lidgerwood.

1916: Obit

Mr. John V. Beekman, for many years connected with the Lidgerwood Manufacturing Co., passed away at his home in Plainfield, N. J., September 11.

Mr. Beekman was born in 1842 at Somerville, N. J. About 1870 he engaged in the manufacture of rotary engines, pumps, etc., being a member of the firm of John A. Lighthall, Beekman & Co., with works at Imlay street, Brooklyn, N. Y. This company was absorbed by the Lidgerwood Manufacturing Co. in 1873, Mr. Beekman assuming charge of the works of that company, and was the inventor of many improvements in hoisting engine design.

Mr. Beekman gradually withdrew from active participation in business about ten years ago, and devoted his later years to outdoor pleasures, becoming an enthusiastic motorist and golfer, was a familiar figure on the golf course at Pinehurst, N. C., where he spent his winters.

For many years Mr. Beekman had been a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

Mr. Beekman's death is keenly felt by his surviving family, and by those business men with whom he was formerly associated.

(Contractor, Volume 23)

J. V. Beekemen was the general manager of Lidgerwood in Brooklyn in 1901.

1870 Census: Brooklyn Ward 12 John Beekman 27, machinist and smith, Annie Beekman 25, Walter Beekman 6, Eva Beekman 4, Edwin Beekman 1

1875 Census: Brooklyn, John Beekman M 33, Machinist, Wife Annie Beekman F 31, Son Walter Beekman M 11, Daughter Eda Beekman F 8, Son Edward Beekman M 6, Son John Beekman M 1

1900 Census: Plainfield, John Beekman M 58 New Jersey, superintendent, mining machine company, Son John V Beekman M 26 New York, architect, Daughter Edith Beekman F 24 New Jersey Son Wyckham Beekman M 22 New York Son James Beekman M 20 New York Servant Letta Peterson F 25 Sweden

1901: Mrs. Amelia Beekman divorced from her husband, Edward Beekman, married her former husband's father, John V. Beekman. John V. Beekman, a widower, lived on West 8th street in Hoboken, N. J., had lived for many years in Plainfield and was a "member" of the Lidgerwood Manufacturing Company.

1910 Census: Plainfield, John Beekman M 68 New Jersey, superintendent press works, Wife Amelia Beekman F 40 New York

Walter Beekman (c. 1858-1914)

1914: Walter C. Beekman of 219 Smith Street, brother of John Beekeman "president and founder of the Lidgerwood Manufacturing Company" died December 13, 1914. Walter age 56, had worked as a machinist in the Lidgerwood plant since he was a boy.

Buried Greenwood.

1870 Census: Ward 12, Ann Beekman 48 Sarah Beekman 25, shoe fitter, Jane Beekman 23, shoe fitter, Peter Beekman 19, machinist, Theodore Beekman 16, ap machinist, Walter Beekman 12, at at school, born New Jersey

1900: Brooklyn Ward 10, Walter Beekman 40, machinist, Emily Beekman 38, wife, Minnie Beekman 22, Annie Beekman 20, Emily Beekman 18, Zoe Beekman 11, Walter Beekman 9

John A Caldwell:

John A Caldwell, Cornell Class of '99, assistant superintendent at Lidgerwood Manufacturing, Brooklyn, (The Cornell Era Vol XXXII No 1, 1899)

Harry Nelson Covell:

Harry Nelson Covell was born March 25, 1862 in Troy NY. He graduated Yale class of 1883. In 1889 he went to work for the Lidgerwood Manufacturing company in Brooklyn where he became superintendent and works manager in 1897. He marred Bessie Oitis of Yonkers, N.Y. They had four children Otis, Bradford, Harold and Margaret. He lived at 7 East 19th Street, Flatbush, Brooklyn. (Record By Yale University. Sheffield Scientific School. Class of 1883)

He applied for several patents for Ligderwood.

He was assistant superintendent of Lidgerwood stating in 1889.

He was employed by Lidgerwood in 1904 when he was listed as an assignor for Lidgerwood.

He testified on behalf of Lidgerwood in 1909 at which point he was listed as superintendent and works manager.

He was also listed as superintendent and works manager in 1916.

In 1920 his address was 7 E 19th Street Brooklyn.

Harry N Covell was buried in Greenwood Cemetery in May 1927. Bessie Otis Coovell died in Greenwich, Conn. and was buried in Greenwood Cemetery in Aug 1942.

J Harris Dickenson

Engineer Lidgerwood.

Peter Francis Fox

Peter Fox died in December 1918 at his home at 111 King street. He was born in Brooklyn and employed at Lidgerwood Manufacturing. He was survived by brother Michael Joseph Fox and three sisters (all listed as Mrs.)

WWI Draft Registration 1918: Peter Francis Fox 113 King Street Brooklyn born July 21, 1874 handyman Lidgerwood Man. Co. Ferris and Dikeman, Catherine Debow (sister) 111 King Street

George H. Harriman:

Listed as a director of Lidgerwood Manufacturing in 1904.

Augustus Crane Hone :

AUGUSTUS CRANE HONE Union University Class of 1896. Born Morristown, N. J., June 17, 1874. Prepared at Andover Academy. 1895 Machinist Apprentice. Lidgerwood Manufacturing Co.. Brooklyn. N. Y. 1896 Draftsman. 1898 Asst. Superintendent. 1898 Asst. Engineer of Maintenance of Way of the Evansville & Terre Haute R. R. 1899 Superintendent of Motive Power. 1901 Superintendent of Transportation. 1902 Master Mechanic of Louisville & Nashville R. R. 1903 General Manager of Louisville & Atlantic R. R. 1904-1907 In Railroad Supply Business. Brother of Frederic de P. Hone (Lambda 1891). (Delta Phi catalogue, 1827-1907 By Delta Phi)

Married Alice Castleman.

1918 WWI Draft Registration: Rye NY, consulting engineer Chas N Edge Madison Ave, NY.

Died 1939 buried Greenwood Cemetery.

Frank B Knight :

Frank B Knight was born in Worchester, Massachusetts in 1872 and graduated from the Worchester Polytechnic Insitute in 1892 in Civil Engineering. He died in October 1924 survived by his son Frank B Knight.

In 1894 Frank B Knight was Asst. Engineer of the Lidgerwood Manufacturing Company, New York, representing the cableway interests of the company.

Frank B Knight was an engineer at Lidgerwood in 1901 and 1905. (Proceedings, Volume 5)

Frank B Knight married Mary E Burrows in Brooklyn in 1896.

He began looking after the Lidgerwood company's cable interests in Chicago in September 1894.

In 1912 to at least 1924 he was the manager of the Chicago branch of the company.

He was listed as a civil engineer in Brooklyn in the 1895 and 1899 directories.

1900: Frank B Knight 28, born Mass., civil engineer, Mary E Knight 32, Frank B Knight 3/12, Mary E Knight 61

1920: Deerfield, Lake, Illinois, Frank B Knight 47, civil engineer, Mary E Knight 45, Frank B Knight 19, Jenette J Swanson 21 servant, Norway.

Luke, Robert J. and Luke Jr. Lenahan, machinists

Robert Lenehan died at age 64 in November 1937. Born in the old 12th ward he was married to Mary, had a son named James, a brother Harry and a sister Winifred. He worked for many years at Lidgerwood Manufacturing.

1880: Brooklyn, Dikeman street, Luke Lenahan 38, machinist, Ireland, Elizabeth Lenahan 36, England, Winnefred Lenahan 15, England, Robert J. Lenahan 11, England, Luke Lenahan Jr. 8, Pa., John Lenahan 3, New York, James Lenahan 1, New York

1889: Luke Lenahan of 34 Wolcott street machinist was arraigned for striking his wife and blackening her eye.

1892: Ward 12, Elizabeth age 48 born England, Robert J age 23 England, machinist, Luke age 20, born Penn machinist, Henry age 11, Bklyn. Edward age 9 Bklyn

1911: Luke Lenahan died in 1911 at the home fot the aged at 8th ave and 16th street. He was born circa 1842 in Ireland and came to Brooklyn around 1869. He was a member of the Church of the Visitation and had worked as a machinist for Pioneer Iron Works for many years. His widow and two sons survived him Buried Holy Cross Cemetery.

1910: Ward 22 Brooklyn, Elizabeth Lenahan 65 Robert Lenahan 40, machinist Luke Lenahan 37, machinist, Henry Lenahan 29, laborer lumber

1920: Garnet street, Robert Lenahan 50, machinist shop, born England, Mary Lenahan 38, James Lenahan 7

1930: Court Street, 3,000, Robert Lenahan 60, born England, machine Mary Lenahan 48, wife, James Lenahan 17, son

A machinist uses tools to make of modify metal parts.

John D MacDowell :

John D MacDowell Pattern Maker Lidgerwood, home address 239 47th street (Proceedings of the Board of Aldermen of the City of New York By New York (N.Y.). Board of Aldermen, 1902)

He was listed in the Brooklyn Directory of 1895, 1902, and 1903 as a pattern maker.

1905: 47th street, Head John D Macdowall M 49y United States, pattern maker, "wallpaper", Wife Margaret Macdowall F 49y United States, Daughter Elizabeth J Macdowall F 23y United States, monotype operator, Daughter Edith Macdowall F 21y United States, compositor, Son John D Macdowall M 19y United States, plumbing helper, Daughter Agnes P Macdowall F 17y United States, stenographer, Son Thomas Macdowall M 16y United States, ironworker, Son Cyril Macdowall M 12y United States, Daughter Gertrude Macdowall F 9y United States

George Mack :

1913: Obit, address 239 Hamilton Ave, age 40, Employee of Lidgerwood Manufacturing, he was survived by one brother.

Probate: James J. Mack 238 13th street, brother of George Mack who died 18 February 1913. The deceased was never married. There were two children of a predeceased brother. Patrick and Agnes who both lived in Brooklyn. Estate $800.

James J Mack at 13th street was listed in 1910 care taker warehouse, age 47 born England.

1900: Ward 10, John Butler 32 Mary Butler 35 Stachia Butler 5 Agnes Mack 19, step daughter, Patrick Mack 16, step son

Spencer Miller:

Spencer Miller was the 4th child of Professor Samuel Fisher and Charlotte (Howe) Miller. He was born in Waukegan, Illinois April 25, 1859. He graduated from Worchester Polytechnic Institute of Worchester, Mass in 1879. In 1888 he joined the staff of Linderwood Manufacturing in New York. In 1890 he perfected a cable hoisting and conveying device called the Lidgerwood Cable to handle iron ore from an open pit mine. He was the Chief Engineer of the Cable way Department at Lidgerwood in 1906 and a member of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers.. Miller was the chief engineer of the Cableway Department of Linderwood until his retirement in 1926.

His cable ways were used in the building of the Gatum Locks on the Panama Canal, and on the boulder Dam in Nevada (the largest dam built up to that time.) He was awarded over 150 patents. Lived South Orange, New Jersey 5 feet 11 1/2 inches, blue eyes dandy gray hair in 1904. Wife Hattie Miller. Widowed in 1930 census>

Remarried to Lola by 1940.

A son of the American Revolution.

Mother: Chariette Hone Spouse: Harrist H Ruggles Children: Spencer Miller

In 1891 Spencer Miller invented a cableway on fall rope carries were unnecessary. He was granted a patent for this invention in 1892.

George Paul Onken:

November 1950 death of George Paul Onken, age 73, iron molder at Lidgerwood in his early life later a U. S. Government employee in Balboa, Panama Canal. He was born near the Erie Basin in Brooklyn. Brother, William and two sisters, Louise and Vera. 1900: Ward 12, William H Onken 60, marine contractor, Elizabeth Onken 57 William H Onken 25, at college, George P Onken 23, iron molder, Louise M Onken 28 Frederick L Onken 15 Veronica Onken 12

He was also listed in the 1930 census as "molder, Iron shop".

1940: Louise M Onken 61, Vera S Onken 50, George Onken 63, retired, Panama Canal, Dorothy Hall 22, lodger, James C O'Donnell 29, lodger

Walter L. Pierce:

Pierce, Walter Louis was Secretary and General Manager of Lidgerwood in 1906 and a member of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers.

1910:

Walter L. Pierce, secretary and general manager of the Lidgerwood Manufacturing Company died very suddenly at the Hotel St. Andrew early yesterday morning of heart disease. Mr. Pierce only recently married his second wife, Miss Jane -- Hutchine of Philadelphia and had moved from his home in Englewood to New York. His first wife was Miss Minnie B. Smillie of New York. He is survived by a daughter and a son by his first wife, Mrs. Eldridge Jones and C. C. Pierce, who lives in Englewood. His father John F. Pierce and his brother, W. H. Pierce both of Yonkers are also living. Mr. Pierce was born in 1855 in Dorchester, Mass. His paretns came to this city when he was a boy, and shortly after he was 20 years old he entered the Lidgerwood Manufacturing Company as a stenographer. He gained his knowledge of engineering entirely through his own efforts outside of office hours. About twenty years ago he was made secretary and general manager of the concern.

(Fulton Post Cards)

Maurice J. Plonsker :

Maurice J. Plonsker was a Machine Designer at Lidgerwood in Brooklyn in 1917. (Journal of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Volume 39)

Ernest Pulsford:

Ernest Pulsford was born in New Jersey circa 1874

Ernest Pulsford Engineer in Charge Marine Department, Lidgerwood Manufacturing , 96 Liberty Street NY 1918 (Transactions: The Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, Volume 25)

Graduated Stevens Institute class on 1894.

Clara Margaretta Yardley a graduate of Bryn Mawr married Ernest Pulsford in 1905.

1910 Nutley New Jersey Mechanical engineer manufacturing company. 1930 Ernest Pulsford age 56 house $20,000, sales engineer manufacturing plant, wife Clare age 54

George Rennard:

Born in England circa 1873 was a pattern maker for Lidgerwood. He died in Brooklyn in 1919. Member of the Lidgerwood Mutual Aid Society. Survived by wife, Kate, his father George, his sister Alda, and three brothers, Arthur, Henry and William. Buried Greenwood. 1892: Rennard, George, 46 England, machinist, George 19 pattern maker, Francis 41, Ida 14, Arthur 9, Henry 6 92 Park Ave Brooklyn

1900: Carlton Ave., George Rennard 55, machinist, Frances Rennard 50, Ada Rennard 22, clipper, Arthur Reward 18, office boy, Harry Reward 15 William Reward 7

1910: Ward 20, Fulton Street, George Rennard 38, pattern maker machine shop Kate Rennard 48

1918: WWIDR George Rennard, 141 4th ave Brooklyn, born Oct 30, 1872 Pattern Maker Lidgerwood Mfg Co, 96 Liberty Street, New York

Short, stout, brown eyes dark hair.

George Rennard, a pattern maker, 141 Forth Ave., died suddenly in the street. S. P. Snyder:

S. P. Snyder was assistant works manager of the main shops of Lidgerwood Manufacturing. His business address was Dikeman St. Brooklyn. (Indicator, Volume 26) 1909

George Tharkray:

George Tharkray was the "master mechanic" at Lidgerwood Manufacturing in 1913 (Safety Engineering, Volume 26 1913)

Charles L Wacher :

Charles L Wacher, was a graduate of Stevens Institute in 1899 . He started as a draftsman at Lidgerwood. By the time of his marriage to Minnie Louise Hartwig in St. Matthew's church in Hoboken in 1902 he had been promoted "to a responsible position in the Cableway Engineering Department" (Stevens Institute Indicator, Volumes 19-20, 1902)

Publicity manager 1907: Frances F Coleman.


Web pages

A Preservation Plan For Red Hook 2009 lists a Lidgerwood Manufacturing Company building designed by J. V. Beekman and built in 1882 at 84 Ferris Street.

Superior Lidgerwood Mundy - History

Lidgerwood played a major roll in the development of the Panama Canal. Lidgerwood Cableways

Logging By Steam


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

Pioneer Iron Works
Worthington Hydraulic Pump Works
Red Hook Manufacturing Works
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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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

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© Maggie Land Blanck - Page created January 2013 Update January 2014