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Old 03-09-2005, 04:15 PM   #1
Rattlesnake Gal
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Smile Laconia Car Company

As far back as the early 1800’s Laconia flourished. It was the center for industry and business in the Lakes Region.
Laconia Car Company was the largest manufacturer in the area and well known in the state.
Originally Charles Ranlet founded the car shops in 1848. It was first known as C. Ranlet Car Manufacturing Co. In 1849 Joseph Ranlet was brought into a partnership and the establishment was then known as Ranlet Car Company. This lasted until the death of Charles Ranlet in October of 1861. The next year Joseph Ranlet formed a new partnership with John C. Moulton and ran under the name of Moulton & Ranlet Car Company. In January of 1865, another company was formed, which was called Ranlet Manufacturing Co. At this time Perley Putnum was brought on board and the three worked together until April of 1878 when Ranlet retired.
The company was reorganized and the name was changed to Laconia Car Company, with Putnum and Moulton as principal owners. Moulton sold his interest to Perley Putnum in 1889. Putnum continued managing the car building alone until Frank Jones and his associates came aboard in 1897.
At this time the new corporation ran under the name of Laconia Car Company Works. The board of officers at that time was Frank Jones as President and E. H. Gilman as Treasurer. Benjamin A. Kimball, C. F. Stone and Dennis O’Shea were Directors.
Originally the plant was comprised of small, cheap wooden structures filled with older machinery. Brick buildings eventually replaced the wooden ones and all the machinery was updated.




The company was located in the center of Laconia and took up 7 acres of land. There were woodworking shops, foundries, set-up shops, storehouses and paint shops. The extensive four-story brick building was dedicated to the iron foundry, which was connected with the car fabrication business.
Originally only freight cars were manufactured, but later, additions were made to the facilities to build many different passenger cars. Laconia Car Company earned a national reputation for building exceptional cars.



Around the turn of the century, the company became quite involved with the construction of electric streetcars as they were gaining popularity across the US. Their handsome products could be seen all over the country in most large cities. The demand for these cars was so great that production was increased, employing almost 500 men, originally starting with less than 100.
The Laconia Car Company’s production went from a few rugged freight cars per week to one luxurious passenger car per day.
With the coming of automobiles, gradually the end of the electric trains drew near. In 1923 the Laconia Car Company finished its last order for trolley and rail cars, continuing with some personnel until the early 1930’s, but the business could not recover. August 9, 1925, was the last official trolley run of the Laconia Street Railroad and the electric cars were replaced with buses.



Source of historical information (not copied from): Lake Winnipesaukee, by Bruce Heald.

Last edited by Rattlesnake Gal; 03-09-2005 at 04:19 PM.
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Old 03-09-2005, 05:22 PM   #2
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Default Great post RG!

Some of these buildings still exists. The iron foundry were making gun barrels for Smith and Wesson up into the '70's
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Old 03-09-2005, 06:08 PM   #3
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Default Nice photos too!

RG: This company is really what put Laconia on the map. You noted how many people were employed there which was significant at the time. Also, great job with the information...should have known that Benjamin Kimball would have had something to do with it! Here's a link to more info on the company.
Laconia Car Company
....and if I'm not mistaken, Hector's Restaurant (is it still there?), was in one of the old Ranlet buildings in downtown Laconia????
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Old 03-09-2005, 07:19 PM   #4
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Default Allen Rogers

Yes, Hector's is in one of the buildings. Allen Rogers was in the wood shop. The foundry's smoke stack is still standing in back of Hector's building. Boulia Gorrell lumber was where they stored the raw materials.
The Laconia Car Works use to produce boats before they close. I was told that the building across the street and next to Lakeport Landing marina was where they were manufactured. Lakeport Landing tored down the old building to the left of the showroom. I think that building was use in the manufacturing.
I attended one of the antique boat show at the Weirs. Someone had on display a boat made by Laconia Car Works.
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Last edited by BroadHopper; 03-09-2005 at 07:21 PM.
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Old 03-10-2005, 08:01 PM   #5
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Talking

Thanks RG - I really enjoyed the read! Your library card must be wearing thin with all the research you have been doing.

Did you find out anything to do with the boat production McD and Broadhopper talked about?
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Old 03-11-2005, 06:41 PM   #6
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Talking History Is Intersting!

Glad someone is enjoying the historical posts. Itís great when people have more to add, whether itís more from the same era or more recent history.
Lucky for me that I have quite a few books to do my research from without having to go to the library. I am hoping to get back to Concord next week to poke around more. Iíll try and find more about their venture into boat building. The link McD provided was the first Iíd heard of it. Thanks McDude!
There are so many stories and history to be shared on the Lakes Region. McDude and I will be kept busy for years and still not cover everything we want! Anyone who wants to join us, please do!
Rewriting the information from the books in my own words does take me a while, as I am not a writer. I think small references from current books are acceptable if the authors are given credit, but the amount of stories Iíve been sharing is beyond that.
I did post Paul Blaisdellís book freely though. (Three Centuries on Winnipesaukee.) Wasnít able to find the publisher, Paul or his wife to get permission to post it. Pretty sure theyíve left this world by now. He first wrote the book in 1936 with a subsequent publication in 1975, when he was an older gentleman. Many of the books on the lake use direct quotes from Three Centuries, as does the historical society. Hard not to, itís an excellent book with valuable information.

Too many sujects, too little time!
Bought a cool print of a map from the library. I was supposed to get a CD with it for posting, but it wasn't in the box. Hopefully they will let me have it when I stop in. Itís an 1881 railroad map. There are others too, but I only have mediocre photocopies of them. Hoping to get better copies next trip. Maybe I will work on that project instead of the Chateaugay, Jim Bell or the interesting Cigar boat story.
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Old 07-10-2011, 10:38 PM   #7
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Default Images of buildings

Anyone have any pictures of building still standing taht were part of the complex?
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Old 07-11-2011, 06:33 AM   #8
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Default

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Originally Posted by shortlid View Post
Anyone have any pictures of building still standing taht were part of the complex?
Check this out... http://ogdenbrotherstrains.blogspot....k-5202011.html



More on the Laconia Car Company ......go to p. 29.
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Old 07-11-2011, 11:21 AM   #9
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Default

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Originally Posted by BroadHopper View Post
Yes, Hector's is in one of the buildings. Allen Rogers was in the wood shop. The foundry's smoke stack is still standing in back of Hector's building. Boulia Gorrell lumber was where they stored the raw materials.
The Laconia Car Works use to produce boats before they close. I was told that the building across the street and next to Lakeport Landing marina was where they were manufactured. Lakeport Landing tored down the old building to the left of the showroom. I think that building was use in the manufacturing.
I attended one of the antique boat show at the Weirs. Someone had on display a boat made by Laconia Car Works.
They did build boats for the last couple of years of their existence. 1929-30, I think. I have an original magazine ad for their 16' Sportster model. You could order the boat assembled or in kit form. The ad says it's a liquidation sale.
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Old 07-11-2011, 04:31 PM   #10
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Default

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Originally Posted by diz View Post
They did build boats for the last couple of years of their existence. 1929-30, I think. I have an original magazine ad for their 16' Sportster model. You could order the boat assembled or in kit form. The ad says it's a liquidation sale.
Could you scan the ad and share it with us? Much appreciated!

The boats were originally built for competing in the boat races. There was quite a write up on its brief history and I can't recall where I read it.
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Old 07-12-2011, 05:18 AM   #11
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Default Scan

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Originally Posted by BroadHopper View Post
Could you scan the ad and share it with us? Much appreciated!

The boats were originally built for competing in the boat races. There was quite a write up on its brief history and I can't recall where I read it.
Sure. I'll do it when I'm up North this weekend.
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Old 07-19-2011, 04:08 PM   #12
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Default LCC Photos

Quote:
Originally Posted by diz View Post
Sure. I'll do it when I'm up North this weekend.
Here you go. I scanned the ad and also uploaded some photos taken in and around LCC in 1914.

https://picasaweb.google.com/1035024...eat=directlink
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Old 07-20-2011, 09:27 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by diz View Post
Here you go. I scanned the ad and also uploaded some photos taken in and around LCC in 1914.

https://picasaweb.google.com/1035024...eat=directlink
So cool, thank you for the photos
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Old 07-20-2011, 05:53 PM   #14
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Default Thanks Diz!

I love the other photos as well. I recognize buildings in the background.

There is a car in N. Conway built by Laconia Car Co. several years ago. It badly needs restoration. It was sitting outside and I was able to board it. I saw the manufacture plate on the wall.
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Old 03-03-2012, 11:05 AM   #15
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Smile can I take a couple of these pic's?

Hi RG,
not sure if you remember me but we had conversation about poorhouses and the ms mount washington. I was doing my geneology. Everyone here was sooo helpful. Well I decided to write a book about them since i have so much information. I am unsure if the pic's that are posted here and info are okay to use? I am unsure about copyrighted stuff. I was hoping to make a brief statement and a couple of pics of the Laconia car company because some relatives of mine worked there. Can anyone advise me? LOL again.

Thank you
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