The construction of the Atlantic Dock in Red Hook, Brooklyn was substantially completed by the beginning of 1848. The N.Y. Courier and Enquirer, reported that they have over three thousand feet of docking space and "have constructed one of the most substantial piers in America.. one hundred and fifty feet wide and is to have a row of storehouses the entire length, nearly one-half of which are already erected and in use." The basin is to be surrounded by immense store houses, and, the article notes, "its vicinity will, in a few years, be covered with fine brick buildings".
Eight U. S. Public Stores, government commissioned warehouses, had already been completed, solidly built of stone. A steam powered elevator "raises the cargo to any of the stores where it is wanted."
Modern technology of the day was designed to make loading and unloading efficient. "A canal boat with its five or six thousand bushels of wheat, shall haul alongside the dock at 9 o’clock in the morning, and by 12, or the farthest, 2 o’clock, it shall be wholly unloaded, and that without any other agency of human labor than the two or three hands of the boat, occupying themselves with keeping the grain heaped up around the maw of the elevator. "
Text of Article:
The Buffalo Daily Courier, January 24, 1848
Atlantic Dock Brooklyn
The following brief description of this important improvement at Brooklyn, New York, is from the N.Y. Courier and Enquirer.
The Dock company proper have a water front of over three thousand feet, upon the entire length; of which— except for two hundred feet in the centre for the entrance of vessels to the basin—they have constructed one of the most substantial piers in America. It is one hundred and fifty feet wide and is to have a row of storehouses the entire length, nearly one-half of which are already erected and in use. The writer says:— "We took advantage of the beautiful weather of yesterday to make a visit to the U. S. Public Stores, at the Atlantic dock, and there saw in operation the beginning—beautiful enough as beginnings but quite inconsiderable to what it is likely to become—of this new trade.
But first of these admirable stores – admirable in situation, in construction, in multiplied conveniences of every sort. These have been built since April last, Eight large double stone stores on the North of the Atlantic dock basin – solid structures – the whole 400 feet in length, by 80 feet in depth. They are raised on piles closely driven and the beams supports are abundant and the uniform exterior, of hammered grey stone – a luxury we understand of the liberal builders who were not bound by their contract with the Government, for whose use these stores are built to anything more ornamental than rough stone give them quite an architectural air that satisfies the eye. The line of the window sills is straight as possible – proving that there has not been the least settling of the mass since it was erected.
There are eight stores, precisely similar ones building – also for Government use – and the whole will constitute the safest, and most accessible, and most convenient public stores anywhere in the service of Government.
They stand in blocks of eight, on each side of the entrance, 200 feet wide, into the basin.
On the river front is a solid floor 35 feet in width, between the warf edge and the stores – the depth of warf is 24 feet. The stores stand on the pier some 150 feet wide, which separates the basin from the river and in the rear is a floor equal in width with that on the other front. Here barrels of flour can be rolled out of the vessels into the stores, without being soiled, and are as bright when re-shipped as when first taken from the canal boat.
Vessels discharging wheat or corn, going into the basin, and lying alongside this range of stores - of which there are two others besides – a steam engine thrusts down into the hold a patent steam elevator which raises the cargo to any of the stores where it is wanted. The grain is weighted as it comes in, by 25 bushels at a time – and then dropped into a receptacle – whence by distributors, also worked by steam engine – it is conveyed laterally, or up, or down, along covered ways in endless succession, and with unfailing dispatch and accuracy.
A canal boat with its five or six thousand bushels of wheat, shall haul alongside the dock at 9 o’clock in the morning, and by 12, or the farthest, 2 o’clock, it shall be wholly unloaded, and that without any other agency of human labor than the two or three hands of the boat, occupying themselves with keeping the grain heaped up around the maw of the elevator.
A canal boat arriving from Albany in the morning, loaded with flour and wheat, may be discharged in time to go back again the same evening from Atlantic dock.
Vessels taking in cargoes, will occupy the river front, and they are loaded as rapidly and as completely, so far as putting the cargoes on board is concerned, without the intervention of manual labor, as in the uploading of canal boats.
All the arrangements in the whole process of this labor-saving machinery, are alike simple, and admirable.”
Inside of this pier is a basin of over forty acres with a depth of water averaging twenty feet at low tide, with 22 feet on the inside, and 24 feet on the outside of the main pier. The basin is to surrounded by immense store houses, and its vicinity will, in a few years, be covered with fine brick buildings. The distance from the Merchants Exchange, to the basin, is about the same as to Spring and Prince streets and a circle struck from the Exchange and Bleeker street, takes in the entire basin.
The capacity of this basin, as a safe place for shipping is immense. They may be nearly one hundred vessels laid up to, and unloaded upon, the wharves at the same time: and three hundred more may be safely laid aside of the pier, waiting their turn.
This is undoubtedly to become the great storehouse and granary for the city.
In constructing this dock, there have been over a thousand building lots reclaimed from the water and low ground covered by high tides and the adjacent high grounds have been lowered from 70 to 80 feet, thus bringing near 2000 lots to the regular grade of the city.
The stores are built upon rows of piles, driven by steam power. The depth of water in the basin has been obtained by dredging, and the material removal by the machine is used for filling up the lots adjoining the wharves, back of the basin.
This company was chartered in May, 1840, with a capital of one million dollars. – Railroad Journal.