1896 The First Championship

January 11

Joseph A. and Johanna Kavanagh’s first daughter is born. Her name is Alice. A very cold Saturday is warmed by this exciting news. The Shop has slowed up a bit. They get their usual January orders for pots for candy and ice cream companies. Still steady and still with a backlog. Just not at the level it was. It’s typical for the winter.

February 24

Eugene and Mary Ann Kavanagh have a son. He is born today and named Eugene Jr. The family is overjoyed at these two babies joining the Kavanaghs. Eugene the elder is working on a still repair for Monticello Distilling with several other men. Joe’s business is doing okay. Again, not as busy as they were, but everyone has things to do and there is a 2 week backlog of jobs. That’s good enough for Joe.

April 9

The Shop celebrates its 30th Anniversary quietly. No big lunch or anything. I am sure Joe was aware of it. Perhaps, a toast after work with the nephews. Otherwise, it was a day centered on making some beer vessels for Globe Brewing. Some smaller parts are made, as well. A cool busy spring day at the Joseph Kavanagh Company

April 16

Another baseball season begins. The Baltimore Orioles open up at home against the Brooklyn Bridegrooms. The Shop’s crew is again hoping for a better outcome than last year. Two years in a row with the best record in the National League only to be beaten in the Temple Cup Series. Baseball is the talk of the Shop. They hammer and shape. Wielding both tools and torches to make the curves they need. The manufacture of a still heading to North Carolina is begun. Along with some cooking kettles and pans.

May 22

Martin has three men with him on the North Carolina installation. The rest are spread around the Shop working on a large boiler job for E. J. Codd. This one will take some time. Multiple boilers with a variety of bearings, fittings and parts to be produced. The younger Joe is fielding calls and taking notes. He passes these on to his uncle for pricing. Uncle Joe is teaching his pricing system to his nephew, Joe. He explains the step by step approach to quoting. Cost of material, cost of labor, time of labor and the availability of the material are all factors in it. It won’t take long for the younger Joe to be able to bid on his own. He is a fast learner.

July 2

A hot sweltering day is worked through by the Kavanagh Crew. Today most of the men work on a steamship repair while Martin and Eugene are in Cumberland. They are taking some measurements and discussing a still replacement job. Uncle Joe spends some time with James today. He has him working on a pitcher. As stated before, making a copper pitcher on your own is one of the final basic tests of a coppersmith at the Shop. James is coming along fine if not as fast as his older brothers.

August 1

On this Saturday, the Kavanagh boys celebrate Young Joe’s 30th birthday. The Shop is closed at noon and the brothers head to Union Park. They pick up their youngest brother, Frank, from Albemarle Street. The five brothers attend a baseball game together for the first time. All of them are fans of the Birds. They cheer and root on the Orioles to victory. They defeat the Washington Senators 7-0. They saw a good game. After this win, they are in second place. 1 ½ games behind the Cincinnati Reds.

September 15

Both of the Joe’s and Martin have a lunch meeting at the Shop. Uncle Joe is very pleased with the way his younger namesake has adapted to his new job. Martin concurs. Martin and Joe have always been fairly close as they are the two eldest brothers. They discuss the status of the Shop and the two younger brothers. Eugene is growing as a smith every day. James is doing well, but not quite at the same pace. However, James has a gift for tracings (drawings). He has a mathematical mind and is adept at reading any basic drawings given to them by customers. They begin making a plan for how to best use their crew. A way to maximize what they can get out of the business. James will continue his training, but with more of an emphasis on drawings and the engineering end of their work. Eugene will be schooled further in still-making. Martin assures his uncle that Eugene is ready to visit distilleries alone and take all the necessary measurements. With Martin’s guidance, Eugene should be able to run a crew for installations very soon. The Shop boys are plugging away on a still for Horsey Distilling. The fellows are in a fine mood because the Orioles are again in first place. They have basically locked up winning the N. L. again. What will happen in the Temple Cup is the primary topic of discussion.

October 1

Martin has a second son. His wife, Mary Rachel, gives birth to Vincent Patrick. Three new Kavanagh babies this year. The family is ecstatic.

October 10

The Orioles defeat the Cleveland Spiders in the Temple Cup winning 4 games to none. There is much rejoicing at the Shop. It’s a Saturday and very little gets done. Several crew members are rather hungover. They were celebrating yesterday’s clinching victory. Uncle Joe is not one to put up with lollygagging during work hours. He makes an exception today. He smiles to see his 4 nephews rehash the series over and over. The Spiders were shut out in the final game, 5- 0. Finally, Orioles’ fans get the retribution they have wanted. The team steamrolled into first place by September and didn’t look back. Their offense this year led by Hughie Jennings who batted a very healthy .401. This time it was different. This time they won it all.

November 11

Joe’s company is heading toward another successful year. They are not quite back where they were before the last economic downturn. They are definitely moving forward though and in the right direction. This day is spent fabricating a fountain, several beer vats and a very fancy brass rail. The Shop still has a 2 week backlog. Joe wants more, but this will work. They just need to maintain this level. The younger Joe has been making some cold calls. Spreading the word of his uncle’s company. This Joe is definitely a talker and a natural salesman. He has even sent letters out of state to folks he knows from his minstrel days. Anything he can do to bring work to the Shop, he will do. Martin has to shoo him out of the building late this evening. Their uncle is already gone and Martin tells Joe it’s late and he should head home. Before leaving and locking up, Martin fills a few bottles with their rye.

December 31

Joe bids the year goodbye with a silent toast before bed. He lives alone again on High Street, but he knows he is not alone. His family is with him. They work with him now. Four nephews and he can’t wait for little Frank to join them. It shouldn’t be long. Joe has a great deal of satisfaction and he has had some success with his business. Nothing compares to this feeling of having these boys with him. It’s a special bond when working with family. The level of trust and shared labor. It brings them all closer. Joe loves it. The boys seem to do so, as well. The younger Joe has settled into his position at the Shop. He still sings at work and elsewhere. Once again, serenading the Lombard Street bridge on Christmas Eve. He will always miss his touring, but he’s content. He finally feels he is where he should be. Sure, his wife had Joe offer him a job and she did get what she wanted. That’s how it worked out, but what really happened is the Shop called him home.

President Grover Cleveland does not seek re-election. William McKinley defeats William Jennings Bryan to become the 25th President. The state of New York restricts alcohol sales on Sundays to hotels only. Henry Ford’s company builds its first vehicle, the Quadricycle. John Phillip Sousa writes “ Stars and Stripes Forever”. George Burns, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ira Gershwin are born.

In January, Utah is admitted to the Union becoming the 45th state.

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