Guide to the Choate Manufacturing Company Records, 1862-1869
Collection number: MS 281
About the Choate Manufacturing Company
The Choate Manufacturing Company of South New Market (now in Exeter) N.H. was incorporated on 1 Dec. 1862 for “the purpose of carrying on the manufacture of brass and compositine castings for water steam and gas machinery of various kinds and such other branches of business as may be necessary or convenient”. The Boston & Maine Railroad was their principle market. Records include formation and sale of stock, bylaws, text of address to annual meetings of stockholders, budget reports and audits, and votes for board members and who received how many votes.
In September of 1866, the American Safety Steam Engine Co. of Boston (to whom the Choate Co. was presumably selling their products) failed to make payments, resulting in a nearly $19,000 debt to C.M.Co. In response, the Choate Company took all the equipment, patterns, and patents held by George B. Brayton in payment, but was still in the red. This was reported to stockholders in May of 1867. Between 1867 and 1869, records relate to asking stockholders whether the company should reorganize under a different name and continue business at a financial loss, or go out of business and sell off remaining shares and equipment.
There is no record of the decision in this volume, but Merrill’s “Exeter, New Hampshire: 1888-1988” (Peter E. Randell, 1988) lists the Choate Manufacturing Company as the founder of the Exeter Machine Works. It notes that William Burlingame became president of the company in 1867, and that the buildings burned to the ground in 1870. They were replaced with brick buildings, and the Exeter Machine Works (as it must by then have been known) continued business under various names until moving to Medville Pennsylvania in 1907.
About the Choate Manufacturing Company Records
The single notebook of records consists of pages of handwritten notes on the incorporation, business, financial crisis, and end of the company, likely copied from another source. Various different handwritings are included. Several pages missing at end.
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[Identification of item], Folder 11, Box 26, Choate Manufacturing Company Records, 1862-1869, MS 281, Milne Special Collections and Archives,
University of New Hampshire Library, Durham, NH, USA.
Purchase from Carman Valentino Rare Books, unknown date.
Collection is in original order as received.