French Family Asociation
The Official Website of the Surname French
James Constantine French, 1826
Last updated by Mara French on 11/20/11. Send corrections or additions to Mara French.
James invented an improvement in vault lights in 1871 at the age of about 43 in Chicago and New York, where the witness was R. R. French (his son Richard R. French, b. 1852). See http://glassian.org/Prism/Patent/123688/page1.html.
The firm of J. C. French and Son, of 452 Canal Street, New York, has devised many improvements in vault and sidewalk, floor and roof lights, which have come extensively into use in most of the large cities in the United States. The different patterns of these lights are not only attractive in appearance, but so constructed as to answer their intended purpose well. They are adapted to buildings of every description. Of the specialties of this firm, the Improved trap doors for vault or sidewalk lights, which are always fastened, and can be opened to any desired distance for ventilation, and the improved ventilating covers for vaults, are worthy of special mention. The following list embraces some of the notable orders filled by this firm in New York and Brooklyn during the past year: Building corner Greenwich and Hubert streets, about 1,000 square feet of sidewalk lights; building on Little Twelfth street, Tenth avenue and Bloomfield street, 2,000 square feet sidewalk lights; Harrigan's theater, Thirty-fifth street, near Sixth avenue, 450 square feet sidewalk lights; 193 Mercer street, skylight over extension, sidewalk lights in front; four buildings on Greene street, 1,000 square feet floor lights, 700 square feet sidewalk lights; two buildings on Bleecker street, 200 square feet floor lights, 300 square feet sidewalk lights; Prince street, 100 square feet floor lights, 200 square feet sidewalk lights; Weber piano factory, 250 square feet sidewalk lights; Spuyten Duyvil school-house, 200 square feet area lights; and in Brooklyn, Brevoort Building, on Fulton street, Bedford avenue and Brevoort Place, 1,500 square feet sidewalk lights, 9 patent-light doors, with the firm's operators; Fifth avenue and Seventeenth street, 500 square feet concrete sidewalk lights; Bedford avenue and Hancock street, 250 square feet concrete sidewalk lights; bank near Grand street ferry, skylight over extension.
J. C. French and Son, 452 Canal Street, New York, have recently laid down sidewalk lights in front of the following important public and private buildings: Hotel Endicott, Eighty-first street and Columbus avenue, the new public school building at Ninety-third street and Amsterdam avenue, the Nevada Flats at Seventy-second street and Eighth avenue, the Cook Building on One Hundred and Twenty-fifth street, near Third avenue, the new public school building at Spuyten Duyvil, the new school building at On Hundred and Fifty-seventh street and Corlandt avenue, New York City; the new Post Office building, Brooklyn, N. Y.
See http://www.nyc-architecture.com/SOH/SOH019.htm. The building was built in Renaissance Revival style in 1865.
 Nancy Nicol, email: firstname.lastname@example.org (good in 2011) or email@example.com. I belong to the Edmund Rice Association. I have a lot more about James' business, on Canal Street as well as Broadway, in NYC, and boxes of letters, correspondences between James and Ann, she stayed in Maine with their children.