THIS was the first successful manufacturing establishment in Columbus. It was commenced in the spring of 1822, by Joseph Ridgway, then from the State of New York. For some years he used horse power instead of steam, and the principal article of manufacture was Jethro Wood's patent plow, of which he made and sold an immense number. It was then considered the best plow in use. About the first of January, 1830, he having associated with him his nephew Joseph Ridgway, jr., they introduced into their factory steam instead of horse power, and extended their business to the manufacturing of machinery, steam engines, stoves, etc., etc. For many years, they did an extensive business, giving employment to about fifty or sixty hands, generally. Joseph Ridgway, jr., having died in 1850, the business was continued successfully by the surviving partner and administrator, until the spring of 1854, when he sold out, and transferred the whole establishment to


Peter Hayden, Esq., since which it has been owned and conducted by Mr. Hayden.


Generally known by the name of "Gill's Foundry," was commenced in 1838, by John L. Gill, Wm. Gill, and Henry Glover. In 1839, John McCune took the place of Mr. Glover, and the firm of Gills & McCune continued till May 1848. From that time the business was continued by J. L. & W. A. Gill, till July 1852, since which time it was conducted solely by Mr. John L. Gill, until July 1857, when he associated with him his son, J. L. Gill, jr. This establishment commenced business with about twenty-five hands, and was principally engaged in the manufacture of stoves, plows and mill irons, and did a successful business. For the last few years, the establishment gave employment generally to from sixty to seventy-five persons. In 1855, Mr. Gill commenced the manufacture of his celebrated combination steel plow, and is now manufacturing near four thousand per year. The amount of capital invested in the establishment is estimated at about $50,000.


This manufacturing establishment was commenced by Charles Ambos and James Lennox, in 1849, with a cap-


ital of some eight or ten thousand dollars. It was designated by the name of "Eagle Foundry," and the firm by that of Ambos & Lennox. After continuing the business until the spring of 1854, they sold out for upwards of $68,000; and it was converted into a joint stock company, by its present name.

The present company commenced with about thirty stockholders, and a capital of $80,000. They subsequently increased their capital to $100,000. The company employ about one hundred and twenty-five men on an average, the year round, and pay to their officers and hands about $1,000 on the first day of each month; and turn out in machinery and castings, from $140,000 to $15,000 a year. This company put up the iron frame work for the roofing of the state House, all the iron ceiling, galleries and railings, in the same. The ground occupied by the company is three hundred and twenty by one hundred and eighty-five feet.

Charles Ambos is, and has been, the Superintendent from the commencement. Samuel Galloway was the first president, but being elected to Congress in 1854, he was succeeded by that experienced manufacturer, John S. Hall, Esq. H. Crary was Treasurer and Secretary until January, 1857, when he was succeeded by P. Ambos as Treasurer, and F. G. Jones as Secretary.


Joseph Coffin has been chief foreman ever since the commencement.

The present Directors are, John S. Hall, P. Ambos, W. E. Ide, F. J. Matthews, M. C. McNary, B. S. Brown, J. P. Bruck.


Commenced some twenty years since, consist principally in the manufacturing of iron into various useful forms, partly from pig metal and partly from scrap iron; of which they procure immense quantities, and manufacture it into bar iron, hoop iron, and all sizes of wires. The establishment is very extensive, and gives employment generally to over a hundred hands.

The manufacture of saddlery, stirrups, buckles, etc., by Mr. Hayden, is principally done in the prison, by convict labor.

The writer regrets that he is not enabled to give a fuller history and description of this large establishment, but it seems the proprietor did not desire it, and it is therefore this briefly noticed.


This is an extensive manufacturing company, incorporated in 1851, under a general law authorizing the formation and organization of such companies. Capital


stock $190,000. The chief article of manufacture is carpenters' planes, hence it is frequently called the Plain Factory. The average number of hands employed in the various departments of the business, is about two hundred. The concerns of the company are said to be in a prosperous condition, and the stock in good demand. It is controled by a Board of seven Directors.

Present Officers,—George Gere, Pres't; A. Thomas, Sec'y and Treas'r; C. H. Clark, Sup't.

Directors,—O. Allen, W. A. Platt, A. McNairy, J. R. Swan, George Gere, P. Hayden, J. M. McCune.


In 1849, Messers. Joseph Ridgway, sr., and Joseph Ridgway, jr., who had for many years been doing a heavy business in their iron foundry, associated with them in their new enterprise of car manufacturing, Mr. Pearl Kimball, form Massachusetts, a gentleman of experience in that line of business. They made extensive and costly buildings and preparations west of the river, by the side of the railroad, and went very extensively into the business under the firm name of "Ridgways & Kimball." Their cars were of the first quality, and in extensive demand. In 1850, Mr. Ridgway, jr., died; but the business was continued by the other two partners successfully, until the spring of 1856, when their


main building and its contents were entirely destroyed by fire. They never rebuilt it, but continued the business on a smaller scale, until about the first of January, 1857, when Mr. Ridgway sold out his interest to Mr. Kimball, who has since contined the business alone.

Before the destruction by fire, they generally gave employment to about eighty men.


This company orgainzed in 1851, under the general act authorizing such incorporations. In 1851 and '52, they erected their buildings, procured their machinery, and commenced manufacturing in the summer or fall of 1852. The first Board of Directors, were A. P. Stone, F. C. Kelton, Theodore Comstock, John Butler, and Jas. Lennox.

The principal business officer of the company is the Superintendent, who, subject to the order of the Directors, manages and controls the business of the establishment.

The successive Superintendents have been, J. L. Haughton, John H. Stage, A. P. Mason.

The dividends to stockholders have generally been made in certificates of additional stock, or manufactured goods. And in this way, the capital stock has been increased until it now amounts to about $56,000.


The present officers and agents of the company are, A. P. Stone, J. F. Bartlett, Peter Ambos, J. P. Bruck, L. Hoster, Directors.

A. P. Mason, Superintendent; C. E. Batterson, Bookkeeper.


This is owned by a private firm, composed of the two gentlemen whose names it bears, who associated together for the purpose of manufacturing all kinds of chairs and cabinet furniture by steam power and machinery. In the spring of 1853, they commenced their building in the south-west corner of the city near the canal, and in July of the same year commenced manufacturing.

In February, 1856, their building was totally destroyed by fire. But with the energy of real business men, they without delay commenced rebuilding; and by the first of July following, their manufacturing again commenced. The number of hands they employ is generally about forty.

Thier furniture store, for the sale of their manufactured articles, is kept on High street.


This establishment is the property of an incorporated joint stock company, formed for the purpose of manu-


facturing hollow wooden ware, by steam poser and machinery. They organized and erected their buildings on the west bank of the Scioto in 1855, and in July, 1856, commenced manufacturing. The capital stock subscribed and paid in is near $28,000, which was not a sufficient amount to pay for the improvements and start the business to advantage. But the company persevered, and they were said to be mastering their difficulties and doing a pretty fair business, with the prospect of a bright future. But on the 10th of May 1858, their factory was struck by lightning, and the building and all its contents consumed by fire. It is said that they will rebuild. The affairs of the company are controlled by a Board of five Directors.

Present OfficersGeorge Kanemacher, President; W. L. Hughes, Secretary; H. Crary, Treasurer; J. H. Beebe, Superintendent.


Now owned by a private firm composed of Messrs. Comstock, Harrison, and Decker, and doing business under the firm name of "A. S. Decker & Co." The mill was originally erected by Mr. Comstock, west of the canal, and there known by the name of "Novelty Mills." In 1856, the present firm was formed, and the steam power and mill machinery were removed into the


new building on Fourth street in the early part of 1857, and was then named "City Mills." Mr. Decker is the acting agent.

Beside the foregoing manufactories, there are various others in successful operation in the city, amongst which are the Saw Factory at the corner of Water and Spring streets, propelled by steam—proprietors, Messrs. Ohlen and drake; several Planing Machines, propelled by steam, at which are also manufactured doors, sash, blinds, etc.; Messrs. Swan and Davies's Foundry and Machine Shop, on the west side of the river, established a few years since, and giving employment to from twenty-five to thirty men; the new steam Paper Mill of Messrs. Hines and Miller, erected in the fall of 1857, and which commenced manufacturing paper in January, 1858; the Coffee and Spice Grinding Mill, established by the Messrs. Rose, and now owned by C. P. L. Butler, Esq., worked by steam power; Messrs. Shoedinger [Sic.] and Brown's Furniture Manufactory; and two extensive Breweries at the south end of the city, one owned by Messrs. Hoster and Silbernagle, and the other by Mr. John Blenkner.

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