J. H. Williams Company Timeline

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    05/31/82

    Williams & Diamond is Founded **Comments: 0 **Comments:

    According to Wikipedia, James Harvey Williams and Matthew Diamond started the Williams & Diamond Co. in Flushing Queens, NYC in 1882.

  • 04/30/83

    Williams & Diamond Trademarked **Comments: 0 **Comments:

    The 1883 Official Gazette of the United States Patent Office shows the Williams & Diamond name was Trademarked on May 1, 1883.

  • 04/30/84

    J. H. Williams & Co. Files the W Diamond Trademark **Comments: 0 **Comments:

    On May 2, 1884, J. H. Williams filed Trademark application #11,905 for the famous W inside a Diamond stamp.

  • Railway Master Mechanic - February, 1885

    12/31/84

    J. H. Williams & Co. Re-organizes **Comments: 0 **Comments:

    In 1885 the company reorganized with a partnership between J. H. Williams and William H. Brock.  Image is from the February, 1885 edition of Railway Master Mechanic

    The firm of J. H. Williams & Co., Manufacturers of drop forgings, 9 Richard Street, Brooklyn has been dissolved. Mr. Matthew Diamond is the retiring member, the firm from now consisting of James H Williams and William H Brock, the latter gentleman is well known in our town, he having for some time carried on business at Corona, where he was a resident. We trust that the new firm will have the success that good workmanship merits.
    The Newtown Register, November 26, 1885 -- Information courtesy of Maggie Blanck's Website - See the Media Link Below.

  • 05/31/85

    J. H. Williams & Co. Move To Brooklyn **Comments: 0 **Comments:

    The March 1, 1885 edition of The Hub published this article detailing the move of the Williams & Diamond Company from Flushing Queens, to Brooklyn on June 1, 1885.  Interesting to note the article refers to "Williams & Diamond" as the entity relocating, while the footer labels them as "J. H. Williams & Co."

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    05/31/86

    Trouble in Paradise - Brock Sues Williams **Comments: 0 **Comments:

    1886: William H. Brock sued James H. Williams for a dissolution and accounting. Brock claimed that Williams had agreed to put up capital as well as six city lots to start the steel forging factory. Brock claimed that Williams did not put up the capital and that the lots were mortgaged for $12,000. In addition Williams had hired a supposedly skilled workman at a salary of $6,000. Brock claimed the workman was incompetent and had "involved the firm in legal proceedings". It was claimed that Brock entered the factory and discharged all the workers, in effect, shutting the place down. No resolution was given in the Brooklyn Eagle article.

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    12/31/89

    J. H. Williams was making "forged field magnets" to be used in electric motors. **Comments: 0 **Comments:

    The ingot is heated to dazzling whiteness, thrust under the drop, and eight or ten blows from a 2,100 pound hammer force it into the dies and do the major part of the work. It is then taken out, placed in a furnace, reheated and returned to the forge, where two or three more blows complete the forming. It is then again heated and taken to the cutting press ..... where the projecting edges left by the first forging are trimmed of the the piece is practically complete.
    (The Electrical World, Volume 16)

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    12/31/91

    J. H. Williams Expands the Plant **Comments: 0 **Comments:

    1892: Brooklyn N Y Bowne St n. s. 50 ft e Richards st. one st'y brick forge-shop, slate and tin roof, one story brick extension, slate and tin roof and other alterations cost about $8,000, owners, J. H. Williams & Co 9 Richards st.; architect Wm Field 1030 Gates Ave.

    American Architect and Architecture, vol 35-36.

    Note: William Field and Sons were noted architects who were active in Brooklyn and Manhattan in the 1870 to 1890s. In 1890 they planned the Riverside Apartments at Columbia Place and Joralemon which were considered the ideal for tenement living.

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    05/31/93

    More J. H. Williams Plant Expansion **Comments: 0 **Comments:

    J. H. Williams & Co., 9 to 15 Richards street, Brooklyn, N Y., are making some improvements in their drop forging works in order to increase their storage and shipping facilities. Some adjoining house property has been acquired, a portion of which will be altered and adapted for use as a shipping department, the upper floors being utilized for storage purposes. This will relieve the main floor of the factory which has hitherto been used in this way, and afford room for the placing there of additional machinery. A new room has been built on the second floor of the main building to be used as a sample room, where samples of the various lines of drop forgings made by the firm will be displayed. A large and increasing business is being done by the company which taxes their large resources to the utmost.

  • 07/31/93

    Employee Bath House - J. H. Williams Plant Expansion **Comments: 0 **Comments:

    In 1893 J. H. Williams & co. built a bath house for their employees. The men were supplied with towels and soap. The bathing room was 50 by 19 feet and contained "twelve shower baths, consisting of small cubicles with ample room for a man to stand and move about. In each is fixed a large overhead spray connected with pipes conveying hot and cold running water.". In addition there were washing troughs with sprinklers overhead so men who did not want to take a full "bath" could partially wash themselves and shower their heads. The troughs were filled with water just before noon and again before 6'oclock. In addition clothes washing facilities were provided so the men could rinse out their dirty sweaty cloths at the end of the day. This included washing troughs, a wringer and a drying room. There was also a locker room.

  • 10/31/93

    J. H. Williams at the 1893 Worlds Fair **Comments: 0 **Comments:

    1893: J. H. Williams had a display at the Chicago World's Fair. The display of their merchandise was noted in the Scientific American as "distinctive" by "virtue of its "arrangement and class". The exhibit was mounted on highly polished sycamore boards and measured 16 by 22 feet. It included a well executed water color of the forge and an arrangement of some the dies and the products manufactured by the company. It was noted that drop forging was a new industry and was actually "blacksmithing by machinery". One of the advantages of this method was that all of the pieces created would be the same because they were die cast and not hand forged. It was now possible to manufacture precise components for "the peerless and up-to-date American bicycles," sewing machines and guns.

  • 05/31/95

    FOUR! - J. H. Williams A Leading Producer of Golf Clubs **Comments: 0 **Comments:

    1895: J. H. Williams was the leading promoter of drop forging golf club heads. They were advertised as "finished mild steel golf-club heads of finest quality A printed catalogue of the club heads was available on request. The club heads were stamped with the Williams logo a "W" in a diamond shape. They were still manufacturing club heads in 1898 when they were the leader in drop forged club heads both in the US and abroad. The advantage was the use of good metal, uniformity of shape, and "truth in striking surface". They advertised: mashie iron, gooseneck putting cleek, cleek, driving cleek, centraject lofting mashie, lofter, concave lofting cleek, mashie, iron, putting cleek, niblick, and driving mashie.

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    05/31/96

    J. H. Williams Expands Machine Shop Operations **Comments: 0 **Comments:

    In 1896, J. H. William & Co. erected a one story brick machine shop on Seabring Street on the north side 75 feet east of Richards street, 30 x 51, gravel roof, cost $1,600.

  • 05/31/97

    J. H. Williams - Employee Relations & Amenities **Comments: 0 **Comments:

    In 1897 when a Brooklyn Eagle reporter visited the shops of J. H. Williams he noted the cleanliness of the premises. There was no oil on the floor. Dripping oil was caught in pans and recycled. The factory had its own fire department and every room was equipped with sprinklers, hand hoses, water pails, and fire extinguishers. Staircase and elevators were located on the outside of the building to prevent fire spread. The buildings themselves were as fireproofed as technology of the times allowed. He also described the shower baths commenting that during the hot season the men could take a cool down shower during their "dinner" hour. (Dinner was at noon - the men returning to work at 1 o'clock.) J. H. Williams also had a mutual aid society. Membership was voluntary and a weekly fee was paid. This sociality provide funds if a man was sick or there was a death in the family. This society was established in 1896 with two grades of membership - those paying 10 cents a week and those paying 20 cents a week. In case of accident the former got $6 per week and the latter $11 per week for six weeks. Thereafter for 20 weeks one half of the benefits were paid. No member could receive over 26 weeks of benefits. In the event of death $100 was paid if the member had been in the organization longer than 6 months. The society also hosted an annual spring picnic and a winter ball.

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    09/30/99

    J. H. Williams Welcomes Admiral Dewey **Comments: 0 **Comments:

    In October 1899 the J. H. Williams & Co. of South Brooklyn "manufactures of drop forging" erected a large grand stand at the corner of 92 and Riverside so all their employees could watch "the great naval parade" to welcome Admiral Dewey. The company also provide lunch for it's employees at the Friday and Saturday festivities in honor of Admiral Dewey.

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    09/30/99

    J. H. Williams Leads the Way In Employee Relations **Comments: 0 **Comments:

    In 1901 J. H. Williams voluntarily put their men on a nine hour day with 10 hours pay. 1901: W. C. Redfield testified before congress regarding "Industrial Betterment". He stated that the factory covered "2 squares" in the borough of Brooklyn" and employed about 250 men. He further stated that every "room" in the works contained basins and sprays for washing, four toilet rooms, and shower baths with hot and cold water.

    In the largest bathroom are 11 showers and a soapstone sink with wringer for washing clothing, and a warm room for drying it. A bathroom is placed in each department as conditions permit. Each contains an expanded metal locker for every man in the department, together with the best sanitary plumbing arrangements and a shower bath. This was, so far as the writer knows, the first industrial establishment in this country to establish shower baths as u regular feature of the factory; the first one was erected in June, 1893. Inspection of the lockers of these toilet rooms shows the good results of these arrangements. Many of the men wear their good clothing to the works, and change it there for their working clothes; quite generally they have provided bath towels for themselves.
    Throughout the works sanitary conditions are required. Cuspidors are provided, and spitting on the floors or stairways is forbidden. Waste cans for both clean and oily waste are furnished, both for cleanliness and to avoid the danger of fire. The machine-shop floors are weekly scrubbed with hot water and soda.

    Some years ago a large machine shop was destroyed by fire; the next morning its ruins were surrounded by groups of workmen whose own tools had been destroyed without insurance or compensation. This was to Rome a considerable money loss and to some it meant much difficulty in taking up work elsewhere. From this incident arose the custom in the works of J. H. Williams & Co. of insuring the tools belonging to the workmen against loss by fire or water, without charge, the consideration being service in the works' fire department

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    05/31/04

    J. H. Williams Passes On **Comments: 0 **Comments:

    We mentioned last week the death of J. H. Williams, founder of the drop-forging business of J. H. Williams & Co., Brooklyn. Mr. Williams died suddenly of apoplexy. He was born at Fort Plain, N. Y., fifty-nine years ago. For about ten years he was a partner with his cousin, the late E. W. Bliss, in the firm of Bliss & Williams, now the E. W. Bliss Company. He started the business which now bears his name in a small way at Flushing, L. I., in 1882, under the firm name of Williams & Diamond. The business was moved to its present site in Brooklyn in 1884, the firm name being changed to J. H. Williams & Co., the business being incorporated in 1895 and Mr. Williams becoming its president. The business has been continuously successful in a broader sense than merely financially, and its special features have several times been brought to the attention of our readers. Mr. Williams was a successful leader in industrial betterment, with a happy avoidance of all savor of paternalism. His men were treated as men, and he and they were mutually regardful of each other's rights and helpful in promoting each other's well being. -- American Machinist, 1904

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    12/31/06

    J. H. Williams 1907 Drop Forging End-to-End Process **Comments: 0 **Comments:

    This series of articles appears in The Iron Age magazine, beginning in the January 3, 1907 issue.  It is a multi-part, multi-volume story that lays out each and every aspect of the J. H. Williams operations, employee relations, benefits, amenities, and facility for the manufacturing activity.  Replete with pictures, narratives, examples and details, this series of articles is a must read.