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American Silversmiths

William Sturdy
Clarissa Whitmore
William Sturdy
Mercy Ann Keach
William Allen Sturdy


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Rachel Pierce

William Allen Sturdy

  • Born: 7 Jan 1840, Mendon MA
  • Marriage: Rachel Pierce on 1 May 1867 in West Brookfield MA

  General notes:


  Events in his life were:

  • Apprenticed from 1857 to 1860 to Union Jewelry Company in Attleboro MA
  • He appeared on the 1860 census taken at Attleboro MA, listed as a jeweler, living in the household of his uncle, George J. Sturdy.
  • He worked from 1860 to 1861 as a jeweler in Attleboro MA
  • He was a partner from 1863 to 1864 with Ebenezer Bacon in Attleboro MA
  • He worked from 1864 to 1865 as a jeweler in Attleboro MA
  • He worked after 1867 as a jeweler in Attleboro MA
  • He appeared on the 1870 census taken at Attleboro MA, listed as a manufacturing jeweler.

  • He was issued patent number 196,314 on 23 Oct 1877


    Specification forming part of Letters Patent No. 196,314, dated October 23, 1877; application filed August 17, 1877.

    To all whom it may concern:
    Be it known that I, William A. Sturdy, of Norton, in the county of Bristol and State of Massachusetts, have invented certain new and useful Improvements in Metallic Tassels for Jewelry and other Similar Articles; and I do hereby declare that the following specification, taken in connection with the drawings furnished and forming a part thereof, is a true, clear, and complete description of my invention.
    My improvements relate to that general class of tassels in which metallic drops or strands are employed; and the object of my invention is the production of a tassel having the general characteristics of what is known as a "chain-tassel," at comparatively low cost; and my said invention consists in a tassel having strands or drops composed of short lengths of looped wire, each loop having laterally-projecting ends for engaging with other loops.
    Although said strands or drops can be provided at an exceedingly low cost, they possess, when worked into tassels, the general appearance of fox-tail chain, which is comparatively high-priced on account of the labor, skill, and machinery involved in its production.
    To more particularly describe my invention I will refer to the accompanying drawings, in which—
    Figures 1 and 2 represent, respectively, a round and a flat tassel embodying my invention. Fig. 3 represents a portion of a strand from a tassel, on an enlarged scale. Fig. 4 represents a piece of wire fabric from which strands may be cut.
    It will be seen that the several short lengths of wire a are simply bent into the form of loops, with the two ends curved outward laterally, and thatthese loops are intertwined longitudinally, so as to produce a strand having the general appearance of a chain. These strands do not possess the tensile strength of ordinary chains usually employed in this connection, although sufficiently strong for the service intended; and while they may be separately formed by machinery designed for the purpose, great practical economy is attained by the use of a well-known wire fabric, which can be purchased at low cost, in various widths and of any desirable length. A piece of this fabric is shown in Fig. 4, in which it will be seen that the rows of loops constitute raised ribs, as at b. For making tassel-strands, this fabric is slitted carefully between these ribs, each rib, when separated, constituting a strand or drop. These strands may be attached to the head c in any desirable manner.
    As a result of my invention, these imitations of chain-tassels may be produced at a cost which is a mere fraction of the cost of foxtail chain-tassels, and for that reason they meet a requirement in the trade which the more expensive tassels could not possibly fill.
    It is to be distinctly understood that I do not limit my invention to tassels having strands slitted from the particular fabric shown, as I am well aware that similar fabrics may be made in which ribs are formed, and which, when slitted as described, would afford strands suitable for the purpose specified; but in all such fabrics there must, of necessity, be such a looping of the short lengths of wire as to secure their unity in the strand, without forming a true chain, although possessing many of its characteristics.
    I am, of course, aware that tassels have heretofore been made of twisted strands of metallic lace; but it is well known that such do not possess the peculiar flexibility of chain-work which is so desirable in this connection.
    Having thus described my invention, I claim as new and desire to- secure by Letters Patent—
    A metallic tassel having strands or drops composed of short lengths of Avire looped in form, and having laterally-projecting ends for engaging with other loops, in imitation of chain-work, substantially as described.

    William A. Sturdy

    Geo. L. Wetherell
    Henry H. Kelly
  • He worked from 1879 to 1911 as a jeweler in Norton MA
  • He appeared on the 1880 census taken at Norton MA, listed as a jewelry manufacturer.
  • He appeared on the 1900 census taken at Norton MA, listed as a jewelry manufacturer.

William married Rachel Pierce on 1 May 1867 in West Brookfield MA. (Rachel Pierce was born on 23 Apr 1843 in West Brookfield MA.)

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