How to Grow a Town

In March of 1893, The Norwood Business Association was formed by Judge John C. Lane, its goal was to find ways to bring new businesses and home-seekers to Norwood. This association began an active campaign to lure new businesses to Norwood.

South Dedham, ca. 1852

The Norwood Business Association considered the kind of industry they wanted in Norwood, they also thought about  the kind of people who would move to their town to work in the factories. It was very important that these future residents be educated and well trained in their field. Book making was an art, and traditionally, people who made books often had years of training though some sort of apprenticeship. It is highly likely the Norwood Business Association believed bookmakers would make excellent citizens.

J. S. Cushing & Co., and Berwick & Smith Printers, companies who were involved in the printing industry, and were the first companies to relocate to Norwood, and accept the town’s enticement of tax breaks and free land. These companies were owned by Norwood residents, J. Stearns Cushing, James Berwick and George H. Smith.  The traditional thought of historians is that these companies were lured to Norwood, but Cushing was the president of the Norwood Business Association, it may be these companies may have been angling for incentives to move to Norwood at the same time.

Norwood, ca. 1891

In 1897, the Norwood Business Association enticed the H. M. Plimpton & Company (later “Plimpton Press”) to move part of their Boston printing company to Norwood. Herbert Plimpton was a resident of Norwood, had married into the powerful Winslow family, and was also owner of the Norwood company Holliston Mills. Initially he was  going to be the bindery for the Norwood Press, but pulled out of the deal shortly before an agreement was signed. It is possible, Plimpton wanted his own deal of free land and tax breaks for his printing company, which he ultimately received.

Once these two large printing companies were operating in Norwood, they brought with them a new and growing population of people, and as new people came to Norwood, there was a demand for more homes and public buildings, and services.

Norwood was growing.

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