IN PERSON EVENT
When John and Elisha Stevens formed the J & E Stevens Company in Cromwell in 1843, they intended to manufacture cast-iron hardware, hammers, and a few iron toys. The success the brothers found in producing those few iron toys changed their business plan: the J & E Stevens Company eventually became the largest manufacturer of cast-iron toys in the country. Especially popular were their Mechanical Banks; people of all ages enjoyed the spring-loaded action that resulted from depositing a coin into these iron amusements. For more than a century, the J & E Stevens Company of Cromwell was the world's leading developer and producer of mechanical banks.
Richard Donahue will share the history of these fabulous toys, along with information about the J & E Stevens Company in a Powerpoint presentation. Richard Donahue will share the history of these fabulous toys, along with information about the J & E Stevens Company in a Powerpoint presentation. Richard Franklin Donohue is the Town Historian of his hometown of Cromwell, Connecticut. His original research has formed the basis of museum exhibits, travelling lectures, and living history programs on topics ranging from 18th-century slavery to Civil War-era subscription balls to early 20th-century marine engines. As President and Program Director of the Cromwell Historical Society for nearly fifteen years and a teacher in both public and private schools for twenty-five, he strives to enhance interest and participation in local and national history.
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