A History of its Industries, Railroads and Inventions





An illustrated history of manufacturing in New York's Capital

Author's note: This book is now available in paperback format for the first time (it was previously available in digital format). Only 210 copies are available for sale. Once this edition is gone, it is gone! Future editions may be printed, but not likely.

Printed on glossy paper for easier reading. Soft-bound, 126 pages. See price list for more details.


Table of Contents



Heating a Nation: The Stove Industry 

Defending a Nation: The Watervliet Arsenal 

Building a Nation: The Lumber Trade

Transporting a Nation: Carriages and Sleighs 

Clothing a Nation: Cotton and Knitting Mills 

Decorating a Nation: Ornamental Iron

Entertaining a Nation: Pianos and Toys 

Feeding a Nation: Agricultural Implements 

Satisfying a Nation: The Breweries 

Forging a Nation: Iron Foundries 

Hauling a Nation: Railroading 

Supplying a Nation: Miscellaneous Manufacturers

Excerpt From the Introduction
Copyright 2012-16 Timothy Starr

At the eve of the Civil War, Albany County contained six hundred manufacturers that employed almost thirteen thousand people and generated $16.5 million worth of revenues per year, equivalent to $400 million today. The size and importance of the mills in Watervliet and Cohoes is apparent when removing those cities from the statistics, in which case the number of people employed dropped to 6,500 and the value of goods dropped to $9.5 million. Revenues from cotton and woolen goods, led by the Harmony Mills of Cohoes, were valued above all other manufactured articles at $3.7 million. The manufacture of alcohol and malt liquors came in second, followed by stoves, planed lumber, machinery, carriages, and agricultural implements.

Since no Civil War battles were fought in New England, industry expanded throughout the war and beyond. Even brief summations of America’s most important industrial centers listed Albany County as home to the Watervliet Arsenal, the cotton mills of Cohoes, the stove foundries of Albany, and the immense lumber trade. By 1870, the county was noted for having several industries that were among the largest in the country, as related by the city directory: 

"Albany is the largest barley market in the United States; immense quantities of this grain being manufactured into malt and beer. It is an extensive lumber market; a vast amount of which is transported hither from the north and west. “The Lumber District” is along the canal, above the Little Basin, where extensive wharves and slips have been constructed to facilitate the transfer of lumber from canal boats to vessels, upon which it is transported down the river. The manufactures of this city are varied and extensive, embracing agricultural implements, steam engines, car and carriage factories, iron foundries, machine shops, breweries, type and stereotype foundries, lithographs, pianos, and almost everything to be found in any city of the size in the United States. The stove foundries and breweries are very extensive. Bricks are also extensively manufactured."

Stoves made by Perry and Company, Albany.