Page 22 - Wire Rope News & Sling Technology
P. 22

continued from page 20             rod making machinery to Worcester.   mastermind beautifully. In 1846 Icha-
         afterwards in the Millbury Armory   Washburn oversaw the construction of a   bod made him partner with Henry S.
         learning to be a machinist. In 1822 he   building designed solely for the produc-  Washburn of the South Works. Philip
         partnered with Ichabod  Washburn to   tion of wire on the site of a dammed Mill   acted as a foil to Ichabod Washburn’s
         create the firm Washburn & Goddard.   Brook which created Salisbury Pond.   business  side,  Moen  aided in  increas-
         Together they would form the ground   Charles  Washburn  – who  outlived   ing the worth of the manufacturing
         work for one of the largest manufactur-  Ichabod by seven years – was Icha-  plant, helping to expand  it through
         ing plants in America.             bod’s twin brother and unlike Ichabod   various business transactions.
           In 1831, Ichabod Washburn started to   who was apprenticed at an early age,   He  held  the  office  of  President  of
         create iron wire. At the time iron wire   Charles  received  a formal education   Washburn  &  Moen  Manufacturing
         was not produced in large quantities.   and graduated from Brown University   Company  from 1865  until 1875  when
         On his first eye witness account of a ma-  in 1820. For the next fifteen years he   he became Treasurer  from 1875 until
         chine that was used to draw wire, he no-  would study and practice law in Maine.   his  death on April 23, 1891. He was
         ticed that the machine could only draw   In 1835 he relocated to Worcester,   best known for the courtesy he extend-
         out a foot of wire at a time, resetting   MA and partner with his brother in   ed to all of his employees without re-
         back to its original position with each   1840, only to leave the joint venture in   gard to their position in the company.
         pass through. With this method, Wash-  1849 to pursue the insurance business.   After a slow and steady start to wire
         burn noted that a man could not draw   For  1850 and 1851 he  would  serve   production in Worcester, an improved
         more than 50 pounds of wire a day.   as president of the Common Council   manufacturing technology, increasing
           He  then  decided to  improve upon   of Worcester  MA and as Director  of   product demand, and product diversifi-
         this process  by altering the drawing   Washburn  and Moen  Manufacturing   cation would fuel the expansion of wire
         block of the machine.  In doing so the   beginning in 1868  until his death on   production operations for the next sev-
         machine would pull out fifteen feet of   October 27, 1875.            eral  decades. Starting in  1847 a new
         wire each time, thereby increasing the   For a number of years Washburn’s   use  for wire  was developed, the tele-
         amount produced exponentially. Ac-  Wire Firm was operated jointly with   graph, and would require new produc-
         cording  to  Ichabod Washburn,  by im-  his brother, but by 1851 Philip Moen,   tion methods to suit its unique needs.
         proving the drawing block,  it would   Ichabod Washburn’s son in law, was   To improve quality, wire  rod billets
         increase production to allow for twenty   taken on as a partner. It was this part-  were purchased from Sweden and then
         five hundred pounds of iron wire to be   nership that truly allowed the busi-  rolled into a more suitable size in Fall
         produced each day.                 ness to flourish.                  River, Troy and Windsor Locks, CT.
           On January 30, 1835 the partner-   Philip Louis Moen possessed a keen   To locate the initial rolling processing
         ship of Washburn and Godard was dis-  eye for business, strict integrity and a   closer to the Grove St. plant, the land
         solved, Godard kept  the  Northville fa-  winning personality which he extended   and water rights of the facility on Lake
         cility for producing woolen machinery   to all employees, all of which combined   Quinsigamond were purchased gain-
         once again, while Godard relocated the   to complement Ichabod’s mechanical            continued on page 24





































         The Washburn & Moen Manufacturing Company, c1880 on Grove Street, showing Salisbury Pond in the foreground, from where the factory
         got water for its use. This factory complex, commonly known as North Works, was built over a period between 1863 and the early 1930’s. The
         largest portion of the complex had been built by about 1870. Plans had been made to expand the factory site, prior to Mr. Washburn’s death,
         in 1868. After his death, the company continued with those plans. Photo courtesy of the Boston Public Library
         22     Wire Rope News & Sling Technology   April 2018
   17   18   19   20   21   22   23   24   25   26   27