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Manufacturers Index - Cole Manufacturing Co.
History
Last Modified: Dec 14 2010 3:22PM by Jeff_Joslin
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The history of this little-known New Hampshire firm can be traced back at least as far as the 1850s, and probably earlier. In 1857, Benjamin Cole bought his father Isaac Cole's foundry business in Lake Village, NH; his two older brothers had been shareholders before Benjamin bought them out. In 1873 the business incorporated as Cole Manufacturing Co. It is not known what comprised this firm's product lineup, but it did include a lag-bed (i.e., moving-bed) planer.

It is not known when this firm ceased making woodworking machines and ceased doing business. They were still in business in 1883.

Information Sources

  • A note in the April, 1886 issue of Manufacturer & Builder says that "The Cole Manufacturing Co. will erect at Lake Village, N. H., a machine shop, 50 by 81 feet in size and three stories high."
  • Here is an excerpt from a genealogy site that mentions this firm: "Benjamin James Cole born 28 Sep 1814, Franconia, Belknap Co., New Hampshire, married 17 Jun 1838, in Belknap Co., New Hampshire, Mehitable A. Batchelder, born Lake Village, Belknap Co., New Hampshire, (daughter of Nathan Batchelder and Peace Clifford). Benjamin died after 1885, Gilford, Belknap Co., New Hampshire. In a biographical sketch of him in the book, History of Merrimack and Belknap Counties, New Hampshire, Benjamin J. Cole became sole proprietor of the foundry business established by his father at Lake Village, when he purchased the shares of his older brothers John and Isaac, Jr. in 1857. In 1873, the business was incorporated with the sale of stock and became known as the Cole Manufacturing Co."
  • About Benjamin's father, the genealogy site says, "Isaac Cole born 27 Jun 1769, Andover, Essex Co., Massachusetts, married Hannah Atwood, born Atkinson, Rockingham Co., New Hampshire. Isaac died ca. 1855, Gilford, Belknap Co., New Hampshire. Per p. 774 of History of Merrimack and Belknap Counties, New Hampshire, pub. 18 established a foundry at Batchelder's Mills, in 1827, now Lake Village, in Belknap County, Atkinson, New Hampshire."
  • A correspondent reports an 1870s lag bed planer from this maker.
  • With one exception, we have found no woodworking-related patents to a person or company named Cole and located in Lake Village, NH. The exception is an 1854 tenoner patent to C. P. S. Wardwell of Lake Village, which was assigned to Cole, Davis & Co. The relationship—if any—between Cole, Davis & Co., S. Cole & Son, and the Cole Manufacturing Co. is unknown.
  • A genealogy site gives a biography of a son-in-law of Benjamin Cole: "Joseph Hill, second child of Joseph Wiggin Hill. was born at Springfield, New Hampshire, September 10, 1833. He was educated in the common schools there. At the age of sixteen he went to Lake Village to school. continuing for two years. He served an apprenticeship of two years, following it in the winter months with his uncle, B. J. Cole, learning the iron moulder's trade. He worked at home on the farm summers during this time and then bought the farm. After working it eight years he sold it and went to Yonkers, New York, where he worked in the foundry of the Clipper Mowing Machine Company about three years. In 1873 he went to work again for his uncle, B. J. Cole, in his iron foundry at Lakeport, New Hampshire. He later worked for C. B. Mahan in his mowing machine works at Lebanon, New Hampshire, and for a year for D. B. Emerson. In 1881 he removed to Keene, New Hampshire, and entered the employ of James B. Elliott, who had bought the Clipper Machine works at Yonkers. Here he remained until 1883, when he removed to Winchendon Massachusetts, and in partnership with his son-in-law, Andrew Bosley, started a foundry..."
  • A railroad site focused on the Boston & Maine Railroad lists an 1883 datapoint for Cole Manufacturing Co.