Manufacturing Property for Sale, Machinery, Tools Plant and Equipment of the Whelpley Skate and Manufacturing Co. Ltd, Greenwich, New Brunswick
James Albert Whelpley (1839-1893) was an inventor, primarily of skates, including roller and ice skates (Acme and Long Reach). The Acme skate had a relatively short blade, which allowed the user to be extremely mobile, while the Long Reach speed skate with its 17 inch blade allowed the user to travel long distances in a relatively short period of time. The Long Reach skate was well suited for the long expanses of the St. John and Kennebecasis Rivers. The Whelpley family manufactured skates and other items such as a three-wheeled gig and a butter churn. They began manufacturing as early as 1859 in a factory at Round Hill near Greenwich, a settlement at the Long Reach on the St. John River in Kings County, New Brunswick. James Albert Whelpley was the driving force behind the business and held patents for skates and other inventions in the USA, England, France, Germany and Hungary. James Whelpley eventually settled in Keene, New Hampshire where he was involved with the Keene Manufacturing Company, but also remained active in the family business in New Brunswick. The Round Hill factory closed for a time in the 1870s, reopened and continued production until 1886 when it closed again and reopened in 1890. Although James Whelpley died in 1893, the factory remained in production and, in 1899, the business was reorganized as J.A. Whelpley Co. Ltd with Frederic Whelpley and Daniel Whelpley listed as skate manufacturers and Frederic as president. The Whelpley Skate and Manufacturing company was registered 1904 but within 5 years, the operation ceased due to severe financial difficulty. The business was auctioned off to A. Ernest Everett for 5.00 dollars plus the cost of the mortgage. In 1926, the business returned to family hands when James’ nephew Daniel Robert Whelpley purchased the company for $1.00 from Everett. The letters patent incorporating the Whelpley Skate and Manufacturing company were surrendered in 1955.

  c. 1890
 
  21.2 x 13.3 cm
  James A. Whelpley fonds
  Whelpley-F4-7(cover)

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