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E. & S. S. Rockwell
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Location: New York:

  • 192 Broadway "near John street" (1815-1839)
  • 9 Astor House (1840-1845)
  • 413 Broadway (1846-1847)


  • E. & S. S. Rockwell (1815-1847)
  • Edward Rockwell (1744-1828)
    • b.10/4/1744, Middletown CT
    • =Lucy Strong (b.6/13/1747 in Middletown), 3/25/1773 in Middletown;
    • d.2/9/1828
  • Samuel Strong Rockwell (1787-?), Silversmith
    • b.5/19/1787, Middletown
    • "He was a partner from 1815 to 1847 with Edward Rockwell in New York City NY as E. & S. S. ROCKWELL. Located at 192 Broadway, 1815-1839; at 9 Astor House, 1840-1845; and at 413 Broadway, 1846-1847." —American Silversmiths


  • Edward Rockwell's Patent Vault Light of 1834 is the earliest in the United States. It has the curious designation 8058X and only the drawing remains (the description is lost). The patent is for a round iron cover with a single huge glass eye in the center, fully half the diameter of the whole cover. It must have looked fantastic, but been fragile.
  • In 1834, two were installed in front of "the Exchange" in New-York, and others in front of the Gazette.
  • Two frames (sans glass) are presently in the Cohill collection, and another (also sans glass) still on the street in Brooklyn.
  • "Rockwell's patent vault lights. 192 Broadway. The great usefulness of the above lights, not only for vaults intended for safety of goods in case of fire, and for the deposit of coal, &c., but by giving so much light, and at the same time excluding all wet, dust and frost, they make an underground apartment (when judiciously constructed and made white) a valuable place for business. Persons wishing to introduce them in other cities would do well to apply as above." —New-York as it is: containing a general description of the City of New-York; list of officers, public institutions, and other useful information: including the public officers, &c. of the City of Brooklyn: with additions and corrections: accompanied by a correct map
  • "E. & S. S. Rockwell, patent vault light—A silver medal." —Niles' weekly register, September 1834 to March 1835, Volume 47 (Hezekiah Niles, William Ogden Niles)
  • "For Metallic Rims for Vault Lights; Edward Rockwell, city of New York, March 8. This patent, it appears, is taken for preparing a frame of cast iron to receive the lights of plano-convex, or other formed glass. ''The invention claimed is the use of ornamental or plain cast metal frames, or chases, to protect semi-plano lights for vessels' decks, vaults under pavements, and other subterranean apartments; the glass being perfectly well protected, and the cast iron frame highly ornamental, and made of any size, shape, and of any metal, and to be used for all purposes.'' Perhaps a patent of this kind may deprive all but the patentee of a right to put a glass light into a metal rim, but we do not, at present, believe that it will. The kind of glass mentioned, semi-plano, is a form with which we are not acquainted." —Journal of the Franklin Institute (LIST OF AMERICAN PATENTS WHICH ISSUED IN MARCH, 1834)
  • "BOLD AND SUCCESSFUL BURGLARY. The watch and jewelry store of Messrs. E. & S. S. Rockwell, No. 9 Astor House, Broadway, was burglariously entered on Sunday night and robbed of valuable gold and silver watches, diamond rings, gold chains, plate of various kinds, such as silver forks, spoons, &c., the whole estimated to be worth from $15,000 to $20,000, which the burglars carried away. They entered by first getting into the adjoining untenanted store, formerly occupied by Mr. Simpson as a crockery store, whence they bored and broke through the partition wall, 18 inches thick. Mr. Rockwell was in his store about 7 o'clock on Sunday morning, and heard an unusual noise in the wall; but observing every thing apparently right, thought little more of the matter until the burglary and robbery was discovered. Entrance was effected by picking the lock of the adjoining store. This was apparently done on Saturday night. On reaching the inside it was found that the door could not be locked, and a hole was accordingly bored near the lock with a gimlet, and the door fastened with a spike. The keyhole was also plugged up so that no one could look in. The robbers were probably at work all day Sunday. In the morning, as above stated, Mr. Rockwell heard a strange noise in the wall, and in the afternoon at about 4 o'clock the occupants of the store on the other side heard a similar noise, but attributed it to rats in the wall. The robbers only took about half of what was within their reach, and made their exit by passing out at the door in Barclay-street just below the drug store of Rushton & Aspinwall. No trace has yet been obtained of the robbers, though we understand that one of the Police officers some days since warned the Messrs. Rockwell against such an attempt upon their premises. The offer of a handsome reward would probably lead to speedy detection." —New York Tribune, Sep 5, 1843
  • "$1000 REWARD — The store of the subscribers was burglariously entered during Sunday and Sunday night, the 3d inst., and a large amount of Watches, Diamonds, Jewelry and Silver Ware taken, for the recovery of which the above reward will be given, or a proportionate amount for any part of it. E. & S. S. ROCKWELL, No. 9 Astor House"—New York Tribune, Date?


Rockwell's Patent Vault Light}

Rockwell's Patent Vault Light}

Side view of Rockwell's Patent Vault Lights