Henry Hooker & Co - 1830 (1868)-1920 - New Haven, Connecticut


   

State St, New Haven CT. - Edwin Marble, (of New York City) President 1897

Known automobile body builder, probably for Locomobile in nearby Bridgeport.

The plant of Henry Hooker & Co. is one of the largest in its line in the country. The founder of the house, Henry Hooker, began business in 1830, at which time he established a repository in a Southern city, for the sale of Northern carriages; later on he formed a copartnership and began manufacturing in New Haven, under the firm name of Hooker & Osborne. This firm was dissolved and Mr. Hooker continued under the firm name of Hooker, Candee & Co. and later as Henry Hooker & Co. Mr. Osborne also formed a new co-partnership and the new firm name was Osborne & Adriance. In 1868 Henry Hooker & Co. incorporated. The present officers of the company are: Edwin Marble, President; Frank H. Hooker, Treasurer and Manager, and N. Albert Hooker, Secretary. In or about 1862 Henry Hooker, together with James Brewster, Edwin Marble and Leverett Candee, who were heavy endowers of the paper of the G. D. Cook Co., were compelled to take the latter company's plant to save themselves, and the business of Henry Hooker & Co. was moved therein, where it continues to the present day, although greatly enlarged from what it was when the Cook Co. occupied it. The firm built a high grade of work for city trade, and the house takes rank as one of the most flourishing in the country. Henry Hooker, the founder of the house, died about twenty-three years ago. The plant stands today as one of the most thoroughly equipped in the United States, and its product is known, not only well known at home, but also in foreign countries, the export trade for many years having been a leading feature.

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George R. Cady, (born in Columbia, New York) draftsman and designer for Henry Hooker & Co., New Haven, Connecticut, was born in Columbia County, New York. He learned his trade in Hudson, New York, and drifted to Bridgeport, Connecticut, and from there to New Haven. He became associated with the late W. H. Cooper, who was at that time a body maker. Mr. Cooper took special interest in the young draftsman, and under his kindly guidance made considerable progress. In 1887 he became draftsman with Henry Hooker & Co., and has held this position since that time, and has built up a reputation as a most able designer of fine and stylish work.

Mr. Cady is a thorough body maker, and has achieved his high place by reason of close application to work. He possesses originality, as his designs show, and has made the subject of designing and construction his earnest study from his earliest connection with the industry. He enjoys the esteem and good will of the firm with which he is associated. The high standard of the work of Henry Hooker & Co. is in no small degree due to the skill, originality and enthusiastic devotion of this draftsman.

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A. Gravel, (born, Montreal, Quebec) draftsman for Herman Brunn, Buffalo, New York, was born in Montreal, Canada, where he learned coach building. He came to the United States in 1887, and found employment in the shops of Holcomb Bros., New Haven, Connecticut. He was also employed in the same city by B. Manville & Co. for two years, and by the New Haven Carriage Co. one year. He went to New York and secured employment with Brewster & Co., where he remained one year and six months. Returning to Canada, he became foreman and draftsman for B. Ledoux, Montreal. Later he returned to Brooklyn, and served two years in the carriage shops of J. Curley: then back to New Haven, serving two years in the shops of Henry I Hooker & Co., and still later attending the Technical School for a short period. During the past three years Mr. Gravel has been employed by H. Brunn, Buffalo, New York.

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J. R. Way, (born Dec. 4, 1860, North Carolina) draftsman and foreman for the George N. Pierce Co., Buffalo, New York, automobile builders, was born in North Carolina on December 4, 1860. At the age of eighteen years he went to Carthage and learned the trade of body carriage making with the Union Body Co., where he served three years. He came North and entered the employ of F. T. Clymer, Wilmington, Del., and in 1884 worked for Gregg & Bowe, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He then returned to Carthage, North Carolina, and worked for Tyson & Jones for awhile, but again retraced his steps northward and worked for William Johnson, and later for Henry Hooker & Co., New Haven, Connecticut.

Mr. Way then went to Cincinnati, St, Louis, Chicago and finally landed in San Francisco. Later on he turned up in Galveston, Texas, and, after a stay there, returned to New York and worked for Brewster & Co. and attended the Technical School for two years. He next worked for James Cunningham, Son & Co.; then as draftsman and foreman for H. Brunn, Buffalo, New York, and is now engaged with the George N. Pierce Co., Buffalo, New York, in the same capacity,

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J. Lawrence Hill, (born 1874, England) assistant draftsman for James Cunningham, Son & Co., Rochester, New York, was born in England, in 1874. When twelve years of age his parents immigrated to New Zealand. He became an apprentice in the establishment of James Greer, Auckland, New Zealand, for five years, After learning his trade he went as an improver with Gee & Potter, Auckland, in the meantime attending drawing school and following The CARRIAGE MONTHLY. He sailed for San Francisco about six years ago and engaged with O'Brien & Sons, of that city, attending the Lincoln School five evenings in the week, and about the same time he entered the corresponding class of the New York Technical School.

In 1899 he was employed by Brewster & Co., New York City. After a short time he took both day and evening instruction in the Technical School, and at the close of the 1902 sessions graduated with honors. His next step was his tour around the world. While in England he attended the classes at the Polytechnic Institute. After passing through Europe, he returned to Melbourne, Australia, and worked awhile for Cousins & Atkins, and built the first automobile body ever built in New Zealand. Returning to the United States by way of Canada. he reached New Haven. Connecticut and was employed in the shops of Henry Hooker & Co., and later with the George N. Pierce Co., Buffalo, New York. He is now employed by James Cunningham, Son & Co. as assistant draftsman.

 

   

For more information please read:

A Few Leading Carriage Centers - The Hub, October 1897

Biographies of Prominent Carriage Draftsmen - Carriage Monthly, April 1904

Beverly Rae Kimes - The Classic Car

Beverly Rae Kimes - The Classic Era

Beverly Rae Kimes - Packard: A History of the Motorcar and Company

Beverly Rae Kimes & Henry Austin Clark Jr. - Standard Catalog of American Cars 1805-1942

Richard Burns Carson - The Olympian Cars

Raymond A. Katzell - The Splendid Stutz

Marc Ralston - Pierce Arrow

Brooks T. Brierley - There Is No Mistaking a Pierce Arrow

Brooks T. Brierley - Auburn, Reo, Franklin and Pierce-Arrow Versus Cadillac, Chrysler, Lincoln and Packard

Brooks T. Brierley - Magic Motors 1930

Nick Georgano - The Beaulieu Encyclopedia of the Automobile: Coachbuilding

John Gunnell - Standard Catalog of American Cars, 1946-1975

James M. Flammang & Ron Kowalke - Standard Catalog of American Cars, 1976-1999

Daniel D. Hutchins - Wheels Across America: Carriage Art & Craftsmanship

Marian Suman-Hreblay - Dictionary of World Coachbuilders and Car Stylists

Michael Lamm and Dave Holls - A Century of Automotive Style: 100 Years of American Car Design

Thomas E. Bonsall - The Lincoln Motorcar: Sixty Years of Excellence

Fred Roe - Duesenberg: The Pursuit of Perfection

Arthur W. Soutter - The American Rolls-Royce

John Webb De Campi - Rolls-Royce in America

Hugo Pfau - The Custom Body Era

Hugo Pfau - The Coachbult Packard

Griffith Borgeson - Cord: His Empire His Motor Cars

Don Butler - Auburn Cord Duesenberg

George H. Dammann - 90 Years of Ford

George H. Dammann & James K. Wagner - The Cars of Lincoln-Mercury

Thomas A. MacPherson - The Dodge Story

F. Donald Butler - Plymouth-Desoto Story

Fred Crismon - International Trucks

George H. Dammann - Seventy Years of Chrysler

Walter M.P. McCall - 80 Years of Cadillac LaSalle

Maurice D. Hendry - Cadillac, Standard of the World: The complete seventy-year history

George H. Dammann & James A. Wren - Packard

Dennis Casteele - The Cars of Oldsmobile

Terry B. Dunham & Lawrence R. Gustin - Buick: A Complete History

George H. Dammann - Seventy Years of Buick

George H. Dammann - 75 Years of Chevrolet

John Gunnell - Seventy-Five Years of Pontiac-Oakland

 



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