Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Farrington Manufacturing




Farrington Manufacturing produced jewelry boxes and eyeglass cases at the site of the old B.F. Sturtevant plant. They actually extended the facility over to Williams street, as shown in this 1924 map (look for the large pink colored building at the top of the page.) I don't know when Farrington closed, but I believe that the Factory Outlet store I remember from the early 1960s used the Farrington building closest to Williams street for the back section of the store. Anyone else remember the popcorn stink inside the Factory Outlet? They had a food counter in the middle of the store, and the smell of the popcorn oil pervaded the building.

Back to Farrington. The Help Wanted ads above are from 1923. My late uncle Chris worked there around the time he was graduating Jamaica Plain high school (1949), and he brought home a jewelry box as a gift for his mother. His sister - my mother - still has it on her bureau. The box is nothing special - it would probably get 50 cents at a yard sale - but it's special to us for the memories. I wonder how many of these jewelry boxes survive today.






Addendum: I've been poking around online, and it seems that Farrington was also an early manufacturer of what would later become credit cards. There are references to production of an embossed metal card in 1928 (remember when they put your card through a hand-pressed roller and printed a paper receipt?) By the 1950s, they were in Needham Heights, and involved in optical imaging of credit cards. By the early 1970s, they were in bankruptcy court.

23 comments:

  1. Well...lol I just bought one for 50 cents at a yard sale

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  2. Good to hear they're still out there.

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  3. I just bought one for 50 cents at Goodwill! But there are some that are being auctioned off for $75 or more and they are in worse condition then mine! I think I will hang onto it, you never know!!

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  4. I as well have one that I purchased in a yard sale in is very special to me!! I love it, it is burgandy with gold etching and a teal turquoise inside!! I love it! Thanks for posting this info, i was looking around to see where the jewelry boxes come from. on the bottom it says fashioned by farrington GENUINE texol?? thanks for posting

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  5. i have a small collection of farrington jewelry boxes that i've been getting from thrift stores (mostly in maryland) in various conditions, and they've all cost less than $5. I like the colors and scrollwork designs on the exterios and the pretty velvet interiors. haven't had too much luck finding out any information about the brand online until i found this!

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  6. I just found a blue one in great shape with the key. It has a medical symbol on the top. Has anyone heard of one like this before? I can send pictures. It is really of no interest to me, I was going to post it on ebay...but if anyone is a collector, I would much rather see it put with you stefanieshowell@aol.com

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  7. I just purchased my jewelry box at Goodwill for $4.99. It has the "fashioned by Farrington on the bottom." It is in mint condition with a tan cover and dark fuchsia velvet inside. I live in Florida and have never seen a box like this.
    Thanks for the info.

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  8. Hi, I live in Wisconsin and I bought my jewelry box at Goodwill. It's in mint condition with a tan cover and dark fuchsia velvet inside, AND still has the key. Thanks for posting this information. I love the box.

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  9. just bought jewelry box(farrington for $3.00 at an estate sale was wondering if there is any value genuine texol velvet and silk inside .

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  10. It was my mother's little jewlery box. It is in mint condition. The lock still works. It has a tan cover w/ gold scrolling on edge. Inside is dark fuchsia velvet and silk. What is Texol? Looks like leather. I think I'll hold on to it. Very pretty.

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  11. I too just bought a jewelry box at a flea market for .50. I didn't know anything about it, just that it was a solid piece in good condition, and it was pink. I commented to my husband that it must be old because things you buy today are such junk. What a nice surprise!

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  12. Hi,i just bought on ebay a set of krementz cufflinks and stud buttons and on the back of the case is written farrington boxzs made in usa.It is shaped like a clam shell and opens like an open clam shell.It looks old.When did farrington box company make containers for krementz jewelery?

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  13. In addition to the jewelry boxes, eye glass cases, cuff links and other items, the Farrington company at one time also held the patent for the Presidential Seal stamp.

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  14. I found one of these is aqua blue silk with gold embrodery in my dads old cabnits. Inside there was two tiny christmas cards, a button, and a pin with the letters SHW in gold. I asked him if he knew who it belonged to but he couldn't remember! At least now I know the production of these were in 1924

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  15. I recently found my grandfather's among my mother's things, whilst looking for a book (which I still have not found.) It was still filled with his cufflinks, tie pins, tie tacs, and the like, and my mother believed some of these things belonged to his father. I know use it for my jewelry, including these heirlooms, as well as those I have acquired over the years. There is something about heirloom pieces like these, while not intrinsically valuable, that give them a beauty and a value that things one acquires in their lifetime can never have.

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  16. I FOUND A BEAUTY A FRENCH BLUE AND GOLD CHINOISERIE FABRIC WITH BLUE SILK AND VELVET INSIDE IN EXCELLLENT CONDITION. CHINOISERIE BRASS SCROLLING ON THE SIDE TOO. WOW. SEEMS LIKE IT COULD BE WORTH SOME $. LOVE IT!

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  17. If I remember correctly, Farrington not only made the metal credit card, they made the machine. In the trivia file of my mind.
    Barb D

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  18. What is Texol? leather? cardboard? both?

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  19. I have three wooden crates put together to make bookshelves that I'm refinishing. On the sides of each is stamped Farrington Manufacturing Co. Jamaca Plain St. Boston-30 Mass. Then on the inside it is stamped Order #781 Alligator Amt 633. Anyone have a clue about the history of these crates. Curious

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  20. My father worked at Farrington when I was very little (1950's) He was some sort of supervisor, but his cousin Gene Vogt was either an owner or top exec. I do not really know. Too little. I just bought a box also for .75. Had to preserve that little piece of family history.

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  21. iknew 2 girls worked there 52 53 talked about chris dont know last name could this be your uncle when did he pass on what cause did he leave co in early months of 53 reply requested

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  22. I was recently gifted one from my husband's grandmother. It still has the key in the envelope & a business card that reads: fashioned by Farrington, the ORIENTAL EXPRESS, STYLE 16 BLUE, $12.50.

    It's gorgeous. It also has some jewelry in it that belonged to my husband's mom & aunt. I love the earrings. The backs screwed on until the were snug against your ear. These were for non pierced ears.

    The box top is dirty from sitting in her basement for who knows how many years. The rest of the box looks great. I can't believe the condition it is in. It's simply beautiful.

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