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Joyce & Lenman, Andrew J. Joyce & Co., Andrew J. Joyce’s Sons
Joyce & Lenman, 1844-1862: A.J. Joyce & Co. 1862-1888; Andrew J. Joyce’s Sons; 1888-1897; Andrew J. Joyce Carriage Co. - 1897-1908; Washington, D.C.
Associated Builders
Brunn & Co.

Unsurprisingly Andrew J. Joyce’s main customer was the US Government for whom he built, refinished and repaired numerous carriages and wagons during the second half of the nineteenth century.

His clients included the Treasury Dept., Dept. of the Interior, Smithsonian Institution, National Zoological Park. During the later part of its history the firm employed Hermann A. Brunn who in 1907 designed at least one body for a horseless carriage. Further automobile body construction is likely, but unknown at this time.

Andrew J. Joyce was born in Virginia in 1821 to an Irish immigrant father and DC-born mother (first name Hannah). After a limited education he was apprenticed to a local D.C. blacksmith, Charles Lenman, whose shop was originally located on C Street. In 1844 he became a member of the firm which was subsequently located at 22 Ohio Av. and conducted in the style of Joyce & Lenman.

Sometime after October 7, 1843 (date of license) he married Frances Marion Norris and to the blessed union were born nine children: Albert B. (b.1844); Frances Marion (b.1846-d.1922); Andrew J. (b.1848);Lula (b.1851); Amanda I.(b.1855); George W. (b. May 21, 1857-d.Apr. 8, 1908); Margaret (b. 1859); Robert Edwin (Aug. 21, 1863-d. Jan. 22, 1927); and Jesse M. (b. Sep.19, 1866, m. McGlinchey) Joyce.

In the ensuing years Joyce embarked upon the manufacture of wagons and carriages in his own style and established a carriage manufactory at 477 14th Street West. His listing in the 1862 Washington D.C. business directory indicated he was still involved with Lenman at the time:

“Joyce, Andrew J. (Joyce & Lenman), blacksmith, 22 Ohio Av, and coachmaker, 477 14th West, h. 219 F North.”

The following year’s (1863) directory indicates the two men were no longer partners and that Joyce’s sole occupation was carriage maker, his listing under the ‘Carriage and Coachmakers’ heading being:

“Andrew J. Joyce, 14th West cor E North, h 479 12th West.”

The 1866 D.C. directory indicate he had taken on a partner, F.A. Jackson, and lists him under Carriage and Coachmakers as:

“Andrew J. Joyce & Co. (F.A. Jackson & & A.J. Joyce), Carriage Manufacturers, 477 14th West.”

A third partner, John L. Joyce, appears in the firm’s 1868 directory listing under Carriage and Coachmakers:

“Andrew J. Joyce & Co. (A.J. Joyce, F.A. Jackson, John L. Joyce), Carriage Manufacturers, 477-479 14th West.”

John L. Joyce was Andrew’s nephew, the son of his brother John J. Joyce, who was a well-known Washington grocer and partner in P. White & Co. - of which Andrew was a silent partner - and its successor, Joyce & Fisher.

A.J. Joyce & Co. was a founding member of the Carriage Builders National Association, formed in 1872, its listing in the 1870-1876 D.C. Directories were identical:

“Andrew J. Joyce & Co. (A.J. Joyce, F.A. Jackson, John L. Joyce), Carriage Factory, 412,414 & 416 14th NW.”

The January 9, 1874 Elkhart Democrat Union reported on the sale of a Joyce landaulet to the Justice Dept.:

“All over the country, people are asking where the money goes. The following bills, rendered to and paid by the 'Department of Justice,' out of the public moneys, and which have been unearthed by the inquiries into the fitness of Mr. Attorney General Williams to preside on the Supreme Bench, show where some of the money went to:

‘WASHINGTON, January 27, 1872 — United States Department of Justice to Andrew J. Joyce & Co., Dr. — To one landaulet, No. 94, $1,600. Received payment, ANDREW J. JOYCE & Co.’

‘WASHINGTON, July, 1872 — United States Department of Justice to Andrew J. Joyce & Co., Dr. — One pair stitched pole-straps and good slip-buckle, $8; new silk lining in landaulet, $35,75 ; painting and varnishing landaulet, $42,60; various other items same nature, $124,88; total, $211,13.’

“A good many other bills of like character were also discovered, among them bills for more repairs to that 'landaulet' to the amount of about $1,130. And this public swindler, this embezzler and thief of the people's money, is the man Mr. Grant has sought to 'reward' with the office of chief justice of the United States!”

The 1877-80 D.C. directories list Joyce under ‘Carriage Builders’:

“Andrew J. Joyce, Carriage Manufacturer, Nos. 412, 414 & 416 14th Street, Washington, D.C., Agent for Brewster & Co., (of Broom Street,) 84 5th Ave. N.Y.”

1881-82 directories list his two eldest sons, Andrew J. Joyce jr. and George W. Joyce, as clerks at 1124 11th NW which was also Andrew’s home address which most likely served as their carriage repository.

A second, unrelated, George W. Joyce (b.1847–d.1895), was also living in D.C. at the time. He owned a cigar shop at 824 18th SW and remains notable today for his illustrious career as an amateur and professional baseball player, who played centerfielder for the 1886 Washington Nationals.

The firm’s founder and namesake, Andrew J. Joyce, passed away in 1882, and control of the firm passed to his widow, Frances, the 1883 D.C. directory noting the change:

“Andrew J. Joyce (Frances M. Joyce), carriagemaker, repairing a specialty, agent for Brewster & Co., of Broome St., NY. 412, 414 & 416 14th NW.”

Frances M. Joyce home address was listed as 1124 11th NW, the same as Andrew Jr. and George W. Joyce, and it's included in the firm’s 1885 directory listing:

“Andrew J. Joyce (Frances M. Joyce), carriagemaker, repairing a specialty, agent for Brewster & Co., of Broome St., NY. 412, 414 & 416 14th NW, h. 1124 11th NW.”

The 1886 directory now lists Andrew’s son George W. Joyce as manager of the firm:

“Andrew J. Joyce, Carriage Builder, agent for Brewster & Co., (of Broome St., NY). Geo. W. Joyce, Manager. Nos. 412, 414 & 416 Fourteenth Street Northwest.”

The 1890 directory lists the name of the firm as Andrew J. Joyce’s Sons and also marks the first appearance of the 1028 and 1030 Connecticut Ave. wareroom and no longer includes the Brewster representation:

“Andrew J. Joyce’s Sons, Carriage Builders, Harness Makers. Warerooms: 1028 and 1030 Connecticut Ave. Office and Factory, 412, 414 & 416 Fourteenth St. Complete Line of Whips, Robes. Blankets, and Stable Belongings. Special attention paid to the repairing and repainting of fine carriages and the repairing of fine harness. Orders left at our warerooms will receive prompt attention.”

The 1892 directory lists R. Edwin Joyce on the masthead alongside Geo. W. Joyce, with no other changes.

The firm’s listing in the New York Mercantile Illustrating Co.’s 1894 publication, ‘Washington, D.C., with its points of interest,’ follows:

“ANDREW J. JOYCE'S SONS. — In America, one of the oldest firms of carriage builders is Andrew J. Joyce's Sons, whose office and factory in Washington are located at 412, 414 and 416 14th Street, and 1400, 1402 and 1404 E Street, N. W., and the wareroom is at 1028 and 1030 Connecticut Avenue. This business was established in 1844 by Andrew J. Joyce, who died in 1882, when his sons succeeded to the interest and goodwill of the founder. The factory is one of the largest and most completely equipped in the South East, and contains four floors, each 80 by 150 feet in space, or a total of 48,000 square feet. The first floor is devoted to office and repository purposes; on the second and third floors the manufacturing is done; while the fourth floor is devoted to trimming, finishing and painting. The warerooms in Connecticut Avenue are commodious, and a large stock is kept on view for supplying the wholesale and retail trade. This is the oldest carriage-building house in the city, and its reputation, which has never wavered since Mr. Joyce founded it in 1844, is in safe hands, for the sons, Messrs. Geo. W. and R. Edwin Joyce, are men of distinct honor, having inherited their father's qualities for sterling integrity. They are natives of Washington and among the most energetic and enterprising of this city's young men. They are practical carriage builders; each, after receiving an academic education, having served his time as an apprentice and mastered his trade. They turn out the finest carriages that are made, including the latest styles of landaus, Victorias, etc.; also, road wagons, traps, buck-boards, etc. They manufacture light harness, whips and driving paraphernalia to order, and carry a heavy stock of horse clothing, rugs, blankets, etc., and also act as the special agents of Brewster & Co., carriage builders of New York. Their trade is a high-class one, and covers Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia and the District of Columbia. They employ forty of the most skillful men that high wages can control, and a competent superintendent and foremen are in charge of the various departments, over all of which the Messrs. Joyce exercise a personal supervision. The material used in their products is the best, the styles are the latest and the workmanship is of a superior order.”

Andrew J. Joyce’s Sons listing remains unchanged until 1898 when it lists Geo. W. Joyce separately under carriage dealers, but not under manufacturers, and removes the firm’s 1028-1030 Connecticut Avenue warerooms:

“George W. Joyce, carriages, 456 Pa av NW, h. Chevy Chase. Md.

“R. Edwin Joyce, vice-president, the Andrew J, Joyce Carriage Co., h. 1627 R NW.”

“Andrew J. Joyce Carriage Co. 412-414 14th NW.”

George W. Joyce’s 456 Pa av NW listing vanished by 1902, the Andrew J. Joyce listing remains the same.

Hermann A. Brunn, the legendary Buffalo, New York coachbuilder and designer, briefly worked for the firm after he completed his employment at the H.H. Babcock company in Watertown, New York. I’ve seen an 11”x14” rendering of a ‘horseless carriage’ he made for the Joyce works, signed by him and dated 1907 – the only evidence I could locate that confirms that Joyce engaged in the manufacture of automobile bodies.

Brunn was in charge of the firm’s design department from 1907-1908 when the closure of the firm due to the unexpected death of George W. Joyce on April 8, 1908 prompted his return to his hometown of Buffalo where he founded Brunn & Company later in the year.

In order to settle his brother’s estate R. Edwin Joyce was forced to sell the firm’s Fourteenth and E Streets factory after which he associated himself with the American Multigraph Sales Co. for whom he served as their US Government sales representative. A the end of the First World War he was taken ill for a couple of years, and on recovering took a position with the Federal Board for Vocational Education, 1410 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington D.C.

He was pictured in the January 20, 1923 issue of Radio World:

“Smallest Tube Radio Set in Hospital Service

“Presented with the smallest tube receiving set ever built, by his associates on the Federal Board for Vocational Training of War Veterans, in Washington, R. Edwin Joyce is photographed listening to a concert broadcast from St. Louis. Mr. Joyce was taken to a hospital in Washington where an operation made it necessary that he remain in bed for an indefinite period. To while away the weary hours and keep his mind active, his friends presented him with a small set —one that wouldn't require a large cabinet. This miniature tube-set is the invention of Barney J. Foy, in charge of the electrical training courses at the Washington Bureau for Disabled War Veterans. Tests prove that it has a remarkable receiving-range notwithstanding that it belongs to the army of pygmy radio-sets. The complete set, batteries and all, may be held easily in one hand. As will be seen in the photograph, the inductance is the familiar honeycomb type and the 1½ volt tube is used. The fact that it is small necessitates, of course, that it be of the single-circuit type; but it has recently been found that this type of receiver is remarkable in its selectiveness and is easier to manipulate than the multi-control type. The use to which this set is being put is another phase of the wonderful work that radio is performing in keeping the minds of those who are sick and ailing off their ills. Another instance of radio's heroic service!”

Born in August 21, 1863, Robert Edwin Joyce passed away on January 22, 1927 at the age of 63.

© 2013 Mark Theobald for







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