Starr Mfg. Co.

Tool Makers of
Middletown, Connecticut


Tools Made: Plane irons and scythes.

Working Dates: 1846-48. (Dates for plane iron manufacturing only).

     Known at that time as E.W.N. Starr & Co. The factory is located on Starr mill pond in the Staddle Hill district of Middletown. Map B.  See more pictures here.

 The pond is fed by the Coginchaug river and is upstream from the ARROWMAMMETT Works factory and down stream from the Globe Mfg. Co. and the Baldwin Tool Co. . The buildings are now used by a number of small businesses. 

     The Starr Mfg. Co was started in Hartford by Nathan Starr, SR. sometime round1787. He was a blacksmith and made scythes, among other things. In 1799 he moved to Middle Haddam. About 1812 he moved to Middletown and operated out of the factory on Starr mill. I can’t tell if the company continued to made scythes there or not but they did manufacture swords for the U. S. Government. This information is from ref. 11, and is mainly about arms manufacturing. The company was managed by three generations of the Starr family.

From Ref. 14 Page 164-5.

Gen. E. W. N. Starr.

        "Elihu William Nathan Starr was the oldest son of Nathan and Grace (Townsend) Starr, and was born at the

        residence of his maternal grandfather, Ebenezer Townsend, at New Haven, August l0th 1812. His parents

        removed to Middletown when he was but a few months old. He attended private schools till he was 12 years

        of age, and was then placed in Captain Partridge's Military Academy in that city.  On completing his

        education he entered his father's office as bookkeeper and subsequently became a partner in the business.

        His tastes and education inclined him to a military life. At the age of 18 he was appointed sergeant major, and,

        subsequently, quartermaster and adjutant of the 2d Artillery Regiment of Connecticut. In 1836, he was

        elected captain of the 1st Rifle Company, 6th Regiment of Infantry, and in 1839, was promoted to be

        lieutenant-colonel, and in 1841, was made colonel of the regiment, resigning in 1844. In 1847, he was

        elected captain of the 7th Light Infantry Company (which he organized as the Mansfield Guards)

        of the same regiment, and in 1853, was again elected colonel. During the administration of

        Gov. Thomas H. Seymour, he was adjutant general of the State. In 1860, he was elected brigadier

        general of the 2d Brigade, Connecticut Militia. The reorganization and concentration of the militia

        system into one division, in 1861, relieved him of this position. On the appointment by the Legislature

        of James T. Pratt as major general of the State militia, he appointed General Starr as division inspector;

        both, however, resigned the same year, in October, in consequence of the refusal of the State Legislature

        to so amend the militia laws as to render them efficient. Soon after the breaking out of the Civil war,

        the command of the 4th Regiment Connecticut Volunteers was offered to General Starr by Governor

        Buckingham, but his delicate health prevented his acceptance of the position; but, nevertheless, he was

        well represented, inasmuch as, during the first year of the war, there were over 30 commissioned officers

        in the field, all considered efficient men, who owed their knowledge of military tactics to his gratuitous

        tuition. He was subsequently appointed by Governor Buckingham to the command of the military

        post at Middletown, during the organization of the 24th Regiment Connecticut Volunteers.

        This was the last of his military services to the State, which covered a period of about 30 years. He was

        postmaster at Middletown during a portion of President Van Buren's administration, and was the one

        to remove the office to its present position in the government building. With the exception of one year,

        he has held the position of town clerk and registrar from 1852 to the present time, and excepting one

        year, was judge of the Probate District of Middletown from July 1866 to 1872. While acting in this

        position, although having no legal education, his decisions were invariably confirmed by the

        higher courts. From January 1856, to January 1864, he held the position of city clerk and treasurer.

        In person. General Starr is tall and erect, of spare build, but of fine military bearing. In his private life,

        he is " sans peur et sans reproche. "


Below is a Wikipedia link for this company.



Nathan Starr, SR. Born 14 April 1755. Died 29 July 1821.

Nathan Starr, JR. Born 20 Feb. 1784. Died 31 Aug. 1852.

Elihu William Nathan Starr, born 10 August 1812, died 14 June 1891.

E.W.N. Starr had a house on Mt. Vernon street.


Starr1.jpg (13428 bytes)

                                                                                        Mark #1, three lines, on a plow plane iron

                                                                              "E. W. N. STARR & CO.


                                                                                        CAST STEEL"


Starr9.jpg (141717 bytes)


The mark #2, two lines.




             Below is the mark of single plane iron. This iron is from a hollowing or gutter plane.

Starr8.jpg (260945 bytes)

It is marked " E. W. N. STARR & CO / WARRANT'D / CAST STEEL"


  Below are three E.W.N. Starr plow plane blades.

Starr2.jpg (14717 bytes)

     Below is a price sheet listing plane irons dated 1847 and a stock certificate. Provided by the Middlesex County Historical Society.

Starr4.jpg (296179 bytes)

The Certificate is for 1 share in the Baldwin Tool Company, dated 1856.

Starr5.jpg (227275 bytes)


1874 Beers Map

Starr10.JPG (27821 bytes)

     The Starr Manufacturing Company buildings are still in use by small businesses. Starr mill pond is to the right of building and the dam is parallel with this face. Part of the water power apparatus is still standing.

Starr7.jpg (25630 bytes)        Starr6.jpg (76047 bytes)


     Patents issued or assigned to this company or one of its owners. Nathan Starr is the father of E.W.N. See ref. 24 for more Middletown patents.

Name                                          Pat. No                      Item                                          Issue Date

Starr, Nathan                              1141                          Breech loading firearm              5/3/1839

Starr, Nathan                              5869                          File Cutting machine                 10/17/1848

References:   3, 7, 11, 24, 31, 61    Back Home

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