March 24, 1851



March 24 Monday  It was so unpleasant this morning

that Jane could not put her clothes out but

about noon it cleared up and she has got

them all dry  I have cut out a shirt for Oliver 

of fine unbleached cloth and have sewed

some of it & mended Mr Ames coat & vest

He went to Canton this afternoon.  Mr Whitwell

called.  Mrs Witherell passed an [illegible] this evening

Perhaps wearing one of his new shirts, or at least wearing a mended one, Oakes Ames traveled to neighboring Canton today.  Named for Canton, China, because some imaginative citizen believed the Chinese city to be its geographical twin on the opposite side of the world, the Massachusetts city had manufacturing interests much like Easton. Since before the American Revolution, the Kinsley family had operated an ironworks there. Like the shovel works, the Kinsley business had started small and grown well. Initially, it produced farm implements and was entirely family-run. It had a forge, a large rolling mill and the capability of producing steel.

In 1851, Lyman Kinsley was its sole operator; by 1858, the company would be owned by the Ameses. Oliver Ames Jr. would become its first Ames president, with others to follow (Frederick Lothrop Ames would be next, and after him, his son Oliver.) Frank Morton Ames would be its General Manager. Perhaps Oakes’s visit to Canton today, although certainly having something to do with getting steel for shovels, was also quietly prompted by some foreknowledge that the Ameses were interested in acquiring this complementary business.

Once the Ames owned it, the Kinsley Iron and Machine Company would eventually develop to produce wheels and axles for railroad cars, another product that would fit nicely with Ames business interests.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s