Rhode Island Reading Room
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History of the State of Rhode Island with Illustrations

Albert J. Wright, Printer
No. 79 Mille Street, corner of Federal, Boston.
Hong, Wade & Co., Philadelphia 1878.

The History of Providence.

pp. 253 - 259.

PROVIDENCE. (continued)

Blank-book Manufactories.  There are five establishments of this kind at present in the city, prominent among which is the establishment of Ackerman & Co., at No. 5 Washington Buildings.  On the 15th of February, 1836, the senior member of this establishment commenced business, and for a period of forty-one years has given his personal attention to is varied details.  At that time, the city of Providence had but twenty thousand inhabitants, and the amount of work required was limited.  With the growth of the city, the business increased, necessitating more extended facilities in all its various departments.  In 1858, a co-partnership was formed with Mr. C. F. Rawson and Mr. Stephen H. Hall, under the firm name of Ackerman & Co., which continued until 1861, when Mr. Rawson retired.  Mr. Hall died in 1864, and was succeeded by Mr. T. B. Rawson, who still continues in the firm.

H. M. Coombs & Co., at 37 Custom-house Street, are also extensively engaged in this branch of business.  In 1860, Mr. H. M. Coombs came from Boston, and purchased the book-bindery of Thomas Ahern, which business he carried on alone until 1863, when Mr. C. F. Rawson was admitted as a partner, under the firm-title of H. M. Coombs & Co.  From this time the business increased quite rapidly, and many additions were made in machinery, help, room, &c.  Mr. Rawson retired in April, 1869, from which time Mr. Coombs carried on the business until 1873, when he formed a partnership with Mr. N. J. Smith, under the same firm-style.  Mr. Coombs introduced the first stamping-machine used in the city, in 1869, and he was also the first to introduce and put into successful operation a striking machine for ruling.  This is the only book-bindery in the city that does edge-gilding, and the only establishment that runs a striker by steam.

John S. Kellogg, No. 7 Market Square, job printer; also, lithographer and blank-book manufactory.  The business was established in 1865, and passed into the hands of Mr. Kellogg, in June, 1876.

Bugbee & Hall, No. 67 Westminster Street.  This  house was established in September, 1872, by Messrs. John E. Bugbee and J. C. Hall, for the purpose of transacting a general stationery and blank-book manufacturing business.  To this they have since added a printing department.  This firm is now doing a large and profitable business.

Security Blind-fastening Company, corner of Washington and Lafayette streets.  This corporation was organized in 1876, for the manufacture of a blind-fastening, which was patented in December, 1873.  It is a perfect fastening, has no spring to weaken and break.  It is constructed of the best malleable iron, and is not liable to get out of order.  This company also manufacture the Northrup window-spring, which was patented March 14, 1876.  The present manager of this concern is Thomas Corscaden.

Tillinghast & Sweet, No. 114 Pine Street, manufacture Sweet's window-spring and sash-lift.  Business established in May, 1874.

Boiler and Steam-Engine Manufactory.  There are seven different establishments of this kind in the city.  The following are among the most prominent in this class of manufacture:  George M. Cruikshank & Co., No. 276 Dyer Street.  This company first commenced business in October, 1872, and in addition to the manufacture of boilers, are the only parties in the State that manufacture the patent metallic packing.

William A. Harris, manufacturer of the Harris-Corliss engine, deserves a more than passing notice, for the energy he has displayed, and the untiring industry manifested in giving to the public this celebrated engine, so practically perfect in its construction.  This engine is substantially a Corliss engine, with certain improvements added by Mr. William Harris.  The original Corliss patents having expired, Mr. Harris added his improvements, and now produces an engine which is unrivalled.  Mr. Harris commenced the manufacture of this engine on Eddy Street, in the summer of 1864, but was compelled by increase of business to remove to his new works on Park Street, corner of Promenade.  This establishment is fitted up with all the modern machinery and appliances for facilitating rapid production.  Mr. Harris gives his personal attention to the entire establishment, and looks after all the details of construction.  The works occupy about two acres of land, and have a capacity for one hundred and thirty hands.

The Hydro-carbon Engine, was invented by Mr. John B. Brayton, and is manufactured by him at No. 25 Potter Street.  This is among the most wonderful improvements of the age, and is the first to meet the great demand long existing for a practical ready power, that can be adapted to the various uses, as a substitute for hand labor.  It has been approved by the best engineering talent in the country, and is withal a very successful and important invention.

Braid Manufactories.  There are four establishments of this description, but space will not permit of the mention of more than one, that of Mr. George C. Douglass, No. 9 Callender Street.  He manufactures boot, shoe, and corset lacings.  He commenced business in 1836, at Geneva, where he remained until August, 1876, when he removed to Providence.

Broom Manufactory.  Jackson Brothers & Co. are the patentees and sole manufacturers of Jackson's swivel broom, the only one of the kind in this country.  The business was established Aug. 1, 1877, on Potter Street, in the city of Providence.

Cabinet Makers.  We can only mention two out of the seven manufactories engaged in this particular branch of business.  Morlock & Bayer, at No. 102 Dorrance Street.  This firm was established in 1868, by Mr. William Morlock, who carried on the business alone until November, 1876, when the present firm was organized.  They are designers and manufacturers of artistic furniture for house, office, or store.  They furnish employment to twenty-five hands, and do a business of from fifty to seventy-five thousand dollars per annum.

Henry W. Reichold, Dyer Street, manufacturer of office-furniture.  Business established in 1874 by Reichold and Knoblock.  January 6, 1877, Mr. Knoblock retired, since which time Mr. Reichold has conducted the business alone, with great success.

Carriage, Coach and Sleigh Manufactories.  This business is carried on quite extensively in the city, there being no less than thirty-eight different establishments.  The names of some of the more prominent are as follows:  Henry W. Ellis, junction of Dyer, Orange and Clifford streets, manufacturer of carts, wagons, and low-gears.  Established in 1851, with one assistant, and did a business the first year of about fifteen hundred dollars.  Employs at the present time some thirty or forty hands.  Mr. Ellis was burned out in 1871, and suffered a loss of about thirty thousand dollars, on which there was a partial insurance.  The fire occurred on Saturday, and the following Monday Mr. Ellis resumed business, working for sixty days without a roof to cover his workmen.

Moulton & Remington, No. 174 Eddy Street.  The present firm was organized in 1857 for the manufacture of wagons, carriages, &c.  For the past twelve years they have made a specialty of manufacturing hook-and-ladder and hose carts.

H. W. Pepper, Nos. 89 and 91 Dorrance Street, carriage-builder.  Commenced business in 1868 with a Mr. Fales, under the firm-style of Fales & Pepper, and carried on the business until July, 1876, when the firm dissolved.  In October, 1876, Mr. Pepper established himself again upon the site now occupied by him.

Charles H. West, Arsenal Lane, manufacturer and dealer in carriages.  He is a native of Haverill, Mass., where he was engaged in the livery business.  He sold out in 1849, removed to Boston in 1850, and engaged as a salesman of carriages, which position he held for about ten years.  He came to Providence, and, in 1861, travelled with a horse and wagon, selling carriages on the road.  In 1863, he hired a small loft in the Providence Hotel yard, for the storage of his stock, where he dealt largely in second-hand carriages.  The demands of his trade soon called for new work, and more extensive facilities for storage, &c.  His stock consists of fine custom-made carriages of every description, using the entire stock of one factory especially for this purpose, where nothing but the finest work is made.  The more common grades are procured from other well-known manufactories, and are made to order and warranted.  He not only retails, but sells largely to wholesalers, and his carriages are well known throughout Rhode Island, and the other New England States.

Comb Manufactories.  There are two of these establishments in the city, one of them, a very enterprising firm, is that of Messrs. Tillinghast, Bailey & Co., at No. 236 Washington Street.  The business was first established by Mr. Leonard Tillinghast in 1872, who conducted the business alone until 1876, when the present company was formed. They have capacity for the employment of some fifty operatives.

File Manufactory.  Mr. George Chatterton established the first file manufactory in America.  He is the pioneer in this branch of business, and for many years has stood at the head of this branch of manufacture.  His works are located at No. 25 Randall Street, and known as the Adamantine File Works.  He employs forty operatives, and his goods bear an excellent reputation.

Fire-Escape Balconies and Ladders.  James H. Tower, corner of Page and Friendship streets, is engaged in the manufacture of the above, together with iron bridges, wrought and cast iron fences, &c.  The business was first established in Providence in 1839, by Emerson Tower.  In 1868, his son, J. H. Tower, was admitted  to the business under the firm-title of E. Tower & Son.  Mr. Emerson Tower died in 1869, at which time the business passed entirely into the hands of the present proprietor, Mr. James H. Tower.  He employs ten hands, and is doing a safe and profitable business.

Saddle and Harness Manufactories.  The manufacture of riding-saddles, of which Rhode Island once did her part, is carried on no longer to any great extent in the State.  But in the manufacture of harness Rhode Island can truly say that she is not behind any of her sister States.

One of the leading manufactories in the State is located at Nos. 101, 103, and 105 North Main Street, in the building called the Bowers Block.  The business is conducted under the firm-name of T. W. Rounds & Co.  It has a capacity for the employment of forty-five men, but in these depressed times in all branches of business, they furnish employment only to twenty-five.  The greater part of the mechanical work is done in the third story, and the system of the working department is most complete. On the lower floor is the store and salesroom, and in its arrangements and furnishings it is not surpassed by any harness store in New England.  Here may be found harness of every grade, blankets of every description, and, in short, everything belonging to a first-class and well-regulated harness emporium.  Mr. Rounds has worked at the trade for more than a quarter of a century, a large share of the time being in business for himself.   This long experience has enabled him to institute many improvements in the trade, and much is due to his enterprise and energy in bringing the trade to its present standard of perfectness.  Mr. J. B. Humphries has been a partner in the concern for some years, taking care of its financial arrangements, and performing other important duties connected with the business.  The firm is prepared, at all times, to take large military contracts, and has already fulfilled some large ones for the Providence Tool Co.'s armory, to go to the Turkish government.

Hoisting Machinery.  Volney W. Mason & Co.,  located on Lafayette Street, manufacturers of hoisting machinery, friction pulleys, and clutches.  Business established by William Mason, in 1860, under the firm-style of the Providence Friction Clutch Co.  In 1868, the present firm was organized.  The firm received a centennial award and diploma and medal, for the excellence of their productions.

Ladder Manufacturers.  A. M. Bishop, at No. 300 Fountain Street, is the only regular ladder manufacturer in the State.  The business was first established by C. E. Bishop & Co., in 1870.  On January 1, 1877, the present company was organized.  They have facilities for the employment of ten men, and manufacture some 50,000 feet of ladders annually.

Marble-Workers.  The Tingley Marble Co., at Nos. 131 and 417 South Main Street, is, we believe, among the oldest marble-works in the United States.  It was established by Sylvanus Tingley, in 1811, who shortly afterwards associated with him his brother, Samuel Tingley.  At that time the only mill for sawing marble was at Cumberland, a distance of eight miles from the city of Providence.  In 1822, they built a mill for sawing marble in Attleborough.  About 1830, Samuel Tingley withdrew from the firm, and Sylvanus Tingley, finding it both expensive and inconvenient to cart marble to and from Attleborough, introduced a steam-engine and sawing-machine into the works on South Main Street.  These were among the first steam marble works in New England.  In 1859, his sons were admitted as partners.

The present company was incorporated in May, 1875, and now consists of two establishments.  One, located at No. 131 South Main Street, is mostly engaged in the manufacture of monuments, mantels, wash-bowls, slabs, and marble and soapstone in all of its varied branches, and has steam-engine, saw-gangs, and all the requisite machinery for carrying on the business.  The other is located at 417 South Main Street, and is devoted to the manufacture of all the various kinds of freestone into building material.  It is furnished with saws and all the improved machinery for the successful carrying on of the extensive business.  It has numerous cranes and derricks, and a small railway for the moving of heavy blocks of stone from one part of the yard to another.  Machinery has been added for the polishing of granite, and this material is here wrought into many forms of beauty, and sent into all the different sections of the country.

A. T. Farnum & Co., manufacturers of and dealers in marble mantles, monuments, headstones, &c., at No. 430 High Street.  This establishment was organized in 1867, and is one of the best institutions of its kind in the State.

Foye & Holmes, at No. 5 Doyle Avenue, commenced business in 1870, with four men.  The work produced by this firm is first-class in every respect, and the demand has so increased that they now furnish employment to from seven to ten hands.

In addition to the above are four other establishments, located in different parts of the city, carrying on the same branch of business.

Model Manufactories.  James M. Baker, at No. 84 Orange Street, pattern and model maker, commenced business in 1866, with a Mr. Howe, under the firm-style of Baker & Howe.  Mr. Howe withdrew in 1873, since which time Mr. Baker has continued the successful operation of the business.

John Mason, at No. 52 Friendship Street, is also engaged in this branch of business.  He was probably the first to make a specialty of the manufacture of models and patterns, having commenced the business as early as 1836.

Patent Medicines.  Of all the patent medicines manufactured, none possess a more world-wide reputation than Perry Davis's Pain-killer, which was discovered by Mr. Davis in 1840.  In 1843, Mr. Davis established himself in Providence, and began its manufacture.  The almost instantaneous relief afforded to acute pain, soon made Perry Davis's Pain-killer the most popular remedy in the country, a popularity that has in no way declined through the many years it has been before the public.  Previous to his death, Mr. Davis had associated his son, Mr. Edmund Davis, with himself, under the firm-title of Perry Davis & Son.  The principal office of the house is at 136 High Street, in Providence, with branch houses at 111 Sycamore Street, Cincinnati, O.;  337 St. Paul Street, Montreal, Ca.; and 17 Southampton Row, London, Eng.  In the rear of the office in Providence, is the factory where the Pain-killer is manufactured.   With Mr. Edmund Davis is associated his son, E. W. Davis, and son-in-law, H. S. Bloodgood, who are young, energetic business men, and are of great assistance in the management of the immense business connected with this manufactory.  The Pain-killer is sent to every part of the known world, and may be found in every place where drugs are sold.

Reed and Harness Manufacturers.  A. B. Dunham, Agent, at 118 Dorrance Street, is engaged in this branch of trade.  The business was established, in 1823, by Jeptha A. Wilkinson, the inventor, who came to Providence and established a manufactory of reeds, and, in the same year, sold the business to Mr. Arnold Wilkinson.  In the hands of the latter gentleman, the machinery received important alterations.  The establishment subsequently passed into the possession of Gorham & Angell, and, in 1843, it was sold to Humphries & Co., who greatly extended the business.  In 1847, Mr. Frederick Miller became interested in the firm, and, in 1849, the entire establishment passed into his hands.  Mr. Miller was succeeded, in 1872, by Dunham & Rhodes, who carried on the business until 1875, when it passed into the hands of the present proprietors, and is very successfully carried on by Mr. A. B. Dunham, Agent.

J. A. Gowdey & Son, at No. 22 Clifford Street.  The business of this house was established by J. A. Gowdey in 1834.  In 1847, he admitted his son to the business, under the firm-style of J. A. Gowdey & Son.  From this period dates the immense business of this house, which began rapidly to increase, even beyond the sanguine expectations of the proprietors themselves.  This undoubtedly is one of the largest and best fitted reed establishments in the State, if not in the United States.  Some twenty to thirty skilled operatives are constantly employed.  The productions of this house are favorably known, not only in this country, but in Mexico and South America.  Beside their main establishment at Providence, the company have a branch house at Fall River, Mass., from which they have furnished reeds for nearly all of the mills that have been erected in that city for many years.  Mr. David Gowdey, the surviving member and sole proprietor of the business, gives his personal attention to all its varied details, and is a gentleman of practical experience in all of its branches, and has amassed a handsome fortune from the successful management of his extensive manufacture.

Kenrick Loom-Harness Company, office, No. 14 Exchange Place.  This establishment dates its existence back to 1846, when Mr. John Kendrick established himself in business at Woonsocket, with but three female assistants.  Previous to this date, harnesses were made only in an imperfect state by women, in the different manufacturing establishments where they were used.  The introduction into general use of the harness made by Mr. Kendrick, although far superior, met with strong opposition.  But these obstacles were finally overcome, and, within less than two years, they were used in every mill in Woonsocket, and in many others throughout the state.  In 1851, Mr. Kendrick removed to Providence, and established another manufactory on Clifford Street.  From this time his business increased very rapidly, and, in 1855 and 1856,  we find him employing sixty-five operatives instead of four.  In 1861, he purchased of a Mr. Winsor, for $20,000, the right of a machine patented about 1850, from which date the harnesses were almost wholly made by machinery.  In 1867, the manufactory on the corner of Eddy and Clifford streets was erected, at a cost of about $30,000.  In 1873, the present company was organized, with a capital of $150,000, which was increased, in 1877, to $200,000.

In 1866, Mr. John Kendrick established another branch factory at Fall River, at which time he associated with himself his brother, and carried on the business under the firm-style of J. & J. H. Kendrick.  This company now employ in their different establishments about one hundred and twenty-five hands.  Some five years ago, Mr. John Crowell, Superintendent of the Kendrick Loom-Harness Company, devised and constructed a harness entirely original, and has since constructed a machine for its manufacture.  Patents have been granted for both the harness and the machine, in the United States, Canada, and the principal countries of Europe.  The present officers of the company are:  R. C. Taft, President;  John Kendrick, Treasurer;  J. H. Kendrick, Superintendent.

Sail-Makers.  R. J. Payne, sail and awning maker; also manufacturer of flags of every description.  Business first established, in 1872, by Dix & Payne.  In 1877, Mr. Dix retired, when the business passed into the hands of the present proprietor.  Store, No. 5 Tucker & Little's Wharf.

L. F. Pease, 84 South Water Street, manufacturer of sails, awnings, and everything where canvas is used.  Established 1866.

Stair-Builders.  Among these are the firms of M. W. Bayliss, practical stair-builder, now located at No. 99 Dorrance Street;  and Cotton & Dudley, which firm commenced business in August, 1877, and manufacture also office furniture, &c.

Watch-Cases.  In the year 1853, George W. Ladd, a practical watch-maker of Providence, conceived the idea, and commenced the experimental work of making a serviceable 'stiffened watch-case', substantially as the 'Ladd patent case' is now made, the gold on which  should be of sufficient thickness to wear a life-time, yet the cost of which should be reduced, by stiffening with nickel composition, to admit of purchase by any person of moderate means.  The matter was held in abeyance by other engagements until 1864, when, in connection with Mr. J. A. Brown, he commenced a series of experiments, which terminated successfully in the spring of 1867.  A patent, covering the method of construction, was secured in June of that year, and the patent for the article itself in May, 1869.  These cases are made from thick plates of gold and nickel composition, sweated or soldered together, forming a solid bar of metal, which is rolled to the required thickness for use.  The nickel composition forms the centre of the material, and renders the case as stiff and strong as the gold it displaces.  The greatest thickness of gold is on the outside, where the wear is the greatest.  They are fitted with Ladd's patent spring, forged from a single piece of steel, and secured without screws.  The cases are finished in a style of workmanship as perfect as that upon a solid gold case, and are adapted to all the different grades of American-made watches.

Messrs. J. A. Brown & Co. were formerly large manufacturers of lockets.  In 1860-61, they established an office in London, Eng., for the sale of their goods, to which they soon after added pencil-cases.  This was the first, and, for several years, the only firm in the United States to export goods of this class to Europe.  Their factory is at 104 Eddy Street, Providence, R. I.; their business office at No. 11 Maiden Lane, New York.

Wooden-ware.  J. H. Atwater, Nos. 24 and 26 Potter Street, manufactures a great variety of articles of light wood-work.  Business established in the year 1860.

Tin-ware Manufacturers.  James Hill, No. 261 Dyer Street.  About 1855 or 1856, John Hill came to New York from England and obtained work in one of the ordinary tin manufactories.  From thence he removed to Millbury, Mass., where he made the first roving-can with his improvements.  Roving-cans had, previous to this time, been made of very small sheets of tin.  Mr. Hill made them of larger sheets, and instead of wiring them around the top and bottom, as had been the custom, he introduced an iron hoop with a single head turned and soldered into the top and bottom of each can.  This can has been universally adopted, and regarded as far superior to the old-fashioned can.  The cost is greatly reduced and the durability correspondingly increased.  About 1857, Mr. Hill removed to Providence, where he successfully carried on his manufacture for several years.  Mr. John Hill died in Rochdale, Eng., in August, 1870.  His son, James Hill, continues the business, having made several important improvements.

Machine Shop.  D. W. Hayden, at No. 2 Lafayette Street, commenced business in 1872, at his present location.  His specialty is a stop-motion for railway-heads and drawing-frames.  Also an improved cut-roll for power-looms, a weight dip for calender-rolls, railway-heads, and drawing-frames.  Also an improved trumpet and clearer for cotton-cards; a new and improved graduated bar or lever for keeping the numbers, the weight being moved by a screw.  These machines are patented, and Mr. Hayden, the inventor, still holds the entire right of manufacture.  He is doing quite an extensive business, and his machines are making their way rapidly into public favor.

Oil Manufactures.  W. H. Place, at No. 245 Dyer Street, is quite extensively engaged in the manufacture of prime lard, neatsfoot and lubricating oils.  House established in 1862, by T. E. Hopkins, who was soon after succeeded by C. T. Place.  The business passed into the possession of the present proprietor in June, 1877.

Key-hole Guard Co.  At No. 135 South Main Street, manufacturers of Shephardson's patent key-hole and baggage-guard, tricks of magic, parlor games, and all kinds of novelties in wood and iron.  Established in 1872, by C. A. Brickley, the present Agent and Secretary.

T. B. Stayner & Co.  Manufacturers and jobbers of patent novelties, and agents' supplies of all kinds.  Also manufacturers of Stayner's sticky fly-paper.  Business established in 1866.

I. S. & C. N. Brown, No. 89 Aborn Street.  Proprietors and manufacturers of the 'Instantaneous and indispensable neck-tie and collar locks', the only patent which practically meets the demands of all classes in this department.  Also manufacturers of 'The American Book-Holder', which was patented July 11, 1876.  This article is made of excellent brass spring wire, and is suitable for the holding of any ordinary reading book.

The Providence Inkstand Co., on Callender Street, was organized in 1876, by Samuel Darling, the proprietor, for the manufacture and sale of Darling's patent pen-gauge inkstands and pen-cleaners.  The goods manufactured by this company are constructed upon new principles, and are far superior in quality to anything before offered to the public.

Brass Founders.  Providence Brass Foundry, 460 Eddy Street.  In 1813, Mr. A. H. Manchester went to learn his trade with a Mr. John T. Jackson, who commenced the business sometime during the latter part of 1700.  Mr. Manchester was soon admitted as a partner, and afterwards became sole proprietor.  He established the foundry at the corner of Eddy and Broad streets.  Having a demand for larger castings than he was able to make there, he built, in 1847, the building now called the Providence Brass Foundry.  In 1846, A. H. Manchester, Jr., began to learn the trade with his father, and in 1856 was admitted as a partner.  In 1865, the business passed entirely into his hands.  All kinds of brass and bronze castings, under 4,000 pounds, are made here.  The specialty is the casting of composition, calender, and paper-mill rolls, and bleachery work.  The good manufactured bear a wide reputation for their general excellence.

Stillman White, bass founder, located at No. 1 Bark Street, established in 1856.  The specialty is S. White's lining metal.  Quite an extensive business is carried on here, and the class of goods manufactured bears an excellent reputation in the various markets of the country.

Plumbers.  Thomas Phillips was probably the first to establish this branch of trade in Providence.  He was born in Manchester, Eng., in the year 1800, and came to New York about 1832, from thence to Rhode Island, where he engaged in the manufacture of white lead, at Pawtuxet.  This did not prove a successful venture, and he removed to Providence and engaged in the glazing and plumbing business.  In 1835, he formed a co-partnership with John Calder, a coppersmith.  The partnership was dissolved after a few years, and in 1840 Mr. Phillips admitted his sons into the business, and they started a new shop at the present location, 67 South Main Street.  The firm at present consists of Messrs. George R. Phillips, Thomas Phillips, and William H. Fenner.  Beside the plumbing business, the firm own and operate the Providence Lead Works, engaged in the manufacture of lead pipe and sheet lead.  This is one of the oldest and most extensive firms engaged in this particular branch of business in Providence.

Wood & Winsor, No. 122 Dorrance Street, manufacturers of and dealers in steam, gas, and water fittings of every description, steam-heating apparatus for public buildings, private buildings, &c.  The present firm was organized in 1868, and employs some sixteen operatives.

Iron Founders.  At No. 85 Aborn Street is located the Aborn Street Foundry, Alva Carpenter proprietor;  manufacturers all kinds of iron castings, making a specialty of fine castings of all descriptions.  Mr. Carpenter commenced business in 1865, on the corner of Dyer and Orange streets, where he remained until 1871, when he removed to his present location.  Furnishes employment to some sixteen men.

Theodore H. Calvin, No. 150 Cove Street, manufacturer of all kinds of iron castings, established May 1, 1872.  In 1873, the present manufacturing establishment was erected; size of building, 125 x 105 feet, and furnishes employment to some twenty operatives.

Ring-Travellers, Belt-Hooks, &c.  In 1870, Messrs. William Butler, W. Clarence Butler, and D. Russell Brown formed a co-partnership under the firm-name of Butler, Brown & Co.  On the 1st of January, 1878, the firm consisted of D. Russell Brown, H. Martin Brown, and Charles H. Childs, the Butlers having retired from the firm.  The specialty is the manufacture of Shaw's U. S. standard ring-travellers, belt-hooks, and wire goods; also dealers in supplies for the cotton and woollen mills, and agents for the Buffalo Scale Company, coffee-mills, and oil-tanks.  Office, 37 Exchange Place.  This firm set up the first case of goods at the great Centennial Exhibition at Philadelphia, in 1876.

Sawing, Planing, and Mouldings.  William J. Arnold, located at Nos. 340 and 342 Fountain Street, engaged in sawing, planing, and turning, established in 1870, as a manufacturer of wagons, carriages, &c.  He carried on his business in connection with his sawing, planing, &c., until 1873, since which time he has made a specialty of carriages.

H. O. Martin & Co., Nos. 319 and 321 Fountain Street, planing and moulding mill, established by John Carpenter, in 1870.  Present company organized in April, 1873, and give employment to about twenty operatives.

Trunks and Valises.  T. & W. Breck, No. 33 North Main Street, manufacturers of, and wholesale and retail dealers in, trunks, valises, carpet-bags, &c.  Business established in 1829, by Amasa Breck.  In 1846, his two sons, T. and W. Breck, were admitted as partners, under the firm-style of A. Breck & Sons.  The senior member of the firm died in 1846, when the business passed into the hands of the present firm.

Frank C. Chase, No. 242 Westminster Street, manufacturer of, and wholesale and retail dealer in, trunks, bags, valises, baskets, pocket-books, umbrellas, &c.  Business established in 1872.

B. F. Gilmore, No. 239 Westminster Street, manufacturer of, and wholesale and retail dealer in, trunks, travelling-bags, and wagon-cushions, established in 1855.   In 1861, Mr. Gilmore went into the government service as an inspector of equipments.  In 1864, he returned and re-established himself in business at his present location.

Jewelry and Silver-Ware.
The manufacture of silver-ware was commenced in Providence, in a small way, soon after the close of the Revolutionary War; Sanders Pittman and Cyril Dodge being the earliest to engage in this business.  In 1790, a committee of the Mechanics' Association, appointed to collect statistics, report as being made in Providence that year, one hundred pairs of silver buckles, fourteen hundred pairs plated buckles, and eighty dozen silver spoons, of different sizes.  In 1805, the manufacture of silver spoons, gold beads, and finger-rings, was carried on to a moderate extent, by Nehemiah Dodge, Pittman & Dorrance, John C. Jencks, and Ezekiel Burr.  Not far from this date, they commenced the manufacture of jewelry, giving employment to about thirty hands.  In 1815, the value of the product amounted to $300,000.  In 1820, $600,000 worth of jewelry was produced, giving employment to about three hundred hands.

Among the names of individuals and firms then engaged in this business, we find the following:  Ezekiel Burr, Frost & Mumford, Gorham & Beebe, Samuel Lopez, Whiting Metcalf, Jonathan B. Nichols, Galen & Aroet Richmond, Franklin Richmond, Christopher Burr, Adnah Sackett, Lloyd Shaw, George Simmons, William R. Taylor, Ichabod Tompkins, Joseph Veazie, Arnold Whipple, Josiah Whittaker & Co., Davis & Babbett, Samuel Veazie, Ezra W. Dodge, Ellis Richmond, and E. S. Lyon.

In 1855, the census report shows the number of establishments then to be fifty-six, producing goods valued at $2,696,000, employing some fourteen hundred operatives.  There were in this State, in 1875, -- all except five being located within the city -- 133 establishments for the manufacture of jewelry.  They employed (not including silver-workers, of whom there were 404), 2,784 hands, with an annual amount of wages of $1,752,422.  The total value of material used was $2,730,283; and the total value of products was $6,023,551.

Among the prominent firms from 1820 to 1840 were Sackett & Willard, Richardson, Hicks & Co., Joseph Veazie, Mathewson & Allen, Frost & Mumford, Church & Metcalf, Stone & Weaver, G. & S. Owen, and Davis & Babbett; and some of them remain in prosperous existence to-day.   The one man who did more perhaps than any other to advance the interests of the jewelry manufacture, was Adnah Sackett.  He began making jewelry in 1830, with Lloyd Shaw.  He was next in partnership with Hezekiah Willard.  Mr. Sackett was also associated with General Whittaker, and later with Messrs. Potter.   The firm now known as Sackett, Davis & Co., was formed in 1846, and although Mr. Sackett died in 1860, the firm goes on, and is one of the oldest jewelry establishments in the city.  Jewelry is made here, by the various manufacturers, out of gold, plate, jet, and horn.  Each of these substances is made into a similar class of articles, and each line of manufacture has its circle of custom and its growing trade.  In the amount of capital invested, and in the value of products, the gold jewelers lead the list.  We would like to give a detailed description of the process of manufacture, but time and space will not permit of a more extended review.

By the census report of 1875, we find that the number of places where jewelry was manufactured in the State, was 133;  value of real estate, $70,600;  value of tools and machinery, $529,283;  employing about 3,000 operatives, with a total amount of wages, of $1,752,422; value of all materials, $2,730,283, with a production amounting to $6,023,551.  The above figures show the extent of this branch of manufacture, and although the depression of the times, and the general stagnation of all kinds of business, has materially affected this branch of industry, nevertheless, its importance is felt and recognized by all classes, and it is hoped that the time is not far distant when it will be surrounded by more favorable circumstances.

The names of the prominent manufactures of this class of goods in the city, to-day, will be found under the Patrons' Historical Record of this work.


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Transcription 2004 by Beth Hurd, Images by Beth Hurd 2004
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