Category Archives: Industry

Guy’s Dropper (miners’ lamp)

The first factory for the Guy’s Dropper, one of the most popular miners’ lamps ever made, was a back porch on Douglas Avenue. The Guy’s Dropper was a carbide lamp, which uses a mix of water and calcium carbide to … Continue reading

Posted in Business, Coal mines and mining, Industry, Prominent figures | 1 Comment

Springfield looks ahead: 1869

As 1869 began, the Illinois State Journal saw Springfield as a growing, prosperous and busy community. And the future looked even brighter: Two coal mines had just opened, plans had been drawn up for a new state Capitol, and the … Continue reading

Posted in Business, Industry, Journalism, Media, Resources | Leave a comment

Poston Brick & Concrete Co.

Brickyards sprouted in Springfield almost as soon as European settlers reached Sangamon County, but the longest-lived was Poston Brick & Concrete Co., which operated on South Grand Avenue for almost 60 years. “Nature was in a most generous mood when … Continue reading

Posted in Business, Industry, Soil, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Zinc works, Devereux Heights

Spanish immigrants were skilled zinc workers, but they were also tough labor negotiators, managers of Springfield’s zinc smelter learned. The smelter, owned first by the United Zinc & Chemical Co. and then the National Zinc. Co., operated off Peoria Road … Continue reading

Posted in Business, Coal mines and mining, Ethnic groups, Industry, Prominent figures, Spanish | 2 Comments

Newcomer-Bell Mill

The Newcomer-Bell Mill was on Sugar Creek in Woodside Township, on a site that today is covered by Lake Springfield south of Lindsay Bridge. William Southwick (1805-83)purchased the property on Dec. 6, 1830 and formed a partnership with Armon Lathrop … Continue reading

Posted in Business, Early residents, Industry, Mills | 5 Comments

Albert Booth family, wagon makers

The A. Booth and Son Wagon Factory once dominated the northeast corner of Eighth and Washington Streets in Springfield. The factory was built by Albert Booth (1813-1873), who moved his family from Menard to Sangamon County around 1840. He first … Continue reading

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George Voyzey, union radical

The radical sympathies of Springfield labor activist George Thomas Voyzey (1893-1950) got him in trouble with both local authorities and other union leaders. Voyzey served as chairman of the Springfield affiliate of Save the Union, a miners’ group that broke … Continue reading

Posted in Coal mines and mining, Depression, Industry, Labor unions, Prominent figures | Leave a comment

Worst coal mine accident (1918)

Four coal miners were killed Feb. 23, 1918, in the worst coal mine accident in Sangamon County history. Six employees of the mine, Citizens Coal Co.’s Mine A west of Springfield, were charged with negligence and violating mining laws, but … Continue reading

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Harvard Park

The person who named Harvard Park, one of Springfield’s largest early subdivisions, won $100 in a contest sponsored by the Springfield Improvement Association. He or she – the winner, one of 570 entrants, asked to remain anonymous – promptly donated … Continue reading

Posted in Communities, Industry | 7 Comments

Fred R. Coats Co.

This entry has been updated and expanded. Fred R. Coats deserves to be ranked with Robert Lanphier, John W. Hobbs and the Weaver brothers among Springfield’s top industrialists and innovators. Coats (1865-1951), born in Bennington, N.Y., came to Springfield with … Continue reading

Posted in Buildings, Business, Industry, Prominent figures | 5 Comments