Hopedale, 1881

      In his History of Milford, published in 1882, Adin Ballou wrote of industry in the little village on the west side
    of town, Hopedale. Here's what he had to say.  

      We come finally to the manufacture of cotton and woolen machinery at Hopedale. This bright and beautiful
    village is situated a mile and a half westerly from the town center on Mill River, toward the frontier of
    Mendon. In its whole length and breadth it must have nearly one hundred dwelling-houses and six hundred
    inhabitants. It was founded in 1842 by the Hopedale Community, grew thriftily till that Community
    relinquished its unitary arrangements in 1856, and still more thriftily from that time to the present.

       From the beginning, its leading people have distinguished themselves more and more by mechanical
    genius and manufacturing enterprise. Here are four strong firms operating, besides their minor
    subsidiaries, - all more or less connected in their pecuniary interests and co-operating in their industrial
    results. These firms are:

       (1) George Draper & Sons, whose special province includes a host of valuable improvements in cotton
    and woolen machinery, such as temples, Sawyer spindles, Draper's filling spinner, double spinning-rings,
    steps and bolsters, patent motions for looms, Thompson oil-cans, shuttle guides, etc.

      (2) The Hopedale Machine Company, manufacturers of improvements in cotton machinery, special
    machinists' tools, patent warpers, spoolers with patent steps and bolsters, etc.; George Draper, president;
    William F. Draper, Treasurer; Joseph B. Bancroft, superintendent.

      (3) Dutcher Temple Company, sole manufacturer of Dutcher's patent temples, Kayser's patent temples,
    Murkland's carpet temples, etc.; George Draper, president; F.J. Dutcher, treasurer and secretary; W.W.
    Dutcher, agent.

      (4) The Hopedale Furnace Company, whose business is to manufacturer and furnish to order iron
    castings of all descriptions.  The Hopedale Machine Company occupies the most northerly of the water-
    privileges, and has a principal shop 220 feet in length by 66 feet in width, and three stories in height. Its
    machinery is driven by a motor-force derived from a Leffel turbine wheel, and when scarcity of water
    requires it, by a steam-engine of 50 horse-power.

      The next privilege below is occupied by the Dutcher Temple Co. and its adjuncts, with ample buildings,
    water and steam power, and many ingenious contrivances (some of them wonderfully constructed) to
    facilitate the operations. The foundry, with all its appurtenances, stands closely adjacent on the west side of
    the canal, and the ring-shop only a few feet south of the temple-shop.

      Nearly a mile further south is another valuable privilege, with a capacious shop chiefly devoted to the
    elaboration of the famous Sawyer spindle, owned by Dea. A.A. Westcott, and managed in connection with
    the interests of Geo. Draper & Sons.

      The dams, ponds, canals, anti-fire apparatus, offices, supplementary shops, outbuildings, and manifold
    conveniences up and down the river, can be appreciated only by judicious observers.  A vast majority of the
    cotton-mills in the United States, and many woolen-mills, have adopted these Hopedale improvements to a
    greater of less extent; and their proprietors are reaping therefrom a rich harvest of profits.

      Foremost among them are the temples, Sawyer spindle, the Rabbeth spindle, and the adjustable
    spinning-rings, - three notable patents. The temples are in universal use in the United States, Mexico, South
    America, and to a considerable extent in Europe. Leading manufacturers have demonstrated to their
    satisfaction that the spindle yields an enormous saving in power, labor, cost, etc. The number of these
    spindles already introduced and in use is over 1,200,000.

      The rings, too, have proved a great success. The number of these furnished and in satisfactory use
    exceeds 1,500,000. But the multitude of less conspicuous articles sent forth from these Hopedale
    laboratories are distributed far and wide over the country, and roll up a formidable aggregate of mechanical
    production, usefulness, and wealth. In good times all these establishments together employ nearly 350
    hands, meet a monthly payroll of $12,000, and make aggregate sales to the amount of more than $500,000
    per annum.

      The different kinds of machines and appliances manufactured here, with and without patent securities,
    must number at least 100. Since the foregoing was penned, these Hopedale manufacturers have vastly
    increased with improvements made by new inventions, large structures erected, and a continual expansion
    of operations. Adin Ballou, History of Milford, pp. 365 - 367.  

      Note that there's no mention of looms in Ballou's article. Up until the sale of its first Northrop loom in 1894,
    the companies in Hopedale made parts for spinning machinery and parts for looms, but not complete
    looms. The introduction of the Northrop resulted in a dramatic growth of the Draper Company through the
    1890s and early twentieth century.

                                                          Draper Products                                      HOME   

.