Documentary History of American Water-works

Introduction Historical Background Chronology Geography Biography Technology Ownership and Financing General Bibliography
Middle Atlantic States New York Binghamton

Binghamton, New York

Binghamton was settled in 1802, incorporated as a village in 1834 and as a city in 1867.

The Binghamton Water Works Company was incorporated in 1857 by James Eldredge, George Park, Charles Eldredge, Levi M. Rexford, Thomas Jackson, and Phineas B. Tompkins "for the purpose of supplying the village of Binghamton with pure and wholesome water."

Water was first supplied in December 1868 and a public test was held on May 4, 1869  The first machinery was a two-cylinder Holly engine driving two rotary pumps.  In 1876 a Holly compound four-cylinder engine and pumps was installed.  The boiler in the water works plan exploded on March 10, 1874, taking the system out of service for several days.  A Holly Quadraplex pumping engine was installed in 1875 and a second Quadraplex engine was installed in 1882.  The initial wrought-iron and cement pipe was replaced with cast iron starting in 1875.

Water is provided by the City of Binghamton,


References
1857 An act to incorporate the Binghamton Water Works Company.  April 13, 1857.

1859 An act to continue in force an act entitled "An act to incorporate the Binghamton Water Works Company," passed April thirteenth, eighteen hundred and fifty-seven.  April 5, 1859.

1860 An act to amend an act entitled "An act to incorporate the Binghamton Water Works Company," passed April thirteenth, eighteen hundred and fifty-seven.  February 18, 1860.

1867 An act to supply the city of Binghamton with pure and wholesome water.  April 25, 1867.  Authorized commissioners to borrow $100,000.

1869 "Destructive Fire - Corbett & Owen's Planing Mill Burned," Binghamton Republican, January 8, 1869, Page .

1869 "The New Water Works of Binghamton," Binghamton Republican, January 9, 1869, Page .

1869 An act to amend an act entitled "An act to supply the city of Binghamton with pure and wholesome water," passed April twenty-fifth, eighteen hundred and sixty-seven, and supplementary thereto.  January 22, 1869.  Authorized to borrow an additional $25,000.

1869 "The Water Question," The Buffalo Commercial, January 27, 1869, Page 2.

1869 "The Water Works–Test of the Water Works Yesterday–Interesting Experiments–Entire Success of the Machinery," Binghamton Republican, May 5, 1869, Page . | Reprinted in the The Minneapolis Tribune, May 23, 1869, Page 2. |

1869 "The Fine Water Works of Binghamton," Broome Republican and Standard, May 5, 1869, Page 4. 

1869 "The Holly Water Works," Lockport Daily Journal, June 11, 1869, Page 3.
The Auburn Advertiser of June 9th, says:  The Committees from Cincinnati, Dayton and Columbus, mentioned yesterday as expected here to-day, were so well pleased with the Binghamton water works that they did not consider it necessary to come here, and accordingly returned home.  Hon. T. T. Flagler, President, Charles Keep, Secretary, Wm. C. Weir, Contracting Agent, and Birdsell Holly, all of the Holly Manufacturing Co., Lockport, and accompanied by C. A. Russell, Esq., Chairman of the Board of Water Commissioners, Saratoga, are in town to-day, having visited the pump house and witnessed the operations of the city water works, with much gratification at the perfection of the system. The fame of these works is rapidly spreading and their value soon gains for them an introduction wherever a water supply is desired.  President St. John, of the National Board of Underwriters, is expected to join our visitors here this afternoon or evening.

1869 "The Binghamton Water-Works," The Evening Gazette (Port Jervis, New York), June 12, 1869, Page 1.
The works were constructed by the American Water and Gas-Pipe Company of Jersey City, the same parties who built the Middletown Water-Works.

1871 "Water Works," Columbus Daily Enquirer (Columbus, Georgia), February 14, 1871, Page 3.
Excerpts from Annual Report from Binghamton water works dated February 3, 1870.

1871 An act to amend an act entitled "An act to supply the city of Binghamton with pure and wholesome water," passed April twenty-fifth, eighteen hundred and sixty-seven, and the acts amendatory thereof.  March 29, 1871.  Authorized to borrow an additional $25,000.

1872 An act to amend an act entitled "An act to supply the city of Binghamton with pure and wholesome water," passed April twenty-fifth, eighteen hundred and sixty-seven, and the acts amendatory thereof.  April 25, 1872.  Authorized to borrow an additional $25,000.

1872 The Annals of Binghamton: And of the Country Connected with it from the Earliest Settlement, J. B. Wilkinson
Page 307:  It may be well to insert here the date when Binghamton became incorporated as a City, which was by act of the Legislature passed April 9th, 1867. By an Act passed the 25th of the same month, provision was made for supplying the City with water, under which the present system of Water Works was constructed.

1873 An act to amend an act entitled "An act to supply the city of Binghamton with pure and wholesome water," passed April twenty-fifth, eighteen hundred and sixty-seven.  April 24, 1873.

1874 "Fatal Boiler Explosion at Binghamton," The New York Times, March 11, 1874, Page 5.

1874 "A Terrific Explosion. A Man Blown a Hundred Feet into the Air - Partial Demolition of the Binghamton Water Works," Buffalo Evening Courier and Republic, March 12, 1874, Page 2.

1874 "Recent Boiler Explosions," Scientific American 30(17):260 (April 25, 1874)
Account of the boiler explosion at Binghamton water works, on March 10, together with the report of the inquest and finding of the jury.

1875 An act supplementary to chapter seven hundred and eighty of the laws of eighteen hundred and sixty-seven, entitled "An act to supply the city of Binghamton with pure and wholesome water," and the acts amendatory thereof.  May 1, 1875.  Authorized to borrow an additional $30,000, enact a frontage tax, and take water from the Susquehanna River.

1876 Annual Report of the Board of Water Commissioners of the City of Binghamton for the year ending December 31, 1876. | Also includes reports for later years |

1878 "The Holly System of Water Supply and Fire Protection for Cities and Villages," Scientific American Supplement, 6(140supp):2219-2234 (September 7, 1878)

1879 Annual Report of the Board of Water Commissioners of the City of Binghamton for the year ending December 31, 1879. | Also includes reports for later years |

1881 "Binghamton," from Engineering News 8:333 (August 20, 1881)

1882 Annual Report of the Board of Water Commissioners of the City of Binghamton for the year ending December 31, 1882. | Also includes reports for later years |

1884 "The Water Works of Binghamton," by Walter Loring Webb, May 1884.  A thesis for the degree of Civil Engineering, Cornell University.

1887 An act to amend chapter two hundred and seventy-nine of the laws of eighteen hundred and seventy-five, entitled "An act supplementary to chapter seven hundred and eighty of the laws of eighteen hundred and sixty-seven, entitled "An act to supply the city of Binghamton with pure and wholesome water," and the acts amendatory thereof.  April 11, 1887.  Authorized to borrow an additional $91,000.

1888 "Binghamton," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 1.

1890 "Binghamton," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 2.

1891 "Binghamton," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 3.

1897 "Binghamton," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 4.

1900 Annual Report of the Board of Water Commissioners of the City of Binghamton for the year ending December 31, 1899.

1900 "City Water Works," from Binghamton, Its Settlement, Growth and Development: And the Factors in Its History, 1800-1900, William Summer Lawyer | also here |

1916 Water Commissioners of the City of Binghamton, Respondent, v. the City of Binghamton and Others, Appellants, 173 N. Y. App. Div. 327, May 3, 1916. Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York

1933 "The Story Behind the Binghamton Water Works," Press and Sun-Bulletin (Binghamton, New York) March 22, 1933, Page 3.




© 2007 Morris A. Pierce