Over on the “Albany…The Way It Was” Facebook page, a participant posted a picture of a waterfront park I’d never seen before, from Herkimer to South Lansing. On the site of a former coal yard and cement plant, tucked in by the boiler works. I was curious about the surrounding industries, since the names didn’t ring any particular bells. In the background is the Brainerd Tanner Company. Because of an inexplicable love for an architectural relic of a bygone era, I’m absolutely delighted to learn that Brainerd Tanner was best known for manufacturing transom lifters. From 1899:
“The Brainerd, Tanner Company, with New York offices and salesrooms at No. 90 Chambers Street, and factory at Nos. 72 and 74 Church Street, Albany, N.Y., are successfully manufacturing, among their several specialties, the Dickson Transom Lifters and Openers, an illustration of which is presented herewith. The Dickson Transom Lifter is universal in its adaptability to meet all requirements, as in its form it swings out in sashes centrally pivoted, or hinged at either top or bottom, and in every case for right or left hand . . . No special bracket is ever needed, as this lifter operates transoms deep-recessed as well as if they were flush. It makes safe and easy the hanging of transoms for the best manner of ventilating, namely, hinged at top swinging out, or at bottom swinging in.” There’s more about the transom lifters but not much more about the company that made them.
The Chicago Journal of Commerce gave a brief blurb in 1897, noting that “The Brainerd-Tanner-Gallien Company, Albany, N.Y., has been incorporated with a capital of $25,000, to manufacture hardware specialties. The incorporators are Harry J. Brainerd, William F. Tanner, and B.M. Gallien.”
In 1899, The Iron Age carried a brief blurb that may have indicated all wasn’t going perfectly with the company’s New York operations:
“Brainerd-Tanner Company, Albany, N.Y., have removed their New York headquarters from 107 Chambers Street to 90, on the next block. They now have very much better facilities and will hereafter carry an adequate stock of the goods they manufacture and deal in.”
Always strive to be adequate.