son of Thomas Bringhurst by his wife Mary Fraley, was born at
Germantown, 21 January, 1812; and died at Philadelphia, 24
He was educated in the common schools of his
native place, and taught school for a few terms. He was then
given a business training by his father, and when a young man he
began the manufacture of saws, and later engaged in the
manufacture of other iron and steel products; eventually he
became a member of the iron and steel firm of Verree & Co.
This firm was afterwards organized into a stock company, known
as the Philadelphia Iron and Steel Company, and Colonel
Bringhurst became the secretary and treasurer, and later its
president. In 1885, owing to the depression in the iron trade,
especially in the East, the company dissolved, and he retired
from active business.
The Journal of the Franklin Institute contains a report for
Sixteenth Exhibition of American Manufactures, held in the city
of Philadelphia, from the 20 to the 31 of October,
inclusive, 1846, by the Franklin Institute of the State of
Pennsylvania, for the promotion of the Mechanic Arts
presented by Owen Evans, Esq., Chairman of the Committee on
In the report, section VIII of the exhibit - Hardware and
Cutlery is described as follows:
This department, as usual, is one of the finest in the
exhibition, and exhibits a highly gratifying view of the
continued improvement made by our enterprising manufacturers in
this important branch of domestic industry and skill. Great
credit is due to the Committee of Arrangement in this division
of the exhibition, for their zeal, and the good taste displayed
by them in the arrangement of the articles. The judges, after a
careful examination of the great variety of specimens submitted
to them, report as follows :
No. 608, a case of mill saws, by
Wm. Rowland, Philadelphia.
These saws were carefully compared with other very excellent
articles of the same description, and for their evenness and
excellence of finish they are believed to be the best exhibited,
and worthy of a First Premium.
The following articles are noticed by the judges in terms of
commendation, and as deserving of attention.
saws, by Bringhurst & Kirby, Germantown, Penna.
In 1846 Fisher's National Magazine and Industrial Record
published report from the "Great National Fair - Washington
Fair" held in May 1846 in Washington, DC.
1847 - McElroy's Philadelphia Directory for 1847, (Edward
C. & John Biddle, Philadelphia, 1847).
1848 - McElroy's Philadelphia Directory for 1848, (Edward
C. & John Biddle, Philadelphia, 1848).
John H. Bringhurst suddenly disappeared from directories for
1849 - 1850 and reappeared again in 1851.
1851 - McElroy's Philadelphia Directory for 1851, (Edward
C. & John Biddle, Philadelphia, 1851).
"July 28th, 1851. A fire broke out in the cotton and
woollen mills of Peter Hickey, corner of Jefferson and Warren
streets. It spread to the large saw factory of Kirby &
Bringhurst in Perry-street; from thence to a large six-story
factory on Washington-street. Three brick dwelling-houses
on the north side of Jefferson street, four on the south side,
two on Washington-street, with one on Perry-street, were also
totally destroyed. Loss $200,000."
1858 - The Fireman: The Fire
Departments of the United States,
with Full Account of all Large
Fires by David D. Dana
1852 - McElroy's Philadelphia
Directory for 1852, (Edward C. & John Biddle, Philadelphia,
1854 - McElroy's Philadelphia Directory for 1854, (Edward
C. & John Biddle, Philadelphia, 1854).