The Wonalancet Company of Nashua New Hampshire and its founder Harry Harmon Blunt (1875-1923)

wonalancet co logo

Wonalancet Company of Nashua NH logo

The Wonalancet Company was founded in Nashua New Hampshire, incorporated in 1905 by Harry Harmon Blunt (not the Henry H. Blount as is printed in some sources). This company was an important cotton importing house in its day, specializing in Peruvian cotton. Eventually the company expanded with a presence not only in Nashua, but also in Boston MA, Piura and Lima, Peru. They also began to import Chinese cotton. Continue reading

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The Edgerly and Cloutman Families of Farmington, Alton, and New Durham New Hampshire

Patience Tash (Edgerly) Cloutman

Patience Tash (Edgerly) Cloutman

The face of Patience Tash (Edgerly) Cloutman looks out from an ancient tintype photograph. I suspect that she sat for her portrait around the time of the Civil War, as her dress style was of that era. She would have been in her fifties and probably already a widow.

She had been born in 1803, and lived her entire life near the seacoast, in New Durham and Farmington, New Hampshire. When he husband died in 1854, she still had two of the younger, under-aged children at home. Her life probably was not an easy one. Her forehead is greatly wrinkled, perhaps from worry. She had lost her husband, and then a few years later her oldest son. She would live a long time, dying in 1894 at the age of 91. Continue reading

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Official New Hampshire State Beverage: Apple Cider

applesIn 2010, at the petition of fourth grade students from Jaffrey, New Hampshire and others, the New Hampshire General Court, by a vote of 230-74 approved apple cider as New Hampshire’s office beverage with the passage of House Bill 1206.


House Bill 1206 (2010)
AN ACT adopting apple cider as the New Hampshire state beverage
SPONSORS: Rep. Mitchell, Ches 7
COMMITTEE: Environment and Agriculture
ANALYSIS: This bill adopted apple cider as the official New Hampshire state beverage.
Apple cider is hereby designated as the official state beverage of New Hampshire.”

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Downing & Abbot Company Founder and Carriage Builder of Concord New Hampshire: Lewis Downing (1792-1873)

Downing Lewis

Portrait of Lewis Downing from History of Merrimack and Belknap Counties NH

As early as 1835 the word was out that Downing & Abbot were the makers of quality conveyances. The New Hampshire Patriot and Gazette (Concord, New Hampshire), dated Monday, June 1, 1835, page 2, carried this story:

“A splendid Coach.” We have been a good deal amused since our return from a short visit to Sullivan and Cheshire counties, by the manner in which certain federal editors have spoken of our traveling equipage. One of them said that “the editor of the Patriot drove up to the Tremont House” in Claremont, “in a splendid four wheeled carriage.” He said nothing of the number of horses, but left it to the imagination of the reads to supply the “four wheeled carriage” with an elegant span or two of dapple greys, a coachman, and if they pleased, footmen, and out-riders in livery. Another improved upon this, and converted the elegant “four wheeled carriage” into a “splendid coach” and thought it quite too aristocratic for a democratic editor to travel in such “pomp and splendor.” Now, in gratitude to the federal editors, who have done us so much honor, we regret that duty compels us to spoil all the “pomp and splendor” of the “elegant four wheeled carriage,” by saying it was simply a one horse carryall, drawn by a single sober family beast–which we hired at the stable of Grover & Prescott, and which carryall was manufactured by our enterprising townsmen, Downing & Abbot–“elegant” to be sure in its way, and a most neat, convenient and comfortable vehicle for any gentleman who wishes to travel with his wife and children, and the usual appendages of such expeditions, trunks, bags, and bandboxes. So much for the “splendid coach.” But since we have been the cause of bringing the elegant workmanship of Messrs. Downing & Abbot into such honorable notice, we think it no more than right, that they should “call at the captain’s office and settle” for the hire of the “elegant four wheeled carriage.”

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The Face of Manchester New Hampshire’s Lena E. (Bower) Graf (1881-1972)

Lena Etta (Bower) Graf of Manchester NH

Photograph of Lena Etta (Bower) Graf of Manchester NH. Back of photograph states: Lena E. Bower, wife of Eddie Graf, 1904.

Lena Etta Bower was born in Manchester, New Hampshire in 1881. Her father was from England, having immigrated in 1855, arriving in Boston Massachusetts. It was a time when skilled textile workers from England were being sought to work in the growing mills in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. By 1900, her father was a dresser tender, considered an essential, skilled job, and living at 42 Stark Street, mill worker housing. In fact, most of her life revolved in some way around the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company. Lena is representative of many Manchester women whose families built the city through their labor.

Lena attended the local schools, possibly even those owned and run by Amoskeag. According to the 1940 US Census, she had completed high school, so possibly she graduated from Manchester High School. The photograph shown, taken at the WR Call studio in 1904, was only a few years after her high school graduation and two years before her marriage. Her husband Edwin Graf, also worked for the city’s mills, being a “section hand” at the time of their marriage, and later becoming an overseer. Continue reading

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