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J. C. French & Sons
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J. C. French ad in 1893 Trow's City Directories for New York
Trow's City Directories for New York, 1893

Location:

  • 155 West Broadway, New York (now a supplementary courthouse for the New York City Supreme Court)
  • 537 Canal Street, New York (1890)
  • 452 Canal Street, New York (1893)
  • Branch Works: 357 West Randolph St., Chicago
J. C. French vault light, Chicago, IL (Kevin Irvine)
J. C. French pamphlet ca 1890
"French's Patent May 27 1873"
Chicago, "Wabash, south of Ohio"
Photo: Kevin Irvine (twitter)
Patent Vault, Sidewalk, Floor, Roof, and Sky Lights
J. C. French & Sons, New York, ca 1890, 2p (front & back).
JPG ~4MB: tar|zip|pdf or PNG ~28MB: tar|zip|pdf

Timeline:

  • 1872-1895-?
J. C. French & Son business card
J. C. French & Son,
VAULT AND SIDEWALK
LIGHTS
Of every Description.
155 West Broadway, New York.

OPERATORS FOR TRAP DOORS
Real Estate Record and Builders' Guide, Volume 45, January 25, 1890

Genealogy:

  • James Constantine French, b.1826
    • Son = Richard R. French, b.1852

1860 United States Federal Census:

Maine, Androscoggin, Auburn

AS = Attended School?
Name Age Sex Occupation Estate$ Birth-
place
AS
James C French 34 M Machinist 800 Maine
Ann M French 32 F "
Elly M French 11 F " /
Richard R French 5 M " /
James B French 6 M " /
Hattie E French 1112 F "
Nathaniel French 19 M Apprentice "
Margarett Luana 19 F Domestic K Cork, Ireland
1860 United States Federal Census
National Archives and
Records Administration

via ancestry.com

1870 United States Federal Census:

Illinois, Cook, Chicago Ward 12

AS = Attended School?
Name Age Sex Occupation Estate$ Birth-
place
AS
James French 44 M Machinist 500 Maine
Annie French 42 F Keeping House "
Ella French 21 F At Home "
Richard French 19 M " "
James B French 16 M App Machinist "
Hattie French 10 F At Home "
Nathan French 9 F " " /
Lizzie French 7 F " " /
Eddie French 6 M " " /
Albert French 4 M " "
1870 United States Federal Census
National Archives and
Records Administration

via ancestry.com

1892 New York State Census:

Kings, Brooklyn Ward 03, E.D. 05

Name Sex Age Birth-
Country
Occupation
James French 66 M U.S. vaults
Annie French M 63  " "
Nathan French M 29  " " clerk
Albert French M 26  " " vaults
Lizzie French F 29  " "
1892 New York State Census
New York State Library
via ancestry.com

Notes:

  • See Famous Frenches at the French Family Association web site
  • "WANTED—A FIRST RATE JOBBING MACHINIST; permanent position for the right man. Apply to French's Vault Light Company, 261 and 258 Michigan-av." —Chicago Tribune, Tuesday, May 21, 1872
  • "FRENCH VAULT-LIGHT MANUFACTURING CO.: Jacob G. Curtis, President; R. Carter, Secretary and Treasurer; J. C. French, Vice President and Superintendent; 52 and 54 South Clinton street. Established in 1872, with a capital of $100,000; number of employes, 40; weekly pay-roll, $550; value of annual production, $85,000. This Company manufactures specially the French Sidewalk, Roof and Vault Lights. Among the buildings supplied with these lights are several of Hon. J. Y. Scammon's; Hale & Ayer's new building; Hall, Kimbark & Co.'s, and many others." —The glory of Chicago, 1873
  • "Mr. J. C. French & Son, Manufacturers of Vault and Sidewalk Lights, have recently removed from 155 West Broadway to 452 Canal street, where they have a factory four times as large as formerly, and thoroughly equipped. They derive the power for running their machinery from an electric motor which gives excellent satisfaction, both from the standpoint of convenience and economy. Mr. French's is one of the oldest concerns in ths branch of business in the city. Among the floor lights recently completed are the Nevada Flats, the People's Bath House, Center Market place, and the Hotel Endicot. They are now laying 100 feet of sidewalk lights on 125th street, near Seventh avenue; also 150 feet at 4th and Greene streets. Their motto is, good work and reasonable prices, and their increasing business indicates that it is well deserved." —Architecture and Building, Volume 15, Number 13, September 26, 1891
  • "The French Vault-Light Company, Jacob G. Curtis, R. Carter and J. C. French, officers, established their works at 54 South Clinton street in 1872, and employed forty men. Sidewalk, roof and vault lights were placed in the J. Y. Scammon, the Hale & Ayer and Hall & Kimbark buildings that year." —Industrial Chicago, 1891
French's Vault Light Company, Chicago business card

French's Vault Light Company
MACHINISTS.
Proprietors and Manufacturers of
FRENCH'S PAT. DOUBLE PLATE, SINGLE & DOUBLE LENS,
VAULT, SIDEWALK, FLOOR & ROOF LIGHTS,
WORKS: 261 and 263 Michigan Avenue,
OFFICE: 127 Michigan Avenue
Chicago.
The only NON-SWEATING LIGHTS, and SUPERIOR IN EVERY RESPECT
to any others. We respectfully invite investigation by Architects and Builders.
French Family Asociation · Famous Frenches

Paper:

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