Rich in history, the Greater Gardner area was first settled in the 1700’s. Initially agricultural, the different townships of this area began to become diversified, with cottage industries, small-scale manufacturing, and especially the trades. Some of the most talented woodworkers from around the world were drawn to this region, ultimately resulting in garnering worldwide acclaim for fine craftsmanship. By the turn of the 19th Century chair manufacturing had taken hold, and whole families were busy producing handmade chairs from their farms and homes in the local townships. The finished products were then delivered by teams of horses to cities in the region.
From such humble beginnings, small shops, and eventually large manufacturing plants grew and evolved. Most of them were located in the hub of this area, the City of Gardner, providing a living for many local residents. Due to the true Yankee work ethic of industry and ingenuity, this region eventually became known internationally for its quality products. The area also became a major manufacturing center of other fine furniture, toys, and textiles, as well as a host of other products.
Through the vision and enterprise of industry leaders many inventions were spawned that revolutionized production and contributed immensely to the advancement of, not only the chair-making industry, but to all wood-working processes. As production grew, so did the need for more efficient means of recording workers’ hours, thus the factory time clock was born.
The “Simplex Time Recorder”, as well as “The Boston Rocker” now commonly recognized names, are some of the more famous products born right here in Gardner.