Mill Record Deep River

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Complex Name (Common)
Pratt Read & Co.
Complex Name (Historic)
  • Pratt Read & Co.
  • Electric Soldering Iron Co. (ESICO)
Address or Location
112 West Elm Street, Deep River
County
Middlesex
Historic Designation
Associated Mill Community
Historic Information

Companies Associated w/Complex

  • Electric Soldering Iron Co. (ESICO) 1936-c.1994
  • ESICO Triton International Inc. c.1994-present
  • Health Ray Manufacturing Co. 1937-unknown
  • Pratt Brothers Co. 1856-1863
  • Pratt Read Co. 1863-1936

Use (Historic)

Largest Documented Workforce

35 (1937)

Historic Narrative

Built by Pratt Brothers Co. in 1856 for the manufacture of ivory combs, it became a facility of Pratt Read and Co., the merger formed by Julius Pratt and Co., George Read and Co., and Pratt Brothers Co. in 1863. After the construction of the 1881 factory on Main Street in Deep River, this location was identified as the ‘West’ factory/mill of Pratt Read and Co., where ivory was cut and bleached for combs, keys, collar buttons and various notions. After Pratt Read and Co. merged with Comstock Cheney and Co. in 1936, Leonard Young moved his Electric Soldering Iron Co. to this location. Young had started the firm in New York in 1928 to produce soldering irons, tips and pots, and held several patents. Young also invented the ‘Health Ray’ lamp, a tanning device, establishing the Health Ray Manufacturing Co. c.1930 in New York; he moved production to the Deep River plant in 1937. The lamp, whose rays were purportedly four times stronger than mid-day summer sun, was sold by mail order only; users were cautioned against lengthy exposure. Between the two companies Young employed 35 people in 1937. From 1962 to 1987, the Electric Soldering Iron Co. was owned and operated by William A. Purtell Jr (1922-2004), son of Senator William A. Purtell, and in 1987, under new ownership it was renamed ESICO. Production of soldering equipment for use in the aerospace, automotive, branding, electrical, electronics, HVAC, hobbyist, marine, plumbing and roofing industries continues under ESICO-Triton International Inc.

Architectural Information

Number of Existing Buildings

Roughly four (4) blocks.

Dates of Construction

c.1856, 1911 with modern additions

Architect

n/a

Builder

n/a

Building Type

Architectural Description

The 1856 wood frame factory building is one and a half stories with gable roof. One to two bleach houses, with southwestern facing glass elevations, were located to the north of the factory until c.1925. An ivory vault was located to the west on the other side of the head race until c.1936. The eastern engine shop and boiler house were built in 1911. According to town historian Rich Kalapos, as of 2016 the turn of the century turbine, rope-pulled elevator, and some machinery remain in place.

Exterior Material(s)

Structural System(s)

n/a

Roof Form

Roof Material

n/a

Power Source

Condition

Good

Condition Notes

n/a

Property Information

Specific Location

One 4.5 acre parcel on Esico Lane off the north side of Elm Street to the east of the route 9 on ramp

Adjacent To

Exterior Visible from Public Road?

Yes

Parcel ID / Assessor Record Link

Acreage

4.5

Use (Present)

Sources

Form Completed By

Renée Tribert

Date

n/a

Bibliography

  1. Sanborn Insurance Atlases.
  2. Deep River Historical Society.
  3. Colby, Barnard L. ‘New Deep River Concern Selling Canned Sunshine’, The Day (New London: Nov 27 1937).
Representative View(s)Click on image to view full file



Photographer

n/a

Photography Date

n/a