Chicago Mechanical Bakery.
Life Span: 1858-1870
Location: Nos. 192, 194 & 196 Lake street, Clinton near Lake street
Chicago Tribune, July 2, 1858
Yesterday was the occasion of the inauguration of the Mechanical Bakery at the new structure devoted to its uses, on Clinton near Lake street, on the West Division. If the high praise be just which is awarded to him who causes two blades of grass to grow where but one grew before, how much more a benefactor of his race is he who by his ingenuity and skill develops and successfully puts in practice a plan of providing for the human family two loaves of bread for the previous price of a single loaf.
This is claimed for Hiram Berdan, Esq., the inventor of the Automation Bakery. As an institution, calculated to be of lasting benefit to our citizens, in the supply of cheap and good bread, we have devoted more than our usual space to the exercises which took place at the establishment yesterday forenoon.
By invitation of the stockholders, about two hundred gentlemen and ladies were present and passed a pleasant and instructive morning in witnessing the operations of bread-making under the new method.
The building in which the baking process is carried on is situated 80 feet west of the corner of West Lake and Clinton streets. The building is 60 feet front, by 75 deep. The main building is five stories (including basement), and is nearly fire proof. There is a covered way on the south side of the building, with doors open into it from the first story, at which the delivery wagons can stand to receive the bread. On the north side of the first floor is a door opening on th the alley, near which door stands the hoistinbg machine, so that the flour can be received at one door, while the bread is being delivered at the other.
Part of the basement which is not occupied by the furnaces and engine is devoted to the yeast department. A separate and closed room for keeping the yeast cool, and free from interference, is provided at the east end of the building. The furnaces are located and arranged along the northerly line of the basement, having their foundations below it, and upon the arches of the furnace rest the bottoms or foundations of the ovens, and the superstructure of which rises 30 feet and through two stories of the building. The furnaces and boilers are situated in a separate one story addition, at the west end of the main building, and every precaution has been taken to guard against accident.
Kneading the Dough.
It must be readily acknowledged that the kneading process is one of considerable importance in the manufacture of bread. It was very difficult to accomplish this object under the ordinary system of baking, for the labor of kneading is excessively severe, and the exhausted workman, reeking with perspiration, will often remit his exertions at the very time they should be continued to work the dough effectually, and thus injure the quality of the bread. This machine will entirely relieve the baker all the hard work of his profession, and will also obviate the only serious objections which many families make to the use of baker’s bread, such as the use of men’s hands and arms, not to say feet and ankles, in working the dough; besides the preservation of a certain continuity of the mass in combination with a thorough mixing process, incorporating the air perfectly.
The kneading machine is an entire novelty. It consists of a double-headed wooden cylinder, ten feet long by six feet in diameter, fixed in a frame in a horizontal position. The inner heads are connected by two strong bars situated on opposite sides. By means of these bars the flour, water and sponge are thoroughly and perfectly mixed and incorporated. One of these bars is so situated in the cylinder as not only to assist in the mixing process, but at every revolution to clean the sides and surface of the cylinder perfectly. Besides these bars for mixing, there is an eccentric shaft connecting the two inner heads, upon which is suspended a plank shaped hopper, which at every revolution descends, and cuts into the mass of dough at the bottom of the cylinder, and lifts one-half thereof and conveys it upward until it approaches the top, when it suddenly throws it over by means of a simple mechanical arrangement, when it falls from the top to the bottom upon the mass of dough beneath, thus performing, by machinery, the same process which the French bakers perform by hand.
The process of the operation is thus described:
In the fourth floor the flour is run through a sifter, (to rid it of lumps and foreign substances) into the kneading machine, which has the capacity of kneading a batch of ten barrels of flour in less than twenty minutes, and more thoroughly than when performed by hand, whilst the cleanliness of the operation will commend itselfto all observers, in comparison with hand-kneading in ordinary bakeries. The dough is discharged from the kneading machine into “proving troughs” on the third floor, which are set on castors, and by the aid of the hoisting machine are taken to any part of the building, where the temperature is suitable raising the fough.
When raised, the dough is again put into the kneading machine, and undergoes a slight second kneading for the purpose of refining it—an important process, which is practiced elsewhere only by the best bread makers in private families. When duly refined by the second kneading it passes into the upright zinc cylinder of the loaf-cutter, by which it is divided into loaves of uniform weight. A self-acting register on the loaf-cutter records the number of loaves it delivers up to one million.
The first and second stories are mainly used by the oven machinery, one of the most ingenious contrivances we have ever seen. The oven is 30 feet in height, 24 feet long, and 10 feet wide, and passes through and occupies portions of the first and second stories. The oven rests upon a furnace, the arch of which forms the lower arch of the oven. A large volume of hot air passes directly through the arch into the oven, and the remainder is conducted to and through the ovens by means of fire brick tubes, and the temperature is regulated to a certain degree by dampers easily adjusted.
There are four doors or apertures to the oven, two in the first and two in the second story. Within the oven are two endless chains, with projections so constructed as to form a track of sufficient width to receive a bread car. There are twenty-six of these tracks upon the chains, which receive twenty-six cars of dough, and discharge the same, baked at every revolution of the chains, which is made perpendicularly through the ovens, at just that rate of speed which is required to bake the bread perfectly by a single revolution. Outside, and by the doors of the oven, are two waiting or tender cars, which receive the bread cars as they come from the oven, and transport the same from the door of the oven where the bread is discharged, to the other door where the dough is received into the oven. The bread cars consist of a cast iron frame in which are fitted iron plates, which cover over the iron frame perfectly, and form the car bottom. The only hand labor employed about these ovens is that which is required to round up and form, and place the loaves of dough uoon the bread cars, outside of the oven; this being done, machinery takes up the job, and carries it through to completion.
The operation of baking is thus:
A door on the side of the oven opens of its own accord, and instantly a long arm reaches forth from the back and with its iron hand clinches the bread car, freighted with 80 loaves of dough, and draws it steadily into the oven, and upon the tracks of the endless chains; the door then closes, and the car commences its descent upon the same chain. As soon as the door closes, the other door of the oven opens, and a car loaded with baked bread is pushed out by a long arm, without a hand, from the oven, and along the rails of the endless chains, upon the tender car, which, in the meantime, has removed from the other oven door, to receive it. As this bread car is received upon the tender car, it immediately dumps its load of bread, and takes its station at the other door of the oven, where it receives a fresh load of dough, and proceeds as before.
The same operations at the same time are repeated in the lower story of the oven. The dough which goes into the door of the oven on the upper story, is discharged at the corresponding door on the lower story, back; and the dough which goes into the door on the lower story is discharged at the corresponding door on the upper story, baked; thus the twenty-six bread cars are continually receiving and discharging dough and bread. As fast as the dough is received into the oven at one door, the bread is discharged at the other. The oven is continually heated, and at such temperature, as is desired; the machinery is kept constantly in motion, and baking is thus going on without intermission.
The heat in the automatic oven differs entirely from that of the ordinary baker’s oven. It is hot air, radiated from brick, like that of the old-fashioned house oven; no smoke, ashes or other impurities can enter the chamber of the oven. It is a mistake to suppose the “steam” has anything to do with the baking; it is used only for driving the machinery and heating the water.
The oven being upright, with car loads of bread in it, one above another, and having no draft through it, all the alcoholic vaporizing from the fermented dough is saved, while in the common oven it is lost by escaping with the smoke, &c., up the chimney. This vapor is driven off from the bread at an advanced stage of the baking process, and there being no outlet for its escape, it is condensed in the form of a fixed oil by contact with the cool dough subsequently introduced, which absorbs it, whereby the bread is improved in flavor and its nourishing propensities sensibly increased. This is a fact recently established. There is a peculiar odor given to the bread by this oil, which is observable also in homemade bread baked in a close oven, but is never found in common baker’s bread. This oil is one of the most valuable element of the the flour, and its preservation in the bread is very important.
Benefits and Advantages.
The questions which remains to be answered is:
Are the people prepared to eat cheap bread, good bread, and pure bread? We append recapitulation of the the advantages:
- In the wholesale price of flour;
In 16 per cent. grain of nutritive quality from the flour, which is lost in the process of baking;
In about 4 per cent. gain in actual weight of bread obtained from the same weight of dough;
Time lost in common oven in heating and cleaning;
In space of surface required for oven;
In rent of one bakery alone, instead of a large number;
In great economy of fuel;
In great economy of manual labor;
That the bread is baked by radiated heat in a brick oven;
That the bread is baked in vapor of alcohol, instead of steam;
That no gas, smoke, ashes or dust can reach the bread;
That the temperature of the oven is uniform;
That all the bread is baked exactly in the same time;
That it is sold by weight;
That it can be obtained at a lower price.
This new and vastly important enterprise is likely to become a complete success, as it has been projected by gentlemen of known energy, judgement and business tact. The company are an incorporated Company with a large Capital. Concerning the making of bread by machinery the most thorough examination has been made with the view of testing the relative expense, which has resulted in establishing the fact that it is far below that of hand labor.
A collation followed through inspection given to the premises, in which repast the various products of the automaton ovens were of course conspicuous and widely approved.
Prefacing the collation and by way of an inaugural, coming properly from himself, E.C. Larned, Esq., the President of the Stockholders, made a brief and appropriate address, which give in full.
Speech of Mr. Larned.
- In behalf of the stockholders of the Chicago Mechanical Bakery, it is my agreeable duty to welcome you to the opening of this establishment. We have felt in undertaking and carrying into execution this enterprise, that it had a public character and importance, and was one in the success of which all our fellow citizens had a deep interest.
Bread is truly termed “the staff of life.” No article of food is of such universal and continuous use. In every family it forms part of the daily food of young and old. The bread we eat, has, therefore, the most important relations not only to our comfort and pleasure, but to our health; and, in truth, the importance of pure, wholesome and good bread, can hardly be overstated.
Now it is a little remarkable that while the inventive genius of the age has supplied itself to almost every other department of human labor, that this important art of bread-making has, until this introduction of this invention by Mr. Berdans, been wholly without improvement. While the reaper has supplanted the scythe, and the winnower has taken the place of the flail, and the flour is ground, and sifted, and packed by machinery, no change has been made for centuries in the mode of manufacturing the flour into bread. This invention had its origin in the first place in a charitable movement for the supply bread ton the poor at a low cost. It was first put into operation in the city of Brooklyn, where it was in successful operation for five months, when the building was destroyed by an accidental fire. It has also been in operation for some time in the cities of Baltimore and Philadelphia, where, as we are assured, it is giving the most entire satisfaction to the public.
The advantages of the mode of manufacturing bread which you have witnessed, will readily suggest themselves to most of you. In the first and foremost place, its perfect cleanliness is a most important recommendation. I should have little hesitation in expressing the opinion that not one in twenty in this assembly ever saw the inside of a Bakery. They are usually places not accessible to the public.
Now, it is my judgement no small satisfaction with regard to an article of food which we eat so often and abundantly as bread, to be able to witness the whole process of its manufacture, from the first removal of the flour from the barrel to the final production of baked loaf; to see with nour own eyes that no uncleanliness is practiced in the work, and that no noxious ingredients are introduced into it. This Bakery will always be open to the public. There will be no secrets here—nothing which requires to be hidden or done in a corner. The work will be done under the public eye, and as it were in the public presence.
The mode of kneading the bread by the kneader commends itself most especially for its neatness and its efficiency. The secret of good bread lies to a great extent in thorough kneading. This is what gives lightness and elasticity to the dough. Now the difficulties of kneading large quantities of bread by hand are very great. The work is very laborious. In such intensely hot weather as we have been having, with the heat of the baker’s oven added, you can readily imagine what must be the physical condition of the workmen attempting to perform this work of hand in the ordinary method. Still, although the workman may be dripping with perspiration, at every pore, he must not stop his work or the bread will be spoiled. Now, gentlemen, we have in this resect one great advantage. Our kneader will do the kneading of all the bakeries in the city in the hottest weather and it doesn’t perspire at at all. It is just as cool and clean and untiring at the end of its work as at its commencement. In addition to this it does the work more efficiently than it could be dome by hand. It will knead ten barrels of flour in from twenty to twenty-five minutes, and do it in the most perfect manner. The French bakers are the most thorough kneaders of bread of any in the world. The excellence of their bread is chiefly owing to this. The best French bakers have admitted that one kneader does the work more efficiently than it can be done by hand with large masses of dough, and the French Government have contracted with Mr. Berdan forn the erection of a machine in Paris, which is now in the course of construction and will be in operation in the fall or winter.
The next machine in the order of manufacture is the Loaf Cutter, which we regret not to be able to show you at this time. This, however, has not yet arrived, and we preferred not to delay our opening on that account. It will be set up in a few weeks. This is a very important part of the machinery. It cuts the dough into loaves of an exact weight, scaling them to a half ounce with perfect accuracy, and at the same time registers upon a dial plate every loaf manufactured.
The oven you have watched, and seen its movements. It almost seems endowed with intelligence as you perceive its doors opening to receive the dough, and its long arms stretched out to draw it in and discharge it. You must have appreciated the skill and ingenuity displayed in its construction, the admirable regularity of the movements, the exact adjustment of parts—causing all to work together with such perfect presicion and harmony.
And now a word in a business point of view. With the aid of capital and the great lake, saving machinery, we profess to be able to supply the public with pure bread of superior quality at a reduced price. The reason why we are able to manufacture cheaper is found in the enormous capacity of our machine. We are able to manufacture daily more than double the amount made by all bakers in Chicago.
This great concentration of labor, this consolidating fifty bakeries under one roof, must of course be attended with great savings of rents, fuel and other expenses.
Nor let it be imagined that the necessary result of our success must be the ruin of the bakers. It is a mistaken idea that labor-saving machines injure any class in the community. Many of you can recollect the hostility of the carpenters to the Woodworth planing machine when first started. They would not have a board planed by it. They received it as ruinous to their interests; but they soon found it was their best friend—and what carpenter ever thinks now of spending his time in planing a rough board. So with the bakers. They can make more money selling and distributing our bread than in manufacturing for themselves. This portion of the business we have offered to give to them on very liberal terms, and if they decline it, it is their fault, not ours.
It will, of course, be a work of some little time and trouble to perfect the arrangements for the distribution of this bread throughout a city so extended as this. Our condition, now, may be likened to that of a company for supplying pure water who have constructed their reservoir. They have a pure and good article to give, but they have not got all the pipes laid. We mean, however, that the pipes shall be laid to every family in the city, so that every man who wants good and wholesome bread can have it. But as this is necessarily a work of a good deal of detail and requiring time, we solicit all indulgence from the public and desire them to excuse a good many mistakes and deficiencies in this respect at the contact of the business.
And now, gentlemen, you have seen the process of manufacture of the bread and crackers, and the only remaining test to be applied is the eating of them, to which portion of your duties we beg you to give our immediate attention. I have no fear but that you will give us your approval in this department. In conclusion, let me add, that having erected here in Chicago this ingenious and beautiful machinery for the purpose of supplying the community with pure, palatable and wholesome bread, at low prices, if you are satisfied with the process, and with its results, we trust you will give us your hearty co-operation and influence. The success of of our enterprise depends upon the extent of our business. It is in consequence of our doing a large business that we can afford to reduce prices, and it is for the community to decide, therefore, whether they will have good bread at low rates or not. We have, however, no doubt about this, and believe that the acquaintance with the Chicago Mechanical Bakery, this day so auspiciously commenced, will continue to be a source of satisfaction and of benefit both to you and to ourselves, and to the whole community.
But let us not, while dwelling upon the benefits of the invention, forget to do homage to that inventive genius to which all these great results are owing.
By this invention Hiram Berdan has placed himself foremost on the list of the great inventors of the age. He has linked his name and fame to an art which poor and rich, high and low are interested—to an invention as richly fraught with blessings as any human ingenuity has yet produced. The consciousness of having achieved such a work is a reward sufficient to satisfy the most exalted ambition.
I propose to you as a sentiment:
Hiram Berdan—His great invention entitles him to the highest honor. May hos reward be as great as genius has been triumphant.
Mr. Berdan having been called out, responded as follows:
Mr. Berdan’s Speech.
- Mr. President—I thank you most sincerely for the complimentary reception you have given me on this occasion.
The young man who leaves the paternal roof, and goes out into the world to seek his fortune, does not return to the old homestead with greater joy or higher pleasure, than I now visit the city of Chicago, one of the places of my early efforts in mechanics and science.
It is particularly gratifying, Mr. President, that you and your fellow-citizens have so kindly signified your approbation of my efforts since I left you, and you so highly appreciate this specimen of my labors. Yes, sir, I rejoice to-day in your midst that I am permitted to witness your adoption of this offspring of mine, and I beg leave to express my entire confidence that under your guardian care it will become, not only a source of pleasure and profit to the stockholders, but will scatter its blessing broad-cast over this whole community.
So great a change, or rather, I should say, so great a revolution, in the manufacture of our daily bread, as the substitution of machinery for hand labor, through the entire process, could not reasonably be to take place without disturbing the business of the bakers who have occupied the field so long. But really, Mr. President, they ought rather to approve than regret the introduction of a new system, which will relieve them from the severest kind human toil, which will bring them from the dark, under-ground cellars of the common bakery, elevate their employment, and place them side by side with the great manufacturers of flour.
No man, Mr. President, ought to spend all his time working with his hands, his head and his heart should have fair play, and to this end, it is true philosophy to reduce the price of the necessaries of life as far as possible, so that the manual laborer shall have time, not only to earn his bread, but to cultivate his moral and intellectual powers.
What shall we eat and what shall we wear, are questions which have caused the greatest anxiety and the most intense labor since the Fall. To procure the absolute necessaries of existence is the principal end and aim of a large portion of humanity, and has always occupied the entire lives of the greater portion of the human race. But Sir, a better is promised and we hope, is coming, a time when the metals of the earth shall be used for peaceful purposes, when machinery shall be taught to do the drudgery of labor, and become through its obedience of fixed laws so intelligent as to require an educated mind to superintend its operations. The progress of Mechanic Arts during the pst half century has been so rapid and so important as to authorize the expectation of a speedy fulfillment of the hopes of such as are looking forward to the time when the hardships of toil shall be repaid by agreeable rest, and comparative leisure.
Sir, it is my hope and my happiness to believe that the machinery under this roof will bear some humble part in hastening the advent of this most desirable period. And now, in conclusion, Mr. President, permit to give you a toast—
The City of Chicago, ‘by her energy and her enterprise she has connected the Mississippi with the Atlantic, and is now prepared to cast her bread upon her waters.’
Dr. Daniel Brainard and Seth Paine were each called upon, and responded briefly. The former was quite happy in his speech, which abounded in good points.
The visitors then dispersed, highly gratified with the hour or two thus pleasantly and profitably whiled away.
History of Chicago; Its Commercial and Manufacturing Interests and Industry, Isaac D.Guyer, 1862
Bread is the staff of life among all civilized and on the continent it is nations, European nearly the only solid food of the peasantry of large provinces. For this reason many inventions have been made in every country to improve and cheapen the manufacture of this great staple of existence, only two of which have, thus far, been successful. They are those of Hiram Berdan of New York, and J. F. Holland of France.
Berdan’s Machinery was established in Brooklyn in December, 1856, and was destroyed by fire in May following. A large establishment, on the same plan, has since been erected in Chicago, capable of converting two hundred and fifty barrels of flour into bread daily; the building is four stories high. There is one oven twenty-seven feet high, twenty-six feet long, and ten feet wide, passing from the basement into the third story. It is heated an coal by ordinary furnace underneath, through brick arches which form the bottom of the oven to fire brick flues, which run up the sides and carry off the smoke to the chimney. The heat is thus radiated into a close chamber. The temperature is regulated by dampers moved by iron rods, which close and open by hand. Within the oven are three endless vertical chains supporting the cars containing the bread. These cars are twenty-six in number, continually in motion one above the other, passing and repassing. The chains move slowly around, so that the cars move upward on one side of the oven and downward on the other. The oven has four doors, two on the first and two on the second story. On the sides where the chains move upward the cars containing the bread enter the oven through the upper door and are delivered at the lower door, the reverse is done on the other side. These bread cars are made of wrought iron frames on which the unbaked loaves are placed. The car being charged with loaves by hand, the door of the oven opens mechanically, an iron arm conies out, pulls in the car on railroad tracks and the door closes. When the car arrives opposite the other door the bread is baked; this door is opened, the car is pushed out by an iron arm, the loaves are dumped from it into baskets, and the car moves on a track to the front of the other door, where the attendant stands ready to load it with new loaves.
Machinery is used for kneading, by which ten barrels are kneaded in ten to fifteen minutes. The dough is made into loaves by another machine. They are all equal weight according to adjustment. The fuel used is coal. It is claimed that there is an economy of fifty per cent, on this combustible, and thirty per cent, on labor, with a gain in the quality and weight of the bread, so that with one Bakery of this kind nearly as much work can be done, as with twenty built on the common plan. And herein consists the unparalleled success of the Mechanical Bakery Company, with a man at the head of its interests of untiring energy, indomitable courage, capable of surmounting every obstacle. This great representative establishment is conducted under a corporate company, composed of gentlemen of high respectability and business talent, one of their number, Mr. H. C. Childs, who acts as general superintendent, devoting his time and interests to the conducting and developing its great interests. Its officers are E. C. Larned, President, J. T. Ryerson, Secretary, B. W. Raymond, and George F. Rumsey, are Directors.
When this establishment first went into operation, with its present efficient board of officers, it became evident it would prove a successful venture, as has subsequently been demonstrated in the highest degree. And to-day the “Mechanical Chicago Bakery” is regarded in the light of a well founded, successful, commercial enterprise the result of bold energy, persevering efforts, and skilled business management—one of the institutions of interest to our commercial prosperity, and the development of science, in multiplying the necessities of life, cheapening the production, and lessening toil. These advances are encouraging signs of a higher civilization and national prosperity.
The cost of erecting the building was $14,000 and the lot upon which it stands cost $30,000. The capital invested for transacting the business amounts to $82,000. The Bakery went into operation in June 1858, since when it has been continually increasing in its capacity and the perfection of iyts arrangement. During the last year in addition to its already extensive operations, they have supplied the army in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Western Virginia with six million pounds of bread. Their trade in Crackers, such as Soda, Butter, Boston, Graham, Wine, Water, Picnic, etc., go to supply the best dealers in twelve different States. The business amounts to nearly a million of dollars annually.
They give employment to one hundred men. There are four distinct departments, comprising Soft Bread, Hard Bread, Crackers, Pastry and Cakes, consuming about seventy-thousand barrels of flour annually. The motive power of this great establishment is driven a fifteen horse by power steam engine. It is located on North Clinton between Lake and Randolph streets.
History of Chicago, Volume III, A.T. Andreas, 1886
MECHANICAL BAKERY.—In 1858, Dr. Berdan, the famous sharpsh ooter, invented an oven for baking crackers, which worked automati cally and continuously, greatly adding to the productive capacity of a bakery. It was brought to the attention of some of the representative capitalists of this city, and a joint-stock company was formed for putting it into practical use. Among those interested, were the late J. T. Ryerson, who became the president of the company and its general manager, Rumsey Bros. & Co., and the late E. C. Larned. The company was incorporated under the name of the Chicago Mechanical Bakery Company. They erected a building on Clinton Street, between Lake and Randolph, with three stories and basement. The oven alone cost $40,000, and was a very ingenious affair, but so complicated that it was liable to get out of order, and, in consequence, was expensive to keep in repair. It was very successful from the first, and bade fair to revolutionize the entire cracker business of the country. The company also made bread and pies, and did a general baking business for the city trade. Henry C. Childs was superintendent; William W. Shaw, now of Blake, Shaw & Co., had charge of the books; George Fyfe, now of Hay & Prentice, was shipping clerk; Elisha W. Case, of Case & Martin, had charge of the pie department; Alexander Moody and Charles E. Waters were employés; and, indeed, nearly every other prominent man in the baking business, now in the city, had something to do with it in one way or another. Besides the great Berdan oven, they ran four common ovens for bread, pies, etc. They employed about one hundred hands, ran fifteen teams, and kepttwo men on the road. Soon after the War broke out they opened a branch house in Louisville, Ky., and, obtaining a large contract from theGovernment, devoted the cracker department exclusively to the making of hard-bread for the Army. This was a fortunate stroke for the company, and while the War lasted they made money; but, it was a clumsy corporation, and it had a shrewd and active opponent in the person of J. M. Dake, who, forecasting the end of the War, was busy building up a per manent trade all over the Northwest; therefore, when the War closed, Mr. Dake had the trade and the corporation had its “plant.” The result was, Mr. Dake rented the whole establishment for five years, at a yearly rental of $7,500, solely to get rid of it. He took into his service such of its employés as he wanted, sub-let the building to various persons, for all sorts of uses, and closed the career of the Mechanical Bakery, after an existence of about fourteen years. The costly machinery of the oven was finally sold for old iron, and the building was bought by Mr. Phillips, the well-known dealer in hams, and it is now noted as Phillips’s ham house.
Pre-Civil War Career
Mechanical Engineer in New York City, New York
Top Rifle shot in United States for 15 years
Inventor of the repeating rifle, and received patent for musket ball
Developer of first commercial gold amalgamation machine
Inventor of Reaper, and Mechanical bakery
Civil War Career
1861 – 1864: Colonel 1st & 2nd United States Sharpshooters
1862: Participated in Seven Days Campaign in Virginia
1862: Sharpshooters complained about Berdan’s role
1862: Condemned by Major General Fitz John Porter
1862: Participated in Second Battle of Bull Run, Virginia
1862: Led his sharpshooters at Battle of Shepherdstown
1863: Brigade Commander during Battle of Chancellorsville
1863: Delayed Confederate Attack on Devil’s Den, and Peach Orchard
1863: Acted as Brigade Commander of Ward’s Brigade
1864: Resigned as Colonel on January 2nd
Occupation After Civil War
Engineer and Inventor
1865: Appointed as Brevet Brig General approved by Congress in 1869
Inventor of twin – screw Submarine Gunboat
Inventor of Torpedo Boat that evaded torpedo nets
Inventor of Long-Distance Rangefinder
Inventor of Distance fuse for shrapnel