The San Francisco, California firm of Nelson & Doble was a partnership of two blacksmiths, Thomas Nelson (1821-1907) and Abner Doble (1829-1904). Operating from 1855 to 1878, Nelson & Doble were "manufacturers of sledges, hammers, picks, wedges, stone-cutters’, miners’, blacksmiths’, horse shoers’, pavers’ and railway contractors’ tools." Their 1872 ad went to to state, "These tools are manufactured from cast steel made expressly for our use, by the celebrated makers, Thos. Firth & Sons, Sheffield, England, and are warranted superior to any in the market."
Thomas Nelson was born 12 May 1821 in Nebthwaite, Lancashire, England and arrived in the US at age 14. In 1842 he married Elizabeth Walmsley in Passaic, NJ, and he would have been a journeyman blacksmith by that time. He was living in San Francisco by 1852. He and his wife apparently divorced, and in 1888 he married Margaret Jennings, who was 39 years younger.
The article below covers Abner Doble's career. The Wikipedia article on his grandson, also named Abner Doble, gives additional details of the elder Abner's life.
|Pacific Coast Mercantile Director, Vol. I, No. 2, June 1872, pg. 37|
|Report of the First Industrial Exhibition of the Mechanics Institute of the City of San Francisco, 1858|
|Historical Abstract of San Francisco, Oscar T. Shuck, 1897, pg. 72|