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[p. 45] He is said to have constructed more than fifty thousand hat bodies per year. Thomas R. Peck & Co. had, on Mystic avenue, a factory for making fur (commonly called beaver) hats, of which the product some years had been about ten thousand, valued at about $40,000. But soon after the time of which we write, that department of industry was entirely ruined by the growing popularity and sale of the silk variety which, having been then a few years upon the market, obtained and held undisputed sway till a new style, with low crowns, was set by Kossuth on his visit to the United States in December, 1851. In 1837 George L. and Henry L. Stearns commenced, on Union street, the manufacture of linseed oil from seed purchased in Calcutta. In one year they made 13,500 gallons from 7,300 bushels of seed. January 30, 1849,1 their factory was burned and never rebuilt. Its tall chimney was afterwards moved intact across the branch canal to the shipyard of J. O. Curtis, where it now stands, minus a few of its top bricks. The tide mill on Riverside avenue, recently managed by F. E. Foster & Co., was simply a grist mill in 1847, and was run by Gershom Cutter. All the above named industries, so far as Medford is concerned, are now ‘things of the past,’ but the famous Withington Bakery, carried on by machinery and without the use of fagots; the more famous Lawrence Distillery, by greatly improved methods; the Teel Carriage Factory, immensely enlarged, and the South Medford brick-making, by the ancient methods, all of which were then prosperous, are still in successful operation, but under different owners.
1 ‘Loss, $12,000; insurance, $8,000.’ Boston Post, February 1, 1849.
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