Rev. Thaddeus Fiske was one of the Cambridge School Committee in 1795.—Paige.
1796Mention is made in the Precinct records of money subscribed for the purpose of purchasing a bass-viol. In the following year (1797) a suitable place was built in the meetinghouse to keep the bass-viol.
1799It was put to vote in the Precinct, whether any assistance should be granted for the encouragement of singing, and it passed in the affirmative, and fifty dollars were granted under charge of a committee. In 1799 the standing committee divide the ground, and make one half the fence between the Burying Ground and Mr. Whittemore's estate. A card manufactory was set up in this Precinct by William Whittemore & Co. in 1799.
Dr. Holmes, in his History of Cambridge (1801), speaking of a card factory ‘which does great honor to American ingenuity,’ in the Northwest Parish of the town, says: ‘On the first of September, 1799, William Whittemore and company commenced business. Twenty-three machines, now in operation, stick two hundred dozen pairs of cards, on an average, every week. Forty persons, male and female, employed in this manufactory, complete the above mentioned number weekly, for sale. The building in which the whole work is done is 46 feet square; and the, average price of the cards is 7 dollars per dozen pairs.’The origin of this business was the invention of an ingenious machine for making cotton and wool cards by Amos Whittemore, one of the above company, by which was realized (for the time) great wealth. See sketch in the Genealogical Register of this work, under Amos Whittemore. This card factory was a most important affair in building up the town of West Cambridge. By removal of the business to New York, about 1812, a depressing effect on the people here was experienced, and in the words of a valued correspondent, ‘it was a terribly dull place for several years.’ About 1827, Gershom and Henry Whittemore, sons of the inventor, commenced business in West Cambridge, having purchased machines of their uncle Samuel Whittemore, of New York. Their factory was destroyed by fire in 1862. 11