Harlan & Hollingsworth Company Factory, 100 South West Street, Wilmington, New Castle County, DE
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100 South West Street, Wilmington, DE
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Documentation compiled after 1968.
Survey number HAER DE-8
Building/structure dates: 1880 initial construction
Building/structure dates: 1905 subsequent work
Significance: The Harlan & Hollingsworth Co. began the manufacture of railway passenger cars in 1836 and commenced iron shipbuilding in 1843. Energetic management, competent production, and expanding markets for its products established the firm as Wilmington's leader in both fields. In 1845, Harlan & Hollingsworth launched the "Bangor," the first American-built iron vessel for deep sea use. By 1860, at which time Wilmington assumed pre-eminence in the field of iron shipbuilding, Harlan & Hollingsworth was the city's leading concern in that industry. During the second half of the 19th century, Harlan & Hollingsworth established a national reputation for high-quality railway passenger cars, iron-hulled steamers, steam engines, and boilers. By 1880, the firm's work force numbered over 1,000 and the plant, situated between the Pennsylvania Railroad and the Christina River, spread over 43 acres on Wilmington's south side. In 1904, high cost of materials, labor unrest, and problem-ridden contracts brought the sale of the firm to the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation. Production of ships ceased in 1926 and car manufacture ended in 1939.
Harlan , Samuel
Siler, Arthur J.
Lamont Gear Works
Harlan & Hollingsworth Company
Foote, Charles, Photographer
Edmonson, James, Historian
Historic American Engineering Record (Library of Congress)
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