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Title Catalog, trade: Chesley Electric Company, Hoboken, N.J. 1895-96.
Object Name Catalog, Trade
Catalog Number 2014.001.0074
MULTIMEDIA LINKS CLICK HERE to view the PDF; note - please be patient while file opens.
Collection Hoboken Commerce Collection
Credit Museum Collections.
Scope & Content Trade catalog: Chesley Electric Company, Hoboken, N.J. 1895-96.

Printed booklet, 4" high x 6-5/8" wide, pp [24] plus covers; photo illustrated. PDF on file.

Company was at 601-605 Newark Street at this time (exterior shown on back cover). Primarily a service business in the repair and rebuilding of electrical equipment such as generators and control equipment; resale of refurbished machinery (see descriptive text transcribed below from catalog). It is not a product catalog for specific items and does not have any pricing.

Founded by William Short Chesley circa 1890, opened shops in Jersey City 1892 and moved to Hoboken circa 1895. See notes for more information about him.

Also part of this record are reference images from web resources: three newspaper ads, 1893-1896; an 1897 journal notice concerning the move of their office to New York City; Chesley article in The Electrical Engineer, Vol. 20, August 14, 1895, pg 171, which has a photo portrait of Chesley and two photos of the factory interior (both different than any shown in this catalog.)

Cover has boldly written dates in pencil at upper right: July 16 - 1894 [a Monday] to June 3 - 1897 [a Wednesday]. See end of notes for more about these dates.

All pages and text:

pg [1], text:
IN presenting this Catalogue to the public, we desire to call attention to our facilities for repairing Electrical Machinery. We have the largest repair shop in this vicinity—75x85 feet—(cut on back cover), and make a specialty of heavy central station repairs. We do all kinds of special work, and will purchase or manufacture, under royalty, any apparatus of merit. We have recently commenced the manufacture of dynamos and motors, from 1 to 50 horse power. Second hand machines bought, sold and exchanged. Open day and night.

HOBOKEN, N. J., Opp. New York.
Long Distance Telephone, No. 28.

pg [2], text:
ALL of our Armatures are wound with open heads, (each wire or section being taped) which run cooler than when covered with canvas. We also wind by the Spiral system when desired. We make a specialty of Commutator Work, also reconstructing of entire machines. We do not do cheap work. We pay the highest prices for labor and use only the best materials, and our prices are as low as first-class work can be done for.

pg [3] photo: The Office.

Three people are seen in the office, but are not identified. William Short Chesley is seated in the center facing the photographer. A woman, secretary or typist, is at work along with a clerk at a high clerk's desk. Note telephone on wall.

pg [4] photo: Thompson Refecting Galvanometer and Wheatstone Bridge.
All of our work is thoroughly Tested before shipment.

Note that some the apparatus is set-up on the top of a safe at the left with a decorative door.

pg [5] photo: Dynamos and Motors - Draugting [drafting] Room.
Special Work Solicited.

pg [6] photo: Machine Shop.

pg [7] photo: Armature Winding Room.
We reinsulate Armature Cores, Discs, etc., and see that they are in perfect condition.

pg [8] photo: Material Room.
We buy material in quantity and keep a large stock on hand.

pg [9] photo: A Group of Converters.
We make a specialty of Alternating Work and Repair Converters by the car load.

pg [10] photo: Being Reconstructed for the American Sugar Refining Co.

pg [11] photo: Field Magnet. 50 Light Thomson-Houston Arc-Dynamo.
We have facilities for handling large machines.

pg [12] photo: Commutators. 50 Light, American Arc. 45 Light, Excelsior Arc. 100 Kw. (120 H. P.) Edison and others.
We have built over 500 Commutators.

pg [13] photo: 50 Light, 2,000 Candle Power, Thomson-Houston Spherical Armature.
E. F. Peck, Citizens’ Electric Illuminating Co., Brooklyn, N. Y., says our work on these armatures cannot be excelled.

pg [14] photo: 50 Light, 2,000 Candle Power, Thomson-Houston Ring Armature.

pg [15] photo: 45 Light 1,200 Candle-power Brush Armature.
We Do Not Employ Cheap Labor.

pg [16] photo: 150 Light, 1,200 Candle-power, Excelsior Armature.
We Make a Specialty of Excelsior Work.

pg [17] photo: 45 Light, 1,200 Candle-power, Excelsior Armature.
We furnish Excelsior Armature Coils.

pg [18] photo: 750 Light, 1,000 Volt Westinghouse Alternating Armature.
We Repair Alternating: Armatures up to 4,000 Lights Capacity.

pg [19] photo: 60 Light, 2,000 Candle-power, American Armature.
We Rewind a great many American-wood Armatures.

pg [20] photo: 100 Kw. (120 H.P.) 500 volt Edison Armature.
We Build Extra Armatures.

pg [21] photo: G.E. 800, Street Railway Motor Armature.
Our Prices are Low consistent with First-class Work.

pg [22] photo: No. 3, Westinghouse Street Railway Motor Armature.
We have 500 volt direct arid 1,000 volt alternating currents for testing, a!so Step-up Converters to 5,000 volts.

pg [23] photo: One of the Drying Ovens showing Armature in position.
Our Armatures are saturated with shellac, after which they are thoroughly dried.

pg [24], text:
WE would warn the public against the so-called Electrical Insurance Companies who propose to insure your apparatus for a stipulated sum per month. None of these concerns have a repair shop and simply act the part of middlemen.

Send your work to us and avoid unnecessary delay and expense. Prices on application, Open Day and Night.
Chesley Electric Co.
Hoboken, N. J.
opposite New York.
Long Distance Telephone, No. 28.


Note that photo illustrations on pages [3] to [12] have credit in image: Electro-Light Eng.[engraving] Co. N.Y.
Notes Information about W.C. Chesley as found in 2014 at - URL:

William Short Chesley (1860 - 1931)
wife: Anne Teresa Chesley
daughters: Anne Doyle (Chesley) (1901 - 1928); Florence

About William Short Chesley

From The Electrical Engineer August 1895: "The electrical field is strikingly full of self made men among those who by dint of hard work have reached a position of responsibility and respect is Mr WS Chesley Born 1860 at Hannibal Mo, he received a common school education and commenced his electrical career in 1876 working months as a messenger for Western Union Telegraph Co for an opportunity to learn Morse. He left the service temporarily to accept a but subsequently obtained first position as operator in 1878 A year later he was Manager of the American Telegraph office at Hannibal and on the consolidation of Company with the Union in 1880 he was sent Kansas City He soon became an expert operator and working in several large cities was appointed Chief Operator Little Rock Ark in 1882. In 1884 he was appointed Manager the office at Galveston Texas, the largest relay office in that section and the terminus of the Mexican and South Cables . In 1888 Mr Chesley came to New York to engage in electric lighting but inexperience and poor health presented serious drawbacks He worked about a year in the construction department of the United States and Westinghouse Companies and later acted as salesman for the Continental Dynamo Co in which capacity he was quite successful In 1890 he started in business for himself as electrical engineer and broker making a specialty of secondhand machines and in 1892 opened a repair shop in Jersey City subsequently purchasing the property in Hoboken where he is now located two interior views of which are shown on this page The factory building 75 x 85 ft is located at Nos 601 to 606 [cataloguer's note: actually 605; 606 was the opposite side of the street], Newark st Hoboken NJ opposite New York City They have 23 men employed and make a specialty of repair work more particularly alternating current apparatus having excellent facilities for handling large generators A unique feature of this concern is the fact that they keep open day and night The Chesley Electric Co in addition to repair work and second hand apparatus has also commenced the manufacture of a bipolar dynamo with wrought iron fields which they will build up to 50 hp "

1897 Electrical Age:

THE CHESLEY ELECTRIC CO No 601 605 Newark street Hoboken NJ have moved their main office to the Havemeyer Building NY which is now situated in the heart of the electrical industries The want of a more central office caused this change and no doubt the greatest benefits will be derived therefrom They do all kinds of repair work of the dynamo motor etc buy and sell new and second hand electrical machinery of all kinds They have just bought the engines and dynamos of the Hotel Empire of NY which they still hold as a bargain for somebody


About dates on front cover:

It is believed that this notation was done by a former employee denoting his or her period of employment. (Information from ebay listing: This old catalog was found at a rural N.J. estate sale. The piece belonged to the family whose relative had worked at the company in the late 1890's and early 1900's.)

Alternately it may have been the dates of operation by the company at the Newark St. address.
People Chesley, William Short
Date 1895-1896
Year Range from 1895
Year Range to 1896
Search Terms 601 Newark St.
603 Newark St.
605 Newark St.
Chesley Electric Company
Caption front cover
Imagefile 242\20140010074.TIF
Classification Business & Commerce