Documentary History of American Water-works

Introduction Historical Background Chronology Geography Biography Technology Ownership and Financing General Bibliography
Middle Atlantic States
New Jersey Camden

Camden, New Jersey

Camden was first settled in 1626.

The Camden Water Works Company was incorporated in 1845 by Isaac Cole, Benjamin W. Cooper, Charles Kaighn, Henry Allen, William Folwell, Nathan Davis, Benjamin T. Davis, John W. Mickle, James Elwell "to introduce into, and supply the city of Camden, in this stale, with pure water."  This company built a system that began service on November 1, 1846, but no specific information about this system has been found.  The supply was unsatisfactory, and the company built a new plant in Pavonia that began service in 1855 or 1856.

The City of Camden bought the company in 1870 for $200,000, and took over possession on July 1 of that year.

The water system is owned by the City of Camden, which has contracted with American Water Contract Services.to operate the system.

References
1845 An act to incorporate the Camden Water Works Company.  April 2, 1845.

1846 "Camden Water Works Company. - Proposals will be received," Public Ledger, January 6, 1846, Page 3.

1853 "Camden Affairs. - The Work Commenced," Public Ledger, December 12, 1853, Page 1.

1854  Supplement to the act entitled "An act to incorporate the Camden Water Works Company," approved April second, eighteen hundred and forty-five.  February 9, 1854.

1855 Newark Daily Advertiser, December 10, 1855, Page 2.
The Camden Water Works are expected to be ready in about two weeks, and the city will then be immediately supplied with water.

1856 "New Cornish Pumping Engines," Public Ledger, March 7, 1856, Page 1.

1856 Charleston Courier, July 23, 1856, Page 2.
New Cornish Engine.- The Philadelphia papers describe a new "Cornish Engine' built in that city for the Camden Water Works.  This engine has a cylinder of 40 inches and a pump of twenty-two inches, the stroke being eight feet.

1864 A Supplement to the act entitled "An act to incorporate the Camden Water Works Company," approved April second, eighteen hundred and forty-five.  April 14, 1864.

1866 "The Water Works," The Philadelphia Inquirer, March 9, 1866, Page 2.

1870 A Further Supplement to "An Act to incorporate the Camden Water Works Company," approved April second, eighteen hundred and forty-five.  March 14, 1870.

1870 "Purchasing the Camden Water Works," The Philadelphia Inquirer," March 17, 1870, Page 3.

1870 An Ordinance to enable the city of Camden to purchase the water-works of the "Camden Water-works Company," April 28, 1870, from Compiled and Revised Ordinances of the City of Camden (1907)

1871 An Act to enable the city of Camden to supply the citizens thereof and inhabitants of the town of Pavonia, in the township of Stockton, with water.  March 9, 1871.

1877 "Water Works Engine Broken," The Philadelphia Inquirer, March 2, 1877, Page 3.

1877 "Again Out of Order," The Philadelphia Inquirer, April 9, 1877, Page 3.

1877 "Again Broken," The Philadelphia Inquirer, June 27, 1877, Page 3.

1882 Camden,from Engineering News 9:373 (October 28, 1882)

1886 "The Water Department," The History of Camden County, New Jersey, George Reeser Prowell

1888 "Camden," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 1.

1890 "Camden," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 2.

1891 "Camden," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 3.

1897 "Camden," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 4.

1909 Historical Sketch of Camden, N. J., by Howard Mickle Cooper
Page 44:  The Camden Water Works Company supplied from its pipes on November 1st, 1846, the first public water to the city, continuing to do so until the city purchased its plant and took possession thereof on July 1, 1870.
Page 53:  In the fall of the year 1897 the supplying of pure water to Camden from its plant of artesian wells at Delair was inaugurated, giving a quality of water unsurpassed, if equalled, by any city, cool enough when direct from the hydrant to be pleasantly potable in the hottest weather and so pure as to have driven typhoid fever practically from the city. Its fame has spread to the Orient, and so impressed the United States Minister at Bangkok ("City of wild fruit trees"), Capital of Siam, a city he estimates of 1,000,000 inhabitants, that on January 4th, 1909, he wrote to the Camden Water Department for copies of its report for the year 1908. No part of Philadelphia had filtered water in the year 1897, nor for several years afterward, and sections of it struggled with the factory refuse, coal dust and sewage-laden Schuylkill and Delaware River waters until the spring of 1909, when filtered water was finally supplied to all its parts.

1917 "Condensed History of Camden's Water Supply," Manual of the City Council of Camden, N.J., for 1916-1917





2016 Morris A. Pierce