At 80 Celebrates His Birthday With Many Recognitions From the Trade

Thomas O. Metcalf


Hale and hearty on his 80th birthday is Thomas O. Metcalf, one of the silver-haired deans of the printing industry in Boston, and the trade celebrated the day with him, showering him with gifts and good wishes.

Mr. Metcalf has been doing business in Boston since 1876, when he set up shop at 101 Milk St, on the site where now stands the towering Telephone Building. Prior to that he had a small place in what was the old Lemuel Dean general store, on Washington st, South Dedham. He operated this little plant while working part-time as a bookkeeper in the Winslow Brothers’ tannery at South Dedham.

In 1883 Mr. Metcalf removed from Milk St to 48 Oliver st, overlooking Fort Hill sq, and a quarter century ago secured 600 sq ft of floor space at 152 Purchase st, where the business has since expanded so as to require 10,000 square feet of floorage

Born in Cumberland, R I, Sept 30, 1849, Mr. Metcalf was brought by his parents at the age of 3 to South Dedham, and has lived continuously ever since in that section, now Dedham town. He attended Everett Grammar School there, graduating in 1867. During 60 years he has been a steady reader of the Boston Globe, and says philosophically, that he has found its columns full of instruction.

After quitting grammar school Mr. Metcalf was employed as station agent at Norwood, Walpole and Readvllle 03 the old Boston, Hartford & Erie for 4 time before going to work at the tannery.

Related:  High School Field Named In honor of H. Bennett Murray Field-This Day in Norwood History-November 26, 1953

Still clear-eyed and mentally alert, Mr. Metcalf has enjoyed the best of health through the years, and attributes this in no small measure to his adherence to the general rule of “moderation in all things.” He never has used liquor or tobacco. He managed to get daily outdoor exercise at walking.

In 1888 he was married to Sarah L, Colcord of Norwood. Their two children, Prof Robert D. Metcalf of the Hebron Academy, department of English, and Mrs. Mildred Metcalf, a teacher of French in New Haven High School, came to the Metcalf home, 121 Walpole st, over the week-end for their father’s birthday observance.

When Mr. Metcalf set up shop in Boston he began business with the little hand press shown herewith, which he purchased second-hand at $25 from the Curtis & Mitchell Co. It bears the mark of Sam’l Orcutt, and Mr. Metcalf believes it to be more than a century old. Today there are 21 presses in the Metcalf shop.

As Mr. Metcalf has been coming almost daily to Boston from Norwood since 1876, when he started business here, his friends claim for him the distinction of being the longest commuter in period of time on that railroad branch.

Mon, Sep 30, 1929 – 10 · The Boston Globe (Boston, Massachusetts)