The Johnson Company
Archive of Historical Photographs and Other Images
Part I - 1850-1888
Note on sources: Most images were
collected by the
author, including a wide range of newspaper clippings,
photographs and maps from the storage vault of the Johnstown Company (successor to the Johnson Company
and the Johnstown works of Lorain Steel and U.S. Steel Corporation), and personal and family photographs
graciously shared with the author by the families of Arthur J. and Egbert Moxham, and Charles Alfred Marshall.
Most photographs, maps, surveys, and engineering drawings related to the Johnson Company history have now
been deposited in the archival collection of the Johnstown Area Heritage Association (JAHA).
Acknowledgements: Arthur James Moxham, grandson of Arthur J. Moxham and Helen Johnson Coleman;
Elizabeth Murton du Pont Carpenter and Nancy Bradford du Pont Reynolds, granddaughters of Edgar Coleman
Moxham and Bessie Coleman; Dulcenia Straefer Wilder and G. Edward Straefer, grandchildren of Charles
Alfred Marshall and Dulcenia Coleman; James B. Murray, Birmingham (AL) Public Library; George H. Yater,
Louisville historian; Patricia W. Lister, Louisville; James Jock and Joseph Wilson, U.S. Steel Corporation and the
Johnstown Corporation; Richard Burkert and Dan Ingram, Johnstown Area Heritage Association; Gray Fitzsimons,
HABS/HAER America's Industrial Heritage Project; Michael Nash, Hagley Museum and Library; Harold Jenkins,
Cambria County Transit Authority; the Carnegie Public Library, Pittsburgh; Ralph F. Kraft, Johnstown; Jack E.
Schram; and James Dalmas.
Etching of the Saladin on the New Orleans-to-Louisville line, circa 1848
(University of Wisconsin-La Crosse).
Newspaper advertisement for the Louisville Rolling Mill Company
(Thomas Cooper Coleman, President), recently purchased by the
Louisville and Nashville Railroad, providing testimonial of L&N
general superintendent Albert Fink as to the tested quality of
mill's iron bars and rods used in the construction of the L&N
railroad bridge across the Green River, dated 1866 (George Yater).
Thomas Cooper Coleman (1824-1901) and his wife Dulcenia
Johnson Coleman, in 1886 (Dulcenia Straefer Wilder).
Directory advertisement of the Clay Street Mill of the Louisville Iron and Steel
Company, noting W. B. Caldwell, Jr., President, Bidermann du Pont, Vice President,
and A. J. Moxham, Superintendent (George Yater).
Detailed engraving from the above advertisement (AC).
Alfred V. du Pont, circa 1856 (George Yater).
Directory advertisement for Central Coal & Iron Co, Louisville, noting Bidermann du Pont,
President, and Thomas Coleman du Pont, superintendent at the Central City mines (George Yater).
Tom L. Johnson, Alfred V. du Pont, and Bidermann du Pont,
circa 1871 (Tom L. Johnson, My Story, 1911).
Tom L. Johnson in 1880 at age 26 and in 1886 at age 32
(Tom L. Johnson, My Story, 1911).
Advertisement for Tom Johnson's patented fare box.
Cleveland Fare Box No. 164, product of the Johnson Fare Box
Co. (Harold Jenkins)
Arthur J. Moxham, 1876, possibly a wedding portrait
Advertising piece in the Kentucky State Gazette and Business Directory
1883-84 (George Yater).
Reconstructed map of the Birmingham Rolling Mill, 1880-1900
(Birmingham Public Library).
Drawing of the Birmingham Rolling Mill, 1880s (Birmingham Public Library).
Tom L. Johnson patent no. 272,554 for the street railroad (girder or Jaybird)
rail, 1883. (U. S. Government Patent Office).
Patent no. 292,759 drawings for the Moxham and Tranter roll stand for rolling the Johnson girder (Jaybird)
rail from iron, 1884. Hot steel blooms were set through a series of five roughing passes (Fig. 1, nos. 1-5),
followed by the primary forming pass (no. 6) and five finishing passes (Fig. 2). The sectional drawings illustrate
the estimated amount of reduction and forming accomplished in each pass. The patent claimed that the eleven
passes could be completed without reheating the bloom. After experimenting rolling this off-set flange sectional
from iron at the Clay Street mill in Louisville in 1882, Moxham concluded that the chemical composition of iron,
at various heats, would not hold the design and resolved to roll it from steel. At that time, there were few mills
with the capacity to roll odd shapes from steel and would only contract to do so during slow production periods,
and the one that accepted Moxham's contracting was the Cambria Iron Company in Johnstown, Pennsylvania.
At the same time, Moxham went ahead and patented his rolling sequence, anticipating its success using steel.
In practice, Moxham typically used a 26-inch three-high roll stand (U.S. Government Patent Office).
Arthur J. Moxham patent no. 303,036 for finishing passes for rolling the off-set flanges of the
Johnson girder (Jaybird) rail August 5, 1884 (U.S. Government Patent Office).
Officers and engineers of the Johnson Steel Street Rail Company, Woodvale, Pennsylvania,
1886. Standing are (from left): Clement F. Street, Lycergis G. Hopper, Mahlon Kirkbride,
Robert Welch, Francis H. Easby, Henry O'Shea, and William J. Murphy. Seated are: William
Glass, Louis Weiss, Edward B. Entwisle, Arthur J. Moxham, Walter E. Hoppes, Rueben Glass,
Charles R. Powell (JAHA).
Artist's drawing of the Woodvale switch works, circa 1887, looking south toward the Little Conemaugh
River (behind the buildings). In the foreground is a stylized portrayal of a horse-drawn car of the
Johnstown Passenger Railway Company, running west along Maple Avenue toward the Gautier Wire
Works in Conemaugh Borough. This drawing and the two following were first published in the Johnson
Company Catalog No. 6 (1888) (JAHA).
Artist's drawing of the Johnson Company Rolling Mill in Moxham, completed in 1888, looking across
the Stony Creek toward the Town of Moxham. Though somewhat stylized, this impression accurately
portrays the hills surrounding Moxham and the tracks of the Johnstown and Stony Creek Railroad
(far left). The railroad engine depicted in the immediate foreground on the east bank of the Stony Creek
could be on the line of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad which connected to the Pennsylvania Railroad and
maintained a freight station in Conemaugh Borough and a passenger station in Grubbtown (Osborne)
near the toll house of the Old Valley Pike.
Artist's drawing of the Johnson Company's Mitis (Steel) Foundry in Moxham, circa 1888, looking
west from Central Avenue and the Town of Moxham toward the Stony Creek in the background.
In this impression the artist has left out the rolling mill, which would have appeared directly
behind the foundry and would have totally obscured the view of the Stony Creek.
The laying out yard of the Woodvale switch works, spring 1889. Across the fence (looking north)
are the residential houses on Maple Avenue between Fifth and Sixth Streets. Yardmen are laying
out custom-designed double track, three-part Y curves with crossings for an intersection of a
street railway line. Identified are (center-right): J. R. Darby, Edward Noble, Jr. and (on the far
right) Lycergis Hopper, R. P. Williams (JAHA).
Charles Alfred Marshall and Dulcenia Coleman Marshall (sister of Helen Coleman
Moxham), portrait on left taken shortly after their marriage at The Meadows in
Louisville in October 1888. Originally from Louisville, Marshall apprenticed in
the rolling mills there and came to Johnstown after 1880 to work for the Cambria
Iron Company. He subsequently joined the Johnson Steel Street Rail Company in 1886
and worked at the Woodvale switch works. He designed and patented the Marshall Clip,
a widely-adopted tie plate that allowed connection of rail sections onto crossties
without bolts or rivets. He was killed in the Great Flood in May1889, leaving his
wife and a young daughter named after him (Dulcenia Straefer Wilder).
The Moxham family in residence at the Rosensteel House on Maple Avenue in Woodvale, Pennsylvania,
summer 1886. On the porch: Arthur J. Moxham holding daughter Dulcenia, wife Helen Moxham (seated),
and Moxham's sister Evangeline (Eva) and Helen's sister Dulcenia (Dellie). By the gate in the foreground:
Moxham's sons Thomas (left) and Egbert. Photograph by J. Morgan, Jr. (Jim Moxham).
Early photograph of a mule-drawn horse car of the Johnstown Passenger
Railway Company, Johnstown Pennsylvania, circa 1886 (Irving London)
A community of over 1,200 persons, the Cambria Iron company town of Woodvale,
adjacent to the Gautier Barbed Wire Works and straddling the Pennsylvania Railroad,
was virtually swept away by the flood torrent, leaving only some buildings of the
Johnstown Manufacturing Company's woolen mill (center) and the tracks of the
Pennsylvania and Cambria Iron Railroads (right foreground). Completely lost
were all residential buildings, woolen and flour mills, a chemical plant, the entire
street railway car barns, cars, and stables, and the Johnson Company switch works.
Much of the heavy machinery of the switch works was salvaged from the riverbed
and moved to the new mill site in Moxham (JAHA).
[go to Archive Part II - 1889-1929]