Skip to main content

J. W. Fiske Iron Works Collection

Identifier: A0052

Scope and Contents

This collection contains material related to J. W. Fiske Iron Works, including a photocopy of a newspaper clipping from 1925, and five catalogs and brochures advertising the various designs manufactured by the company.

The newspaper article was published in the New York Herald Tribune, Sunday February 22, 1925. It pertains to the Fiske Iron Works and weathervanes. The author speaks with Joseph Winn Fiske about weathervanes. The article contains illustrations of weathervane designs. Also included in the frame is a bannerhead from the company and a listing of what they offer.

The brochures are as follows:

    Original Fiske Weathervanes
    Fiske Cupolas and Weathervanes
    Ornamental Iron and Zinc Fountains
    Ornamental Iron Settees, Chairs, Etc.
    Stable Fixtures


  • 1925, undated

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research. Access to sensitive materials may be restricted at the discretion of the American Folk Art Museum.

Conditions Governing Use

The J. W. Fiske Iron Works Collection is owned by the American Folk Art Museum. The collection is subject to all copyright laws, and is dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship.

Biographical Note

Metalsmith Joseph Winn Fiske was born ca. 1832, presumably near Chelmsford, MA. In 1853, he traveled to Melbourne, Australia to manufacture and sell hardware and tools, but returned to Massachusetts five years later to open a factory. According to one of his catalogs, early on he sold such hardware as brackets and hooks, and such small items as umbrella stands, garden figures, fountains, and weathervanes. In 1864, while keeping his factory in Massachusetts, he relocated to 120 Nassau Street in New York City, only to move his office and showroom again 10 years later to the corner of Park Place and Church Street. In 1900, Fiske incorporated into J.W. Fiske Iron Works and moved the plant from Massachusetts to Brooklyn, NY.

The business remained in the family for at least four generations, and from 1956 on, it operated from 111-117 Pennsylvania Ave., Paterson, NJ under the name J.W. Fiske Architectural Metals, Inc. Sometime after 1971, the firm moved to Elmwood Park, NJ where it remained in business until at least 1987. Before it closed sometime between 1987 and 1996, J.W. Fiske Architectural Metals, Inc. manufactured steel and aluminum windows, entrance frames, and curtain walls.

The company manufactured many types of ornamental and architectural metalwork, iron settees and chairs, stable fittings, statuary, crestings and fittings for mansard roofs, and fountains. Separate trade catalogs were issued for each of these lines. Fiske was most noted for his copper weathervanes which won him a bronze medallion and a certificate from the American Institute of the City of New York in 1866.

From the description of Order books, 1870, 1872. (Winterthur Library). WorldCat record id: 84666690


1 object(s) : Frame is 19 x 25 1/4"

1 file(s)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of J. W. Fiske Jr., 1986

A Guide to the J. W. Fiske Iron Works Collection
Mimi Lester
June 2017
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Revision Statements

  • July 2023: The finding aid was revised to reflect the unframing of the newspaper clipping and bannerhead. See processing note.

Repository Details

Part of the American Folk Art Museum Archives Repository

47-29 32nd Place
Long Island City New York 11101 United States
(212) 595-9533