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Manufacturers Index - Boynton & Plummer

Boynton & Plummer
Worcester, MA; Chester, VT, U.S.A.
Manufacturer Class: Wood Working Machinery & Metal Working Machinery

Last Modified: Jul 7 2019 10:40AM by Mark Stansbury
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This company began before 1878 as E. N. Boynton; Boynton had patented a post drill and manufactured it under his own name. In 1879 he took Osgood Plummer (1835-1916) as a partner; Plummer had been working at Lathe & Morse Tool Co. Beginning with post drills and drill presses, they expanded their line into metal-working planers and shapers.

From 1878 Worcester Directory

There is some connection with E. J. Worcester: Worcester's No. 1 drill is virtually identical to Boynton & Plummer's No. 1 drill. It appears that the latter firm somehow acquired the rights to manufacture the former firm's product line. More research is needed to determine how the other related firms (E. N. Boynton and Geo. Burnham Co.) were involved.

The company reportedly moved from Worcester to Maine (possibly Augusta) in the late 1800s, but this has not been verified. Worcester city directories show the business was there in 1885, 1887, 1890, 1895, 1901, 1910, and 1915. After Boynton's death in 1886, James Kindred (1851-1908) and H. S. Brown joined the business. Kindred operating it from about 1890 until his death. John McGuire of Chester, Vermont, bought the business and moved it there before 1917. The company survived until about 1940.

Information Sources

  • From the 1879-10-18 issue of American Machinist:
    The firm of Boynton & Plummer, Worcester, Mass., was constituted Sept. 1. It is composed of E. N. Boynton, well known as proprietor of the Worcester Hand Tool Works, and Osgood Plummer, late of the Lathe & Morse Tool Co. They have just put in some new machinery, giving an enlarged capacity to the old establishment of E. N. Boynton, and will manufacture the shaping machines, blacksmiths' upright and horizontal drills, bolt cutters and other tools, which have given this concern a reputation in almost every civilized part of the world.
  • The October 1881 issue of Manufacturer & Builder has an article on that year's Boston Fairs, which included the following: "Boynton & Plummer, of Worcester, Mass., have a very meritorious display of hand and power machinists’ and blacksmiths’ tools, including various styles and sizes of drilling machines, bolt-cutters, and shaping machines."
  • The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission's Pine Grove Furnace Collection includes a listing for "Boynton & Plummer, Drilling Machines, Worcester, Mass., July l, l90l".
  • The Massachusetts corporate registry database lists Boynton & Plummer, Inc.'s first registration as 1908-12-15.
  • The Vermont Historical Society Library (PDF) lists the following in its holdings. "The records of Boynton & Plummer, Inc., document the history of a machine tool company that operated in Chester, Vermont, between 1918 and 1940, and its predecessor companies that were located in Massachusetts and Maine. The papers were given to the Vermont Historical Society by Harriet Wheatley Riggs, daughter of Herbert M. Wheatley, the last president of the company, in 1999 (ms. acc. no. 99.3). The collection occupies two document storage boxes, 1 archival flip-top box, and one oversized folder (2.5 linear feet)."
  • The Case Western Reserve University's Fred H. Colvin photograph collection includes a photo of a Boynton & Plummer metal shaper. The shaper is in the collection of the Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village.
  • The EAIA's Directory of American Toolmakers shows data-points spanning 1887-1895.
  • Carriage and Wagon Makers Machinery and Tools by Kenneth L. Cope, 2004 page 29
  • Worcester, MA, city directories
  • Carpenter's Store News (Chester, Vermont), Jan. 1, 1917, page 1