Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Clay Pigeons, 1890

Middleboro has an infant industry. It is the making of clay pigeons - saucer shaped clay targets thrown from traps for gunners to shoot at. These are manufactured by L. S. Bailey of that town under Jeremiah Keith's patent. He now turns out [2,000] daily and is preparing to increase his business.

It was somewhat natural that Middleborough would develop such an industry given the abundance of clay locally, a resource which began to be commercially exploited immediately prior to the Civil War and which permitted the establishment of a number of brick-making companies. While these brick companies thrived for a number of years, little is known of the success (or failure) of Bailey's venture beyond the Middleboro Gazette's report of September 13, 1889 that "Jeremiah Keith has sold his clay pigeon business, patent rights, machinery, fixtures, &c., to Luther S. Bailey of Middleboro."

"Clay Pigeons", photograph by Lisa Larson, June 15, 2008, published under a Creative Commons license. Some rights reserved.

These modern clay pigeons differ little in appearance to those which would have been produced nearly a century and a quarter ago in Middleborough.
Middleboro Gazette, "North Middleboro", September 13, 1889, p. 1.
Old Colony Memorial, June 7, 1890, p. 5.


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