The Howard Foundry at Hingham Harbor

Photo of the Eagle Iron Foundry on Summer Street c. 1895, with Hingham Harbor visible beyond. From the Albert W. Kimball Collection at the Hingham Historical Society

Where we enjoy water views along Summer Street today, there was once a thriving industrial center at Hingham Harbor. On a section of the shoreline between Whitney and Barnes wharves once stood the Eagle Iron Foundry, locally called the Howard Foundry.

The Foundry was built about 1844, burned in 1846, and was rebuilt rather quickly. It cast sash weights, furnaces, and plow blades for the Howard plow. The plow blades were sent up to Middle Street, where the wooden parts were attached before the completed plow was sold.

The Foundry closed around 1895, and if you look closely you will notice that all the windows are boarded up. This helps date this photograph.

The building was renovated to house the generator powering the Hingham Street Railway and then, after the railway closed, George Kimball repurposed the building as a workshop.

Charles Howard (1791-1860) of Hingham invented the first iron plow capable of cutting the tough sod of the American prairie. This small model was made by his son, Elijah Leavitt Howard (1833-1904), for his own daughter, Anne B. Howard.  Gift of Anne O. Borntraeger and Esther Oldham, Charles Howard’s great-granddaughters, to the HIngham Historical Society.

3 thoughts on “The Howard Foundry at Hingham Harbor

  1. Dick Kenney says:

    The Hingham Howards also included Edward Howard born in Hingham (Middle St.?) in 1813 and died in Roxbury in 1904. He made balance scales for town weight regulations, tower and other clocks,standardized clock and watch parts, and with his once partner Mr.Davis made hand fire engines. Hingham’s Bare Cove Fire Museum has a restored Howard & Davis hand engine that was stationed in the Cove.

    • Geri Duff says:

      You are right Mr. Kenney. The Howard and Davis 1852 fire engine called the ‘Extinguisher’ was used in Hingham until 1886 and is now completely restored and on display at the Bare Cove Fire Museum.

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