Workshop of the World

stories of industry in & around Philadelphia

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—"Parke & Tiers Brass Bell & Iron Founders, Point Pleasant, Kensington, Philada.", engraving in Picture of Philadelphia (E.L. Carey & A. Hart, 1831)

945-961 Beach Street (east to Delaware Avenue), Philadelphia, PA 19123.

James T. Bradshaw, proprietor, located on Beach Street near Laurel, has a front of 120 feet each, on Beach street and Delaware avenue, with a uniform depth of 220 feet. It was founded in 1809 by Charles Park[e], by whom it was operated as a bell foundry, and for the manufacture of brass castings for vessels. After the expiration of some fifteen years, he associated with him Arundius Tiers under the firm name of Park & Tiers. They erected a large additional building for an iron foundry, and after a few years abandoned brass work and devoted themselves exclusively to that in iron. After the death of Charles Park (about 1840) the works were operated by Arundius Tiers alone until January 1st, 1861, when the place was purchased by his son, William H. Tiers. He continued to be the sole proprietor until July 1st, 1864, when he associated with him James T. Bradshaw, under the style of Tiers & Bradshaw. William H. Tiers died on September 30th, 1865, but his estate retained his interest in the establishment until July 1st, 1869, when James T. Bradshaw became the sole proprietor. The works employ an average of fifty hands, and manufacture general castings, principally for rolling mills and vessels. A large portion of the business is the making of gear wheels, for which they have the largest assortment of patterns in the United States. They produce about 1000 tons of castings per annum, in which they consume about 1500 tons of iron and 500 tons of coal.

JAMES T. BRADSHAW, the son of William K. Bradshaw, was born in Philadelphia, June 28th, 1829. After attending the public schools of Philadelphia, he became, in the latter part of 1841, an apprentice to watchmaking with John Black on South street above Second. Having grown dissatisfied with his occupation, he was apprenticed to I. P. Morris & Co., iron founders and steam engine builders, at Sixteenth and Market streets, September 25th, 1845. After he attained his majority, June 28th, 1850, he continued to work for them as a journeyman until May 1st, 1851. He subsequently spent brief periods in the same capacity in New York, Portsmouth, Virginia, Richmond and Baltimore, obtaining an insight into the management of various leading establishments. He became foreman in George W. Snyder's foundry at Pottsville, Pennsylvania, January 31st, 1853, where he remained until July 31st, 1856, when he returned to the foundry of I. P. Morris & Co. He continued as their foreman until he purchased, July 1st, 1864, one-half interest in the Point Pleasant Foundry. He served in the State Militia during the Gettysburg campaign, and has been for many years a member of time Union League, but has never aspired to political honors.

—Charles Robson, Manufactories & Manufacturers of Pennsylvania (Galaxy, 1875), p. 108.

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Tiers & Bradshaw, Point Pleasant Foundry, Hexamer # 518. (c. 1871)