Cambridge Hinge Tube and Cambridge Shirt Manufacturer

This building was used to assemble the chaplets. Old fashioned hinges were made of a hollow tube into which was placed a cylindrical core ... or something like that. I think the actual foundry work was done at the building on the east side of Route 313 just south of the junction of 313 and East Main Street (behind McLenithan's farm). This was the old Lovejoy factory where they made the Cambridge Plow in the late 1800s.

Mary Ella Arnold (Casey Whitten), Class of 1949, told me how her father, Harry Arnold, used to bring home chaplets and cylinders and they would be paid piecemeal to assemble them while sitting around the kitchen table


 Photo I took in 1943, probably in June. That was a war year and companies that were efficient in supporting the industrial war production were given an "E" Award. It was on this occasion that I took the photo. Note sign, flag and the Army Officer giving the Award. 

Submitted by  Kirk Spurr, Class of 1948.



Terry Granger class of 1968. I enjoyed reading the article regarding the Old Chaplet Works. It brought back some fond memories. My father, Floyd ( Sonny) Granger, my mother, Dorothy (Betty Dawley) Granger, and my uncle, John Dawley worked  at the Cambridge Hinge Tube and Chaplet Works many years ago. I remember them working in the building across from Stewart's in the 50's and 60's. I believe that in the late 60's or early 70's the assembly of the hinge tubes was moved to the train station depot near the Hotel Cambridge. I also remember my parents bringing home hinge tubes and the family assembling them at the kitchen table. Thanks for the memories.

Bob Wright '56
Ken's response to the question about the South Park Street apartment building tells us what a chaplet is.  I can expand on that. The Chaplet Works, as it was sometimes know, was in the business of making hinge tubes out of sheets of tin covered metal. I have been told that the complex little machines that made the chaplets (tubes) and the U shaped collars that held them were designed and built by Gardner and Stuart Cullinan's father. The operator's of the machines sat in front of them and fed small strips of tin into the machines which grabbed the metal turning and twisting it until it form a tube or a U shaped collar depending on the type of machine. I happened to be present when Ed Levin the jewelry maker when he was looking over the machines.

Ed was very impressed with the machines capability to accomplish a number of bends in a single movement.  The tubes were mounted in collars by hand. This work was done by a number of people in Cambridge on a piece work basis. Boxes of the two items were taken home and put together on the kitchen table after supper at night.

The hinge tubes were used when furnace and wood stoves were cast out of iron and steel. Resin coated sand was packed into the tubes to create a hole in the casting of a stove. The sand was removed from the hole after the casting cooled to leave an accurate hole for pins or bolts to enter thereby completing the door hinge.

To see a picture and description go to Chaplets/, than to Chaplets/Smeko Products Ltd. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to see what the Cambridge hinge tubes looked like.


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