One of the popular rhetorics today is the call for America to return to it's roots as a manufacturer, to produce goods. As a turn of the century powerhouse, Hartford boasts quite a manufacturing history, most famously, Colt Manufacturing. We recently came upon a large empty factory on Popieluszo Street and as a result learned a little bit of Hartford history that we were unaware of.
Taking up an entire block and surrounded by a fence and barbed wire, aging signs in the entrance told us that this boarded up building was once the home of the Capewell Manufacturing Company. An empty factory is a curious thing. To think that a building once filled with such activity now stands empty and lifeless for whatever reasons is always intriguing.
After some research we learned that the story of the Capewell Manufacturing Company is one all too familiar to Hartford. From funder George Capewell's Wikipedia page:
"In the centennial year of 1876, he began his major life work, the invention of an automatic process to produce horse nails. After years of frustration, failure, and the loss of thousands of dollars, a perfected machine was exhibited to investors in Hartford, Connecticut in the fall of 1880. In 1881, George J. Capewell formed the Capewell Horsenail Company in Hartford, Connecticut.
A 1900 article reported that “Mr. Capewell’s tenacity of purpose has brought him to the top and it is Hartford’s boast that he is one of the men who has done much toward making the city known the world over.”
Presently, the company continues to manufacture nails in Bloomfield, Connecticut on machines designed by George Capewell."
There's that Bloomfield again, taking our jobs!