John Carton

Inventor of hot-air furnaces, John Carton was a Utica businessman (see Carton Furnace Company) who success was very significant and for which Carton Avenue in the Columbia Lafayette Neigberhood was named.

John Carton, Utica, NY

"John Carton invented and began manufacturing a hot air furnace in 1847. His sons, Edward and William, established a furnace company in the city. Their offices were on Genesee Street, but the foundry was located on Carton Avenue. The company was ultimately merged into International Heater Company." Reference: Klossner, Joan. Utica Streets; A Stroll into History. Utica, NY: Oneida County Historical Society

Downtown Utica in 1883

In addition to having Rome Street renamed in John Carton's honor, this furnace inventor's success appears to have helped make Carton a very prominent name in Downtown Utica...

In 1884 The "Carton" Name Is Very Prominent In Downtown Utica, NY

In 1883 as shown above, the five buildings at 167, 169, 171, 177, and 179 Genesee Street were all occuppied by members of the Carton family [Ref.]...

767 - John F. Carton
769 - Tho. & O. Carton
771, 773 & 775 - Wm J. Carton & Mrs Ella M. Benoist
777 - M. A. Carton
779 - E.A. Carton

This was a time when factory owners and workers lived close to their workplaces. Transportation options included; walking, horse drawn wagons, carriage or trolley (horsecar [Ref.]). John Carton's factory was just 6 blocks or 1,600 feet to the west via Fayette Street. Today this downtown block is occuppied by; Adirondack Bank, Utica College (former Woolworth building), Character Coffee, the Westwood, and Freeman & Foote Jewelers.

Buildings were heated with fireplaces through the 1700s and early 1800s. Next a wide variety of stoves gave way to hot air furnaces, whhich were followed by hot water boilers. Utica was hhome to 30+ Different Companies involved in this changing and florishing industry.

By 1897, the Carton Furnace company offered an impressive Product Catalog (PDF 4.6MB)...

1847 Carton Furnace Catalog, Utica, NY (4.6MB)

In addition to their factory located between the Erie Canal and Carton Avenue, and the family residences on Genesee Street, the company's showroom and offices were also on Genesee Street...

1897 Carton Showroom And Offices, Utica, NY

The long legacies of home and business heating, inwhich John Carton had a large impact on, led to the naming of Utica's world-famous Boilermaker road race. "Sayre" was another prominant Utica name connected to furnace manufacturing in downtown. Just blocks away from Carton's factory, was Sayre Owen & Company on the recently lost Sayre Alley.

Biography of John Carton

John Carton, a native of Dublin, came to this country and to Utica when he was twelve years of age, learned his trade as a coppersmith with O'Neil & Martin, and having served an apprenticeship became one of the partners, which partnership he retained until 1845. ^"^ that date he conducted business alone. By his industry, energy, and self-reliance he became one of the most successful business men of the place, gaining steadily in wealth as well as in the esteem and confidence of all with ~ whom he had to do. He was a manufacturer of tin, copper, and sheet ironware, the inventor of hot-air furnaces known by his name, a manufacturer of headlights, and proprietor of a cheese vat. Mr. Carton was for some years a director of the Oneida Bank, a trustee of the Savings Bank, and a trustee of the Female Academy. Brought up under the discipline of the Catholic Church he was warmly attached to its interests and a supporter of its institutions. He left five sons and two daughters. [Ref.]

Carton's Invention Published in Scientific America

In 1854 Utica inventor John Carton's achievement, for a Hot-air Furnace patent, is published along side others in Scientific America...

1854: Scientific America,
Utica Inventor John Carton,
Hot-air Furnace Patent

Interesting to note, the word "furnace" appears a total of 28 times, and "boiler" appears 69 times, in that 1854 issue of Scientific America.

Who was Dana?

At one point in history furnaces sold in Utica were produced by a company called "Carton & Dana." Might it be James Dana who was involved?

James Dana (1780-1860) - James Dana was a prominent merchant of early Utica, Oneida County, New York. He attended the First Presbyterian Church of Utica and was prolific in the community. [Ref.] Or perhaps James' son George Dana? [Ref.]

Utica's Carton Foundation

Utica records reveal, The Carton Foundation. Might there be a connection to John Carton's family?

Today's Opportunity: Better Hospital Neighborhood, A Better Downtown Utica

Utica's early prosperity was fueled by canals and industrial manufacturing. While many know of Utica's large textile mills, downtown's Columbia-Lafayette Neighborhood was a hot bed of early furnace and boiler manufacturing, as homes and businesses were adopting different heating methods; moving from wood, to coal, and then gas. By 1900, the neighborhood's The International Heater Company proclaimed...

"Largest Maker of Heaters in the World."

We're developing the story of over twenty Furnace & Boiler Makers, and their Founders & Inventors and plan to one day offer a museum with exhibits and much more. In the meantime, please consider Fires, Furnaces & Forges to understand how the indoor heating industry developed. Better Utica Downtown seeks to help create a Better Hospital Neighborhood.

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