Israel Holmes

December 19, 1800 – July 15, 1874

Israel Holmes began works as a clerk it the button store operated by J. L. Scovill and W. H. Scovill.

Holmes was later sent to Birmingham, England, by the Scovills to acquire the necessary men and machines to manufacture metallic buttons. He made three trips in all and was successful in persuading a group of gilders, burnishers and die-sinkers to join him.

English law prohibiting export of machines and workers forced Holmes to conceal the men in empty wine casks aboard ship until they were set to sail. On his last trip to England, he brought back casters, rollers, wiredrawers, and tube-makers along with the machinery needed to begin the manufacture of brass.

This was the impetus for Waterbury to develop into “The Brass Center of the World.”


Spouse: Ardelia Crode Hayden Holmes (1806–1887), married 1825

Children: Hannah Ardelia Holmes (1826–1833), Olive Margaret Holmes (1828–1833), Charles Edward Latimer Holmes (1832–1884), Hannah Margaret Holmes (1838–1844), Israel Holmes (1841–1843), Reuben Holmes (1843–1843), Margaret Holmes Francisco (1844–1914), Ardelia Esther Holmes Edwards (1848–1916)

Parents: Israel Holmes (1768–1802) and Sarah Hannah Judd Holmes (1771–1821)

Siblings: Samuel Judd Holmes (1794–1867), Sally H Holmes (1797–1816), Reuben Holmes (1798–1833), Ruth Wells Holmes Carter (1799–1880), Timon Miles Holmes (1802–1868)

Israel Holmes Gallery