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Our History

1880-1889—To Worcester

  • 1880

    The Times in Philadelphia reports on September 9, 1880, that “The merchant vessel, Eric the Red, reported lost off Cape Otway, Australia, contained a number of cases of American merchandise intended for display at the Melbourne Exhibition to be opened October 1. Among the exhibits lost by the disaster were those of… the estate of Samuel S. White, dental supplies….”

  • 1882

    O.C. White receives patent for “White’s Improved Universally Adjustable Tool Holder for Lathes, Planers, Etc.”. It is, perhaps, his most important patent; elements of the invention continue to be used in current day applications.

  • 1882

    In the middle of the night on April 4, 1882, an explosion in the Hopkinton Town Hall basement starts a fire that sweeps through the town. It “destroyed thirteen dwellings; also, the Orthodox church, Town Hall, a hotel, and a large boot factory employing 1,000 hands.” The fire is suspicious (apparently “Several efforts to burn the town have previously been made”), and loss is estimated at half a million. Among those destroyed are O.C. White’s dentistry business, but it is insured for $6,500.

  • 1884

    Otis White moves his family to Worcester to start the O.C. White Company. His Tool Holder wins a Gold Medal, the “highest award in their power to bestow” from the Massachusetts Charitable Mechanic Association in Boston.

  • 1885

    O.C. White patents a “lathe tool rest.” He travels to Canada to look for investors. For several weeks, he sets up at the St. Lawrence Hall in Montreal “to meet parties interested in his new mechanical invention.”

  • 1888

    O.C. White displays his photographic tools to the Executive Committee of the Photographers’ Association of America in Minneapolis, Minnesota and is awarded a medal. At the International Sharpshooters’ Union in Newark N.J., he wins a gold medal.

  • 1889

    The Franklin Institute of the State of Pennsylvania awards Otis C. White the John Scott Legacy Premium and Medal for his Adjustable Extension Movement in Ball-and-Socket Joints. In New York’s Schultze Photo Equipment Co. catalog, O.C. White’s first chair designed for photographers is presented.