- Margot Gayle
- , revised by Carol Gayle
(b Badger’s Island, Portsmouth, NH, Oct 15, 1806; d Brooklyn, New York, Nov 17, 1884).
American iron manufacturer and builder in cast iron. Beginning as a blacksmith’s apprentice, he was in Boston by 1830 making decorative wrought ironwork at his own smithy. In 1842 he built Boston’s first example of an iron-fronted shop, a one-storey combination of iron columns and lintels that allowed large glass display windows. The following year he began producing rolling security shutters that fitted into grooves in the iron columns, having bought the patent from Arthur L. Johnson (1800–60). The ‘Badger front’ design was sold and copied across the USA, winning a gold medal at the American Institute Fair (1847).
In 1846 Badger moved to New York City, where he continued to manufacture his ‘fronts’. Soon afterwards he began producing the new form of iron building, commonly called ‘cast-iron architecture’, promoted by James Bogardus: structures with self-supporting, multi-storey exterior iron walls, constructed of cast-iron panels and columns bolted together. From ...