Anthony Harkness

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Anthony Harkness
Born (1793-07-10)July 10, 1793
Portsmouth, Rhode Island
Died May 10, 1858(1858-05-10) (aged 64)
Cincinnati, Ohio
Nationality American
Occupation Businessman, machinist, inventor
Known for Pioneered locomotive industry in Cincinnati, Ohio

Anthony Harkness (July 10, 1793 – May 10, 1858) was an American businessman, machinist, and inventor associated with pioneering the railroad locomotive industry of Cincinnati, Ohio.

Early life[edit]

Harkness was born on July 10, 1793, in Portsmouth, Rhode Island.[1]

Mid Life[edit]

A. Harkness & Sons Foundry circa 1848 is 2-story with smoke stack and 3-story building in foreground on Front Street, east of Lawrence St.

Harkness became a machinist in Paterson, New Jersey in his early twenties.[2] He was an industrial person with an excellent reputation.[3] Harkness went to Cincinnati in 1820 when he was 27 years old and with James Goodloe established a machine-shop and copper foundry on the northeast corner of Broadway and Pearl Streets. He manufactured steam-engines for all kinds of uses, mostly steamboats. Harkness retired from that partnership in 1828 and accumulated a large fortune of $4,000. He borrowed another $2,000 and with this $6,000 total in the summer of 1828 built a new shop on the north side of Front Street, just east of Lawrence Street.[4][5] He built steam pumps for the Cincinnati Water Works in 1828 and into the 1830s.[6]

The two-story machine shop on Front Street with a smoke stack was the nucleus for the three-story Harkness factory. All these buildings ultimately occupied an entire city block from Lawrence Street. Harkness was a mechanic and engineer and from his factory manufactured equipment and engines for sugar mills.[1]

He branched out and developed other enterprises from the profits he made at his factory. One such venture was the Hamilton Foundry that made machinery for river steamboats.[7] Another of Harkness's new enterprises was the Franklin Cotton Mills with Jacob Strader and Samuel Fosdick as partners.[8] Harkness formed a partnership with Alexander Bonner Latta in 1838 and went into railroad locomotive manufacturing. He built locomotives for the Little Miami Railroad company and other railroad companies with a total of over 30 locomotives built within a ten year period.[1] He is considered the founder of the Cincinnati locomotive industry.[1][4]

Later life and death[edit]

Harkness retired in 1853 as a wealthy person.[9] He died of cancer on May 10, 1858, at the age of 65 in Cincinnati.[10]


Harkness married Mary Hoagland on February 17, 1817.[11] He had a son, William, who committed suicide in 1853.[12]

Harkness locomotive engine at the first Glendale (Ohio) train depot in 1918


Harkness founded about 1854 the upscale community of Glendale, Ohio.[13]


  1. ^ a b c d Wartenberg, George (March 23, 1969). "The Queen City – The Locomotive Builder". Cincinnati Equirer (pages 167–170). Cincinnati, Ohio. But it was Anthony Harkness who must be called the founder of the Cincinnati locomotive industry. 
  2. ^ National Museum 1965, p. 9.
  3. ^ Wallace 2011, p. 320.
  4. ^ a b White 1965, p. 9.
  5. ^ Moore 1887, p. 35.
  6. ^ Cist 1851, p. 104.
  7. ^ "Captain Thomas P. Leathers". The Times-Picayune. New Orleans, Louisiana. December 10, 1887. p. 6 – via open access publication – free to read. 
  8. ^ "Illiness of Samuel Fosdick". The Cincinnati Enquirer. Cincinnati, Ohio. August 5, 1881. p. 8 – via open access publication – free to read. 
  9. ^ Moore 1887, p. 36.
  10. ^ White 1965, p. 40.
  11. ^ Crayon 1902, p. 99.
  12. ^ "Suicide". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Brooklyn, New York. November 26, 1853. p. 2 – via open access publication – free to read. 
  13. ^ White 1965, p. 42.


External links[edit]