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J.P. Sjoberg & Company
J.P. Sjoberg & Company, 1882-1914; New York, New York
Associated Builders


Although Sjoberg is primarily known as a supplier and manufacturer of millwork for the Brooklyn Rapid Transit Company and Interborough Rapid Transit Company (New York Subway system), he also constructed entire street and railcar bodies as well as wagons and commercial truck bodies for Manhattan businesses. The firm also constructed moldings, mantels, furniture and other household items when business slowed down.

John P. Sjöberg was born in Sweden on October 4, 1856. He emigrated to the United State in 1881 and in 1884 married another Swedish immigrant named Emma Dorothea Johnson (b. Feb. 4, 1863, emigrated in 1880). They made their home in Elmhurst, Queens, New York and to the blessed union was born 4 children: Hedwig E. (b.Mar. 1886, m. Maddaus), Conrad Fabian (b.July 18, 1887), Florence (b. May 1892, m. Henry Huss), and Ruth Amelia (b.Oct. 1893, m. Ortman) Sjoberg.

Prior to 1893 J. P. Sjoberg Co. was a known woodworker located in the McClave Bldg. located between 22nd and 23rd St along the North River just west of 11th Ave. A massive fire destroyed the building and an adjoining lumber yard on April 12, 1893 and the New York Times listed his name as a tenant.

J.P. Sojberg & Co. 145 11th Ave., New York listed in the Railway equipment section under Car Panels and Car Sidings in the 1899 edition of Seeger and Guernsey's Cyclopædia of the Manufactures and Products of the United States.

1901 Price & Lee Carriage Builders Directory:

“J. P. SJOBERG & CO., MANUFACTURERS OF FRAME WORK FOR WAGON AND VAN BODIES. Made Exact by Machinery for any Style of Bodies, Shipped " Knocked Down " ready to go together. Also Wagon Bodies Complete. 145 AND 147 ELEVENTH AVENUE, CORNER 21st STREET. NEW YORK.”

1905 issue of the New York Supplement:

“It appears from the affidavit submitted in opposition to this motion that Joseph H. Turl and Jeanette Turl, as trustees, on December 20, 1902, leased the premises Nos. 533 to 537 West Thirty-Second street to Gorham F. Smith for the term of 10 years from January 1, 1903, and that said Smith leased on January 1, 1903, to J. P. Sjoberg & Co., the second and third floors of these buildings for a term of 10 years.”

The 1910 edition of the Brown University Alumni Magazine states:

“Conrad F. Sjoberg, ex-'08, is in business with his father, head of the firm of J. P. Sjoberg & Co., New York city. They make woodwork for railway and electric cars.”

The 1911 Electric Railway Dictionary shows a “Half Cross-Section of Light Storage Battery Car Body” and attributes it to Sjoberg as “Builders.”

Jan 5, 1913 New York Press display ad for automobile bodies:

“The J.P. Sjoberg Copmpany, Automobile Bodies Established 1892. Main office and factory 70th St. and Ave A. Phone 6240 Lenox. Finishing Shop 351-355 W 53rd St. Phone, 8314 Columbus.”

Sjoberg was mentioned in the January 31, 1913 NY Times:

“Among the victims who visited the police was J. P. Sjoberg, a manufacturer of automobile fixtures, whose home in Broadway, Elmhurst, was entered on Tuesday Evening.”

A 1913 issue of the Commercial Vehicle mentions the firm in an article titled 'Adapting the Commercial Body for Individual Work' as follows:

“Combination furniture and piano body by J. P. Sjoberg Co., New York City. This builder has extended the side gate from the middle of the body to the front pillar. This generous opening permits pianos to be backed right up against the front, and aids greatly in removing furniture or pianos in the rear portion, through the side. The body is 12 feet 6 inches long.  5 feet 9 inches wide, and 6 feet high, inside measurement. The side gate is 6 feet wide, and is closed with three stakes. which may be joined by chains if desired. Another interesting feature of this body is the height of the panels at the side, which are 4 feet high, a 14-inch opening being allowed above it, to admit light. The body may be complete enlsoed with side curtains, as may the open cab."

Another 1913 issue of the Commercial Vehicle included a picture of Sjoberg-built sightseeing bus:

“Convertible Sight-Seeing Bus

“In the service of a bus line for suburban and interurban service, the design shown in Fig. 5 was prepared by the J. P. Sjoberg Co., New York to permit the same body to be used the year round.

The February 24, 1914 issue of Motor World annoucned that the firm was in the hands of a receiver:

“Minor Business Troubles

“The J.P. Sjoberg Co. of 1314 Avenue A. and 351 West 52nd street, New York City, has assigned for the benefit of creditors to Lewis H. Woodburn the company of which J.P. Sjoberg is president, was incorporated in 1911 and conducted an automobile repairing and woodworking business.”

The March 1914 issue of the Hub confirms the news:


“The J. P. Sjoberg Co., Seventieth street and Avenue A. New York City, has assigned for the benefit of its creditors. The company announces that the business has been losing ground for some time, but, in the hope that an improvement would occur, it has continued at a loss until now it is inadvisable to go further. The directors decided that the best interests of the creditors would be promoted by an assignment, and that course has been pursued.”

The 1915 NY State census lists John’s occupation as ‘retired’ and he passed away unexpectedly in Northfield, Franklin County, Massachusetts, on August 31, 1919, at the age of 63. His wife Emma died on Nov. 4, 1936.

Conrad F. Sjoberg served in Co. 10, 18th P.T. Regiment, U.S. Army during the First World War. He later changed his name to Conrad Franklin Seabury, and survived until 1953.

John P. Sjoberg held a number of US Patents as follows:

Design for sash spring - USD27894 -Grant - Filed Sep 16, 1897 - Issued Nov 23, 1897 to John P. Sjoberg
Car Vestibule - US805326 - Grant - Filed Jul 31, 1905 - Issued Nov 21, 1905 to John P. Sjoberg and Ernst L. Forsgren assigned to John P. Sjoberg
Car Vestibule - US844585 - Grant - Filed Oct 2, 1906 - Issued Feb 19, 1907 to Ernst L. Forsgren assigned to John P. Sjoberg
Railway Car Door - US929888 - Grant - Filed Dec 31, 1908 - Issued Aug 3, 1909 to John P. Sjoberg

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