|Woodrough & McParlin No. 21 Cincinnati Pattern, by Disston|
Joseph Woodrough (1813-1889) is at the center of this story. He was born in Birmingham, emigrated in the early 1840s, and settled in West Cambridge, MA, where he met and married Agnes Moreman in 1845. He worked for West Cambridge saw maker Welch & Griffiths, of which Charles Griffiths was also from Birmingham. In 1845 Woodrough formed a partnership with another Birmingham native, William Clemson (1821-1890). It is likely that the 3 men knew each other in England, because all were christened at the same church.
Woodrough and Clemson set up shop making saws in West Cambridge and in 1852 moved to nearby Woburn. Clemson was gifted mechanically and designed equipment for the shop. In spring 1853 Woodrough withdrew from the firm and it became Henshaw and Clemson. West Cambridge was renamed Arlington in 1867.
|Woodrough & McParlin plastering trowel, 1874|
|James R. Woodrough|
Increasing competition in tool manufacturing led to most smaller saw makers forming a trust the year after the elder Woodrough's death. "The National Saw Company was incorporated in 1890, with a capital of $3,000,000. George N. Clemson was made its president; Louis Duhme, vice-president; R. W. Clemson, secretary; R. L. Woodrough, treasurer; and H. H. Woodrough, treasurer. The company owns and operates the establishments of the Wheeler, Madden & Clemson Manufacturing Company, and the Monhagen Steel Works at Middletown; Woodrough & McParlin at Cincinnati, Ohio; The Richardson Saw Works at Newark; Harvey W. Peace, Brooklyn, N. Y., and Woodrough & Clemson, Montvale, Mass." From Between the Ocean and the Lakes: The Story of Lake Erie, by Edward Harold Mott, 1899.
This 1891 article alleges how The National Saw Co., as a trust, was colluding with Disston to set prices and divide territory and products.
Five years later, the Cincinnati plant burned. It was located in an industrial area near the Ohio River. An unnamed newspaper of Newark, OH, Wednesday, 17 April, 1895, wrote Big Blaze in Cincinnati:
|Woodrough & McParlin plant as rebuilt, owned by Disston, 1904|