The site along the south bank of Copper Mine Brook occupied by the Humason Mfg. Co. Plant has long been the location of industrial activity, with the first production taking place there being that of the Boardman-Dunbar clock factory, established in 1811. This was followed by the Hendrick and Hubbell Clock Manufactory during the 1850s, and the E. Hubbell Clock Manufactory during the 1860s. Around 1895, a screw machine shop was erected on the site by William H. Carpenter, a former employee at the Bristol Brass and Copper Co.. The resultant W.H. Carpenter and Co. operated for just five years before it was acquired by two former employees at the shop, Alvin M. and Herbert B. Young. In 1900, the Young Brothers Mfg. Co. was established. The firm continued to produce various lines of screw machine and turned brass goods until 1909, when the business was again reorganized. The Young Brothers Mfg. Co. was replaced by the Peck and Young Mfg. Co., with which the Young brothers continued to be associated. It was around this time that the firm added spiral and other metal spring products to its catalog. In 1914, William L. Humason, formerly of the Humason and Beckley Mfg. Co. in New Britain, took over as president and treasurer of the firm, while Alvin M. Young served as secretary. Humason guided the company through the boom years of World War I, during which time the plant was greatly expanded in order to keep up with government contracts. The company would eventually turn out 90 million springs and 100 million assorted other metal parts for military use by the war’s end. In 1919, William Humason took full control of the firm and changed its name to the Humason Mfg. Co. Humason died in 1925, however, the business continued to expand through the 1940s, this largely driven by military contracts during World War II. Production during the conflict far suppassed that of World War I. A history of Bristol notes that, “Some 250 million fuses for shells, mines and bombs had one or more Humason parts. One hundred million grenades had four to five Humason parts. The company produced springs for fifty million magazines in pistols, carbines, Browning automatic rifles and Thompson submachine guns, and for 250 million snap fasteners.” The company rapidly retooled in the post-war period and was soon turning out millions of springs and other metal parts for appliances, optical goods, hardware, toys, clocks, and machine tools. As such, the firm’s payroll peaked in this period, reaching as many as 250 employees in the decade during and following the war. The Humason Mfg. Co.’s independence ended in 1958 when it was acquired by the Stanley Works of New Britain. The firm operated as Stanley-Humason, Incorporated, until 1962, yet was then absorbed by the parent company. Reorganized as the Stanley Industrial Components Division of the Stanley Works, the plant continued to operate until the late-1980s. In 1990, the factory complex was acquired by an independent manufacturer, A and D Components, Incorporated, which continues to produce an array of metal stampings, four-slide products, fasteners, assemblies, and wire forms at the Stafford Avenue plant, which it shares with two other industrial firms, E.B. Buffing, Incorporated, and Bristol Heat Treat, LLC.
Roughly fifteen (15) blocks.
ca. 1895, ca. 1910, 1916, ca. 1940, ca. 1960.
The former Humason Manufacturing Company plant is comprised of roughly fifteen adjoining primary blocks located on the west side of Stafford Avenue and along the southern bank of Copper Mine Brook, set back roughly 425’ west of Stafford Avenue and 725’ northwest of Stafford Avenue’s intersection with Washington Street. The earliest portion of the plant consists of a one-story, 25’ x 68’ wood-frame structure built as an office and boiler house ca. 1895, and then enlarged ca. 1916. This connects at its northeast corner to the second surviving section of the original mill, which is a two-story, 22’ x 30’ wood-frame machine shop. The office retains its wood siding and several of its original, two-over-two, double-hung wood windows, however, the machine shop has been vinyl sided, obscuring its original details. The first notable additions to the plant were completed ca. 1910, when a two-story, 70’ x 20’ wood-frame manufacturing building was erected at the northwest corner of the mill. This contained a machine shop on its first floor, and a stamping and spring works on the second. Significant expansion projects were completed ca. 1916. Most notable among the buildings erected in this period are a one-story, 25’ x 138’ red brick machine shop with a front-facing gable roof located at the core of the plant, and a one-story, 56’ x 198’ brick pier machine shop with a clerestory monitor running the length of its low-pitch gable roof that is situated at the southwest corner of the complex. These buildings were supplemented ca. 1940 through the construction of four additional primary blocks. A one-story, 25’ x 74’ hardening shop was built at the northern end of the gable-roofed machine shop, while a one-story, 80’ x 100’ steel-frame and brick warehouse with a clerestory monitor roof was erected at the northeast corner of the plant. The two other additions included a two-story, 50’ x 140’ red brick manufacturing building that replaced an earlier machine shop near the office block, and a one-story, 32’ x 44’ wood-frame office that was built adjoining the southern end of the original office building. The latter is easily identifiable due to its wood quoining, pilasters, and frieze, as well as for its hipped roof. Additional buildings were added as needed over time, with various infill and connecting blocks constructed during the 1950s and 1960s. Most notable is a 38’ wide section of one-story, steel-frame and brick infill located between the two ca. 1916 machine shops. This has a flat roof and large window openings with metal sash on its south (façade) elevation, these matching the details of the ca. 1940 manufacturing block to the west.
The factory is in fair condition. Although sections of the earliest part of the plant have been vinyl sided and some of the wood or metal window sash show signs of deterioration, the exterior walls, window openings, and roofs all appear to be reasonably well maintained.
One 5.62-acre parcel (41 Stafford Avenue) on the west side of Stafford Avenue and along the southern bank of Copper Mine Brook, set back roughly 425’ west of Stafford Avenue and 725’ northwest of Stafford Avenue’s intersection with Washington Street.