Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Henry C. Brush

This Lewis Hepburn over under rifle once belonged to Henry C. Brush.
Its owner, Larry Avery of Toledo, OH, describes it as a "over and under double rifle percussion muzzle loader ... made by L.L. Hepburn of Colton, N.Y."  The silver oval plate inlaid into the left side of the butt stock is stamped in three lines:
     Henry C. Brush
     Float Pat. Aug. 23, 76
     Brush’s Mills, N.Y.
Mr. Avery also describes the rifle as "fully engraved on the right and left lock, butt plate, trigger guard, toe plate, patch box and the upper tang. All the rifle furniture is German silver. Butt stock is figured walnut. The sights are a custom globe front sight with a pin head insert, a flat V notch barrel sight, and a custom made vertically adjustable tang sight."

Henry Corbin Brush was the son of Henry Neilson Brush, from whom the village of Brushton derives its name.  Brushton, NY was originally named "Brush's Mills."

From Frederick Seaver's "Historical Sketches of Franklin County, NY" (1918), page 719:

     "H. Corbin Brush, son of Henry N., was born in Brushton in 1838, and always made his home there. He had large property intersts, and to the care of these applied most of his energies and time. Finely educated, possessing exceptional business abilities, genial, companionable and public spirited, Mr. Brush enjoyed the respect of everybody, and was of great usefulness in the hamlet that was his home. He died April 19, 1898."

Also from Seaver: (p. 519)
      "The industrial enterprises of Moira were never numerous or large. The community is distinctively agricultural, but with two small unincorporated villages -- Brushton and Moira. Each is a station on the Rutland Railroad, and each is on an improved trunk-line highway. Almost with the first settlement in the town, Appleton Foote, as the agent of Gilchrist and Fowler, erected a saw mill at what is now Brushton, and a grist mill there in the year following, which was displaced by the present stone mill in 1823, built by Robert Watts, and later improved and enlarged by Henry N. Brush."

Henry C. Brush also invented a shallow-running submersible fishing lure known as the Brush Trolling Spoon. 

(From the Scientific American Vol XXXVI No. 8 February 24, 1877. NY:  Munn & Co.):
Improved Trolling Hook
Mr. Henry C. Brush, of Brush's Mills, N.Y., has patented through the Scientific American Patent Agency an improved troller, the novel feature in which consists in attaching a float to the shank of the implement under the revolving blade, the object being to keep the troller near the surface of the water, where the fish may see it more readily, and whereby the liability of catching in weeds and logs is obviated.

Trolling Hook

A is a float, attached to the shank, a, of the troller. B is the spoon, which is swiveled in the usual manner. The device is very simple, and is claimed to prevent all the annoyance arising from the hook catching in sunken obstructions.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

H.D. Thompson & Co.

From Illustrated Malone:  Commercial, Financial, Manufacturing Special Souvenir Number.  (1909) Stevens & Turner Co., Malone, NY.  Page 22:

"The wholesale and retail hardware business of H.D. Thompson & Co., is one of the most important mercantile industries of Malone.  This business was established about 1840, by Mr. H.H. Thompson, father of the present President of the company.  In 1880 Mr. Thompson, Sr., was succeeded by his two sons, Mr. H.D. Thompson and Mr. R.R. Thompson, and in 1904 a company was formed and incorporated according to the New York state statutes, with a capital stock of $65,000.  The officers of the present firm are, Mr. H.D. Thompson, President and Treasurer, Mr. N.M. Marshall, Vice-President, and Mr. A.H. Proctor, Secretary.  They occupy a splendid five-story brick block at 91 East Main St., besides seven storehouses located near the Rutland depot.  In all the business covers, with its stores and warehouses, over an acre of floor space, which provides excellent accommodation for the immense stock carried, which includes everything in the way of hardware for the supply of the wolesale and retail trade.  The show rooms are stocked with full lines of light and heavy, shelf and builders' hardware, saddlery and saddlery hardware, carriage supplies, guns and ammunition, and in fact everything for the stocking of a retail hardware store, many of the establishments of this nature in this district getting their supplies here.  A large staff of assistants is employed, and two travelling salesmen, Mr. L.F. Hutchison and Mr. Earl E. Maher, are kept on the road, and cover Franklin, St. Lawrence, and Clinton Counties.  Though the interests of the business are mainly devoted to the wholesale trade, they have, as well, a wide retail connection all over Malone and the surrounding district, and equal satisfaction is assured the retail customer as to the merchant giving an extensive order.  The members of this firm are prominent men in commercial circles of Malone, and are well known all over Northern New York as most reliable men to deal with."

From the collection of the Franklin County Historical and Museum Society (1969-1089):

Interior of H.D. Thompson Hardware Store  (click to enlarge)

Detail of H.D. Thompson Hardware photo

Detail of H.D. Thompson Hardware photo

H.D. Thompson & Co. operated through the mid-20th century.  This scale was recently donated to the Franklin County Historical and Museum Society:

Newspaper ads from March 8, 1916 Malone Farmer

Excerpts from obituary of H.D. Thompson, son of the business' founder, from August 1, 1917 Malone Farmer: