1876 The Centennial

February 1

James Dausch Kavanagh is born, Patrick & Katherine’s 4th son and 6th child. His middle name is their family doctor’s name. Dr. Pierre Dausch. There were some complications with the delivery. Everything turned out fine and they decided to honor him when naming James. The family rejoices at the new addition to the brood. Joe, again, is thrilled for his brother’s family. I wonder if he thought of having a family of his own. A wife and children. His work hours would make that very difficult. Joe was a worker. His focus was on the Shop and its future. I know little of his social life except that he took good care of his mother and loved his siblings and niblings very much.

April 9

Kavanagh & Smith celebrate their 10th anniversary. I’m sure it was not a raucous affair, but I’m sure they were aware of it. Honored it in some way. At the very least a toast of whiskey. Rye, I assume. Ten years is still ten years. They’ve made it this far. The work is still slow, but there is a great deal of enthusiasm for the coming centennial celebration. The Shop is 10. The U.S. will be 100. That 90 year gap will seem a lot smaller as the years pass.

July 4

The United States of America turns 100 years old. It’s a big party. Festivities all over the nation. Elaborate parades and firework displays across the country. The partying even bolsters the economy a bit. From the standpoint of Americans, it was truly a once in a lifetime experience. One hundred years since such a relatively meager beginning for a nation. It would seem to warrant a big party.

August 22

Joe returns home late. He worked late tonight on a long still repair at Orient. These repairs are working out. They trust Joe to make a weekly visit for maintenance and occasionally, an emergency repair. Such was the job tonight. They recognize Joe’s skill and speed. Not just with the column still design but copper. He could work it, shape it, fix it, anticipate it. He truly knew copper. He eats a late supper after a long but fruitful day.

October 3

Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins University is founded.

October 7

Joe finishes a still for Sherwood Distillery. A small one, but one of Joe’s design and construction. The last month or so, he’s had several repairs at a few distilleries. Now, he’s sold another still. The installation will take a day, as well. Unfortunately, the cooking vessels and the other pots are not selling. Money is still tight for most Americans. Joe is happy for the still work though troubled that some days that is all of his work. George is concerned too. The walk up purchases are almost non-existent.

December 31

The year ends with Kavanagh & Smith in flux. Sales are still down. However, the distilling work is growing. The still jobs are keeping the company afloat. Joe knows that George is having his doubts. Joe knows that his coppersmithing skills cover multiple industries. It’s good when several of these are busy, but at least one is at the moment. Things will get better. He’s sure of it. He goes to sleep and hopes for better days.




Ulysses S. Grant is still President. In fact, the election of 1876 is contested. No candidate receives sufficient electoral votes. A new president is not chosen until next year. Professional Baseball’s National League is formed in Chicago. Alexander Graham Bell patents the telephone. The Battle of the Little Big Horn is fought. Mark Twain’s “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” is published.

With the admission of Colorado, there are now 38 states in the Union.

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