DID YOU KNOW: Prize-Winning Shovels

Your weekly historical fact, courtesy of the Easton Historical Society

DID YOU KNOW that April 27, 1876 Oliver Ames, the future Governor, finished cleaning and arranging the shovels that were to be in the Centennial Exhibit in Philadelphia.  By 5:30 that evening he left for Philadelphia.

Note: To see the prize-winning shovels, visit the front lobby of the Cushing-Martin Building (the former library) at .

Dwight Mac Kerron April 22, 2012 at 11:54 AM
A story from Chaffin's manuscript n Oliver Senior: "Here is another interesting incident in this line. Mr Ames, grandson of Oliver, commonly called Oliver Third, and afterwards, Governor, who was skilled in every part of the shovel business, once heard of a new method of tempering steel. It was by boiling it in a certain preparation. He procured some of it, and built a little furnace in the second story of the Long Shop where he thought his grandfather was very unlikely to come. Jim Donovan was his helper. As luck would have it, when he got the mixture boiling, Oliver saw his grandfather approaching. “I’ve got to busy? im’ said Oliver, “and don’t you dare to find me.” The old gentleman came on and saw the great kettle over the fire with shovel blades in the boiling mixture. “What kind of a thing is this?” the old man shouted. Jim said it was a new experiment for hardening shovels that Oliver Third was trying. “Go and find Oliver and bring him here,” said he in anger. But, of course, Jim could not find him. The fire was put out and the whole mixture solidified with the shovel blades sticking in it – where they are to this day, the kettle and its contents now being stored in the new shop. Oliver did not repeat the experiment."


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