Manufacturers Index - William P. Kellogg & Co.
William P. Kellogg & Co.
Troy, NY, U.S.A.
Wood Working Machinery
Last Modified: Jun 2 2012 8:40AM by Jeff_Joslin
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This maker was primarily known for their curry combs. But they also made boring machines and solid-chisel mortising machines.
In 1845, curry-comb maker William Wheeler, who was in partnership with one Charles H. Kellogg, relocated their operations from Poultney, VT, to Troy, NY. The business name was William Wheeler & Co. It is not clear whether Kellogg then left Wheeler's firm or took it over, but in any event in 1850 Kellogg began manufacturing curry-combs at a new location in Troy. In 1862, William P. Kellogg—who was, presumably, the son of Charles H.—took over the business. In 1866 he took a partner, Charles R. Walsh and the firm name became William P. Kellogg & Co. Walsh left after one year and William's brother, Warren T. Kellogg, became a partner. In 1873 Warren left and William took sole possession of the business.
During the Civil War the firm made percussion caps. We do not know when boring machines and mortising machines were added to the product line; the earliest confirmed date we have is the 1873 ad shown above. It is quite possible that those products were designed by Miles Sweet, who is known to have been Kellogg's foreman in 1867. In 1873 Sweet established a curry-comb manufactory of his own and was also making boring machines. By the end of 1874 Sweet's firm had become Sweet & Clark.
Ad from 1873 Railway Buyers Guide
- We have two reports of mortisers in the Ottawa area from this maker. They are solid-chisel foot-powered machines that use a pair of wooden leaf springs to retract the chisel. The springs are mounted vertically behind the column, similar in design to machines we have seen from Smart & Shepherd of Brockville, ON, and Canfield & Co. of Newark, NJ. The machines are wood framed with cast iron mechanicals, and probably date from somewhere in the 1850-1890 time frame.
- Some course notes at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, no longer available, had the following information about the William P. Kellogg Machine Shop in Troy, NY in 1875:
The William P. Kellogg Machine Shop had enlarged its already substantial operations after the Civil War. The foundry produced everything from percussion caps to window blinds, and was able to survive numerous economic upheavals by consistently expanding and re-tooling its works. Kellogg was known primarily for his horse currycombs and other animal grooming brushes and accoutrements. He also owned a foundry directly across Congress Street from his main plant, where he produced boring and mortising drills and presses.The document included a factory photograph.
- We have identified ten patents associated with the firm, including two design patents. Several of the patents are for curry combs. The patent grant dates range from 1867 to 1885.
- The 1870 Boyd's Business Directory of New York State, under Troy: "KELLOGG WM. P. & Co. (W. T. Kellogg), hardware manufr's, Ida hill"
- Wm. P. Kellogg is listed as a member of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute class of 1853-54. His home town was Lansingburgh.
- The 1873 work, "Buyers' guide and mechanics' manual, for the use of railway officials", lists W. P. Kellogg & Co. as a maker of boiler makers' tools, boring implements, boring machines, forges, foundry services, mortising machines, portable engines, portable forges, and scales.
- Awards at the thirty-third annual exhibition of the New York Agricultural Society, Albany, NY, October 1873: William P. Kellogg & Co., Troy, N. Y.: fan blowing, portable forge for smiths' and mechanics' uses, with or without top: Bronze Medal.
- "The City of Troy and its Vicinity", by Arthur James Weise, 1886:
William P. Kellogg's curry-comb works are on the south side of Congress Street, Ida Hill, east of Cypress Street. William Wheeler, the first manufacturer of currycombs in the United States, engaged in the business, in 1843, in Poultney, Vermont. There Charles H. Kellogg became associated with him in it the firm taking the name of William Wheeler & Co. In 1845 the firm came to Troy and established the works at No. 468 River Street.
In 1850, Charles H. Kellogg began manufacturing curry-combs at the present location of the works. In May, 1862, William P. Kellogg succeeded to the business. He, in January, 1866, entered into partnership with Charles R. Walsh, the firm taking the name of William P. Kellogg & Co. In the following year, Charles R. Walsh withdrew, and Warren T. Kellogg became associated with his brother in the business. Since January 1, 1875 William P. Kellogg has conducted it. During the late war, the latter made for the United States government percussion caps.
There is no definite information obtainable respective the origin of the manufacture of curry-combs. For many centuries mention has been made of them. A metallic curry-comb is composed of three or more rows of short teeth, to which is attached a handle. A blade of iron, known as a blank bar, is set between the rows of teeth to prevent the latter from entering the skin of the animal. Curry-combs are used to raise and separate the hairs matted together by perspiration and dirt, and to remove mud. The Kellogg curry-combs have had for many years an extensive sale in the United States and Canada, and retain the high reputation they have long borne wherever used. Mane and tail combs, whip-racks, boring and mortising machines are also made at the works.
- A website on the Mount Ida Neighborhood of Troy has a good history of the area that mentions the Kellogg firm:
- From one history page: "The William P. Kellogg Machine Shop had enlarged its already substantial operations after the Civil War. The foundry produced everything from percussion caps to window blinds, and was able to survive numerous economic upheavals by consistently expanding and re-tooling its works. Kellogg was known primarily for his horse currycombs and other animal grooming brushes and accoutrements. He also owned a foundry directly across Congress Street from his main plant, where he produced boring and mortising drills and presses."A
- From another history page: "The old Marshall Foundry at the northwest corner of Congress and Fifteenth Streets is a good example of how a smaller factory, even one as specialized as a foundry, could be adapted in ways that a very large plant could not. Charles H. Kellogg constructed the brick edifice in 1850 to make castings for sections of his currycombs. When William P. Kellogg consolidated his works on the south side of Congress Street in 1880 the building was sold to E. Hislop."
- According to one page, in 1860 Miles Sweet (later of Sweet & Clark Manufacturing Co.) resided at 328 Congress Street and was a foreman at Kellogg's (and patent information confirms that it was Wm. P. Kellogg & Co.) In 1890 Nathaniel S. Robinson, residing at 6 Brunswick Ave., was a foreman at Wm. P. Kellogg.
- From a genealogy page on the Van Schaick family: Frances Peebles (Guilford, CT) married William P. Kellogg. There's no guarantee that this WPK is our man.