Anthony Harkness

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

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

Mid Life

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

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 . 
  8. ^ "Illiness of Samuel Fosdick". The Cincinnati Enquirer. Cincinnati, Ohio. August 5, 1881. p. 8 – via . 
  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 . 
  13. ^ White 1965, p. 42.


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