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MANUFACTURE OF STOVES
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
Troy has been a well-known seat of the manufacture of stoves nearly three-quarters of a century. The casting of stove plates for inventors and dealers was begun in 1821 by Starbucks & Gurley (Charles and Nathaniel Starbuck and Ephraim Gurley), succeeding that year Hanks, Gurley & Co., (Alpheus and Truman Hanks and Ephraim Gurley, – the builders of the first foundry in the city, – the Troy Air Furnace, in 1818, on the south-east corner of Fifth and Grand Division streets), and, in 1828 by L. Stratton & Son, successors of Nazro & Curtis, who erected, in 1823, the Eagle Furnace, afterward known as the Rensselaer, No. 42 Fifth Street. The value of the
stoves cast in the two foundries in 1828 was estimated at $120,000; of those in the seven in the city in 1855, at $1,000,000; and those in the five in 1888, at $2,000,000.
Troy stoves have been sent to distant parts of the world. Llamas have carried them across the Andes to the farther coast of South America, camels to the shores of the Black Sea, and ships to Northern Europe, Turkey, China, Japan, and Australia. In recent years this industry has lost much of its far-western patronage in the United States by advantages of cheap labor and material and low rates of transportation enjoyed by less distant competitors.
The Fuller and Warren Company has the distinction of perpetuating the business of manufacturing stoves in Troy begun by the firm of L. Stratton & Son, in 1828, at the Rensselaer Furnace, No. 42 Fifth Street. The intermediate predecessors were the firms of Johnson & Geer (Elias Johnson and Gilbert Geer), 1834, No. 42 Fifth Street; Johnson, Geer, & Cox, 1840 (foundry, west side of Mechanic Street, two lots north of Fulton Street); Johnson & Cox, 1846 (builders, that year, of the Clinton Foundry, west side of Troy and Greenbush Railroad, between Madison and Monroe streets);
Johnson, Cox, & Fuller, 1850; Cox, Warren, Morrison, & Co., 1854; Fuller, Warren, & Morrison, 1855; and Fuller, Warren, & Co., 1859.
The Fuller & Warren Company was incorporated on December 31st, 1881, with a capital of $600,000, having as trustees Joseph W. Fuller, John Hobart Warren, Charles W. Tillinghast, Walter A. Wood, a and Walter P. Warren. The company’s
extensive establishment, known as the Clinton Stove Works, comprises a number of contiguous brick buildings, from four to six stories high, occupying a plat of six acres, bounded by Madison, River, and Monroe streets, and the Hudson River. In the different departments more than a thousand workmen are employed. The stoves made by the company are of many patterns, varying in design and ornamentation to meet the demands of the trade.
The furnaces and heaters are wonders of inventive genius. At the Centennial Exhibition in 1876 , at Philadelphia, the attractive display of stoves, ranges, and furnaces made at the works was the admiration of not only American but also of foreign visitors. The beautiful parlor stove: the Splendid,” fully merited the special award given its manufacturers. The celebrated Philo P. Stewart stoves, – the patents of which are now owned by the Fuller & Warren company, have been made at the Clinton Stove Works since 1859. The company has large salesrooms in New York City, Boston, Cleveland, and Chicago, and has recently erected extensive works at Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to supply its western customers with cooking and heating apparatus. The present officers of the company are Walter P. Warren, president, G. G. Wolfe, vice-president, and H. A. Viets, secretary and treasurer.
The second oldest stove foundry in the city is that known as the Empire Stove Works, on the north and south-west corners of Second and Ida streets; the original buildings having been erected in 1846. The present proprietors of the large establishment, George W. Swett & Co., continue the business begun in 1841 by Anson Atwood, whose successors were Atwood & Cole, 1844; Atwood, Cole, & Crane, 1846; Pease, Keeney, & Co., 1848; Clark, Keeney, & Co., 1850; Felton, Keeney, & Co., 1851; Swett, Quimby, & Co., 1852; Swett,Quimby, & Perry, 1867; Swett, Quimby, & Co., 1883; and George W. Swett & Co. (Frederick W. Swett), January 1st 1886. The parlor and cook stoves, ranges, fire-place heaters, and oil stoves made at the Empire Stove Works have a wide reputation for excellence of construction and attractive mountings.
The conspicuous plant of the Bussey & McLeod Stove Company covers a plat of four acres on the east side of Oakwood Avenue, north of Hoosick Street. The buildings, mostly four-story brick structures, command a wide view of the city and the Upper Hudson valley. The first were erected in 1863 by the firm of Bussey, McLeod, & Co., – Esek Bussey, Charles A. McLeod, and John O. Merriam, – formed that year. The Bussey & McLeod Stove Company, of which Esek Bussey is president, Charles A. McLeod, vice-president, Esek Bussey, jr., treasurer, and Sayre McLeod, secretary, succeeded it on December 30th, 1882. The thousands of stoves and ranges made at the works have many attractive features of construction and ornamentation which widely popularize the productions of the company in the eastern and western states.
The firm of Burdett, Smith, & Co., formed in 1871 and continued since 1883 by Edward Burdett and W. Stone Smith, traces the line of its predecessors to L. Potter & Co. in 1853. The foundry of the firm is on the south side of Ingalls Avenue, east of Sixth Avenue. Andrew B. Fales, whose stove works are on the west side of Sixth Avenue, between Rensselaer and North streets, succeeded, in 1872, to the business continued by the successors of A. M. Stratton, proprietor, in 1835, of a foundry at No. 64 Sixth Street.
J. C. Henderson & Co., on the south-west corner of Sixth Avenue and North Street, are manufacturers of tubular cone and dome furnaces for heating buildings with steam, hot water, or hot air. J. C. Henderson, previously a member of the firms of Shavor & Henderson, stove manufacturers, 1869; Sheldon Greene, & Co., 1870; Shavor & Henderson, 1872; in 1876, individually engaged in the manufacture of his popular furnaces. In April, 1885, he and his son, James A., became associated in the business under the name of J. C. Henderson & Co. Herbert R. Mann, successor to Burtis & Mann, stove and range manufacturers, continues the business established in 1883, and has his salesrooms at No. 195 River Street.