Calvin Curtice & Company. A Co-Partnership Calvin Curtice,Israel F. Towne,Gilman Scripture and John M. Whiton Jr. Sept 1, 1846
A new glass company named Calvin Curtice & Company was formed under the partnership of Calvin Curtice,Israel Towne,Gilman Scripture, and John Whiton , who had incorporated their company in Mill Village, Stoddard, on September 1st 1846. Mill Village is located between the Island pond and Highland Lake in the North eastern part of Stoddard. This factory employed George Foster after his fathers second works failed financially and closed. All of the glass historians who have written about the various Stoddard glass factory's fail to mention Israel F Towne as a partner in the manufacture of glass. This ad below clearly shows the company's incorporation including Mr Towne. I think the Towne family would be proud to know their name is also associated with Stoddard glass. I am quite pleased to have been the first to mention this in the glass making history of the Stoddard Factories. The order of the names is also significant in that actually two corporations existed between these gentlemen. Curtice and Towne were one partnership and Scripture and Whiton were a separate one. On April 28th Scripture and Whiton first entered into partnership with a store front selling general merchandise,and later that year September 1st the Calvin Curtice & Company partnership was formed including Scripture and Whiton.
Curtice and Company had purchased from Joseph Foster all of the bottle molds he had bought from the Keene New Hampshire Marlboro Street glass works. The molds were altered and any reference to Keene or Fosters works was erased. Some of the other bottles Curtice & Company made were numerous medicine bottles, such as the Dr. Townsend’s Sarsaparilla,Swaims,.Demi-Johns were a staple output of the factory as were wine and porter bottles. Inkwells were made for the Farley’s store in Marlow New Hampshire. In 1847 a serious damaging fire broke out and did significant damage. The Thursday, November 18, 1847 Farmer's Cabinet from (Amherst, NH) had a small story in the daily news column that read......
The factory was rebuilt in early 1848 and the out put of the factory increased. Things were running Smoothly when suddenly Israel F. Towne Died forcing a restructuring of the company. Israel was born June 14, 1761 in Stoddard, and he died May 02, 1848. He was a large reason Calvin Curtice was able to secure the necessary funds to build and operate the factory. He was a Revolutionary war veteran and a well liked man of the community of Stoddard. In fact it was he who he had helped Calvin secure the loan from the Ashuelot bank of Keene. Israel had married Hannah Abbott and with his passing the remaining Towne family was due their share of the business. It took a little over a year to straighten out the business ownership of the three remaining partners but the following legal ad sums up precisely what happened next on August 24th and August 27th 1849......
From this ad it shows not only how the company name changed but who was in control at that point.The new name of the company was now..Scripture,Whiton & Curtice with Israel Townes passing Scripture and Whiton were now controlling the business from their Store front operation.This arrangement lasted for 2 years . Bottles were being sold in great quantities early in 1850 when Scripture Whiton and Curtice faced a similar threat to what they had imposed on Joseph Foster, competition from a well financed partnership in South Stoddard..More on that venture at a later date at this website. The factory had some good years and bad ones the next six years. In 1854 Gilman Scripture would leave the partnership as he was being tugged to head North to Nashua to work at The George Underhill Edge Tool Company started in 1850. The company became quite a famous exporter of axes, hatchets, hammers, chisels, and cleavers throughout the world. He was also responsible for the Crown Hill area, as he owned most of it. Mayors of Nashua at the time were William Beasom and Gilman Scripture who were also both executive employees in George Underhill's company. The new company was now ran by Whiton and Curtice. They continued to make the same type of bottles they had always produced,Demi-johns,wine ,porters,pocket flasks,ink stands and common paneled medicine bottles. The Spring Mineral water bottle business was big for them as so many mineral water springs were located within a 100 mile radius of the factory.
Sometime between 1855 and very early in 1856 the business began to develop monetary problems very typical of any company trying to balance every aspect of maintaining the daily operations. Gilman Scripture had left the firm and a name change took place. The new name for the glass factory was The Granite Glass Works. I have not located this legal transaction in Newspapers yet but I am quite confident it occurred. We know this because of a passage in John Morrill Fosters book "Old Bottle Foster",George W Foster wrote in his diary "January 1st 1856 Whiton and Curtice owe me $186.19 besides note for 150.00 ,total my due $336.19" Also on this date he writes the following "Today is the first day of the year. I am blowing Qt. wines ,At the Granite Glass Works ,Stoddard N. H. John M. Whiton and Calvin Curtice proprietors.
The end was near for Whiton and Curtice because subsequent mentions in Georges diary show a slow progression of decline in the business of the factory over the next 30 days where George continually states the term "money owed" to him by Whiton and Curtice. The final end of curtice and Whiton owned works were a strange one,in his diary George writes he was asked by the sheriff to blow bottles. This was probably a court ordered action probably to fulfill an outstanding order of glass. The factory was put up for Sheriffs sale by sheriff Joshua Wyman on February 14th. In his diary again from John Morril Fosters book " Old Bottle Foster" the following excerpt.... Whiton and Curtice were sued and all their property attached by Sheriff Joshua Wymann. The Keene Ashuelot Bank on first for 5000.00 and there were 12 to 14 others. I am on for 500.00 or more they owe me. The sheriff wanted to work and blow the glass out and he would see that we all were paid.Began to blow at ten AM and got done at four PM.
The next day he writes February 15th: Made 532 quart wines for Sherriff Wyman.As soon as we were done they cleaned out the funace,so as to heat it up again another fire.The Whiton and Curtice ownership was now over but strangely enough George maintained a civil relationship with John Whiton for over the course of the following three months George had dinner with the Whitons and also borrowed their horse for periods of time. One odd entry occurs on Sept 5 where a Mr Whiton asked him to blow glass at the Granite works when it resumed,and a similar offer from Mr B F Messer .On September 22 1856 the Glass works were running again. Whiton and Curtice although in serious financial difficulty still reeling from the February court oreders were apparently still in fine standing with the town of Stoddards hierarchy. The likely owners at this time were John Whiton,Calvin Curtice and Bejamin F Messer.
The entry's in his diary through out the months of September and October 1856 show George Foster was still blowing 2 to 300 quart wines a day. The final end was near though for on Friday November 7th George wrote.... Sherriff J Wyman sold all the glass of the Granite Glass Works. He wrote that Gilman Scripture bought it at a rate of 3.50 per gross of quart wine bottles. On the 12th of November George notes he settled with Mr Curtice for 138.92. On November 26th the company's assets including the buildings and land were put up for auction. Enter the name George L Curtis spelled Curtis not Curtice. This spelling of the two names at times has fooled glass historians thinking these two men were possibly related to each other. Calvin Curtice has had his name mentioned frequently as Calvin Curtis. George W Foster writes in his diary again the following I went to the auction of the company property,: he writes" George L Curtis bid on most of the factory things. I bid on 49 old cast iron molds at one dollar each. I supposed I was buying all the Company's Molds,but they deceived me. This is the story of the third glass works to built in Stoddard and as you can see the ability to run a glass factory properly was a difficult task at best. Bad business practices coupled with forces they could not control at times placed a heavy burden on the glass factory proprietors. Below is an ad placed by John Reel looking to be paid for delivery work performed for the firm in March of 1856......
A great looking ink stand,pontiled,colored in a beautiful butter scotch light amber color.This Ink stand comes from Kevin out of Maine.
The GII-81 Eagle/Eagle pint sized flask embossed GRANITE GLASS CO on one side and STODDARD NH on the other.
This next Flask is also a GII-81 and comes from Kevin Cain . Kevin will be a regular contributor to the site. This is a great looking flask. The color on this one is a little lighter amber then the one in my collection.
Pieces of bottles and jars recovered from the Granite Glass Works factory site.
The top of a bottle below. Was it a whimsical piece or did the threading wrapped around the neck serve as a utilitarian feature.
Nice 6 inch tall Crimped footed creamer. Stoddard Orange amber in color rough pontil mark good base wear,1845 to 1860