Original Billhead - The Boston Belting Company, Boston, Massachusetts

By: The Boston Belting Company

Price: $25.00

Quantity: 1 available

Book Condition: Collectible-Fine


Original billhead on blue paper with printed text and handwriting in black ink. Datelined November 18, 1851 in Boston, Massachusetts. 5" x 7 1/2." Billhead is very clean and intact. Paper has very slight wrinkling and a horizontal fold line. A Fine copy. The handwritten portions include the name of the buyer, the item(s) purchased, the price of the item(s), and acknowledgment of the buyer's payment. The printed text reads, "Bought of The Boston Belting Company. Vulcanized Rubber Goods. No. 37 Milk Street, Corner of Morton Place. John G. Tappan, Charles M'Burney, John H. Cheever: Agents for Boston Belting Company. No. 37 Milk Street, Corner of Morton Place." The buyers were "Miss P Whiting & Son," who bought "2 Pea Coats" for $10.00. The Boston Belting Company was a rubber manufacturing company founded by Henry Edwards that made a variety of rubber products including rubber belting, engine hoses, and steam packing. The company has a colorful history that interweaves with significant events involving the introduction of rubber products in the United States. In 1800, rubber was imported for the first time in the U.S. and arrived in Boston, Massachusetts. However, several years elapsed before rubber made its heyday among consumers when a Bostonian sea captain returned from his travels in 1823 and brought back with him rubber shoes from Ecuador. Rubber shoes and other rubber products were of great interest to the public due to the wet and rainy clime of Boston. Although there was high demand for rubber products, the items available were wanting in quality as they hardened and cracked in the winter and essentially melted during the summer. This problem was solved by Charles Goodyear (1800-1860), a self-taught chemist and manufacturing engineer who invented vulcanized rubber in the 1830s (Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company was named in his honor). Vulcanization is a hardening or curing process which results in a stabilized rubber that is still malleable yet non-sticky and resistant to temperature changes. Goodyear's venture into rubber experimention overlapped with the Roxbury India Rubber Company. The Roxbury India Rubber Company was the first U.S. manufacturer of rubber goods, which was founded in 1832 by Edwin Marcus "E. M." Chaffee and chartered in 1833 in Roxbury, Massachusetts, then unincorporated into Boston. Chaffee and his company had been doing their own experiments with rubber but the resulting products were unfortunately, like many others, lacking in quality. In 1834, Goodyear met with a manager at a Roxbury India Rubber Company warehouse and was shown misshapen rubber life vests made from unstable rubber. The defective life vests became a point of inspiration for Goodyear. Over the years, Goodyear and his associates worked on perfecting vulcanized rubber, and in 1844, Goodyear received a patent. The Roxbury India Rubber Company operated until 1840 when it became The Goodyear Manufacturing Company. The Goodyear Manufacturing Company was open until 1844 when it was incorporated into another rubber manufacturing company, The Boston Belting Company. The buyer, P. Whitin & Sons, was a cotton manufacturing company in Northbridge, Massachusetts. Paul Whitin (1767-1831) was a pioneering businessman and blacksmith who helped establish the Northbridge Cotton Manufacturing Company in 1809. The Whitinsville village of Northbridge is named after him. Paul and his relatives founded another cotton manufacturing company in 1815 called Whitin & Fletchers. Paul gained sole ownership of Whitin & Fletchers in 1826, and together with his sons Paul, Jr. and John, renamed the company P. Whitin & Sons. After the passing of their father in 1831, Paul, Jr. and John bought the Northbridge Manufacturing Company. Paul's two other younger sons, Charles and James, would later join P. Whitin & Sons. In 1864, the four brothers dissolved P. Whitin & Sons and sold the company store to their cousin, Paul Whitin Dudley.