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Goodell-Pratt Company - Greenfield, MA


 
  Goodell Brothers - the Bedrock of Goodell-Pratt Co.
by Wiktor Kuc
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Introduction

Albert D. and Henry E. Goodell were the nucleus of Goodell-Pratt Co. and essential contributors to the early growth of Millers Falls Co.  The history of their lives and achievements deserve a thorough report and this article is an attempt to provide just that.

Although in the last few years more information about the Goodell-Pratt Co. and its founders became available on the Internet, there is still a lack of in-depth analysis about Goodell brothers.  It seems as if the reporters of history did not and still do not give them a well-deserved recognition and properly illustrate their contribution to the development of very important companies.

My first encounter with the Goodell-Pratt Co. name happened years ago.  At the time I started developing my interest in vintage tools and eBay provided me the opportunity to see large numbers of them.  The esthetics of tools was the only criteria I could apply since I didn’t know anything else about them.  The Goodell-Pratt hand drill No. 5-1/2 looked very interesting to me and it was the first drill I purchased.

Since then I have seen many tools made by Goodell-Pratt Co. and questions about the name often picked my interest.  Who were Goodell and Pratt?  The answer to these questions did not come easy.

Some years went by and the first clue came with a short but potent article titled “Sorting Out the Goodell Companies” by Ken Cope, published in EAIA’s Chronicle in December, 1992.  Shortly after I found a book by Paul Jenkins titled “The Conservative Rebel”, published in 1982 by The Town of Greenfield, MA.  This book opened my eyes.  With every next bit of information the facts began to fall into place and the picture emerged.

Several other sources were helpful as well.  The Internet played the most important role for me and without it, I believe, this article would not be possible.  Websites like “A Millers Falls Home Page”, "George's Basement", and “Sydnas Sloot” were helpful in creating the overall picture of events related to the Goodell-Pratt Co.  Other sources, especially websites with hard historical data, were the most valuable.

WK
February, 2013

Timeline of Key Events

     

1866

 

Albert D. and Henry E. Goodell established a small production business for the manufacturing of wood furniture parts.

1868

 

Albert D. Goodell received the first patent for "Improvement in Bit-Stock" and began production of the bit brace based on this patent.

1870

Millers Falls Co. buys Goodell patent for $10,000 and hires Goodells to work at the factory in Millers Falls, MA.

1870 - 1888

 

Albert D. and Henry E. Goodell spent 18 years working for Millers Falls Co.  Albert D. Goodell patented 12 tools for this company and in 1886/1887 Millers Falls Co. catalogs the name "Goodell" appears on five tools.

1888  

Albert D. and Henry E. Goodell established their own business in Shelburne Falls, MA, and named it Goodell Brothers.  They patented and manufactured four tools.

1892 Albert D. Goodell left the company, moved to Worcester, MA, and started his own business - the Goodell Tool Co.

1892

  Henry E. Goodell decided to move the Goodell Brothers to Greenfield and began construction of the factory.

1893

Relocation to a new factory in Greenfield was completed and production of tools began.  Dexter W. Goodell, Henry's brother, joined the Goodell Brothers.

1893

  Albert D. Goodell returned to Shelburne Falls and restarted his Goodell Tool Co.

1895

  Henry E. incorporated the company naming it Goodell Brothers Co.  He became the president and superintendent of the new entity.  Harry G. Goodell, Henry's son, joined the company as a director. William M. Pratt joined the company as the treasurer and manager.  Dexter W. Goodell left Goodell Brothers Co.

1895 - 1896

  Development of new tools, marketing and sale intensified under the management of William M. Pratt.

1897

Henry E. and Harry G. sold their interests in the Goodell Brothers Co.  William M. Pratt became the president and treasurer.  Frank Taft of Brattleboro became the superintendent and manager with stock ownership.  Several Greenfield businessmen became minor investors.
1897 Henry E. Goodell, together with his son Harry G. Goodell and Herbert D. Lanfair, a nephew, established Goodell, Son & Company.

1898

  Harry G. Goodell became ill.  Henry E. closed the business and sold it to Goodell Brothers Co.
1899   Goodell Brothers Co. was re-incorporated under new ownership and name changed to Goodell-Pratt Company. 
1900   Henry E. Goodell joined the Greenfield Machine Company and became its president.  Due to health issues he resigned at the end of the year.
1902   Henry E. Goodell organized a new business and named it the Goodell Manufacturing Company.  They began production of miter boxes, specialized drill chucks, and other small tools.
1904   Albert D. Goodell established new factory.
1907   Albert D. Goodell incorporated the Goodell Tool Company in Buckland, MA on April 4th, 1907.
1915   Albert D. Goodell passed away.
1916   Henry E. Goodell retired from active business engagements.
1923   Henry E. Goodell passed away.

 
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