Archive for the ‘Industrial’ Category

Plymouth Cordage Company Ropewalk (1824)

Tuesday, July 11th, 2017 Posted in Industrial, Mystic, Stonington, Vernacular | No Comments »

Preserved at Mystic Seaport is a section of the original ropewalk of the Plymouth Cordage Company of Plymouth, Massachusetts. The company was founded in 1824 by Bourne Spooner, who had learned the art of ropemaking in New Orleans. He opposed slavery, so he set up his business back home in Plymouth, hiring free labor. Spooner ran the company until his death in 1870, producing rope for many kinds of vessels, including the Great Republic, the largest clipper ship ever built. By the late nineteenth century, the company had become the largest manufacturer of rope and twine in the world. The company remained in business for 140 years. The ropewalk remained in operation until 1947, when changing technology led to the end of its use by the company. In 1951, a 250-foot section of the 1,000-foot ropewalk in Plymouth was saved and reassembled at Mystic Seaport. It came with its machinery, which is no longer powered but is set up as though it were still functioning in order to illustrate the process of spinning rope.

Atlantic Screw Works (1902)

Saturday, July 8th, 2017 Posted in Hartford, Industrial, Renaissance Revival | No Comments »

At the corner of Charter Oak Avenue and Wyllys Street in Hartford is a former factory complex erected by the Atlantic Screw Works, which built machines to manufacture screws. The company was established in 1877 in New York State, but moved to Hartford in 1879. It was originally based in rented space in the Colt Armory. By 1902 the company was ready to erect its own building. The earliest section of their new factory (on the right in the image above) was built in 1902-1903. The longer section (on the left in the image above), designed by Davis & Brooks, was built c. 1910 and more than doubled the company’s operating capabilities. The company lasted into the 1970s and the building was converted to office space in the 1980s.

Smith & Winchester Manufacturing Company (1908)

Friday, June 16th, 2017 Posted in Industrial, Italianate, Windham | No Comments »

The former factory complex of the Smith & Winchester Manufacturing Company, which produced paper making machinery, is located at 11 Machine Shop Hill Road in South Windham. The main building displays two dates: 1828 and 1908. The latter is probably the date that particular building was constructed. The former date is when Phelps & Spafford, the forerunners of Smith & Winchester, were first established in South Windsor. That company closed in 1837 and was sold to Charles Smith and Harvey Winchester. The company continued manufacturing through the 1960s.

689 Tolland Stage Road, Tolland (1820)

Thursday, June 15th, 2017 Posted in Houses, Industrial, Tolland, Vernacular | No Comments »

The house at 689 Tolland Stage Road in Tolland was built c. 1820. It was originally located across the street, then called the Rockville Road. Around 1850, the lower level of the building was used as a workshop by Ira K. Marvin, who had settled in Tolland in 1820 and made carriages and wagons. In 1842 he had a serious illness and turned from carriage-making to farming. In 1851 he became a deacon of the Baptist Church. His son, Edwin, served in the Civil War and wrote the regimental history of the Fifth Connecticut.

Kenyon Mill (1863)

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017 Posted in Coventry, Industrial, Italianate | No Comments »

The town of Coventry was once home to a number of water-powered mills. One in South Coventry, known as the Kenyon Mill, was built next to a mill pond in 1863, replacing an earlier mill (built in 1836) that had suffered a major fire. The mill was acquired by C. H. Kenyon from S. R. Moredock, manufacturer of satinet, in 1864. Kenyon had begun making woolen pants (Kentucky jeans) in Coventry in the 1840s and by 1870 his mill had developed into a major enterprise with over seventy employees. He later made ladies dress flannels. After Kenyon, a series of textile manufacturers occupied the mill, ending with National Silk, manufacturers of Tioga yarn, which occupied the building from 1934 until 1972. In more recent years the town was seeking proposals for the adaptive reuse of the mill. In 2007 it was acquired by the Corporation for Independent Living, which has converted it into condominium units known as Kenyon Falls.

Osborn and Cheeseman Company Office (1910)

Thursday, March 2nd, 2017 Posted in Ansonia, Industrial, Neoclassical | No Comments »

At 153 Main Street in Ansonia is a large former factory building that was built c. 1900 by the Ansonia Osborne and Cheeseman Company. As described in The History of the Old Town of Derby, Connecticut, 1642-1880 (1880), by Samuel Orcutt:

Osborn and Cheeseman conducted a mercantile business in Birmingham some years, and in 1858 went into the hoop-skirt business at that place, and removed to Ansonia in 1859. In 1866 the Osborn and Cheeseman Company was organized with a capital stock of $120,000. Charles Durand was president of the company until 1875, when he sold his interest in the enterprise. The company now manufactures a great variety of goods, such as sheet and brass ware, gilding metal, German silver, copper and German-silver wire, seamless ferrules, and other kinds of metallic goods, which are sold in all parts of the United States.

Attached to the factory on the Main Street side is a yellow brick Neoclassical Revival former company office building (pictured above), erected c. 1910 with a third floor added sometime later. The entire factory building is now known as the Palmer Building because Palmer Brothers Trucking was located there, with other businesses, from 1955 to 1985. The building was then acquired by the City of Ansonia, but remained vacant, except for the Doyle Senior Center on the ground floor, for years as the city tried to sell it to a developer. There are now plans to convert the property for apartments and retail use.

Windham Textile and History Museum (1877)

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017 Posted in Folk Victorian, Industrial, Queen Anne, Windham | No Comments »

The Windham Textile and History Museum (411 Main Street in Willimantic) presents the nineteenth and early twentieth century history of Willimantic’s textile industry, focusing on the Willimantic Linen Company, whose former mill buildings are located just across the street. These mills were later owned by the American Thread Company. In 1985 they were acquired by developer Jonathan Dugan. The museum opened in 1989 in two buildings erected by the company in 1877 and donated by Dugan in 1986. One is the former company store (pictured above), which had a library for workers on the third floor called Dunham Hall. The other (pictured below) is called the Dugan Mill, the upper floor of which was added during the first decade of the twentieth century to be used as the headquarters for the American Thread Fire Brigade. It later became a meeting hall which was recently restored for use by the museum.