Two 70 gallon continuous stills are being built in the Shop today. A Monday. These are big units. All smaller jobs have been finished in order to focus entirely on these two stills. Both for Horsey Distilling. One in PA and one down the road on Pratt Street. They are priced together. Joe knows if he works the job properly he can make a good profit on the local unit especially the install. Eighteen men working hard. The Shop is certainly very busy for February. It’s hardly even cold. Every ten feet someone is brandishing a torch. Through this winter, the volume of work hasn’t skipped a beat from last year.
It is a busy day full of chatter and conversation at the Shop. There is work to do, of course. A typical mixed bag of a work day. Some cooking vessels, carbonating apparatus and a pump chamber. The crew is far more interested in the fact that it is Opening Day. The Baltimore Orioles baseball season starts today. The old American Association folded at the end of the last season. The Orioles have joined the more established National League. Opening Day always brings a sense of hope to every Spring. A clean slate. In this case, a new league. The crew is excited, but will be disappointed as the Orioles limp through their inaugural N.L. season. They lose today 13-3 to the Brooklyn Bridegrooms.
Johanna Long Kavanagh gives birth to Leo M. Kavanagh. This family just keeps getting bigger. Joe has stayed in Baltimore through the winter. Selling insurance door to door and even selling tea. He has waited until the baby was born until returning to the road. Joe and Jo are happy young parents.
James D. Kavanagh becomes the fourth member of the family to work at the Shop. Like Eugene before him, he will work this summer. A beginning apprentice. He’s starts out pushing a broom and cleaning. Soon, he begins the basics. Joe teaches him. The timing is right. Eugene has learned enough to move forward on his own. A skilled apprentice coppersmith. He can develop his skills on his own more or less. Just some occasional direction from Joe or Martin. James has the usual reaction of a rookie at the Shop. A mix of shock and curiosity. He takes his first steps to learning the family trade.
Mary Kavanagh is born to Martin and Mary Rachel. Their fourth daughter. A Saturday to end the week that is suddenly exciting at the new birth. Two more Kavanagh babies this year. The family is grateful and hopeful.
The Shop is a hot box today. Torches running all day in the summer swelter. Martin and several boys are at Weissner Brewing. Repairing some leaky seams. The rest are cooking in the heat of 708 E. Lombard Street. Large pots and kettles. Orange-hot copper sheets that are turned and curved to their targeted shape. A tough July day. Not for Young Joe Kavanagh. The new father. He spends the day at Union Park watching the Orioles shellac the Pirates 20-7. A rare victory in a tough season. Joe goes primarily to visit his friend, Connie Mack. The victory and score are a bonus.
Baltimore’s Afro-American newspaper is first published by John H. Murphy Sr.
Young Joe takes a train to NY. A month of shows with his troupe. He still has such a love of performance. He’s excited to get back on the road, but knows how much he will miss Johanna and baby Leo.
James returns to school having passed his freshman year at the Shop with flying colors. He has his first taste of smithing. Joe enjoyed every minute of it. As with Eugene, teaching his nephews his trade is something he relishes. The Shop itself is still busy. Small boiler parts for Codd, a patent medicine still and a large fountain are the order of the day. Joe fields inquiries and orders every day now. Things couldn’t get much better.
A very long Tuesday ends just before midnight. An emergency steamship repair has kept the crew at it for 15 hours. A new stack is fabricated. New brass gauges and fixtures. The Shop days are rarely short and easy. This one is a test of endurance. Of course, an opportunity to make a profit, as well. Joe’s crew makes some extra money too. A long day certainly, but absolutely a successful one.
The Shop is full of work. Today a Peanut Kettle is fabricated. Some preliminary work for a small 10 gallon still and a set of copper pans are made. Young Joe heads to Philadelphia for a week. A short stint of shows as a backing vocalist and piano accompaniment. Johanna stays home with the baby. She cleans and cooks at the Bank Street boarding house. Also, taking care of her mother.
Sheppard Asylum for the mentally ill is founded in Baltimore. Later to become the Sheppard-Pratt Hospital.
1892 ends as the most successful year in the history of the company. Joe has established himself as not only one of the finest coppersmiths in the country, but a leading expert in the manufacturing of distilling equipment. He maintains a high level of satisfaction with customers in the food service industry. He has taken his first steps into the brewery equipment business. He has established a business that brings security to his family. His nephews in particular. The future of the Kavanaghs looks very bright.
Benjamin Harrison is defeated by Grover Cleveland in the Presidential Election. The first basketball game is played in a YMCA in Springfield, Massachusetts. Abraham Lincoln’s birthday is declared a national holiday. Lizzie Borden’s father and stepmother are murdered. Chicago’s elevated train system is opened to the public. General Electric, the Sierra Club and Vogue Magazine are created.
There are 44 states in the Union.