skip to searchskip to content
banner
Christiana Machine Company records
print eadcite thisAsk Hagley
Christiana Machine Company records

Accession 2135

Manuscripts and Archives Department, Hagley Museum and Library


PO Box 3630
Wilmington, Delaware, 19807
302-658-2400
research@hagley.org

Finding aid prepared by Christopher T. Baer, 1996,

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit 2013-05-20T15:40-0400

Finding aid prepared using best local practices and Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Cite items for this collection in the following format:
[Description and dates], Box/folder number, Christiana Machine Company records (Accession 2135), Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, DE 19807

icon

Descriptive Summary

Title: Christiana Machine Company records
Dates: 1877-1929, bulk 1877-1915
Accession Number: 2135
Creator: Christiana Machine Company
Extent: 35.3 linear feet
Language of Material: English
Repository: Hagley Museum and Library: Manuscripts and Archives Department
Abstract: The Christiana Machine Company is a small, general purpose machine shop and foundry located in Christiana, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Their records cover the operation of the company under the Broomells and Burnham from 1877 to 1915 and are typical of the records of a small machine shop.
icon

Administrative Information


Provenance

Gift of the Lanaster County Historical Society

icon

Historical Note

Established in 1834, the foundry was unsuccessful until purchased by Isaac Broomell in 1862. Six years later, Broomell and his sons Edward and Henry contracted with Nathan F. Burnham, an machinist and inventor of York, Pa., to manufacture an improved water turbine that Burnham had invented, and the firm began to specialize in small power plants suitable for rural mills. In the fall of 1877, Burnham and the Broomells became equal partners, and the partnership was restyled the Christiana Machine Company in 1878. Burnham's sons, Frank and William, organized Burnham Bros. of York to sell the turbines that Christiana manufactured. Christiana soon began manufacturing steam engines, flour mills, saw mills, and boring and turning mills. The firm concentrated on Southern markets for small mills through a network of wholesalers, millwrights, and suppliers.

The Broomells bought out Nathan F. Burnham's interest in January 1889 and eventually severed their connection with Burnham Bros. In the same year, Henry Broomell patented an improved version of Burnham's turbine. The firm was incorporated in 1902. The Broomells failed to adapt to the shifting demand for larger hydro plants, and as the Southern market contracted after 1900, they turned to both the Mid Atlantic States and the South American export market.

Between 1900 and 1915, the company also turned to providing gears, shafting, and other elements of power transmission systems for factories in Philadelphia and New York. This involved off-the-shelf standard sizes as well as special batch jobs for individual factory engineers and subcontracting work for larger manufacturers. In 1915, the Broomells sold the firm to Charles Bond of Philadelphia, a more successful founder and machinist, and the company became a subsidiary of the Charles Bond Company.

icon

Scope and Content

The records cover the operation of the company under the Broomells and Burnham from 1877 to 1915 and are typical of the records of a small machine shop. Correspondence illuminates the company's place in a larger network of competitors, customers, suppliers, millwrights, engineers, dealers in mill supplies, and the larger firms for which Christiana acted as subcontractor. Work for the Bergen Point Iron Works and Dietz Engineering included valves for the Panama Canal. Inbound lettrs often include blueprints and sketches of parts being fabricated to order. The outgoing correspondence in letterpress copybooks is more informative, describing the Broomells' stormy relationship with the Burnhams, reaction to customer complaints, finances, and some of the internal workings of the shop, including the use of apprentices.

Many of the incoming letters and orders have decorative letterheads featuring engravings of plants or products.

icon

Arrangement

Orders and customer correspondence form the bulk of the archive and are arranged alphabetically by year. Given the primitive nature of the filing system, there are numerous misfiles and inconsistencies.

icon

Access Points

A.S. Cameron Steam Pump Works.
Allentown Iron Company.
American Machinery & Export Co.
American Road Machine Company (Kennett Square, Pa.).
American Saw Mill Machinery Company.
Apprenticeship programs.
Atlantic Works, Incorporated (Philadelphia, Pa.).
B.F. Starr & Company (Baltimore, Md.).
Bakers and bakeries--Equipment and supplies.
Balanced Cable Crane Company.
Belmont Iron Works (Philadelphia, Pa.).
Bement, Miles & Company.
Bergen Point Iron Works (Bayonne, N.J.).
Bessire & Company, Incorporated (Indianapolis, Ind.).
Best Steam Engine and Boiler Works (Lancaster, Pa.).
Bethlehem Steel Company.
Bilgram, Hugo, 1847-1932.
Birdsboro Steel Foundry and Machine Company (Birdsboro, Pa.).
Bollinger Bros., Incorporated (Pittsburgh, Pa.).
Bollinger-Andrews Construction Company (Pittsburgh, Pa.).
Bond, Charles, b. 1863.
Brickmaking machinery.
Broomell, Edward G. (Edward Grubb).
Broomell, Henry.
Broomell, Isaac, b. 1813.
Broomell, Schmidt & Co., Limited (York, Pa.).
Broomell, Schmidt & Steacy Company (York, Pa.).
Brown & Sharpe Manufacturing Company (Providence, R.I.).
Buffalo Forge Company.
Burnham Bros. (York, Pa.).
Burnham, Nathan F., 1822-1890.
Cambria Steel Company.
Camden Iron Works (Camden, N.J.).
Capron, E. P. H.
Carey Machinery and Supply Company.
Cavagnaro, John.
Chambers Brothers Company (Philadelphia, Pa.).
Champion Fibre Company.
Charles Bond Company.
Charles Longenecker & Co., Inc.
Chas. Hvass & Co.
Chester Steel Castings Company (Chester, Pa.).
Christiana Machine Company.
Coatesville Boiler Works.
Coatesville Rolling Mill Company.
Corbett Mill & Machine Company (Washington, D.C.).
Dietz Engineering Company.
Dodge Manufacturing Company.
Donegan & Swift (New York, N.Y.).
Downingtown Manufacturing Company.
Drew Machinery Agency (Manchester, N.H.).
Earle Gear and Machine Company.
Export Machine & Supply Company (New York, N.Y.).
Fairbanks Company.
Falls Rivet and Machinery Company (Boston, Mass.).
Federal Electric Company.
Federal Steel Foundry Company.
Fitz Water Wheel Company.
Flour mills--Equipment and supplies.
Foos Manufacturing Company (Hamburg, Pa.).
Fort Pitt Engineering Company.
Foundries--Pennsylvania.
Fowler, R. E.
Frank P. Miller Paper Company.
Gearing.
General Electric Company.
Gibbes Machinery Company (Columbia, S.C.).
Glamorgan Pipe & Foundry Company (Lynchburg, Va.).
Goodwin, O. B.
Guarantee Construction Company, Incorporated (New York, N.Y.).
H.B. Smith Machine Company (Smithville, N.J.).
Hancock Foundry and Machine Works.
Henry Disston & Sons.
Hertzler & Zook (Belleville, Pa.).
Heyl & Patterson, Inc.
Hoopes & Townsend.
Hoopes Bro. & Darlington, Inc.
International Time Recording Company of New York.
James Smith Woolen Machinery Company.
Jeffrey Manufacturing Company.
John A. Roebling's Sons Company.
John D. Westbrook, Inc.
John Turl's Sons, Incorporated.
Jones & Laughlin Steel Company.
L. Power & Company (Philadelphia, Pa.).
Lancaster County (Pa.)--Foundries.
Lancaster County (Pa.)--Machine shops.
Landis Brothers (Rheems, Pa.).
Lehigh Foundry (Fullerton, Pa.).
Lukens Iron and Steel Company.
M.H. Treadwell & Company, Inc.
Machine shops--Pennsylvania.
Machine-tools.
Manufacturers Contracting Company.
Marcus Mason & Company.
Messick, George A.
Milling machinery.
Mills and mill-work.
Moore & White Company (Philadelphia, Pa.).
Morris, Wheeler & Company (Philadelphia, Pa.).
New Holland Machine Company.
New Jersey Foundry & Machine Company.
New Process Steel Corporation (Lancaster, Pa.).
Newhall, John B.
Newton Machine Tool Works, Incorporated (Philadelphia, Pa.).
Norrish, Burnham & Co., Inc. (Glen Rock, Pa.).
Omaha Bakers' Supply Company.
Ott, George F.
Papermaking machinery.
Parkesburg Iron Company.
Pelton Water Wheel Company.
Pennsylvania Steel Company.
Philadelphia Gear Works, Inc.
Philadelphia Pure Rye Whiskey Distilling Co.
Power transmission.
Price Fireproofing Company.
R.D. Wood & Company.
R.G. Dun & Company.
R.H. Beaumont Company (Philadelphia, Pa.).
Reading Iron Company.
Reading Steel Casting Company.
Remington Machine Company.
Richard E. Fowler & Co.
Richards & Herschfeld.
Risdon-Alcott Turbine Company.
Robert L. Lattimer & Company.
Robert W. Hunt & Co.
Robinson Manufacturing Company (Muncy, Pa.).
S. Morgan Smith Company.
Salem Machine Works (Salem, Va.).
Salisbury Machine Works (Salisbury, Md.).
Saxton Furnace Company.
Seaboard Steel Casting Company (Chester, Pa.).
Semet-Solvay Company.
Southern Supply Company (Norfolk, Va.).
Specialty Engineering Company.
Sprout, Waldron & Company.
Standard Conveyor Company.
Standard Supply & Equipment Co.
Steacy-Schmidt Manufacturing Company (York, Pa.).
Steam-engines.
Stephens & Conrow Co.
Stoever Foundry & Manufacturing Company (Myerstown, Pa.).
Surety Engineering Co., Inc.
Thomas L. Chambers & Bro.
Thomas McFeely Company.
Treadwell Engineering Company (Easton, Pa.).
Turbines.
Vapor Heating Company (Philadelphia, Pa.).
Victor Cleaner Company.
W.R. Fleming & Co.
Wagner Electric Manufacturing Company (St. Louis, Mo.).
Washburn & Granger.
Webster Manufacturing Company (Chicago, Ill.).
Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company.
Wilbraham-Green Blower Company (Pottstown, Pa.).
Wm. Wharton, Jr., & Co., Incorporated.
Wolf Company.
Woodward Governor Company.
Worth Brothers Company.
Wright, Edward.
Zellner, A. P.
icon

Series Descriptions and Inventory

I. Order Books
Volume
1 October 29, 1877 - April 1885
Volume
2 January 1885 - July 1889
Volume
3 July 1889 - June 1893
Volume
4 June 1893 - May 1899
Volume
5 May 1899 - January 1903
Volume
6 January 1903 - January 1907
Volume
7 January 1907 - June 1911
Volume
8 June 1911 - December 31, 1914
II. Cash books
Volume
10 Volume B, April 1, 1886 - April 30, 1896
Volume
11 Volume C, May 1896 - May 1905
Volume
12 Volume D, May 1905 - October 1913
Volume
13 Volume E, October 1913 - March 1916
III. Advertising Ledger
Volume
14 1897 - 1900
IV. Stock Ledger
Volume
15 January 25, 1906 - May 26, 1909
V. Incoming Correspondence and Orders
Box
1 D, 1890
Box
1 A-Z, 1891
Box
1 A-Z, 1892
Box
1 A-G, 1893
Box
2 H-Z, 1893
Box
2 A-Z, 1894
Box
3 A-Z, 1895
Box
3 A-J, 1896
Box
4 K-Z, 1896
Box
4 A-Z, 1897
Box
5 A-Z, 1898
Box
6 A-O, 1899
Box
7 P-Z, 1899
Box
7 A-K, 1900
Box
8 L-Z, 1900
Box
8 A-S, 1901
Box
9 T-Z, 1901
Box
9 A-Z, 1902-1909
Box
10 A-Z, 1903
Box
10 A-D, 1904
Box
11 F-Z, 1904
Box
11 A-Z, 1905-1909
Box
12 A-Z, 1906
Box
12 A-D, 1907-1909
Box
13 F-Z, 1907
Box
13 A-M, 1908-1909
Box
14 R-Z, 1908
Box
14 A-O, 1909-1913
Box
14 R-Z, 1909
Box
14 A-M, 1910-1913
Box
16 N-Z, 1910
Box
16 A-R, 1911-1913
Box
17 S-Z, 1911
Box
17 A-Z, 1912-1913
Box
18 A-S, 1913-1915
Box
19 T-Z, 1913
Box
19 A-V, 1914
Box
20 W-Z, 1914
Box
20 A-F, 1915
Box
21 G-Z, 1915
Box
21 American Machinery & Export Co
Box
21 American Road Machine Company (Kennett Square, Pa.)
Box
21 American Saw Mill Machinery Co
Box
21 Atlantic Works, Incorporated (Philadelphia, Pa.)
Box
21 Balanced Cable Crane Company (New York, N.Y.)
Box
21 Beaumont (R.H.) Company (Philadelphia, Pa.), engineers
Box
21 Belmont Iron Works (Philadelphia, Pa.)
Box
21 Bement, Miles & Co. (Phialdelphia, Pa.), machine tools
Box
21 Bergen Point Iron Works (Bayonne, N.J.)
Box
21 Bessire & Company, Incorporated (Indianapolis, Ind.)
Box
21 Best Steam Engine and Boiler Works (Lancaster, Pa.)
Box
21 Bethlehem Steel Company
Box
21 Bilgram, Hugo (Philadelphia, Pa.), engineer
Box
21 Birdsboro Steel Foundry & Machine Company
Box
21 Bollinger-Andrews Construction Company (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
Box
21 Bollinger Bros., Incorporated (Pittsburgh, Pa.), engineers
Box
21 Bond, Charles (Philadelphia, Pa.)
Box
21 Bond (Charles) Company (Philadelphia, Pa.), power transmission
Box
21 Broomell, Schmidt & Co., Limited (York, Pa.), steam heating
Box
21 Broomell, Schmidt & Steacy Company (York, Pa.)
Box
21 Brown & Sharpe Manufacturing Company (Providence, R.I.)
Box
21 Buffalo Forge Company
Box
21 Cambria Steel Company
Box
21 Camden Iron Works
Box
21 Cameron (A.S.) Steam Pump Works (Phillipsburg, N.J.)
Box
21 Capron, E.P.H. (Norwalk, Conn.), turbines, mills
Box
21 Carey Machinery and Supply Company
Box
21 Cavagnaro, John (New York, N.Y.), machinist
Box
21 Chambers Brothers Company (Philadelphia, Pa.), brick machines
Box
21 Champion Fibre Company
Box
21 Chester Steel Castings Company (Chester, Pa.)
Box
21 Coatesville Boiler Works
Box
21 Coatesville Rolling Mill Company
Box
21 Corbett Mill & Machine Company (Washington, D.C.)
Box
21 Dietz Engineering Company (New York, N.Y.), structural steel
Box
21 Dodge Manufacturing Company
Box
21 Donegan & Swift (New York, N.Y.), boilers & tanks
Box
21 Downingtown Manufacturing Company
Box
21 Drew Machinery Agency (Manchester, N.H.)
Box
21 Dun (R.G.) & Company
Box
21 Earle Gear and Machine Company (Philadelphia, Pa.)
Box
21 Export Machine & Supply Company (New York, N.Y.)
Box
21 Fairbanks Company
Box
21 Falls Rivet and Machinery Company (Boston, Mass.)
Box
21 Federal Electric Company
Box
21 Federal Steel Foundry Company (Chester, Pa.)
Box
21 Fitz Water Wheel Company
Box
21 Fleming (W.R.) & Co. (New York, N.Y.), steam plants
Box
21 Foos Manufacturing Company (Hamburg, Pa.)
Box
21 Fort Pitt Engineering Company
Box
21 Fowler, R.E. (New York, N.Y.), mechanical engineer
Box
21 Fowler (Richard E.) & Co. (Hanover, Pa.), bakers' machinery
Box
21 General Electric Company
Box
21 Gibbes Machinery Company (Columbia, S.C.)
Box
21 Glamorgan Pipe & Foundry Company (Lynchburg, Va.)
Box
21 Godfrey, Keeler Company (New York, N.Y.), boilers
Box
21 Goodwin (O.B.) (Norfolk, Va.), engines & boilers
Box
21 Grammes (L.H.) & Sons (Allentown, Pa.)
Box
21 Grant Nail and Supply Company (Boston, Mass.)
Box
21 Grier (Robert D.) (Salisbury Machine Works, Md.)
Box
21 Guarantee Construction Co., Incorporated (New York, N.Y.)
Box
21 Haag (A.W.) & Company (“Reading Mill Supply Works”)
Box
21 Hancock Foundry and Machine Works
Box
21 Heald (Jno. T.) & Co., Inc. (Lynchburg, Va.), tanning extract
Box
21 Hertzler & Zook (Belleville, Pa.), founders
Box
21 Heyl & Patterson, Inc. (Pittsburgh, Pa.), engineers
Box
21 Hoopes Bro. & Darlington, Incorporated
Box
21 Hunt (Robert W.) & Co. (New York, N.Y.), engineers
Box
21 Hvass (Chas.) & Co. (New York, N.Y.), street sweeping machines
Box
21 Hyman Supply Company, Inc. (New Bern, N.C.), mill supplies
Box
21 International Time Recording Company of New York
Box
21 Jeffrey Manufacturing Company
Box
21 Jones & Laughlin Steel Company
Box
21 Landis Brothers (Rheems, Pa.), gasoline engines
Box
21 Lattimer (Robert L.) & Co. (Philadelphia, Pa.), mill supplies
Box
21 Lehigh Foundry Company (Fullerton, Pa.)
Box
21 Longenecker (Charles) & Co., Inc. (New York, N.Y.), road machinery
Box
21 Lukens Iron and Steel Company
Box
21 Lundey-Dodson Company (Norfolk, Va.)
Box
21 McFeely (Thos.) Company (Philadelphia, Pa.), mill machinery
Box
21 Manufacturers Contracting Company (Wilmington, Del.)
Box
21 Mason (Marcus) & Company, plantation machinery
Box
21 Meadows (W.G.) & Son (Poors Knob, N.C.), mill machinery
Box
21 Messick (Geo. A.) (Wilmington, Del.), engineer
Box
21 Miller (Frank P.) Paper Company (East Downingtown, Pa.)
Box
21 Moore & White Company (Philadelphia, Pa.), paper machinery
Box
21 National Metallurgic Company
Box
21 Nebel (M.A.) (Brooklyn, N.Y.), mill machinery
Box
21 New Holland Machine Company
Box
21 New Jersey Foundry & Machine Company
Box
21 New Process Steel Corporation (Lancaster, Pa.)
Box
21 Newhall, John B. (New York, N.Y.), engineer
Box
21 Newton Machine Tool Works, Incorporated (Philadelphia, Pa.)
Box
21 Norrish, Burham & Co, Inc. (Glen Rock, Pa.), founders
Box
21 Norrish Foundry & Machine Company (Glen Rock, Pa.)
Box
21 Olney & Warrin (New York, N.Y.), boilers
Box
21 Omaha Bakers' Supply Company
Box
21 Oriental Dragée Company
Box
21 Ott, George F. (Philadelphia, Pa.), copper, brass & iron
Box
21 Parkesburg Iron Company
Box
21 Pelton Water Wheel Company
Box
21 Pennsylvania Railroad Company (shipments)
Box
21 Pennsylvania Steel Company
Box
21 Philadelphia Gear Works, Inc
Box
21 Philadelphia Pure Rye Whiskey Distilling Co
Box
21 Power (L.) & Company (Philadelphia, Pa.)
Box
21 Price Fireproofing Company
Box
21 Price (S.M.) Machinery Co., Inc. (Norfolk, Va.)
Box
21 Quemahoning Coal Company
Box
21 Reading Iron Company
Box
21 Reading Steel Casting Company
Box
21 Remington Machine Company (Wilmington, Del.)
Box
21 Richards & Herschfeld (New York, N.Y.) sawmill machinery
Box
21 Risdon-Alcott Turbine Company
Box
21 Robinson Manufacturing Company (Muncy, Pa.)
Box
21 Roebling's (John A.) Sons
Box
21 Salem Machine Works (Salem, Va.)
Box
21 Salisbury Machine Works (Salisbury, Md.)
Box
21 Saxton Furnace Company
Box
21 Seaberg (Gust.) (Brooklyn, N.Y.), elevators
Box
21 Seaboard Steel Casting Company (Chester, Pa.)
Box
21 Seidel (George N.) (New York, N.Y.), foundry
Box
21 Semet-Solvay Company
Box
21 Smidth (F.L.) & Co. (New York, N.Y.), cement plants
Box
21 Smith (Augustus) (New York, N.Y.), engineer
Box
21 Smith (James) Woolen Machinery Company
Box
21 Smith (S. Morgan) Comp any (York, Pa.), water wheels
Box
21 Southern Supply Company (Norfolk, Va.)
Box
21 Specialty Engineering Company (Philadelphia, Pa.), conveyors
Box
21 Sprout, Waldron & Company (Muncy, Pa.), flour mill machinery
Box
21 Standard Conveyor Company (New York, N.Y.)
Box
21 Standard Supply & Equipment Co
Box
21 Starr (B.F.) & Company (Baltimore, Md.), mill builders
Box
21 Steacy-Schmidt Manufacturing Company (York, Pa.)
Box
21 Stephens & Conrow Co. (New York, N.Y.), power transmission
Box
21 Stoever Foundry & Manufacturing Co. (Myerstown, Pa.)
Box
21 Surety Engineering Co., Inc. (New York, N.Y.)
Box
21 Susquehanna Water Power and Paper Company
Box
21 Toomy (Frank) (Philadelphia, Pa.), machinery and supplies
Box
21 Treadwell Engineering Company (Easton, Pa.)
Box
21 Treadwell (M.H.) and Company, Inc. (New York, N.Y.), founders
Box
21 Turl's (John) Sons, Incorporated (Newburgh, N.Y.), engineers
Box
21 Vapor Heating Company (Philadelphia, Pa.)
Box
21 Victor Cleaner Company (York, Pa.), vacuum cleaners
Box
21 Wagner Electric Manufacturing Company (St. Louis, Mo.)
Box
21 Walke (Henry) Company (Norfolk, Va.), mill supplies
Box
21 Washburn & Granger (New York, N.Y.), special machinery
Box
21 Webster Manufacturing Company (Chicago, Ill.)
Box
21 Westbrook (John D.), Inc. (Norfolk, Va.), mill supplies
Box
21 Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company
Box
21 Whaley (W.M.) & Co., Incorporated (Norfolk, Va.), mill supplies
Box
21 Wharton (Wm.), Jr. & Co., Incorporated (Philadelphia, Pa.)
Box
21 Wilbraham-Green Blower Company (Pottstown, Pa.)
Box
21 Wolf Company (Chambersburg, Pa.), grain mills
Box
21 Woodward Governor Company
Box
21 Worth Brothers Company
Box
21 Wright, Edward (New York, N.Y.), engineer
Box
21 Zellner, A.P. (Easton, Pa.), millwright
VI. Bills and receipts
Box
22 A-Z, 1895-1900
Box
23 A-Z, 1901-1915
VII. Outgoing letter books
Box
24 Volumes 1-7, November 6, 1877 - July 19, 1886
Box
25 Volumes 8-13, July 20, 1886 - May 30, 1891
Box
26 Volumes 14-19, May 1, 1891 - July 1897
Box
27 Volumes 20-25, July 1897 - May 7, 1900
Box
28 Volumes 26-31, September 27, 1900 - January 12, 1904
Box
29 Volumes 32-37, January 13, 1903 - August 1, 1907
Box
30 Volumes 38, 40-43, August 2, 1907 - March 3, 1911
Box
31 Volumes 44-47, May 4, 1911 - March 4, 1913
Box
32 Volumes 48-51, May 19, 1913 - January 28, 1915
Box
32 Volume 52 (Telegrams), August 23, 1926 - April 5, 1929
Box
32 Allentown Iron Company
Box
32 Beale (H.A.) & Co. (Parkesburg Iron Works)
Box
32 Belfield (H.) & Co
Box
32 Burnham, Nathan F. (York, Pa.)
Box
32 Burnham Bros. (York, Pa.)
Box
32 Chambers (Thomas L.) & Bro
Box
32 Disston (Henry) & Sons
Box
32 Hoopes & Townsend
Box
32 Morris, Wheeler & Company (Philadelphia, Pa.)
Box
32 Smith (H.B.) Machine Company
Box
32 Wood (R.D.) & Company
Box
32 Additional Correspondents