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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Louisville in Jefferson County, Kentucky — The American South (East South Central)
 

Bridgeford, Ricketts & Company

Historic Site

 

— Bourbon District - 500 Block —

 
Bridgeford, Ricketts & Company Marker Front image. Click for full size.
By Shane Oliver, July 3, 2021
1. Bridgeford, Ricketts & Company Marker Front
Inscription.  
James Bridgeford was born near Louisville in 1807. At 13, he left school and worked as an apprentice in his brother-in-law's metal working shop. By age 22, he had become a skilled metal worker and businessman with a savings of nearly $1,000.

With these assets, he partnered with one Mr. Cocks to found the metal working and dealing firm of Cocks & Bridgeford. The factory was located near Sixth and Main Streets, specializing in "stills, copper, tin, and sheet iron ware." The firm also made a concerted pitch to steamboat companies, outfitting them with appropriate hardware, even advertising the availability of "bells of all sizes."

By 1834, the company grew in Bridgeford, Ricketts & Company, producing "machinery for sawmills, ginnies, distilleries, and steam engines." By the middle of the century, the foundry and workshop was among the largest of its kind in the country. It made whiskey stills, stoves, grates, steamboat parts, and even common household pots and pans. The firm's success was highlighted by the 3,000 tons of metal it used annually and a staff of 200 men.

In addition to running his
Bridgeford, Ricketts & Company Marker Reverse image. Click for full size.
By Shane Oliver, July 3, 2021
2. Bridgeford, Ricketts & Company Marker Reverse
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company, James Bridgeford also became an active civic leader. He twice served on the board of councilmen of Louisville and was the president of the Second National Bank, also located on Main Street.

[Sidebar:]
3000 tons of metal used annually
200 workers
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Industry & Commerce. A significant historical year for this entry is 1834.
 
Location. 38° 15.422′ N, 85° 45.562′ W. Marker is in Louisville, Kentucky, in Jefferson County. Marker is on West Main Street (U.S. 31W) just east of North 6th Street, on the right when traveling west. The marker stands in front of the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 526 W Main St, Louisville KY 40202, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Evan Williams (a few steps from this marker); Evan Williams Bourbon Experience (a few steps from this marker); J. Monks (within shouting distance of this marker); 125 South Sixth Street (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); D.X. Murphy & Bro., Architects (about 500 feet away); Al J. Schneider (about 600 feet away); The Columbia Building (about 600 feet away); Kentucky Fugitives to Canada (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Louisville.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 3, 2021. It was originally submitted on July 30, 2021, by Shane Oliver of Richmond, Virginia. This page has been viewed 57 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on July 31, 2021, by Shane Oliver of Richmond, Virginia. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.
 
Editor’s want-list for this marker. A wide shot of the marker in context • Can you help?

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Nov. 28, 2021