Workday Wednesday – Alphonso Shackford, Manufacturer of Springs, Axles and Carriages (Blog 324)

In 1892, this wonderful description of Alphonso Shackford’s business was published in the Industries and Wealth of the Principal Points in Rhode Island.

Alphonso was the son of William and Mary Ellen (Dame) Shackford born in Concord, New Hampshire on Jan 23, 1832. He moved to Providence, Rhode Island in 1859 where he remained the rest of his life.  We have records of two marriages  very close together – an Elizabeth R Pero on 24 April 1858 and Margaret Elizabeth O’Connell on Jan 1, 1859 and are wondering if perhaps this is the same person — we’ll review this further and add an update in the future along with more details about Alphonso.

A Shackford Manufacturer of SpringsA Shackford, Manufacturer of Springs, Axles and Carriages, No. 105 Orange Street and No. 123 Dorrance Street. This is the oldest house in its line in the city. Mr. Shackford is a New Hampshire man by birth. He came to this city in 1857, and from that time to 1861 had the contract for making carriage springs and axles in the county prison. In the latter year he established himself in the business on Point Street, and afterwards formed a copartnership with a Mr. Sweet under the firm title of the Providence Spring and Axle Works, which continued for three years, when the company dissolved and the business passed into the control of Mr. Shackford, and under his enterprising management a very large and influential trade was developed, and as it increased and required better facilities, he moved to his present quarters in 1875. The premises occupied are very spacious and commodious, compromising a three-story building 50 x 125 feet in dimensions, which is thoroughly equipped with all the latest improved machinery, tools and appliances, together with ample steam-power, and employment is afforded a full force of skilled and experienced workmen. The axles and springs produced here are noted for their superior excellence, and are in constant demand wherever introduced, while the vehicles manufactured here are unsurpassed for their lightness, durability, finish, and quality of materials and workmanship, and the prices are extremely reasonable. In addition to the manufacturer of springs, axles and carriages, he conducts a general blacksmithing business, and does all kinds of repairing in his line of trade. A full stock of boxes, iron hubs, carriage springs, axles and other requisites for the trade is kept constantly on hand, and all orders are filled promptly.




Industries and Wealth of the Principal Points in Rhode Island: Being City of Providence, Pawtucket, Central Falls, Woonsocket, Newport, Narragansett Pier, Bristol and Westerly (A. F. Parsons Publishing Company, 1892), page 182; digital images, Google Books ( : accessed 24 February 2016.



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