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Henshaw & Co. - Boston, MA


 
 

History Overview

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The tool making trades in 1832 Boston were represented in rather limited numbers.  The records in 1832 the Stimpson's Boston Directory show seventeen businesses involved in iron making and trading, one steel trader, one edge toolmaker, over thirty small hardware makers and traders, and one sawmaker. (1)

The Welch & Griffiths Saw Manufacturing Co. was established about late 1830 or early 1831 and comprised Charles Griffiths and William Welch, both from England, and Charles Reeves, a native of West Cambridge, MA. It is well known and documented facts that many sawmakers in America who came from England and established well functioning businesses, very often recruited English sawmakers to work at their businesses in America. Welch & Griffiths were not an exception and many of their employees came from England. In time, some of them became well known independent sawmakers and established prominent sawmaking enterprises.

It is worth of clarification that the location for Welch & Griffiths at Congress Street refers to their store and office only.  The manufacturing of saws and files was done at their factory in Arlington.  The following map shows their office in Boston on Congress Street and the image below the map shows their factory at Arlington.

By 1834 the landscape didn't change much.  Welch & Griffiths Manufacturing Co. dominated the field and it appears that they were the only organized sawmaking business in Boston. ( More on Welch & Griffiths)

There is another listing for a sawmaker, Henry Moseley, but there is no information indicating either his employment or  independent work.  It is possible that he was one of the first employees of Welch & Griffiths. James Mills is listed as a sawfiler with no indication of his employment either.

Other trades related to tools are represented by substantial advertisement for C. Hammond, a hammer and edge tools maker, and over 40 hardware makers/traders listings.


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