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         philosophical  reason  for such  instruc-
         tion. Washburn’s time – learnings and
         functions – as a deacon never strayed
         far from his work in industrial instruc-
         tion, or perhaps invention.  He, along
         with John Boynton, another prominent
         Worcester industrialist, he founded the
         Worcester County Free Institute of In-
         dustrial Science in 1865.
           The school’s name was later changed
         to Worcester Polytechnic Institute. The
         collaboration  between  Boynton,  who
         wanted to teach  science,  and Wash-
         burn, who wanted to teach vocational
         skills,  led to the university’s philoso-  The Ichabod Washburn House (Ichabod’s boyhood home) in Kingston, MA. A plaque on
         phy of “theory and practice.”        the house says “circa 1720.” Photo courtesy of Peggy Clark, Photographer, Washburn University
           In the second half of the eighteenth
         century Worcester, MA was the pre-  for the wire business, almost creating   role in the wire industry, this industrial
         miere Wire producing city in the world.   a monopoly in its specialty. The mas-  complex, known as the Quinsigamond
         The North Works factory, located  in   sive growth started with very humble   Iron & Wire Works, was also called
         Worcester,  Massachusetts,  has  been  a   beginnings,  starting  with  two  gentle-  “South Works.” In 1850, Washburn and
         focal point for much of the city’s history.   men and increasing its workforce to the   Moen Company introduced wire manu-
         Early in the Industrial Revolution, the   thousands.                  facturing at South Works. It was the first
         North Works Station was one of the only   Washburn  had always  dreamed of   American company to produce telegraph
         manufacturers of wire in the nation.   setting up a vocational school for me-  wire  and  piano  wire  and  was  a  major
           Over the years it grew and expanded,   chanics. When he heard of John Boyn-  manufacturer of wire rope and cable.
         supporting many of the people of the   ton’s  proposed gift, he  came forward   Ichabod Washburn came to Worces-
         city.  At one  point almost twelve per-  with a proposal of his own – for a fully   ter in 1820 and started wire  drawing
         cent of Worcester’s population benefit-  equipped machine shop where indigent   in 1831. His process for the continuous
         ed from the company’s success. In time,   and deserving  young  men would  be   drawing of wire gave birth to the mod-
         the company was  able to reach  into   trained as mechanics. The two propos-  ern wire industry.
         different markets allowing  for  more   als were combined – Washburn’s dona-  Washburn established his factory on
         growth  generating more prosperity.   tion going for the establishment of the   Grove Street, opposite Salisbury Pond,
         Through  many mergers the building   Washburn Machine Shop.           in 1834 and in 1850; the Washburn &
         became a part of a nationwide market   Associated  with  Worcester’s  leading   Moen Company introduced wire manu-
         The Washburn & Moen Manufacturing Company. Standing the test  of time, it remains  a   facturing at South Works. It was the
         monument to the legacy of the great inventor/engineer that bears his name.  first  American  company  to  produce
         Photo courtesy of Peggy Clark, Photographer, Washburn University      telegraph wire and piano wire and was
                                                                               a major manufacturer of wire rope and
                                                                               cable. The business, once the largest of
                                                                               its kind in the United States, manufac-
                                                                               tured all kinds of wire, from barbed wire
                                                                               to piano wire to ladies’ corsets. Wash-
                                                                               burn and Moen eventually became part
                                                                               of American Steel and Wire Company.
                                                                                 Washburn, one of the founders of the
                                                                               Worcester  Mechanics  Association  and
                                                                               principle donor of Mechanics Hall, Me-
                                                                               morial  Hospital and Worcester  Poly-
                                                                               technic Institutive, was one of the city’s
                                                                               first manufacturers when he opened up
                                                                               a  ramrod shop  in  Worcester  in  1819.
                                                                               He was often mentioned to have had
                                                                               a desire for improving all things me-
                                                                               chanical,  always improving upon cur-
                                                                               rent designs to make them faster, more
                                                                               efficient and more reliable.
                                                                                 Meanwhile, Benjamin Godard helped
                                                                               his  farming and tanning father,  on
                                                                               their homestead as well as nurtur-
                                                                               ing his own mechanical talent. He left
                                                                               the family business  in 1812  in an at-
                                                                               tempt to become successful on his own
                                                                               merits; first he worked on a farm, and
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