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West Point Foundry and William Kemble's House - Tours by David


Learn how and why both the Kemble brothers and West Point Foundry played a crucial role in the development of heavy industry in the US and in supplying munitions for the civil war, most notably the Parrott cannon. It was here that the US pivoted from an agrarian economy to an industrial nation. The war of 1812 against England highlighted the lack of heavy industry in the US. Most of the iron and supplies for the manufacturing of weapons of war such as cannons, needed to be imported, leaving the US dependent on overseas suppliers in the case of a major conflict. President James Madison called for the establishment of an industrial base in the US to fill this need. The two Kemble brothers, Gouverneur and William, owned a small foundry in downtown Manhattan. Gouverneur was a US congressman. In 1817 the Kemble brothers together with General Joseph Swift, superintendent of West Point, and a $45,000 grant from the US government, incorporated a foundry in Cold Spring, New York. Perhaps the first military industrial complex in the United States. Register online

West Point Foundry Bed & Breakfast
  • 20 The Blvd.
  • Cold Spring, NY 10516