Skinner and Arnold: Boilers and Elevators

riversideparkbykevinmcgrath.jpgLast week we looked at this picture and talked about the Brainerd, Tanner Company, which notably made transom lifters. But a bit closer to the water was another company I hadn’t heard of, The Skinner & Arnold Steam Engine and Boiler Works. It turns out they didn’t only manufacture steam engines and boilers; they also had a patent for an improvement in elevators, granted in 1871. The patent granted to David Skinner and Joseph Arnold said:

SkinnerArnoldElevator.png“Our invention relates to improvements in elevators; and it consists in a novel arrangement of means whereby a weighted lever of a friction-brake, employed to regulate the descent of the platform, may be used to actuate the belt-shifter and throw the belt on the fast pulley for raising the platform simultaneously with the releasing of the friction or not, as preferred. Also, to throw off the belt to stop the platform at any point, the arrangement being such that the friction brake may be released sufficiently to let the platform down without throwing the belt on the fast pulley.”

Nope, no idea what that means.

According to Diana Waite’s “Albany Architecture,” they manufactured boilers, steam pumps and elevators on Herkimer Street and later on Broadway. Skinner and Arnold did pretty well for themselves, building side by side mansions at 714 and 718 Madison Avenue, in 1883, which still stand today.

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