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COAN & TEN BROEKE CARRIAGE CO.
Life Span: 1860-1886
Location: Northwest corner of Randolph and Ann streets
Chicago Tribune, June 11, 1860
CARRIAGE MAKING IN CHICAGO—Our city is behind no other city in the Union, in regard to stylish turnouts, so our visitors say. Our livery stable men, who are to be received as authority, say that they find nothing better, more stylish, or more durable in the line of light, open and top Buggies, Sulkies and Express Wagons than those from the establishment of Messrs. Coan & Ten Broeke, No. 4e3 Randolph street. Certainly some of these that we have seen, in daily use in Chicago, have stood all criticism and every test triumphantly. They have the best of workmen, use only the most select stock, and have exclusive arrangements with the most celebrated Eastern manufacturers for springs, axles, & c., and have built up a reputation far and wide in the Northwest, for their vehicles. “Get the best” is a good rule, and all the more gratifying when one can get it at home, of home manufacture.
Chicago Tribune, June 17, 1865
Those who have not accurately watched the growth of the West, and its rapid development in all the elements of stability, may be well surprised at being set down in one of the many establishments in our midst, where are gathered in rich profusion all the elegant and costly, as well as the more useful, such as they have accustomed themselves to think can only be procured at the East. Such forget that we are ourselves rapidly becoming “the East” to a territory people by millions, who look to Chicago for their supply of fill that is necessary to life, or that lends to make existence comfortable.
We are impelled to these remarks by a glance, the other day, through the extensive carriage rooms of Coan & Ten Brocke, Nos. 41 and 43 Randolph street, and covering four lots on the corner of Randolph and Ann streets. We saw there a stock of over two hundred vehicles of every description except the heavy lumbering wagon, with a host in process of manufacture. There were coaches, family carriages, calashes, barouches, victorias, rockaways, box wagons, chariots, slide seats, top and open buggies, etc., with mail and stage coaches, in every style and of every grade of finish; a selection not to be surpassed in the East, for variety of design, excellence of workmanship, elegance of appearance, lightness of bulk, or strength of build. Surely though! we, the West is carrying all before it, and Messrs. Coan & Ten Broeke are furnishing the wherewithal to do the mighty moving.
They are just now engaged on an installment of twenty mail coaches for the overland mail route to California. These are being built in the most substantial manner, and will prove to be among the most serviceable vehicles ever employed for the carriage of either passengers or goods. Their facilities for turning out this class of work are unsurpassed anywhere, as their extensive shops, large force of workmen, and immense stock of well selected material shows. They have also orders from the same company for regular stages. In addition to their own manufacture, they are also agents for the celebrated carriages of Lawrence, Bradley & Pardee, of New Haven, Connecticut, a large assortment of which is always kept on hand., with harness, either double or single, to match.
As an evidence of the excellence and popularity of their work, we may mention that these gentlemen furnish all the vehicles used by the American Express Company west of Buffalo. Think of Chicago reaching out her arms (spokes) so far to the eastward, supplying those very sections which but a few years ago drew their stock from still further east, and at a more recent period have supplied us! It is a compliment to the whole city, and it is but right that the gentlemen who gain us such handsome compliments should receive credit therefore, not only in words, but in that practical appreciation of their works at home, which shows that we endorse the preference and are not unmindful of those who are doing so much for the reputation and prosperity of our city, and the section in which it is located.
Two Tears After the Fire, Chicago Illustrated, October 9, 1873
The Works of the Coan & Ten Broeke Carriage Manufacturing Company, Randolph And Ann Streets.
The Glory of Chicago, Her Manufactories, by Savillon S. Schoff, 1873
THE COAN & TEN BROEKE CARRIAGE MANUFACTURING CO.—
D. H. Coan, President;C. O. Ten Broeke, Secretary; H. L. Nichols, Superintendent — corner W. Randolph
and May streets; was established in 1854, and is one of the pioneer carriage establishments in the city, there being but one older. The capital stock of the Company is $300,000; number of employees, 150; monthly pay-roll, $8,000; value of annual production, of $500,000. The specialty of their manufacture is fine, light buggies and carriages, family carriages, etc. The Company is represented in the grand Exposition by eight vehicles, in department E, section 5.
Coan & Ten Broeke Stage Coach
The Great Inter-State Exposition of 1873
COAN & TEN BROEKE CARRIAGE MANUFACTURING CO..
The following Carriages, manufactured by this Company, are made in accordance with the latest styles and in the most artistic manner. The proportions are worthy of especial notice. These carriages all have the best cast steel axles with composition boxes.
① Square Glass-front Landaulette, or Landau and Landaulette in one. Front movable, to admit of landau front being put in its place. This carriage is of the English style of body, is handsomely trimmed with green morocco; mountings are of silver.
Price $1,800 Made by H. Killam & Co., New Haven, Conn.
② T cart, for Four Passengers. With back seat reversible, the back panel then dropping and becoming foot-board. Carriage for 1, 2 or 4 horses.
③ C. & T. B. Phaeton. The most sensible buggy built, combining, as it does, comfort and elegance. This carriage is trimmed with the best green cloth and broad lace; gear being striped green to accord with trimming. A buggy suitable for one horse.
④ Whitechapel Buggy. This is one of the latest styles, and one destined to be popular, the low front rendering it easy of access, while, at the same time it is sufficient to hold the robes. The proportions are most graceful.
⑤ Square Box Road Wagon, with Top. The body is hung on side spars and is of the finest proportions. This buggy, though very light, is intended to carry two persons, and is constructed for light and fast driving. The one on exhibition was made to order, and was painted and trimmed to suit a particular taste. It is trimmed with drab corded goods, and gear is painted Munich lake, striped with gold.
⑥ Open Road Wagon. Intended to carry one person and for speeding horses. Similar in style to 5. Painted plain black throughout.
⑦ Six-seat Park Phaeton, with Half Top. Driver’s seat is elevated, lid to close over front seat, and book steps. The lines
of this carriage are perfectly symmetrical, and are in fine proportion. This carriage is trimmed with maroon morocco, and throughout is one of the most stylish. Price $1,350.-8. Surrey cart. This is of an entirely new design, and, as far as style is concerned, is “the thing.” Hung on side spars.
Price $500. Made by Bradley, Prag & Co., New York City.
Chicago Tribune, September 20, 1874
The Coan & Ten Broeke Carriages.
A new branch of carriage manufacture, never before attempted in Chicago, is carried forward at the large establishment of the Coan & Ten Broeke Carriage Manufacturing Company, corner of Ann and Randolph streets. The Company is now manufacturing landaus, landaulets, coupelets, etc., in addition to the lighter grade of carriages, and their light road-wagons and buggies, none of which are excelled for style, beauty, and finish. A call at their repository, No. 175 Wabash avenue, opposite the Exposition Building, will repay the visitor for the time thus spent.
Chicago Tribune, July 12, 1874
In bankruptcy. In the matter of the Coan & Ten Broeke Carriage Company, bankrupt. Pursuant to the order of the said Court, the undersigned, Provisional Assignee of the estate said bankrupt, offers for sale the entire stock, machinery, and equipment of said bankrupt, consisting of a large number of fine carriages, buggies, omnibuses, wagons, and other vehicles, finished, and in process of manufacture, together with stock and materials for the manufacture of vehicles. This is one of the largest and best equipped establishments of its kind in the United States, and it is now in full and successful operation—its failure resulting from entire loss of capital in the great Chicago fire, followed by the financial siringency of the past winter. Sealed bids will be received by the undersigned for the purchase of the whole or any part of the property of said bankrupt until 12 o’clock noon of July 15, next. All bids will be opened in the presence of the Judge of said court. The right to reject all bids is reserved. Property may be examined, and particulars ascertained on application to the undersigned.
ROBERT E. JENKINS’
Provision Assigners, 159 LaSalle st.,
Chicago, June, 30, 1875
Chicago Tribune, October 9, 1881
I. N. W. Sherman, Nos. 228 to 242 Franklin street, is successor to Jarrett & Sherman, immediate successors of Coan & Ten Broeke, the famous carriage-builders, whose reputation he fully maintains. Mr. Sherman’s specialties include omnibuses, of which he is the only builder in Chicago (and in workmanship will compare favorably with the best in the world), spring buggies, Concord buggies, express-wagons, etc. He is also the only builder of the celebrated Buchanna’s patent park or street sprinklers. Everything turned out by Mr. Sherman is made upon honor.
Chicago Tribune, April 19, 1880
The alarm from Box 382 at 4:21 yesterday morning was turned in by Watchman Gibbs, who discovered fire in the north wing if a large three-story building on the northwest corner of Ann and Randolph streets, used for manufacturing purposes, and familiarly known as the Coan & Ten Broek carriage-factory, although that firm has not occupied it for some few years past. The building covers nearly one-half the square block. The main portion is quite old, and is regarded as a landmark, but the additions on the north and west were good and substantial buildings. In the middle was a large square open court, which divided the structure into four wings. The engine-room, which the fire originated, is in the lower part of the north wing. When the firemen reached the building they experienced considerable difficulty in getting directly at the fire, and it soon spread from floor to floor amongst the combustible material which was lying about on every side, and at 4:48 Marshal Sswenie said that the blaze was perceptibly gaining ground, and turned in a second alarm. By 5 o’clock the flames had obtained great headway, and the entire destruction of the building and contents seemed imminent. Through the stairways and various passageways the fire had made its way into the east and west wings, and to all three floors of the north wing. Several piles of lumber in the court and on the outside of the factory had also caught fire, and the blaze was a hot one. A fresh southwest breeze carried the volume of smoke and burning embers off to the northeast, greatly endangering a large tract studded wit frame buildings. Fortunately all escaped.
From the court and from the street and alleys surrounding the building on the north and east, the firemen worked with a will, and when at last an hour later the fire was substantially out, they said to each other that a mighty good job had been made of it. The north wing was thoroughly gutted, the east wing was only partially damaged, and the west wing but slightly damaged. The lumber was better in quality than in quantity, and was badly damaged by the heat where it was not wholly consumed. The building itself was damaged to an extent which will require the rebuilding of only a portion of it. The signal for out was not sounded until 6:30 o’clock. By this time the fire was quenched, and the structure so thoroughly flooded with water that there was no longer any danger of more damage being done.
The occupants of the building, who suffer loss by the fire, are only two—the Wolfinger Organ Company, F. R. Wolfinger, President, and the carriage manufacturing firm of A. C. Loomis & Co. The former occupied the entire east wing and the second and third floors of the north wing, and the latter the entire west and south wings and such of the first floor of the north wing as was not taken up by the boiler and engine-rooms. The organ manufacturing firm carried a comparatively heavy stock, and had a lot of fine cabinet-working machinery, in which business the firm was engaged until within a year ago. Their office, together with some books and papers as were not in the sage, were totally destroyed. The safe was so hot that it could not be opened until quite late in the day. The Company’s loss has been estimated at from $15,000 to $20,000, but it is probable that, when the loss is set down in dollars and cents, it will be found to be several thousands less than the insurance.
As to the exact origin of the fire nothing is known. It was under great headway when discovered by Mr. Gibb, but had evidently been smoldering fir a long time, A spark from the boiler fires of Saturday may have gotten beneath the floors and started a smoldering fire there, which could not be seen by the watchman on his rounds.
Chicago Tribune, March 13, 1886
The Chicago Cottage Organ Company, occupying the large three-story brick building at the corner of Randolph and Ann streets, was visited by a most disastrous fire early yesterday morning. Sam Bishop, the night watchman, discovered the rear part of the building to be in flames at 5 o’clock, while making his last round, and telephoned in a still alarm to Engine Company No. 12. This was quickly followed by a first and second alarm from Box No. 43, and as the fire kept gaining headway a third was turned in at 5:33. The fire is supposed to have originated in the lumber room on the third story, from which sparks issued through a large crack in the chimney. From there it spread to the finishing-room across the court. Two of the walls fell shortly after the fire started, but no firemen were injured. It was 7 o’clock before the flames were extinguished.
The building has a frontage on Randolph street of 175 feet, extending back 225 feet on Ann street, and of this the Randolph street front, in which the office and the shipping-room were located, was the only part of the structure which escaped being burned. The rest was completely gutted. The building is owned by Mrs. Hetty Green of New York—the millionaires who created a flurry some years ago by taking all her wealth from the Fidelity vaults in that city—and was damaged to the amount of $20,000, on which there is $14,700 insurance. The loss to the Chicago Cottage Organ Company will be quite heavy, for over 2,000 organs in course of construction were destroyed., besides the machinery and fixtures. H. D. Cable, Treasurer of the company, estimated the damage to the stock to be $50,000 and to the machinery $25,000. The company carried $40,550 insurance, carried by several companies.
Mr. Cable said it was not yet decided whether to have the factory rebuilt and remain where they were, or to put up a building of their own in some other part of the city. If the former alternative should be adopted, most of the 175 workmen who have been thrown out of employment will be put to work again somewhere in the neighborhood, for the company will improvise workshops merely to be used till the factory can be rebuilt.1
James D. Brackett’s livery stable, next door to the burned building, was damaged to the extent of $1,000.
The building in which the factory was located was erected about twenty years ago at the cost of about $35,000, and has proved to be an unlucky piece of property. The present occupants were burned out six years ago, and their predecessors, Coan & Ten Broeke, went twice through the same experience.
The Chicago Cottage Organ & Piano Company (formerly occupied by Coat & Ten Broeke Carriage Company)
Randolph and Ann Streets
1 On January 8, 1887, Chicago Cottage Organ Co. purchased lots between Paulina and Wood streets along 22nd street.