J. C. Rochester & Co. were manufacturers of metal building products. A divison of J. C. Rochester was the Pyroneel Company, a manufacturer of incinerators. The word Pyroneel is found at the top of most of the J. C. Rochester sidewalk lids in New York. The Rochester lids do not seem to be intended to be opened, and probably served only to provide ventilation to an incinerator beneath.
An entry in Sweet's Architectural Catalogues, 1933, represented Pyroneel as follows: Pyroneel Flue-Feb Incinerators / For Apartments and Residences / J. C. Rochester & Co., Inc. / 370 Lexington Avenue, New York, N. Y. "The drawing of Model 33 Pyroneel Incinerator shown below, clearly indicates the simplicity of design. Only the essential elements are found; no movable parts, unnecessary accessories or complicated brick work are included. All of the 22 models, with grate areas from 2 to 24 square feet, are rectangular in shape so that they may be joined to other masonry without complications. Garbage and other refuse are wrapped in bundles, placed in the Receiving Hopper Door and allowed to drop down the Flue into the Combustion Chamber where it is dried out by the air which the draft sucks through the Damper of the Ash Door; since there is not other path, this air must all pass up and through the refuse which accumulates on the grates. Periodically the refuse is lighted through the Fire Door; no auxiliary fuel is necessary because of the normal excess of dry over wet refuse, aided by the drying process just mentioned. Tin cans, bottles, etc. should be fed through the Receiving Hopper Door unwrapped as they tend to keep the bundles of refuse separated and thus insure free circulation of the air. Unburned, but thoroughly sterilized tin cans, bottles, etc. are removed through the Fire Door; the ashes drop through the Grates into the Ash Pit and are removed through the Ash Doors."
The founder of J. C. Rochester was Junius Caldwell Rochester (1887-1980). He was born 13 Nov. 1887 in Kansas City, Missouri, and lived in Seattle, Washington, when he registered for the World War I draft in 1917. He was the sales engineer for a Youngstown, Ohio, steel company at that time. He appeared in New York city directories in the 1920s when he was a manager at Guaranteed Products Corp. and president of Fuller Brothers & Co., a wholesale supplier of building materials.
J. C. Rochester & Co. were founded approximately 1927, and had offices in New York through 1970. Their address from 1931 to 1970 was 370 Lexington Ave. Junius C. Rochester registered for the World War II draft in 1942 when he lived at Meads Point, Greenwich, Connecticut, and was self employed at 370 Lexington Ave., New York City. He died in January, 1980, when he lived in Flushing, Queens.
Copyright (c) 2014 Walter Grutchfield