Archive:The Descendants of John Whitney, page 142
The Descendants of John Whitney, Who Came from London, England, to Watertown, Massachusetts, in 1635, by Frederick Clifton Pierce (Chicago: 1895)
Transcribed by the Whitney Research Group, 1999.
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and wooden ware at Erving, Mass., the style of the firm being Washburn & Heywood. They are also largely engaged in the manufacture and sale of lumber, owning about 3,000 acres of woodland in Erving, Northfield and New Salem. At this point it is proper to refer to the inventions of Mr. HEYWOOD, which have been mostly to meet the demands of his own business and have largely contributed to its success. Among them may be named one for a wood chair seat, one for tilting-chair, three for machines for splitting, shaving and otherwise manipulating rattan, and four for machinery for bending wood. He has also invented a very valuable process (not immediately connected with his own business, but of value to it, as utilizing in a new direction the pith of the rattan after stripping the enamel from it) for injecting rattan with india rubber or other suitable material, thus making an excellent substitute for whalebone. Of the merits of his wood-bending process, it may be proper to introduce the testimony of M. Fr. THONET, of Vienna, Austria, the head of the largest chair manufacturing firm in the world, employing some 5,000 operative. After visiting the factories of Messrs. HEYWOOD he wrote: "I must tell you candidly that you have got the best machinery for bending wood that I ever saw, and I will say that I have seen and experimented a great deal in the bending of wood." The HEYWOOD patents have been combined with those of John C. MORRIS, of Cincinnati, on which the patents of BLANCHARD have, after protracted litigation, been decided to be infringements. The combined patents, owned by Morris & Heywood Wood-bending Co., it is believed, cover the really effective methods for bending wood. Mr. HEYWOOD, in addition to his large personal business, he having retained to his present time, though now in his 78th year, the supervision in all its details of the mechanical department of the business, including the adaptation and construction of new machinery and devices for greater economy and perfection of manufac- ture, has been very active in public enterprises. He repre- sented the town in the convention for revising the constitution of the state in the year 1853, and in the lower branch of the Legislature in 1871. He has been a director in the Gardner National Bank and a trustee of the Gardner Savings Bank from the organization of those institutions. Mr. HEYWOOD is not personally identified, by membership, with any church. A regular attendant, however, of the Congregational Church in Gardner, he is a liberal contributor to its current expenses, and responds cheerfully and liberally to the calls of benevo- lence. He is also largely interested in educational matters, and personally in the schools and has made liberal donations of land and otherwise, to the town in this direction. Respected in the highest degree for personal integrity and excellence of his character in all the relations of his life, his example is for good to the large number of his employees and to the community by which he has been long looked up to as its wealthiest and most influential citizen: Benjamin F., b. Jan. 10, 1802; m. Sarah COMEE, and d. Apr. 2, 1843; Walter, b. Feb. 13, 1804; m. Nancy FOSTER, and d. Aug. 1, 1880. Walter HEYWOOD, founder of the Walter Heywood Chair Company, of Fitchburg, and its presi- dent from the first, died in Fitchburg, Aug. 1, 1880. Mr. HEYWOOD was born at Gardner, Feb. 13, 1804. He was a lineal descendant of one of the Pilgrim families who came over in the Mayflower. His grandfather, Seth HEYWOOD, went from Sterling to Gardner about 1773, and was one of the first settlers of the town. During the Revolutionary war he was an officer in the continental army at Cambridge for nine months. He was a man of superior mind, his range of reading was very wide, and his memory was remarkably retentive. Mr. HEYWOOD was the son of Benjamin and Mary (WHITNEY) HEYWOOD, and was the third of a family of six sons. He attended the schools of
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