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Robert Henry COLE

Main American Optical Co. Factory, Southbridge, Mass.

"The name 'American Optical Co.' dates back to a meeting on Feb. 26, 1869, of members of two neighboring Southbridge firms, Robert H. Cole & Co. and H.C. Ammidown & Co. They met to combine into one firm and chose the title American Optical Co. because it was broad in scope. The company's objective was stated as "to manufacture and sell spectacles and eyeglasses of gold, silver, steel and plated metals, also rings and thimbles, and such other like articles as said company may from time to time desire to make. The firm was formally incorporated March 6, 1869, with R. H Cole as president; G. W. Wells, clerk; E. M. Cole and A. M. Cheney, directors. The capital stock, of 400 shares, totaled $40,000. Robert H. Cole had 150 shares; E. Merritt Cole, 80 shares; Alpha M. Cheney, 50 shares; Hiram C. Wells, 50 shares; George W. Wells 40 shares; and Charles E. Edmonds, 30 shares. They agreed to purchase from R. H. Cole for $1,900, real estate occupied by R. H. Cole & Co. on the south side of Main street, and to buy from the company; all machinery, tools and stock for a maximum of $12,800. lso, the spectacle shop of H. C. Ammidown for $3,700 and the firm's stock and tools for $4,700. On Jan. 31, 1870. Hiram C. Wells and Charles S. Edmonds were added to the directors. On Feb. 24, 1870, 20 shares of stock were transferred from R. H. Cole to George M. Wells. The capital stock was increased to $60,000 on March 7, 1871."

Southbridge Evening News, Southbridge, Massachusetts, April 27, 1960



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