In 1799, William Havemeyer, who had been an apprentice of a London sugar refiner, was hired by Edmund Seaman to manage his sugar refinery in New York City. His brother, Frederick Havemeyer, joined him in 1802. In 1807, the brothers opened their own sugar refining business called W. & F. C. Havemeyer Company on Vandam Street. In 1859 the business moved to the waterfront in Williamsburg, and was known as the Havemeyer, Townsend & Co. Refinery. By 1864, the refinery was the most modern of its time. After a fire destroyed the refinery in 1882, the current plant was rebuilt and was the largest sugar refinery in the United States. After the Sugar Trust was ruled illegal in 1891, Henry Osborne Havemeyer and Theodore A. Havemeyer were elected as chairman and president, respectively, of the American Sugar Refining Company. In May 1896, American Sugar became one of the original 12 companies in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.