Florence in Hampshire County, Massachusetts — The American Northeast (New England)
The American plastics industry began in Florence in 1843 when A.P. Critchlow experimented with a new substance called the Florence Compound---a crude, brittle plastic made from resin, wood fibers and shellac from which he manufactured buttons, jewelry cases, revolver handles and its most successful product, dagosffeotype cases, By 1885, the company produced the first commercially successful toothbrush, changing its name to the Pro-Phy-Lac-Tic Brush Company in 1924. The Pro Brush Company, as it became known, diversified, manufacturing a vast array of plastic products, including Top Secret atomic bomb parts for the Manhattan
Just prior to the Civil War, Leander Langdon invented and patented a sewing machine. Just five years later, the Florence Sewing Machine Company produced 20,000 sewing machines a year. By the 1870s, it was also producing stoves, becoming the Florence Machine Company. Its brick factory buildings along Florence’s Main Street now houses professional offices and shops.
Erected by Historic Northampton.
Location. 42° 20.117′ N, 72° 40.4′ W. Marker is in Florence, Massachusetts, in Hampshire County. Marker is at the intersection of Park Street and Meadow Street on Park Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Florence MA 01062, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 8 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Florence Eagles (here, next to this marker); Entrepreneurs and Philanthropists (here, next to this marker); The Anti-Slavery Community (here, next to this marker); Cornet Joseph Parsons (approx. 2.6 miles away); Hatfield (approx. 2.7 miles away); Hadley (approx. 2.9 miles away); Holyoke Range and Skinner State Parks (approx. 4.8 miles away); a different marker also named Hadley (approx. 7.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Florence.
Categories. • Abolition & Underground RR • Industry & Commerce •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 8, 2013, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. This page has been viewed 494 times since then and 42 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on June 8, 2013, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.