Wilcox Crittenden Chrome / Brass Bow Handle
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Wilcox Crittenden Chrome / Brass Bow Handle:
Up for sale is a pair of Wilcox crittenden bow handel. The handle is chrome / brass, and it is unmarked. There are somesmall spots by the back bolt hole where you can see brass.Item is offered to US residence only. No international shipping. Please let me know if there are any questions.
History of Wilcox, Crittenden & Co.
In 1847, Middletown was New England's largest inland port, and it was in that year the company that would become Wilcox, Crittenden & Co., Inc. was established. According to thecentennial history of the company, it was in Ben Butler's sail loft in Middletown that Eldridge Penfield first conceived of developing a metal grommet (later to be called the sail eyeletgrommet) to replace the rope grommets that were currently being used by sailmakers.
In partnership with his uncle, Ira Penfield, Eldridge Penfield formed the firm of E. H. & I.K. Penfield. The business was opened in a small building at the rear of the property located at Main and William Street in Middletown, and was the first company in America to produce metal grommets. The first grommets were stamped out using hand presses which were operated by thepartners and by William Walter Wilcox, whom they had hired.
For the next two years, Penfield tried to market the new grommets by utilizing travelingsalesmen who brought and sold on consignment and kept most of the profits. After this unsuccessful period, Eldridge Penfield sold out his interest to Ira Penfield, and Wilcox investedhis savings and became a partner in the new firm called Penfield & Wilcox.
By using more direct marketing techniques, Wilcox was able to overcome the oppositionthat developed on the part of journeymen sailmakers who feared that the use of the new grommetwould reduce the need for their services. The company prospered and added other items to theirinventory based on the needs of sailmakers. In 1857, Wilcox invented and patented a new andimproved grommet made in three parts which was even more successful than the original device. He also invented a round-edged sail thimble which replaced the iron, sharp-edged thimble previously in use.
The partnership of Penfield & Wilcox was dissolved circa 1859, when Ira Penfield retired. Wilcox moved the business and took into partnership Joseph Hall, Jr. of Portland, CT andformed the firm of Wilcox & Hall, which continued until 1867 when Hall retired and sold hisinterest to Wilcox.
In 1869, Wilcox formed a partnership with three of the younger men of his organization,Albert R. Crittenden, E. Bound Chaffee, and Homer Churchill. Crittenden purchased a tenthinterest in the business for $5,000, and name of the firm was changed to Wilcox, Crittenden &Company.
In the maritime world, steam was gradually replacing sail, and the company's 1870 catalogoffered such varying products as shackles, thimbles, ring bolts, "Ereful whistles," engine-roomsignals, boat nails "of good Swede's steel heavily galvanized," and cotton hooks "New Orleanspattern." A new outlet for sailmakers was in manufacturing awnings and the company beganstocking awning hardware as well. In 1883, Wilcox developed an improved brass grommet(which became known as the spur grommet), secured its approval as standard equipment by theBritish Admiralty, and eventually it was adopted by all the leading navies of the world. By thelate 1880's, Wilcox, Crittenden & Company had become the largest manufacturers of marinehardware with the most diversified line in the United States.
The company survived a fire in 1907 which destroyed a large portion of the plant. They maintained during the World Wars and the Depression and by 1961, Wilcox, Crittenden & Co.,Inc. was a division of North & Judd Manufacturing Co. By 1971 it was a Gulf + Western Precision Engineering Company, and by 1975, a division of Gulf + Western Manufacturing Company.