History of Luzerne Lackawanna and Wyoming Counties, PA
with Illustrations and Biographical Sketches
of Some of their Prominent Men and Pioneers
New York; W. Munsell & Co.; 1880
Press of George Macnamara, 36 Vesey Street, NY
page 410

Axes and Edge Tools

In 1840 Jerison White built the first edge tool factory at Capouse, and soon after sold out to Pulaski Carter, removed to Providence and erected a second factory, which, with his dwelling, was swept away by a flood. He Built a small, rude shop, in which he placed a bellows, and with the help of a boy began business on a limited scale. He built a factory in 1847 and occupied it until 1861, when he sold it to his nephew, Crandall White, who conducted it a while. After the war Edward H. White was taken into partnership with his father, J. White., and they resumed business, removing to Green Ridge avenue in 1874, where they had erected the shops now standing there unoccupied. They abandoned the business in May, 1878. For many years the establishment enjoyed the highest reputation, the specialty being axes of all kinds. These were made of the best Sheffield steel and tempered by a process of the senior proprietor's. They were also the inventors and manufacturers of an improved pruning hatchet and box opener, which had a large sale.

Carter & Co. Axes Ad in 1895 Scranton Fire Alarm Boxes Directory
(Click on the image to see full size)

In 1841 the land at Capouse came into the hands of Pulaski Carter, a young man from Windham county, Conn. Who rented the recently built shop of Jerison White, and in the fall of that year put three trip hammers and three forges in motion and, purchasing the property, established what is now known far and wide throughout the State as "Carter's Capouse Works." Three operations besides himself were employed in 1841, using three tons and a half of iron and making 180 dozen scythes and 160 dozen axes, which were ground, polished, boxed and sold by Mr. Carter himself, who was foreman, salesman and bookkeeper. The pioneers in this section pronounced these implements of superior quality. The shop, then a single building, thirty by fifty feet, has given place to a cluster of thirty or more buildings. One hundred tons of iron are used annually, and more than 1,000 dozen scythes and 2,000 dozen axes, besides a large number of edged tools used by workers of wood, iron and stone, and embracing carpenters’ and railroad and track adzes, and miners’ and gravel picks, grub hoes, drills, crowbars, wedges and harrow teeth, are produced.

Blake & Co., in the spring of 1863, established an ax factory where the office of the Cliff works now stands. The establishment was burned about 1867 and was not rebuilt.

In 1876 a building was erected at Green Ridge, which was opened in April of that year by Messrs. J. W. Pike & Co. as a manufactory of mining and edge tools. The business increased steadily, several men being employed in the shop, until the building was burned in January, 1880. Other accommodations were soon secured and business was resumed. During 1879 about $500 worth of tools were turned out per month.

History of Scranton, Pennsylvania, With Full Outline of the Natural Advantages, Accounts of the Indian Tribes, Early Settlements, Connecticut's Claim to the Wyoming Valley, the Trenton Decree, Manufacturing, Mining, and Transportation Interests, the Press, Churches, Societies, etc., Etc., Down to the Present Time.

David Craft, William A. Wilcox, Alfred Hand, J. Wooldridge. Published for H. W. Crew by the United Brethren Publishing House, Dayton, Ohio. 1891.

Pages 255-6

The Capouse Works of Pulaski Carter were established in 1840, by Jerison White. This was the first edge tool factory started at Capouse. Soon after Mr. White sold out to Mr. Carter and removed to Providence where he erected a second factory, which, together with his dwelling, was swept away by a flood. Mr. White then built a small, rude shop, placing a bellows therein, and with the assistance of a boy began business on a small scale. In 1847 he built a larger factory and occupied it until 1861, when he sold out to his nephew, Crandall White, who conducted it for some time during the war. After the war ws over Edward H. White and his father, J. White, were taken into partnership, and the business was resumed. In 1874 they removed to Green Ridge Avenue, and carried on the business there until 1878, when they abandoned it altogether. This establishment enjoyed the highest reputation, their specialty, axes, being made of the best Sheffield steel, tempered by a process that was original with the original proprietor.

Returning now to the establishment of Pulaski Carter, which became his in 1841, it may be stated that Mr. Carter was then a young man, from Windham County, Connecticut, who rented the recently erected shop of Jerison White, and in the fall put in three trip hammers and three forges, all of which he set to work at once, and soon afterward purchasing the property, he established what became widely and favorably known as the "Capouse Works." In 1841 he employed three hands, who together with him, made up three and a half tons of iron into one hundred and eighty dozen scythes, and one hundred and sixty dozen axes, which were ground, polished, boxed, and sold by Mr. Carter himself. These implements were of superior quality, and were highly satisfactory to the pioneers of this section. The shop which was then only one building, has give place to a group of more than thirty building. In 1877 Mr. Carter's partners were Calvin Parson, of Wilkes-Barre, and Edward Weston, of Providence. In this year Mr. Carter fitted up a rolling mill, which was designed to manufacture bar iron from scrap iron of every kind of shape. These works are still in existence, and are doing a prosperous business.

Transcribed, scanned and contributed by Susan W. Pieroth 2000

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