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American Optical Company main entrance, Mechanic Street, Southbridge
TitleAmerican Optical Company main entrance, Mechanic Street, Southbridge
Full Size Image
SubjectAmerican Optical Company; American Optical Corporation--Southbridge (Mass.)--History; Optical industry--Massachusetts--Southbridge; Historic buildings--New England
DescriptionThe formal entrance to the American Optical Company headquarters, in Southbridge, Massachusetts. A detailed view of the craftsmanship used to construct a magnificent keystone fanlight and supporting columnar structure. The granite steps leading to the doorway are shown. Beyond lies the bronze doorway with the marble vestibule and grand staircase. According to the Southbridge Evening News, April 27, 1960: "The name 'American Optical Co.' dates back to a meeting on Feb. 26, 1869, of members of two neighboring Southbridge firms, Robert H. Cole & Co. and H.C. Ammidown & Co. They met to combine into one firm and chose the title American Optical Co. because it was broad in scope. The company's objective was stated as "to manufacture and sell spectacles and eyeglasses of gold, silver, steel and plated metals, also rings and thimbles, and such other like articles as said company may from time to time desire to make. The firm was formally incorporated March 6, 1869, with R. H Cole as president; G. W. Wells, clerk; E. M. Cole and A. M. Cheney, directors. The capital stock, of 400 shares, totalled $40, 000. Robert H. Cole had 150 shares; E. Merritt Cole, 80 shares; Alpha M. Cheney, 50 shares; Hiram C. Wells, 50 shares; George W. Wells 40 shares; and Charles E. Edmonds, 30 shares. They agreed to purchase from R. H. Cole for $1, 900, real estate occupied by R. H. Cole & Co. on the south side of Main street, and to buy from the company; all machinery, tools and stock for a maximum of $12, 800. Also, the spectacle shop of H. C. Ammidown for $3, 700 and the firm's stock and tools for $4, 700. On Jan. 31, 1870. Hiram C. Wells and Charles S. Edmonds were added to the directors. On Feb. 24, 1870, 20 shares of stock were transferred from R. H. Cole to George M. Wells. The capital stock was increased to $60, 000 on March 7, 1871."
CreatorPease, Aaron, H.
RelationIs part of a photographic collection of the American Optical Company at Jacob Edwards Library Archives, Southbridge, Massachusetts.
Coverage42 degrees 04' N 72 degrees 02'
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