Oliver Ames & Sons were making plows at Worcester then;
J. M. C. Armsby made cultivators, harrows and rakes . Paper making
machinery was being produced by Rice, Barton & Co., and G. Henry
Whitcomb was fashioning paper into envelopes. The famous Wheelock
engine was under production, and boilers were being fabricated by
Stewart & Dillon.
Winslow skates, Torrey razors, Wesson and Allen, and Wheelock firearms
were well-known products. Osgood Bradley & Co. built fine carriages
and cars. Carriages were also being built by 0. Blood & Sons, Tolman &
Russell, and others. Taylor & Farley organs and melodeons were
ornaments of many a front parlor.
There was also a large production of boots and shoes, chiefly
boots. Prior to 1868 practically all footwear was handmade. The names
Heywood, Walker, and Wesson were familiar in this industry for many
years. There was also some leather tanning, and the firm of Graton &
Knight had been organized a few years before for the production of
It was altogether fitting that such a center should be the seat of an
industrial school. Not only did it provide at close hand a great
laboratory for student inspection, but within the walls of these
factories there would undoubtedly develop opportunities for the
employment of graduates.
Thus much digression from the course of the Institute's story may be
permissible in order to supply a background upon which to sketch its
beginnings, and to describe the community in which teachers and
students of the Institute were to live, a community of diversified and
thriving industries, good homes, and God-fearing people, who had not
yet departed far from the art of living simply.