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Hudson Erastus Bridge Papers, 1817-1874

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Identifier: A0175

Title: Hudson Erastus Bridge Papers, 1817-1874


Hudson Erastus Bridge, manufacturer, was born May 17, 1810, at Walpole, New Hampshire, but was raised in Bennington County, Vermont, spending the greater part of his time working on the family farm. When he was 21, he walked to Troy, New York, where he worked in a store for six months, accumulating sufficient funds to take him to Columbus, Ohio, by stagecoach. Arriving in the fall of 1831, he taught school during the winter months and then joined a business firm as a salesman, which gave him the opportunity to travel in the Midwest. In 1835, he moved to Springfield, Illinois, where, with Jewett, Matther and Lamb, inaugurated the manufacture of the Jewett plow. Not able to convince his partners to move the business to St. Louis, he left Springfield in 1837, and in company with Hale and Reyburn, established a business in this city, dealing in stoves, tin plates, copper, sheet iron, and tinners stock. In 1838, a foundry was established in connection with the store for the purpose of making the Jewett plow as well as stoves and hollow ware. It was operated as the Empire Stove Works. In 1857, John H. Beach became associated with Mr. Bridge, and the firm name was changed to Bridge, Beach & Company, which was later incorporated under the name Bridge & Beach Manufacturing Company. Hudson Eliot Bridge, son of the founder came into the business as a young man, and after his father's death in December 1875, was made president of the company. In addition to his successful business career, Bridge was a constant and generous contributor to many public enterprises. He was an original subscriber and worker in the inauguration of the Missouri Pacific, the North Missouri, the Iron Mountain, and the Ohio and Mississippi Railroad companies, the St. Louis and Illinois Bridge Company, and was one of the original incorporators and trustees of Washington University, the Polytechnic Institute, and Mary Institute.

Collection includes personal and business correspondence, bills, receipts, canceled checks, notes paid, local bills, bankbooks, railroad passes, and shipping statements of Bridge, Reyburn& Company. Includes correspondence relating to the development of the steel plow and information on Bridge's activities with the Missouri Pacific, the North Missouri, the Iron Mountain, and the Ohio and Mississippi Railroad companies.

Indexed in the archives card catalog.

15 boxes

Cite as: Hudson Erastus Bridge Papers, Missouri History Museum Archives, St. Louis.

Rights: UND


Dates: 1817-1874

Type(s): Documentary Artifacts

Maker/Creator: Bridge, Hudson Erastus, 1810-1875

Subjects: Business


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