From the Floyd County Gazetteer 1868
(On Microfilm at the New Albany-Floyd County Public Library in New Albany, Indiana)
Manufactures.—Considering the natural advantages of New Albany as a manufacturing point, much more might be done, than is at present in this line. Manufacturing is that kind of enterprise which, more than all others, is calculated to build up a city, and give something like stability to its prosperity and growth. Trade and commerce may do much toward enriching a community—embellishing a city—and building up a monied aristocracy. But after all, manufacturing enterprise is the only sure element of prosperity and permanent growth. Without this but a few cities in this country can hope to grow to any considerable importance. Had more attention been given to manufacturing in New Albany, she would this day have occupied a position far above what she does. Still the people have not been wholly unmindufl of their best interests in this respect. In certain classes of manufactures the ground has been well improved, and it has told well upon the prosperity of the city. But her resources in this respect are not yet half developed. Much remains to be done and if done rightly, cannot fail to result in building up at this point a great manufacturing and commercial city.
We propose to give our readers a brief description of some of the leading manufacturing establishments; to notice all would require too much space. While at the same time we do not wish to do injustice to any, we wish it to be disticnctly understood that we are not paid for these notices, and, therefore, our only object is to have the manufacturing interests of this city properly represented.
Boat Building.—It is not necessary for us to speak of this important branch of trade that has in past years given this city a wide reputation. The excellence of workman-ship of New Albany -built boats has become in fact proverbial, and the consequence is that the her ship carpenters can always secure the preference of steamboat oawners over all their rivals. The best and the fastest Mississippi River palaces were built at this place, and the thousands of passengers they have safely carried can bear testimony as to their excellent qualities. At the present time there are seven firms engaged in this trade, the largest being that of Messrs. D. C. Hill & Co.
New Albany Glass Works, J. B. Ford & Son, proprietors, were established February, 1867, and occupy six buildings, three of which are brick, the balance being both of brick and wood. The one used in the manufacture of window glass is 65x85; another for cutting the same is 50x154; two buildings, 20x100, one used for warehouse, the other for silvering, or finishing glass plate for mirrors; warehouse, 40x100, and the bottle house, 65x80, which is entirely new. They employ 120 hands and four teams, and consume annually in their year's work (ten months) 165,000 bushels of coal, 500 tons soda ash, 1500 tons sand, 9.000 bushels of lime, 600 barrels of salt. These items do not include the stock used in the manufacture of hollow ware, of which they have but recently begun, and although but a new establishment, have all the facilities that enable them to compete and out-rival older firms further up the river. The value of their manufacture for the current year was $300,000. To such establishments as the above the people of this city may well point with pride; and to such gentlemen as the Messrs. Fords is this city indebted for her future prosperity.
Milligan's Foundry and Machine Shop was established and built in 1866 by the present proprietor. The building is of brick; 50x100, three stories high, substantially built, and cost $18,000. At this shop they manufacture all kinds of steam engines, castings, ornamental iron work, and make a speciality of mill work. Mr. M. employs thirty hands, and the amount of finished work made at his works annually is valued at $20,000.
New Albany Foundry and Machine Shop, Johnston & Webster, proprietors, was first started in 1855; was burned and rebuilt in 1867, and is used for the manufacture of steam engines, mill machinery, etc. The machine shop is 80x30, while an addition to this is 80x40, and is used for moulding, etc. The blacksmith shop is 30x40. The above named buildings are all two stories high.
The machinery used in this establishment consists of four lathes, one planer, on vertical borer, one drilling machine, one turning lathe; all of which is driven by two steam engines of great power. This firm employs thirty hands.
National Stove Foundry, F. H. Gohmann & Co., proprietors, has been established three years, and has now a fine trade. They manufacture stoves, hollow ware, wagon boxes, etc., etc. Among the many different patterns they manufacture, we might mention the "Original," (three sizes) "Queen of the West," (four sizes) "New Albany," (three sizes) all of which are very popular with the people, while their heating, cannon and box stoves cannot be excelled. Their foundry is 110x120, part of which is two stories high, employ twenty-five hands, and have in use one of "Root's Patent Blowers." Their capacity for the manufacture of stoves is twenty-five per day complete, and use from two to three tons of iron per day.
The Boiler Shop of Stucky & Co., was built in 1860, and is 130x120, two stories high, and employ fifty hands. This firm manufactures all kinds of boiler, tank, sheet iron, steamboat and mill work. This machinery they employ are two sets of rolls, eight shears, and four punchers, which are run by a steam engine of eighteen horse power. Messrs. S. & Co., make a specialty of boilers and iron furnaces, and the amount they manufacture yearly is about $100,000.
American Foundry and Maching Shop, D. C. Hill & Co., proprietors, have been established fifteen years, and are well and favorably known, especially by those who have had at any time an interest in the river trade. Their machine shop is 60x100; foundry 100x100, both having the latest improvements. Messrs. Hill & Co. are also known as one of the largest boat-building firms on the river; and have in connection with the above two saw-mills, ship-yard, etc., where they have and are at all times ready to contract for river craft of any size or kind complete. They also make a specialty of heavy castings, steamboat and stationary engines and mill work. They employ one hundred and fifty hands, and their receipts are about $200,000 per year.
The Morrocco Factory of T. & A. Hopkins, is the only one of the kind in this vicinity, and has been established four years. Their building is 75x60, two and a half stories high, employ nine hands, and tan 20,000 sheep pelts annually, 100 calf skins per month, and 100 hog skins per week. The tannery is supplied with all conveniences. The specialty of this firm is fancy colored wool mats, they being the only firm west of New York engaged in this line, and from samples shown us, we think they are equal if not better than those purchased in the East, while the quality of their morocco, finished calf, and other leather, is not surpasssed by any similar manufactory in the country.
The Tannery of Theodore Day is one of he largest and best arranged in this vicinity, and having been established since 1839, is consequently well known. The building is 180x120, two stories high, with a large basement; employ twelve hands, and has capacity for tanning 5,000 hides per year into the best of harness leather, which is the speciality of this firm.
Elizabeth Tannery, H. F. Reineking, proprietor, is located at Elizabeth, Harrison county, fifteen miles south-west of this city, and three and a half miles from the Ohio River, while the finishing is done in this city. It was established in 1835, have twenty seven vats, and a capacity to tan 2,500 hides per year; employ six hands. The sales room of this establishment is at 139 State Street.
The Tannery of A. Barth & Co., has been in operation five years; building is 35x50; have 40 vats, and manufacture upper calf, Kip, skirting and bridle leather. They have capacity to tan 2,000 hides per year.
Main Street Brewery, Martin Kalen, proprietor, has been in operation eighteen years, and has been owned and managed by the present proprietor for six years. The building is 40x60, two stories high, and has two capacious cellars 30x35, together with all the necessary tubs, vats, etc., is run by horse-power, employs five men, and has a capacity of three hundred barrels per month.
Market Street Brewery, Peter Buchheit, proprietor, has been established about twelve years, and occupies three buildings—30x60, 30x60, 18x60—all three stories high, has all the latest improvements in tubs, vats, etc., and uses steam, employs four hands, and has capacity for brewing three hundred barrels per month.
City Brewery, P. Reising, proprietor, is one of the oldest and largest firms in this line in the city, having been established over twelve years, and at present location eight years. The building is 115x50, two stories high, and complete in all respects. There is also, a beer cellar 40x18, with ice house above; malt cellar 40x50, and three other cellars of capacious size. The mash tubs, etc., are run by an eight-horse power machine. P. R. employs five men, and has capacity to manufacture thirty barrels beer per day.
New Albany Vinegar Works, of H. E. Wagner & Co., have beeen in operation for nine years, and occupies three buildings—20x40, 20x30, 36x48—with a large cellar. The machinery is run by a twelve horse power engine, employs three hands, and has capacity for the manufacture of fifty barrels. This is the only establishment of the kind in this or adjoining counties.
Phoenix Flour Mills, Lee & Hoyle, proprietors, started business in 1848. Their building is 80x80, four stories high; they use four set of tone [stones?], which are run by an engine of fourteen-inch cylinder, employ six men, and have capacity to manufacture two hundred barrels of flour per day.
City Mills, P. Mann, proprietor, was established, in 1856. The building is 40x120, three stories high, with a good cellar, employs seven men, have three run of stone, and have capacity for the manufacture of two hundred barrels of flour per day, which is mostly sold at home. The amount of grain used by this mill averages about 13,000 bushels per year.
State Street Mills, of J. F. Leyden & Co., are unquestionably the best in the State. It was buit in 1847 at a cost of $75,000, is 80x120, and three and a half stories high, and complete in all its appointments. This mill has four run of stone, and is supplied with the latest improvements in mail machinery, and have the capacity of making two hundred and fifty barrels of flour per day, most of which is shipped to Boston, Mass., where their brands are well and favorably known, as they use no other than No. 1 wheat in their manufacture.
Park Planing Mill, Cobb & Cooper, proprietors, have been in operation since January, 1868, for the manufacture of sash, doors, and blinds, and mill work generally. The two buildings they occupy are 32x100, three stories high, and 40x60, two stories. The machinery they have in use are two planers, eight saws (all kinds), one moulding, one mortising, one tenaning, one sticking, one slat, and one slat sticking machine, and two lathes, the whole run by an engine of 10x16 inch stroke. They employ twenty five hands, and have capacity to turn out $1,500 worth of finished work per week.
New Albany Planing Mill, Howard & Co., proprietors, are too well known to the public to require much notice from us. Their mill is of brick, and have in use all of the latest improved machines, and are prepared to do anything in their line with despatch.
Oak Street Planing Mill, P. Gebertshan, proprietor, occupies a building 60x120, two stories high, have in use four saws, one sticker, one tenaning, and one dove-tail machine, which is run by a twenty-four horse power engine, employ twenty-four hands, and make all kinds of building material, in the manufacture of which he uses 10,000 feet of lumber weekly.
New Albany Box Factory, James Peirce, proprietor, was established in 1845 for the manufacture of tobacco moulds and boxes, and custom work generally. The building is 60x80, two stories high, and the machinery in use consists of one planer, one traveser, three set of saws, boring and mortising machines, run by an eight horse power engine, employs twelve men, and use annually 100,000 ft. of sugar tree, sycamore, poplar, and oak lumber in the manufacture of tobacco boxes alone. Sales about $1,200 per month.
New Albany Pattern Shop, Messrs. Sleeper, Moore & Morton, proprietors, have been established nearly three years, and in their line enjoy a reputation second to none in this part of the country. Besides pattern and model making, they make a specialty of making drawings for all kinds of mill machinery, architecture, &c., &c.
New Albany Pottery, William Keller, proprietor, occupies two buildings, which were erected in 1846, and are 22x40 and 20x50, two stories high, and built of brick; employ eight men. Mr. K.'s sales attest a wide reputation through this and the country below for manufacturing a superior article of water pipes, stoneware, flower pots, &c., &c. Eighty thousand gallons of earthen ware are manufactured at this place yearly, while the yearly sales amount to over $9,000.
New Albany Woolen Mills, J. F. Gebhart & Co., proprietors, have been in operation for the past seven years. The building is built of brick, and is 50x120, three stories high. This mill is complete in all particulars. The machinery in use cost $35,000, is driven by a twenty-five horse power engine. Messrs. G. & Co. give employment to forty-five hands, and have capacity to turn out five hundred yards of finished work per day, or 150,000 yards yearly of flannels, jeans, blankets, &c. Their yearly sales are $90,000.
McCord & Bradley Woolen Company have a fine mill on Upper Vincennes, near Beeler street. This Company was incorporated and building erected in 1867. The mill is 180x65, with an addition 30x40, both being three stories in height; cost of building machinery, $100,000. It contains five full sets of machinery, and has capacity for the manufacture of 1,000 years per day. The goods turned out consists of flannels, blankets, cassimeres, jeans, yarns, etc.
New Albany Glue Works, Simon Ruoff, proprietor, have been in operation 14 years. The building is 40x42, one story high. This is the only factory of the kind in this part of the country. The yearly manufacture of this house is 6,000 pounds, which is mostly sold at home.
A. Danz Soap and Candle Factory was built of brick, in 1863, and is 90x40, 1 1/2 stories high, with an addition 40x60. It contains six candle machines, fourteen lard presses, and nine lard kettles. Value of manufacturers the past year, $40,000.
New Albany Tobacco Works of W. D. Morris, commenced business in 1859; is 20x120, three stories high, built of brick, employ twenty-five hands, use nine hand presses and manufacture exclusively plug tobacco, their favorite brand being the celebrated "Sallie Partington," of which they manufactured last year, 116,000 pounds; sales during the same period $75,000.
J. H. Dorst's Brass Foundry and Finishing Shop has been established since 1852. He employs three hands, and turns out $10,000 worth of work yearly.
The Marble Works of J. Brown was established in 1857. He employs six hands, uses about $1,500 worth of American marble per year, and has capacity to turn out $50,000 worth of finished work per year. Sales last year, $7,000.
Sowle Shingle Mills, John R. Daily, proprietor, is located on Upper Fourteenth, corner of Water street.. This mill was established in 1861, and is 30x92, two stories high, and built at a cost of $1,500. The capacity of this mill is 50 m per day, while the yearly manufacture amounts to 15,000 m, in which is used 2,106 m of timber. The machinery in use consists of two circular; one cross-cut or drag saw, one splitting machine, and one of Sowle & Daily's Shingle Cutters, having a capacity of 10 m shingles per hour. The machinery is driven by two steam engines, one being ten horse power, the other (upright) being three horse, and used to run the shingle cutter. This firm employs eight hands.