Boston Machine Mfg. Co.
Whittier Machine Co.
- So. Boston, MA
Boston Machine Mfg. Co. was established in 1864 and was located on the corner of First and Granite streets in So. Boston, Massachusetts. Among the founders of the company were Zebulon Erastus Coffin, William E. Coffin and Horace Hunt who all took high managerial positions in the company. They were machinists and iron workers from several Boston area manufacturers. In 1868, Z. E. Coffin went from superintendent to general agent. That same year, he got his first fire hydrant patent of JULY 21, 1868. On an 1869 company letterhead they are listed as "builders of locomotives, mechanical engineers, and general machinists".

In 1872, Charles Carr joined the company and became superintendent. He got his first fire hydrant patent on September 17, 1878 which was assigned to Boston Machine Mfg. Co. It is unclear if the 1868 patent hydrant was produced concurrently with this one. By 1884, Charles Carr was vice president, and Z. E. Coffin had left the company to form his own company in Boston, Coffin Valve Co. By 1885, Boston Machine had moved to the corner of Granite and West Third Street. In an 1885 advertisement the company is listed as being machinists, iron and brass founders, manufacturers of paper machinery, water, steam and gas valves, hydrants, service supply, Carr's reversible self-cleaning filters, steam engines, elevators, sugar refining machinery, and ship steerers.

Also in 1885, Boston Machine Mfg. Co. became Whittier Machine Co. About this same time, Charles Carr left the company to start his own consulting and construction business. Whittier Machine Co did produce the 1878 patent hydrant as evidenced by the hydrant show below. In the first annual manual of The American Water-Works, published in 1888, appears this advertisement for the Whittier Machine Co shows both the 1868 and 1878 patent hydrants. It is unclear when Whittier Machine Co.'s demise was, but they were listed in the 1900 Boston city directory.

If you have any additional information or pictures regarding Boston Machine Co.,Whittier Machine Co., or their hydrants, please email us.
All photos © Jeff Kaminski and restored hydrants a part of his collection unless otherwise credited.
Below are two models of Boston Machine Co. / Whittier Machine Co. hydrants that have been discovered so far. Their model designations are currently unknown to FH.O. The manufacturer embossing is on the bonnet.

  Original Model?
This model has a JULY 21, 1868 patent date, as seen in this photo of the bonnet.
0719 Boston Machine
Nozzles: 3x 2"
Size: ~5" V.O.

  Next Model?
This model has a later patent date of SEPT. 17, 1878 as can be seen on this bonnet view.
2193 Whittier Machine
Nozzles: 2x 2"
Size: ~4" V.O.
Location: Massachusetts
1486 Boston Machine
Nozzles: 2x 2"
Size: ~4" V.O.

1545 Boston Machine
Nozzles: 3x 2"
Size: ~5" V.O.
Note: barrel cast for pumper nozzle

1471 Boston Machine
Nozzles: 2x 2", 1x 5"
Size: ~6" V.O.
Location: Massachusetts

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