The James Graham Manufacturing Company
Alameda County, CA Biographies





Among California's most widely known manufactured products are the Wedgewood stoves and ranges, which are generally regarded as the best in the country, a reputation which they have just merited through forty five years of use. They are made by the James Graham Manufacturing Company, of Newark, which has become one of Alameda county's most noted industrial concerns. The business was founded by James Graham, who was a native of Ontario, Canada, where he was reared and educated. Later he located in the eastern states, where he learned the trade of an iron moulder. In 1877 he went to Alvarado, Alameda county, and worked for the George H. Tay Company, iron founders. Later he came to Newark at the request of Senator James G. Fair, who at that time was the owner of a railroad, the shops of which were at Newark. Mr. Graham came here to make castings for the railroad, and was so employed until the road was sold to the Southern Pacific interests and the shops were moved to Sacramento. In the meantime Mr. Graham had invented what is now known as the Wedgewood stove and finding himself out of a job he began in a small way, with limited capital, to make these stoves. They gained recognition as the best cookstove on the market and soon there arose a steady demand for them. Beginning alone in 1882, in four years Mr. Graham was employing thirteen men, and the growth of the business may be inferred from the statement that now four hundred and fifty men are employed, the James Graham Manufacturing Company being the largest stove manufacturers in the west. The factory at Newark is complete in every way, and a branch is maintained at Los Angeles, with a warehouse and showroom in San Francisco. From time to time certain improvements have been introduced in the stove, which is made in various patterns and in different colors, but always the uppermost thought has been to maintain the stove's efficiency from the standpoints of "Quality, Fuel Economy and Service." The New Super de Luxe Wedgewood range is the ne plus ultra of its class, for it is not only a thing of beauty and a real ornament to any home, but it cooks and bakes better than any other gas range ever made. With it cooking experience is unnecessary, for the control of the oven heat is automatic, and cakes come out regular in shape, light and delicately browned, while an additional feature is the Rutz lighter, which is always dependable and a great time saver. In connection with the gas range is a kitchen heater, which has a large and heavy duplex firebox and a drop feed door for use in burning wood. It has a cosed top, which gives more cooking space and saves the waste of heat, while the double top makes it absolutely fumeless. It is made with a rust proof gun metal finish, which never changes, and thus, with all these advantages, the Graham company offers America's finest gas range at no greater cost than is charged for inferior ones.

James Graham remained at the head of his business until his death, in 1902, since which time the business has been managed by his sons, G. E. Graham and C. R. Graham, who are progressive and enterprising business men, and are fully maintaining the prestige so worthily won by their father.

From:
History of Alameda County, California
BY: Frank Clinton Merritt
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Chicago, Ill 1928


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