1912 201 S. Central Avenue

January 8

The Shop has stayed busy through the holidays. Candy and ice cream companies have ordered repairs and replacements for their cooking kettles. Today copper plate and sheet is delivered and unloaded. A long process at that time. Everything was hauled by hand or with rope block and tackles. Something that takes five minutes now using over-head cranes and chain-falls took an hour or more at that time. A delivery usually meant the whole crew stopped what they were doing and started unloading the materials.

February 12

Joe receives a call from Globe Brewing. They need some repairs on their brewing system. Frank and Eddie visit them. They braze some seams and begin fixing some fittings. They work to eliminate any leaks. They will spend several days there. Leaving from the Shop early and returning at the end of the day. Eddie paying close attention to all that Frank does. The rest of the crew are in the process of building a still for Harris Distilling.

March 14

Martin pays a visit to 201 S. Central Avenue. His brothers, Joe, James and Frank are shocked to see him. There has been little contact with him since his release from prison last year. He informs them that he is getting married and moving. He is engaged to a widow name Marie Romano. They plan to move to the mid-west. The three younger brothers congratulate Martin and wish him well. They are surprised, but considering it is Martin, not too surprised. He takes his leave of them and is never seen by any of his brothers again.

March 30

Martin Kavanagh weds Marie Romano in Lake County, Indiana. They will settle in the Chicago area.

Martin is essentially out of this story at this point. He never returns to the Maryland and dies in 1919 in Chicago.

April 16

The Kavanaghs along with people around the globe are shocked to read of the sinking of the Titanic. The RMS Titanic was on its maiden voyage when it strikes an iceberg. 1500 die in one of the worst maritime disasters ever. The RMS Carpathia rescues 705 survivors after they floated for two hours in life boats. There are widespread reports of the life boats not being full and safety errors in procedures. Equipment issues and breakdowns. The tremendous loss of life leads to new standards and safety protocols for shipping and boating throughout the world.

April 22

Today is the fifth anniversary of Joe, James and Frank leaving Martin’s Shop. Five years since the younger brothers have been on their own. They have come a long way. They moved to the small 217 S. Central building and now are home at 201 S. Central Ave. They have recovered well. Most of Old Uncle Joe’s customers are their customers now. The local ones. They do not have the means to service the out of state distilleries that Joe did. There are local coppersmith companies in those states now. The opportunity for the distant customers really is not there anymore. It is fine with the brothers. The local brewers, distillers, restaurants and food service companies keep them busy. They also still have a variety of general copper work they do. The fountains, steam ships, boiler work and ornamental rail work is more than enough. The Kavanaghs recognize this day as the start of the new Shop. They do not celebrate it in any special way, but they are very much aware that today is when things started anew for them.

May 18

The Joseph Kavanagh Company continues to receive jobs at a high pace. The brothers have lunch at the Shop on this Saturday. They discuss the high volume of work and quickly decide to hire four new young helpers. These may become apprentices, but right now they are happy to have the laborers.

The Shop now employees 16 people including the Kavanaghs. They are not back to where they were when Uncle Joe was alive, but they are doing very well. The Shop is busy and making money.

June 25

The Democratic National Convention begins in Baltimore. The Kavanaghs were always interested in politics. They were socially and politically aware. I am sure they read the newspaper with great interest. The convention being held in Baltimore was a big deal for the City. An economic boost for the City and its residents. The Kavanaghs were still “Lincoln” Republicans, but I am sure they followed the convention closely.

July 2

Woodrow Wilson receives the Democratic nomination for the Presidency as the convention draws to a close. The Shop is nearly buried in work. They have some cooking kettles to fabricate, but most of the crew are attending to some steam ship repairs. Brass stacks are made and their usual ballast pump-chambers. Mr. Fairbanks and James Woods focusing on the brass work while Frank and James take the lead on the chambers. Eddie and Leo do the initial copper shaping and bending. When it comes to fabricating the chambers, they watch closely as Frank and James assemble them. Adding on the fixtures and necessary gauges. It is a hot July day made hotter by the constant heat of their torches.

September 3

A new sign is erected on the front of the Shop’s building. The Central Avenue side. It is raised and attached by Eddie and Leo. The rest of the crew stands in the street, watching and applauding when the sign is up to stay. Their father and their uncles look on with a great sense of pride. They know they are successful and will be for some time. I do not think they were thinking another 90 years, but they finally have security. The sign will hang there for many years. It changes from “Coppersmiths” to “Bending & Rolling” in about 50 years, but the sign remains the same for generations.

The present day Joseph Kavanagh Co. sign. Identical to original but for “Bending & Rolling” instead of “Coppersmiths”.

October 16

The Boston Red Sox defeat the NY Giants to win the World Series. Joe and his brothers follow this series closely. It was one of the closest and most exciting Series in baseball history. Game two ended in a tie. After the seven game series was played, it was split 3 games to 3. An eighth and deciding game was added. Its location was decided by a coin toss. Boston won the toss. The game went to 10 innings and the Giants took a 2-1 lead. The bottom of the tenth featured two defensive misplays that lead to the Red Sox winning 3-2. The last run scoring on a sacrifice fly. The Series featured great pitching match ups. Smokey Joe Wood vs. Christy Matthewson. Two of the best hurlers in the game at the time and of all time. The Series had the largest attendance of any so far. It also stoked the fires of interest in baseball and widened its appeal. I’m sure the Kavanagh boys enjoyed this one.

November 5

Woodrow Wilson wins the Presidential election. He defeats the incumbent Republican Howard Taft. Wilson’s victory is aided by the campaign of Teddy Roosevelt. Roosevelt represents the Progressive Party. The Progressives are a group of Republicans who revolted against the party after they chose Taft over Teddy. The Kavanaghs were Roosevelt supporters and voted for him and this short-lived Progressive Party. He actually finishes second in the general election. Outpacing Taft.

December 25

Christmas with the Kavanghs is a joyous event this year. They have come a long way. They have faced some very tough and doubtful times. Now, they feel very hopeful. They probably felt as their uncle did when he finally had enough success to be secure. Joe is able to promise Johanna that they will be able to begin paying back the money she lent the Shop next year. She is happy to hear it. She’s thrilled her sons have good jobs and the foundation for a successful future. Make no mistake about it though, she wants this loan paid back. Joe feels a great relief that now the company and the family will be fine. Of course, he is mostly concerned with his boys. Leo and Eddie are doing very well. Leo has a very mathematical mind and is skilled at engineering and drafting sketches. He has learned much from his Uncle James. Eddie seems to be a natural coppersmith. Some men seem born to wield a hammer. He seems to have an innate sense of how metal will respond when worked. He has been tutored by his uncles certainly. Still, he has natural talent. There is no doubt about that. He works with his Uncle Frank a lot. Joe makes sure of this. Joe wants Eddie to learn all he can. To foster any natural skill he has and build it up. Eddie is learning fast though he is rather headstrong. Leo is the quieter brother. Eddie and Joe are not always on the same page. Sometimes it is like that with fathers and sons. Both Leo and Eddie are hard workers. Following in the tradition of their family. They are different though. Eddie has a bigger personality. The Kavanaghs work well together and they play well together. Music is always a big part of their lives. They just don’t always see eye-to-eye on everything. That is not necessarily a bad thing. At the core of this, is that Eddie and Joe are similar. Loud, boisterous and opinionated. Their relationship will always be this way. Their like personalities conflicting, but also aiding and driving the Shop on to bigger things in years to come.




William Howard Taft finishes his term as President. The first parachute jump from a plane is made by Albert Berry. The Girls Scouts of America and Universal Studios are founded. Three thousand cherry blossom trees are given to Washington D. C. by the mayor of Tokyo. Those are planted and are still there today. Fenway Park in Boston and Tiger Stadium in Detroit open. Jackson Pollock, Les Brown, Woody Guthrie, Julia Child and Gene Kelly are born.

New Mexico and Arizona are admitted to the Union becoming the 47th and 48th states respectively.

Central Avenue side of the old Shop. Picture taken September 8, 2018.


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