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John Elgar letter to Charles Lukens
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John Elgar letter to Charles Lukens

Accession 1366

Manuscripts and Archives Department, Hagley Museum and Library


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

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit 2014-03-18T13:27-0400

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, John Elgar letter to Charles Lukens (Accession 1366), Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, DE 19807

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Descriptive Summary

Title: John Elgar letter to Charles Lukens
Dates: 1825 March 31
Accession Number: 1366
Creator: Elgar, John, 1784-1858
Extent: 1 item
Language of Material: English
Repository: Hagley Museum and Library: Manuscripts and Archives Department
Abstract: John Elgar was a Quaker master mechanic employed in the York, Pa., foundry of Phineas Davis, Israel Gartner and James Webb. The letter is an order for sheet iron used to build the hull of the steamboat Codorus.
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Administrative Information


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

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Historical Note

John Elgar was a Quaker master mechanic employed in the York, Pa., foundry of Phineas Davis, Israel Gartner and James Webb. In 1825 a group of Baltimore capitalists formed a company to navigate the Susquehanna River with steamboats in order to increase the trade of the city. Elgar constructed the steamboat Codorus for this group and launched it on November 14, 1825. The hull was made of sheet iron riveted together, making it the first iron-hulled steamboat ever built. It made several demonstration trips on the river, and in April 1826 it successfully steamed as far north as the New York State line. However, the Susquehanna could be navigated in high water for only a few months each year, so the project was eventually abandoned. Davis, Gartner & Webb later gained fame as the builders of the first American locomotives to be used in regular service on the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, and Elgar made a number of railroad-related inventions.

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Scope and Content

The letter was written by Elgar to Charles Lukens of the Brandywine Rolling Mill, an important producer of iron plate, ordering the sheet iron used to build the hull of the Codorus. Attached is an order from Israel Gartner of Davis, Gartner & Webb.

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Access Points

Codorus (Steamboat).
Davis, Gartner & Webb.
Foundries--Pennsylvania.
Gartner, Israel.
Iron industry and trade--Pennsylvania.
Lukens, Charles, 1786-1825.
Sheet-iron.
Ships, Iron and steel--19th century.
York County (Pa.)--Foundries.
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