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1894 - Chicago Fire Dept. View T.H. Brigg's New Haulage Device

Chief Swenie and some of his aids wit-
ness a series of Experiments Conducted
by T. H. Brigg The Principle Illus-
trated That a Teams Power to Haul
Depends Largely on Weight Some of
the Surprising Feats of the Firemen
Capt. Hennessays Strength.

When Chief Swenie saw Capt. Hennessy step into the shafts of a heavy surrey containing four burly firemen and haul it about the floor in engine house No. 23 yesterday afternoon with perfect ease he informed him that he should expect him to report for duty at 4 oclock this morning, Capt. Hennessy has been laid up for months with a broken leg and is not yet able to walk a step without crutches. The feat of hauling the loaded vehicle he was able to accomplish by means of Briggs easy haulage attachment with which the surrey as equipped.

The attachment is the invention of T. H. Brigg, an engineer of Bradford , England. Mr Brigg had invited Chief Swenie, Marshall Petrie, Capt. Hennessy, President John G.Shortall of the Humane Society, H. McFarland, a wagon maker, Joseph Hughes, Professor of Anatomy in the Chicago Veterinary College, Manager Hutchins of the Standard Oil Company, and some thirty others down to the engine house to see some experiments bearing upon the subject of haulage by horses. They found the experiments so interesting that they looked and listened for two full hours. Mr. Brigg exhibited a bewildering array of models and appliances for illustrating his subject.

Among other things he showed two sprung balances with long platforms mounted on a suitable base . On one was a model of a wagon heavily loaded ; on the one in front was a model of a team of horses made to go by clockwork and attached to the vehicle by one of his easy haulage attachments. He dis connected the horses and they registered a weight of five pounds on the balance. Then he hitched them to the wagon and they weighed only four and three quarters pounds, thus illustrating that the springs supported a part of the weight of the horses in practice, relieving them of the work of carrying that weight , so they could travel farther in a day and with less fatigue. Then he started the clockwork up and placed an obstruction in front of the wagon wheels. In going over the obstruction it was found that the horses by means of the attachment subtracted a part of the weight of the load and added it to themselves, thus increasing their power to haul the load. When the obstruction was passed he weight of the horses dropped back to less than normal, showing the perfect self-adjustment of the appliance to variations in load and road.
Hauling Up Hill
Then Mr. Brigg had a surrey equipped with one of his attachments placed on a steep incline. Singling out a muscular fireman he asked him to take hold of the shafts as in the present method of hauling vehicles and haul it up the incline. The fireman tried his best but could not move the load. Then he was directed to take hold of the draft attachment, and then he walked up the incline hauling the surrey with ease. Next the surrey was placed on the level floor of the en- gine house , four firemen climbed in, and Capt. Hennessy hobbled into the shafts andMr. Brigg took his crutches away from him. When the word was given the Captain moved off with the load with ease. Why I dont pull at all, said he. Of course you dont, replied Mr. Brigg. And neither does a horse pull at anytime or under any circumstances. He thrusts, and the force of the thrust depends upon his weight.

To illustrate this Mr. Brigg had one fireman get out, leaving three in. The wheels were blocked and Mr. Brigg though he tried with all the strength of his 168 pounds, could not move the vehicle either with the shafts or with his attachment. But when, at his request, his private secretary jumped upon his back, he brought the carriage over the obstruction readily enough. Then he explained by means of a great many practical experiments that the easy haulage attachment enabled the horse to throw a part of his load upon his feet when needed, as in going up a hill, thus giving the horse a great mechanical advantage, and to have a portion of his own weight carried by the wagon whengreat exertion was not necessary. He also showed how the attachment was self adjusting and gave a constantly varying angle of trace. He also showed by practical experi- ment that with the present mode of carriage building a horse in backing was made to prac- tically sit down upon his load, and therefore could not back near as much as he could haul.
Increased Power in Backing
By means of his attachment the horse could back more than he could pull. By standing on a platform attached to scales with dial and indicator and getting a fireman to stand on the floor, take hold of him ( Mr. Brigg ) , and lift up a little, he illustrated more clearly the different mechanical conditions under which a horse worked. On a horizontal pull he added nothing to his weight though he pulled his hardest. The lower down he put the rope the more he added to his weight as he pulled.
The audience gazed in wonder at these and many more experiments until Mr. Brigg, perspiring from the violence of his exertions, put on his hat and announced that he expected soon to give some further experiments with horses.
Chief Swenie and Marshall Petrie expressed themselves as pleased with the experiments. I think the draft attachment is a good thing , said Chief Swenie. I have no doubt it would be a great help to have the engines snd hook and ladder trucks equipped with them.

Chaos Ensues When the Pugnacious Little Englishman, T H Brigg Rises to the Challenge

The following account was discovered and dispatched to me by a contact in the USA. It is an hilarious account from a 1894 Chicago newspaper article and is written using the original grammar and punctuation.

The article is an account of My G Great Uncle, Thomas Hargreaves Brigg and his public acceptance of a $5000 wager. Following on is later related article, this time from the New Orleans Daily Picayune which reports on the inevitable showdown and subsequent public resolution of the wager, in the same Chicago theatre, in favour of Thomas.

If anyone has any further information on T.H.Brigg - Engineer and Inventor, particularly his exploits at the Worlds Fairs of 1894 in Chicago and 1904 in St Louis I would be very pleased to hear from them.



He Offers $5000 To Anyone Who Can Explain the Marvelous Strength of The Mysterious Gaza When T.H.Brigg Accepts the Challenge the Wily Manager Backs Down Pandemonium Reigns and a Hand to Hand Fight Seems Imminent.

Ill give any man $1000 who can explain the mysterious forces exerted by this lady: Ill give a $1000 - yes Ill give $5000 bawled Manager Frank Hall in a burst of magnanimity from the stage of the casino last night as he wound up a long harangue concerning the mysterious Gaza

Then a little Englishman with broad forehead and neatly trimmed beard stood up in a box at the left of the stage and in a falsetto voice piped out:
I accept your challenge, Mr Hall
The speaker was T.H Brigg, an engineer who has attracted some attention in Chicago because of his theories in regard to haulage by horses. He went on in a long harangue to explain how he loved the ladies, and how sorry he was that it became his painful duty, etc.,etc.

Mr. Hall was thunder struck at first, then cynically amused, then choleric. He waited until the little Englishman was through, then moistened his lips and let loose a pent up flood of oratory.

Of course in every performance of this kind there is always a crank who thinks he knows it all

Angry hisses checked his words and he grew fairly apoplectic with rage. When he could be heard he took a sarcastic fling at the audience then related to an alleged incident in London in which, he said, Sandow in failing to push Gaza off her balance knocked her down. The audience gagged audibly at this yarn, then there was the noise of swallowing, and Mr Hall went on to say he would cheerfully give $5000 as he promised if the gentleman in the box would explain the ladys marvellous power, but this was no place to make any test; he was here to please the audience, not an individual. Besides, if the ladys mind were disturbed she could not perform the feats.

Pandemonium Breaks Loose.
Pandemonium broke loose at this juncture. There were yells, hisses, catcalls, cheers, applause and cries of Give him a chance! Lets hear from the man in the box! Youve backed down! lets see it explained!

You have accused me of being a pugilist, screamed the little man in the box, popping up again.

Manager Hall finding he could not make himself heard quieted the uproar by signalling for the curtain to go up, revealing the Mysterious Gaza and her manager.

Then the usual committee of twelve was called for with the condition, uttered with a vindictive glance at the little Englishman, that it should consist of men that had never been on the stage before. The little Englishman no sooner heard these words than he climbed out of the box and started up the steps leading from the orchestra to the stage.
Manager Hall immediately laid violent hands on him, but Mr. Brigg was heavy and muscular and he wouldnt yield. With one hand grasping the proscenium arch he attempted to parlay with the irate manager, who merely swung down the steps below his adversary and gave a yank that it seemed must tear his arms from their sockets, but in vain.

Mr Hall---- another tug, I want to see--- a terrific yank from Mr.Hall. Here an attach of the theatre reinforced the manager and Mr. Brigg suddenly abandoned his position.

Women Flee The Place.

The uproar in the theatre was now louder than ever. Women near the front shrieked O, theyll shoot and wildly fled. Mr. Brigg attempted to renew the parlay in the aisle, but a thunder-clap could not have been heard just then, so loud was the tumult. The scene was ended by a man in plain clothes climbing over the exited throng and going through the pantomime of showing a star. Mr. Brigg returned to his box, Mr. Hall to his stage.

At last the twelve judges were secured and the Mysterious Gaza went through her usual feats, the performance being enlivened sniffs of distain and exclamations of bosh! and tommy rot! from the box. Mr Hall shot furious glances at the box but held his peace.

It was 12 Oclock when the curtain went down on the Mysterious Gaza and her feats.
The painted canvas had scarcely begun its descent before Mr. Hall was on his way to the box gnashing his teeth with rage. He came round through the box entrance, pushed his way through a group of ladies in the box, and for the second time his fingers closed on Mr. Briggs coat sleeves. He attempted to hoist the little Englishman over the railing, but he lacked the muscle. Besides he didnt have time. He had no sooner laid hands on the occupant of the box than a muscular young man, weighing fully 200 pounds, who had served on the committee, sprang over the railing with an exclamation of wrath, tearing off his coat as he went. He thrust an enormous fist under Mr. Halls nose and in emphatic language informed him that the gentleman had paid for his seat, that he was behaving, and that he was not going to be imposed upon while the speaker was around. He added some distinctly personal remarks about Mr. Hall and intimated that he had not kept his word in regard to the $5000 offer. Mr.Hall stepped back.

Three in an Argument.

Then there was a trio in Mr. Brigg, Mr. Hall and the muscular committee man took part. There was a great deal of noise, but, as is sometimes the case in trios, the words were not intelligable. Mr. Halls wind proved best and his voice was the last heard announcing that he was there to give entertainment for the ladies and gentlemen. Then he undertook to run in a few remarks about Mr. Brigg, but the big committee mans fist went up so menacingly that he sidled away and resumed the thread of his discourse. This was not the time and place to make any such test as the gentleman proposed. Then followed a portion of a sentence derogatory to Mr. Briggs character. Again the big fist threatened the orators nose. The sidelong movement and sudden return to the theme were repeated. I said I would give any man $5000 who would explain the feats of this lady, and you all heard what this person had to say. But this is no time and no place to make any test. This is out of place----

The bluff didnt go, yelled a voice from the audience, which was now crowded as thick as possible about the box. Five hundred voices took up the refrain with 500 variations. Had to crayfish didnt you? How about that $5000 ? Lets hear from the man in the box! Youre a coward! You daresnt let him explain! We want to hear that explanation now! This is as good a chance as any! Its a clean back down!

Hoots and Hisses.

Mr. Hall attempted to continue his explanation, but it turned out to be all appearances, though not in words a complete a complete back-down from his $5000 proposition. The taunts mingled with hoots and hisses, were continued so vigorously that Mr. Halls voice was drowned and he left the box in disgust. Then Mr. Brigg and the muscular committee man courteously exchanged cards. At this point the lights were suddenly turned out. The last tableau as the theatre faded in to darkness, was Mr. Brigg serenely smiling from his box and dealing out his personal cards left and right to outstretched hands from the audience. With a parting yell, the audience groped its way out.

About 3 weeks later the following article appeared in the The New Orleans Daily Picayune 10 March 1894


T.H. Brigg, the Expert, Exposes and Duplicates the Strength Feats of Gaza

The Chicago Record of the 26th says:
T.H.Brigg, the English mechanical expert, in the Central Music Hall Saturday night, before 500 persons, explained the feats of the Mysterious Gaza.

At the beginning of the contest Frank Hall, manager for Mile Gaza, made a long statement as to how she had for many years had baffled all scientific men.
A committee of 15 was seated on the stage in order to watch all the tests. Dr Withers was chairman, John S. Cooper was among the committee men. Mile Gaza first performed her seven tricks; some with variations. When Mr. Brigg tried the first trick and failed at first the house jeered. But the second time he did better, and as he did one trick after the other, opinion changed. Manager Frank Hall who had been offering to bet $100 on this and $500 on that, went away. Gaza herself left a few minutes later. After Briggs had performed all the tricks- lifting five men, twisting the hickory sapling and all the rest- he explained all of them from diagrams thrown on to a screen. He showed incidently how much needless work horses perform and some of the many reforms which could easily be accomplished in that line.

Grey haired Dr. Malone who sat in one of the front seats, arose and shouted: I want to get an expression from all in this house, so that Mr. Hall may know our decision. As many as think that Professor Brigg has exposed all Gazas tricks will hold up their right hands. Every right hand went up, and there was a shout of delight. Hall came to the stage and offered to make his offer of $1000 good if the committee decided that Brigg had performed all of Gazaa tricks. Mr. Brigg, however, declined to take the money. Give it to the soup gang cried one in the gallery. Give it to the Central Relief Association. But still the Englishman refused. After the exercises many tried the experiments, and nearly all succeeded.


Below is a transcript of the Obituary for J.W.Lupton - Organ Builder, from the Craven Herald, Yorkshire, 1930.



Another old Dalesman for many years associated with the organ - building industry, passed away on Saturday in the person of Mr. John William Lupton, in his 83rd year. He was a native of Grassington and spent the major portion of his life there, although for the last few years he had resided with his son at Long Preston and also with another son at Higher Parrock Farm, Nelson, where he died following a seizure.

Mr. Lupton was the son of Jacob Lupton, a lead miner and as a boy he worked in the mines on Grassington Moor. Later, he went to Bradford and was apprenticed to a cabinet maker in Westgate. Being of a musical turn of mind, he became interested in the construction of organs and ultimately devoted his career to their manufacture. He made the organ at St. Pauls Church, Keighley, other organs built by him being those at Slack Lane Baptist Church, near Keighley ( a large 3- manual instrument with 36 stops) ; Higher Broughton Wesleyan Chapel, Manchester( 3- manual, 36 stops) ; St. Thomass Church Barrowford (3-manual, 36 stops) ; Ingamite Chapel, Wheatley Lane, near Burnley (2-manual, 16 stops) ; West Lane Primative Methodist Chapel, Keighley ( 2-manual, 20 Stops) ; Hermit Hole Wesleyan Chapel, Keighley ( 2-manual , 18 stops) ; Independant Chapel, Colne (2-manual, 20 stops) ; Linton Parish Church (2-manual, 23 stops ).

It was on June 5th, 1890, that Mr. Lupton purchased the old organ belonging to the Skipton Parish Church, from the late Colonel Robinson, one of the church wardens, for 10.The sum was paid by the late Dr. Aston, then Rector of Linton. Mr. Lupton paid the carriage of the organ from Skipton to Linton, and fixed the old great organ in the church, where it was used for 10 months until new parts were completed. The organ was opened on April 11th, 1891. The whole cost of moving from Skipton and building new parts was 120. It never cost the Church money in cleaning and repairs until 1913.

Mr. Lupton first showed his musical instinct when a boy working at the lead mines engaged in handing out candles to the miners
he was constantly whistling a habit which led Mr. J. Ray Eddy the last and famous Captain of the mines, to notice him. He taught Lupton to play a concertina.

Mr. Lupton was well known locally, as he formally visited all parts of the Dales tuning pianos. Having regard to the fact that he was practically stone - deaf, his accomplishments in this direction was astonishing. It is recalled that a Miss Sarah Fennings, a violinist of St. James Hall ( London) fame, visited Grassington regularly and gave concerts in the old Town Hall. It is note-worthy that Miss Fennings always engaged Mr. Lupton, not withstanding his deafness to tune the pianoforte engaged to concert pitch, a task which he performed faultlessly.

The funeral took place at Long Preston Church on Tuesday the service being conducted by the Rev. G. S. Addison (vicar).

The mourners were Mr. W.H.Lupton and Mr. H. Lupton (sons), Mr. L. Lupton, Mr. D. Lupton and Mr. G. Lupton ( grandsons ),
Mr. James Holt and Miss M. Holt ( cousins ), Miss Robinson ( friend ).
The bearers were Mr. Stork, Mr. Ward, Mr. M. Jackman, Mr. T. Thompson, Mr. T.Kayley and Mr. A Jackman.

Photo below John William Lupton aged 52 in 1900.

Dales Organ Builder John William Lupton Retires

The following is a transcript of an article which appeared in the Craven Herald and Wensleydale Standard, Yorkshire, UK in 1921.

The residents of Linton have learned with regret of the intention of Mr. J. W. Lupton, the well known Upper - Wharfedale organ builder, to remove from the village and take up residence at Longpreston where his eldest son - chauffeur to Mr Walter Morrison, of Malham Tarn resides. Seventy four years of age, Mr. Lupton has lived at Linton for thirty - three years and in the course of his business he has undertaken work of various kinds for many patrons in the district. Although Mr. Lupton's removal will be in the nature of a retirement he will still, when nescessary, give attention to the organs in various parts of the Craven dales.
During the past thirty-three years, Mr.Lupton has built organs for the following churches:
St. Peter's Church, Keighley (three manuals, 46 stops, 2000 pipes); Slack Lane Baptist
Church, near Keighley (three manuals, 36 stops); Higher Broughton Wesleyan Church,
Manchester (three manuals, 28 stops); Skelmanthorpe Wesleyan Church, Huddersfield
(two manuals, 28 stops); St Thomas's Church, Barrowford (three manuals, 36 stops);
Inghamite Church, Wheatley Lane, near Burnley(two manuals 16 stops); West Lane
Primitive Methodist, Keighley (two manuals, 20 stops); Hermit Hole Wesleyan Church,
Keighley (two manuals, 18 stops); Independent Church, Colne (2 manuals, 20 stops)
Linton Parish Church (two manuals, 22 stops)

For a few years between 1877 and 1882 JW operated in partnership, trading as Driver and Lupton - Organ Builders (their advert is posted on a previous journal) and later as Murgtroyd, Driver and Lupton, advert below.

Does anyone have any information regarding any of the above?

Claude Horace Brigg in 1920 U.S. (Indiana) Census, age 37

CLAUDE HORACE BRIGG born 1883 Bradford, Yorkshire, UK.

Son of THOMAS HARGREAVES BRIGG born, 1852 Keighley,Yorkshire, UK., Claude immigrated to the USA in 1904 along with his younger brother ALFRED KENNETH BRIGG born 1886 Bradford, Yorkshire UK.

He took U.S. citizenship and married FLORANCE L.BROWN in 1912 and they had daughter WALDENE E. in 1913. I assume Florance died as he married Aldora in 1913. The 1920 U.S. Census shows Claude, Aldora and Waldene living as a family in Marion Indiana.

The only other information I have regarding Horace is a WW2 draft card from 1942, aged 59, cannot believe he would have been drafted. His given address is 421+1/2 Madison Ave, Indpls, Marion, Indiana.

Brother KENNETH BRIGG, 1339 Longshore Ave, Philadelphia, Pa., is named as a witness to his address, otherwise I have no more information.

ALFRED KENNETH BRIGG died in Wyncote, Montgomery in 1972 aged 86.

Does anyone have any information about any of these people ?

T.H. Brigg - Engineer and Inventor

Born 1852 Keighley, West Yorkshire, UK. Died 18 Aug 1928 South Fulham, London, UK.

Around 1890 Thomas Hargreaves Brigg owned an established Iron Founders and Machine Making business based in Bradford, Yorkshire, UK. He also had a passion for mechanics in particular as applied to Horse Drawn Traction.

Between 1877 and 1924 Thomas Hargeaves Briggs patent applications numbered dozens, possibly hundreds in the UK, France, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Canada and the USA. The patents, mainly inventions involving textile machinery and horse drawn traction but also included steam locomotion and domestic appliances.

During this period he had many places of residence, several in London including one on Harley Street and one in New York on Broadway. He lived his last years at 14 Colehill Gardens, Fulham, London, where he died of cerebral apoplexy, heart block and chronic mylocarditis on the 18 August 1928. The death certificate shows his occupation as formally Civil Engineer, possibly indicating had been ill for some time prior to death. Present at his death was one J.E.M Woodward of the same address, who was he or she.

In 1894 He set off to the Worlds Columbian Exposition in Chicago. En-route to the exhibition he conducted a lecture tour of London and Chicago. Mainly aimed at the military and civil services the lectures explained the mechanics and advantages of his Briggs Easy Handling and improved Plywel Pole Head traction device for horse drawn carriages.

He won awards at the Chicago exhibition and at least two Royal Agricultural Shows in the UK including Royal approval from the Prince of Wales whose carriages were apparently fitted with his device.

Thomas returned several times to the US and once again as an exhibitor at the 1904 St Louis Worlds Exposition.

In his absence TH Brigg & Co, Bradford was run by younger brother William (my great grandfather)

Below is an advert from the Bradford Postal Directory for his improved pole head.

I would be very interested in hearing from anyone with any information on the above.

TH Brigg & Co (Iron Founders) 1883

TH Brigg & Co (Iron Founders) was established about 1883 At Westholme Works, Westholme Street, Thornton Road, Bradford, Yorkshire, UK.

The company flourished for about 50 years under the management of Thomas Hargreaves Brigg and younger brother William. Specialising in the manufacture of textile machinery the brothers appear to have made a tidy living based on the success of the curiously entitled "Briggs Improved Letting Off Motion". An advert from the 1883 Bradfod Postal Dirctory is pictured below.

William died in 1930, I don't know about Thomas but without their leadership and the UK heading into recession, the company failed sometime in the 30s.

I would be very interested to hear from anyone with any knowledge of this company.

John William Lupton born 1848, Grassington, UK.- Organ Builder

JOHN WILLIAM LUPTON born 1848, son of JACOB LUPTON born 1825, was descended from a long line of lead miners from the Grassington,Hebden and Linton areas of the West Riding of Yorkshire, England.

As a boy John too worked at the mine but opted to follow a career as a cabinet maker(good choice)and possibly served his apprenticeship in Bradford.

According to the UK Census of 1881, JWL was married and living in Keighley, West Yorkshire and a partner in "Driver and Lupton - Organ Builders". By 1891 he was back living in Grassington still working as an organ builder and piano tuner. The latter is particularly odd because he was virtually deaf (I know so was Beethoven).

According to an article in the Craven Herald and Wensleydale Standard, JWL retired in 1920 and went to live with his eldest son WILLIAM HENRY LUPTON in Long Preston. William Henry was groom and chauffeur to the famous philanthropist, Sir Walter Morrison of Malham Tarn House.

John had two other sons; FREDERICK LUPTON who was postmaster/postman at Burnsall, Yorkshire and HERBERT LUPTON, my grandfather who was a groomsman on a country estate near Manchester (that's hard to imagine now).

Another article from the Craven Herald in 1930, reported John's death at the age of 82, at High Parrock Farm, Barrowford, Colne, Lancashire.

If anyone has any links or information to this line I would be very interested to hear from them.

JW worked in partnership for a few years while based in Keighey, Wesy Yorkshire. Below is an advert from the 1878 Craven Directory for Driver and Lupton - Organ Builders

Regards, Tony Brigg

Frederick Algernon Brigg born 1882

Am trying to establish links to my ancestry who I believe to have links to Cook County and Philadelphia.

FREDERICK ALGERNON BRIGG was born 1882 in Bradford,Yorkshire, England. My only positive link to Cook is a WW1 draft card from 1912 on which I am unable to read with any certainty. I presume since he was drafted, he settled in the US as did his brothers CLAUDE HORACE and ALFRED KENNETH BRIGG.

Both Claude and Alfred took US citizenship and wives and lived in Indiana and Philadelphia respectively. Alfred died and was buried in Wyncote, Montgomery in 1972 aged 86, Claude, who knows?

Father THOMAS HARGREAVES BRIGG had a long standing relationship with the US as a businessman and exhibitor at the 1894 and 1904 Worlds Expositions in Chicago and St Louis. Thomas also conducted lectures on Mechanics and Horse Traction which are documented in 8 articles from the Chicago Tribune. One article covered in detail, his hilarious public denouncement of the Great Gaza, a female strongman act and a $1000 wager by her manager Mr. T Hall. This event was also covered in an article in the New Orleans Daily Picayune on 10 March 1984.

Thomas Hargreaves Brigg was born in 1852, Keighley, West Yorkshire, UK, married twice, initially to Annie Amelia Clelland (mother of Thomas's children)then following Annies's death to Gretchen Lehmann in 1904. He died in London on 18 Aug. 1928.

If anyone has any knowledge of any of the above I would be very grateful to hear from them.

Regards, Tony Brigg, England.