History Mystery: The Boston Electric Spinning Company

A recent research inquiry about the Boston Electric Spinning Company led us to a History Mystery here at the Bedford Historical Society. This company was located in Bedford, Mass. on Loomis Street near the former train station and is visible on a 1906 map from our collection (above). What was the Boston Electric Spinning Company and what did they produce?

Research in our collection brought us to a 1909 Bedford guidebook published by the Edison Electric Company. An enigmatic entry in the guidebook notes that “already here are the large factory buildings of the Boston Electric Spindle [sic] Company, in which experimental work is now underway with rather a small present force, and another factory in which experiments are being conducted also.” The 1909 guidebook also published the image seen below.

Of course, we wanted to know what type of “experiments” were being conducted so we had to reach outside our collection for more information. The Boston Electric Spinning Company is mentioned in the Jan. 28, 1904 issue of the “American Machinist: A Practical Journal of Machine Construction” which has been digitized and available on the internet. According to this journal, the Boston Electric Spinning Company “is issuing a catalog devoted to a new electric spinning machine which it is putting on the market . . . there is included in the book a pictorial history of the evolution of cotton from the plant to the finished yarn.” Mystery solved – they produced electric spinning machines for textile production!

Its unclear how long Boston Electric Spinning Company was located in Bedford but a 1916 map shows that it has been replaced by Bedford Safety Razor and The Bedford Lumber Company. Do you have a history mystery that needs solving? Send your research inquires to Kathleen Fahey, Executive Director of the Bedford Historical Society, at info@bedfordmahistory.org.

Kathleen Fahey, Executive Director