Thursday, October 11, 2012

Hudson in 1905: Part 45

The following is an excerpt from the booklet Illustrated Hudson, N.Y., published in 1905.

GIFFORD-WOOD COMPANY--This company was incorporated February 1, 1905, representing the consolidation of the properties and business interests of Gifford Brothers, Hudson, N.Y., and William T. Wood & Co., Arlington, Mass. The Hudson plant was established in 1814 by Elihu Gifford, who was succeeded in 1863 by his sons, William H. and James Gifford, who in turn were succeeded in 1889 by Malcolm and Arthur Gifford--sons of James Gifford. The business of William T. Wood & Co., of Arlington, Mass., was established in 1834, for the purpose of manufacturing ice plows, markers, tongs, and other tools required in the cutting, harvesting, and handling of ice, and have a modern equipped and extensive factory at Arlington (suburb of Boston), and have built up a most substantial trade in their line of goods throughout the United States and portions of Europe. This firm was composed of William E. and William B. Wood. The Hudson plant is of substantial character and one of the busiest in the city, employing on an average of seventy-five skilled mechanics, occupies a space of about 33,000 square feet, and bounded by some of the principal thoroughfares, Columbia, Greene [sic] and State streets, B. & A. Railroad, and Long Alley, with three and one-half story brick and stone buildings for their machine, forge and pattern department, and large brick building for their foundry and other work. Their facilities are well adapted for general foundry work, with capacity for making castings up to ten tons weight, and for the manufacturing of general machinery, pattern, forge and boiler work. About fifty per cent of the product consists of ice elevators, conveyers and lowering machinery for which the company has a very wide reputation and are almost the exclusive manufacturers of this character of work in the country. The corporation is officered as follows: William E. Wood, President; Malcolm Gifford, Vice-President; Arthur Gifford, Treasurer; A. E. Heard, Secretary; William B. Wood, Superintendent.

The foundry building of the Gifford-Wood Company

The plant of the Gifford-Wood Company
The site of the Gifford-Wood Company today
Gossips Note: The foundry building survives, now clad in metal siding, but the striking three and a half story plant is gone, replaced by a Hess station.


  1. Please note that the middle pic, the plant of the Gifford Wood Company, does not due justice to the actual building. The building exterior was actually curved so that it was designed to flow around both State & Green Sts. and did not come to a flat face front as shown in the pic.
    It was an amazing site to see but unfortunately the building was destroyed by fire in the early 1970's I believe.
    As always thank you for your outstanding & continued site & news about Hudson, present & past.

    1. Thanks for pointing this out, tmdonofrio. This picture, bizarrely, makes it seem as if the building actually had a right-angled corner, when, in fact, it was, as you say, curved. Quite extraordinary. Unfortunately, this was the only picture I had access to this morning. If I can find one that represents the building better, I will certainly publish it.

  2. If I recall, this building which housed Pitchers auto parts as the last user of building, and the St Marys school and also the Glue Factory all burned around the same time era around 1968-71. Also if you note this was the start of urban renewal and the clearing of old buildings, neighborhoods and properties in Hudson. You would have to dig deeper but I think it was a lot more then just kids playing with matches or the report of such. Candy Lane where Providence Hall currently exist, is another example. Reported as two kids playing with matches but never knew who those kids were. Warren St between 1st and Front St just above the old Wardels store. Another example of strip clearing which when Grand Union closed "Now the Mental Health next to Finish Line on Union St" and the friction between Greenport and Hudson, they proposed a supermarket which now houses COARC which if I recall only opened for 1 1/2 years to compete with the new "Price Chopper-Jamesway Plaza" at the time where Walmart property currently exist, the downtown supermarket closed and sat vacant for many years until COARC moved in. More empty spaces, lots for parking lots and the city betting everything on the federal teat versus utilization to private individuals to put back on tax rolls. Until this mindset is changed and the certain inner circle collapses, Hudson will be a difficult uphill battle and progress will be inhibited.


  3. Interesting topic.No one will ever know.Those
    that do,dead or alive ,aren't talking.Certainly nothing unique to Hudson.
    Just up in the Catskills,there were a lot of old hotels, over the last few decades or so,
    that have had a bad habit of burning down after their last season,that were failing
    ,as the area lost popularity for that type of Summering and more strictly enforced DUI- laws came into effect and hurt a lot of the Bar business of thier clubs and
    resturants,and bars as everyone drives up there.( that part, is a very good thing.Death rates have lowered considerably,via drunk drivers.)

  4. Thanks Gosips for helping me fill in our family history! William B. Wood was my father's grandfather.

  5. Thanks Gosips for helping me fill in our family history! William B. Wood was my father's grandfather.

    1. Hi, sounds like you may have collected Gifford wood memorabilia. My wifes mother was a Gifford and spent childhood in Hudson. Do you know of a history book of Gifford Wood that covers a good deal of the 100+ years. It would make a good present for my wife and grandchildren. Thanks
      John Dick, Lake Forest, Il

  6. Hi, I have a Gifford-Woods "Royal Vegetable peeler". Its automatic, very heavy, old and looks to be commercial quality. Any idea where I might find out about it.. I'd like to sell it.