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James Bogardus

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Name  James Bogardus
Role  Architect
Known for  Cast iron

James Bogardus JF Ptak Science Books Blank Empty and Missing Things
Born  March 14, 1800 Catskill (town), New York (1800-03-14)
Died  April 13, 1874, New York City, New York, United States
Structures  Hopkins Store, Kitchen, Montross & Wilcox Store, 254-260 Canal Street, Harper Brothers Building, Laing Store

James Bogardus

James Bogardus (March 14, 1800 – April 13, 1874) was an American inventor and architect, the pioneer of American cast-iron architecture, for which he took out a patent in 1850.


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Early life

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Bogardus was born in the town of Catskill in New York on March 14, 1800. He was a descendant of the Rev. Everardus Bogardus (d. 1647), the second clergyman in New Netherlands.

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At the age of fourteen, Bogardus quit school to start an apprenticeship at a watchmaker.


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In 1828, Bogardus invented a cotton-spinning machine called a ring flier. In 1831, He invented a mechanized engraving machine that was employed for engraving dies for bank notes. He also invented the eccentric mill in 1832, which is still used in principle for fine finish of ball bearings, and, with variable eccentricity, for lens grinding.

James Bogardus James Bogardus Wikipedia

Bogardus attached plaques to his cast-ironwork that read: "James Bogardus Originator & Patentee of Iron Buildings Pat' May 7, 1850." After his invention of cast-iron in the early 1850s, he demonstrated the use of it in the construction of building facades, especially in New York City for the next two decades. He was based in New York, but also worked in Washington, DC, where three cast-iron structures erected by Bogardus in 1851 were the first such constructions in the capital. The success of the cast-iron exteriors from 1850-1880 led to the adoption of steel-frame construction for entire buildings.

Personal life

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He married Margaret McClay (1803–1878), the daughter of Daughter of Rev. Archiblad Maclay.

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Bogardus died in New York City aged 74. Bogardus is interred at Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York.


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A small park in TriBeCa, where Chambers Street, Hudson Street and West Broadway (Manhattan) intersect is named James Bogardus Triangle.

Bogardus buildings

  • 63 Nassau Street
  • 254 Canal Street
  • 75 Murray Street
  • 85 Leonard Street
  • Iron Clad Building, Cooperstown, New York (92 Main St, Cooperstown, NY)
  • References

    James Bogardus Wikipedia

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