Crisfield. cn Johnson.

... History of Oswego County, New York online

. (page 46 of 120)
Online LibraryCrisfield. cn Johnson... History of Oswego County, New York → online text (page 46 of 120)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

competition by the manufacturers, it has never failed to
receive the highest premium as an article of superior merit.

The late Centennial Exhibition, at Philadelphia, was no
exception to this general statement, as will appear from the
report of the Centennial judges, made at such exhibition,
and of which original report the following is an exact copy :

"report of awards PRODUCT STARCH.

"Name and address of exhibitor.

" T. Kingsford i Son, Oswego, N. Y.

"The undersigned, having examined the product herein described,

respectfully recommend the same to the United States Ceutennial

Commission for award for the following reasons:










'•They make a fine exhibit of starch, put up m various forma
and for Jiffcrcnt uses.

"They arc the originators of the process useil liy themselves and

several other of the largest manufacturers for making starch from

Indian corn.

" They arc the largest manufacturers and exporters of this product.

"Their starch shows groat purity aud strength, and is fret; from


"W. C. Kkrh.
*' Signature of the Judge.
*'Aj)proval of Oroup Judges;

"Wm. II. BitEwsu,

"W. S. Grken.,

"G. F. Siociii De CiSALi,

"E. II. V0.xBAtJMllilER,
•' II. G. JOLY,

"GuiDo Marx,

"Dr. Nicolau J. Moreira,

"JosErn F. Tobias."

With characteristic energy, perseverance, and sagacity,
Mr. Kingsford was, as he had spare time, constantly en-
gaged in experimenting upon and studying to improve the
methods of stareh-makiug, his attention being more partic-
ularly directed to the manufacture of starch from Indian
corn, until, fully assured of the great value of his discovery,
he determined to utilize the same, and reap the benefit of
his labors in this field by applying his knowledge to prac-
tical account.

Accordingly, in 1846 he associated with himself his son,
Thomson Kingsford, then a young man, who had assisted
his father in his experiments, and who was a practical ma-
chinist, and under the firm-name of " T. Kingsford & Son"
they built a factory in Jersey City, New Jersey, where the
manufacture of starch under the new process was success-
fully carried on until they removed to Oswego County,
New York.

The value of the discovery becoming known to some
gentlemen in Auburn, New York, they proposed a connec-
tion with the firm in the formation of a capital stock com-
pany, and in 1848 the Oswego starch factory was incor-
porated under the general manufacturing laws of the State,
T. Kingsford & Son, manufacturers.

The site selected for the manufacturing establishment of
this company was the western bank of the Oswego river, a
short distance above the point where it empties its clear
waters into Lake Ontario. Here was an unfailing supply
of pure water for manufacturing purposes, and an inex-
haustible water-power at all seasons of the year. Here
was tlie thriving city of Oswego, of about twenty-five
thousand inhabitants, on the border of the lake, possessing
rare facilities for the transportation of products to all the
markets of the earth by water and railways.

The growth of the business at Oswego has been won-
derful. In 1849 the establishment manufactured 1,327,128
pounds of starch ; the next five years, 15,451,404 pounds ;
the succeeding five years, 34,757,545 pounds ; the five
years next succeeding, 36,109,518 pounds; and the next
five years 52,687,478. The next seven years, which ended
with 1876, the product was almost 107,500,000 pounds.
The total amount produced from 1849 to 1876, inclusive,
was 247,833,073 pounds.

The products of the factory during the last years have
been at the rate of 21,500,000 pounds of starch annually,
or about thii-ty-Cve tons a diiy, being by far the largL.'-t

amount ever produced by any single starcli-fuctory in the
world, consuming about one million bushels of Indian corn
every year.

To pack this immense product requires seven hundred
thousand pounds of paper aud five million feet of lumber
for boxes.

There were employed at the beginning sixty-five work-
men ; the average number employed for the last five years
has been .seven hundred and thirty-four; the largest number
employed in any one year was ten hundred and fifly-seveii.

There were, in 1870, one hundred and ninety-five starch-
factories in the United States, employing an aggregate of
two thousand and seventy-two persons of both sexes, to
whom nearly one million dollars were paid in wages, em-
ploying a capital of two million seven hundred and forty-
two thousand dollars, using materials valued at about three
million nine hundred thousand dollars, and giving a total
product worth about six million dollars. It will be .seen
that the Oswego starch-factory employs one-third of all the
workmen in the business.

The dimensions of the main buildings of the Oswego
starch-factory, in which the starch is made and packed
(and which are constructed in the most substantial manner
of stone, brick, and iron), are seven hundred and thirty-
three feet front, and extend back to the Oswego river two
hundred feet; some portions of the buildings are seven
stories in height. Besides these edifices, there are others
of large dimensions, such as the box-factory, store-houses,
machine-shop, carpenter-shop, and other out-buildings.
There are twelve acres of floor and five acres of roof; also
thirty-eight thousand panes of glass, equal to about tlie
surface of an acre.

The factories contain six hundred and eighty-nine cisterns
or vats, bound by over miles of hoop-iron, and
containing an aggregate capacity of three million one hun-
dred and fifty thousand gallons of water, for the purpose of
efi'ectually cleansing the starch from every conceivable im-
purity. There are forty-eight pumps, capable of raising
eight hundred and fifty thousand gallons of water each
hour ; six and a quarter miles of gutters for distributing
the starch and water ; four miles of water-pipes, ranging
from two to twenty-four inches in diameter ; and thirty-
three miles of 8t«am-pipes for drying the starch and heat-
ing the works. There are also seven thousand twcj hundred
and forty feet of belting, varying in widths from two to
twenty-four inches.

For grinding the corn there are twenty-four pairs of burr-
stones and six pairs of heavy iron rollers. There are five
miles of shafting, fourteen turbine water-wheels of an aggre-
gate of twelve hundred and twenty horse-power, and ten
steam engines of eight hundred and forty-five horse-power,
aggregating two thousand and sixty-five horse-power.

There are six hundred and ninety sieves for straining
the starch, thirteen large steam-boilers, and twenty-four
machines for packing and weighing the starch, capable of
packing seventy-two thousand packages a day ; seventy
thousand packing cases can be manufactured daily ; and six
thousand tons of coal are consumed at the works annually.

For its own protection this establishment at Oswego has
amoii" i:s workm^Mi a well-organized fire ccnipany with over



four thousand feet of hose, three hose-carriages and hooks
and ladders, and for the social enjoyment of its members an
elegant fireman's hall has been fitted up and furnished in
one of the buildings.

The Oswego starch-factory, directly and indirectly, gives
employment to thousands of persons, including men, women,
and children. It has been the means of peopling nearly
two entire wards of the city of Oswego, where neat and
substantial cottages have been built and paid for, by the
owners, from their earnings at the starch-factory, forming
a population of industrious, thrifty, law-abiding citizens.

There was a time within the present century when not a
starch-factory was to be found in all our broad land, except
the domestic ones in the household, where inferior starch
was obtained for family use, mainly from potatoes. At that
time starch was used almost exclusively for laundry pur-
poses. Now it is devoted to the use of print-works, paper-
mills, for furniture paints, confectionery, etc.

Prepared corn and corn-starch, first introduced by the
Kingsfords, are now largely employed in all kinds of
culinary and baking operations, producing an article of diet
of the most wholesome and nutritious character. The
manufacture of starch has now become one of the great
industries of the country.

The Oswego starch-factory is the largest of its kind in
the world, having its agencies in all parts of the United
States, and in many places in Great Britain, on the con-
tinent of Europe, and in Australia, and its products find a
market in every civilized country on the globe.

The wide celebrity which Kingsford's starch has at-
tained, and the consequent rapid development of the busi-
ness at Oswego, are largely attributable to the intrinsic
merits of the product, being manufactured by the secret
process, which produces starch practically, absolutely pure ;
and not a pound of inferior or imperfect starch is ever
allowed to leave the factory.

It is no disparagement to the father to state that the
growth and prosperity of the business at Oswego have been
materially aided and promoted by the energy, mechanical
skill, and inventive genius of the sou, Thomson Kingsford,
■who is an expert draughtsman and designer, and who has
been closely identified with the enterprise I'rom its inception.
In his constant study to improve the methods of starch-
making he has originated many new manufacturing
processes, and the fruits of his labors in this direction may
be seen in the numerous inventions of machinery and me-
chanical contrivances now in practical operation in the
Oswego starch-factory, and for several of which he holds
letters patent.

No one can pass through the various departments of this
mammoth manufacturing establishment, while in ope-
ration, without being almost lost in bewilderment at the
sight of its vast and complicated machinery, all moving
with mathematical precision in the accomplishment of de-
sired results, as if animated with a living spirit. So perfect
in its equipments and so admirable in its mechanical ap-
pliances is it that there seems to be nothing lacking, which
mechanical ingenuity could devise, to aid in producing
goods of the highest excellence and on a scale of surprising

Thomas Kingsford, the discoverer of the secret process,
was a man of great industry and large scientific acquire-
ments. By his simple manners, large-hearted sympathy,
and great benevolence, coupled with an unswerving fidelity
to just principles in all business transactions, he won the
esteem of all with whom he was associated. He died in
1869, and it may be truly said of him he was a public

Since the decease of his father, Thomson Kingsford, who
now alone holds the secret, has been the sole manager of
the business at Oswego, and the success which has attended
its operations during that period proves that he possesses
great business energy and tact as well as executive ability
of a high order.

The manufacture of starch at Oswego having been so
well conducted, and having grown to such gigantic propor-
tions, has also been very remunerative, and has been the
means of placing much wealth at the disposal of the Kings-
fords. They have not, however, hoarded their means, but,
with characteristic generosity and benevolence, have freely
given a helping hand to those less fortunate than them-
selves ; and there is scarcely an enterprise or institution in
the city which has for its object the improvement of man-
kind that has not received encouragement and material aid
from the Kingsfords.

The starch-factory is not only the largest manufacturing
establishment in Oswego County, but one of the largest in
the United States ; and as its products, known as " Kings-
ford's Oswego Starch," are distributed all over the habitable
globe, Oswego has become widely known and distinguished
in the commercial world as being the place where Kings-
ford's starch is manufactured.

The history of Oswego County, written without a de-
scription of the Oswego starch-factory, would be imperfect
and deficient in an element of distinction which will live
long after the present generation shall have passed away.



1828. — President, Alvin Bronson ; Treasurer, Thomas
Willett;, Collector, John Howe ; Clerk, Edwin W. Clarke ;
Trustees, Daniel Hugunin, Jr., George Fisher, Nathaniel
Vilas, Jr., David P. Brewster, Theophilus S. Morgan, Jo.seph
Turner, Orlo Steele ; Fire Wardens, Henry Eagle, Francis
Rood, Thomas Ambler, William I. Kniffin.

1829. — President, Daniel Hugunin; Treasurer, Thomas
Willett ; Collector, John W. Turner ; Clerk, E. W. Clarke ;
Trustees, Elisha Carrington, Charles S. Phelps, Jehiel
Clarke, George Fisher, Theophilus S. IMorgan, Joseph
Turner, Orlo Steele; Fire Wardens, same as 1828.

1830.— President, Theophilus S. Morgan; Treasurer,
Samuel Hawley ; Collector, John W. Turner; Clerk, E.
W. Clarke; Trustees, Daniel C. Van Tine, Charles S.
Phelps, Matthew McNair, Gideon H. Woodruff, Peter D.
Hugunin, Joseph Turner, James Sloan ; Fire Wardens,
Thomas Ambler, James Sloan, Henry Eagle, Nathaniel
Vilas, Jr.

1831. — President, Edward Bronson ; Treasurer, David P.
Brewster ; Collector, Norman Ormsbee ; Trustees, Ulysses

^ 4C/^;l.uS¥:-

Among the representative journalists of this county and Slate,
none stood higher in the general estimation of the public than did he
whose name heads this brief narrative. We have before us numer-
ous sketches of his life and character, from which we glean the fol-

Richard Oliphant was born in the city of London, on the 23d of
January, 1801. He came (o this country and took up his residence
in the then village of Auburn when he was twelve years of age. He
early evinced a love for the " art preservative of all arts," which he
regarded, with professional zeal, as the most ennobling occupation,
down to the day of his death. The first type he ever set was in ISIO,
when he commenced, like most boys in a printing-office, by setting up
"pi," in Russell's court, Drury lane, London. The first regular
composition he undertook was at Auburn, in 1814, under the instruc-
tions of Thurlow Weed. In 1816 he commenced work for Skinner

Online LibraryCrisfield. cn Johnson... History of Oswego County, New York → online text (page 46 of 120)