Samuel J. Reeves (director) 1854

Steel Manufacturer and Inventor

In 1862 Samuel J. Reeves invented the Phoenix column, the first hollow wrought iron column to be patented; it became widely used in buildings and bridges throughout the world and was one of the company’s flagship products.

In 1871 Samuel J. Reeves succeeded his father as president and in the same year began erection of the largest rolling mill in the world; this building served as a model for the Centennial Exhibition building erected in Philadelphia in 1876. This structure, being seen by people from all over the world, caught Czar Nicholas’ eye and resulted in the Phoenix column being used in the construction of an exhibition hall in St. Petersburg. Samuel J. Reeves died in 1878 and was succeeded by his son David (1852-1923), who secured large contracts for structural shapes for the New York City elevated railroads and bridges throughout the country.

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1876 World Expo, Philadelphia, PA The Centenial Tower as imagined by Reeves featured in Scientific American but never built Corliss Engine featured at 1876 World Expo, Philadelphia, PA Samuel J. Reeves portrait