All Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Locations will be closed on Monday, May 25th, 2015.
small text medium text large text

William B. Scaife 1812-1876

 Inventor and manufacturer born in the First Ward, Pittsburgh, PA., September 5, 1812, son of Jeffrey and Lydia (Barrett) Scaife. Jeffrey Scaife was a native of Yorkshire, England, although the family was of Danish origin that traced its roots back to 1653. About 1780 Scaife migrated to the United States and settled first in Philadelphia. He moved to Pittsburgh in 1802 and engaged in the manufacture of tin and sheet-iron ware. His son was trained in his fatherís plant, and his mechanical talents were evident at the age of nine when he fashioned articles offered for sale by his fatherís workmen.

William Scaife was educated in the Pittsburgh schools and developed an interest in metaphysics. He married Mary Frisbee, daughter of Ephraim Frisbee, of Schoharie County, NY, and they were the parents of thirteen children, including six sons.

The the firm William B. Scaife & Company was organized in 1834 with Messrs. McClurg and Wade as partners to manufacture tin, sheet-iron and copper ware. In 1838 Scaife purchased his partnersí interests, and at the age of twenty-six, became the partner of an important industry that manufactured metal parts for steamboats. He next pioneered in the manufacture of roof frames and corrugated iron roofings and sidings. The name of the firm was changed in 1870 to William B. Scaife and Sons which subsequently manufactured steel tanks for air, gas and liquids, steel buildings, and water purifying apparatus.

Up  Return to the top