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Abbot-Downing Company

US-NH(1891) p549 CONCORD, THE ABBOT-DOWNING COMPANY.jpg

Abbot-Downing Company was a coach and carriage builder in Concord, New Hampshire, which became known throughout the United States for its products — in particular the first Concord coach.

The business was founded in 1813 and dissolved in 1901, but local investors organized a brief revival to manufacture motorized trucks and fire engines. The company name was sold to Wells Fargo.

Concord coach by Abbot and Downing

Contents

Abbot and DowningEdit

The business was founded in Concord in 1813 by wheelwright Lewis Downing (1792-1873) from Lexington, Massachusetts. In 1825 Downing, having decided to make coaches, hired coachbuilder J. Stephen Abbot of Salem, Massachusetts. They formed a partnership that lasted from 1828 to 1847. Abbot and his son specialized in bodies, Downing and his sons in the running gear.[1]

The Concord CoachEdit

 
Abbot and Downing Concord coach in Hadley Farm Museum, Massachusetts

Lewis Downing and SonsEdit

In 1847, Downing went into direct competition with his former partner, taking his two sons into a new partnership known as Lewis Downing and Sons.[1]

Abbot-Downing CompanyEdit

Abbot continued building vehicles under the name Abbot-Downing Company of Concord, New Hampshire.[1]

Lewis Downing retired in 1865, and his two sons joined in partnership with Abbot. Lewis Downing Junior assumed leadership of the new partnership.[1]

Abbot-Downing & CompanyEdit

 
Buffalo Bill's Concord by Abbot-Downing

Abbot-Downing made stagecoaches and large passenger vehicles of all kinds, including horse-drawn streetcars. They made all kinds of wagons, including ambulances and gun carriages during the Civil War. Incorporated in 1873, they kept offices in New York and in Boston at 388 Atlantic Avenue. By 1900, the period of great prosperity was over. They had opened shops in New York and Vermont and established an agency in Australia but — instead of taking to mass production like most industries — Abbot-Downing stuck with custom orders and handwork.[1]

After the death of Lewis Downing Junior in 1901, ownership of the company assets passed to Samuel C. Eastman, president of the Concord Historical Society. The society sold the assets to a Concord banker who kept them but sold the name Abbot Downing to the Wells Fargo Company.[1]

Wells FargoEdit

Since 2012, Wells Fargo has used the Abbot Downing name for its ultra-high-net-worth management service.

Abbot-Downing Truck and Body CompanyEdit

Some local investors resurrected Abbot-Downing's activities in 1912, adding motorized trucks and fire engines to the new catalogue. It was dissolved in 1925.[2]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f Allan Forbes, Ralph M. Eastman. Taverns and stagecoaches of New England: Anecdotes and Tales ... Boston, State Street Trust Co., 1953.
  2. ^ National Register of Historic Places accessed June 14, 2017

External linksEdit