Brooklyn, NY White Lead Works Fire, Jan 1866



Shortly before 9 o'clock last evening a fire broke out in the Atlantic White Lead Works, occupying nearly the entire block bounded by Gold and Marshall streets, Hudson avenue and the river, and resulting in the destruction of an immense amount of property.
One portion of the premises is occupied for the manufacture of white lead and paints, and the other part for the manufacture of linseed oil.
There are a number of buildings of brick, four and five stories in height, all of which were filled with raw and manufactured materials, among which were some 12,000 gallons of oil.
The fire originated in the vicinity of the smoke stack in the centre building on Marshall street, and the floors being saturated with oil, the flames spread with fearful rapidity until the whole was enveloped. A strong wind from a northerly direction impelled the burning embers a distance of several hundred yards, and it was feared would extend the conflagration, but, fortunately, the flames were confined to the premises where the fire originated.
The light from the burning pile could be seen from any part of the city.
After the fire had progressed for about half an hour the walls of the main building fell in, causing a succession of reports like that of heavy artillery, and gave rise to the rumor that there had been an explosion.
The main building of the white lead factory, and the old linseed oil factory, with machinery and contents, were totally destroyed. The new linseed oil factory, being a fire proof building, on the corner of Hudson avenue and Marshall street, was saved, as were also the buildings containing the white lead "beds" on the Gold street side.
About 150 men are thrown out of employment by this fire.
The Brooklyn City Gas Works, LONGMAN'S Gold Refinery, and other extensive manufacturers, were for a time in great danger, but escaped uninjured.
The loss is estimated at between $200,000 and $300,000 fully covered by insurance in a number of companies but as the books are kept in the office of the company in New York, the names of the offices could not be ascertained last night.
The agents of the White Lead Works are MESSRS. ROBERT COLGATE & Co.
The firemen worked faithfully and energetically, succeeding in confining the conflagration to the block in which the flames broke out.

The New York Times New York 1866-01-25