Please note

Because of the lack of published trowel and masonry tool histories, the information here is based on other sources that may be less reliable and certainly are incomplete. These include eBay and tools that I purchase myself that are the starting points for my research. I will write what I know as I learn it. If what you read here interests you, please check back often and look for revisions and corrections. Scanned catalogs are either mine or by Rose Antique Tools and used with permission, and are on Google Docs as pdf files. A few are links to other websites. Your photos and information are welcome. Please click on any picture to enlarge it. Comments are welcome, but any with links will be deleted as possible spam.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

History of H.H. Harvey, Augusta, Maine

H.H. Harvey was a manufacturer of tools for quarry workers, stone masons, and blacksmiths, with a factory in Augusta, Maine, and a store and office in Boston, Massachusetts. They were in operation from 1871 to at least 1914 (possibly 1920). The business was named for Henry H. Harvey (1840-1928), a native of England. The plant was destroyed by fire in 1893, and the announcement that it was being rebuilt said that Mr. Harvey's 3 sons were then active in the business. They were George H. Harvey (1862-1902), Fred M. Harvey (1863-1945), and Frank A. Harvey (1867-after 1930). The 1894 book, Boston and Bostonians has a page about the business that is very complimentary of Henry Harvey and his products.

H.H. Harvey patent bush hammer
Alexandria, VA newspaper, 7 Nov. 1871 
In early 1913, an announcement in several trade publications said  the business was incorporating as H.H. Harvey Manufacturing Co. with a capital of $25,000, with Henry H. Harvey as president, grandson George H. Harvey (born 1886) as treasurer, and Fred M. Harvey. The 1913-14 Augusta city directory listed only the H.H. Harvey Handle Co. The 1919 Augusta directory listed only the H.H. Harvey Hammer Co. The 1920 US Census described Fred's occupation as "manufacturer, tools". The 1923 Augusta directory has no listing for a Harvey company.

Iron Age, 6 April 1893
It's indicative of the family's character that one of the newspaper articles I found was from 1874, saying that 12 year old George H. Harvey found a $5 bill on the railroad tracks on the other side of the river, and the owner could claim it at his home near the factory.

H.H. Harvey's 1896-97 catalog was reprinted by Early American Industries Association in 1973, indicating an early interest by collectors in Harvey's tools.  Its title is H. H. Harvey's Special Illustrated Catalogue for 1896-7: Granite, Marble and Soft Stone Workers' Blacksmiths' and Contractors' Hammers and Tools, Manufactured by Him in Augusta, Maine.

H.H. Harvey's works were at 108 Bangor St., corner of Locke St., Augusta, on the east side of the Kennebec River. There is a fire station on this site now.

For more information about patent bush hammers made by H.H. Harvey and others, see Joseph Richards and the Patent Hammer.

Augusta, ME 1878; number 23 is H.H. Harvey (right side) 
H.H. Harvey stone hammer
The Granite Cutters' Journal 1912

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