Monthly Archives: August 2015

2nd Floor “The Industrial Floor” now OPEN


– Wednesday August 19th –

– 5:00pm to 8:00pm –

Sample some local wine and enjoy some hors-d’oeuvre
while exploring the museum.

The Second floor of the Seneca Museum is now open to the public after a 5 year hiatus.

The ‘INDUSTRIAL FLOOR’ celebrates and highlights just a few of the many and varied industries and businesses that made up the Industrial Seneca Falls.

For over 100 years Seneca Falls had seen over 100 Industries and businesses, from school supply companies, flour mills, iron foundries, knitting mills, fire fighting equipment and of course pump manufacturers in the 1800. Then in the 1900’s the industries expanded to capture the modern era, with Sylvania setting up its factory here.

The Cayuga-Seneca Canal opened in 1817 (eight years before the Erie Canal was completed) and was joined to the Erie Canal in 1828. The network of New York canals made possible the economical transport of farm and factory products from this area to the East Coast and westward to the heartland of the mid-West. An era of prosperity began and New York became the Empire State . The pump industry dominated in the 1840’s with factories and foundries along the Canal. Frequent foundry fires led to the invention of pumps on wheels, and Seneca Falls became the fire engine capital of the world.

For over a century, starting in the 1840’s, the economy of Seneca Falls, New York depended primarily upon its foundry work. Beginning with the manufacturing of pumps, foundries grew in size and output as competing manufacturers tried to out-do one another. Three companies emerged as fierce competitors for the trade: Cowing & Company and Downs & Company (later called Goulds Pump Arnotte Mills) both in 1840 and Rumsey & Company entering the picture in 1864. Pumps, steam fire engines, sadirons (we have an extraordinary number of these in our 19th Century kitchen display), coffee grinders, sausage stuffers, stoves, whirly gigs, corn shellers & huskers, boot jacks, bells, sinks, all made by iron, were spin-off products that made Seneca Falls a household name.

Come on in and see some amazing products and prototypes, from early TV screens and oscilloscopes, vacuum tube valves and a very rare original Birdsill Holly Rotary Steam Pump brass patent that revolutionized Fire Fighting for ever. The incredible machines of Seneca Falls Manufacturing and of course Goulds Pumps who has been in Seneca Falls since 1848.

Hope to see you all there