Hudson Mohawk Industrial Gateway

Hudson Mohawk Industrial Gateway The Gateway works to celebrate and preserve the industrial heritage of New York's Capital Region. The Gateway also operates the Burden Iron Works Museum.
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Operating as usual

We hope everyone enjoyed last night's virtual lecture on Troy as the Silicon Valley of the 19th century. One of the topi...
06/10/2021
"A Million Horseshoes a Week" Henry Burden dominates the horseshoe market.

We hope everyone enjoyed last night's virtual lecture on Troy as the Silicon Valley of the 19th century. One of the topics Executive Director Michael Barrett touched on was Henry Burden and his horseshoe machines. Next week's lecture, "A Million Horseshoes a Week," will discuss in depth the evolution of Burden's horseshoe machines, culminating in a single machine that turned out one horseshoe every second. With the onset of the Civil War, demand for horseshoes grew exponentially, making the Burden family fabulously wealthy. The lecture will be Wednesday, June 16, at 6:30 pm. Tickets through the Eventbrite link below are $5 for Gateway members and $10 for the public. Future lectures in our series will be spaced two weeks apart.

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/a-million-horseshoes-a-week-henry-burden-dominates-the-horseshoe-market-tickets-157992091599?utm_source=eventbrite&utm_medium=email&utm_content=follow_notification&utm_campaign=following_published_event&utm_term=%22A+Million+Horseshoes+a+Week%22+Henry+Burden+dominates+the+horseshoe+market.&aff=ebemoffollowpublishemail

The first machine-made horseshoes in the world were invented and produced by Henry Burden in Troy, NY.

Our friend at “Troy by Gaslight” found this cast iron storefront column on River St. in Troy. The casting is marked “A. ...
06/05/2021

Our friend at “Troy by Gaslight” found this cast iron storefront column on River St. in Troy. The casting is marked “A. Torrance/Eagle Foundry/Troy N.Y.” The Burden Iron Works Museum also has a cast iron vat marked “A. Torrance.” Initial city directory research did not turn up any information on either Eagle Foundry or A. Torrance. However, we found a reference to a William Torrance, who in 1857 partnered with J.W. Merriam to create a foundry in Green Island known as “Torrance and Co., Green Island Malleable and Grey Iron Works.” This business operated until about 1904. Most cast iron storefronts in Troy were produced by Michael Mahony’s Troy Architectural Iron Work and Foundry.

Our friend at “Troy by Gaslight” found this cast iron storefront column on River St. in Troy. The casting is marked “A. Torrance/Eagle Foundry/Troy N.Y.” The Burden Iron Works Museum also has a cast iron vat marked “A. Torrance.” Initial city directory research did not turn up any information on either Eagle Foundry or A. Torrance. However, we found a reference to a William Torrance, who in 1857 partnered with J.W. Merriam to create a foundry in Green Island known as “Torrance and Co., Green Island Malleable and Grey Iron Works.” This business operated until about 1904. Most cast iron storefronts in Troy were produced by Michael Mahony’s Troy Architectural Iron Work and Foundry.

A ship like this served Ford’s assembly plant in Green Island.
06/04/2021

A ship like this served Ford’s assembly plant in Green Island.

Ford Motor Company built and operated four of the largest motorships on New York's canals during the 1930s. Designed to carry parts, subassemblies, and completed automobiles and trucks between Ford plants on the Great Lakes and along the eastern seaboard, these vessels filled the lock chambers. They were named for the coastal ports where Ford had manufacturing facilities: Norfolk, Chester, Edgewater, and Green Island in Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and at the head of tidal navigation on the Hudson. #TBT #ThrowbackThursday Photos courtesy of: NYS Archives and NYS Museum, Michon Collection

We are pleased to announce that the first in our series of virtual lectures on the industrial history of the Hudson Moha...
05/31/2021
The Silicon Valley of the 19th Century

We are pleased to announce that the first in our series of virtual lectures on the industrial history of the Hudson Mohawk region has been scheduled. On Wednesday, June 9, at 6:30 pm, Gateway Executive Director Michael Barrett will present his talk on our region as the “Silicon Valley of the 19th Century.” He will describe the geographic advantages and the abundance of human and financial capital that resulted in the development of the region’s transportation, iron, textile and precision instrument industries, among others. Hear him make the case that Troy was truly one of the cradles of the American Industrial Revolution. Tickets are available through Eventbrite. The cost is $5 for Gateway members and $10 for the public. Here is the link to Eventbrite to purchase tickets:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-silicon-valley-of-the-19th-century-tickets-156755208047?utm_source=eventbrite&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=post_publish&utm_content=shortLinkNewEmail

The Capital District is considered to be one of the “birthplaces of America's industrial revolution." Learn how and why that came to be.

95 years ago today the John Ericsson Memorial was dedicated in Washington, DC. Ericsson is best known for his design of ...
05/29/2021

95 years ago today the John Ericsson Memorial was dedicated in Washington, DC. Ericsson is best known for his design of the Civil War ironclad USS Monitor, the US Navy's first ironclad ship and the first ship with a revolving turret. Over a career in his native Sweden, Great Britain and the US he also developed advanced steam engines, the screw propeller and hot air engines. He died in 1888 and was returned to Sweden for burial. The memorial was designed by sculptor James Earle Fraser and features a 6' 5" seated statue of Ericsson. The memorial is located at Independence Ave. SW at 23rd St. SW.

95 years ago today the John Ericsson Memorial was dedicated in Washington, DC. Ericsson is best known for his design of the Civil War ironclad USS Monitor, the US Navy's first ironclad ship and the first ship with a revolving turret. Over a career in his native Sweden, Great Britain and the US he also developed advanced steam engines, the screw propeller and hot air engines. He died in 1888 and was returned to Sweden for burial. The memorial was designed by sculptor James Earle Fraser and features a 6' 5" seated statue of Ericsson. The memorial is located at Independence Ave. SW at 23rd St. SW.

Fans of historic bridges will enjoy this presentation on historic bridges of the Adirondacks by Adirondacks Architectura...
05/28/2021
Historic Bridges of the Adirondacks

Fans of historic bridges will enjoy this presentation on historic bridges of the Adirondacks by Adirondacks Architectural Heritage Executive Director Steve Engelhart. The original program was sponsored by the Saratoga Springs Public Library. Fast-forward about four minutes to get to the beginning of the presentation. We previously posted about three of the Keeseville bridges.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9ecILlIEAY

Please join Steve Engelhart, the executive director of Adirondack Architectural Heritage (AARCH), for an exploration of the incredible variety of historic br...

Although we probably won't be able to offer our popular Tiffany windows tour again this year, the next best thing is for...
05/23/2021
Troy Public Library » About

Although we probably won't be able to offer our popular Tiffany windows tour again this year, the next best thing is former Gateway Executive Director Tom Carroll's illustrated "Troy's Tiffany Treasures" lecture. Tom will be presenting this program via Zoom for the Troy Public Library on Wednesday, May 26, at 6:30 pm. You must register for the program. Here is a link to the library's calendar page:

https://www.engagedpatrons.org/Eventscalendar.cfm?SiteID=4294

Join us for upcoming events, classes and programs at Troy Public Library! All events are free and open to the public. Registration required where noted. Call us: Main Library (518)274.7071

From West Troy to the moon? Yes indeed! Apparently Meneely & Co.’s reputation for the precision casting of bells reached...
05/22/2021

From West Troy to the moon? Yes indeed! Apparently Meneely & Co.’s reputation for the precision casting of bells reached Jules Verne in Paris, and in his 1865 novel “From the Earth to the Moon” he has the firm cast the aluminum projectile or space capsule that carries three men to the moon. The capsule was nine feet in diameter, fifteen feet high, and its walls were one foot thick. The book’s narrator praised Meneely highly: “It must be acknowledged that it was a magnificent piece of workmanship, displaying considerable metallurgical skill, and highly creditable in every way to American industry.” At the time that Verne was writing his novel, the bell caster was operating as E.A. & G.R. Meneely in West Troy, now called Watervliet. Verne tapped another Hudson Valley firm to cast the powerful muzzle-loading cannon (the “Columbiad”) that shot the projectile to the moon from Tampa, Fla. He calls this foundry Cold Spring Iron Co., but this is unmistakably the West Point Foundry in Cold Spring, which cast heavy cannons (Parrott guns) for the Union during the Civil War.

Local artist Len Tantillo is famous for his historical paintings, which are deeply researched and incredibly detailed. T...
05/14/2021

Local artist Len Tantillo is famous for his historical paintings, which are deeply researched and incredibly detailed. The Albany Institute of History and Art currently has a large selection of his work on display. All of them are fascinating, but two are of particular interest to us due to their focus on industrial history. One shows a Delaware & Hudson locomotive pulling out of the old Troy Union Station in 1875 bound for Saratoga Springs. Interestingly, Tantillo identified the locomotive as one made by Dickson Manufacturing Co. in Scranton, Pa., and not one made locally at Schenectady Locomotive Engine Manufactory. In any case, Dickson was one of the seven locomotive manufacturers that merged with the Schenectady firm in 1901 to form the American Locomotive Co. (ALCO). The other painting shows the construction of the Green Island Bridge over the Hudson River in 1926. This bridge was swept away in 1979. The Tantillo exhibit runs through July 25.

Now it's official! Last night the Troy City Council voted to convey the steam engine, flywheel and dynamo at the old Lud...
05/07/2021
Moving Troy history takes money, ingenuity

Now it's official! Last night the Troy City Council voted to convey the steam engine, flywheel and dynamo at the old Ludlow Valve Mfg. Co. site to the Gateway for the sum of $1. We have one year to move the artifacts to the grounds of the Burden Iron Works Museum. This article from the Albany Times Union provides additional background:

https://www.timesunion.com/news/article/Moving-Troy-history-takes-money-and-ingenuity-16124716.php?IPID=Times-Union-HP-CP-Spotlight

TROY – Michael P. Barrett can answer the question about how to move a 120,000-pound...

This article in today's Albany Times Union reports on plans by Troy and Watervliet to reimagine the current Troy-Watervl...
05/06/2021
Congress Street Bridge envisioned as Troy-Watervliet pedestrian link over Hudson

This article in today's Albany Times Union reports on plans by Troy and Watervliet to reimagine the current Troy-Watervliet bridge to make it more friendly to pedestrians and bicyclists. The article also discusses the previous bridges at that site and includes some pictures of bridge construction.
https://www.timesunion.com/news/article/Congress-Street-Bridge-envisioned-as-16153032.php

TROY – A leisurely stroll or bike ride across the Congress Street Bridge without...

Have an old axe to grind? It might well have been made in the small community of Johnsonville in northern Rensselaer Cou...
05/01/2021

Have an old axe to grind? It might well have been made in the small community of Johnsonville in northern Rensselaer County, NY. The Johnsonville Axe Manufacturing Co. turned out hundreds of thousands of axes annually from its factory along the Hoosick River from 1859 to 1906. The axe factory shared its premises with a grist mill. According to one local history, the factory “was known to be the largest employer of men ever known in Johnsonville.” The firm later became part of the American Edge Tool Co., which reportedly controlled one-half of the US axe market. The Johnsonville factory closed due to deteriorating labor relations. One newspaper described the situation within the company as follows: “The company declares that it will permit the shops to rot before allowing the unions to exist in them, and the men say they will leave the different towns and hunt for other work before abandoning their organization.” Today the only sign of the axe factory in Johnsonville is a couple of street signs for Axe Factory Road.

The Albany Times Union ran a fascinating article earlier this week about notorious 19th century bank thief “Baron” Max S...
04/24/2021

The Albany Times Union ran a fascinating article earlier this week about notorious 19th century bank thief “Baron” Max Shinburn and his connections to our region. The Pinkerton Detective Agency called Shinburn “the greatest bank safe and vault burglar that has ever been known in police history” – and he got his start in Troy. Born in Germany, Shinburn ended up in Troy, where he became an apprentice at Lewis Lillie’s safe manufacturing business. Lillie had started in the business around 1850, and by 1860 he was manufacturing safes on River St. near the State Dam. Shinburn excelled in his apprenticeship, and Lillie offered him a management position. Shinburn, however, had other ideas: he instead decided to use his knowledge of Lillie safes to become a successful burglar. Soon banks along the East Coast equipped with Lillie safes were reporting thefts. Within a few years Lillie is no longer listed in the Troy City Directory – another victim of Shinburn’s. The thief was finally captured after a bungled robbery at a bank in Middleburgh, Schoharie County.

The Albany Times Union ran a fascinating article earlier this week about notorious 19th century bank thief “Baron” Max Shinburn and his connections to our region. The Pinkerton Detective Agency called Shinburn “the greatest bank safe and vault burglar that has ever been known in police history” – and he got his start in Troy. Born in Germany, Shinburn ended up in Troy, where he became an apprentice at Lewis Lillie’s safe manufacturing business. Lillie had started in the business around 1850, and by 1860 he was manufacturing safes on River St. near the State Dam. Shinburn excelled in his apprenticeship, and Lillie offered him a management position. Shinburn, however, had other ideas: he instead decided to use his knowledge of Lillie safes to become a successful burglar. Soon banks along the East Coast equipped with Lillie safes were reporting thefts. Within a few years Lillie is no longer listed in the Troy City Directory – another victim of Shinburn’s. The thief was finally captured after a bungled robbery at a bank in Middleburgh, Schoharie County.

04/23/2021

We would like to clarify that our previous post was premature. The sale was approved by the City Council Finance Committee, but has not yet been approved by the full City Council.

The City of Troy recently sold the remains of a steam engine and generator to the Gateway for $1. The machinery is locat...
04/22/2021
City to Sell Historic Steam Powered Generator to Hudson Mohawk Industrial Gateway Museum – Troy, NY

The City of Troy recently sold the remains of a steam engine and generator to the Gateway for $1. The machinery is located at the old Ludlow Valve site on the Poestenkill near the Hudson River. Rensselaer Iron Works occupied the site earlier. Now that the Gateway owns these artifacts, we will move ahead with plans to transport them to the grounds of the Burden Iron Works Museum for display. Further detail and comment are in the press release below.

https://www.troyny.gov/city-to-sell-historic-steam-powered-generator-to-hudson-mohawk-industrial-gateway-museum/

City to Sell Historic Steam Powered Generator to Hudson Mohawk Industrial Gateway Museum April 21, 2021 by Troy City Hall For Immediate ReleaseApril 21, 2021 Mayor: City to Sell Historic Steam Powered Generator to Hudson Mohawk Industrial Gateway Museumy TROY, NY – Mayor Patrick Madden today annou...

Judging by the response to our recent posts on the Union Bridge in Waterford, our Facebook friends really like bridges. ...
04/17/2021
New Life for Old Bridges - Scenic Hudson

Judging by the response to our recent posts on the Union Bridge in Waterford, our Facebook friends really like bridges. Below is a story from Scenic Hudson about efforts to restore a number of small steel truss bridges in the lower Hudson Valley. Most of the bridges were originally built to span the New York Central RR tracks, and would be restored for pedestrian and bicycle use.. The Preservation League of New York State has provided a grant to help Scenic Hudson with this project.

https://www.scenichudson.org/viewfinder/historic-bridges-for-all-people/?bblinkid=246046530&bbemailid=26383654&bbejrid=1767762434

In the early 20th century, access to the Hudson River in upper Dutchess and southern Columbia counties was confined largely to those wealthy families whose sprawling estates lined its banks. To reach the shore, and in some cases their mansions, many had to cross over the railroad tracks on steel tr...

The W. & L.E. Gurley Co. was a maker of precision instruments founded by brothers William and Lewis E. Gurley in Troy in...
04/10/2021

The W. & L.E. Gurley Co. was a maker of precision instruments founded by brothers William and Lewis E. Gurley in Troy in 1853. The company specialized in surveying instruments, hydrological instruments, standard weights and measures, paper testing instruments and meteorological instruments. The Gurley Building at Fifth and Fulton, constructed in 1862 to replace a building destroyed by Troy’s “Great Fire” of May 1862, still stands. It is occupied by a successor company, Gurley Precision Instruments, as well as by RPI’s Lighting Research Center. GPI continues the precision instrument tradition, although today it is focused on electro-optic systems and optical encoders. The Gateway has an extensive collection of W. & L.E. Gurley instruments at the Burden Iron Works Museum, as does GPI. The museum is currently closed for a major interior renovation project.

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Troy, NY
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HEADS UP -- URGENT ALERT -- as seen in the Troy Record April 20th LEGAL NOTICE AT&T Mobility, LLC is proposing to construct a 100-foot tall monopole telecommunications tower facility located near Madison Street approximately 300 feet southwest of the intersection of 1 st St and Canal Ave, Troy, Rensselaer County, NY 12210 (42 43 10.91 N, 73 41 46.34 W). Any interested party wishing to submit comments regarding the potential effects the proposed facility may have on any historic property may do so by sending comments to: Project 6120009027 - MPH EBI Consulting, 21 B Street, Burlington, MA 01803, [email protected] or via telephone at (504) 458-4444.
Cohoes Rolling Mill Company 1935
Do you have any original photos or stories on the rail car sitting in the parking lot?
Can you get a National Parks Passport Cancellation here? Thanks!
This photo is c. 1917 or so, part of the Valuation series of the Troy Union RR. This was a crossing tender shanty where a guy raised or lowered the gates on the street - which is Monroe. We are looking southwest. In the background was a major (perhaps THE) stove maker, Fuller & Warren, aka Clinton Stove Works, located on 6 acres at the foot of Madison and Monroe Streets. In 1859, they purchased the patents of one Phil Stewart, and marketed their products under that name. They went of business in 1934. On the model railroad at RPI we are studying how to model what we are calling "industry alley" from Monroe to Congress. - JN
Thought I'd share the small album of images I took this morning during the Holiday Season Kick-Off! Ringing of the Bells - it was a pleasure meeting you, and enjoy the snaps! Happy Thanksgiving to you all. https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10218586836967909&type=1&l=374a326c19
Patrick Hogan shared a photo. Just now · I took the Hudson Mohawk Industrial Gateway "Origins of the Modern Horse Shoe tour on Saturday November 3rd. It was Great. I learned how Troy, NY and Henry Burden were the source of ALL the Horse Shoes used by the Union Army. Also took a walking tour along the South side of the Wynantskill Creek East of Burden Avenue and South of Mill Street. Saw the site of the once Famous Burden Water Wheel and other remnants of a Bygone era when Troy, NY was the 4th richest City in America. GREAT TOUR. If you love Troy, and want to learn about it's Great Industrial Heritage I urge you to visit the Burden Iron Works Museum and take a tour, or better yet become a member. This is GREAT LOCAL HISTORY. Makes one proud to be a Trojan. No automatic alt text available.
Troy new York is my hometown
I recently visited this museum, and it was GREAT. I had known and heard how Troy, NY was the 4th richest city in the nation in the 19th century, but never knew the whole story behind it or what made it the 4th richest city in the country. But after visiting with Executive Director Michael Barrett ( WHO WAS GREAT ) now I know the INCREDIBLE story. Having grown up on the EAST SIDE of Troy I never knew I walked were Giants tread. Sadly it's all gone now but the History lives on at the Burden Iron Works Museum and the Hudson Mohawk Industrial Gateway. If you LOVE Troy, NY you need to visit this museum. I liked it so much I became a member and I encourage YOU to do the same.
Open house at the Van Schaick Mansion Sunday July 9, 10-3