Ezekiel Page invented and patented an oar making machine. He set up the New York Boat & Oar Company at 69 West Street in New York City about 1843. I’ve accumulated a number of resources and references to this company and I list them here in chronological order.
Ezekiel Page took his oars to the 1851 World Fair in London, England which was a celebration of modern industrial technology and design. From Wikipedia: The Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations or The Great Exhibition, sometimes referred to as the Crystal Palace Exhibition in reference to the temporary structure in which it was held, was an international exhibition that took place in Hyde Park, London, from 1 May to 15 October 1851. It was the first in a series of World’s Fairs, exhibitions of culture and industry that became popular in the 19th century, and it was a much anticipated event.
The London Observer newspaper made note of the oars, made from a “peculiar American wood.”
Mr. Ezekiel Page, of New York, has introduced a large number of specimens of a peculiar American wood for making oars, sweeps, and sculls, termed white ash, which possesses great advantages over every other timber, including cheapness. In a neat mahogany box is a pair of very handsome sculls of this timber, the handles and the parts which work in the rowlocks are mounted in silver, or something very much resembling it, and an inscription on the plate informs us that it is a present from Mr. Page to his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, who by the time he grows up will be able to go to sea with a fleet of his own. Nevertheless the oars are a very graceful present from a staunch republican of the New World to a scion of the monarchy of the Old.
An earlier article appeared in a Baltimore newspaper.
Oars for the Prince of Wales. — A pair of oars have been manufactured by Ezekiel Page, which, after being exhibited at the World’s Fair, are to be presented to that little royal sailor, the Prince of Wales. They are a specimen of exquisite workmanship, made of black walnut, encircled with silver plates where they come in contact with the row-locks. The oars are enclosed in an elegant black walnut case, and accompanied by a couple of pen-holders made in the form of oars of the same material.
200,000 feet of oars of the celebrated manufacture of Ezekiel Page, now in store and for sale by the subscriber at prices to suit the times. Also, receiving Oars from the same manufacturer at the rate of 10,000 feet per day. To induce large sales, a liberal discount will be made to the trade until the close of Canal navigation.
E. W. PAGE
20 West and 32 Washington sts. New York
In 1857 Ezekiel filed another patent, this one for a circular saw mill. A notice appeared in the paper.
Here is the drawing of the circular saw mill with a description below. Source: https://www.google.com/patents/US16606 and http://patft.uspto.gov.
The New York Boat Oar Company has occupied its present site, at 69 West Street, for many years. It is the representative concern in this line in all America, and its products have vexed the waters of all seas. It is rarely that a business so limited in its variety of articles can be found, for almost the only wares produced here are ash and spruce oars, spoon oars, sweeps, sculls, canoe paddles, mast-hoops, capstan bars, rowlocks and handspikes. These are produced in a variety of sizes and shapes. In this very narrow but important field, the New York Boat Oar Company has won an undisputed leadership, and its trade not only reaches both coasts of the Americas, but also extends to Europe, Africa and Australia. This peculiar industry was founded in the year 1843, by Ezekiel Page, whose excellent oars won such a high reputation that the company still retains his name as a trade-mark, their oars being styled the “Ezekiel Page Brand Oars.” He was succeeded by E. W. Page & Sons; and they by the E. W. Page Co.; and that by the present corporation, of which Samuel W. Richards was the first president. He was succeeded in 1888 by Frank D. Wilsey, who is now the President and Treasurer, F. Clutterbuck being the Secretary. The factories at Bloomville and Jerry City, Ohio, were given up years ago, and the company’s chief works now are at Savannah, Georgia, in favorable proximity to their supply of stock. This interesting industry has been brought to a remarkable perfection by the line of ingenious men who have conducted it for the last half century, since the day when Ezekiel Page founded the business. The trade-mark of the New York Boat Oar Company is a synonym of excellence based on long experience and thorough comprehension of materials and methods; and the largest shipping interests provide their boats with equipments from the West-Street emporium. It has taken a great number of prizes at important exhibitions, and has always carried off the highest awards whenever it entered for competition. One of its notable honors was an award at the International Maritime Exposition at Havre, in 1887, when its products surpassed those of all the great maritime nations of Europe.
US Patent Office
Rick Harris Notes (a Wells descendant)