James Bogardus, inventor and architect

By Unknown from a photograph by E.W. Bogardus, Broadway and Franklin Street - http://www.myinwood.net, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=15877610James Bogardus (March 14, 1800 – April 13, 1874) was an American inventor and architect, the pioneer of American cast-iron architecture, for which he took out a patent in 1850. He was born in the town of Catskill, New York and was a descendant of the Rev. Everardus Bogardus, the second clergyman in New Netherlands. At the age of fourteen, Bogardus quit school to start an apprenticeship at a watchmaker.

He began inventing early in his life and by the age of 28 had patented a cotton spinning machine, an engraving machine for bank notes, and a milling machine for ball bearings and lens grinding.  After his invention of cast-iron in the early 1850s, he demonstrated the use of it in the construction of building facades, especially in New York City for the next two decades. Over 100 of the buildings still remain in the SoHo and Tribeca areas of Manhattan.

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