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Cornell's Iron Works
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John Black Cornell
John Black Cornell
Cornell illuminated iron steps
Cornell vault cover Cornell vault cover
Cornell vault cover Cornell vault cover

Location:

  • 141, later 143 Centre Street, New York
  • Works 26 St. & 11 Ave.

Timeline:

History:

  • At some point became J. B. (John Black, 1821-1887) & J. M. Cornell
  • "Cornell Iron Works has been owned and managed by the Cornell family since 1828. In the 19th century, we were a manufacturer of specialty ironwork, grates, railings, stairs, vaults and structural and ornamental ironwork. The company originated in New York City serving a regional market then later New England and the middle Atlantic states." —About Cornell
  • Designs Underfoot (Diana Stuart):
    • "As Cornell's business increased, in 1856 adjoining lots were leased and in 1859 larger foundries and fitting shops were built at the foots of W. 26 St. and on the riverfront"
    • "Cornell manufactured grates, fenders, iron railings, iron doors, shutters, etc. at a number of locations.
    • "An 1897 advertisement proclaims: 'Brooklyn Work a Specialty. Built at our works 26 St. & 11 Av. Jobbing and repairs of all kinds of ironwork and steamship repairs and castings. 1,000 tons of beams, channels, angles, and plates always in stock. Foundry capacity 20,000 tons per annum, heavy and light castings'"
  • "CORNELL IRON WORKS BURNED. Building and Valuable Machinery Destroyed—Adjacent Property Threatened.
    The big iron foundry and machine shops of J.B. & J.M. Cornell, occupying the entire block bounded by Twenty-sixth and Twenty-seventh Streets and Eleventh and Twelfth Avenues, were entirely destroyed by a fire that was discovered just after midnight last night.
    The building was in some places two stories and in others one story in height, of wood, covered with corrugated iron.
    The fire was first seen by Watchman Lynch. By the time the firemen arrived there was not the slightest chance of saving the building, and they gave their attention principally to the big lumber yards on the south side of Twenty-sixth Street. At 1:30 o'clock this morning it was thought that the lumber yards would be saved.
    On the north side of Twenty-seventh Street is the big building of the Terminal Warehouse Company. It is of brick, six stories high.
    This building was threatened, but at 1:30 A.M. it was not thought to be in further danger.
    The loss of the Cornell shops is complete. They were filled with valuable machinery, which is also a total loss.
    The office building of the Cornell Company, at the corner of Twenty-sixth Street and Eleventh Avenue, is of brick. It took fire several times, but was saved."
    New York Times, June 2, 1893
  • "The corner building at Hudson and North Moore in Tribeca not only has an exterior painted ad for Lakow Desks and Office Supplies, it also has a vintage skylight by Cornell Iron Works. This beautiful skylight is inlaid with violet-colored glass. Cornell Iron Works also built many of Central Park's cast iron bridges." —forgotten NY street scenes (manhole & coal chute covers)

Paper:

Three invoices from J. B. & J. M. Cornell (Formerly J. B. & W. W. Cornell),
Plain and Ornamental Iron Works, 139, 141 & 143 Centre Street

Cornell invoice to Mr. E. Livingston · 1884 Date: Oct 23, 1884
To: Messrs. Lamb & Rich, 516 Broadway

IRON BUILDINGS
Rolled Iron Beams and Girders,
VAULT LIGHTS,
FIRE AND THIEF-PROOF
SAFES AND VAULTS,
BANK LOCKS,
Iron Railings,
ORNAMENTAL LAMP-POSTS,
Cast and Wrought IRON WORK
OF ALL KINDS

Cornell invoice to Mr. E. Livingston · 1885 Date: Sept 5, 1885
To: Mr. E. Livingston, 516 Broadway

PLAIN AND ORNAMENTAL
IRON WORK.

IRON BUILDINGS,
ROLLED IRON BEAMS AND GIRDERS,
VAULT LIGHTS,
IRON RAILINGS AND ROLLING SHUTTERS,
ORNAMENTAL LAMP-POSTS,
FIRE & THIEF-PROOF SAFES AND VAULTS,
BANK LOCKS,
VAULT LIGHTS, SKY-LIGHTS,
IRON BRIDGES, ELEVATORS,
AND ELEVATED RAILWAYS,
CAST & WROUGT IRON WORK OF ALL KINDS

Cornell invoice to Mr. E. Livingston · 1887 Date: Sept 12, 1887
To: Mr. E. Livingston, 516 Broadway

PLAIN AND ORNAMENTAL
IRON WORK.

IRON BUILDINGS,
ROLLED IRON BEAMS AND GIRDERS,
VAULT LIGHTS,
IRON RAILINGS AND ROLLING SHUTTERS,
ORNAMENTAL LAMP-POSTS,
FIRE & THIEF-PROOF SAFES AND VAULTS,
BANK LOCKS,
VAULT LIGHTS, SKY-LIGHTS,
IRON BRIDGES, ELEVATORS,
AND ELEVATED RAILWAYS,
CAST & WROUGT IRON WORK OF ALL KINDS

ESPECIAL ATTENTION PAID
TO ORDERS FOR REPAIRS