Charles Nutt.

History of Worcester and its people (Volume 2) online

. (page 56 of 63)
Online LibraryCharles NuttHistory of Worcester and its people (Volume 2) → online text (page 56 of 63)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


Kendall.

Walker Magnetic Chuck and Grinder Company. — See biography of the founder,
Oakley S. Walker, president.

Organ builders. — See E. H, Loring.

Geo. C. Whitney Co., makers of valentines ; Warren A. Whitney.

Pond Machine & Foundry Co. — See M. T. O'Leary.

Wiley-Bickford-Sweet Co. — Ernest A. Bickford and Walter A. Sweet.

Weber Piano Co. — See Carl A. Carlson.

Norton Emery Wheel Company. — A corporation composed of Milton P. Higgins,
Geo. I. Alden, Walter L. Messer, Horace A. Young and Fred H. Daniels, organized
June 20, 1885, bought the patents of Francis B. Norton and began to make emery
wheels. In July, 1886. the company began to erect works at Barber's Crossing, and the
building was occupied in the following winter. W. L. Messer was general agent. In
1887 the company advertised in the city directory: "Manufacturers of emery and
corundum wheels, emery wheel machinery, etc." "These wheels contain nothing but
cutting properties. Free from dust or smell. Will not glaze or fill up. Are of great
endurance on hard work. Will work equally well wet or dry. Factory and main
office (cut shows the original building). West Boylston street. City office with Kin-
nicutt & Co., 420 Main street. New York office, 39 John street." The plant had 1,728
feet of floor space and two kilns. Changes in 1892 made the list of officers as fol-
lows: Pres., Milton P. Higgins; Treas.. Geo. I. .\lden ; Sec'y and Gen. Mgr., Chas.

W.— 1-68.



,o74 HISTORY OF WORCESTER

L. Allen; Jno. Jeppson, gen. supt. Since then Aldus C. Higgins, Geo. N. Jeppson
and R. Sanford Riley have been added to the board of directors. The present corpo-
ration, the Norton Company, succeeded the original company. Chas. L. Allen is treas-
urer and general manager. The plant has been e.xtended from time to time and is now
one of the largest in the city, thoroughly modern both in buildings and equipment. In
1906 an artificial abrasive alundum superseded, and another artificial product, crysto-
lon. has come into use since 1910. The Norton Co. manufactures grinding wheels; the
Norton Grinding Company the grinding machinery. The plants are on New Bond
street, Greendale. The company has excellent railroad facilities.

The Reed-Prentice Company, incorporated Feb. 3, 1912, was formed of four indus-
tries and the Crompton Associates. The F. E. Reed Co., capital $100.000 ; the Pren-
tice Bros. Co. ; Reed Foundry Co., Reed & Curtis Machine Screw Machine Co., were
absorbed. The company manufactures a complete line of drills and lathes. The
original capital was $2,500,000. In 1914 this was reduced to $2,000,000. The shops of
the Crompton Associates on Cambridge St. occupied by the Prentice Bros. Co. were
purchased. In October, 1912, the Reed & Curtis Screw Dept. was sold to J. Vernon
Critchley, who organized the Critchley Machine Screw Co., which was succeeded by
the R. B. Phillips Mfg. Co. During 1913-14 new automatic lathe was developed. The
business was run to capacity during the European War. The company employs about
1200 hands and has a floor space of nearly 300,000 feet.

Officers in 1912: Pres., Geo. F. Fuller; Vice-Prests., Fred. E. Reed, Vernon F.
Prentice ; Sec'y and Treas., Geo. Crompton ; Gen. Mgr., Albert E. Newton. In Feb-
ruary, 1915, Lucius J. Knowles was elected president, Geo. F. Fuller and Albert E.
Newton, vice-prests. In November, 1915, new interests gained control and the fol-
lowing were elected: Pres., Robt. F. Herrick, of Boston; Treas., Jeremiah J. Mackin;
Vice-Pres., Albert E. Newton; Directors: Mr. Herrick, Mr. Newton, Henry P. Ken-
dall, Robt. C. Morse, Geo. C. Lee, Frank A. Drury and Dr. Homer Gage. Jos. W.
Lund became treasurer and Leroy W. Ware asst. treas. on Jan. i, 1916. and Malcolm
F. Donald a director in place of Dr. Gage, Robt. C. Morse being elected a vice-president.

In January, 1916, the plants of the Aver Machine Tool Co., Ayer, Mass., and of
the Brown Cotton Gin Co., New London, Conn., were purchased and the equipment
applied to the manufacture of lathes and drilling machines at Ayer, and lathes, surface
grinders and printing presses at New London.

Standard Plunger Elevator Company. — The Standard Plunger Elevator Com-
pany is a typical Worcester iiistitution. The initial development of the modern plunger
elevator occurred at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute. The business was removed
from the Institute and merged with the Otis Elevator Co., at Greendale. Fred A.
Jones of Worcester interested capital and the Standard Plunger Elevator Company
was incorporated under the laws of New Jersey, August 15, 1902. The construction
of the Company's Plant at 243 Stafford street, the main building being I5o'x35o', was
commenced Nov. ist, 1902, although work on the first contract, an equipment of eleva-
tors for the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel, Philadelphia, was started Sept. 28th, 1902. The
capital stock of the Company was $6,000,000 common stock. The officers were: Wm.
H. Woodin, pres. ; Jno. Sherman Hoyt, treas. ; Fred A. Jones, gen. mgr. ; Lloyd G.
Hagenbuch, auditor; Thure Larsson. chief engineer; M. B. Walls, construction supt.
Directors : Wm. H. Woodin, Jno. S. Hoyt, Fred .\. Jones, W. E. D. Stokes, Francis
Slade, Henry R. Hoyt.

The product of the company was manufactured from inventions and designs fur-
nished principally by Thure Larsson of W'orcester. Shortly after the company was incorpo-
rated it received the largest single contract for elevators ever awarded, amounting to more
than a million dollars for elevators in the Wanamakers Stores in New York and
Philadelphia. During the succeeding years the Company equipped a great number of
the finest office buildings, hotels, railroad stations and store buildings in the United
States and Canada. Prominent among these are: Broadway-Courtland, Trinity and



AND ITS PEOPLJl



10/5



U. S. Realty buildings, New York; Harris Trust and Webster buildings, Chicago;
Railroad building, St. Paul ; Slater building, Worcester ; Plaza Hotel, Knickerbocker,
Vanderbilt and Bancroft hotels, Worcester; Grand Central and Pennsylvania Terminal
Stations, New York; Lord & Taylor Co. and Tiffany Stores, New York; Robert
Simpson Company, Ltd., Toronto, Canada. Some of these elevators have a car speed
of 1000 feet per minute, and some a rise of 355 feet; there has never been an accident
due to structural weakness.

The Company has always maintained a New York office and at different times
offices in other cities. The total number of men employed, including those on construc-
tion work, varies from 200 to 500. In 1904 the company started the development of a
complete line of automatic push button controlled plunger elevators and electric dumb
waiters from inventions and designs furnished by Edward Lee Dunn of Worcester,
and as a result of this work the Company has to its credit a large number of the best
installations of automatic elevators in existence. As many as twenty-live of these
automatic elevators are installed in a single building, and practically all of New York's
finest hotels are equipped with these machines. Every book handled by the New
York Public Library is carried by these machines ; likewise is all baggage handled
by the Pennsylvania Railroad Station, New York.

Although the Company owns or controls fifty or more patents covering all branches
of elevator work, it was compelled to defend at great cost a number of patent suits,
which it did most always successfully. In 1907 the capital stock was reduced to
$2,200,000.00; $1,200,000.00 to common stock. $600,000.00 first preferred, and $400,000.00
second preferred. After almost continuous patent litigation the Company went into a
voluntary receivership, Feb. 25, 1914. The receivers were Howard H. Williams and
Albert C. Walls of New York.

The Company was again reorganized Aug. i, 1914, under the laws of Massa-
chusetts, capital stock $750,000.00. The new officers were : A. Bradley Burgess, pres. ;
Lloyd G. Hagenbuch, treas. ; Edward Lee Dunn, sec'y. Directors: A. Bradley Bur-
gess, Edward Lee Dunn, Thos. T. Booth. In 1916 the Powell Machine Co. was
absorbed with the idea of balancing the factory work by the manufacture of machine
tools as well as elevators. In 1917 the General Elevator Co. of New York was
absorbed, its president, William Noble Dickinson becoming president of the Standard
Plunger Elevator Company.

From the start of the war the Standard Plunger Elevator Company rendered note-
worthy service to the government by manufacturing a large number of machine tools
as well as a great deal of special elevator machinery required for war purposes. At
the present time (January, 1918), the Company's future appears brighter than it has
ever been. All patent litigation ended with the receivership. The plant is modern
in every respect and equipped with every improved facility for manufacturing, and
only the best of Worcester's skilled mechanics are employed. The reputation of the
company as manufacturers ranks at the top for the single reason that it has invariably
met the spirit and letter of every contract that it has undertaken, representing millions
of dollars, with the result that the Standard Plunger Elevator Company of Worcester,
Massachusetts, is recognized everywhere as a Company that furnishes only the best
in engineering skill, workmanship and material. Officers: Wm. Noble Dickinson,
pres. : A. Bradley Burgess, vice-pres. and gen. mgr. ; Lloyd G. Hagenbuch, sec'y
and treas. Directors: Edward Wylde, Wm. Noble Dickinson, Albert Martin, W.
Herman Greul, Russell F. Thomas.

William Allen & Sons, manufacturers of steam boilers. Est. 1874.
American Card Clothing Co., Henry Ashworth, treas., 93 Grafton St. Est. 1786
by Pliny Earle; Silas Earle ; Timothy K. Earle (See biog.) ; T. K. Earle & Co.;
T. K. Earle Mfg. Co., 1880. (See Edwin Brown).

Arcade Malleable Iron Co., malleable iron and steel castings. Est. 1850 by War-
ren McFarland.



loyb HISTORY OF WORCESTER

Baker Box Co. ; Charles Baker, pres. and treas. ; 84 Foster St. Est. by Chas. .
Baker, 1855; wholesale lumber, 1862; Chas. Baker & Co., 1865; mfg. dept., 1869.
Charles Baker was born in Phillipston, 1828; came here in 1855; with Waite, Chad-
sey & Co., 1855. William James Baker, born 1821, in Phillipston; came here in 18+2;
with Waite, Chadsey & Co. iron foundry, 1850-53; in partnership with C. Baker, 1865.

Barnard Bros Co., trunks and bags. Est. 1876.

B. Joseph Bertels; est. 1879; cooked meats. (See B. J. Bertels).

J. F. Bicknell Lumber Co. ; est. by John Francis Bicknell, 1882. He was born in
Patosi, Wis., 1836; came here in 1872; partner of E. B. Crane & Co., 1872-82.

J. W. Bishop Co.; Herbert N. Leach, treas.; 109 Foster St. (.See J. W. Bishop).
Cutting & Bishop, est. 1879; 31 Central St.; building contractors.

F. S. Blanchard & Co., printers; now owned by Commonwealth Press. (See O.

B. Wood). Successors of Sargent & Wilson, 1872; Blanchard & Wilson, 1879; F. S.
Blanchard & Co., 1882.

Bowler Bros. Co. ; brewers ; Quinsigamond Ave. and Lafayette St. John Bowler,
born in Ipswich, Eng., 1854: came here in 1883; Alex. Bowler, born 1857, in Ip -
swich, Eng. ; came here in 1883.

H. A. Bowman & Co.; tents and awnings; est. by H. A. Bowman, 1862. Brown,
Bowman & Co., 1863; Brown & Bowman. 1868; H. A. Bowman, 1870: H. A. Bow-
man & Co., 1882; H. A. Bowman, 1884. Henry A. Bowman born in Waltham. 1838;
came here in 1851.

Bradley Car Works ; est. 1832.

Henry Brannon & Sons (Henry G. and Roger W.) ; Wood-workers; 37 \o.
Foster. Mr. Brannon born 1850; came here in 1866; succeeded J. M. Goodellin, 1874.

George L. Brownell, twisting machinery ; 49 Union St. He was born in E. Had-
dam. Conn., 1854 ; was with Brownell & Co., Moodus, Conn., 1866-74 ; invented twist-
ing machinery 1878, and began to manufacture 1881 at 57 Union; moved to 16 Union.

A. Burlingame Co., Steam power plants. Formerly made steam engines ; Earl

C. Hopkins, treas.; est. 1866, succeeding Washburn Steam Works, 131 Canal St.; at 68
School St., 1879-83; at 22 Cypress St. since 1883. .■\braham Burlingame, born Killingly,
Conn., 1841 ; came here 1864; Washburn Steam Co., 1868-72.

William H. Burns Co.; Reginald W. Clarke, mgr. ; 90 Franklin. Manufacturer
women's underwear. Est. 1883 by Baker & Burns; 94-98 Front St. John S. Baker,
born Hyde Park, 1846 ; lived in \ew York ; William H. Burns, born Charlestown,
1856; came here in 1883.

Crompton Loom Works (Crompton & Knowles Loom Works) ; est. 1840. (See
George Crompton).

Drew. .Mlis Co.; Directory publishers (Chas. C. Drew, Chas. D'W. Marcy,
Wm. E. Murdock); 518 Main. C. C. Drew. 1867; Drew, Allis Co., 1872. Charles
C. Drew, born at Plymouth, 1839; came here in 1871. Gardner Samuel Allis, born
in Port Byron, N. Y., 1844; came here in 1871.

Thomas D. Gard Co., Inc.; .\lfred D. Howarth, pres. and treas.; Manufacturing
jewelers; 393 Main St. Est. 1867 by Thos. Dappleton Gard, born in St. John, N. B.,
1833: came here 1864. Est. 1867.

Graton & Kinght Mfg. Co. Est. 1851 ; by T. K. Earle (See 'I". K. Earle, Henry C.
Graton, W. M. Spaulding).

Hammond Reed Co.; Rich. H. Hammond, pres.; organ-reed manufacturers;
9 May St.; est. 1851. Augustus Rice & Co., 1853; Rice & Harrington, 1858; Estey
& Holbrook, 1859; A. Davis & Co., i860; A. H. Hammond. 1868; Hammond &
Goodcll. 1872.

George F. Hewett Co., bottlers ; Jas. T. Doyle, pres. ; 41-45 Waldo St. ; Est. i860.

Hey wood Boot & Shoe Co., 70 Winter ; est. 1864 by S. R. Heywood ; formerly S.
R. Heywood & Co. Oscar Phillips, partner at one time, born in Danvers. 1833 ; came
here in 1869.



AND ITS PEOPLE 1077

W. H. Hill Envelope Co., Division United States Envelope Co. Founded by Dr.
R. L. Hawes, 1846; Jonathan Grout; Hartshorn & Trumbull; Trumbull Waters &
Co.; Trumbull & Hartshorn; Hill, Devoe & Co. 1865; W. H. Hill, 1875. Wade
Hampton Hill, born in New York City ; came here in 1865.

William Hovey, manufacturer; came in 1811 and built a tour-story factory in
South Worcester in 181J, manufacturing woolen machinery on land bought of Israel
Whitney. He lived in a tenement in one end of the factory until 1818, when he built
the mansion on Front St.. sold by him to Osgood Bradley, then the finest dwelling house
in town. Here Ichabod Washburn boarded when an apprentice for Mr. Hovey, 1819-
21. Hovey sold his factory in 1822 to William B. Fox, who began his manufacturing
there. Hovey also built the house afterward occupied by Anthony Chase, and he
built the United States Hotel.

Howard Bros. Mfg. Co.; card clothing; Herbert Midgley, pres. ; 44-46 Vine St.;
formerly Howard Bros., 1869; Howard & Farnsworth, 1867. Charles Alfred Howard,
born in Leicester, 1827 ; came here in 1856. Albert Houghton Howard, born Worces-
ter, N. Y., 1843; came here in 1867. John Putnam Howard, born in Leicester. 1830;
came here in 1855.

Iver Johnson Sporting Goods Co.; Herbert P. Emory, mgr, ; 304 Main St.;
formerly Iver Johnson & Co., est. 1871 as Johnson & Bye. (See Iver Johnson).

Smith Kendall, manufacturer; came from Pomfret, Conn., bringing stock and
began to manufacture chairs. His first shop was in Maj. Healey's Hall, afterward
Burnside Hall, rear of 199 Main St. as numbered in 1870. Samuel M. Burnside had
office and residence on this location many years. About 1822 Kendall removed to build-
ing formerly on site of Piper building, over store of William Harrington, remov-
ing April I. 1827. to second story of building on Front St., where the old
theatre building afterward stood. In 1842 he sold out his manufacturing business and
as late as 1870 was engaged in painting chairs. In later years he worked for others.
He made chairs here before they were made at Gardner or elsewhere in the county.

Knowles Loom Works; est. at Warren. 1863; moved here 1866. (See Lucius
Knowles and Francis Knowles).

Logan Swift & Brigliam Envelope Co. Division of U. S. Envelope Co.: Louis
H. Buckley, mgr.: 75 Grove St.; Est. 1884. (See las. Logan, Jno. S. Brigham. Louis
H. Buckley).

Lombard Machine Co.; cor. StaiTord and Heard Sts. ; Jas. J. Rae, treas. ; mfrs.
woolen and worsted carding machines. N. A. Lombard & Co., were mfrs. of woolen
machinery. Est. 1823 by Washburn & Goddard ; Willard & Williams, 1851-53; F.
Willard & Co.. 1856-61 ; Bickford & Lombard, 1861-66.

Mason Brush Works; est. 1853; by Ellis & Thayer. 1870; became Ellis, Thaver &
Co., 1878.

Charles I. Newton, book binder. 25 Foster St. ; successor to Milliken & Newton ;
Sanford & Co., 1880; Chas. G. Milliken born in Portland, Me., 1839; partner, 1880.
Chas. I. Newton, born here 1853; with Sanford & Co., 1870-80; partner, 1880.

Morgan Spring Co. ; Evan F. Jones, mgr. ; Greendale, formerly at 24 Lincoln St. ;
est. 1879 by F. H. Morgan; inc. 1881. (See Paul B. Morgan).

National Mfg. Co. ; Evan F. Jones, mgr. ; Wire goods ; 19 Union St. Incorporated
1874 by consolidation of Hildreth & Johnson, B. B. Hill & Son and Howe. Bigelow &
Co. Jabez Bigelow established the business in 1834; succeeded by Myers, Bigelow &
Co., 1866. William B. Hill, born in Millbury ; treas. from 1874.

Norcross Bros. Co., builders; Evan F. Jones, pres.; 10 E. Worcester St. (See
Orlando W. Norcross).

Pero Foundry Co. ; Prespey Pero, pres. ; 23 Hermon St. ; est. 1861.

Prentice Brothers (Reed-Prentice), mfrs. of lathes.

Rice Barton & Fales Machine & Iron Co., inc. 1867; mfrs. of paper making
machinery ; Geo. S. Barton, pres. and treas. ; 65 Taintor St. ; office formerly at 777



10/8



HISTORY Of WORCESTER



Foster St.; works at Foster and Union Sts. (See Geo. S. Barton). Geo. Bentley
Witter, born in Worcester; with H. M. Witter & Co., 1874-80; with Rice, Barton &
Fales from 1880, clerk of company. Lewis Cutting Stone born in Auburn; came here
1845, when he entered employ of company.

Royal Worcester Corset Company, David H. Fanning, pres. ; 30 Wyman St. ; est.
by D. H. Fanning & Co., 1861.

Thomas Smith Co., Frank H. Howard, pres.; 13 Cypress; bolts and nuts; est.

i8ss-

Stewart Boiler Works (C. Stewart & Son); Albany St.; formerly at 179 Union
St.; successors to Stewart & Dillon, 1864; Worcester Boiler Works, 1869. Bought
boiler works of Rice Barton & Fales, 1870. (See Charles Stewart).

Thbmas & Co. Inc., Rich. G. Dick, pres.; cabinet-makers; no Exchange St.;
formerly at 26 North Foster. (See Richard G. Dick).

J. R. Torrey Razor Co.; inc. 1880 (See biog. Jos. Turner, L. H. Torrey, J. R.
Torrey & Co!, est. 1858 by Jos. R. Torrey).

Tucker & Rice (Wm. F. Tucker and W. C. Rice); plumbers; 165 Commercial
St.; N. G. Tucker & Son, 51 Pleasant St.; est. 1846; successors to E. Tucker &
Son, 1848, and N. G. Tucker, 1879. Nath. Gates Tucker, born here 1825; apprenticed
to E. Tucker, and partner 1846-48, when he became sole prop. William F. Tucker, born
1858; teacher 1877-79; partner, 1879.

J. F. & W. H. Warren Co.; J. Frederick Warren, treas. ; belting; Arctic St.;
est. 1881. J. F. & C. G. Warren, 195 Front St. John Fred Warren born in Auburn,
1847; Chas. Goulding Warren, born here 1855, began business in 1881.

Washburn & Moen Mfg. Co. (See American Steel & Wire Co.).

J. S. Wesby & Sons, 25 Foster St.; (Herbert and Edward Wesby) ; book-bind-
ers; est. 1847.

Whitcomb-Blaisdell Machine Tool Co.; Chas. E. Hildreth, pres. and gen. mgr. ;
134 Gold St. (See Chas. E. Hildreth). P. Blaisdell & Co., est. 1865, 62 Jackson St.
John Paul Jones, born Columbus, Ga., 1839, came here, 1857; was with George Cromp-
ton, 1857-60; Lathe & Morse, 1860-65; with P. Blaisdell 1865-68; partner, 1868.
Enoch Earle, born here, 1843, worked in wire mill, 1858; in New Jersey, 1861-63; for
Ball & Williams, 1864-65; Kniffen & Harrington, mowing machines, 1865-66; R. Ball
& Co., 1866-69; P. Blaisdell, 1869-75; partner, 1875.

Whitcomb Envelope Co., Division U. S. Envelope Co. ; Geo. W. Brooks, mgr. ;
est. 1865 by G. Henry Whitcomb.

White, Pevey & Dexter Co.; Aaron F. Whittemore, treas.; pork packers; 13
Bridge St. and Putnam Lane; formerly 201 Front St. Successors to White & Hough-
ton, 1866; White, Houghton & Co., 1868; White, Pevey & Dexter, 1872. Edwin Ches-
ter Dexter born in Albany, N. Y., 1845; came here in 1871.

George C. Whitney Co., valentine nifrs. ; Warren A. Whitney, pres.; 67 Union
St.; est. by Geo. C. Whitney, 1865, 184 Front St. (See Warren A. Whitney).

Matthew J. Whittall, carpets; Brussels St.; Worcester Carpet Company, formerly
Crompton Carpet Co. ; est. 1870. William J. Hogg, born Philadelphia ; succeeded his
father as carpet manufacturer; came here in 1879. The interests of Mr. Hogg were
purchased by Mr. Whittall.

Oliver B, Wood (Commonwealth Press), 25 Foster St.; printing; est. 1872 by
Sanford & Co.; Sanford & Wood, 1883. (See O. B. Wood).

Worcester Electric Light Co., inc. 1883.

Worcester Malleable Iron Co., est. 1883 (see H. Paul Buckingham). Jos. Parker
Mason, former president, born here 1848; was in iron and steel business. Front St.
Chas. H. Bowker, born West Upton, 1848, came here i8;6, was a partner of S. R.
Leiand. piano dealer, thirteen years. Olof Ragner Gottfried Lundberg, born in Stock-
holm, Sweden, 1855; graduated from Falun School of Mines, 1877; and Stockholm
School of Mines, 1879; came to Worcester, 1882; partner, 1883.



AND ITS PEOPLE 1079

Worcester Coal Mine. — The anthracite coal deposits near the junction of Lincoln
and Plantation streets, now known as the Old Coal Mine, were put to use in 1823 and at first
the Worcester coal seemed better than Lehigh. In 1824 an attempt was made to form
the Massachusetts Coal Company. Mining went on and the coal was used in the
Worcester Brewery of Trumbull & Ward and in Burbank's paper mill. Coal from the
land of William E. Green was burned in the brewery in 1827. By November, 1828, a
shaft twelve feet wide, eight feet high, had been carried into the hill about sixty feet
and a railway laid to transport the coal. In February, 1829, the Worcester Coal Com-
pany was incorporated, and in March of the same year the Worcester Railway Com-
pany with a capital of $50,000 to build a railway from the mine to the Lake and Black-
stone Canal. But soon afterward the whole enterprise was abandoned.

There was another attempt to work the coal mine in 1897. Silas E. Harthan was
employed by some capitalists to reopen the mine after it had been abandoned for sev-
enty years. He found it forty feet deep and full of water. He pumped out 200,000
gallons and took out about twenty tons of coal. He burned some of the coal in his
own furnace. It was found to be mixed with graphite and other impurities, and
the conclusion was reached that the mine could not be operated profitably on account
of the inferior quality of the coal.

In 1856 peat was used as fuel in the wire mills, and in three years 2,000 cords
were consumed. In April, 1856, the Worcester Peat Company was formed. Evidently
coal became cheaper as a fuel after the railroads to Pennsylvania were built, and peat
was abandoned. The deposits of peat in the city are very large.



CHAPTER I.XXXI
Mercantile Business

The first stores in Worcester were of the type still known as general
or country stores, stocked with groceries, dry goods, farming imple-
ments; in other words, with the goods that farmers bought. The stock
of the old Salisbury and Waldo stores in 1800 was not unlike that of the
typical country stores of today, except that most of the stock was
imported, and no-license has eliminated at least one profitable article,
rum, from the merchant's stock of recent years.

The contrast in the advertising in the Spy from 1775 to 1825 and
that of the past fifty years is very striking. The early advertisements
were mostly special notices of changes in the firm, or location; of a spe-
cial invoice of salt, dry goods, hardware. The type was small and set
solid. Sometimes the same advertisement ran for months. Daniel
W'aldo appears to have been the first to appreciate the value of regular
advertising before 1800. About 1810 and afterward, the merchants used
advertising more regularly, and much information for this work has been
gathered from the advertising columns. In fact, the various notices
inserted as advertising in the early decades of the nineteenth century
furnish more valuable information for the historian than the scanty
local column of news in the newspapers of Worcester. At holidays and
in the spring many stores advertised. The Leicester, Shrewsbury, Graf-
ton and even Athol merchants advertised in the Spy until the railroads
were built.

Before the canal was opened in 1829, merchants drove to Boston or
Providence for their goods, taking produce for the farmers. The open-
ing of railroads revolutionized business and methods. After 1830 the
trade of the general store declined and the special stores took the lead.



Online LibraryCharles NuttHistory of Worcester and its people (Volume 2) → online text (page 56 of 63)