J. Frank Cutter, Cambridge, Massachusetts
was the successor
to Hugh Stewart & Co., a member of a well-known metropolitan Boston
carriage building family who entered the business in the mid 1870s.
There were three distinct Boston carriage
that used the Stewart surname at the end of the 19th century, all of
related. The Stewart family’s operations were collectively called
Brothers, although each operation was managed by a different ‘brother’,
A., John A, and Hugh.
I spent many hours trying to connect the
‘brothers’ via US
and Massachusetts census reports, but came up with no concrete evidence
supporting nor contradicting the claim. Although their familial
never explained within their pages, the Boston Globe considered them
so I’ll defer to their reports, although I have my doubts.
The earliest and best -known was S.A.
Stewart & Co. Samuel
A. Stewart started in the business during the early-1870s as a salesman
carriage goods with Sergant & Ham. By 1877 he had branched out on
establishing his own carriage goods and vehicle depository at 63-67
The S.A. Stewart Carriage Repository was
located along Old
Boston’s ‘carriage row’ which during the late 19th century was centered
Bowker and Sudbury Sts. and included Sargent & Ham and Kimball
A. Stewart’s second known address, 67 Sudbury st., is confirmed by the
16, 1877 issue of the Boston Daily Globe which reports him as the
victim of a
Boston con man:
“Charles E. Brown, alias Charles Brooks, for
$88.50 by false pretenses from Samuel A. Stewart of 67 Sudbury street,
last, was ordered to recognize in $500 for examination on the 19th
Stewart’s business grew and he eventually
became a member of
the Carriage Builders National Association. The need for additional
obtained at reasonable prices prompted him to organize numerous
that were overseen by his two brothers, John A. and Hugh Stewart.
the Stewart’s carriage businesses were known as Stewart Brothers,
brother was eventually given his own distinct firm.
S.A. Stewart, Stewart Bros. and Hugh Stewart
seemingly competing businesses in and around Boston’s carriage row
1880s, sometimes even sharing the same address. The Stewarts also
facilities in Cambridge under all three names starting in the mid-1880s.
S.A. Stewart & Co.’s Boston addresses
Bowker St., 67 Sudbury St., 63 Sudbury St., 117-119 Court St. *,
St., 43-45 Pitts St., and 13 Green St. Their Cambridge addresses
Main st., 365 Main st., 468 Main st., and 474 Main st. Cambridgeport.
(*119 Court St. was located at its
intersection with Sudbury
30 Bowker St. was also a known address for
well-known Boston vehicle constructor, Sargent & Ham, which gave
address as 26-30 Bowker St. in the mid-1870s.
Stewart Bros. & Co.’s Boston address was
St. Their Cambridge addresses included; 242, 244, 246 Main st., 365
458 Main St., 468 Main st., 27 Tudor st., and 75 Hamilton St.
Hugh Stewart’s Boston addresses included; 9
Pitts St., 13
Green St., and 118-120 Subury St. His Cambridge address included; 224
and 414 Main St., Cambridgeport.
13 Green St. was on the corner of Pitts St.
in old downtown
Boston. Bowker and Sudbury Sts. were located a couple of blocks away.
the two Stewart factories was originally the home of the Pitts St.
Chapel as described
in a period entry:
“Passing from Bowdoin Square into Green
Street one sees
leading from it a narrow street in which a short distance down on the
hand side is an old brick building now used as a carriage factory
its front a tablet with the inscription ‘Pitts St. Chapel, 1836.‘”
Although they manufactured carriages at a
number of small
Boston manufactories, their main manufactory was moved across the
to Cambridge in 1886. Overseen by Hugh Stewart, the Stewart’s Cambridge
operations were originally founded by Winthrop A. Ward, who established
carriage manufactory at 242, 244, and 246 Main st., sometime after the
War. In later years he entered into a partnership, Ward & Blood,
Albert S. Blood, a Boston wheelright and blacksmith who had previously
been in a
partnership as Blood & Judkins with A.C. Judkins at 149 Beach st.,
Almon Blood (b. 1819 in Groton, Mass.), was
Boston carriage builder who practiced the trade in downtown Boston at
Eliot St., and 55 Eliot St. (1850s-1870s). An even earlier builder with
Blood surname was S.D. Blood who worked out of a shop located at
the corner of 3rd during the 1840s.
The Stewart’s various addresses were culled
from the following
1875 Sampson & Davenport Boston Almanac
Under Carriage Repositories - S.A. Stewart, 30 Bowker St.; Under
Builders - Kimball Bros. 112 Sudbury St. - Sargent & Ham, 26-30
1878 Sampson & Davenport Boston Almanac
and Directory; Under
Carriage Repositories - S.A. Stewart, 63 Sudbury, Samuel A. Stewart
1880 Sampson & Davenport Boston Almanac
and Directory; Under
Carriage Repositories - S.A. Stewart, 117-119 Court St.,
A series of display ads in the 1883
Guide, pub 1883: “S.A. Stewart & Co. CARRIAGE BUILDERS; Carriages
Sleighs, Latest Patterns, Carriages Exchanged; “Depository; 118-120
Factory 43-45 Pitts St., Boston, Mass.”
A small item in the July 15, 1887 issue of
the Boston Daily
Globe implies that Hugh Stewart had a plant on Sudbury St. at the time:
for Labor Day. At a meeting of Thomas Goddard Carriagemakers’ Assembly,
K. of L., held last evening, the committee on picnic were instructed to
the different shops in this city and vicinity to get the wishes of the
of workmen in regard to joining the parade on Labor Day. It was
Hugh Stewart of Sudbury street had granted his men the Saturday
through July and August without loss of pay.”
1888 Sampson & Murdock Boston Almanac
and Business Directory:
Under Carriage Builders; Hugh Stewart, 9 Pitts; Under Carriage
S.A. Stewart & Co.,118 Sudbury St.
1889 Samson, Murdock & Co. Boston
Almanac & Business
Directory: Under Carriage Builders: Hugh Stewart - 9 Pitts and 13
Repositories - S.A. Stewart & Co. 118 Sudbury and 13 Green sts.
1895 Jones’ Cambridge Blue Book: under
manufacturers; Stewart Bros. & Co., 244 Main St., Cambridge, Mass.;
& Co., 224 Main St., Cambridge, Mass.”
Documents of the City of Boston 1889
mentions a small fire
which took place at the S.A. Stewart plant which coincidentally shared
address with the plant of Hugh Stewart: “March
22d 8;08 P.M. No. 13 Green st., 4 story
brick owned by *N. Whitney, occupied by S.A. Stewart, used for carriage
manufactory; cause spontaneous combustion of oily rags, loss none;
(*Should be owned by Nathaniel Whiting).
1868 Coolidge Boston Almanac: under Carriage
Builders; A. Blood,
55 Eliot st.; A.S. Blood, 149 Beach st.
1872 Sampson & Davenport Boston Almanac
Under Carriage Builders; A. Blood, 115 to 119 Eliot st.; Blood &
149 Beach st.
1873 Sampson & Davenport Boston Almanac
Under Carriage Builders; AImon Blood, 119 Eliot st. h. at Newton; Blood
Judkins, A.S. BIood & A.C. Judkins, 149 Beach st.; A.S. Blood,
blacksmith, 149 Beach h. Mt Vernon.
1873 Greenough, Jones & Co. Cambridge,
Under Carriage Builders; Winthrop A. Ward, 242, 244, and 246 Main st.,
1876 Greenough & Co. Cambridge, Mass.
carriage builders; Ward & Blood (Winthrop
A. Ward and Albert S. Blood), 244-246 Main st.
1908 Motor Cyclopedia: CAMBRIDGEPORT, Mass.; Parts and Accessories Manufacturers,
Stewart & Co., 414 Main St. Wood and metallic bodies auto tops.
Following the 1891 death of Portland,
Maine’s famous carriage
builder, Charles Porter Kimball, his estate sold off all of the firm’s
save for their successful Chicago, Illinois operations. An 1892 display
in the Oxford Club Souvenir announced the consolidation of S.A.
Kimball Bros. Sudbury St. warerooms:
“S.A. STEWART & CO., HAVING
KIMBALL BROS. CO. UNDER THE STYLE OF S.A. Stewart Company, Are now prepared to offer an assortment of
SEASONABLE CARRIAGES In all the leading styles, at lowest
prices. 110, 112, 114 Sudbury St., Boston.”
The Stewart’s Cambridge-based operations
were located in
Cambridgeport, a primarily residential neighborhood located within the
Cambridge, Essex County, Massachusetts, bordered on the north by
Avenue, on the south by the Charles River, on the west by River Street,
the east by the tracks of the Grand Junction Railroad.
Their Cambridge factory burned to the ground
on the night of
Saturday, July 21, 1888. The next day’s ( July 22, 1888) Boston Sunday
recorded the event in great detail:
“LIGHTING THE CHARLES
“Stewart's Carriage Shop Bums to the Water.
Big Blaze in
Cambridge Witnessed by Many Thousands. Fourteen Horses Perish in the
Flames – Loss is$40,000
“S. A. Stewart & Co.'s carriage factory
at the lower
port, on Main street, Cambridge, was totally destroyed by fire shortly
last night, entailing a loss of about $40,000. The fire originated in
shop on the first floor, in the southwest corner of the building, and
dozen minutes it communicated to almost all parts of the structure.
“The blaze, was first discovered by a son of
a fireman, Jack
Fitzgerald, who is employed at Gove's drug store as a clerk, by whom an
was at once sounded from box 17. When discovered, which was a few
11 o'clock, it was shining brightly through a southwest window, but
bells had tolled the second time, the whole end seemed to be enveloped
“The building was a three-story wooden
structure, with a
frontage of about 250 feet on Main street. It was built out into the
river on piers to a depth of seventy-five feet, covering an area of
feet. Only a part of the building was used by the Stewart Brothers for
of carriages. The northeast wing or portion was occupied by James
Hackett as a
sales and boarding stable.
The Stewarts used the first floor for
storage purposes and
salesrooms, many of their best carriages being, at the time, housed
second floor was used as a manufacturing department proper, and
the machinery used in the construction of vehicles. The third floor was
principally as a storage department, and at this time was almost with
almost wholly filled with sleighs.
“The cause of the fire remains at present a
mystery, but is supposed
to have been communicated from the forge to some cotton waste usually
lying around loose in carriage factories. Once underway, the flames
almost lightning rapidity to other parts of the large structure until
seemed to burst, as it were, into one giant blaze.
“The illuminations wore such as to attract
people, not only from Cambridge, but from the West End of Boston, and
square and Charlestown were for the time, deserted. On account of its
to the Charles river, the stream from Craigie's bridge to that
with Brookline was lighted up in pyroramic style, equaled only by that
occasioned by the total destruction of Kendall's iron works last winter.
“Many of the Boston folks crossed in boats
to view the
flames, and as the wind set in from the river the fortunate owners or
were enabled to approach quite close to the structure, which was being
“The West, Boston bridge, Main street and
spot on the east side of the highway was crowded with thousands of
and the sight was an unusually brilliant one.
“The first alarm was immediately followed by
a second call.
This was deemed proper owing to the inflammable material which was
stored in the
structure. Before a stream could be turned upon it, the flames had
almost over the entire factory, so that the firemen gave much of their
attention to protecting other building in the immediate neighborhood.
wisdom of this was apparent, for the heavens seemed to be laden with
streams of fire and brightly burning pieces of lumber.
“The danger of dwelling houses upon the
other side of Main
street, especially on the west aide of Broadway and the intersecting
at one time so alarming that assistance was summoned from Boston. In
the call engines 6 and 10, hose 8 and chemical engine 1 soon appeared
scene, and lines of hose were quickly put in operation.
“Scarcely had the first stream from the
Boston engine lost
itself in the bright flames before the outer walls if the building fell
a crash. For a moment the heat became so intense that not only were the
spectators driven headlong back, but the fire ladies were even forced
suspend operations and shade their faces from its intensity.
“The delay was brief, for within a half a
minute the bravo
men were again at their work. The structure, despite persistent and
efforts of the Cambridge department, burned gradually down lower and
until the waters of the Charles alone prevented the piers from
“The most disastrous feature of the fire was
of 14 horses, eight of which belonged to James Hackett, the other six
by individuals who used Mr. Hackett’s stables for boarding purposes.
“The operator of the stable said that not
more than 15
minutes before the fire started he had been at the stable feeding some
horses. One attempt was made to rescue some of them, but the intensity
heat cutoff all approach except, perhaps, from the waterside. Approach
this quarter was next to useless, as was there was no scow or large
“The building was owned by John Stewart and
was valued at
$16,000, upon which he had but a little more than $5,000 insurance. The
S. A. Stewart in stock and machinery will aggregate $18,000, while that
Hackett will fall little short of $5,000. The insurance was very light
“The structure was built about 14 years ago
& Ward [sic]*, carriage manufacturers, the Stewart Brothers
a little more than two years ago. During the decade or more of years
that it has
been in existence, it has been visited by fire as many as three times
was the first that resulted seriously.
“At midnight the fire had spent its fury,
but not until the telephone
and telegraph service had been rendered useless. Fortunately the fire
to the carriage factory only, none of the neighboring structures having
(*Should be Winthrop A. Ward)
Stewart Brothers blamed some of their losses
emergency services workers, the charges contained in the following
in the August 2, 1888 Boston Globe:
“FIREMEN, EVERY ONE,
“Hugh Stewart's Charges Not Sustained -
Laddies and Their Action at the Late Blaze.
“Since Stewart's carriage factory was
consumed by fire at
Cambridge on the night of July 21, members of the firm have severely
the action of the fire department for not saving some of the property. Hugh Stewart, who run the construction
smarting under imaginary neglect, petitioned for an investigation,
not only the fire department was negligent, but even the police, in a
prevented well-meaning persons from saving some of his carriages.
“Last night a hearing was given before the
board of engineers,
Chief Casey presiding.
“Mr. Stewart said that when he got there,
there was ample
time to save the carriages in the storeroom before the fire had worked
from Hackett's stable to the factory proper. To bear him out in his
had several witnesses present, from the testimony of whom, it appeared
that possibly could be done was accomplished by police and department.
“Samuel M. Thompson was the first witness
who said: When the
alarm rung I looked up towards the engine house, and was very much
see a big blaze. Taking the horse car I went down, thinking that I
able to do some good, knowing the interior so well. I
started toward the door and was met by some
men taking out a safe. I took a stool and started round for the bay
break it in. There was no fire in that part of the building at that
to me it seemed as though the whole place could be cleaned out quite
at least before the fire.
“Could Get Into the Showroom.
“An officer stooped me, and told me to touch
without orders. I was forced back.
“Alexander Sprague testified that he arrived
upon the ground
very soon after the alarm was sounded. I went down purposely to try and
some of Hackett's horses, but after I got there I saw there was no use.
round to Stewart's place and saw that not even a door had been opened.
satisfied in my own mind that had that front been broken down there was
of time to save all the carriages out of Stewart's storeroom. It was
or 20 minutes after I got there before the fire worked into the
was lots of fire up stairs, but it had not worked round into the lower
“Michael J. Shea, one of the earliest on the
spot after the
alarm was pulled in, said: I reached the place just about the time the
ladder did, and seeing Officer Hall standing in front of the building,
'Jimmy, why not get an axe and break down that show window?' He and I
to the hook and ladder truck, but not being able to get one, concluded
it up. The fire men were there all working upon a line of hose and none
to save anything. It was one of those fires that required quickness and
prompt action the carriages could have been saved. I certainly feel
that with a
trained department there would not have been any trouble because the
have known what to do. I do not think anything could have been saved 20
after the fire started, possibly not outside of 15 minutes, but
could have been done inside of the first 10 minutes at least.
“Maurice Fitzgerald, the young man who rung
in the alarm,
made a statement to the effect that the officers, as far as he could
not attempt to drive anyone back until it was certain death to attempt
“It was even dangerous to go near the
building. I was among
the first to get at the fire, and am positive that nothing more could
saved than was, on account of the smoke. It would take a number of men
down the show window, and even if it had been knocked out I do not
carriages could have been taken out.
“James Hackett, the owner of the stables in
which the fire
is supposed to have started, stated: ‘When I got there the fire had not
Stewart's part of the building at all. It is my candid belief that a
things might have been taken out of the stable also.’
“Patrolman James P. Hall stated: I was at
the corner of
Broadway and Brewery street when the alarm came in. When I got to the
fire I rushed
to the stable and found the little door broken in. There didn't appear
any noise in there, so I went round to Stewart's part of the building,
found parties taking out a coupe through the door. I go behind it and
up to the crossing. I returned to the building and found that the gas
lighted in the office. I do not think we were in there more than half a
before we were forced out with smoke. Mr. Shea did speak to me about
axe, and I went with him to the hook and ladder truck and tried to get
were told that we would have to see the engineer, and he not being at
place, we returned to the front. I did not stop any one from saving
be saved; in fact didn't stop making attempts myself until it was
to go near the structure. By orders of Sergeant Alexander I got to work
the crowd back so as to give the firemen plenty of room. I didn't see
any one that
wanted to go into the building, in fact go near it, when we began to
rope the street.
“Patrolman Michael A. Ginty said: When I got
there the fire was
burning pretty lively. I rushed to the office dour for the purpose of
Books and Papers of the firm. I tried the door, and finding it secure,
attempted to kick it down. Mr. Cutting broke in through the window, and
out the books and papers to me. After taking them to a safe place, I
back to the building again. I saw someone taking a coupe out, and made
up my mind
to try and run one myself. The smoke and heat was at that time so
intense that I
could not get in there. Sergeant Alexander came along then, and seeing
nothing could be saved, ordered us to drive the crowd back. I did not
anyone from saving anything that could be saved.
“Sergeant James Scott Alexander testified
that when he reached
the scene of the conflagration the fire was burning so fiercely it was
impossible to do anything toward effecting the removal of any property
building. After helping to save some books and papers, he ordered the
roped off so that the fire department might have plenty of room to work.
“’When I got there, which was very soon
after the fire started,’
said the Sergeant, ‘I didn't see any one that was wanted to go inside.
had spread quite rapidly, and in a very few moments from the time the
pulled in, it was not sate for anyone to go inside.’
“Arthur C. Day, a member of the fire
department, said; ‘No
man could live inside, the smoke was so dense and the heat so strong.
Everything that was possible was done to save property.’ When the glass
to which Mr. Stewart refers, was broken in, fire and smoke burst forth
in a manner
which threatened to destroy the life of any one who was foolhardy
attempt to go inside.
“Captain Hunter, also of the fire
department, testified: ‘I
reached the scene of the fire inside of three minutes after the alarm
sounded. I crowded in and attached a rope to the safe, by moans of
which it was
drawn out. I bad to hug the floor to get air, and after the safe had
gotten outside it was dangerous for anyone to attempt to enter again.’
“Chief Casey made a statement to the effect
that nothing in
the form of neglect occurred. The department worked with a will, and
everything that was possible under the circumstances.
“Mr. Stewart, however, found fault because
saved his safe and allowed his carriages to burn. He reasoned that the
ought to know all about the interior construction of his building, and,
this, blamed the department for not knowing just how to get through his
“The board of engineers found that the
by the police, did all that, was possible under the circumstances. They
all exculpated from any culpable negligence. The board then adjourned.”
The main Cambridge factory was rebuilt at
224 Main St., and
a temporary wareroom was established a couple blocks away at 244 Main
St. The December
25, 1888 Boston Daily Globe announced the completion for the rebuilt
Bros., the carriage builders, were surprised last evening by their
and friends, who presented them with a large American flag and a
bearing the firm name and also a very handsome clock and gold-mounted
for their new factory.”
A week before their workers went out on
strike, an article
appearing in the March 20, 1893 Boston Daily Globe, gave the impression
Stewart’s workers were ‘happy’:
“CARRIAGE WORKERS HAPPY
“Cambridge Firm Restores a 10 Per Cent Cut
“Thirty-five carriage workers employed by
the firm of
Stewart Bros. & Co., Cambridgeport, are in a happy frame of mind
restoration of a 10 percent cut down effected last fall. This
brought about by a strike of the men yesterday, all of whom are members
carriage and wagon makers Union of this city.
“It appears that when the cut down was
ordered the men were
directed by the union to accept the same and to bide their time until
conditions of the trade warranted action by their union. At the last
was decided that the present would be a good time to make a move, as
treasury was in an excellent condition.
“Representatives of the executive board of
the union were
present at the shop yesterday, and the men were notified not to go to
until their demands were satisfied. Accordingly every man refused to go
work, and after waiting for two hours, the manager of the firm notified
that their demands would be conceded.”
A city-wide strike of carriage and wagon
workers commenced 5
days later, on Saturday March, 25, 1893. It’s coverage in the Boston
is important as it’s the only well-documented account of a major 19th
carriage strike. It also reveals the relative sizes of Boston’s
carriage builders, which at that time was the nation’s second largest,
only by Amesbury’s. When all three Stewart Brothers operations are
they were clearly Boston’s largest builder, with an estimated 125
The Globe’s coverage quotes a number of the
builders, including the Stewarts, Chauncey Thomas, and Joseph Pray and
paper made it their main headline on the front page of their Monday,
“Strike of Carriagemakers Began Promptly;
Five Hundred Leave
Their Work; Determined To Battle For Nine Hours; Gallishaw Men Return
Day; It Is Expected Other Victories Will Follow Soon; Cambridge and
Also Affected; Davitt Expects Fight to Last a Week at Least
“Every carriage shop in the city and
suburbs, with two
exceptions, is deserted today by the workmen. The long-threatened
nine hours has begun, and the men claim first blood. The men
headquarters at 45 Eliot st., and here everything was animation and
sharp contrast to the still and deserted shops
“All during the morning hours men were
coming and going
bringing reports from their shops and bringing back the decisions from
“Various propositions were made by different
in each and every case the rule adopted of no discrimination in favor
manufacturer was faithfully lived up to by the committee.
“The first victory this morning was J. G.
Friend St., whose 12 men went to work on the nine-hour system. O. A.
Beach st. is expected to give the nine-hour day also.
“On account of Mr. French not having agreed
to the details
of beginning and ending work, and also being obliged to be away in New
the 60 men in Fred F. French & Co. also came out, but they have no
what a settlement will be reached as soon as Mr. French gets home.
“It is much easier to give the names of
factories are working than it is to tell who are not.
“The New England Carriage Company on A St.
were reported as
having their men, 20 in number, at work behind locked doors.
“In A. M. Wood & Co.'s shops all the
bodymakers are out,
while the rest of the shop is working.
“The fine weather made the men happy this
morning, and many
expressed themselves as perfectly willing to take a week off if the
of weather continued.
“According to the report of the committee
about 600 men are
out, working in 90 shops in Boston and surrounding cities and towns.
those whose men have left are Joseph Pray & Co., Chestnut st.;
& Son, Charles St.; Stewart Brothers, Sudbury St.; Hall Carriage
Hawkins St., and Ferdinand French & Co., Sudbury st.
“At Chauncey Thomas Co.'s Works, the only
men who have gone
out are the blacksmiths, who number, according to different
authorities, six or
eight men. They, at least, do not lack any determination, if their
to a CLOSE reporter this morning are any indication of their feelings.
“A picket of the former workmen of Thomas
& Co. was on
guard near the establishment this morning when the reporter was making
rounds, and they expressed the greatest confidence as to the outcome of
“‘We are going to win,’ they said.
“Mr. Pray was seen himself, and said:
“‘There are 36 or 40 of our men out, and
they include the
men in all of the departments. Our men were always used well and I do
why they have gone out from us. I think it would have been better if
had not been sprung so quickly. Some agreement could have been come to.’
“In reply to further questions Mr. Pray said
that he did not
care to discuss what action he should take in regard to filling the
the men on strike, but preferred to await developments.
“The members of the firm of Chauncey Thomas
& Co. said:
‘Our men are all at work with the exception of the blacksmiths, who are
six in number. The rest of the men went to work as usual this morning,
their former fellow workmen were out on the corner trying to induce
them not to
go to work.
“Of course we expected that from the first.
Outside of the
blacksmiths' department we are going on as usual. There is the best of
and everything is all right. We are having applications for the places
vacant by the men who left, and, as I told them before they left, if
so, and that we found competent men, and hired them, of course we would
them on no matter what the result may be.
“‘We made a change in the manner of running
shop about a month ago, and I have no doubt that that had something to
causing the men to leave. But there is the best feeling in this shop
“One of the men who had left Mr. Thomas'
‘Thomas’ shop is one of the best shops in the city to fight, and we are
to fight it.’
“The men in the shop held a meeting a week
Wednesday and agreed to join the union Thursday night, but when we got
union we only found six men there to be initiated. But we are still
make a strong fight, and we have not the slightest doubt but it will be
“At the factory of Danielson & Son,
Charles St., there
are 30 men out, and only the yardman, a foreman and a boy remain at
work in the
shop. It is believed to be the opinion of the firm that the outcome of
strike will be a compromise between the men and their employers, by
men will be conceded nine hours, but will only receive nine hours' pay.
“Stewart Brothers, on Sudbury st., have
about 10 or 11 men
at work out of 75. Friday evening, according to the statement of Mr.
Stewart, the men were all called together and asked if they had any
to complain of, and not one of them said he had any complaint to make.
“Mr. Stewart expressed the determination of
the firm to
employ men as fast as they could be found to take the places of the
“Mr. A. R. Nelson of the Hall Carriage
Company, Hawkins St.,
said that 16 of the 20 men employed by the firm had not come to work
morning. In reply to a question Mr. Nelson said that he had heard a
the effect that Mr. Pray was about to withdraw from the association.
“At Ferdinand F. French & Co.'s shop, it
that all the men employed by the firm, numbering somewhere in the
of 75, were out, and they appeared likely to stay out unless their
should be complied with.
“There is a strong probability of one of the
st. carriage manufacturers coming to terms with his men this afternoon.
for them and held a long consultation at noon, at which a number of
propositions were made, but nothing decisive was done.
“Three small firms granted the nine-hour day
up to 2
o'clock, but their names were not given out, as ‘the big manufacturers
on the little fellows and make them take it back, so President Jacobson
“The Medford men are so displeased because
Symmes would not give the nine hours that they have decided to start a
their own, and already a piece of land to cost $6,000 has been secured.
have already begun to go away.
“Now that the busy season is opening,
carriage-makers are in
demand. Many would not feel justified in exposing themselves to the
of the boss who kept them at work during the winter by seeking other
that carriage workers are in demand.
“The strike has given a number who were
seeking to better
themselves a pretext to leave, and many are taking advantage of it. Two
blacksmiths and helpers went to Amesbury this morning.
“The strike becomes more and more a surprise
manufacturers when they see how complete was the sweep, and many of the
predicting a speedy victory.
“Secretary Davitt of the committee said to a
that he expected that the strike would last a week at least. The
receiving the advice and counsel of members of other labor
organizations who have
had experience in conducting strikes and they say it will not fail.
“The men are confident and happy and
thoroughly believe they
are going to win. They are as a rule a very intelligent class of men.
said to lead the country in the superiority of workmanship in the
trade, and certainly the men looked it.
“Among the strikers were a number of men
with gray whiskers
and hair who in bearing and looks might easily be taken to be members
firms for whom they work.
“One of the features of the morning session
was a temperance
speech by one of the members, who strongly urged his brothers not to
“The union will hold a meeting this evening
Washington St., at which it is expected 'that full reports from all the
will be brought m much more completely than yet presented.
“‘Condition of Things in Boston Shops
Brought About This.’
“Both factories of the Stewart Brothers on
Cambridgeport, were deserted Saturday night and are practically in that
condition today. The number of men employed in each factory was about
30, or 60
“Mr. Hugh Stuart of Hugh Stuart & Co.
was found calmly
smoking his pipe when the reporter called. Said he, ‘The conditions of
in Boston shops mainly, between the employer and the employees has
about this strike. I have to suffer with the rest, although I have
my men well.
“‘I keep all employed the year round on full
pay and I might
say at a loss to myself. W here in Boston the men have been obliged to
four, five and possibly eight hours at a correspondingly reduced wages,
work full time and of course get full wages.
“‘I cannot, therefore, do a nine-hour
business. Why, this
last winter I just cleared my expenses, so that I might keep all my
are all tried and trusted, and I might say have been with me 10 years.I
pay from $15 to $25 per week, spring,
summer, fall and winter, figures I cannot afford to continue at nine
“‘When the men left Saturday night, they did
so in the best
of good feeling. They all expressed satisfaction with pay and work. Of
they would like if they could to get the extra hour.’
“In the Stewart Brothers & Co., factory,
just beyond, a
similar condition of things was found to exist. John A. Stewart, the
the firm, was absent, but from the men employed in the stable it was
that the number out was 28, and that the two remaining ones left to
some work will join in the strike possibly this afternoon.
“Henderson Bros. men at North Cambridge are
all at work and
apparently will not quit for the present at least. The firm employs
men. The 20 men employed by F. Ivers & Son, North Cambridge, were
work this morning, However, the firm pays off this afternoon, and until
is not known whether the men will go out on strike or not. The firm
anticipate any trouble, and say that probably not more than one or two
“The Nelson Carriage Company's men at
Harvard sq., were all
at work, and as yet the firm bad not been notified in anyway of an
strike. Mr. Nelson believes that his men will continue their work.
“The shops of Charles Waugh of
Cambridgeport, one of the
largest manufacturers in the city, are idle today, his men, 32 in all,
quit work Saturday night. Mr. Waugh said this morning; ‘Saturday
the close of the day's work, my workmen held a meeting in the trimmers'
and sent for me. I went up and talked with them for half an hour.
“‘I tried to reason with them and explain
the stand they had
taken. The men all appeared satisfied in general, they were satisfied
their wages, hours and treatment, but the union had called tor a strike
they had to go out. This morning only two men showed up.’
“Mr. Waugh said that he should put a new
crew to work
tomorrow. The manufacturers have agreed not to hire each other's men.
“TWO FIRMS in MALDEN.
“Employes at Keene & Son's and at A. B.
“The big carriage-makers' strike for nine
hours has affected
but two concerns in Malden, W. B. Keene & Son give employment to 16
carriage-makers, who refused to go to work this morning, and the 10 men
Palmer's employ are also out.
“Mr. Keene hired five nonunion men this
morning and he says he
will replace all the old hands as soon as possible. P.A. Keidy's men
work as usual this morning. He told the men that if the other firms
nine hours that he would not ask his men to do more.
“Fifty Idle Men in Brookline.
“This morning 40 men employed by W.N.
Quinlan, the Brookline
carriage manufacturer, went out on a strike, and 12 men employed by
O'Brien of the same town, also quit. Mr. Quinlan, it is understood,
with the request of the men granting the nine hours a day it the other
The following day’s (March 28, 1893) Boston
Daily Globe gave
a slight advantage to the carriage and wagon makers union:
“SOME GAVE IN
“Carriage Workers Gained a Point or Two.
“Strikers Quiet and Confident of Winning
Strike; About 500
Men Said to Have Quit Work; No Hard Feeling Against The Employers;
“The strike of the carriage and wagon
workers for nine hours
yesterday was as complete as was anticipated by the men. It was a
the manufacturers, as many admitted in interviews.
“They did not believe the published reports
in the papers
about the strength and determination of the men, but when their men,
them old employees of 10 years' standing, refused to go to work
morning, they were obliged to place faith in the reports.
“About 500 men quit work and reported to the
headquarters, 46 Eliot st., some 300 men are working nine hours without
reduction of pay, and it is expected more will be today. The men are
orderly, and are confident of winning.
“There is not a bit of feeling on the part
of the men
against their employers, but on the contrary it was nothing unusual to
good words for the bosses they had worked for, and protests against
competitors being given any undue advantage in settlement.
“No discrimination was shown any
committee rejected several compromise offers, but the feeling of
loyalty to the
employers they had struck against was worthy of note.
“The event of the day was the statement by
one of the
manufacturers that Joseph F. Pray of Chestnut st., had notified the
Manufacturers' Association that he intended to withdraw from the
and had sent for his men. This he thought be tokened the early
the association and feelings on the part
of the manufacturers to each look after his own interests and let his
competition take care of themselves.
“In fact, so sure was M. J. Quinlan of
Brookline, who is a
competitor of Mr. Pray, that he notified his men yesterday afternoon
conceded the nine hours, and the men will return to work this morning.
“The firms who have conceded the nine hour
day are Sargent
& Ham Company, Peter A. McNnear, J. E. S. Adams, Boston Wagon
James O'Connor, Charles W. Gault, J. W. Gallishaw, William Bragg &
Joseph F. Pray, Quinsler & Co., Lally Brothers, Michael Dwyer and
“Two other firms have so far been reported
to the union as
having given the nine hours, Ferd F. French & Co. have granted the
nine-hour principle in a letter from Mr. French to his men. On account
French not having agreed to the details of beginning and ending work,
being obliged to be away in New Haven, the 70 men In their employ came
they have no fear but what a settlement will be reached as soon as Mr.
“The union held a crowded and enthusiastic
America Hall, and after initiating 30 new members, reports from the
shops were submitted by the different shop stewards.
“So far as the secretary had kept account of
the firms whose men have struck are Russ & Co., 16 men out and 14
with 4 coming out today; D. P. Nichols, 0 men out and 13 in; John T.
the men, 22 in number, out; A. B. Palmer of Malden, all men out but one
blacksmith; Pillsbury Brothers, all out; Danielson & Sons,
cut: John A. Scott & Son of Roxbury, all out; two men in the Hall
Company's factory; Nash's factory on Chester pk., all men out; Hugh
Cambridge, all men, 15 in number, out; Stewart Brothers & Co. of
all out; Strangeman & Son of Malden are minus 21 of their
A. Scott, men all out, 25 in number; John P. Smith's men all out; C. A.
secretary of the Carriage Manufacturers' Association, all out but
two;J. P. & W. H. Emond and Andrew J. Jones,
all out. All of Judkins' employees, 19 in number, have quit, and also
employed by P. McMurray; Donaldson & Co. had 16 men leave Saturday
while none of David L. Linborn’s help quit work; every man employed by
& Hill, K. S. Symmes & Son, Nelson Carriage Company, North
and at P. Healey's, East Boston, struck.The
factories of Cameron, Vincent & McDonald, Keene,
are shut down,
all the employees having gone out. Chauncey Thomas & Co. have only
blacksmiths. Some of the men In Harrison's shop at South Boston, it is
will go out today.”
As the strike wore on, it appeared that more
than just a few
of the owners were ceding to the Union’s demands. The March 29, 1893
the Boston Daily Globe reported:
“FEEL LIKE WINNERS.
“Carriage Makers Gaining Ground in Their
Manufacturers Conclude to Grant Demand for Nine Hours. Many Employers
That They Have Nearly a Full Force of Men at Work.
“The carriagemakers feel as though they were
strike for nine hours, slowly but surely. The net result for yesterday
three manufacturers who gave nine hours.
“The men employed by M. Quinlan of Brookline
went to work
yesterday forenoon on nine hours.
“One of the largest manufacturers in the
city has agreed to
have the men nine hours and his men start to work this morning.
“A GLOBE reporter stood behind one of the
committee who was
telling a man to be ready to go to work in the morning, and when he
and saw the reporter he was greatly surprised. He explained that he
that he would not lot the newspapers know that the firm had conceded
hours, and asked the reporter in deference to the wishes of both the
manufacturer and the union not to print the name of the firm, as it
injure both parties.
“The promise was cheerfully given, with the
as the settlement had been foreshadowed in yesterday evening's GLOBE
reporter should be at liberty to publish the name in this evening's
which agreement was satisfactory.
“Another firm has sent for their men to go
to work on nine
hours, and this will be news even to the members of the committee of
who were not aware of the fact last evening. The firm is Cushion &
Pynchon St., who told a member of the union to tell his men to come
back in the
morning, and up to 11 o'clock last evening he had not seen the
apprise them of the fact.
“Another large manufacturer is expected to
give in tomorrow,
but the committee will not give out anything, as the manufacturers as
they learn that one is weakening immediately make it warm for him, at
the committee says.
“Some of the manufacturers are claiming that
are not treating them fairly. As a matter of fact, when a reporter goes
committee of the men he is treated courteously and given all the news,
is often quite the reverse when the reporter calls on the manufacturer.
“Secretary Waugh of the Carriage
“’None of the 42 manufacturers who signed
our agreement has
given in, and I feel confident that they will not. The firms that have
are not numbered among the largest in the city.’
“Hiram Nash said; ‘Twelve of our men loft
us, but we have 10
at work and all we want is two more.’
“Oliver D. Pillsbury of Pillsbury Brothers
said; ‘All my men
but one are out. I apprehend no difficulty, however, in securing a full
complement of non-union men to run my shop.’
“D.P. Nichols said; ‘I have got all the man
I want and am
only minus two of my regular number of men. Although nine of my men
went out, I
can easily get along with the force I have at present.’
“Mr. Thomas of Chauncey Thomas & Co.
said: ‘In my
opinion every firm who conceded will suffer by it on account of some
never concede, and I, for one, do not propose to give in, so the final
will be 40 hours' working time. We have 10 men at work and they will
“Stewart Brothers of Cambridge hired a few
but they did not show up after dinner. The shop was closed and no
be made to run it until some settlement has been reached.
“Mr. Lucas of Kimball Brothers & Co.,
manufacturers feel that they have been treated altogether too hastily.
hour situation was sprung on us only a few weeks ago, and such
were attempted were compressed within a few days.
“‘The question of whether a nine hour day is
advisable is a
matter on which we might take issue with the men but we are always
treat with the men a business question. We may have to concede a
but we still think that the matter should be submitted to a longer
before a strike was resorted to.’
“President Scott of the association said;
'As a matter of
fact there are but 10 firms of those who settled who can be
termed carriage manufacturers. We cannot compete as manufacturers with
and sooner than give in I will turn my factory into a carriage
“Members of the committee, when asked about
manufacturers hiring plenty of men, said: ‘it is all bluff. It isn't
so, as we
have our pickets out and know just how many men are working. Chauncey
& Co. is the only large firm with any force working, and they may
before the week is over. All this talk about our jumping the nine-hour
on the manufacturers is rubbish. We asked them to confer with us on the
after we told them what we wanted, and they declined to meet us on a
“‘When they found out we meant business and
were deserted they commenced to whine that we had not given them
“‘When they declined to meet or recognize
us, the only thing
left for us to do was to strike. If they want to talk business, let
instruct their committee to meet us in a business-like manner and
deplorable strike in a business-like way. They are only men like
“Another firm in South Boston employed 12
men late last
night notified the men that they would give nine hours. One of the
firms was a
member of the old Carriage Makers' Union in 1865. The meeting of the
addressed by Henry Abrahams, secretary of the Central Labor Union,
afternoon, and George E. McNeill has promised to deliver an address
The Union’s overwhelming victory was
publicly announced in
the April 3, 1893 Boston Daily Globe:
“NINE HOUR DAY CONCEDED
“Many Firms Resume Work on That Basis Today.
Well Satisfied with Results of the Strike Thus Far.
“Chauncey Thomas & Co. and Stewart
have granted the nine-hour day to the carriagemakers. Mr. D.P. Nichols
Chauncey Thomas & Co. is the treasurer of the Carriage
Association, and his action is regarded as the death blow to the
“Mr. Nichols, in explaining his action, said;
“’I expect to open my factory Monday morning
and take back
all my old men. They will work nine hours and receive nine hours pay.’
“Mr. Nichols also said that he understood
& Co. and Joseph F. Pray had made a similar settlement. Stewart
& Co., have settled with their men, and the men go back to work
morning at nine hours. The strikers say, however, that they get the
and 10 per cent, advance, which means the same pay they were getting
“Whether or not Mr. Nichols’ ‘nine hours
pay’ meant with an
advance or without one he did not state. The committee of the union did
have the name of Chauncey Thomas & Co. among those who settled when
gave out the names of those whose men were to go to work this morning
union's terms, and will not say that they consider that Chauncey Thomas
Co. have given in.
“The firm has been negotiating with its men
for two days or
more and it was current report yesterday that many of them would go to
this morning.Whether the men get an
advance or not the mere fact that Mr. Nichols, the treasurer of the
that was pledged to fight nine hours, has conceded nine hours is
“The committee of the union yesterday drew
up a list of the
firms that had conceded the union's demands, and it was found that 46
employing 467 men, would resume work on the nine-hour basis this
these firms, seven were members of the manufacturers' association and
the agreement not to give nine hours.
“This involves Stewart Brothers, Danielson
& Co. and
several small firms whose names have not hitherto been given out. The
of the committee of the union were feeling very happy yesterday and
settlement for the trouble by Wednesday night.
“The success of the strike thus far has had
a good effect.
The men working in five or six small shops, who had not become members
of the Union,
have decided to strike this morning. About 120 members were taken into
yesterday. The men, hold a meeting during the afternoon at Pressmen's
Eliot St., and were addressed by Frank K. Foster, editor of the Labor
who aroused intense enthusiasm by his eloquent remarks.
“The men who go to work this morning will
pay 10 per cent of
their weekly wages into the fund of the union while the strike lasts.
Medford men expect that Teele & Hill and Symmes will settle soon.
are anxious to have it stated that the strike is still on in Medford
Malden, and carriage workers are expected
to keep away from those places until the strike is conceded.”
The Stewarts remained out of the spotlight,
save for an
occasional announcement of a sale of sleighs or carriages, such as the
following classified ad found in the January 13, 1901 Boston Sunday
“SLEIGHES AND BOOBIES – One six-seat
Rockaway, on traverse
runners, can be used also with wheels; one very light octagon booby,
used with either pole or shafts; one very stylish trap sleigh, on
runners; a variety of single and double sleighs, both new and second
STEWART BROS. & Co. 474 Main Street. Cambridge.”
During the early part of the 20th century,
the portions of
the Charles River that surrounded Stewart Bros. original Cambridge
filled-in to create the Charles River Basin, a Frederick Law
park and recreation scheme. The construction of the Charles River Dam
provided the city of Cambridge with additional land on which to build
and businesses which culminated in the relocation of the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology’s campus from Boston to Cambridge. The
project also resulted in the construction of the Charles River
the poorly conceived Shoe and Leather Exposition Building.
The deaths of the two other Stewarts, Samuel
A., and Hugh,
went unnoticed, however John A. Stewart’s passing was announced in the
1915 issue of the Hub:
“John A. Stewart, 60, well known as a
in Boston and Cambridge Mass. died July 13 in Cambridge. He had been
early spring when he left his quarters at the Revere House and went to
hospital for treatment. About six weeks ago he returned to his business
short time but had to give up again. He had the principal interest in
carriage manufacturing firms of Stewart Brothers & Co., 448 Main
Cambridge and Kimball Brothers Company, 112 Sudbury street, Boston. He
lived at the Revere House for seven or eight years.”
As a business, the Stewart Bros. survived,
as indicated by
the following classified ad that was included in the April 2, 1916
“BERLIN COACHES - TWO secondhand light
Berlin coaches in
good order will be sold at a sacrifice. STEWART BROS., 468
By this time, the firm’s Sudbury street
operations were long
abandoned, with the sizeable inventory of Kimball Bros. coaches,
purchased in 1892, being transferred to their Cambridge facility. A
close-out of the inventory was announced in the June23, 1918 Boston
“CARRIAGES - Closing Out Sale of all the
Kimball Bros. Co.
stock of pleasure carriages; new and little used; all styles and no two
125 to select from at your own price; they must be sold to settle up
estate; STEWART BROS. & Co, 458 Main St., near Kendall Square,
Telephone 516 Cambridge.”
Shortly thereafter the firm split its
carriage operations, with the former moving to a leased garage at 27
Street (owned by Albert C. Lynch) and the carriages to 365 Main St.,
The May 4, 1919 issue of the Boston Daily Globe containing two Stewart
classifieds listing two different addresses:
“CARRIAGES: CLOSING OUT the Kimball Bros.
carriages; the stock including all styles, beach wagons, station
wagonettes, 2-wheel carts, cut-under top phaetons, bankers gig; selling
great bargains. S. A. STEWART, 365 Main st., near Kendall square.
“FOR SALE-Extension top carryall, leather
top and curtains,
first-class condition, trimmed in green cloth; been used private; a
carriage to find to these times. STEWART BROTHERS CO., 27 Tudor St.,
phone 516 Cambridge.”
Advertisements for the S.A. Stewart Co.,
cease at that time,
but Stewart Bros. remained in business for the next two decades,
relocated to 75
Hamilton St., Cambridge as reported by the June, 1927 issue of Iron
“Stewart Brothers, 27 Tudor Street,
Cambridge operating an
automobile body and repair works, has construction under way on a new
at 75 Hamilton Street. It is scheduled for completion by June, when the
business will be removed to that location and additional equipment
Since 1986 75 Hamilton Street has been the
home of DeLeo’s
Auto Body (on the left side) and the Good News Garage (on the right –
the garage owned by radio personality Ray Magliozzi or the ‘Clack
Click & Clack). Numerous photos can be found of the building on the
pages of devoted ‘Car Talk’ fans.
Although it’s certain the Stewart Brothers
Company at 75 Hamilton,
repaired and refinished automobile coachwork into the 1930s, no
known to exist, and it’s unknown if they continued to construct
bodies. However, J. Frank Cutter, the successor to Hugh Stewart &
advertised his coachwork in the national trades and Boston newspapers.
A short biography of Hugh Stewart & Co.
was included in Arthur
Gilman’s ‘The Cambridge of Eighteen Hundred and Ninety-Six’, published
“In 1878 Mr. Stewart began the manufacture
of carriages in
Boston but business increased so rapidly that he was soon compelled to
larger quarters. He removed his plant to Cambridgeport, and in 1891
factory now occupied by the firm on Main Street at the junction of
Sixth streets. The same year he admitted as partner his former
Cutter. The firm does an extensive business in the manufacture of
have a large repair shop connected with the factory.”
An January 1893 State of Massachusetts
publication recorded the
construction of the first factory attributed directly to Hugh Stewart:
“CAMBRIDGE - In May 1892, work begun on
carriage factory for
Hugh Stewart; wood, 75 x 75 feet, two stories.”
He’ also listed separately from Stewart
Bros. in the 1895
Cambridge Blue Book, pub 1894 by Edward A. Jones.:
“Hugh Stewart & Co., 224 Main St.,
Under carriage mfrs.
“Stewart Bros. & Co., 244 Main St.,
Under carriage mfrs.”
Hugh Stewart was born in February 1841 in
to Elizabeth Stewart (born Aug. 1839 in Ireland), Hugh Stewart
emigrated in 1855
(one source says 1865). Children; Mary
J. (b. April 1870 in Burlington, Middlesex, Mass.) Samuel G. (b. 1872
Burlington-d. July 28, 1883 of diphtheria), and Rachel A. (b. 1879 in
Burlington – d. July 21, 1883 of diphtheria) Stewart. They lived a 171
St., Cambridge., Mass. The 1900 US
Census lists him in error as Hugh Stuart, all information identical.
A November 7, 1899 Boston Globe account of a
fire refers to
his factory as a separate entity, although it mentions inventory owned
Stewart & Co.:
“Two Alarms At Once
“Fire In Cambridge Carriage Factory Causes
“Hugh Stewart's carriage factory on Main
was severely damaged by fire early last evening. The fire made its
in a room on the top floor, leased to one Smythe, a manufacturer of
stools, and in a very short space of time worked through the carriage
“The storeroom was among the first of the
apartments to fall
a prey to the rapidly spreading flames. This room was filled with
carriages, the property of S.A. Stewart, many of which were destroyed.
sleighs also were badly damaged.
“The fire spread with such alarming rapidity
that it was
deemed prudent to ring in two alarms from box 17.
“Mr. Stewart’s loss on stock is estimated at
$8,000 and on
the building $1,000. Mr. Smythe’s loss on tools and stock is considered
Jacques Brothers, pattern makers, also will be among the heavy losers,
principally on account of the water. The losses are all amply covered
“When the alarm was given from box 17 it was
mixed up as to
be understood by the fire department to be box 76. The latter box is
the opposite end of the city and fully two miles or more from the
of the fire. As a consequence, hook and ladder truck No. 1 and engine
flew for box 76, and consequently away from the carriage factory.
“It was not, however, the fault of the
department, but that
of someone who attempted to pull in two alarms at the same time.”
By 1907 Hugh Stewart & Co. had entered
supply business, the April 1, 1907 issue of the Cycle and Automobile
“The fifth annual automobile and Boat Show
held March 5- 16
at Mechanics Building and Horticultural Hall Boston was considered the
show of its kind... Among dealers and
makers of tops and top supplies many new ones exhibited. One of the
prominent in this line was the Hume Carriage Co. of Amesbury, Mass.,
its top and top supplies for the first time at any show. Hugh Stewart
is also a newcomer in the show game. A prominent exhibit in the line of
robe racks and baggage racks was that of John A. Mason, Boston.”
The 1908 Motor Cyclopedia listed the firm
“CAMBRIDGEPORT, Mass.; Parts and Accessories
Hugh Stewart & Co., 414 Main St. Wood and metallic bodies, auto
By this time Hugh Stewart was 70 years old,
and control of
the firm was assumed by his partner, J. Frank Cutter.
J. Frank Cutter, b. 1869 in Lawrence, Essex
County, Mass. to
James M. (b.1834) and Winnifred (b. 1836 in Ireland) Cutter. James M.
kept a boarding house in Lawrence. They also had another son, George W.
Residence: 1920 - Cambridge Ward 10,
Massachusetts; Wife – Francis B. Cutter (b. 1870 in Mass.) His wife
dead by the time of the 1930 US Census. (Aka James Frank Cutter, wife
Frances B. Cutter.)
By 1908 Cutter was advertising under his own
name. The March
11, 1908 issue Horseless Age reported on Cutter’s display at the 1908
“J. Frank Cutter shows a line of automobile
and motor boat
tops, canopies and curtains, the majority of cars being supplied with
tops for each model upon the market. Leather, khaki and Pantasote are
these tops etc.”
The 1910 Cambridge directory lists J. Frank
Cutter at 152
Main St., Cambridge, Mass. The city’s
streets were renumbered at the turn of the century, and maps revel it
same factory erected by Hugh Stewart in 1893. An article in the July,
of Carriage Monthly mentions that Cutter had taken on a partner:
“The old carriage factory of Hugh Stewart
Cambridge Mass has taken on a new lease of life as Frank Cutter finding
so much horse vehicle work on hand has joined forces with R.A. Martin
recently returned from California and who was at one time head of the
department for Hugh Stewart & Co. The two have established the firm
Martin & Co. and have taken over the Stewart plant. They are
builders of high grade carriages and also do automobile work including
and upholstering. Mr. Cutter will give most of his time and attention
automobile end of the business which is run as a separate department.”
By that time J. Frank Cutter had relocated
the firm’s automobile
business into the brand-new Cambridge Shoe and Leather Exposition
was also the home of the Velie Motor Vehicle Co.’s Boston factory
address was 16 Amherst St., Cutters, 30 Amherst St. The structure was
by Boston financier Fred D. Fisk to house the annual National Shoe
Leather Exposition and Style Show.
Samuel Atkins Eliot's 'A History of
Massachusetts: 1630-1913' describes the building as follows:
“One of the
modern buildings of Cambridge is the Shoe and Leather Exposition
lends picturesqueness to the Cambridge bank of the Charles River. It is
source of self-congratulation to all progressive citizens that this
has been allowed to remain one of the permanent landmarks of the city.
building is now the home of the J. Frank Cutter automobile industry.
twenty five years Mr. Cutter has been identified with the carriage and
automobile business first with Hugh Stewart & Company. This firm
now is J.
Frank Cutter, having been so the past five years. The firm has been
the Shoe and Leather Exposition building since the first of February,
firm is one of the most extensive builders of Limousines and Landaulet
automobile tops and slip covers, and also paints and upholsters cars.”
No mention of R.A. Martin & Co.
Cutter remained active, exhibiting at the 1911-1916 Boston Automobile
The firm remained noticeably absent from the national trades save for
following article, which was published in the October 10, 1915 issue of
“SPECIAL CONVERTIBLE TOURING SEDAN
“ADAPTATION of motor vehicle body design to
requirements and yet preserve the essential characteristics of approved
without approaching freakishness is both an art and a science. One may
what is novel enough at the expense of convention but to develop what
every desired convenience and utility within the very limited passenger
of a normally proportioned car and yet preserve its internal and
appearance is an undertaking that more often results in failure than a
“A development of more than ordinary
interest is a body that
has for the purposes of description been given the name of a
touring sedan which has been installed on a White 45 horsepower four
chassis, and was built by J. Frank Cutter, a well-known coach body
Cambridge, Mass. to meet the ideas of Capt. Ferdinand de Jony of
Mass. who is now en route across the continent in it.
“Capt. de Jony is a retired Austrian army
officer and Mrs.
de Jony is a native of California. Both are enthusiastic motorists and
decided to drive across the continent in the autumn to visit the Panama
Exposition at San Francisco and then pass the winter in California.
they desired to have such protection that they could drive in
weather and in the event of need be independent of hotels or the
citizens, Capt. de Jony conceived a body that would be fully enclosed
would afford them comfortable habitation so long as they were on the
“The ideas were developed by Mr. Cutter and
body conforms to conventional design but it may be either a touring car
fully enclosed, and the interior is so built that it may at night be
into a sleeping compartment that insures extreme comfort.
The body is shown in the accompanying
illustrations with the
folding top raised and lowered and with the seats arranged for
top is rather low and the sides of the body are somewhat higher than
bonnet of the top extends forward over the permanent windshield. The
windows on either side drop into pockets in the doors, and in the body
while the metal frames for the windows fold, and are concealed by
that button flat. The windows are also fitted with metal screens for
against insects and intrusion and they are fully curtained.
“The front seat is divided; that used for
adjustable to afford change and freedom of position and the seats are
that the backs may be lowered and the seat cushions adjusted, much the
those of a Pullman sleeping car, so they form a bed ample for two.
There is a
folding table for use in the space between the seats and two folding
chairs for use at the table for four persons can be seated at a meal.
“The closed body is equipped with a
ventilator in the cowl
of the dash and it is heated from the exhaust. The doors may be locked
within or without. There is abundant storage space for clothing, food
supplies, and tools, and at the rear is a very large luggage carrier.
itself is splendidly finished in gray and black and is luxuriantly
The chassis is equipped with the White company's non-stalling engine,
device and a complete electric lighting system for the lamps.”
A single mention followed in a 1926 issue of
Transportation, stating that Cutter had constructed a sightseeing body,
on a 1926 Pierce-Arrow
Model Z chassis.
The April 3, 1931 issue of the MIT Tech
mentions him, it gives no clue as to whether
Cutter was still in business at that time, but mentions the building
was about to be demolished:
“When the Leather Men Guessed Wrong
“Everybody has seen the series of
which appeared in all
the magazines last year, pointing out the ‘famous wrong guesses in
history.’ Another ‘wrong guess’ is located right next to the Institute.
The old, dilapidated building next to the old dorms which now houses a
number of garages and over which hangs a large sign ‘J. Frank Cutter’
was built over twenty years ago to house
an exposition of the shoe and leather industry.
expositions were held
in the old Mechanics Building
in Boston, but the shoe and leather industry decided to build a
place tor their exposition and then rent it to other organizations who
were planning similar affairs.
“But after the Leather Exposition no one else
seemed interested in the
building and it gradually deteriorated
to its present condition. At one time a huge dome stood over its center
but that was removed a few years ago because of danger that it might
“The few tenants in the building now have been
advised that they must soon vacate and it is expected that the building
will be torn down in a
year or so.”
© 2012 Mark Theobald - Coachbuilt.com