A Timeline: Norwood and a Nation

From the end of the Civil War to the Stock Market crash of 1929, what was happening in Norwood reflects what was happening in the United States, with the US leading they way with policy and reform, and Norwood adopting changes sometime after the US. During the Reconstruction Era, Norwood (or South Dedham) was struggling with Dedham proper, feeling they did not have the best interests of their village at heart. Once they became a town, they began to look at how to grow their tax base of industries and citizens, starting their own little Gilded Age, which leads to many Progressive Era reforms.

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South Dedham, ca. 1852
United States YearNorwood, Massachusetts
Civil War ends;
Reconstruction begins, with
the U.S. looking for ways to unify a divided country.
1865The future Town of
Norwood was then known as
the village of South Dedham in the Town of Dedham,
Gilded Age begins, bringing a second era of
characterized by rapid
growth in new
communications and
transportation technologies
and business and
government corruption.

1872After years of struggling for local autonomy and town
resources, the village of
South Dedham breaks from
the Town of Dedham and
establishes the Town of
Panic of 1873, a financial
crisis leading to an
economic depression.
1873The New York & New
England Railroad open their car shops in Norwood.

1876The New York & New
England Railroad open their car shops in Norwood.
Reconstruction Era ends 1877
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Norwood Farmers, 1882 (from the collection of the Norwood Historical Society)
Gilded Age ends;
Progressive Era begins,
characterized by tremendous amount of economic, social
and political change.
1890Norwood’s populations
reaches 3,733
Sherman Antitrust Act,
a federal act prohibiting
companies from forming
monopolies, is passed.
1891Norwood forms a
committee to discuss growth opportunities for the town.

1893Growth committee
into the larger Norwood
Business Association, which makes the deal to create the Norwood Press; the Security Manufacturing Co., opens.

1894Norwood Press opens.

1895The Security
Manufacturing Co.,
changes name to
Holliston Mills.

1897E. Fleming & Co.,
bookbinders joins the  
Norwood Press; Plimpton
Press opens
in Norwood.

1900Norwood Women’s Club is
established and begins many helpful programs to
the citizens of Norwood.
President McKinley is killed and Theodore Roosevelt
becomes one of America’s
most progressive Presidents.
The Car Shops of the New York & New England Railroad.

1903Railroad “car shops” leave

1906Visiting Nurse program
; Norwood Civic
Association opens; and
Printers in Norwood strike
for shorter work days.
City-Manager form of
government  is introduced. Sumter, NC first city to
successfully use this system.
1908Eight-hour workday
in the presses.

1910The First Church of
Norwood establishes Mrs.May Millett as “Friendly

Norwood’s population
is 8,014.
Frederick W. Taylor
publishes his book 1911
Principles of Scientific
Management. His style of
management is known as
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is screen-shot-2019-04-14-at-10.55.51-am-1.png
Postcard, circa 1910, showing Washington Street (from the collection of LL Kearney)

1915Norwood writes new
charter establishing a city-manager style of
George Willett is first town manager.
American officially enters WWI 1917Over 200 multi-family
homes have been built in
the Flats; Jane C. Williams
publishes an article, and
begins to speak on the
benefits of “Taylorism.”
Global Influenza
(The Spanish Flu)
1918Local influenza outbreaks
led to illness and death
in Norwood, causing
organizations to rally
together to respond to the
The Progressive Era ends.
The 19th Amendment is
established, giving women
the right to vote.
1920Norwood’s printing
industries enter into their
most successful decade.
Norwood’s population is
12,627; Henry P. Kendall
serves as president for the
Taylor Society.

1925Women’s Community
Committee starts a service
to help needy.
Stock market crash.
(a financial crisis that
began the Great
1929This starts a slow decline
in business for Norwood’s
printing industries, which
continues to decline
through WWII and into
the 1950s.

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