Pawtuckaway Box Company
Suncook Wood Flour Company
New England Wood Flour Company
Sanborn Fire Insurance Map, 1923 (Click for full size)
The Pawtuckaway Box Company registered with the NH Dept of State on November 14, 19171, and incorporated on January 22, 19182. Initially based in Epping, the company was established by a group of Manchester investors (L. Ashton Thorp, Lee C. Abbott, Samuel J. Dearborn, John B. McLaughlin, and E. R. Tucker,and joined shortly thereafter by Albert E. Worcester and Benjamin F. Worcester,) with an initial capitalization of $5,000 to produce box shooks.3 The operation had 25 employees at their Epping plant in 19204, but the head of the company, a James P. Diamond of Manchester, died that year.5 Elsewhere in 1920, Fred M. Pettingill, a resident of Pembroke, requested the B&M to install an industrial siding just to the north of the Suncook freight house.6 Pawtuckaway Box appears to have moved into or constructed a facility along Pettingill's siding to house their machinery shortly thereafter.7 Employment in 1922 had dropped slightly to 21.8
By February of 1923, the company was shifting into a new line of business, under Ben Worcester's direction. (Mr. Worcester was also president of the Bachelder-Worcester Co., a box manufacturer in Manchester.) Five Stroud air separation pulverizing machines were installed for the production of wood flour, made from shavings and other wood manufacturing wastes and often used as a filler in early thermoset plastics such as Bakelite.9 A useful description of the new machinery was published in the March edition of Canada Lumberman. At some point, the operation became known as the Suncook Wood Flour Company, which reported an employment of just 3 individuals in 1924 and 1926, but may not have reported in 1928.10 Precisely what happened to this company is yet unknown, but the corporation was dissolved on 4/18/1929 11, with the New England Wood Flour Co. apparently succeeding it. The new owners appear to have invested in an expansion with an addition to the plant and some new machinery, but disaster struck shortly after. Fire was reported on October 17 of that year, with the loss estimated at $50,000 and some 20 jobs.12 The 1929 Sanborn Fire Insurance map for Suncook indicates that the entire facility was no longer in place by that date.
2: Annual Report of the Secretary of State of NH, 1918
3: Lumberman's Review, December 1917
4: 13th Biennial Report of the NH Bureau of Labor, 1920
5: Packages, March 1920
6: Boston & Maine RR, Authorization For Expenditure #439, B&MRRHS collection.
7: R. G. Dun Mercantile Agency Reference Book, Merrimack County, NH, September 1920
8: 14th Biennial Report of the NH Bureau of Labor, 1922
9: American Lumberman, Part 1, 1923
10: Biennial Report of the NH Bureau of Labor, 1923-4, 1925-6, 1927-8
11: Random web page giving legal details of Suncook Wood Flour Company
12: The New York Lumber Trade Journal, Vol 87, Oct 1929
Posted 1/5/16. Updated 1/12/16. Maintained by Earl Tuson.