Everybody knows that the two specialties of the ‘burgh are the brush and oil cloth manufactures, and that the brush business is the specialty par endurence. It was by an accidental circumstance that just fifty years ago one of the very few brushmakers in America happened to locate in Lansingburgh—he was employed by David McMurray, senior, who had the sagacity to see that money was to be made from the manufacture. He manufactured, to an extent, tooth brushes, about the only one of the hundreds of varieties of brushes not now manufactured at the ‘burgh. He educated his sons, William, David, John G., and Robert, and Wm. Bradshaw, and others, who after him were the pioneers and extenders of the business both in Lansingburgh and Troy, for in this city the business was for many years from 1830 extensively carried on by the sons David and Robert. From year to year new and extensive establishments were erected, and new and intricate labor saving machinery introduced. The first manufacturers in the ‘burgh were—David McMurray, William McMurray, Bradshaw & Brother, Cross, Hoyt & Morse, John G. McMurray & Co., (Bradshaw,) Thomas Curran, Scott, McKenney & Co., John Ames, &c., &c. The business steadily increased from year to year, it has been doubled during the last nine years, and the probability is that it will double again during the next five years,—for from the concentration of the peculiar skill necessary to the business, and peculiar facilities, the ‘burgh may defy competition and force to herself the business. One-half of the women and children of the village are trained to the essential manipulation of “drawing,” an important fact to the manufacturers. Government and other tests prove the superiority of the product. There is no village or city on the continent which does so much of this business as the ‘burgh, and probably half of the brushes manufactured in the country are produced here, and sold in the different manufacturers’ warehouses in New York, &c. It will be seen from the following careful estimate of last year’s business, that the number of dozens of brushes manufactured was 184,300, with a market value of $896,000. The number of pounds of bristles used was 84,580—about half imported (Russian and German)—value $477,638. The number of feet of timber used was 119,725. The principal varieties are beech, black walnut, rose wood, satin wood, maple, mahogany, white holley, &c. This may be taken in the morning, green in the log, seasoned, sawed, applied to the bristles, finished, so as to be ready for shipment in the perfect article, in the afternoon, if desirable. The number of males employed in the shops is 407, who earn on a full week’s work an average of $15. The female “drawers” on the books, who do their work at home, is 1700, but probably in many cases a single account serves for many females and children. They earn what they can after attending to home duties, and no reliable estimate can be made of their daily earnings. It is not too much to say that from 2500 to 3000 of the 6000 population of the town of Lansingburgh are more or less engaged in the brush business, and depending on it in a greater or less degree for their support. The following statement of last year’s business, in detail, is not assumed to be entirely accurate in all respects, but it has been carefully made by a gentleman thoroughly posted in the business, and we have no doubt is sufficiently correct for all practical purposes:
No. doz. made.
lbs. Bristles used.
Feet of timber.
Hands. Me.
Hands. Fe.
J. G. McMurray & Co.50,000$280,000 20,00035,000105450
Jno. Ames & Co.52,000261,00019,00034,000112430
E. & C. Wood20,00080,0008,00014,00040200
Geo. Scott12,00060,0006,0007,50030110
P. B. King & Co.12,00065,0006,0008,00032150
Sweeney & Bradshaw6,00025,0004,0004,0001260
Dubridge & Doyle6,00028,0004,0003,5001250
Anson Son3,00015,0002,0002,000740
J. McQuide5,00020,0003,0001,000100
James Erwin8,00014,0002,0002,000640
Son & Flagler2,00010,0002,0001,800425
Wm. Allen5,00030,0004,0003,4001480
James Flynn3,0009,0001,8001,500841
Peter Sullivan1,5005,000800700414
John Gass1,0006,00060045029
Alfred Provo1,0007,000600500310
Mrs. Patterson1,0005,000500475310
A. Denisard8004,000280200312

Troy Daily Times. June 6, 1866: 2 col 2.