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Maker(s):James Byers & Company (attributed)
Culture:American (active 1786-1801)
Title:andirons
Date Made:ca. 1790
Type:Temperature Control
Materials:base metal: cast iron
Place Made:United States; Massachusetts; Springfield
Measurements:overall: 13 in x 8 1/4 in x 12 3/4 in; 33.02 cm x 20.955 cm x 32.385 cm
Accession Number:  HD 2008.24
Credit Line:The Robert and Martha Simms Fund for Museum Acquisitions
Museum Collection:  Historic Deerfield
2008-24t.jpg

Description:
Pair of cast iron andirons attributed to James Byers and Company (active 1786-1801), which have cast on the front of the legs, "SPRING" and "FIELD." With the organization of the United States in 1784, the new nation set forth to promote manufacturing with unprecedented zeal. Iron foundries, glasshouses, and textile mills sprang up throughout New England. Although woolen and cotton mills were a far more important industry in the Connecticut River valley, iron casting began during this period as well. The first ornamental cast iron produced in the region was made at the Springfield furnace of James Byers and Company. The firm was formed in 1786 as a partnership between Byers and William Smith, and in 1788 they began advertising production of "Basons, Grenadier Dogs, Bust Dogs, Negro Dogs, Large Ring Dogs, Small Ring Dogs, Puppy Dogs, Large and Small Bake Pans, Large and Small Spiders, Large and Small Tea Kettles, Large and Small Skillets, etc...." The Company was dissolved in 1801, and the business was carried on by Benjamin Belcher, Abijah Wetherell, and William Wetherell. These andirons were cast in sand molds impressed with a wooden pattern. Although there is no proof that they were made by Byers, they are cast with the name "Springfield" and correspond with a pattern advertised by Byers as "Small Ring Dogs."

Label Text:
In the 1780s manufacturing was promoted with unprecedented zeal in the new American republic. Iron foundries, glasshouses, and textile mills sprang up throughout New England. The first ornamental cast iron produced in the region was made at the Springfield furnace of James Byers and Company. Although there is no proof that Byers made these andirons, they are cast with the name "Springfield," and correspond with a pattern advertised by Byers as "Small Ring Dogs."

Link to share this object record:
https://museums.fivecolleges.edu/detail.php?t=objects&type=ext&id_number=HD+2008.24

Research on objects in the collections, including provenance, is ongoing and may be incomplete. If you have additional information or would like to learn more about a particular object, please email fc-museums-web@fivecolleges.edu.

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