History

P. Flanigan & Sons has roots in Baltimore City that reach back many of generations, and more than 100 years.

In 1885, twenty years after the final battle of the Civil War, Baltimore was in the midst of a civic and industrial rebirth. Recovering from the economic paralysis of the war, the city expanded its borders, diversified its interests, and looked to the energy of the entrepreneurial class to shape the future of the city’s fortunes.

Patrick Flanigan, an Irish immigrant, armed with just a few tools and a vision for his American dream, began a small contracting business in Baltimore.

Flanigan had a knack for recognizing the needs of the community and positioning his company to deliver on those demands. At the end of the nineteenth century, prosperous and working class Baltimoreans alike came to expect modern technologies such as gas lights and electric trolley cars to make daily life easier.

Advances in the germ theory of disease also raised awareness of the need to improve public sanitation. Capitalizing on this opportunity, Patrick offered residents a primitive sewer system known as “char-coal” pits in their back yards for disposal of their “night soil.” These wells eliminated the dumping of waste into open sewers and gutters. Within a few decades, Patrick advanced his offerings, and constructed and owned sewer pipes under Baltimore streets.

Customers paid a nominal fee to connect to “Patrick Flanigan’s Sewer.” Building the sewers taught Flanigan skills in excavation and street construction, which became the mainstay of the business as Baltimore grew in the 20th century. A forward-thinking, hard-working businessman, Flanigan laid the foundation for the future of his enterprise.

P. Flanigan & Sons proudly celebrated 125 years of business in 2010.

Over the decades, the regional and national economies have experienced many periods of growth and contraction. The methods, materials, and means of construction have evolved, requiring companies to invest in training and new capital in order to keep current with modern practices.

Partnerships have been forged, and competitors have come and gone, while P. Flanigan & Sons has successfully remained a mainstay in Baltimore.

We are proud of our history at P. Flanigan & Sons and our contribution to the economic growth of the Baltimore region.

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