Kingsbury & Davis Machine Shop
by Harriet DePinto
In 1890 two inventors joined together and
built a three story wooden building on
River Street, Contoocook, and took the
title of KingsburyDavis. This building was run by the dam and water wheel
to produce all the electricity necessary for lights and power. It was
interesting to count 130 windows, 12 panes to a window, making
1560 panes of glass.
These two gentlemen, Walter Scott Davis
from Contoocook and Addison Kingsbury, South Coventry, Connecticut, wore
heavy beards. When standing side by side they reminded one of "The Smith
Brothers" of the cough drop fame.
Mr. Davis invented the Box Machine in 1896.
This company took over the first floor-then latter took part of the silk
mill where they manufactured “Leader” shoe box machines, Quadruple Staying
Machines, a Stacker and a Lign Box Machine.
In 1891 Hiram and Lena Conant and their two
sons, Dwight and Frank, silk throwsters, came from Petersburg, Virginia
where they set up a silk mill on the second floor. They ran this mill until
1925 when the rayon industry and European labor made it too costly to stay
On the third floor there was a needle shop
which made latch needles. Between the silk mill and the needle shop over 40
townspeople were employed.
1951 Merle Patenaude purchased the building
from the Davis Estate, using it to raise chickens. He sold it to the Town in
April of 1969.
It was razed by R.K. Boyd in November,
1969. Hopefully, the Town is planning a park where trees will be planted and
parking space made available.
I am mindful of the help I received in regards to color,
dates, and data from Rachael Johnson, William Cressy, Hilda Conant, Floyd
and Marion Hastings, Ruth Blanchard and Charlotte Dustin. I am most grateful
to all of them.
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LOC Subject Headings
Businesses -- New Hampshire -- Hopkinton -- Pictorial
Businesses -- New Hampshire -- Contoocook -- Pictorial
Historic buildings -- New Hampshire -- Hopkinton --
Historic buildings -- New Hampshire -- Contoocook --
Textile industry -- New Hampshire -- Hopkinton -- History
Textile industry -- New Hampshire -- Contoocook --