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Manufacturers Index - Charles River Iron Works, Kendall & Roberts

Charles River Iron Works, Kendall & Roberts
Cambridgeport, MA, U.S.A.
Company Website: https://kendallboiler.com/
Manufacturer Class: Steam and Gas Engines

History
Last Modified: Nov 2 2019 9:31PM by Jeff_Joslin
If you have information to add to this entry, please contact the Site Historian.

In 1860 Edward Kendall and John Davis, Jr., were partners in boiler manufacturer Kendall & Davis

From 1879 Sampson, Davenport & Co.'s Boston Directory

In about 1885 Davis was replaced by Mr. Roberts and the business became Kendall & Roberts, operating the Charles River Iron Works in Cambridgeport. In 1887 Kendall bought out Roberts and subsequently Kendall's sons, George F. Kendall and James H. Kendall, became partners as Edward Kendall & Sons.

At some point the engine business was dropped. In 1905 the business sold out to the Robb-Mumford Co., a recently-formed U.S. subsidiary of Canadian manufacturer Robb Engineering Co. This supposedly marked the end of Edward Kendall & Sons and the Kendall family's boiler-making business. And so far as we can tell, that was true for quite a few years. But at some point the name Kendall Boiler and Tank Co. starts cropping up, which as of 2019 remains in business, specializing in boilers repairs, tubing and retubing. It claims a lineage back to the 1860 beginnings mentioned above.

Information Sources

  • The company website provided the basic sequence of partnership changes.
  • 1863 Adams, Sampson & Co.'s The Boston Directory has a text ad: "CHARLES RIVER IRON WORKS, / Cambridgeport, Mass. / Kendall & Davis, / Manufacturers of / Steam boilers, gasometers, iron boats and bridges, tanks, and all kinds of iron plate work. / Repairing done at the shortest notice. All works executed in the best style. / Edward Kendall / John Davis, Jr. / Shop reached by Horse-cars from Rever House, Boston, every five minutes."
  • 1878 Greenough, Jones & Co.'s Cambridge Directory lists Charles River Iron Works, plate-iron works, boiler, etc., 92 Main, Kendall & Roberts props. There was an ad on page 1 that was lost in a re-binding. Employees listed include Chas. R. Beard (boiler maker), William Cooper (boiler maker), James S. Hanscom (foreman), Edward Kendall (boiler maker), and George B. Robert (steam boiler manuf.)
  • 1883 New England Business Directory and Gazetteer lists Kendall & Roberts of Cambridgeport under Fire Engine Boilers, Machinists and Machinery Manufacturers, Steam Boilers and Engines, and Tank Manufacturers.
  • 1887 Sampson, Murdock & Co.'s New England Business Directory and Gazetteer lists "Boiler Makers" Kendall & Robers, 72 to 92 Main, Cambridgeport. They were also listed under Hoisting Engines, Machinists and Machinery Manufacturers, Mining Machinery, and Steam Engine Builders.
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  • 1888 Twenty Thousand Rich New Englanders mentions Edward Kendall of Edward Kendall & Sons.
  • 1892 Annual Report of the Secretary of the Navy lists a couple of bids on boilers for the Boston navy yard from Edward Kendall & Sons.
  • 1896 book, Men of Progress: One Thousand Biographical Sketches and Portraits of Leaders, ed. Edwin M. Bacon.
    KENDALL, Edward, of Cambridge, head of the Charles River Iron Works, was born in the town of Holden, Worcester County, December 3, 1821, son of Caleb and Dolly (Sawyer) Kendall. His parents were of Boylston. His boyhood was spent on his father's farm, between farm work and study in the village school. When he became of age, he made his first business venture, starting out in the lumber trade. This, however, was not successful; and in 1847, removing to Boston, he became an apprentice in the West Boston Machine Shop. Here he made rapid progress, nine months after entering being transferred to the boiler department, and soon after becoming its superintendent. He held the latter position for eleven years, during that time paying off the debts he had contracted in his venture in the lumber trade, then in 1860 entered the business on his own account, establishing the firm of Kendall & Davis, with machine shop at Cambridgeport, and giving attention principally to boiler-making. This was the beginning of the present extensive Charles River Iron Works, of which he is still the head. In 1865 the firm name was changed to Kendall & Roberts; and subsequently, upon the admission of Mr. Kendall's sons to partnership, it became Edward Kendall & Sons. During his long successful career as a manufacturer Mr. Kendall has made numerous improvements and inventions in boiler manufacture, and has become widely known in his trade. ...
  • 1899 Seeger and Guernsey's Cyclopædia lists Edward Kendall & Sons of Cambridgeport as a supplier of vertical boilers and hoisting steam engines.
  • 1899-05-18 The Iron Age lists attendees at a conference, including James Henry Kendall of Edward Kendall & Sons.
  • 1905-04-06 The Iron Age has an article on the New England machinery market, including a writeup of the acquisition of the Charles River Iron Works, Edward Kendall & Sons, by Robb-Mumford Boiler Co. It says, "The Kendall family will disappear from the business."
  • 1905-04-08 Cambridge Chronicle (online version of article. "New Owners for Kendall Plant. / [The Kendall Boiler works] have been sold to the Robb-Mumford Boiler Company, whose headquarters are at Amherst, Nova Scotia, but who are now engaged in building a large plant in South Framingham. When this is complete, the business will be transferred from the Kendall works to its new quarts. Edward Kendall & Sons, who dispose of their Cambridge establishment, retire from the boiler business. The Robb-Mumford company... is an independent corporation, it is controlled by the same Canadian financial men who are at the head of the Robb Engineering Company, of Amherst, N.S. D. W. Robb, the president of the new company, is managing director of the old concern. ..."
  • 1906-08-16 The Engineering Record has an article on the new Robb-Mumford boiler shop.
  • 1913 book, A History of Cambridge, Massachusetts, by S. A. Eliot.
    Edward Kendall
    Kendall, Edward, was born in Holden, Mass., December 3, 1821... When he became of age he made his first business venture, embarking in the lumber trade. In 1847, removing to Boston, he became an apprentice to the West Boston Machine Shop. Here he made rapid progress, being transferred to teh boiler department after nine months' service, and soon after that becoming superintendent of that department, which position he held for eleven years. In 1860 he entered business of his own account, establishing the firm of Kendall & Davis, at Cambridgeport, and giving special attention to the making of boilers. In 1865 the firm name was changed to Kendall & Roberts, and subsequently, upon the admission of Mr. Kendall's sons, it became Edward Kendall & Sons. During his long and successful career Mr. Kendall has made numerous improvements and inventions in boiler manufacture, and has become widely known in his trade...
  • 1915-01-16 Domestic Engineering, in the obituaries.
    Edward Kendall.—Edward Kendall, of Cambridge, Mass., who for more than fifty years was engaged in the business of boiler manufacturing, died at his summer home in Holden, Mass., on January 6th, age 93 years. Mr. Kendall was widely known in his younger years as a worker for prohibition and was at one time the party candidate for governor. He represented Cambridge in the legislature some years ago. Mr. Kendall was a native of Holden and although he moved to Boston when he was 21 years old he had always kept a home at Holden and spent part of the year in that town. He was considered an expert in the manufacture of boilers. He was for a number of years senior member of the firm of Kendall & Roberts Co., and later bought out his partner's interest and continued the business under the name of Edward Kendall & Sons, until his retirement in 1905. Two sons survive him.
  • 1937 Annual Report of the Massachusetts. Metropolitan District Commission mentions "Kendall Boiler and Tank Company, in Cambridge, Mass."