The Factory at Historic Speedwell is a National Historic Landmark. Steven Vail, an important 19th century inventor and businessman, sought many uses for the Factory from about 1829 onward. The single most significant event was the demonstration of the telegraph by Samuel Morse and Alfred Vail (Steven Vail’s son), on January 6, 1838. This was the first public demonstration of the use of the telegraph in the United States. Historic research shows that The Factory had a complex history as an industrial building; from its inception, many experiments were conducted there on a large variety of ideas and inventions. HBA prepared a Historic Structure Report for the Morris County Park Commission. The HSR entailed extensive historic research; mortar, plaster, and paint analysis; assessment of alternative uses for the building; review of interpretive exhibit options; and evaluation of code compliance for public safety and access

HBA prepared detailed drawings and specifications for the restoration of the Factory. The restoration required resistance drilling analysis of the large timber framing, extensive structural reinforcement repairs, the careful restoration of windows and woodwork, and upgrades to electrical systems in order to create an attractive exhibition space that still retained the industrial vernacular character of the building. Construction culminated with the installation of the first interactive exhibition. HBA also prepared Historic American Building Survey drawings and submitted them to the Library of Congress.

The Factory at Historic Speedwell

Morristown, NJ

Historic Structure report, Interior and Exterior Restoration project, H.A.B.S. Drawings