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REHOBOTH and ATTLEBORO. 241

gave the writer some reminiscences which will be of interest here.

"There was no jewelry manufactured in East Attleboro during my residence there. Before my going there Obed Robinson & Sons were doing quite a large business in gilt jewelry at Robinsonville. Most of their goods were sold in the southern states by Otis Robinson, who made many trips there with very good success. There were several, then or later, who made plated goods, — Draper & Tuft, Ira Richards & Co., Stephen Richardson, H. M. Richards, Richard Everett, Henry Blackinton, Felix G. Whitney, and others. In those days the great bazaar for the purchase and sale of jewelry by the trade was the Western Hotel, on Cortlandt Street, New York, where the manufacturers had rooms, and where the merchants met them. After a while one or two started offices on Maiden Lane and Broadway, near Cortlandt Street, and the rest soon followed; but they boarded at the Western Hotel, and continued to meet the trade there for some time. William Guild and Lewis Robinson at South Attleboro, and Henry Robinson & Co. at West Attleboro, were among the pioneers of the gilt jewelry business, and pursued it many years. The story used to be told of some of these pioneer manufacturers, that at one time they were returning from New York by steamboat, when a heavy storm overtook them, and they became very much frightened, and thought the boat was going down with all on board. One of them began to pray and promised the Almighty that if his life was spared he would be a better man, and make a better class of goods in future. In 1835 the largest manufactory in Attleboro, except the cotton mills, was Robinson’s gilt button factory, which employed more men than any jewelry concern. About 1845 some of the above-named firms began making plated jewelry. There was not any jewelry manufactured in East Attleboro up to the time when I moved to New York. Many firms at this time had offices in New York, where they sold their goods at a hundred per cent profit, on eight months’ time, taking notes in payment. In 1850 there was a great improvement in the character of the goods; and they have continued to improve up to the present day, so that goods made in the Attleboros are in demand in all markets. The jewelry to-day will compare .n quality and style with the very best."

The first jewelry made in the Attleboro of to-day was made by J. B. Draper, who after moved to Mansfield, the next town north, and became a member of the firm of Merritt & Draper. This firm was succeeded later by H. D. Merritt & Co. of 4orth Attleboro, who started about 1830. From 1830 to 185o new firms started, and the business began to assume some prominence.

The first firm established at North Attleboro was that of Draper & Tuft, composed of Josiah Draper and John Rift. In 1825 they began the manufacture of plated goods in one end of a blacksmith shop belonging to Mr. Tifft’s Father, which stood at the juncture of Washington and Park Streets, beside Ten Mile River. Later they built a factory, and did a good business in watch cases and seals.

As indicated in Mr. Draper’s letter, it was twenty years before the business assumed large proportions. The business was given quite an impetus during war times, and since then has grown rapidly, until to-day there are sixty or more firms in the jewelry business and its branches at North Attleboro, and as many more at Attleboro. At the latter place J. M. Bates has built up a large business in watch cases, and owns several factories besides the one where the cases are made. Two large factories have lately been completed in the same town. One of these, for R. F. Simmons & Co., celebrated chain makers, is two hundred and thirty-five feet long, three stories in height. This firm is not only a leading one for all kinds of chains, but makes a bewildering variety of guards, seals and lockets. The other factory, of nearly the same size, is W. H. Wilmarth & Co.’s —also large manufacturers and exporters.

There has been a great improvement in machinery for making jewelry, and the epithet "Attleboro jewelry" no longer conveys of necessity, as it once did, the idea of cheap quality. The use

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