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                                         Draper Expansion, 1856 – 1886

    After the Draper Company took possession of Hopedale in 1856, it first enlarged the
    factories to improve the productive capability of the industrial site that had been
    partially laid out by the earlier community. Water Street along the Mill River was
    extended south and Union Street was brought across to tie in, laying the way for
    industrial expansion. Near the upper end of Water Street sat two factory buildings, one
    of which was already outfitted with a waterwheel to operate a trip-hammer and lathe. It
    was this building, completed in 1843, that was known as the “mechanic shop” and that
    first housed the Drapers’ enterprise as well as other small businesses and also served
    for a time as a school. The second building went up three years later, in 1846,
    providing more space and relieving the crowed quarters of the older shop. Named the
    “cabinet shop” and measuring thirty by forty feet in plan, this second building was also
    of frame construction, though two stories in height. In 1855, a state census on
    manufacturing recorded the proceeds from these two shops as fifteen thousand dollars
    in the value of machinery made; operating capital was listed as five thousand dollars. In
    addition to the shops, several outbuildings, including stables and sheds, also located
    on Water Street, composed a part of the industrial site. The shops and attendant
    buildings formed a nucleus around which the company town developed.

    In 1856 the Drapers persuaded Warren W. Dutcher, inventor of an improved temple, to
    move to Hopedale and manage a division of the company. Absorbing a competitor
    expanded the business while retaining market control. Though the brothers purchased
    the inventor’s patent and operation, they permitted him to manufacture under his own
    name. Carried on as W.W. Dutcher Temple Company, the temple division continued to
    monopolize the trade. Sales were made through E.D. and G. Draper Company. Dutcher
    moved into the old cabinet shop before constructing a three-story building beside in it
    1860 (also frame and thirty by forty feet) and a new brick factory in 1868. The new
    factory contained a boiler and enginehouse to supplement water power and provided
    three floors of work space. The small mechanic shop was renamed the Hopedale
    Machine Company in 1868 and transferred to the west side of the river to make room
    for additional construction. Joseph B. Bancroft, George Draper’s brother-in-law,
    superintended this new division after having worked in the shops since 1847. Again,
    sales were handled by the Draper Company. For a time Massachusetts required
    different manufacturing processes even in one enterprise to keep separate records for
    purposes of inventory and tax. Therefore, the company operated under several trade
    names before being renamed as simply the Draper Company in 1897, though principal
    ownership and all partnerships had always resided in the family.

    The overall organization and layout of the industrial site continued to change as the
    company extended its line of machinery. George Draper acquired a monopoly on
    spindles after purchasing the inventions of J.Herbert Sawyer of Lowell in 1871 and F.J.
    Rabbeth of Pawtucket in 1878. As with Dutcher, Draper brought Sawyer to Hopedale to
    set up and run his own department. By 1874, the number of buildings had multiplied
    from two to twenty, providing space for three machine shops, two foundries, two
    finishing mills, one pattern shop, plus sheds for coal, lumber, and other stores, one
    livery stable, and an office building. Power for operating the mills increased from an
    original forty-horsepower waterwheel on a thirteen-foot fall beneath the upper privilege
    to two hundred horsepower produced by a combination of water turbines and steam
    engines. The turbines were located at a second dam on the lower privilege. The
    company’s dependence on waterpower produced a linear industrial site that extended
    along the upper and lower privileges. Further separation of factories was produced by
    the company’s departmentalization. Castings, spindles, machine screws, and so on
    were manufactured at the northern end of the industrial site, and temples were made at
    the southern end. Gradually, with the introduction of steam engines and further site
    development, new buildings began filling in the open spaces. The Model Company
    Town, John S. Garner, pp. 128 – 135.

                  Demolition at the Draper Plant, 2020                 Draper Menu        

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Hopedale Machine Company      

Maps above  from Model Company Town.
Copies of this "map" for sale at the Bancroft
Library by the Friends of the Library. $3

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