Successors to BROWN BROTHERS|
"Sole Manufacturers of Hyatt's Patent Prismatic “Cement”
and “Lead Band” Sidewalk Lights and Vault Lights, Floor Lights,
Sky Lights, and Vessels' Deck Lights."
- N. W. Corner of Clinton and West Jackson Sts., Chicago, Illinois
- 224 & 226 Monroe St.
- 22nd & Campbell Ave (1905)
- Business established in Chicago 1858
- "Sidewalk Light Dept, Established 1860 ·
Brown Bros Mfg Co. · Sidewalk & Vault Lights ·
Coal Hole Covers & Rings · Ash Pit Doors, &c.
SEWER BUILDERS SUPPLIES KEPT IN STOCK"
- "Foundry Dept, Established 1871 ·
Brown Bros Mfg Co. · JOBBING IRON FOUNDRY ·
JACKSCREWS, WALL GRATES, DUMB BELLS &c.
DIFFICULT IRON CASTINGS A SPECIALTY"
- "Sand Blast Dept, Established 1876 ·
WESTERN SAND BLAST CO.
· MFRS. OF ORNAMENTAL GLASS FOR HOUSES, OFFICES &c.
RAIL ROAD GLASS A SPECIALTY.
ADVERTISING MIRROR & SIGNS."
- "Bicycle Dept, Established 1888 ·
Brown Bros Mfg Co. · MFRS. OF THE "GREYHOUND" SAFETY BICYCLE.
ALL BALL BEARINGS, PRICE $100. BICYCLE REPAIRS & SUNDRIES."
- "Brown Brothers, (F. B. and Edwin Lee,) manufacturers' agents
Hyatt's Patent Sidewalk and Vault Lights, and sole western
manufacturers of Metallic Pattern Letters, 46 River, up stairs"
—1867 Balley's City Directory for Chicago
- "BROWN BROTHERS' VAULT-LIGHT MANUFACTORY: Edwin Lee Brown, Proprietor;
northwest corner of South Clinton and West Jackson streets.
Established in 1869; number of employes, 75 to 85; weekly pay-roll,
$1,000; value of annual production, $250,000 to $300,000. These
works are exclusively for the manufacture of Hyatt's Patent
“Lead Band” and “Cement” Sidewalk Lights,
Vault Lights, Floor Lights, Roof Lights, and Vessels' Deck Lights,
and are the most extensive of the kind in the world. During the
year 1872 this firm used in their manufacture 750 tons of iron,
100 tons of glass, 50 tons of lead and 5 tons of sulphur. They
paid out for pattern-making alone, during that year, $36,000,
employing more than twice as many pattern-makers as any other
manufactory of any kind in Chicago. Their daily cash expenses
in 1872 were about $700. For eight months of that year they made
and laid down in place in front of business buildings in Chicago
a sidewalk-light platform equal to 40 feet long by 6 feet wide on
an average every working day — equal to a frontage of
nearly two miles in length. This manufactory is worthy of
a visit. Mr. Brown is a member of the Board of Directors and of
the Executive Committee of the Inter-State Industrial Exposition."
—The Glory of Chicago · 1873
- Broadsheet dated 1880
- Invoice dated 1882
- "E. L. Brown & Brothers established their vault-light factory in
1860, and in 1873 employed eighty-five men in their works at Clinton
and Jackson streets. During eight months of 1872 they laid down two
miles of sidewalk or vault lights in this city." —Industrial
- Edwin Lee Brown [1827-1891], President
- V. Reifsnider, Secretary and Treasurer
- J. D. Richards
Edwin Lee Brown:
- "Edwin Lee Brown, father of Edwin F. Brown, was a native
of Milo, Maine, and was the second in order of birth in his
father's family of three children. He married Mary Lapham
Babcock, a daughter of Archibald and Elizabeth (Wyman) Babcock,
of Charlestown, Massachusetts. In the early '60s Edwin Lee
Brown brought his family to Chicago, where, in connection with
his brother, Franklin B. Brown, he founded the Brown Brothers
Manufacturing Company, of which he was president until his
death in 1891. Unto him and his wife were born four children,
namely: Frances L., Walter Lee, Edwin F. and Archibald L."
—Chicago: Its History and Its Builders, a Century of Marvelous Growth, Volume 5
- Illinois Humane Society: "The progress of reform was further
illustrated by the crusade to prevent cruelty to dumb beasts. The
Illinois Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, incorporated
in 1869, was instrumental in bringing about the passage of such a law
that year. In 1870 the society completed its organization with Edwin
Lee Brown, manufacturer of sidewalk and vault lights, as president, and
took steps to enforce the law. ..."
—A History of Chicago, Volume III: The Rise of a Modern City, 1871-1893
- World's Exposition: "The proposal to commemorate the
four-hundredth anniversary of the landing of Columbus in the Western
Hemisphere had been a matter of discussion for some time prior to 1885.
In that year Edwin Lee Brown suggested that Chicago would be the ideal
place for it." —A History of Chicago, Volume III: The Rise of a Modern City, 1871-1893
- "AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF THE RED CROSS (CHICAGO BRANCH) —
Pres. Edwin Lee Brown; Sec. Miss Frances LeBaron; Treas. Isaac G.
Lombard." —1890 Chicago Blue Book - Living History of Illinois
- "The president of the Citizens' Association, Edwin Lee Brown, after
the last election of Mayor Harrison, made a speech in North Side Turner
Hall in which he called on all good citizens to take possession of the
courthouse by force, even if they had to wade in blood. It seems to me
that the most violent speakers are not to be found in the ranks of the
Anarchists." —The Accused, the accusers: the famous speeches of the eight Chicago anarchists in court when asked if they had anything to say why sentence should not be passed upon them.
"Edwin Lee Brown, president of the Brown
Bros. Mfg. Company of Chicago, died at his residence in that city on
the 21st inst. Since 1856 Mr. Brown had been prominently identified
with the growth and public interests of Chicago, acively co-operating
with philanthropic movements and ever aninated with a desire to elevate
humanity. Born in the town of Milo, Maine, in 1827, Mr. Brown was 64
years of age at the time of his death. He graduated from Bowdoin College
in 1845 and immediately engaged in business as an architect in Boston.
Later he became connected with Hyatt Bros. of New York, and was at the
time of his death engaged in the same business—that of manufacturing
sidewalk lights, of which Hyatt is the patentee. It was in 1858 that
Mr. Brown first established his business in Chicago. Still later he
became identified with the Western Sand Blast Company, of which he
has for many years been president. Few men possessed a keener insight
into affairs. The success of the various associations with which he was
connected in the course of his honorable and active career testifies
to the high order of executive ability which he possessed. Those with
whom he was associated in the different fields of humanitarian effort
sincerely mourn his death. It was in Mr. Brown's capacity as director of
the Interstate Industrial Exposition Company that at the annual meeting
held on November 14, 1885, he offered the following famous resolution:
Resolved, That it is the sense of
this meeting that a great World's Fair be held in Chicago in the year
1892—the four hundredth anniversary of the landing of Columbus
The resolution, seconded by R. W. Hare, was
unanimously adopted, and it is said to have been the first suggestion
made at a public meeting regarding such a celebration. Mr. Brown leaves
a widow and four adult children."
—Iron Age, Volume 48, Issue 1, 1891
- "Brown Brothers, (Edwin Lee Brown, Successor and Proprietor,) cor.
Clinton and Jackson streets, Chicago. Sidewalk and Vault Lights, Floor,
Roof, and Vessels' Deck Lights. This exhibition comprised Hyatt's patent
“lead bund” and “cement” prismatic vault lights,
which are extensively and solely manufactured by this exhibitor, who does
the largest business in this line of any house in the world. Some idea
as to the extent of the business done in this line can be formed when the
fact is known that during the year 1872 the cash outlay of the house of
this exhibitor was one thousand dollars per day."
—The Inter-state Exposition Souvenir, 1873
- "A continuous and successful business career of almost forty
years can be claimed by but few houses in the West. In January,
1860, Edwin Lee Brown founded the firm of Brown Brothers, afterward
incorporated as Brown Brothers Manufacturing Company. In those early
days of Chicago, sidewalk lights, or bull's-eye lights, as they
were then called, were a new thing, untried and unknown, but in a few
years the house had succeeded in building up a large and flourishing
business. The importance of good work in the construction of sidewalk
lights and skylights is probably underestimated by many, but the
defects of the other kind become apparent in a very short time and
continue a source of expense and annoyance. Careful and thorough work
is assured in contracts undertaken by this house. Every variety of
prismatic light work for sidewalks, floors and roofs is manufactured
by this firm, and it is prepared to furnish special designs of mold
glass and special patterns of iron framework for skylights from
the plainest to the most ornate. Wrought-iron doors for sidewalk
elevators, and chutes—coal hole covers and deck lights for
vessels—are among the goods manufactured. The office and
works of Brown Brothers Manufacturing Company are located at the
northwest corner of Jackson boulevard and Clinton street."
—The Inland Architect and News Record, 1897
|The "Star" • 18" Coalhole cover
||The "Star" • 20" Coalhole cover
||No. 4 • 21" vault light