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Doten-Dunton Desk Company of Boston Massachusetts

In 1904, the factory was in Cambridge, with the offices at 64-66 Pearl Street in Boston.

In 1932, their offices in Boston were at 32 Franklin Street.

in 1943, their offices in Boston were at 91 Federal Street.

The following is paraphrased from "History of Massachusetts Industries".

The business was founded on an idea. In April 1902,.Kervin R. Dunton, then occupying a prominent position with a large manufacturing concern, thought that many planned to produce as cheaply as possible and without regard to individuality of product. Mr. Dunton felt that many business men would prefer distinctive office furniture, and that he could develop a market. At its founding, the firm employed six cabinet workers.

At the outset, roll top, flat top, typewriter, and bookkeeper desks were the only items manufactured.  Seventy percent of the product was of oak, but by 1905, mahogany came into use and proved popular. The line expanded to include chairs.

The firm became famous in 1908, as a result of the Baltimore fire.  The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad erected a new building, and desired new furniture. Mr. Dunton conferred with the officials, and developed what is now called the sanitary base desk.  Built on legs, these desks presented an improved appearance, and today (1930) this style is universally known and sought.

Since 1914, walnut has become increasingly popular, and some 80% of the company product is now of that wood.

In 1930, over 275 skilled workmen are now employed in the Cambridge plant.  The firm has its own retail organization in New England, and dealers in all principal cities, here and abroad. Products are shipped to all parts of the world. Customers include banks, insurance companies, public service institutions, and executive offices of commercial concerns.

Questions

Who is Doten, that his name goes first?

When did they use handscrews?

It seems unlikely, from this history, that the firm sold hand screws. Why then did they mark the clamps?

Sources and References

Cathy White, of Joplin MO, provided a brief history, and pointed me to "History of Massachusetts Industries", published in two volumes in 1930. Volume 1 presents, city by city, the major industries in Massachusetts at the time; Volume 2 presents biographies of the company leaders. Pages 851 ff provide the information used above.



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