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Excerpted from the book
Troy’s One Hundred Years 1789-1889
Published in 1891 by William H. Young, 7 and 9 First Street, Troy, NY
The manufacture of carriages was one of Troy’s early industries. In May, 1815, Veazie & Barnard, coach and carriage makers, had a factory in a two-story wooden building, on the south side of Titus’ Inn, on First Street. In 1818, Thomas Williams engaged in the same business there; Charles Veazie having occupied in May the wooden building on the south-west corner of Albany and Second streets, where he manufactured carriages and coaches until he removed in 1832 to No. 30 Albany Street and there pursued the business until 1836. Orsamus Eaton, in 1820, began making coaches and carriages in the building, No. 3 First Street, previously occupied by Thomas Williams.
In 1830, he removed to his new factory on the north-east corner of Albany and Sixth streets, where, in the following year, he and Uri Gilbert formed the part-partnership of Eaton & Gilbert, manufacturers of carriages and stage-coaches. The Troy Sentinel, reviewing, on May 8th, 1827, the changes made in the construction of carriages for the conveyance of travelers, remarks:
“The improvement in the mode of conveyance in this country is not
confined to steamboats and the water, as those may well testify who
recollect the difference between our light, elegant and convenient stage- coaches, with their spring seats and easy motion, and the lumbering vehicles which were in use for the purpose some twelve or fifteen years ago. We are happy to know that the public are indebted to the ingenuity and enterprise of citizens of Troy for some of these additional conveniences.
The valuable improvement of fixing a seat over the baggage and a railing around the top of the carriage was first introduced, we believe, by Mr. Charles Veazie of his city; and in one of the elegant stage-coaches lately turned out from the shop of O. Eaton, we notice a still further improvement of a similar kind. An extra seat is placed on the top of the coach, just behind the seat of the driver. It is thus fixed in a more pleasant and agreeable situation, and gives, at the same time, a better balance to the load.”
In 1830, about fifty post-coaches and one hundred other carriages, worth altogether about $50,000, were made at the works of Charles Veazie and Orsamus Eaton. In 1841, Eaton & Gilbert began making passenger-cars for railroads, and, shortly afterward, freight cars. They built the first eight-wheel passenger-cars run on the Schenectady and Troy Railroad. By the admission of Edward O. Eaton into the partnership, the firm, on March 18th, 1844, took the name of Eaton, Gilbert & Co. In 1850, one hundred stage-coaches, fifty omnibuses, thirty passenger-cars, and one hundred and fifty freight cars were made at the extensive works on Sixth Street, between Albany and Fulton streets. More than five thousand stages built in Troy
were then in use in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and South America.