I have created this website for anyone with interest or stories about the Broderick family, the Bascom family, or the business Broderick & Bascom to stay in touch, and to be able to share stories or memorabilia.

If you are trying to find out info about Broderick and Bascom Rope company, or its founders JJ Broderick and JD Bascom please click here to email me. I also would like any information or pictures you have.

1876 - Our Golden Jubilee -1926 publication here

shows the history of Broderick and Bascom Rope Company

  Wisconsin Office

Heres what I found in reading some of what I have. I have posted the full file online, and it is large. Link below.

When JJB (John James Broderick) was 20 and Joe Bascom (JDB) was 18 they both worked at St Louis Railway Supply Company JJB was a shipping clerk and Joe was a billing clerk. They saw the tons of wire rope invoices passing thru because of the Eads Bridge being built. They decided to join forces and start the company. To their advantage, one of the heads of the main competitor wire rope company had recently died in 1868. JJB and Joe made a deal with the remaining partner. B&B was established 1875 and started manufacturing in 1876.

Anne Bryan Broderick notes this picture was most likely taken in San Francisco 1915 when they signed the contract for the cable cars. Anne notes that B&B cable hauls the cable cars of San Francisto today.

John James Broderick
Emilie Broderick
Joseph D Bascom
Mary F Bascom

Brad Bascom sent me this great video on the San Francisco Cable Car museum. Great find Brad! ~Jeanne

great article by Loni Stark of Stark Insider
Uploaded by starksilvercreek on Jun 10, 2009. Check out her full article here.

http://www.StarkInsider.com Inside the still functioning (and loud!) San Francisco Cable Car Museum. Large motors, gears and cables. Also the history of the great 1906 SF earthquake and its impact on the city and transportation.

Jun 29, 2009 ... The fall of cable cars came about when the earthquake of 1906 wiped out a lot of the infrastructure and surrounding buildings.

broderick and bascom wire in the san francisco cable car museum

san francisco cable car museum

Loni says:
While walking up and down the hilly sidewalk, along Mason street, on our way to catch a bite in North Beach, I spotted a quaint brick building with the sign, "Cable Car Museum". I hadn't planned to stop in but curiosity got the better of me and I ventured in to explore. Entering the foyer of the museum, I noticed that besides the photographs and displays common to most buildings devoted to the archiving of history, there was also the distinctive sounds of the whirl of engines. The cable car museum overlooks the set of enormous engines that still pull the remaining cable cars up and down the hilly streets of San Francisco. The museum was established in 1974 and provides a great and very accessible (free) way to learn about the rise and fall of the beloved San Francisco cable cars.

Broderick & Bascom, Portland Or.
Found this on Picasa

I have no evidence this was a broderick and bascom location. I have posted a comment asking how they know. It appeares to currently be a CastAway company.
Caption reads: 1900 NW 18th (HRI paper 1929 Broderick and Bascom Rope Company)
broderick and bascom portland or

1940s employee Olive Lambert in the checkered dress.

Deb emailed me because she had this wonderful photo of her mother standing in front of the Broderick & Bascom building in her checkered dress, approx date: 1940s. I have put together this slideshow with some nice company images for Deb to gift her mother for her 80th birthday.

Hello Jeanne,
Today my mom and I had a nice chat about her memories of working there.
Now let me tell you - I have for years tried to have her open up and talk about genealogy things.
She is a very private person and is not one to eagerly offer up info - especially if she thinks I am going to
write it down!
She hates the thought of the "world wide web" knowing her business... But.... what does she say to me as I was leaving this evening??
"Debbie - I want to see all that the nice lady sent about Johnnie and the company.
And tell her, since she asked, I will take the time to write down my memories so you can send them to
her and put it on her website if she wants to, and the photo too."
I couldn't believe it!! Anyway - I will make a point now to have her see ALLL that you sent....and make sure i send you anything she writes..
just a quick synopsis of what she mentioned tonight:
-Johnnie was a wonderful gentleman - (referring to founder John James Broderick)
-mom worked as a data entry person and also covered the switchboard.
-This job was her first professional job - She and the girls she worked with were so proud to be working there.
-They felt respected and loved going to work every day.
-She talked about the factory, as well as the main offices.
-She said they enjoyed playing cards on their breaks.
-The photo I sent is the only part of the photo she has...the rest of it was torn - now sure how that happened she says.
Her face brightened as she talked and seemed happy to be reminiscing about this time in her life..
I will ask her if she has any other photos.
Thanks for showing interest in my mom and her place at Broderick...
And from your request of asking for her memories...
thanks for giving me a few moments of happily seeing my mom go down memory lane...
What an unexpected joy for me!
I'll keep in touch,
Debbie H.   

Above right is Olive and Deb as a child
Below Deb is on the right in the pink shirt





Broderick and Bascom building. Im guessing it is from the early 1900s based on the cars in the parking lot.

Broderick and Bascom Cars

broderick and bascom building in the early 1900s

North Auburn Cable Railway 6

According to Bryan Broderick, The boy in this picture is a Kern.


In 1876 Broderick & Bascom Rope Company made its start in St Louis with an upstairs office and a ropewalk, part of it outdoors.   The first mechanized factory followed in 1883.

In 1951 B&B owns and operates modern plants in 4 cities: St Louis, Seattle (1907), Peoria and Houston.  Branch ofrfice and warehouse stocks are also maintained in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Portland, Oregon.  Distributors serve hundreds of industrial centers.   Per the July 1951 catalog.


Fellow employees of a railway supply company in St Louis, John J Broderick and Joseph D Bascom saw that the country and its industries were beginning to move into a period of broad expansion.  They pictured wire rope as an essential tool for this movement.

Through their hands had passed orders for cables used in building the massive bridge designed by Captain Eads to link the East and West across the Missippi.  Out in San Francisco, they had noted, a new cable car foreshadowed the departure of the horse-drawn car from city streets.  New railroad constructoin...wier demand for forest products...deeper mine shafts...and oil well...higher buildings...heavier

    Taken from a book, thouth typed in a cursive font….hmmmm…
notes B&B was “Company is the pioneer wire rope making concern in the west from an insignificant beginning it is now regarded as the largest firm of its kind in the western states, employing over 200 people; it has branch office in New york and Seattle, Wash.  Member merchang’s Exchange, manufacturer’s Ass’n.  and is a physical enthusiast.  Office 809 N. Main Street Residence Hotel Beers, and Glencoe, Missouri.”
Page 82 of “The book of St Louisans”
St Louis Republic 1905

In Anne BBs papers.....Some business stuff.
Drawing of the building.   Huge.  Note no cars, all horses and buggys.
Several docs
Great old leaterhead is gorgeous. Very period graphics.   It notes a bunch of stuff and they are dated 12/29/92.  So that has to be 1892 as they were not in business in 1992.

Copy of the navy award for excellence

Business directory / advertisement.

Article about how our cable was used for the San Francisco cable cars.

mis links



historical construction dquip assoc




Issued in 1944 by Broderick & Bascom Rope Company, St. Louis, Missouri. A light brown soft cover booklet with black lettering and an illustrated front cover. The booklet was aimed at  the general contractor or rope user who needed general information on how wire rope could help in their construction activities. Includes a complete set of data sheets on wire rope, mathematical tables of general values, general recommendations on many types of equipment and fundamental data on slings, methods of calculating sling loads, installing wire rope clips, splicing and attaching sockets. Profusely illustrated throughout. 96 pages, including the index. 

Magazine Advertisement Description

  • Ad Caption: "Big load - easy lift for Yellow Strand Braided Safety Slings".

  • Source: Railway Locomotives & Cars Magazine (August 1957)

  • Condition: Ad is in very good condition but with some light soiling/stains at bottom edge of page. Any yellow tint is a result of our scanning process and not with the ad. Some ads are larger then our scanner, and may appear cropped down. Scan may show wrinkles or crookedness that is not in the ad.

  • Dimensions: A full-page color ad - measuring approximately 8.75" by 11.75". The ad may be larger than our scanner and may appear to be cut off, but the entire advertisement is there.

  • Notes: All ads are original ads removed from vintage magazines. These tear sheets are never a reprint or reproduction. These original magazine pages look fabulous when framed. Decorate your home or office or purchase as a gift for family and friends. Ads are also great resources of historical documentation for collectors.

1942 BRODERICK & BASCOM ROPE CO., St. Louis, Missouri, Print Ad for their YELLOW STRAND Preformed Wire Rope.

"Wire Rope smooths the road to war"

  • Broderick & Bascom 1875-1966
  • Keystone Steel & Wire 1966-1983
  • Amstead 1983-1999
  • WRCA1999-
  •    Per Jun 2007 article in MISSORUI LIFE magazine, Broderick & Bascom Rope Company sold to Keystone Steel & Wire in 1966.  Subsequent owners listed to the left.  In 1980 the plant was moved to Sedalia.   WRCA corporate headquarters in St Joseph.

    links of B&B stuff online




      Looks like this company Bought B&B per the attached web page
    1999 Acquired wire rope division of Amsted Industries – MacWhyte —and Broderick & Bascom




    Palace of Manufactures - 1904 World's Fair

    B&B won an award at the Worlds Fair in 1904 in St. Louis.  I believe that it was presented in
    this building shown in the picture here called the Palace of Manufacturers.

    I may have the information somewhere in my files and if I do I probably got it from Joan.
    Joan went down to their office in downtown St. Louis and they let her have some papers that
    I think they were not planning to keep.  I don't know what year it was when she went and
    she may not remember either.

    1934 catalog broderick and bascom 1934 catalog 1934 Broderick and Bascom Rope Company catalog
    broderick and bascom company note pad   broderick and bascom company note pad Small note pad distributed by Broderick and Bascom Rope Co. St.Louis, MO. Very fascinating item. Not just a blank notepad, but also filled with information pages. Even starts with a table of contents, which includes :A Few Facts of the World We Live In, Antidotes for Poisons, Calendars for 1903,04,and 05, Foreign Currancy and US Value, Official Population of the US,Postal Distances and Time from New York City, Simple Rules for the Game of Whist, Wedding Anniversaries, US Presidents, and more! A fantastic item. Cover is Celluloid covered. Lovely printing of a pretty lady. 1904.

    Pics of Montana tramway

    Pictures generously forwarded by Barry:

    broderick and bascom trams   broderick and bascom trams
    broderick and bascom trams   broderick and bascom trams  
    Email from Barry to Jeanne:

    Hello: Do you have any pictures of the mining trams or the tram buckets that moved ore in the early mining days? Thanks

    Later email explaining:
    Jeanne: Those are the type of pictures I am interested in. Growing up in the 50's I lived near a couple of Riblet ore trams. The town of Chewelah was located about 50 miles north of Spokane Wa.  Spokane was the location of the Riblet main office, so their mining trams and ski lifts were very comman around here. I accually worked around the tram near town in the winter of 1964 knocking frozen ore out of the buckets. In the fall of 1968 they closed the magnesite plant where the trams were located. It was rather sad to see it all get destroyed and taken away, but I had a job in Spokane and did'nt think about it much. Three years ago a friend of mine ask me to go four wheeling on the old mine roads. We found the old tram right of way, a lot of cable, and a few bucket parts. It rekindled an interest in mining tramways and I intend to gather as much info on the subject as I can. I have found quite a bit of material locally on the Riblets and have found some more on the Hallidie aerial ropeways which goe's way back into the 1800's. I also came across some info on the Broderick& Bascom trams. One that still has some parts and pieces existing is located near the old Homestake mine in Montana. I hav'nt visited that site but intend to. I hope this sheds some light on why I contacted you, as so little is known about this area of our mining history. There are a couple of good books on the subject and I hope to share some of my information with them for future volumes. Thanks for your time and the picture.  Barry


    As of this printing in 2007, the B & B plant is still in business, although there is only one plant left. During the 1960's cheap imports, high steel prices and unions had beat the company to a pulp. There were plants in Seattle, St Louis, New York and Texas. As an attempt to get away from the unions a plant was opened in Sedalia (current location). That is the only plant left and the only one that has stayed non union, the company that bought Amstead has gone bankrupt.That is why B&B is employee owned. B & B still makes rope for the Navy, they manufacture the "catch cables" for the aircraft carriers. These cables "Catch" the planes as they land on the deck. B & B also still supplies the cable for the San Fransisco cable cars. In fact there is a street in San Fran named Broderick it is at the top of Lombard Street. I was told we had a factory there. If you ever go to the cable car museum there is a spool of B&B there.

    During the 2nd World War B & B was awarded the Navy "E" for excellence several times before Monsanto or Malenkrot, it was quite a big deal at the time. They won the awards for providing Wire Rope of the highest quality on or before the appointed dead line. I have the metals and the flag that was given to the company that they flew in front of the factory. I also have a recording of the award ceremony it is on very fragile wax disks.

    Another story about the company that you may or may not know is that the factory on Union blvd. in north STL was sold to General Motors. They wanted it because it was so large and had its own power plant (Steam driven Generator). Later a substation was installed and the steam engine was sold to the city of STL. It was so well built that it is still in operation today powering the #1 water pump station providing water to the city of STL. It is a Coreless Steam Engine with a flywheel over 12 feet. I have seen it a few times but not lately. General Motors built the Corvette at the old plant from 1963 until they finally moved the plant to Kentucky in thel ate 70's again getting away from the unions. The building is still there and the front entrance is still the same. The Clark's now own it and have converted it into several smaller units for smaller factories to operate.