Morrison Machine Co.

Morrison Machine

History

The building now known as the Morrison Machine Company mill was originally built ca. 1910 as a tenant mill known as the Rodgers Mill. The 1915 Mueller map indicates that the building was owned by A.F. Holden and that it was built on a lot previously occupied by the frame house of John H. Zabriskie. The mill had an advantageous location adjacent to the Erie Railroad and was originally served by a spur that came in under an overhang along the east elevation of the first floor. According to the 1915 Sanborn map, Morrison Machine initially only occupied the first floor, probably taking advantage of the rail spur for the delivery and shipping of heavy machinery components. Occupants of the other floors in 1915 were the Guthrie Silk Company (2nd floor), the David D. Rodgers Co. Silk Mill Supplies (3rd floor), the Pioneer Overall Company (3rd floor), and the Irving Silk Co. (4th floor). Morrison appears to have gradually taken over the building; by 1931 Morrison occupied the 1st and 2nd floors, and broad silk weaving was taking place on the 3rd and 4th floors.

 

The Morrison Machine Company was incorporated by James L. Morrison and Joseph Radink in 1907, with the original works were located at 52 Fulton Street in the former Cooke Locomotive factory. In 1908, Radink left the partnership, and James L. Morrison took over. Morrison relocated to the Rodgers Mill in 1914. Morrison made a specialty of silk dyeing and finishing machinery and held or was assigned several patents from the mid-1910s to 1920s. Morrison machines were frequently advertised in silk trade journals. In 1916, Clifford H. Ramsey joined the company as president, taking over for Morrison. Ramsey was the son of Charles D. Ramsey, a Paterson banker, who died prematurely in 1902. Following the death of this father, Ramsey apprenticed as a machinist at John Royle & Sons, Paterson's pre-eminent textile machine maker, quickly rising through the ranks to become head draftsman. Showing a high degree of aptitude for management, Royle named Ramsey superintendent of the works in 1910 at the age of 29. After four years Ramsey left Royle to take a position at Morrison Machine becoming president two years later. Ramsey patented two machines, an oval reel dyeing machine and a hydro extractor that became standard issue in the piece dyeing shops of Paterson. In 1920, Morrison was employing 60 workers. An Internet search indicates Morrison Machine was in business as late as 1977.


References

Hyde, E. B. Atlas of Passaic County, New Jersey, 1877.

Robinson, E. Atlas of the City of Paterson, New Jersey, 1884.

Robinson, E. Atlas of the City of Paterson and Haledon, New Jersey, 1899.

Mueller, A. H. Atlas of the City of Paterson, New Jersey, 1915.

Sanborn Map Company Insurance Maps of Paterson, New Jersey, 1915.

Sanborn Map Company Insurance Maps of Paterson, New Jersey, 1931.

Sanborn Map Company Insurance Maps of Paterson, New Jersey, 1950.

Department of Community Development, City of Paterson Survey, 1987.

Shiner, Charles History of Paterson and Its Environs (Vol. II), 1920.

American Silk Journal "Morrison Machine Co." (October), 1924.

Silk "Morrison Machine Co." (March), 1927.



Associated Documents

Morrison Machine Site Form
Additional Photographs of Morrison Machine
Maps of Morrison Machine

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City of Paterson, NJ

155 Market St
Paterson, NJ 07505
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