Mill Record Bridgeport

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Complex Name (Common)
Bridgeport Mattress Co.
Complex Name (Historic)
  • Bias Narrow Fabric Co.
  • Bridgeport Mattress Co.
Address or Location
304 George Street, Bridgeport
County
Fairfield
Historic Designation
Associated Mill Community
n/a
Historic Information

Companies Associated w/Complex

  • American Distributing & Mfg. Co. ca. 1922-ca. 1924
  • American Specialty Co. ca. 1918-ca. 1922
  • Bias Narrow Fabric Co. 1903-1913
  • Bridgeport Can Co. ca. 1918-ca. 1922
  • Bridgeport Mattress Co. 1923-ca. 1944
  • Connecticut Hardware Mfg. Co. ca. 1918-ca. 1922
  • Elmwood Button Co. ca. 1903-ca. 1910
  • Gaynor & Mitchell Mfg. Co. ca. 1903-ca. 1910
  • Ostermoor & Co. 1935-late-20th c.
  • S.G. Krupka Co. 1924-ca. 1944

Use (Historic)

Largest Documented Workforce

50-99 (1939).

Historic Narrative

The George Street mill that would eventually house the Bridgeport Mattress Company appears to have been constructed as a real estate venture intended to be built and then leased to industrial tenants. The building was erected ca. 1903 and its initial owner was William S. Brandagee, a Bridgeport businessman and automobile dealer. The mill’s first occupants included the Gaynor and Mitchell Manufacturing Company and the Elmwood Button Company. By 1905, these firms had been joined by the Bias Narrow Fabric Company, which shared the plant with the three aforementioned businesses until the early 1910s, when it moved into its own factory at 393 James Street, Bridgeport. During the late 1910s, the building was occupied by the American Specialty Company, Bridgeport Can Company, and the Connecticut Hardware Manufacturing Company, however, all three of these firms had vacated the plant by the early 1920s. The Bridgeport Mattress Company moved into the George Street factory and joined the American Distributing and Manufacturing Company, a printing machine manufacturer, in 1923. The Bridgeport Mattress Company was originally established around 1907 by Samuel G. Krupka, a Bridgeport upholsterer. Krupka set up his first mattress and pillow plant at 25 East Washington Avenue in Bridgeport, yet moved to George Street shortly after his company was incorporated in August 1922. In 1924, Krupka organized the S.G. Krupka Company, an upholstered furniture manufacturing business, which operated alongside the Bridgeport Mattress Company until the early 1940s, when the latter firm ceased operations. In 1935, Krupka acquired control of Ostermoor and Company, a New York mattress manufacturer established in 1853. Ostermoor and Company maintained an office and factory at 116 Elizabeth Street in New York City, however, all operations were moved to Bridgeport after the sale. Samuel Krupka served as president and treasurer of both companies, while his son, Harold A. Krupka held the position of secretary at both firms. In 1937, the Krupkas purchased a plant formerly occupied by the Tung-Sol Lamp Works in Chicago, Illinois, which was eventually set up as a second factory and office for Ostermoor and Company. While the operations of the Bridgeport Mattress Company and S.G. Krupka Company were absorbed into Ostermoor and Company around 1944, the latter firm continued to operate its Bridgeport and Chicago plants into the late-20th century. The Ostermoor and Company brand was acquired by Hartford, Connecticut-based Gold Bond Mattress Company in 1988, and this firm restarted production of high-end Ostermoor-branded mattresses in 2008.

Architectural Information

Number of Existing Buildings

Two (2) adjoining primary blocks.

Dates of Construction

ca. 1903, ca. 1910.

Architect

n/a

Builder

n/a

Building Type

Architectural Description

The former Bridgeport Mattress Company factory consists of two adjoining primary blocks located on the north side of George Street, at the northwest corner of George Street’s intersection with Oak Street. The original mill was built ca. 1903 and consists of a three-story, 52’ x 190’ rough-cut ashlar stone block building with a stone foundation, raised basement level, segmental-arched window openings with stone sills, twelve-over-twelve double-hung wood sash, and front-facing low-pitch gable roof. There are three entrances to the building, all located on its south elevation facing George Street. One of the entries is located at the western end of the building’s south elevation, while the two others are located in neighboring bays at the center of the block. All three entrances are set in deeply recessed segmental-arched openings and have stone stairs, paired paneled wood doors with large glass lights, and blind transoms. A stone firewall rising above the building’s roofline is located near the center of the block. The second block associated with the plant is a one-story, 42’ x 42’ red brick building that adjoins the east elevation of the main block. This was erected to house the factory’s boiler house ca. 1910. It has segmental-arched window openings with stone sills, both segmental-arched and rectangular door openings, and a gable roof. A chain-link wire fence located between the ca. 1910 building and the sidewalk on the north side of George Street bears metal lettering that reads, ‘OSTERMOOR AND COMPANY, INC.’

Exterior Material(s)

Structural System(s)

Roof Form

Roof Material

Power Source

Condition

Deteriorated

Condition Notes

The complex is in deteriorated condition. The windows are largely damaged, boarded up, or missing, and portions of the roof have collapsed. The stone structure itself, however, appears to be sound and lacks significant deterioration, cracks, or failures.

Property Information

Specific Location

One 0.67-acre parcel (304 George Street) located on the north side of George Street, at the northwest corner of George Street’s intersection with Oak Street.

Adjacent To

Exterior Visible from Public Road?

Yes

Parcel ID / Assessor Record Link

Acreage

0.67

Use (Present)

Sources

Form Completed By

Lucas A. Karmazinas

Date

01/19/2016

Bibliography

  1. List of Connecticut Manufacturers, 1922, 1924, 1930, 1932.
  2. Directory of Connecticut State Manufacturers, 1936, 1939.
  3. Industrial Directory of Connecticut, 1947.
  4. Register of War Production Facilities in Connecticut, 1951.
  5. Map of Fairfield County; Baker, William A., 1854.
  6. Atlas of the City of Bridgeport; J.B. Beers & Co., 1876.
  7. Atlas of the City and Town of Bridgeport; G.M. Hopkins & Co., 1888, 1917.
  8. Atlas of Bridgeport; Kershaw, William H., 1910.
  9. Sanborn Map Company, 1884, 1888, 1898, 1904, 1913, 1939, 1950.
  10. Aerial Survey of Connecticut, 1934, 1951, 1965, 1970, 1985.
  11. Bridgeport City Directory, Various editions.
  12. Hartford Courant, 1922, 1924.
  13. New York Times, 1901, 1937.
  14. A History of the Old Town of Stratford and the City of Bridgeport; Orcutt, Samuel, 1886.
  15. History of Bridgeport and Vicinity; S.J. Clarke Publishing, 1917.
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Photographer

Lucas A. Karmazinas

Photography Date

01/19/2016