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"Picturesque Hampden"

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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"Picturesque Hampden" was one of a series of "Picturesque" books describing the counties of Massachusetts. They were published by the Northampton, Massachusetts-based firm of Wade, Warner and Company beginning in 1890. "Picturesque Hampden" was published in 1892. The series featured some of the first published photographs by Clifton Johnson (1865-1940), who went on to have a rich career as an illustrator, author and photographer. "Picturesque Hampden" covered the entire county, although the bulk of its text described Springfield, Massachusetts, near the peak of its prosperity. Some of that city's factories and institutions survived into the 21st century, although most have not. For example, the Massachusetts Mutual Insurance Company, then forty-one years old, remains in Springfield. In 2001 it had $78 million in total assets and employed more than 9,000. In contrast, the Warwick Cycle Manufacturing Company had a much shorter life. Founded in 1898, it shifted from bicycles to automobiles in 1898. In 1901 it produced its first model, a single-cylinder runabout that sold for $850. It lasted only until 1905, when its founder, A.O. Very, decided to retire from business and close the company.


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