1885 Marching Toward Liberty

January 15

Today would have been Joe and Mary’s 5th Anniversary. He still mourns for her and their child and the family he could have had. He is doing better though. He is more comfortable working with his crew and spending time with his family.

March 4

The crew at Kavanagh’s are working on a fountain job and a brass railing for a theater. A very ornamental rail and something slightly out of the ordinary for Joe. Very much a heat and bend job. These two items keep the Shop busy for several days with other things coming in. So far, it is a good start to the year.

April 4

James Kavanagh, his wife and their two children take a train to Brooklyn, NY. He promises to visit and asks the same of his family. He would love to show off NY to them once he knows it. It is a tearful farewell, but a hopeful one. They are convinced that distance will not effect the closeness the Kavanaghs feel for each other.

May 11

Some big cookers and another still are being cranked out today. Also, some small brass parts for a steamship. The Shop is filling up with work. Young Joe visits on his way back to Boston. The troupe will be playing at F. P. Keith’s theater where they started out. Then another tour of Canada will begin.

June 17

The Statue of Liberty arrives in New York aboard the french steamship Isere in crates. The sections will be assembled on Bedloe’s Island. That will have to wait though as the pedestal itself is not yet completed. Joe reads the story in the newspaper. Upwards of 200,000 pounds of copper. Absolutely amazing to Joe. Eighty years from now on this day, I am born.

July 21

The Shop is swamped. Martin and a helper are taking measurements at one distillery while Joe and 3 boys do a small install at another. Cooking vessels are being made in the Shop itself at the same time. Joe knows they are hitting on all cylinders now.

August 3

Baltimore-Penn Passenger Railway Co. begins building the first electric street railway in the U. S. Right here in Baltimore.

September 8

A rainy soggy day does nothing to dampen the spirits of Joe’s crew. The work is plentiful and all thoughts of the slowdown of the last few years are forgotten. More parts for maintaining and repairing stills are made, the usual jacket kettles and some brass bearings for a steam boiler repair. The last a job for E. J. Codd & Co. They are a local foundry, machine shop and boiler works. So begins a business relationship that will last over 100 years.

November 27

For the first time in years, Joe is not very worried about the winter. They have a backlog of work and several commitments from distillers for maintenance over the coming months. He feels better about the Shop and its future. If Baltimore and America keep growing, he knows the Shop will too. He gives serious consideration to visiting his brother in New York. Perhaps, he could see this copper colossus being built.




Grover Cleveland is the President of the United States. In Baltimore, the Bryn Mawr School and the Women’s College of Baltimore, which will become Goucher College, are founded. Charles Dow publishes the first edition of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. There were 14 stocks listed. AT & T is incorporated in NY. Dr. Pepper is served for the first time. Bess Truman is born. Ulysses S. Grant dies.

There are still 38 states in the Union.

Vintage postcard depicting the face of the Statue of Liberty before assembly.

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