Wednesday, April 16, 2008
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.